VIDEO: Cloud Atlas (2012)

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On this episode of Movie Madhouse, Josh sings the praises of the baffling yet brilliant Cloud Atlas. Some will love it, some will hate it, but one way or another, you should definitely watch it!

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  • MichaelANovelli

    Would you say it’s “magically delicious”?

    • O_O
      …beeeecause Hugo Weaving plays a postapocalyptic version of Satan that dresses vaguely like a leprechaun at one point? Best I got.

  • StevePotter

    Definitely the best film of the year so far, and my favorite of all time. I *loved* this movie, and I recommend checking out the book. It’s not AS good as the movie (I know, right?) but it’s still really good.

    • Muthsarah

      How faithful is the adaptation?  Does it cut a lot out?  Does it make anything up?  I hadn’t even heard about the book until a few days ago.

      Is the movie better just because of the change of medium, or does it add/edit out stuff that makes the book’s story better?

      • StevePotter

        Pretty faithful. It makes some changes, but most (most, mind you) were for the better. And I like the movie’s structure a lot more; the book basically told you half of the first story, then half of the second, half of the third, half of the fourth, half of the fifth, all of the sixth, the rest of the fifth, rest of the fourth, etc. It was a little difficult to sit through. The movie just runs everything parallel to each other and it’s a LOT more entertaining and meaningful that way. PLUS- super awesome car chase.

  • Muthsarah

    No.  Thank YOU, Joshua.  We agree on every single thing you brought up here.  I’m so proud of you.

    Except for the make-up.  The “Asian” makeup on everyone but the lead “Asian” male character was dreadful.  Like, seriously messed-up “beady, slanty-eyed” awful.  When the movie didn’t try so hard to cake its stars in make-up, it worked well.  But like with the rest of the film, it overreached itself a bit.  But it mostly works, and that’s plenty good.

    Anyway, this is supposed to be positive.  Back to positive.  I just saw the movie earlier today, and I thought it was quite impressive.  Everything about its visual effects were fantastic, and there are some really good performances here, mostly from Jim Broadbent, who I just love and who is never, never not perfect.

    I do also have to say that the movie did feel a lot like an anthology, except for all the stories being told together.  None of the single stories really had much to do with the others, though I will count that as a positive.  Cuz it worked.  How the bloody hell did they tell six (basically unrelated) stories at the same time, and have it work?  It’s crazy.  The overlapping cast I think would help with this, as even though you have just as many characters (as few of the actors play the same type of character twice), the familiar faces do help it all go down.

    Sitting here watching your review, it struck me that the movie this most reminded me of was The Fall, with the huge visuals, actors playing multiple roles, and the intertwining plots, some fantastic, some very familiar.  But that only had two plots.  I don’t know how the hell this juggled six.

    The movie’s a tough sell, I imagine.  It’s absolutely not for the faint-of-attention or the small-of-bladder.  But I gotta say, it never dragged for me.  It just kept going from one story to another; it had no time to slow down or even to bore me for an instant.  Sure, I liked some stories more than others.  I liked the 1936 and 2012 ones the best (cuz Broadbent), and the Neo Seoul one just for being the biggest.  But the others weren’t bad at all.

    Coming out of the theatre, I thought it was pretty good, but not great.  Better than I expected.  But the more I think about it, and having taken the time to review some other reviews that I had viewed before (and now this glowing one I again, like, 95% agree with), I’m thinking I like it more than I did this afternoon.  Like that it’s outstanding, and that any flaws can be glossed over because of how much it gets right, and how difficult it must have been.  Even a four-star movie doesn’t have to be PERFECT, right?

    This movie is huge, ambitious, and clearly has some incredible things going for it.  It’s a little too big I think (I hope there’s an Extended Edition, if they can keep the pacing), but only for general audiences who may or may not be “into” such big and/or weird sci-fi-ish stuff.  If you have patience, can juggle several plots at once, or can just enjoy a really, really good-looking movie, please, PLEASE give this one a chance.  It’s an experience.  It has several good little stories in it.  And above all, it’s unique.  You won’t forget it, and you won’t see anything like this…well…looking at the box office…for a long time.  But they need more of these big ambitious film and less cheapy sequels.  If you’re gonna fail, fail by doing too much, not by being cynical and lazy and boring the **** out of your audience.  There’s nothing wrong with a movie that asks the audience to put in a little bit of patience; it rewards you for it.  And it’s not hard to understand, just, maybe, a little hard to wrap your mind around at first (or halfway through, really).  Just because of how much STUFF is in it.

    It’s not a “deep” movie by any means, nor did it “speak to me”; it’s just a narratively dense movie that tries more than any movie I can recall since LotR (which is a complicated issue…) and gets most of it right.  It’s six short films, all with some similar themes, told at the same time.  It’s long, but it’ll go quickly enough if you can get into it.  If you ever sat through Return of the King, this’ll be a piece of cake.  And if you liked The Fall, for chrissakes, you HAVE to see this one.

    It’s a standout film.  It’s not Goodfellas, but it’s worth a watch, and it deserves a chance.  They took a big gamble on this one.

  • Misinformed

    “You absolutely must all go see” this movie?  There are too many great books, movies, plays, works of music, dance works, and museums to see in one lifetime.  Nothing is a “must see” anymore.  There is too much to see, too much to experience.  Life is short.  Damn, I just spent time typing this reply that could have been spent licking dew from the eyelash of a frolicking piglet.

  • Dennis Fischer

    While I am sure that as producers, writers, and co-directors on this film Starship Wachowski made an enormous impact, it seems a little disingenuous to go through the entire review and never mention co-director Tom Tykwer once, especially given how brilliantly RUN LOLA RUN and PERFUME turned out, and how much Starship Wachowski have expressed their appreciation for his contribution.

    •  True, I probably should’ve mention him. In fact supposedly the Wachowski Starship only the directed three of the six stories, the rest were done by others.

  • MichaelANovelli

    I’ve seen it, and agree with everything you’ve said!  :-)

  • Tedzey71

    Lol, I like the last bit where you mention the new Popeye movie! Eventually, i’m going to have a video discussing it!