Originally Posted by iamian
Finally got to watch this. Beautifully shot and well edited but didn't move me in any profound way. Five storylines didn't connect and watching Tom Hanks in various roles took me out of the movie at times. 6.9/10
I would agree with your assessment, especially with regard to Tom Hanks. He's a fine actor, but his more successful roles seem to be variations on Tom Hanks, not fully-fledged-out independent characters. For a movie like this, a more-flexible actor could have helped the context of the story, rather than being a distraction from it.
I thought the editing of the different storylines worked just fine, but never felt a strong connection or attachment to any of the characters. I'd almost say that it was due to splitting the narrative into so many different parts, but considering the length of the movie, and how quickly one can get involved with even bit players in other movies, that can't be it. Perhaps the very theme of everyone affecting anyone takes away from the interest in the independent characters?
The other sub-themes of the film were too heavy-handed: Big oil = evil! Slavery is naughty! Love is really where it's at, baby! Rich and strong feed upon the weak and poor, but ought not to! This felt like one of those profound epics that ends up lacking a profound core. The two nods to Soylent Green were a little too much. The figurative one didn't seem to fit, and the literal one was too overt - especially with it having been referenced earlier by Cavendish.
Originally Posted by iamian
Was anyone else offended by the "Chinese eyes" the actors sported in the Neo Seoul segment. Reminded me of the 60's Hollywood treatment of Asian characters.
I wasn't offended by the Asian eyes, but I'm not Asian. I do see how those of Asian descent might be, but it wasn't meant to be offensive, it was integral to the theme of the movie of people being connected regardless of time, gender, and race. Had it been handled better technically, would it have still been offensive to you?
Overall, I thought the makeup effects in the movie were disappointing and ineffective. Yes, some of the actors were unrecognizable, but many came across as unrecognizably human. In addition to the questionable effect used to portray the Asian characters, others felt so hidden that they lost their connections to the audience. I'm thinking of Hugh Grant's role as the Cavendish brother. He sounded like Hugh Grant, but the makeup was so overdone that he didn't seem human. The same with Halle Berry as Ovid, Doona Bae as "Mexican Woman", and Hanks as Dr. Goose. They had that off-putting hollowness found in a Robert Zemeckis CGI movie.
One wonders if the movie might have been better off using different actors to portray the different characters across time and let the audience find their own connections though speech patterns, mannerisms, the comet tattoo, etc., rather than force the effect by making them play multiple roles.
In the end, I thought it was worth viewing once, if only to witness a stab at an ambitions movie, but there wasn't enough substance to try and dig further into it, or ever think about wanting to revisit it for either the themes or execution.