Cloud Atlas (2012)

Cloud Atlas needs no long review, although I secretly think it wants one. I think it wants to be discussed, and it certainly can be. This time, however, I’ll keep my interpretation to a minimum and allow you the pleasure of sharing your critical thoughts on the car ride home with the people you love. If you didn’t know already, multiple characters are played by the same actor in Cloud Atlas. Tom Hanks plays an old sailor, a face tattooed island grub, a murdering writer, etc. etc. etc. and so does everyone else. Each actor plays anywhere from 3 to 7 characters and I will admit, you won’t be able to tell who is who all of the time because of the way the make-up is done. I wish I would’ve known Hugh Grant was playing a skull faced evil blood drinking savage… but I didn’t until the credits rolled. So that part is fun. I also didn’t recognize Hanks as a thug at first. If you enjoy that sort of thing (which I do), this movie may be for you.

can we still call Hugh a pussy?              yes.

It is entertaining no doubt. I must say I went because the name Wachowski was mentioned in it’s creation (The Matrix and… SPEED RACER!!!!). Again, you must give respect where respect is due. Overall Cloud Atlas was less flashy then The Matrix or Racer but the futuristic chase scenes and shoot outs where obviously done by some of the best in the biz. I was thoroughly entertained. It was the rest of the movie that dragged a bit. And here’s why… Cloud Atlas is trying to do A LOT. It’s basically trying to recreate time, recreate the universe, provide an explanation for existence, and still sell popcorn. Oh, and instead of doing it with a single story, it’s going to try and do it on a multi-layered chess board where eight separate stories must intertwine seamlessly. Needless to say… there’s going to be some stretching.  I was bored a lot during this movie, and quite frankly a little unsure which sub-drama I should really choose to invest my emotions in.  Like flipping between channels on cable, I enjoyed the plots about space better than the 70’s journalism drama.  So I couldn’t help but be anxious to return to what I liked best.  The language they we’re using in the future/past? With Tom all tattooed in the face… “Nay, you fall. Rope never give. You fall, I catch.” Y’know… I get it… over the course of 1000’s of years even dialects and speech patterns change. But… I didn’t know what the hell Tom and Halle we’re talking about.  Never underestimate the power of a modal verb to keep a scene relevant these days.

A shout out to all the actors. Especially Doona Bae (she’ll be back around). She plays a fantastic robot who finds feelings. I was also impressed with James D’Arcy. Those we’re my favorite “new comers”. Jim Broadbent has a fantastic old man face. He is my new updated replacement for Walter Matthau for what I want my facial expressions to look like when I’m an old man. By then maybe I’ll have that acting career I’ve always wanted. Hugo Weaving is a badass. He’s a committed actor, always good at what he does, but also blessed and possessed with that underbite growl of a manface.  Can I say it????  Halle Berry was a little dry (?)

Art direction was superb. Detailed and dialed in. It’s so important.  What else can I say?

There are a lot of good movies out right now, I think I counted and there were about ten that I said I would go pay money to see. I obviously can’t see them all, but with a free movie pass I chose the road less 007 and went to check out The Wachowski’s and Tom.  I wouldn’t rush to see this in the theater, especially with all the other options out right now (not to mention a night out at the movies costing $20 at least).  I would rent it on video, however, soon after it comes out. It’s definitely a flick worth a seeing and discussing. I’m headed back to the theater to see Bond and/or Wreck It Ralph because I’m not totally satisfied yet.

Who is this?


One thought on “Cloud Atlas (2012)

  1. Good review Jeff. It’s a movie that feels a bit too-stuffed for it’s own good, but still a movie that entertained me and kept me on-edge the whole way. Not perfect, but still pretty good.

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