Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Cloud Atlas

Originally Posted: 1 November 2012

IMDB: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Roger Ebert: 4/4 stars
What The Flick: 6.3/10 (The average of 3, 7.1, 7.1, 8. Clearly would have been higher if Christie hadn't lost her mind.)

Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Braodbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae,  Ben Whishaw, Keith David, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant.
Written by: David Mitchell(novel), Tom Tykwer(screenplay), Andy Wachowski(screenplay),, Lana Wachowski(screenplay)
Directed by: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Release Date: 26 October 2012

Described by IMDB as: 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.

Finally, a new science fiction movie with a great story, great acting, and great overall theme.

I'm not even sure how to begin with this film. I don't think I'm going to go into too much detail, because I want everyone to see this film, and I don't want to ruin it. Also, lets be real, I'm not really sure I could properly explain it. I guess when it comes down to it, its a possible answer to the question of "is there an afterlife, and if there is, what is it?" I guess this movie comes down to being about reincarnation... even though I don't believe in this, I try to keep an open mind so that I don't ruin the film for myself. Its funny, because even though that was the message they were trying to get across, what I got was to never let injustices happen, and to stand up when you see something horrible happening. That one person can make a change in the world if they just have the courage to do what they know is right.

It basically takes place in 6 different times and places.

  • Pacific Ocean in 1849
  • Edinburgh, Scotland in 1936
  • San Francisco, California in 1975
  • United Kingdom, 2012
  • Neo Seoul(Korea), 22nd Century
  • Sometime in the distant future on another planet
I have to say I really liked all of the different times and places in which this film took place. All of them were very interesting and quite inspiring. Some of them were uplifting and others quite heartbreaking. I think my favorite may have been the 1849 storyline, though all of them were great.. Jim Sturgess was charming and uplifting in his gradual fight against slavery. Tom Hanks as an evil doctor was equally as interesting. I also really enjoyed the Neo Seoul Storyline in the 22nd Century. The story of another sort of slave having the courage to stand up against a regime. Doona Bae was amazing. She has so many strong subtle scenes, very impressive.  I don't think there was a single storyline that wasn't excellently executed.  I also really liked that in each world/time/place one of the lead actors was a main character.

The acting lineup could easily be the most impressive I've ever seen. There were even a few "supporting actors" that I had no idea were even going to be in this (Hugo WeavingSusan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant). All of the acting was fantastic, I think that Tom Hanks plays the most different characters in this film, so impressive. Although, Halle Berry also had quite an array of characters as well, my favorite probably being her character in the "distant future, another planet" storyline. Great costume and story in that one. Although, her 1970's storyline was also great where she stands up against a big company when she suspects they're doing something that would cause huge problems for the people in the surrounding area. Ben Whishaw's character in 1936 was very enlightening and charming, with a love filled story, and a heartbreaking ending. It was really beautiful.  Jim Braodbent was also brilliant in this film. His 2012 storyline was also filled with love and regret. The seniors home breakout scheme was hilarious and delightful.

The music played a big role in this, and I have to say it was really great. I will definitely download the soundtrack. The Cloud Atlas Sextet was really quite beautiful. I feel like if this film doesn't get an Oscar nod for makeup I will be shocked. There were so many times I could hardly tell who the actors under the prosthetics were. Really great work.  

In Roger Ebert's review, he stated that this film was "one of the most ambitious films ever made" and I have to agree. I've seen that thusfar this film may be a "100 million dollar flop." I really, really hope not. It was a fantastic movie, and even though its pushing 3 hours in length, at no point was I bored or did I feel as if it was being dragged out. I think that can be attributed to the fact that it was constantly cut up into chunks to keep 6 story-lines running smoothly.

I'm going to give this film a 9.5/10. Its seriously that good.

UPDATE: November 10th

I ended up seeing this film again a few days ago, and I felt the need to ad an update. This film is really worth seeing twice, you get so much more information.

Its much more clear how the stories are linked together than it was the first time. I was also able to see more of the characters who were in each setting. I didn't notice Ben Whishaw in the "2012" storyline until the second time, and I didn't notice Hugh Grant in the "Neo Seoul" storyline until the second time either.

I also wanted to add how much I love the 1936 storyline. I had forgotten how much I loved it when I was writing my first review. It was definitely the one that touched me the most, I just loved the love story between Robert Frobisher and Rufus Sixsmith there was so much passion in it, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Even the second time I watched it, it ended with me in tears and inspiration. I definitely still recommend this film to anyone who enjoys movies at all. 

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