The Wachowskis, Tom Twyker
Cloud Atlas spans many years and many characters. There are names both big and small playing roles both large and miniscule. Tom Hanks is a doctor and a scientist, then a hotel manager. Halle Berry is a journalist and a Prescient, then a party guest. Jim Broadbent is a captain and a publisher, then a Korean musician. Jim Sturges is a lawyer and a rebel commander, then a hotel guest. Hugo Weaving is a hitman and a nurse, then a board member. They exist in numerous times and locations. There’s 1849 South Pacific, 1936 England/Scotland, 1973 San Francisco, 2012 United Kingdom, 2144 Seoul, 2321 “Big Isle.”
And believe it or not, it all intertwines. There may even be a purpose to it, if you choose to find one. The biggest problem with Cloud Atlas, directed by The Wachowskis (The Matrix franchise) and Tom Twyker (Run Lola Run), is that it’s awfully easy to give up in the first third of the whole show, which runs a tiresome 170 minutes.
Cloud Atlas is an ambitious film for both its directors and its stars. This marks the first time in more than a decade that either Hanks or Berry took a career risk; and the Wachowskis, whose only post-Matrix venture, Speed Racer, lost tens of millions of dollars, had no reason to be trusted with such a large budget. But here they all are, out to support their cause…whatever it is.
The film will intrigue and entrance some, even if they’re not entirely following the multiple storylines. But the majority, however closely they’re picking at the details, will still be left going, Huh? There’s nothing wrong with that if there’s a deeper meaning to it all, as seen in Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, for example. But that doesn’t seem to be the case with Cloud Atlas, whose self-importance and deliberate confusion causes the film to collapse in on itself before it’s all over.
Also included are a DVD Copy and UltraViolet.