#1  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:26 PM
Cloud Atlas



Written for the screen and directed by Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

Plot: Everything is connected: an 1849 diary of an ocean voyage across the Pacific; letters from a composer to his friend; a thriller about a murder at a nuclear power plant; a farce about a publisher in a nursing home; a rebellious clone in futuristic Korea; and the tale of a tribe living in post-apocalyptic Hawaii, far in the future.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, James D'Arcy, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon

Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use.

Runtime: 172 minutes


The book was a mixed bag, with the best storyline being about the character of Sonmi. The Luisa Rey (Halle Berry) section was the weakest. I'm not expecting much yet at the same time am really excited about this.
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  #2  
Old 10-18-2012, 03:53 PM
Look at that runtime.....I might get around to seeing this in theaters....if my knees can take sitting in a theater seat for 3 hours. Hope its good!
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  #3  
Old 10-18-2012, 04:51 PM
Can't wait. Will be there opening weekend.
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  #4  
Old 10-18-2012, 08:50 PM
My most anticipated movie of the year.

It's getting very divisive reviews with what I'd consider more "respectable" critics generally being on the negative end and internet critics being on the other.

One of my friends saw it and had what seems like a life-changing experience. Yes, he said he cried. I've never seen him cry before. He is still proclaiming this possibly the best movie he has ever seen.

He's not the only one who had that kind of experience, judging from online:

(No spoilers below, just different reviews to that vein, snipped for relevance)



Sasha Stone, AwardsDaily (talking about her daughter's reaction):
Spoiler:
I’ve tried to instill a love of movies in my daughter’s life...She wasn’t a movie kid like I was...She likes her social networking much more. She likes reading and online comics and skyping and Tumblr. I had been mostly resigned to us being different in that way. That is, until I took her to see Cloud Atlas.
Because Cloud Atlas doesn’t follow traditional storytelling (neither does Moulin Rouge) it resonated with her more than the more traditional stories I’ve been trying to force upon her all of these years. The freedom of vision, the imagination set free, the impossible realized — it spoke to her in a way that most movies don’t. You see, my daughter’s generation is moving a lot faster than Hollywood can keep up with. To them, in their high school here in Los Angeles, gender is a fluid thing. They see gay couples as ordinary couples. There isn’t any sort of cultural or ethnic division. Cloud Atlas is a film that does the same thing — it has erased the lines both between hetero love and same-sex love, and with cultural and ethnic diversity. There are no specific lines drawn in Cloud Atlas — it is about the internal, not the external. It is about a personal revolution and political activism. It is about soul mates and eternal love. It is about reincarnation and the beauty — the enduring tragic beauty — of life. It blew my daughter’s mind.
Sitting next to her, I noticed that it was the first time I saw her cry during a film. She would lean forward during the exciting parts and clap whenever something great happened to one of the characters. I was stunned at this reaction. Usually she has her face in a book or a computer and when I say “wait, wait, you GOTTA SEE THIS!” She’ll look up briefly and then go back to what was far more interesting to her. There was more to her reaction than merely loving this movie – it had really changed the way she saw movies at all, finally, for the first time in her life seeing them as something more than the wallpaper she grew up around.


Alex Billington, First Showing:
Spoiler:
Cloud Atlas found me at the perfect time in my life and the paths I happen to be on myself, converging at the right time and the right place tonight for this experience to pay off perfectly. In short - they pulled it off. The Wachowskis and Tykwer have made a movie that truly pushes the boundaries of cinematic storytelling. It pushes, even challenges, the audience itself to seek the brilliance within it, while also ask that they try to discover something about themselves while watching it. Not many movies come close to doing that, in any way. And those that are unmoved by the way this pushes the audience must be, unfortunately, blind to the revelations within.Cloud Atlas is an achievement of the grandest of scales. It may forever change your life.


Devin Faraci, Badass Digest:
Spoiler:
Writing this review after only one viewing of Cloud Atlas feels foolish, like taking a calculus test after only finishing basic addition and subtraction. I walked out of the theater, three hours after the movie started, feeling overwhelmed and moved and almost physically stunned by what I had seen...
I actually think they accomplished what they were trying to do. The word I would use for this movie is audacious. This is the boldest sort of filmmaking, and Cloud Atlas is a movie that throws every single thing out on screen and gives 200% effort. That can make the moments that fail feel like bodyblows, but it also makes the moments that work - and there are way more of those - transcendent.
And if there are bits that don’t work, who cares? Do you critique a record-breaking runner on each of his steps, calling attention to his small stumbles? Or do you look at the entirety of the achievement with awe and wonder? Because yes, there are stumbles in Cloud Atlas, but as a whole it is a remarkable, astonishing work of clear eyed vision and extraordinary optimism.
The whole movie is epic. This is a film that is epic in the old-fashioned sense, an epic that spans not just time and the map but the very geography of the human soul...
Cloud Atlas is sometimes silly, and it’s sometimes pretentious and it’s sometimes overstuffed. But every single one of those things, to me, is a positive. It’s an exceptional piece of filmmaking, one of the bravest works I have ever seen...
I walked out of Cloud Atlas utterly overwhelmed. Days later I’m still processing it. It’s a movie I could write about for days, the kind of film where each shot, each transition, is worthy of discussion and dissection. I haven't even touched on the way that the telling of stories - through letters, memoirs, movies, manifestos - is used to speak about our endless human connection. There are so many aspects of the film I've only brushed past in this review, giving scant words to magnificent things.
I can’t wait to see it again. Until I do I’ll hold on to the feeling this movie gave me, an incredible sense of hope for the future of cinema. And the future of humanity. How many movies give you that?


HULK, Also from Badass Digest - this (full) review is especially worth reading:
Spoiler:
A CRITIC CAN SERVE MANY FUNCTIONS. THEY CAN CONTEXTUALIZE. THEY CAN CAN DECONSTRUCT. THEY CAN PROFESS THE MERIT OF A PROPERTY. THEY CAN CHAMPION A MOVEMENT. AND OCCASIONALLY, WITH HOPEFULLY GOOD REASON, THEY CAN ARGUE FALSE MERITS.

HULK DOESN'T EXACTLY KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH WITH THIS PARTICULAR MOVIE, EXCEPT TO SAY THIS: YOUR ABILITY TO ENJOY CLOUD ATLAS WILL DEPEND ON YOUR ABILITY TO EMBRACE THE CONCEIT.

AND IT IS THIS HULK'S OPINION THAT YOU VERY MUCH SHOULD.

***

EMOTION. LOVE. WONDER... SCHMALTZ.

WE ALL HAVE VARYING DEGREES TO WHICH WE CAN TOLERATE THESE CONCEPTS. SOME OF US HAVE THAT AUTOMATIC TRIGGER WHERE SIMPLE EMOTIONAL CUES CAUSE US TO CRY DURING COMMERCIALS. AND THEN SOME OF US TREAT ANY INSTANCE OF GENUINE EMOTION IN A MOVIE AS SOMETHING UTTERLY WRETCH-WORTHY.

FOR ALL OF HULK'S FLOWERY NOTIONS ABOUT LOVING AND RESPECTING CINEMA, HULK IS PRETTY DAMN LOGICAL ABOUT IT ALL. AND THAT'S JUST BECAUSE HULK HAPPENS TO BE A PARALYZINGLY CEREBRAL CREATURE (HULK ISN'T REALLY TOUCHED BY THE CUE ITSELF, HULK WATCHES HOW THE CUE PLAYS OUT AND THEN THE STRENGTH OF EXECUTION USUALLY ACTS AS A CUE... IF THAT MAKES SENSE?). BUT IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT SO MUCH OF THAT HYPER-CEREBRAL APPROACH HAS LED HULK TO REALIZE THAT THINGS LIKE EMOTION, LOVE AND WONDER ARE THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF NOT ONLY GOOD STORYTELLING, BUT PERHAPS SOCIETY AT LARGE. IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, THERE IS A WEIRD WAY IN WHICH DECENCY IS ACTUALLY THE DRIVING FORCE OF SURVIVAL; THE ABILITY TO "PUT DOWN" THE METAPHORICAL BONE IN 2001 IS HOW WE ACTUALLY MANAGE TO MOVE ONWARD AND UPWARD AS MORE NOBLE BEINGS.

OF COURSE, TERRIBLE THINGS HAVE BEEN DONE IN THE NAME OF DECENCY TOO (OFTEN IN GUISE OF PURITY). HECK, RIGHT NOW WE HAVE AN ENTIRE ANTI-GAY MOVEMENT UTTERED IN THE NAME OF DECENCY AND "FAMILY VALUES" (THE GROSSEST KIND OF HYPOCRISY IMAGINABLE). BUT IT'S AMAZING TO HULK HOW MANY PEOPLE, WHO ARE PERHAPS RIGHTLY DISGUSTED BY THE REFLEXIVE NATURE OF FAUX-DECENCY, ARE STILL WILLING TO THROW OUT THE BABY WITH THE BATHWATER ON THAT ACCOUNT. UPHOLDING THE VALUE OF DECENCY CAN REALLY BE WORTH SOMETHING IN A CRUEL WORLD.

TRUE DECENCY CAN BE OUR HIGHEST VALUE.

***

CLOUD ATLAS IS A BEAUTIFUL FILM.

HULK MEANS IT'S NOT ONLY PRETTY, BUT IT GOES ABOUT MAKING STATEMENTS OF DECENCY WITH REAL GUSTO, EFFORT, INSIGHT AND LACK OF CARE FOR CYNICISM. OH, IT'S NOT NAIVE. IT VERY MUCH UNDERSTANDS WHAT CYNICISM CAN BE. IT UNDERSTANDS IT SO WELL IT SORT OF BECOMES THE IDEOLOGICAL ENEMY. BUT THESE IDEAS ARE TRULY THE FOUNDATION OF THE FILM. AND THEY NEED THAT FOUNDATION BECAUSE IN AN EFFORT TO BE SO BOLD AND BROAD, WHILE STILL TELLING SIX UNIQUE STORIES, THINGS ALMOST SPILL WILDLY OUT OF CONTROL... ALMOST. SOMEHOW, THE FILM ALWAYS FINDS ITS FOOTING.

AND TO BE HONEST, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS MOST INTERESTING IS THE WAY THE WHOLE "CRAZY MAKE-UP" ELEMENT OF THE FILM IS HIGHLY ENJOYABLE. THERE ARE A LOT OF WORRIED FOLKS (WHO HAVEN'T SEEN IT YET) WHO THINK THE MAKE-UP LOOKS CHEESY OR NOT BELIEVABLE, BUT THE THING ABOUT THE FILM IS YOU LEARN SO QUICKLY THAT IT'S LESS ABOUT IT "WORKING" AND MORE ABOUT THE STATEMENT BEING MADE WITH EACH MAKE-UP CHOICE.

FOR INSTANCE, HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THE IDEA THAT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME HALLE BERRY GETS TO DO A PERIOD FILM WITHOUT HAVING TO WEAR A SLAVE OUTFIT? HULK FINDS THAT IDEA ENTHRALLING. AND THE FILM MAKES STATEMENTS WITH EVERY SINGLE CHOICE. THE GAME OF "WHO IS WHO" ISN'T JUST DELIGHTFUL, BUT MEANINGFUL.

WHICH MEANS IT IS ONE OF THE RARE CASES WHERE THE PROCESS OF THE FILMMAKING IS PART OF THE ACTUAL MESSAGE. AND LIKE SO MANY THINGS IN THE FILM, HULK FINDS IT BEAUTIFUL.

***

APPLICABLE TANGENT WARNING!

SO BRET EASTON ELLIS RECENTLY WENT OFF ON TWITTER ABOUT DAVID FOSTER WALLACE.... THIS GAVE HULK PAUSE.

MANY OTHERS FELT THE SAME WAY. MANY PEOPLE EVEN WENT SO FAR AS TO SAY BRET EASTON ELLIS IS A COMPLETE IDIOT WHO HAS NEVER DONE ANYTHING GOOD IN HIS CAREER... THAT'S NOT REALLY TRUE. HONESTLY, HULK FINDS SOME OF HIS WORK TO BE RATHER GOOD. HULK PARTICULARLY LIKES AMERICAN PSYCHO A GREAT DEAL. AT TIMES, B.E.E. APPEARS TO TAKE ON THE ROLE OF THE GREAT SATIRIST AND THAT IS TO BE COMMENDED IN HIS ART... BUT WHAT HE'S TAKEN TO DOING ON TWITTER IS BASICALLY JUST FIRING UGLY SHOTS AT EVERY SINGLE SACRED COW HE CAN THINK OF, SEEMINGLY TO NO OTHER PURPOSE THAN HIS OWN DELIGHT.

ON THE FLIP SIDE, DAVID FOSTER WALLACE IS ADMITTEDLY ONE OF HULK'S HEROES. HE WAS A CERTIFIED GENIUS. A MAN OF BOTH THE LITERATE AND MATHEMATICAL MIND. A GUY WHOSE INTELLIGENCE OFTEN PARALYZED HIM IN THE CONTEXT OF HAVING TO ACHIEVE NORMALCY... BUT THE THING ABOUT DAVID FOSTER WALLACE IS THAT, LIKE SHAKESPEARE, HIS GIFTS FOR LANGUAGE AND PROSE WERE REALLY JUST INVITATIONS INTO SOMETHING BIGGER, SOMETHING ACHINGLY HUMAN. DAVID FOSTER WALLACE, UNDERNEATH ALL THAT VOCABULARY AND DENSITY, WAS SOMETHING OF A SIMPLE MORALIST. BUT WHAT MADE HIM UNIQUE, WHAT SPOKE TO HULK IN THE DEEPEST OF WAYS, IS THE WAY D.F.W WOULD DIVE STRAIGHT INTO THE LOGIC OF THESE IDEAS AND SUSS OUT EVERY BIT OF ARGUMENTATION. HE WOULD COMB THROUGH ALL OF IT IN THE MOST INTELLECTUAL MANNER, JUST TO PROVE THAT THESE LITTLE CLICHES YOU'VE HEARD BEFORE, THE "CHICKEN SOUPS FOR THE TEENAGE SOUL" IDIOMS, NOT ONLY HAD WEIGHT, BUT HAD ALL THE MEANING WE COULD EVER NEED.

THOUGH UNPARALLELED GENIUS, HE FOUND SIMPLICITY. A LOT OF PEOPLE DIDN'T LIKE IT. THEY FOUND HIS MESSAGES CHEESY AND HOLLOW. AND THE FACT THAT HE DRESSED IT UP SUCH INTENSE VOCABULARY AND MUCH-TOO-LONG APPROACH TO PROSE AND ARGUMENTATION JUST MADE THEM ALL THE MORE ANGRY. BREVITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT, AND THEY THOUGHT HE WASN'T WITTY HULK GUESS. IN FACT, THEY CONSIDERED HIM THE HEIGHT OF PRETENSION. THE FALSELY WORSHIPPED IDOL.

AND THERE WAS B.E.E., YEARS AFTER D.F.W.'S DEATH, LEADING THE FAMILIAR AND CYNICAL CHARGE.

BUT WHAT REALLY STUCK IN HULK'S CRAW WAS HOW SOMEONE ON TWITTER (SORRY, IT SO LONG AGO, HULK CAN'T FIND WHO DID! PIPE UP IN COMMENTS) DIRECTED HULK TO THIS ARTICLE, IN WHICH A MAN WHO EDITED BOTH OF THEM COMMENTS ON THEIR RESPECTIVE GENIUS AND THEN GOES ON TO MAKE A CURIOUS STATEMENT.

THE IMPORTANT PART IS AS FOLLOWS:

David’s 2005 commencement speech to the graduating class of Kenyon College, “This is Water,” has assumed the stature of a manifesto and ultimate statement. But, soul-pocked baby boomer that I am, I don’t buy it as a guide for right behavior. It feels uncomfortably close to those books of affirmations, no doubt inspiring but of questionable use when the hard stuff arrives. I truly believe that David was the finest writer of his generation, but his design for living seems to me naive and likely to collapse at the first impact of life’s implacable difficulties. It badly needed an injection of Montaigne or Marcus Aurelius.

Me, I find Bret Ellis’ scalding, cynical, brittle, savagely unillusioned worldview curiously refreshing. He is the Loki or Trickster of the literary world (or maybe the Lou Reed), poking sharp sticks in our eyes and daring us to figure out if he could possibly mean that. Deal with it. In a culture that has the phrase “Good job!” on endless rotation, he dares to say, over and over, “You must be fucking kidding me.” He’s incorrigible, he’s not a nice boy, he doesn’t care if you become a better person, he is not in any way seeking your approval. Good for him. Some brave college should ask him to do a commencement address.

HULK'S OBVIOUS PROBLEM IS THE FOLLOWING: THE WORLD (AND ESPECIALLY THE INTERNET) IS SO MUCH MORE FULL OF B.E.E. THESE DAYS. NOT THE D.F.W.'S. AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES HIM ALL THE MORE IMPORTANT. IN A WAY THE AUTHOR OF THE ARTICLE SO SPECTACULARLY MISSES THE ENTIRE POINT. D.F.W. WENT TO EXHAUSTED LENGTHS TO ARTICULATE EVERY LITTLE ARGUMENT THE B.E.E.'S OF THE WORLD COULD EVER MUSTER. AND IN THE END HE ARTICULATED WHY THOSE BASIC PLATITUDES MATTER SO DAMN MUCH... ESPECIALLY FOR THE BIG STUFF.

HULK DOESN'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT HULK HAS DEALT WITH MORE OF THE KINDS OF "BIG STUFF" THAN A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE. AND IN TIMES LIKE THAT THE B.E.E.'S OF THE WORLD MADE HULK FEEL DISILLUSIONED. BITTER. ANGRY. ALONE. AND FORGIVE FOR GOING FULL-TILT HERE, BUT HULK HONESTLY BELIEVES THAT THE WRITING AND HUMANISM OF DAVID FOSTER WALLACE SOMEHOW SAVED HULK'S LIFE. THERE IS A CLEAR LACK OF USE FOR THE FIRST, AND SUCH A NECESSARY, PROFOUND USE FOR THE SECOND.

SIMPLY PUT, HULK HAS NO IDEA WHAT WORLD THIS GUY IS LIVING IN. THE IDEA OF "GOOD JOB" BEING ON ENDLESS ROTATION? WHAT IS THIS GUY TALKING ABOUT? IF HE THINKS BRET EASTON ELLIS HAS THE KIND OF ATTITUDE THAT SHOULD BE EMPLOYED BY THE WORLD OVER, THAT IT'S WORTH BEING USED IN COMMENCEMENT... THEN HE'S NOT LOOKING AT THIS WORLD. BRET EASTON ELLIS ONLY WORKS IF THERE'S ONE BRET EASTON ELLIS... AND THERE ISN'T. WE HAVE A WORLD FULL OF THEM AND THEY'RE SORT OF TURNING THE CULTURAL, LITERARY AND CINEMATIC WORLD INTO A DISINGENUOUS WASTELAND.

WHY DO THEY ALL FEEL THE NEED TO DO THAT? OH, THERE'S THIS IDEA THAT THE WORLD IS SOME PRISTINE THING THAT NEEDS TO BE TORN DOWN FROM ITS IMPECCABLE IVORY TOWER. LIKE SOME ASSHOLE BEING A JERK TO EVERYONE IS A NOBLE CAUSE. LIKE THEY ARE DOING THE WORLD A SERVICE... HULK HATE TO BREAK IT TO THEM, BUT WE ARE A WORLD ALREADY IN CHAOS. THAT TEARS ITSELF APART DAILY. THE LAST THING IT NEEDS IS SOMETHING MORE DESTRUCTIVE.... BUT BECAUSE THOSE DESTRUCTIVE THINGS ALWAYS COME, WE HAVE TO TRY TO BE THE KIND OF WORLD THAT BUILDS ITSELF UP DAILY.

THERE IS NO REASON TO LIONIZE WHAT BRET EASTON ELLIS PROVIDES.

THUS, HULK WILL TAKE THE INTELLECTUAL UPHOLDING OF BASIC PLATITUDES... EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

***

SORRY FOR THE TANGENT, BUT IT WAS NECESSARY BECAUSE CLOUD ATLAS GETS TO THE HEART OF THAT VERY CONCEIT. AND HULK THINKS IT DOES SO SPECTACULARLY.

THERE ARE MANY WHO SHRUG THEIR SHOULDERS AT A FILM THAT SPENDS THREE HOURS AND DOZENS OF UNIQUE WORLDS TRYING TO SIMPLY TELL US A SIMPLE MESSAGE THAT "KINDNESS IS GOOD." THERE ARE THOSE WHO WILL FIND THIS SIMPLICITY TO BE AN EXTRAVAGANT BIT OF NAIVETE. THERE ARE EVEN SOME WHO FIND THE ENTIRE IDEA OF "THE CINEMA OF MORALISM" TO BE SOMETHING ABHORRENT; PROCLAIMING THAT IT IS EITHER AN ENEMY OF REALISTIC IDEAS AND NUANCE, OR PERHAPS MORE INNOCENTLY, JUST NOT ALL THAT EXCITING AN ENDEAVOR.

BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHY HULK ARGUES WE NEED IT.

HULK BELIEVES WE DON'T WATCH MOVIES JUST TO SIT THERE AND HAVE THE "BELIEVABILITY METER" GO UP AND DOWN. WE DON'T WATCH FILMS TO AVOID BASIC TRUTHS IN THE NAME OF THE CONSTANT SEARCH FOR THAT INDESCRIBABLE "SOMETHING ELSE". WE WATCH FILMS BECAUSE THEY FEED OUR SOULS. THE CINEMA OF MORALISM HAS ALWAYS HAD REAL VALUE TO US AS A CULTURE.

AND WHEN A FILM CAN DO THAT WHILE LEGITIMATELY PUSHING SOME NARRATIVE BOUNDARIES (EACH NARRATIVE IN THE FILM IS PRETTY STANDARD, BUT THE WAY THEY BOUNCE OFF EACH OTHER IS VERY MUCH NOT), AND CERTAINLY PUSHING THE IDEA OF WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE AN ACTOR PLAY "A ROLE," THEN WHAT WE'RE REALLY TALKING ABOUT HERE IS THE PINNACLE OF THE ARTISTIC INTENTION.

MEANING CLOUD ATLAS IS AT ONCE HIGHLY STYLIZED GRANDEUR, BUT IT TRULY MANAGES TO FEED YOUR SOUL. HULK KNOWS THAT SOUNDS FLOWERY. HULK KNOWS THAT THIS ENTIRE ARTICLE MAY FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY...

YOU JUST HAVE TO EMBRACE THE CONCEIT.


There's plenty more of those online if you look around. When was the last time you remember a movie provoking these kinds of reactions?

I can't remember...ever. Not since I became a film buff at least. Regardless of the mixed reviews, if a film can have that kind of impact on more than a few of its viewers, I think it's at least earned a watch. I am not going in with the expectations of the greatest movie ever (the negative reviews are enough to temper those kinds of thoughts) but with the hopes that it's the kind of movie that really can hit me that way.

I'm also trying to get as many people to go see this as I can. Because it's not only about the possibility of a good movie to me. This movie is a test of whether audiences will bite for something big-budget and different. Film investors are watching this closely. If this movie succeeds, we may see more films made on big budgets outside the studio system as investors decide it's worth the gamble. We may see films that break the studio conventions and moulds without censoring themselves for the sake of the lowest-denominator audience. I'm not saying people have to like the film. I'm saying everyone who wants the current landscape of cinema to change, to see bold filmmakers endowed with more money and less studio control to create their visions, anyone who has complained about the lack of something different in big-budget films - all of you should at least give this film a chance in theatres. It's earned at least that chance, as a huge risk (the Wachowskis sank a lot of their own money into this film as well), as something they clearly made for the love of making it, and not for any commercial reasons. By going to see it, regardless of how you end up feeling about the film, it has the potential imo to open up the doors to far more interesting films with larger budgets.

Last edited by JCPhoenix; 10-18-2012 at 08:52 PM..
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  #5  
Old 10-18-2012, 09:59 PM
Just checked BOM, who are reporting that it's opening in slightly less than 2000 theatres. This could be a smart move or incredibly stupid. From what I've heard, it sounds like the movie might actually be somewhat accessible to a teenage audience, but because it's so difficult to market, dropping it in 3000+ theatres might kill it before it has a chance to get going. By opening in less than 2000, it ensures that it will open in the bigger markets where WOM can spread (kind of like Hugo last year, which opened with nothing and, after expanding, finished with $75 million domestic and nearly $200 million worldwide). However, if that WOM isn't good, then they would be better off just opening it in 3000 and taking what they can get. Maybe the effects and big names are enough to get people in on opening weekend, I don't know.

Whether I like the film or not (I think it looks great and I hope it is), like JC, I really hope this becomes a financial success.

Last edited by Bourne101; 10-18-2012 at 10:21 PM..
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:43 PM
I'm beyond excited for this film. I have a feeling it's going to be very special.
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2012, 01:50 AM
One of my favourite quotes from this year came from a drunken Andrea Arnold at the end of Cannes. Someone asked the jury about Post Tenebras Lux and she came to its defense, saying that she liked it because "it dared to fail."

That's basically what I'd say about Cloud Atlas. It's not perfect. The make-up is downright laughable at times, the new age shit is corny, and there's a very ridiculous aspect to everything. Of course knowing all that I still liked the movie because it's endearing as all hell. I like seeing these kinds of risks being taken, even if they don't work all the time.

I cringed a couple of times but so what. I thought it was funny, thrilling, sad, intense and it never bored me for a second (context: I saw this after getting less than 8 hours of sleep over 2 days right in the morning). Is it the life-changing masterpiece that some are claiming? No, but it isn't the complete disaster that the movie's (very loud) detractors are saying. It's a very good movie, one that's more admirable than great in my eyes. It's probably going to be a flop. It's a hard R, it's almost three hours and it's impossible to market. I really hope it doesn't flop, but it's an uphill battle (the good news is that its only competition on opening weekend is Silent Hill 2).

Like every Wachowski movie since The Matrix trilogy it's going to earn a devoted following. Hopefully word of mouth will help things out. It's a flawed film, but it'll depend entirely on how much you're willing to cast them aside when looking at the bigger picture.
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  #8  
Old 10-19-2012, 12:48 PM
Guess hey added a scene or 2 because the film was 164 minutes 2 months ago
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  #9  
Old 10-23-2012, 10:26 PM
There are very few critics I pay attention to but Christy Lemire is one of them. She says that this thing is laughably self-serious and laughably bad.

A few things that give me true pause...

Quote:
Maybe if you’re 20 years old and high in your dorm room with your friends, the platitudes presented in ‘‘Cloud Atlas’’ might seem profound.

Anyone else in his or her right mind should recognize it for what it is: a bloated, pseudo-intellectual, self-indulgent slog through some notions that are really rather facile.

....

Spoiler:
The most ridiculous is the one that takes place ‘‘After the Fall’’ in Hawaii in the mid-2300s. It requires Hanks and Berry to yammer at each other in a disjointed, stripped-down version of English that’s as indecipherable as it is laughable. Even more unintentionally hilarious is the sight of Weaving hopping around in green makeup like some subversive leprechaun, whispering naughty things in Hanks’ ear.

http://www.boston.com/ae/movies/2012...cVJ/story.html

I was wondering why they are trying to sell this movie as a sci-fi romp. Don't they know that audiences hate a bait and switch more than anything else?
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2012, 10:31 PM
Quote:
Maybe if you’re 20 years old and high in your dorm room with your friends
Check.

From what I've heard, it seems to play better with younger audiences and less to the jaded top critics who can't relate to it or throw lazy words like "pretentious" at it because it strives to be more than an effects driven piece of shit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeChar4321 View Post
I was wondering why they are trying to sell this movie as a sci-fi romp. Don't they know that audiences hate a bait and switch more than anything else?
Because it cost $100 million to make and your average Joe isn't going to cough up dough for anything more than Transformers, The Avengers or Taken 2. The thing that annoys me about these critics is that they seem to want it both ways. If something is dumb, they beg for ambition. If something is ambitious, they just call it pretentious, which only leads back to an onslaught of dumb films. Whether you like Cloud Atlas or not, you should at least embrace that it strives for something more than mindless entertainment. We should be praying that it is successful so it can lead to more opportunities for ambitious projects.

Last edited by Bourne101; 10-23-2012 at 10:48 PM..
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  #11  
Old 10-23-2012, 11:59 PM
The more divise a film is the better, frankly. That excites me.

As for critics... they can all be inconsistent and bizarre, but I tend to take the younger internet critics over the old print folk. They're more open to ambition and big ideas and messiness.
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2012, 04:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
Because it cost $100 million to make and your average Joe isn't going to cough up dough for anything more than Transformers, The Avengers or Taken 2. The thing that annoys me about these critics is that they seem to want it both ways. If something is dumb, they beg for ambition. If something is ambitious, they just call it pretentious, which only leads back to an onslaught of dumb films. Whether you like Cloud Atlas or not, you should at least embrace that it strives for something more than mindless entertainment. We should be praying that it is successful so it can lead to more opportunities for ambitious projects.
No doubt. Remember when Inception came out, you heard everyone and their dog say "cerebral, cerebral" - then you get something "cerebral" like Cloud Atlas and it becomes "pretentious" again. Fuck critics. I'm my own critic.
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2012, 05:28 AM
I'm going with expensive art house bomb much like Tree of Life and The Master ( they weren't bombs exactly but they underperformed in relation to the hype )

Okay so CA should get a couple of more curious folk in the first weekend because of the visuals on display in the trailer but it just seems way too epic for it's own good and not in an Avatar sense , a film that had a focused narrative and fantastic visuals .

20 mil maybe opening weekend, maybe, then it dies quickly after.

Don't get me wrong though, i love audacious cinematic offerings
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  #14  
Old 10-24-2012, 10:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digifruitella View Post
No doubt. Remember when Inception came out, you heard everyone and their dog say "cerebral, cerebral" - then you get something "cerebral" like Cloud Atlas and it becomes "pretentious" again. Fuck critics. I'm my own critic.
I loved Inception, but there is no doubt that it was a typical heist film, and everyone loves a good heist film.

James Cameron believes that for the mainstream audience to accept a film with crazy ideas, then that film must be structured off of a familiar & comfortable story. This is so the audience has something to latch onto. Cameron actually said this, and so far it seems to work.

Avatar had wild ideas, but Cameron grounded those ideas in the classic clash-of-culture story structure that has been around since before film. Inception had wild ideas, but it grounded those ideas in a classic heist film story structure. The Matrix had wild ideas, and it grounded those ideas in the age old "messiah" story structure.

Cloud Atlas has very wild ideas, but it doesn't seem to follow any established & comfortable story structure. I'm sure the stories within this movie follow certain structures, but I don't know what they are.

I don't know what Cloud Atlas is. All I know are the ideas of the movie, but I don't know what the story is. I know that it deals with reincarnation, and that it is a series of stories connected somehow. For most people (the mainstream), crazy ideas without a story to latch onto comes off as weird.

When weird is hyped being "cerebral", then the knee jerk reaction is to view it as being pretentious.

Honestly, if it wasn't for the wonderful 5 minute trailer, I would not see this movie. Sadly, the only people who have seen this trailer are film/internet buffs, not really the mainstream.

Last edited by Silverload; 10-24-2012 at 10:37 AM..
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2012, 10:51 AM
Will not be seeing this in the theater. There is no way I can make it through 172 minutes (probably closer to 190 including commercials/previews) in a theater for a movie I'm looking forward to but am not overly excited about. Personally, I'm not all that impressed with the cast as I don't put any of the top billed in my favorites categories. This will be a movie for the home theater system and blu-ray.
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  #16  
Old 10-24-2012, 10:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dellamorte dellamore View Post
I'm going with expensive art house bomb much like Tree of Life and The Master ( they weren't bombs exactly but they underperformed in relation to the hype )

Okay so CA should get a couple of more curious folk in the first weekend because of the visuals on display in the trailer but it just seems way too epic for it's own good and not in an Avatar sense , a film that had a focused narrative and fantastic visuals .

20 mil maybe opening weekend, maybe, then it dies quickly after.

Don't get me wrong though, i love audacious cinematic offerings
I've seen this movie and your comparison to ToL and The Master couldn't be farther from the truth. This is primarily about entertainment and they've catered this to the widest possible audience. You've seen Speed Racer, the Matrix films or V for Vendetta right? Do any of those strike you as like The Master or Tree of Life? Your comparison doesn't make any sense, and if you end up seeing the movie you'll understand why.
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  #17  
Old 10-24-2012, 08:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverload View Post
I don't know what Cloud Atlas is. All I know are the ideas of the movie, but I don't know what the story is. I know that it deals with reincarnation, and that it is a series of stories connected somehow. For most people (the mainstream), crazy ideas without a story to latch onto comes off as weird.

When weird is hyped being "cerebral", then the knee jerk reaction is to view it as being pretentious.

Honestly, if it wasn't for the wonderful 5 minute trailer, I would not see this movie. Sadly, the only people who have seen this trailer are film/internet buffs, not really the mainstream.
Agreed. I'm still not sure what to make of this film. It looks like a Frankenstein combo of "The Fountain," "Blade Runner," "Being Human," and "Southland Tales." I liked all those films (I actually loved the former 2), but I'm not sure how they would look all together.
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  #18  
Old 10-25-2012, 04:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy View Post
I've seen this movie and your comparison to ToL and The Master couldn't be farther from the truth. This is primarily about entertainment and they've catered this to the widest possible audience. You've seen Speed Racer, the Matrix films or V for Vendetta right? Do any of those strike you as like The Master or Tree of Life? Your comparison doesn't make any sense, and if you end up seeing the movie you'll understand why.
Yeah, scratch The Master from that mini rant observation but i think TOL is an appropriate comparison because of the epic but possibly meandering scope that only an art house crowd will get excited over or have the patience to sit through

I still say this will fizzle with the mainstream, it may prove to be too challenging and pretentious as someone has mentioned .

Aside from the dazzling visuals there is nothing that is grabbing my attention , it's a possible rental for me
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  #19  
Old 10-25-2012, 12:36 PM

I plan on smokin some of this before viewing Cloud Atlas

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  #20  
Old 10-26-2012, 04:34 AM
My review:

Cloud Atlas is as affirming and earnest of a film as I can remember seeing in my many years of actively going to the cinema. I suppose it will be an easy film for some to make fun of and for some to hate, and has indeed proven to be quite divisive already in its varying critical notices. The film is the work of three writer/directors who have fused their artistic tendencies and capabilities into an incredibly cohesive and impressive package. It is big, bold, long and completely audacious and it bucks all conventional ideas of what filmmaking can and should be. It's a piece of popular entertainment filled to the brim with life and romance. Perhaps it's a bit hokey or over-the-top, but I honestly don't care. The film wears its heart on its sleeve and is structurally overwhelming and gloriously messy. It is a cinematic symphony of ideas and movements that challenges what cinema is capable of.

One of the issues I have written about ad nauseum is that of connectedness. I walk around the streets of my city and am constantly shocked and appalled by the way humanity treats each other. Forget politics, war, school, the workplace, romance, etc. Strip humanity down to its base element and I think we sign an invisible societal contract that requires us to treat our fellow humans with dignity and respect. Perhaps this is a naive perspective, but it is one I believe very strongly in, and one I see constantly squashed. I think all humanity is connected in a very powerful and everlasting way, whether through spirituality or the passing of souls or something perhaps altogether less mystical.

Cloud Atlas speaks directly to these notions and is perhaps a great treatise on the connectedness of humanity. The film, based on David Mitchell's novel, exists as six intercut stories that tell tales of love, hope, redemption, and survival. These stories exist throughout time and exist cinematically as an ever-evolving puzzle that match visual edits and thematic motifs. Each story is carefully rendered in style and exists in its own genre, whether it be the period detail of the late 1800s or the 1970s, or the beautiful futuristic Neo Seoul. But these stories are not about style or period but about humanity and the power of the human spirit. Although we jump from story to story, discovering connections through journals or letters or music, we slowly realize that the film is showing us these human connections and illustrating how random acts of human kindness and shared moments unite us beyond the scope of what is currently happening to an individual at a given moment. Perhaps these actions have rippling effects that alter the course of the future and inform future society.

The film eradicates the clever yet more straightforward structure of the book in favor of something more erratic and jumpy. I use these words not as a negative but as a way of attempting to describe the way in which we move back and forth from story to story throughout the film. The directors, then, have devised a new means of creating structure and cohesion throughout the film, and that is through its audacious use of casting. This works in two facets, one more obvious and visible than the other. Each of the film's main stars plays multiple characters throughout the film, obscured by make-up and costume. In certain stories an actor may be the lead and in others that same actor may appear in what basically amounts to a cameo, but is has the great affect of making the audience constantly question and ponder the way in which our identities and consciousness may pass throughout time. Even further, the film uses this bulk casting to eradicate any and all ideas about race, gender, and sexuality. We throw away all of the external and focus instead on the internal, and throughout life this is everything that matters. Hugo Weaving and Ben Wishaw, amongst other characters, play women. In one segment Halle Berry plays a white woman and in another she appears as a small boy. Jim Sturgess leads an entire storyline as a future Korean, and Doona Bae, a lovely Korean actress, plays a Mexican. These choices are not racist or obvious but rather confound the way in which we view race and identity, and suggest that as time passes our racial identity may become more and more obscured as humanity mixes and reproduces.

The casting choices in this film also work on a more metatextual level, making audiences at once comfortable with what and who they are watching and at times purely shocked and uncomfortable. Tom Hanks, in particular, is a genuine casting coup as he throws away his entire image and is given the opportunity to play a variety of characters that are unlike anything he has ever done before. Hanks is given the task of playing a multitude of characters that are confronted with the devil inside and he utilizes language and violence that some may be shocked to see Hanks use. At the same time, though, he is an actor that makes audiences effortlessly comfortable and that fact is clear and exploited. His performance as Zachry in the film's final chronological story (that utilizes a fascinating evolution of the English language) is some of the best work of his career, yet some of his other characters are a bit more sloppy and hilarious.

I kind of like this fact, though. The film is indeed messy as all good things tend to be. There are imperfections and moments that may not specifically work in context but also add up to the greater whole. Each actor is given the opportunity to play both heartfelt and bold characters and smaller, more esoteric ones. I was particularly impressed by Ben Wishaw, Jim Broadbent, Doona Bae, and Halle Berry who I do not usually care for, but each actor is given amazing gifts that challenge their skills and capabilities and they all come out as winners.

Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer have proven throughout their careers to be master craftsmen, and with Cloud Atlas they have each evolved as storytellers. The film is impeccably crafted and visually beautiful. The shooting, editing, and effects are all stunning. The film's score by Tykwer himself alongside Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil creates its own beautiful motifs and symphonies that fuse the film together as a whole. Ultimately though this is a film about storytelling, and this is where it excels most. Each character in this film is a storyteller in some way, and thus this becomes not only a film about our shared humanity but about the importance of telling stories and sharing past memories. Cloud Atlas, then, is undoubtedly a story worth telling and sharing, and no matter how divisive it may be I suspect it is one we will be telling and discussing for many years to come.

Last edited by SpikeDurden; 10-26-2012 at 01:33 PM..
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  #21  
Old 10-26-2012, 06:42 AM
I will need to see this movie again, and probably again after that... but I will have no problem doing that!

If this movie doesnt win Best Make Up at this years Oscars, then someone got screwed.

I still am not really sure of what I saw, I need to sit back and think about it, but it was an excellent movie, with a run time that tested the limits of my ADHD, and I will admit once or twice in the middle I did get a bit restless, but I can do that in any movie... so I dont blame this movie.

Every actor was top notch, and Jim Broadbent should garner a Nomination for Best SUpporting Actor.

The Wachowski's and this Tykwer dude are excellent story tellers, and have a flair for story telling that is nearly at the top of the game.

lets see if I even have this movie half way figured out:

Spoiler:
The movie is a study of the soul, it follows several people throughout history, who are connected in their souls (The people that are played by the same actors in each storyline)... and then on a larger scale each character is connected in eternity, by a birthmark?!

It seems that Tom Hanks' character is the only one who comes to a sort of redemption, as his characters in the past are all shit heads, but once he is in the future, his character finds that redemption by helping Halle Berry's character, even though he has that Devil with him, he chooses to ignore that Devil and it means that him and Halle Berry grow old together with a huge family.

The other characters didnt really need redemption I dont think.


so ya, I am not sure if I have this movie figured out, but i am not foolish enough to think one viewing is nearly enough for this movie. But damn it was good.

And the music was top notch, look forward to owning this Score on CD.
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  #22  
Old 10-26-2012, 06:27 PM
Can't wait to see this tomorrow morning
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  #23  
Old 10-26-2012, 09:16 PM
Argh I want to see this so badly but I promised a friend months ago I'd see it with him and some other ppl when he came to town. So I gotta wait till next Sunday to see it :/.

Early numbers put it on track to make $13 million this weekend. A bit disappointing but not unexpected especially with the lower theatre count. Hopefully word of mouth is good and helps it spread.

While I think it's important for movie fans to put their money where their mouth is (you want something different from the normal Hollywood junk, at least give this movie a chance!), that doesn't necessarily mean Cloud Atlas will be unsuccessful overall. Its worldwide prospects are far rosier as other continents tend to be more receptive to odder films like this. Tykwer's Perfume made $130 million worldwide and only $2 million in the U.S. and this should have broader appeal, with more names in the cast. I think ultimately Cloud Atlas will be pretty profitable, even if it does poorly in North America but I'm still hoping it does well here as well.
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  #24  
Old 10-27-2012, 04:08 PM
Loved it. Some stories work better than others (as someguy said, the new age stuff doesn't quite work), but even the weaker stories tie in very nicely thematically. It's a true cinematic experience. Life-changing is a strong term, but I certainly walked out of the theatre feeling very moved and like I had seen something special. I also felt that the way they structured it was brilliant. As it stands, the runtime really flies by and I never felt the length. I think if they had told each story in sequence, one at a time, it would have felt bloated. On top of that, I expected after the first 20 minutes or so that they would go in order as it cut from one story to the next (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), circling back to 1 after getting to 6, but they did it in a way that tied everything together thematically, which was ultimately very satisfying. It really keeps you on your toes.

I would like to see the age distribution on that C+ Cinemascore. An older couple walked out about half way through, but as the credits rolled, an audience full of people in their teens and 20s sat and watched the credits through to the end (I've never seen this happen at a regular screening, let alone at a movie that already takes up 3 hours of your time). I have a feeling that even though it's pretty much a domestic bomb with its poor opening, this will find a huge following on DVD/Blu-ray/Netflix/etc. It's just a shame they couldn't find a way to get the people who will inevitably love it into the theatre to see it, because make no mistake, this really needs to be seen in a theatre.

Last edited by Bourne101; 10-28-2012 at 11:32 AM..
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  #25  
Old 10-28-2012, 06:38 AM
This movie is really hard to explain in words. It could be quite easily argued that this is a mainstream film in the same line of Tree of Life. I left the theater feeling a deeper sense of connectivity with the world around me and the characters portrayed in each story. I was a little confused at first--specifically about each character's connection and Hugo Weaving's character, Old Georgie. I really hope this film is successful so more studios finance such risky ideas.

9/10
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  #26  
Old 10-28-2012, 10:27 PM
Saw it today and I don't really know what I expected but I wasn't disappointed. It was a little distracting watching the actors take so many roles and one of Hugo's characters was really distracting. The jumping around was a little confusing in the beginning but a sort of pattern started to emerge which made it interesting. By the time the 2 hours and 44 minutes were up, I was smiling!
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  #27  
Old 10-29-2012, 08:48 AM
Cloud Atlas is one of the most epic and ambitious films i have ever had the pleasure of watching.
Directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer based on the book by David Stephen Mitchell
they present 6 stories laced with,romance,adventure,humor,tragedy and triumph.
There are small stories and large post-apocalyptic and futuristic stories.

These stories have a similar theme the eternal desire for freedom we possess that can be symbolized
through the actions of one,and how that desire is one that comes to fruition time after time.
The stories also include how a chance meeting,act of kindness,a shared love or interest of something
can inspire,lead to good fortune or our downfall.Sometimes the aforementioned sets us on a path
we have crossed before and may have placed at the back of our minds ,but once placed on it again,
we realize how much we desired to walk down it again.How many times have we heard the statements?:
I was influenced by.i follow the example of .
Looking closely at the film you can see who influenced the original writer and the directors.

I admire the cast and their hard work (Tom Hanks,Halle Berry,Jim Broadbent,Hugo Weaving,Jim Sturgess,Bae Doona,
Ben Whishaw,James D'Arcy,Zhou Xun,Keith David,David Gyasi,Susan Sarandon,Hugh Grant)and their patience,patience
that was likely tested a bit as the cast portrayed several different characters under heavy make up.

The film time jumps often as if i was sitting in the theatre with a remote in my hand going back and forth between
one show and another at times it was a bit ovewhelming and sometimes felt a bit drawn out.At times CO dances with
pretention but thankfully overcomes these flaws.

Any other make up team,or artist coming up against the team of CO at any upcoming awards ceremony might as
well go straight to the after parties.

Scale of 1-10 an 8 Ĺ
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  #28  
Old 10-29-2012, 05:32 PM
More like Crap Atlas

I am starting to wonder if I saw the same movie..I thought Cloud Atlas was a total mess (everything from the plot to the make up effects)..I am putting this up there with one the worst movies I have seen this year..Very disappointing
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  #29  
Old 10-29-2012, 06:33 PM
I saw it, enjoyed it even though it had a handful of flaws and I'm not eager to see it again like many others. But I'm finding it veryyyy hard to describe the film, or write a review, or even sell someone on it.

Don't even know where to begin
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  #30  
Old 11-02-2012, 05:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by someguy View Post
It's not perfect. The make-up is downright laughable at times, the new age shit is corny, and there's a very ridiculous aspect to everything. Of course knowing all that I still liked the movie because it's endearing as all hell. I like seeing these kinds of risks being taken, even if they don't work all the time.

I cringed a couple of times but so what. I thought it was funny, thrilling, sad, intense and it never bored me for a second.
This is more or less how I felt. It was by no means perfect, but I was entertained from beginning to end - pretty amazing for a three hour movie (and I'm a firm believer in the fact that almost no movie deserves to be three hours long).

But, yeah, the new age bullshit about how everything is connected rang completely hollow to me. Aside from basic themes, I saw no connection with the various stories. In fact, I could have done without a few of them. I thought the most compelling and interesting stories were the two set in the future, specifically the far future story with Tom Hanks. I would have much rather seen that segment get it's own movie all together and ditch the rest.

(The 1970s story was pretty good too.)

The acting was phenomenal all around, especially Tom Hanks and Hugo Weaving in every segment they were in. Best character? Had to be Hugo as "Old Georgie" or whatever it was. And - holy shit - Hugh Grant was unrecognizable as:

Spoiler:
the barbarian leader


In the end, I greatly appreciate the movie's originality, scope, production values, and ambition. I just think this was an example of too many cooks in the kitchen.

7/10
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  #31  
Old 11-12-2012, 04:46 PM
I had...a bit of a non-reaction to this, to be honest, despite all my anticipation for it. Partially cause I read the script and was anticipating each beat as it came, partially cause the theatre I saw this in was absolute shit. Basically double the size of my TV with shitty sound that made things hard to hear (which is a problem with dialogue that's so accented). The sound was so low in the theatre, I could hear the vents in the theatre going through most of the movie as well as any minor noises people were making. The score, which I had downloaded beforehand and loved, I could barely hear in the movie and I know that's not the case for most people who see it because a common point was how good the score was.

In any case, I still thought it was very well put together and it seemed to resonate with the audience we saw it with (especially the Broadbent section). I am going to see this again when it comes out on blu-ray - I think I'll have more to say on it then.
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  #32  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:21 PM
I've been thinking about this a bit since I saw it and here's my take (taking off of some things SpikeDurden has touched on earlier).

The point of the movie, I thought, is to show how and get people to understand that they can affect the course of history, they can create change and revolution, even if the effects of their decisions do not come into play in their lifetime. It's a tale of revolution not of individuals - unique in trying to show us how that comes about over the span of history - how one person's small revolution can inspire other revolutions and so on. I don't think it's necessarily about reincarnation of people or souls as far as the recurring casting goes, so much as it is simply demonstrating the connectivity of the human race, endurance of ideas and types of people from one age to another, and ultimately, the endurance of humanity against oppression and the idea that our humanity, our inherent goodness will ultimately prevail over time.

"The weak are meat but the strong do eat" is the idea put forth by the oppressors - the idea of every man for himself, but the movie encapsulates its theme in the line "What is any ocean but a multitude of drops?" - it's the cumulative effort of humankind, each personal revolution (against slavery, destruction of reputation via homophobia, corruption, ageism, oppression, and in the purest form - the uncaring, animalistic side of one's conscience) combined that creates the power of a larger revolution. The first revolution leads to the next, to the next, to bigger, and bigger, etc. From the diary of the first revolt by Adam Ewing and wife against the enslavement of a race, read by Frobisher railing against the destruction of his reputation in the letters to Sixsmith read by Luisa Rey, in the mystery potboiler, fighting the corrupt oil industry, read by Cavendish, inspired to revolt against the ageist society, watched as a film by Somni-451, who takes courage from it to enact a message of change, revered as a God by Zachry railing against the purest form of evil in his conscience (as Old Georgie) and succeeding in the end.

Not every story is a story of successful revolution in its own but the ultimate tale is an optimistic one of humankind's ability to enact change and affect the course of history.

The way it's cut together is to create that kind of ripple effect, a way to create the power of seeing all these revolutions come together and work - or fail - in similar ways. The hope of the movie is, imo, to inspire people to create the change they believe in in their lives, and by rippling back and forth between all the revolutions in different facets of human experience, they can show that even the failures ultimately can lead to revolutions not yet foreseeable.

A final point - the movie shows some stories that are seen as fictional and some that are seen as real by various protagonists - but it doesn't matter either way. Change is change and on a meta level, I think the film is making a point - it may be a piece of fiction, but it sure as hell believes in the ability of stories to inspire revolution. It hopes it can be one of those stories.
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  #33  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:25 PM
There is a 9:45 screening at my local theater (last place to have it I believe) before it gets kicked out of the theaters for Twilight. Time to get while the getting is good.
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  #34  
Old 11-16-2012, 11:00 AM
There are movies that are universally praised, critically panned, and then there are ones that are simply polarizing. One group thinks the film is a marvelous genius of work, while other critics are baffled on how a film like this could fail so miserably. Those types of films seem to be ones with ambition, a need to take the idea of cinema and do something completely fresh and exciting to the medium. Enter Tom Tykwer, Lana and Andy Wachowski, who have decided to adapt a novel by David Mitchell dealing with how the past, present, and future are all connected in some universal way. Spanning different storylines, characters, and decades; Cloud Atlas is a film that wears ambition on its sleeve, taking risks towards creating an epic novel for the big screen. While, emotionally, the film sort of rings a bit hollow in many regards, the editing, transitions, and thematic presentation that Tykwer and Wachowksis pull of is nothing short of staggering.

A review on a single viewing of this film seems to be a bit of an injustice, as the two hour and 52 minute runtime is densely packed with ideas and story. The opening sequence perfectly encapsulates what and where the filmís journey is going to lead the audience, but this isnít the sort of film that takes the viewer by the hand. Instead, Cloud Atlas throws the viewer right into the story, jumping from storylines that span from the 1800s to a apocalyptic future. From there, the film introduces an assortment of characters in these storylines that are played by the same actors, invoking the thematic ideas of reincarnation and/or fate. Some of these storylines are more interesting than others, but Wachowski and Tykwer know where the fat for each of these storylines can be cut, and which should be more prominent.

Going back to the ďeverything is connectedĒ theme, the transition from one storyline to the other is, for the most part, handled beautifully. A simple edit from one storyline in the past that jumps to the future feels abrupt, but cinematically is nothing short of seamless. Thereís one part in the middle act of this film where the film goes back and forth quickly to each of these timelines, and the pacing never staggers or falls. Granted, there are moments where some editing moments ring a bit hollow in trying to connect the storylines together, but thatís a little nitpicking on this reviewerís part.

No, the only thing that felt a bit hollow in Cloud Atlas is trying to connect to this film on an emotional level regarding the stories. The investment for each of these characters and their predicaments just felt like going through the motions, never really having a true connection as a film goer to the assortment of characters. There are times where moments are funny, dour, and action packed; but the need to connect to each of these characters felt as if they were put at arms length.

Not that the actors do a bad job at conveying their different counterparts throughout the years, everyone is pretty much uniformly excellent. Itís an absolute blast trying to distinguish where actors like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, or Hugh Grant are placed (and also acting) in the individual storylines, and that praise comes from the make-up team that radically changes each of the actors into a different race or sex. Sadly, there was a part in the credits where each actorís role in a different timeline was shown that this reviewer missed, but the ones that were distinguishable looked great, if a bit silly.

But thatís the cost that the Wachowskis and Tykwer are more than willing to make in Cloud Atlas. They are taking risks in this film that can either be construed as laughable or eye rolling, but they go ahead with it anyway. Thatís the price of ambition in that these three directors canít please everybody, and there could be a line down the middle in regards to who will accept or rejects the film.

Polarizing films can be a mixed bag, but there are certainly more interesting than films that are just plainly excellent or terrible. Iíll take a film like Cloud Atlas any day of the week from praised films, as thereís an uncertainty towards what type of reaction I will take when word of mouth is right down the middle. Thankfully, Cloud Atlas is an interesting densely packed film that has something to say cinematically, even if the story isnít as engaging as the film looked. But one viewing just canít do this film justice, and unfortunately the film has been pulled from the local theaters around my area. So, you can rest assured that Iíll be picking up the blu-ray/dvd to get more from this film, and maybe you will too.

7.5/10
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