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Turning the Spotlight on...Cloud Atlas

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#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 05 2013 - 01:54 PM

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"Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are
bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime, and
every kindness, we birth our future."


Talking about Cloud Atlas is somewhat difficult. I have just
completed my second viewing of the film and I don't think I
have any more complete of an understanding of it than I did
after the first. Quite frankly, I don't think this is the kind of film
one is meant to master.

Cloud Atlas tells six different stories that take place across
several centuries. At any given time, the viewer is thrown from
a 19th century tale at sea, into a futuristic Seoul circa 2144, back
to 1970s San Francisco and so on. The idea behind these stories
is that they are somehow all connected by an individual's course
of action, a letter, book, or perhaps a piece of music. For me, upon
the second viewing of the film, I saw a connection of "feeling" from
one segment to the other which gave the film entirely new meaning
to me.

An ensemble of notable actors including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry,
Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess and Hugh Grant (to
name a few) take on multiple roles beneath mounds of makeup that
often look more laughable than believable. Nonetheless, there are
so many different actor transitions happening throughout the film that
it's sort of challenging to keep on top of it all and I must admit, I didn't
readily recognize everyone behind the makeup.

Warner has done an exceptional job with the Blu-ray transfer which
does justice to the film's amazing cinematography. It's such a pleasure
to watch the level of detail in the picture with colors that are well balanced
throughout. Cloud Atlas is a visually breathtaking film, and I am so
thankful that none of the detail is lost. Although the DTS-HD Master Audio
soundtrack isn't as aggressive as most, it's effective enough to envelope
the viewer with a myriad of ambient effects as it moves across multiple
storylines.

There are a few featurettes included here, one of which I readily
recommend, entitled Everything Is Connected. Lana and Andy
Wachowski give perhaps the best overview I have seen as to how
the stories and people in the film connect to each other. It may not be
the holy grail of answers you are looking for, but it certainly helped me
better understand the common threads.

One needs to really give an immense amount of credit to the three directors
(Andy and Lana Wachowksi; Tom Tykwer) who risked doing the impossible
and somehow managed to pull off a film that is quite brilliant, if not totally coherent.
Running nearly three hours, it's quite a commitment to make, but I would highly
recommend that everyone give this film the effort. Some may hate it, but I
think most may very well agree that this is a masterpiece.

Look forward to hearing your views after giving it a watch.


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Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Steve Tannehill

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Posted May 05 2013 - 02:40 PM

I went into this movie having read the book, and I wondered how they could possibly adapt it to film.

 

 

You could tell from the very beginning that the film was different than the book, but in a good way.

 

I've seen the movie three times now, and it still holds up.



#3 of 7 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted May 05 2013 - 05:16 PM

I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Going to us it blind.
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#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Tino

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Posted May 05 2013 - 06:19 PM

I'm also buying it blind. Watched the first ten minutes free on Xbox live and it looks great.
It's gonna be a hell of a ride. I'm ready. .

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted May 06 2013 - 09:01 AM

I watched my review copy last night. I too am not exactly sure how to write about the film, but agree with Ron in terms of how to "not think" about it. That is, not look at the details as much as the shapes and patterns being formed, and pay attention to the mood or tone being evoked. It is impressive how six disparate stories have been so well integrated into each other and that the nearly three hour run time feels like half that.


One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted May 06 2013 - 11:48 AM

I got the book after seeing the movie on a DVD screener and still need to read it. I didn't want to see it again until I could own the Blu and be ready for multiple views. This is going to be one of my top films of all time. I am a big fan of these modern/epic/multistory films, PT Anderson's Magnolia is my favorite of all time so this is up my alley.
Yes, these strange things happen all the time - PT Anderson, Magnolia

#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 17 2013 - 03:51 AM

You know when you have a movie stuck in your head?

I keep thinking about this film, over and over again.

The sequences that deal with a futuristic Seoul are the ones
repeating themselves over and over. There's something so
moving about that story --- it's beautifully told --- and it also
happens to be the most visually appealing aspect of the film.

I am going to watch this movie for a third time very shortly.

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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