The former East Germany is the setting for Christian Petzold’s Barbara; Tom Cruise tempts fate with the daringly titled Oblivion; zombies are brought back to life by love in Warm Bodies and we preview our i/v with Espen Sandberg, co-director of Kon-Tiki.
Last time we saw Tom Cruise he was known as Jack Reacher. Now, in Oblivion, his name is Jack Harper. What range! What diversity! You’d hardly recognise him. Harper is a maintenance guy, repairing the drones that protect giant machines that suck Earth’s oceans up to an enormous space station orbiting above us, a space station that is going to take the few remaining survivors of our pyrrhic victory over invading aliens on a final journey away from a devastated planet to a new life on Titan.
Assisting Mr. Cruise with his mechanical defence duties is Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), life and work partner, keeping him in contact with the supervisors floating above them and keeping an eye on the straggling remnants of the aliens who tried to conquer us. Traditional gender roles are very much still intact in the future — even though the Moon isn’t — and Ms. Riseborough’s character seems content to never leave the spotless modern kitchen while Cruise gets his hands dirty on the surface. Neither of them seem too bothered by the fact that they had their memories wiped six years previously, although he has been having some strange dreams recently.
Steve Gray, former film reviewer for TV’s Good Morning show and blogger at therealstevegray.com joins us: Steve and Simon wrestle over Les Misérables, Tom Cruise is back in Jack Reacher and Woody Allen continues his European tour in To Rome With Love.