Joseph Kosinski ("Tron") wanted to tell a Sci-Fi tale that would be both epic and intimate. Visually, "Oblivion" fits into the "epic" category; narratively, the film draws from a grab-bag of genre films, but it does touch upon the sense of isolation, interdependence, and eventual uncertainty among a small cast of characters that propelled earlier stripes of Sci-Fi film, especially in the ’70s.
Much of the story concerns Jack (Tom Cruise) and his teammate / lover, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough). They are one of a handful of teams left on post-invasion Earth to maintain and defend automated installations that support the off-world population. Everyone else has fled to a huge orbiting space station, or to a moon of Saturn. Tom and Victoria live and work in a comfortable aerial base perched thousands of feet above the ravaged surface; only scattered bands of defeated aliens called "scavs" remain on the planet below.
Until, that is, human survivors enter the picture, led by Morgan Freeman, with "Game of Thrones" star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as his sidekick. (Sadly, both actors are wasted on flat, one-note roles.) There’s also a beautiful woman, Julia (Olga Kurylenko), whom Jack already knows because she’s in his recurring dreams.
Though the film as a whole is a stale, under-written mess, the Blu-ray / DVD combo offers some intriguing special features that fire the imagination -- not so much the Deleted Scenes (there are four; one of them gives a little deeper sense of the relationship between Jack and Victoria) but rather the featurettes, of which there are three on the DVD disc:
"Destiny" is all about how Kosinski conceived of the film in strong visual terms from the outset, first as a lavishly illustrated novel and then as a cinematic project. The featurette is something of a 101 course in how a movie of this sort is created, from pre-visualization and CGI modeling to the finished product.
"Illusion" delves deeper into the visual effects, both practical (the gorgeous vistas from Jack’s penthouse in the sky aren’t done with CGI or green screens, and they probably look better for it).