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post #91 of 113 Old 05-18-2013, 12:26 AM
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If you visit the store periodically I suspect you'll see it at BB for $9.99 before Christmas this year. Look how Sucker Punch dropped in price.
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post #92 of 113 Old 05-18-2013, 07:36 AM
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Watched the Blu-ray release of this movie this past week. Twice. That's a good thing and maybe a bad thing depending on one's perspective. For me, the movie was compelling, yet confounding enough that I needed to watch it again the very next evening.

The A/V quality is generally awesome. Although I was a bit surprised the soundtrack didn't involve more rear channel activity, the sharpness and overall visual beauty of the image is breathtaking at times. The fact that the film is so colorful and beautifully photographed only adds to the visual appeal of this release.

The movie itself is demanding viewing and that's partly due to the multiple storylines and more to the point, the film's failure to keep one's attention focused on any one of them through much of the film, mostly due to the often rapid and almost random editing between each story. I rarely got involved in any one story on the first viewing because the movie never lingers on any one plotline for more than a scene or two, then it cuts away to another story or three to the point it becomes difficult to recall what and where your are at any particular story after a while. Cliffhangers from one story get lost for long stretches at a time while other plotlines unfold to the point when you return to said cliffhanger, it's lost much of it's dramatic impact. Another serious negative distraction is having key actors playing at least half a dozen characters, sometimes crossing gender with often embarrassingly bad makeup jobs. It quickly seems gimmicky rather than relevant to the overall story. One other thing - the lingo used in the far future island storyline is supremely annoying.

It's an ambitious movie but you need multiple viewings to fully absorb everything and for many viewers, once may be enough.

Would agree this one requires multiple viewings before reviewing here. Blind buy on my daughter's advice. An interesting film, looked and sounded great. I'll have the subtitles on for my next viewing since I missed or couldn't understand what was being said. I didn't have a problem with the makeup in the context of what the directors were trying to do. This film is definitely not for the general masses. Too thinky is the term that first comes to mind.

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post #93 of 113 Old 05-18-2013, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

I agree with you about the elegance and effectiveness of the novel's construction, but disagree that the film's is less effective, and definitely disagree that it's "almost arbitrary."

It's different, for sure, as is the film's entire spin on the meaning of the source material. But far from being arbitrary, this film's editing is its very essence -- it's how it connects the larger meanings to the individual scenes, and it's how it makes one story out of six.

It's certainly less literary and much more cinematic than the book, of course, but like the book it uses the tropes and conventions not only of its art form, but of the individual genres that it emulates. In the book these are literary pastiches; in the movie they are of course visual.

My favorite kind of film adaptation is one that becomes a worthy companion to the book it's based on. One where the book can be re-read and the movie re-watched and they complement, resonate, expand, and even comment on each other. This is a brilliant movie based on a brilliant book, and that they both exist enriches both. Everybody wins.

I've only seen this film once, and that was 8 or 9 months ago, so I think my "almost arbitrary" sentiment was more from my initial reaction to seeing how they wove everything together. I agree that there was a decent sense of continuity with how the filmmaker's did it. I would almost like to go into this with a completely blank slate to experience their telling of these interconnected stories.

As for your "companion" comment, I remember mentioning to a friend after I saw it that I thought it did go somewhat hand-in-hand with the novel. But I'm not entirely sure how it stands up on its own. Unfortunately, with such an involved story and my familiarity with it, I'm not sure I'm in a position to accurately judge that. I definitely need to see it again at some point, though.

BTW, have you read Mitchell's Ghostwritten? It was his first novel IIRC, and it has a similar style and themes to Cloud Atlas. Not as good, but worth a read.
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post #94 of 113 Old 05-18-2013, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by giantchicken View Post

Not 8-10 months, more like 6.5 months. From late October to early May.

It was originally scheduled for release on video in early February. That got pushed back to May--I believe it was because of delays in the international theatrical release. You don't want it available on video before it has played in theaters in some countries.

iirc they indeed pushed it back to may after seeing it was successful (sort of) overseas. While it wasn't a resounding success, it didn't do too bad either. Which still must have been a consolation for the directors after the film's awful theatrical run in North America. What a shame!
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post #95 of 113 Old 05-18-2013, 06:33 PM
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I was among the many who were disappointed in Matrix II & esp. III after The Matrix, but when I read some lengthy articles explaining the plots and subplots and things that had escaped me or were too elusive on the screen, I developed a heightened respect for the trilogy.

I just finished watching the Focus Points 7-part special feature on the Cloud Atlas BD, and if you can ignore the obligatory "Aren't these directors/actors so wonderful" gushfests, when you see how the movie was made and what the 3 directors were trying to do and the many ways, both subtle and obvious, in and by which they connected the 6 stories, it will give you a much more appreciative perspective on the film.

I was one who liked it on my first viewing, but if you were one who didn't, either because you felt it was a letdown from the book or was a flawed movie, or both, then watch the Focus Points featurettes and see if you are enticed to rewatch the film with these new insights and understandings.
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post #96 of 113 Old 05-20-2013, 07:58 PM
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The first movie I thought of after seeing Cloud Atlas is the equally confounding, but ultimately inspiring Synecdoche, New York. Both films are extraordinary in terms of the thematic scope that they attempt to portray on film, but both are inevitably doomed to frustrate people who are not willing to take on the difficult journey the filmmakers are asking them to take. What both of these films try to show is virtually indescribable.

Having said that, Synecdoche, New York has become one of my all time favorite movies after a number of viewings. I would not be surprised that my appreciation of Cloud Atlas may grow with repeated viewings as well.
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post #97 of 113 Old 05-21-2013, 04:29 PM
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I don't post much on AVS but I felt compelled to after watching Cloud Atlas. First off, I LOVED it. For me it was a truly profound movie experience that I am still going over in my mind hours after watching it. My immediate reaction as the credits rolled was "what in the world did I just see??". After that, I really appreciated that it was a very demanding, disorienting, crazy experience. I suspect it really is one of those love it or hate it kind of movies. I never read the book and I did not see it in the theaters, but what really helps is to watch with the captions turned on. With the way the movie is edited, paying attention to every word of dialog is so important. There are so many details and subtleties that it practically requires a second and third viewing. It definitely is not something you want to watch if you're feeling tired and just want to zone out in front of the TV.

The interesting thing to me is that the first 30 minutes or so was a real battle because it was so confusing and quite disorienting, but somewhere along the way, I stopped fighting the experience and settled in and just let it flow. It's hard to express in words but there was a simultaneous feeling of "getting it" and "not getting it". However by the end it left such an incredible impression on me that, from an emotional register, I still have yet to sort out properly.

I have no idea how I'll react when I see it again. My emotional response may be completely different for all I know, but I do know that this film really challenged me in ways I did not expect or predict. I'm really interested in reading the book as well, which I understand is structured a lot differently compared to the film.

I really admire and applaud the Wachowskis and Tom Twyker for making this movie. Could not have been easy. Clearly, no major studio would have financed such a risky project. The fact that this was essentially an independent film release is almost as incredible as the story.

Oh yeah, the Blu-Ray video quality is quite good. Not reference quality but still pretty nice. Unfortunate that there is no commentary track because it would have been really interesting to hear the filmmakers comments on the backstory of the making of the movie.
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post #98 of 113 Old 05-21-2013, 05:08 PM
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^^^

thanks for that thoughtful and honest review.
I have watched the film twice myself and plan on seeing it again.
I can't remember the last time i was even remotely interested in multiple viewings
of a movie.
For me its not that its the greatest thing I have ever seen, not even close.
Its as you mentioned, challenging and confounding but not in a cute or smarmy way.
I feel drawn into the stories and intrigued by them in the same way a puzzle
or word game interest me.
There is something familiar and foreign happening all at once.

I hope you continue to get something out of it.

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post #99 of 113 Old 05-22-2013, 06:50 AM
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I watched the first half of it again last night. Having liked it the first time, and then having watched the Focus Points features, this second viewing is even better than the first, because I can now catch and better understand the connections that I missed the first time, as well as pause and specifically look for things that I now know to look for (e.g., the book that Timothy Cavendish is reading on the train).

It would be interesting for someone to separate the parts of each story into their own separate chapters so one could watch one story at a time just for fun, like is apparently the case with the extended director's cut of Sin City, or disc 2 of the 2-disc DVD edition of Memento that lets you view the movie's segments in chronological order (a special feature that was sadly left off the Blu-ray, including the remastered and improved 10th Anniversary Special Edition Blu-ray).

Edit: I finished watching it tonight for the second time. It should have been nominated for - and won - Best Film Editing, as well as been a nominee or winner in some other categories: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/01/11/oscars_nominations_2013_the_true_true_snub_is_cloud_atlas.html
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post #100 of 113 Old 05-25-2013, 03:11 PM
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I watched this last Friday night. Honestly, I almost gave up within the first 45 minutes as I'm not a big Tom Hanks fan, I HATED the post-apocalyptic English-speak and the rhythm just wasn't clicking with me. I stuck with it though as I did enjoy the storyline and visuals taking place in the city of the future. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but the editing of the story lines was very reminiscent of The Fountain, and despite its faults I find it much more puzzling and thought-provoking.
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post #101 of 113 Old 06-05-2013, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by JayF View Post

I watched this last Friday night. Honestly, I almost gave up within the first 45 minutes as I'm not a big Tom Hanks fan, I HATED the post-apocalyptic English-speak and the rhythm just wasn't clicking with me. I stuck with it though as I did enjoy the storyline and visuals taking place in the city of the future. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but the editing of the story lines was very reminiscent of The Fountain, and despite its faults I find it much more puzzling and thought-provoking.
It is like The Fountain in some ways. Glad you stuck with it all the way through.

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post #102 of 113 Old 06-17-2013, 02:19 PM
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I think I might like it more if I could watch it more than once, but it’s so long – I’m not sure how many times I would be willing to sit through it to catch all of the nuances that might be referenced from one vignette? to the next.

If I had to summarize it for somebody; I might say it was about the ‘Circle of Life?’ (Googled that reference and it’s a score!) It was an interesting approach to relaying it, but there was so much going on it did make it a chore to follow all of it for me anyway. Maybe if they made a ‘Cloud Atlas For Dummies’ they could have cut a couple of those vignettes? out to make it easier to follow.

Wasn’t this shot on 70mm or something? It did have some great visuals btw.
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post #103 of 113 Old 06-18-2013, 11:04 AM
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Wasn’t this shot on 70mm or something? It did have some great visuals btw.

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post #104 of 113 Old 06-27-2013, 10:42 PM
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Watched 'Cloud Atlas' last night for the first time (I waited for the RedBox rental). WOW, what an interesting and thought-provoking movie! I loved it! And the more i thought about it after it was over the more I loved it! I'm VERY much looking forward to seeing it again and I want to see it with a group of friends so we can all discuss it afterwards.

More than just about any movie I can recall, 'Cloud Atlas' BEGS to be seen more than once!

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post #105 of 113 Old 06-27-2013, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Booth View Post

Watched 'Cloud Atlas' last night for the first time (I waited for the RedBox rental). WOW, what an interesting and thought-provoking movie! I loved it! And the more i thought about it after it was over the more I loved it! I'm VERY much looking forward to seeing it again and I want to see it with a group of friends so we can all discuss it afterwards.

More than just about any movie I can recall, 'Cloud Atlas' BEGS to be seen more than once!

Mark
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post #106 of 113 Old 06-28-2013, 09:10 AM
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I really enjoyed the book, but wasn't thrilled with some aspects of the movie. For me, it would have worked better if they didn't use the same actors in the different story lines. I realize that in the constraints of a film, it might be harder to grasp the linkages between the stories if they had used different actors. However in this case I didn't like some of the makeup and accents, some of which just felt hokey to me. Also, in the book, The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish was horrifying to me, where as the film version was goofy. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
It's almost as if the version we see in the movie is not the actual story, but more of lighthearted retelling or perhaps even a movie version of itself (like the one that Somni watches in the distant future, which we see clips of in the movie and are clearly not the same). I felt like the other timelines were trying to be true to the soul of the book, where this segment came off as allegory.

Obviously anytime you see a movie after reading the book version, you're asking for disappointment, and I accept that my opinion is skewed because of that. There are parts of this film that worked very well for me, but others just didn't, and those parts that didn't really left an impression. Have you ever been to a play that you really liked, but found just one or two miscast parts, and it was so obvious that when you walked away all you could remember was how awkward those parts were? I guess that's what happened to me here.

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post #107 of 113 Old 06-28-2013, 02:40 PM
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Saw this for the first time a couple of days ago when the Blu-ray came from Netflix. I wouldn't describe myself as a particularly sophisticated movie-goer (I skew towards dumb popcorn movies), but I have to say that I was completely engaged. I guess it helped that I was expecting more of a navel-gazing tone poem type of thing. I made it all the way through Tree of Life, for instance, and that was a bit of a chore.

I found Cloud Atlas to be quite the opposite. The structure of it is just great and wow. what an editing job. I mostly watched it like I was watching six separate movies, yet the themes of breaking from the status quo and having small actions lead to big consequences came through pretty clearly. The implications of reincarnation were fortunately kind of buried, which is good, since that seems kind of hokey to me. In general, the movie was far more accessible than I was expecting. The score does a great job of carrying over the energy of one unrelated scene into the next. Unique!

I have to agree that some of the make-up effects just flat out didn't work. Agent Smith as a woman just didn't translate. Some of the Asian make-up made the actors look more like Total Recall mutants than human beings. Overall, that wasn't distracting enough to affect my experience in a major way.

I was also kind of dreading the three hour thing, but for me the time went by quickly. It felt like just the right length honestly.
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post #108 of 113 Old 07-01-2013, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tenthplanet View Post

Stays with you doesn't it.

Yep!

I watched it again yesterday, with my daughter (she's age 35). She liked it too, but not as much as I did. For me, it was even better the second time!

I rented it from RedBox (both viewings). I'll add it to my collection when the price gets down in the $15 range. I'll definitely be watching it again and again!

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post #109 of 113 Old 07-03-2013, 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mark Booth View Post

Yep!

I watched it again yesterday, with my daughter (she's age 35). She liked it too, but not as much as I did. For me, it was even better the second time!

I rented it from RedBox (both viewings). I'll add it to my collection when the price gets down in the $15 range. I'll definitely be watching it again and again!

Mark
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post #110 of 113 Old 07-03-2013, 07:27 AM
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I looked at pictures of your home theater, very nice and you can still put cars when you need to. Nicely done. smile.gif

Thank you! We have a lot of fun with it. Since adding the A/C unit we've been hosting movie nights about every two weeks. Coming up, we are showing 'The Shawshank Redemption' and 'Side Effects'.

I'm debating on showing 'Cloud Atlas' at the movie night in a few weeks. I love the movie but I'm not so sure it's got broad enough appeal to be something all of our guests will find entertaining.

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post #111 of 113 Old 07-04-2013, 10:45 PM
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Thank you! We have a lot of fun with it. Since adding the A/C unit we've been hosting movie nights about every two weeks. Coming up, we are showing 'The Shawshank Redemption' and 'Side Effects'.

I'm debating on showing 'Cloud Atlas' at the movie night in a few weeks. I love the movie but I'm not so sure it's got broad enough appeal to be something all of our guests will find entertaining.

Mark

Maybe you should have an art house/ indie film night. Or put out feelers if people want to see it. Sometimes people's taste will surprise you.

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post #112 of 113 Old 07-10-2013, 12:46 PM
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Thanks to this thread, I did a little browsing of the web and found this poster.
http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/18no4leedynl2jpg/ku-xlarge.jpg

The wife and I looked it over then watched the movie.
We had no issues following the movie.
The key think is to pay attention to details and listen closely. This ain't Die Hard or Avatar. smile.gif

I believe the trailer sort of pumps up the movie as an action film but it's really 85% drama and 15% action.
I think that may be why some didn't like it or couldn't watch it all.

We enjoyed the movie.
It may be a good idea though to go to the end credits and see all the characters each actor portrays in each timeline before watching it.

2014
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post #113 of 113 Old 07-10-2013, 03:04 PM
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It may be a good idea though to go to the end credits and see all the characters each actor portrays in each timeline before watching it.

Nah, that'd ruin the fun. A couple of them surprised me.
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