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Cloud Atlas (2012)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by joshEH, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. joshEH

    joshEH Well-Known Member

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    From the Wachowski Siblings(?), and Tom Tykwer.
    Two new trailers just went up -- a 5:41, full-length look at the movie, and a 2:21 introduction by the Wachowskis and Tykwer; the former breaking their interview/publicity-silence for the first time in thirteen years:
    http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/wb/cloudatlas/
    Holy crap. This looks epic. Amazing. I'm all in.
    For those unfamiliar, a primer on the David Mitchell novel, from Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Atlas_%28novel%29
    I've read the novel twice now since 2004. It looks like the directors reached right inside my head and pulled out my envisionings of several of those characters/scenes (particularly Broadbent as Cavendish and Whishaw as Frobisher).
    And that shot of Papa Song's...about what I'd pictured. The Sonmi-stuff is going to be the trickiest to pull off, probably (along with Hugo as Ol' Georgie and all the post-apocalyptic stuff with Hanks), but it looks like they're going for the proper tone, if nothing else. The novel has some humorous sequences (the nursing-home portions), and some very, very disturbing portions (again, the aforementioned post-holocaust section), and I wonder if what plays decently on the written page will even translate properly to the screen.
    Each actor plays something like 5-6 different roles in this film (Weaving, Hanks, Berry, Sarandon, Whishaw, Broadbent, Grant, etc.), some taking up lots of screentime, some barely cameos in certain sections (and some playing cross-racial and -gender roles under makeup), all tying into the theme of reincarnation.
    Screw it, I just can't wait to see Weaving in drag once again, at long, long last. Also, Keith David shooting shit.
     
  2. joshEH

    joshEH Well-Known Member

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    Also, Slashfilm has a very nice breakdown of what's going on scene-by-scene, if you're unfamiliar with with novel, and not into the whole ambiguity-thing:
    http://www.slashfilm.com/quick-guide-tykwerwachowski-genrehopping-epic-cloud-atlas/
    What's remarkable here is that despite the length, it's still clear that the trailer is only giving us the smallest peek at the film itself.
     
  3. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic trailer. This fall is already loaded with potentially great films. I haven't been this excited about a season since 2006.
    The Wachowskis have a lifetime pass with me. Tykwer is a sweet little bonus.
     
  4. joshEH

    joshEH Well-Known Member

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    My initial reaction to the trailer:
    [VIDEO]http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=07z4olZvkHk[/VIDEO]
    Part of me doesn't even want to see this, for two reasons:
    • Dat Trailer. How can the film possibly live up to the glory?
    • If it's a success, someone will start working on an Infinite Jest movie again, and that will not end well for anyone.
    Cinematographer John Toll reportedly shot the Wachowskis' sections of the film. Also, great to see Doona Bae getting new international exposure with this one. I hope she crosses over because of this.
    God, I hope they figured out how to make it click. They've got about a half-hour per story (with around a three-hour running time). A lot of the book is driven by stylized prose and character observations, so it's hard to tell how much actual plot each story contains. Still, three hours is still a super-compressed form of the book. But I like the spirit so far.
    Finally:
    KEITH FUCKING DAVID!
    And he gets billed on the poster! The extended trailer had me, but this was the cherry on top. Wow. I'm...trying to keep my expectations in check, but...wow.
     
  5. spshultz

    spshultz Well-Known Member

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    That trailer was absolutely wonderful! Sadly, I've never heard of Cloud Atlas but I'm going to rectify that immediately.
     
  6. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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    Wow, wow, wow, that's an amazing trailer. I had no idea this project even existed 24 hours ago, now it's shot up to join The Hobbit, The Master, & Les Miserables as one of my most anticipated films of the coming fall/winter season.

    And Chuck is right. This is looking to be the best fall season in some time.
     
  7. joshEH

    joshEH Well-Known Member

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    Definitely get on that, stat -- the novel's extraordinary (as is most of the rest of Mitchell's stuff). Well worth reading before the movie itself comes out.
    The book is comprised of six stories. The way it's structured, you get through the first half of each story before the next begins (sometimes ending mid-word), until the sixth story, which is laid out in full. Then you basically descend, in order, all the way back to the first story.
    The stories take place in chronological order, each in a different style. The first is set in the 19th century, and is (I think) a nod to Benito Cereno; the second in the early 20th century, done in what I thought was Nabokovian prose, and so on, until the sixth, which takes place, perhaps, thousands of years in the future. I don't want to say much more than that, because part of the joy was in discovering each new style, and how the stories relate to one another.
    I'm a sucker for good science-fiction, and I also think that's where the novel excels the most. Mitchell isn't quite up to directly miming Melville and Nabokov, but his writing is still excellent.
    I'm curious to see how this all comes together. They had Tykwer and the siblings filming with separate crews, and each selected designated storylines to film. I hope they communicated as much as possible between their crews, because one of the great joys of this story is how the seemingly-contrasting storylines weave together in and out of time and character.
    (Also, John Toll shot all of the Wachowskis' storylines for this film. Judging by that trailer alone, his cinematography is going to be worth paying the admission-price for all by itself.)
    I'm feeling like the end of 2012 is gonna be like the end of 1999, in terms of the glut of insanely-ambitious films. This, Life of Pi, The Great Gatsby, Django Unchained, The Master...hell, throw in Skyfall and The Hobbit, too.
    They may all whiff (though that's unlikely with The Master and Django), but damn if they aren't swinging for the fence.
     
  8. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Well-Known Member

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    John Toll is always worth watching.
    And for all the great films mentioned for the 2nd half of the year, Lincoln is the one I am most excited for. Which is saying a lot, because there are more than a half dozen films I am thrilled to experience coming soon:
    Les Mis
    Anna Karenina
    The Great Gatsby
    The Master
    Django Unchained
    The Hobbit
    Skyfall
    Lincoln
    Life of Pi
    Cloud Atlas
    10 films with extraordinary directors. Cloud Atlas looks to be the most ambitious of the bunch. Even though every one of other films I listed is by a director who has directed a Best Picture nominee, the majority having a Best Director nom or win as well. Just a loaded year.
     
  9. Craig S

    Craig S Premium
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    Add Katherine Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty to that list.

    And scratch (unfortunately) The Great Gatsby. Warner has moved it to summer 2013. Not sure I understand that; I never thought of F. Scott Fitzgerald as summer blockbuster material.
     
  10. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Well-Known Member

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    Craig,
    I didn't know that Zero Dark Thirty was dated for this fall. That can have Great Gatsby's spot :D. But it is absolutely something to be excited for.
    The is another film I remembering this afternoon that absolutely belongs on this list, but I am blanking on it. But I just remembered.
    Looper (Rian Johnson)
    Back to the film at hand, Cloud Atlas. I'm torn on reading it. I feel I should save it for after the film. Let the film be the film, and all that.
    Lastly, the music at the end of the trailer is pretty mesmerizing. Outré by M83.
     
  11. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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  12. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

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    The trailer and behind the scenes stuff are amazing. But, I'm suspicious how it all works out. The trailer sells it as an epic piece tying all things regarding life together! (said with utmost urgency and drama) But, the novel (as wonderful as it is) is ambitious in scope - essentially presenting 6 stories with all different tones/genres/voices - but, the themes are not all that epic...and the 'throughline' is not all that huge.
    For those who have read the book - I don't think 'will to power' is a good movie theme. "never learning from our past'" or "doomed to repeat history" are a little more cinematic...but, I'm not sure that works as an "epic" movie.
    We shall see. I'll absolutely be there opening day.
     
  13. mike caronia

    mike caronia Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't bode well for box office that 2 days after opening and I had to go find this thread..
    Loved this film. It's like watching 6 short films all at once. Never read the book, so the first half was just trying to understand all the different narratives. The second half of the film was just great. Really loved the futuristic Korea, amazing effects.
    Incredible acting performances, especially by Broadbent, outstanding. I'd be shocked if he does not get an Academy Award nom.
    About 20 minutes into the movie, the theater I was in went black...loss of power. 10 minutes later, after power was restored...back into the film it's the scene where Halle Berry is in the elevator, and boom, out goes their power. Halle says 'Power outtage!' Everyone in the theater (unfortunately only about 20% full) all started applauding! ha
    This film will have a lot of detractors, but for others (like me), this will be a very powerful experience.
     
  14. Steve Tannehill

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    I saw the first show opening day and enjoyed it a lot. The book was different, but I like how they handled the differences. Now I need to see it again.
     
  15. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

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    Having read the book I thought there was no way they could fit this all into one movie. After I read the screenplay I couldn't believe how much they had stripped out. I still didn't see how it all fit together, and I was now very suspicious of the lack of depth due to cutting out so much of the characters in each story.
    Then I saw the film.
    The power of a vision is amazing. Tykwer and the Wachowskis had a vision. And, because of a brilliant idea to use the same actors in each 'story' and some superior editing and music work (the musical theme ties everything together nicely), this film WORKS. But, it doesn't work in the way I was expecting. I was concerned they couldn't find a way to fit the stories together - find a way to make them interact. They didn't! They blended all 6 stories into ONE story! There are no longer multiple characters with separate arcs. There are universal characters represented by multiple parts in multiple settings. Love lost and found, kindness done and repaid, mistakes made and re-made, evil authority rebuked.
    Like it or don't like it (and, I can see a lot of people being alienated and/or plain confused by this film), the achievement is amazing. I'm shocked they accomplished something like this and I left the theater excited to have seen it and looking forward to seeing it again.
    Are the themes pounded a little hard and obvious at times? Yes. Are there things that could potentially (and dangerously) pull you out of the experience? Yes (I'm looking at you, Tom Hanks, and that terrible accent). But, the effort, the scope, the glorious editing job, and the wonderfully structured storytelling make this a film worth trying. If you can get past some of the small faults and follow the story you will be rewarded with a pretty unique and entertaining theatrical experience.
    And, see it BIG. The camera work is excellent.
     
  16. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful and narratively complex film. I'm looking forward to second viewing. Saw it on a baby IMAX, and it looked spectacular. And it totally worked.
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Being out of town this week, finally got a chance to see "Cloud Atlas" today, and the intertwining of 6 sets of characters at various points in time, with editing and a screenplay that kept the overall story progressing at a nice clip, so much so that it was one of the quickest 160-minute films I've seen in quite a while. I'll see it again, and I rarely do that these days.
    Overall themes of "love and sacrifice", "facing down immorality and sparking revolution", "soul-mates finding one another through time, again and again" were hammered home, but in a way that wasn't too didactic or over-done. The core cast played multiple characters, and some of the make-up working really well, and by the time you stay for the credits to see all the principal actors and photos of each of their characters, you'll have a good laugh at the ones you missed. The trio of the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer worked well in how their segments blended together and supported the overall vision of the film.
    I give it 3.5 stars, or a grade of B+.
     
  18. Brian Dobbs

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    Saw it. Need to see it again to soak it all in. There's so much and it's challenging to keep up with.
     
  19. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Well-Known Member

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    Two different NPR reviewers trashed it, but their writeups were in context of comparing it to the book. I haven't decided yet whether to see the movie or read the book first. :) (Usually I try to do the latter, but sometimes the other way around is best, e.g. The English Patient.)
     
  20. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    It's a very good movie, and I think it's one that will reward multiple viewings. It's optimism in our modern cynical world is refreshing, too.
     

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