Author Topic: Cloud Atlas  (Read 8875 times)

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BB

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2012, 01:12:59 PM »
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Why make anything then? This is what they wanted to make... something different and daring.
I guess I don't get why you would say "why make this?" when that question should be applied to things like the Footloose remake.

You're right, I'm being stupid. Suffice it to say, I think it's a noble effort with many glaring shortcomings.

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #46 on: November 01, 2012, 01:35:00 PM »
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AFM 2012: 'Cloud Atlas' Hoping for International Recoup After Soft Domestic Landing
Source: THR

The $100 million fantasy epic bows Nov.1 in Russia, the first stop on its international roll out.

After a soft domestic bow, Cloud Atlas is looking to foreign shores to recoup its $100 million budget and pay back the international distributors who invested in the ambitious fantasy epic.

The sweeping drama from Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski will get its second shot at box office success November 1, when it premieres in Moscow, the first stop on Cloud Atlas' international roll out.

A Company Russia in cooperation with 20th Century Fox, will bow the film wide on more than 1,700 screens in Russia next week. A Company will do near day-and-date releases across most of Eastern Europe. Cloud Atlas will then roll out across most of continental Europe before the end of the year.

Performance in those European territories will likely determine whether Cloud Atlas can bounce back from its shaky U.S. start. The film opened to a soft $9.6 million on its first weekend in the U.S., notably less than the $12 million - $15 million domestic distributor Warner Bros. had been targeting. While the title did have the best pre-screen average - $4,787 - of any new release, it was easily beaten by Ben Affleck's Argo, which seized the number one spot on its third weekend. Based on its performance, Cloud Atlas could struggle to hit $30 million stateside.

“Of course the U.S. release was disappointing, but it hasn't changed our release plans,” A Company topper Alexander van Dulmen told THR. “Cloud Atlas has a more intellectual approach and the European audience is more open to movies where you have to think a bit.”

In fact, Cloud Atlas's domestic performance mirrored that of a classic art-house release, drawing its best numbers in cities on either coast.

Van Dulmen points to Tom Tykwer's Perfume: The Story of a Murderer as an example of how a film judged too art house for the U.S. mainstream market can be global blockbuster. Tykwer's 2006 period drama earned just $2.2 million in limited release in the U.S. but upwards of $130 million internationally, including an hefty $53 million in Germany alone and more than $9 million in Russia.

Dulmen also argues that Argo wouldn't be a major box office threat to Cloud Atlas internationally.

“Argo is such an American movie, I can't see it having a huge appeal in Europe,” he said.

But even if Argo doesn't challenge Cloud Atlas outside the States, there are plenty of other holiday tentpoles that will be vying for international eyeballs – from the new James Bond film Skyfall to Ang Lee's The Life of Pi to Peter Jackson's fantasy juggernaut The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Cloud Atlas has had a tough start but things aren't looking to get much easier as the most ambitious indie this year rolls out worldwide.
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matt35mm

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2012, 02:07:03 PM »
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I feel like I'm in the minority for having no strong feelings one way or the other after watching it. I like the movie okay, but I can understand the hate. I admired that it was a different sort of movie, such that I didn't know exactly what to expect. I did find it pretty funny, though. I was more charmed by the comedic aspects of the movie than the dramatic/profound aspects. I also have no idea what was actually happening in most of the stories, and I don't really care.

I read one review that said that it felt like a sci-fi/fantasy LOVE, ACTUALLY, which sounds pretty right to me.

I thought it worked pretty well as an experience and was never boring, but ultimately I found its ideas to be mostly dismissible, which is a shame because I think that somewhere in there was an opportunity to bring up some useful ideas. The ideas in this movie are romantic but not really useful. This "our lives are not our own; we are bound to each other" idea is a really rich one, but instead of focusing on how we are all tied together in this moment, the past-lives/future-lives/reincarnation angle ultimately anchors this supposed egolessness back into ego via having the same actors show up again and again. Then the story becomes about how what you do now affects your future incarnation, and you have the same two people who are connected through multiple lives (Berry/Hanks; Sturgess/Bae) instead of all of us connected in the present moment.

The simple morality of it, I think, also lessened the potential profundity of it--the sense of good/bad, right/wrong is very traditional Hollywood stuff. It all really came down to "Love triumphs over Hugo Weaving; harvested clones revolt against the faceless system." Basically, it became The Matrix all over again.

That said, I liked a lot of the stories. I liked pretty much everything with Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent. I was also reminded of how much I love Tom Hanks. He's always got such a good-natured spontaneity going on in his performances. He was having a lot of fun and that made me have more fun.

RegularKarate

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #48 on: November 01, 2012, 02:50:24 PM »
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I think that's just one interpretation of it though, Matt. I don't think it was necessarily saying Tom Hanks' character is being reincarnated. I think they were using the same actors to represent connectivity in general, perhaps karmically, perhaps not, but I don't think it's coming out and saying what you seem to assume it is saying.

I'm not saying your interpretation is wrong just that I think there are more ways to look at it.

Why is it NOT saying that we are all connected now? Isn't the point of the movie that despite the fact that it takes place throughout time with different characters and scenarios, it flows like it is one continuous story? Everything affects everyone everywhere at every time. Romantic and simple, sure, but what's wrong with that?

I would say it's definitely NOT a sci-fi Love, Actually though... I think there is far more thought in the connectivity between characters and storylines.

matt35mm

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #49 on: November 02, 2012, 11:41:24 AM »
+2
As far as I can tell, it's a mix between the notion of reincarnated souls and the "idea of inter-connectivity." There are moments, though, such as when Hanks says to Berry, "I can't explain it, but when I walked through that door..." that strongly suggest that there are connections made in past lives that are felt again in the next life. The "Cloud Atlas Sextet" was written imagining "meeting again and again in future lives." But I don't think that all of Hanks's roles are meant to be that same soul or whatever. He does play some very different sorts of people throughout the film, as do some of the other actors.

But even ignoring all of any possible interpretation, the using of the same actors over and over necessarily links it to ego because any audience will always see Tom Hanks as Tom Hanks and Hugh Grant as Hugh Grant, etc. It makes me curious about how the novel is, because it won't have this element to it.

I like that it flows as one continuous story (though I am unsure of what that story is, exactly).

I like the movie okay, but I am still left feeling like it had more of a profound feeling than profound content. I congratulate it on its ambition and thoughtfulness, but I feel like the content ultimately went back to people shooting guns at each other and falling in love with each other with these general ideas of "humanity" and "revolution" but losing its boldness in exploring those ideas beyond the general. I think it's the very traditional and plain sense of "good v.s. bad" that lessens the power of the film for me.

I don't feel like movies need to offer profound content, but this is a movie that teases you with a sense of profundity and new ideas without actually offering that. I suppose it seems like a radical approach to the same old stories. That would be fine if new meaning could be dug up from a new approach to these same old stories, except that in the moments of actually telling each story, the movie devolves back into something fairly traditional in terms of storytelling. I guess the movie feels disappointingly normal to me, which is odd, given how weird a lot of the elements are. I admire it a lot, but it feels like it only went half-way somehow.

It seems to me that people are more interested in talking about whether or not the approach worked or didn't work. The people who love it seem to love it because they think it works, and the people who hate it seem to hate it because they think it doesn't work, but nobody seems terribly interested in talking about the content of the film, because that stuff is mostly just stuff we've all seen before in other movies, except condensed and wrapped up with a bunch of other familiar stories.

socketlevel

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #50 on: November 12, 2012, 03:28:34 PM »
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SPOILERS

Gotta give a hand to those three film makers, they essentially filmed something that many would deem unfilmable.

What I liked:

There is a lot to love about this movie. Hugo Weaving kicks so much ass with what little he had. I really like how he represents temptation in all of his characters. While it's easy to say he is evil, it's not the type of evil with an agenda. Like Loki he drifts around acting as the subconscious desire to lean towards evil. They used him so well in this film, much like agent smith, he is the perfect henchmen. Hugh grant is the true evil of the movie, because unlike Weaving, he is a man of action. Whereas weaving is simply a force. Together they make a great duo of destruction, and I'm not even sure they share a single scene together.

I loved the neo-souel segment and reveal. It symbolized the perfect fascism of where commerce and communism meet. The shots of the decommissioning of clones was utterly chilling. The machine that spears the akelease tendon and drags the boddies into the factory made me shiver. then moments later you see in the distance the precise gutting and stripping of the bodies down so that no material is wasted. Even though I think the audience knows what's coming, that the clones are being killed, the idea that they are fed back to themselves leaves you so cold. It really makes me think about farming practices in a way that a film like "meat is murder" could never achieve, it lets us feel like our lives as livestock, only then can we have empathy for animals.

the retirement home segment was great as well, a beautiful British broad comedy. I love underdog, little-engine-that-could, comedies. One of the best ways to make an audience love characters is by laughing at them. when they're doing their "jail break" segment my heart was cheering.

I thought the story of the composer was very touching. And while I still don't fully understand why he committed suicide, I guess that's kind of the point. The way that he lived his life, being so free and wanting to connect with everyone, only to be let down and possibly attracted to that kind of abuse hit me right at home; the last woman I loved was a very similar soul. It's very easy for the world to call him a whore, and in part he is without a certain restraint that would do him well, but more importantly there are some people who are too empathetic; somewhere in the process they lose their identity. I think this film perfectly painted the exquisite and beautiful sadness that existed within this man's heart. I was deeply affected. As Halle berry's 70s persona says while reading his letters "why do we keep making the same mistakes?"

What I didn't like:

The costumes and set design of the "after the fall" segment looked right out of a bad episode of star trek the next generation. It seemed overly obvious and derivative.

The whole film felt like a trailer. I really hope there is a 4 hour home video cut, I would really like to see some of these scenes played out longer.


In the end I'd have to say it's an astonishing film about freedom, and it uses situations that we're familiar with but also creates some others that push our own ethics. It teaches the audience to fight for everyone's freedom, not just the issues that feel safe or hit close to home. I'm in a little awe of this film; not what it did, as it is flawed, but rather what it tried to do.
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DocSportello

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #51 on: November 23, 2012, 01:31:18 PM »
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This came and went fairly quickly through my town and I missed it before I could finish the book.

To those of you who have seen it, any chance that you predict another theater run early next year around awards time?


Alexandro

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2013, 10:53:13 AM »
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After watching Lincoln and Life of Pi and being underwhelmed by both, this film was a welcomed surprise. A lot of films are made about freedom, but I think this one made a point that is seldom mentioned when dealing with the subject, and that comes from a favorite quote a teacher once told me (don't remember the author though), which said that "freedom is like the horizon, once you get there it has already moved farther down the road". the idea is that freedom is a never ending pursuit, and that achieving one level of freedom is only another stop in a never ending road. by jumping through time with different stories in which freedom means different things, I think the filmmakers got close to illustrating this idea than any other film I can remember. Also the idea of love as the ultimate liberating force against oppression.

I agree that the "inter-connectivity" subject is dealt in general terms, meaning that the use of the same actors in different roles with no particular relation between them gives hints at both the idea or reincarnation and just simple connections through time, without a definite recognizable pattern. Perhaps on subsequent viewings, any clear connections would be more obvious. I don't think so, though. I think the film tries to eliminate patterns as to allow viewers different interpretations of that aspect. To be honest, I don't know. But I like it.

Coincidences and random connections are Tykwer's favorite subject, and freedom of the mind (in which bodies and gender, and even personalities can be interchangeable) are the Wachoski's, and it's great that they found a way to make the film consistently about those two obsessions.

The editing, telling the whole thing as one single story poses several questions. Is the film saying that everything affects everything else, including from future to past? There's no clear answer, and the whole universe becomes a kaleidoscope, where everything is happening at the same time all the time. What I like the most about the film is precisely what many people find insufficient, which is that is never takes itself too seriously, so the ideas are shown in the simplest of ways. Taken as an exercise in pop spiritualism, as a very ambitious anime fantasy, it works fantastically. And it's never boring, which really is quite an achievement all things considered. Every actor is having a lot of fun, and you can tell.

The film, weirdly, reminded me of Magnolia, another movie which deals with a lot of different subjects not always in the most clear of ways and that tells many stories as a single one. What Cloud Atlas lacks (and aims for but fails) is an emotional punch. There is a moment near the end when the film is clearly hoping for the audience to be fully emotionally involved, but everything is so crazy and fast I guess is too difficult for that to happen. The thing is, the spectacle is such and manages to be so exciting that the moment of true feeling gets a little lost. That said, I don't think is that big of a problem, and maybe when I see it again that opinion will change.

Pubrick

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #53 on: January 27, 2013, 01:14:16 AM »
+2
^i wish more people talked about movies this way.

the wachowskis only got boring in the matrix sequels cos exploring the core fun ideas became too much of a chore and the movies consequently felt deflated. i think most ppl have never forgiven them and just assume they were one trick ponies. i expect one day their reputation will be reassessed by some intrepid film lovers who will cause a slow but steady rediscovery of their output. they are just incredible filmmakers fighting the good fight despite constant temptation to sell out. extremely rare.

and tykwer, well, he always has his heart in the right place.
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Mel

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #54 on: February 10, 2013, 10:15:04 AM »
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I don't like to deeply analyze films. I'm more interested in why some stories works and other don't.

The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing. This is one of my favourite parts of the movie. Thanks to the way story is partially told (reading/writing journal) it feels very connected to next one. It also helped to quickly get into the story. Only bad part is the ending: dinner with father in law. It felt like it was overwritten and taken away some magic.

Letters from Zedelghem. Best story in the movie. Young naive and doomed from start protagonist? It is hard not to love this character. Ben Whishaw was perfect cast. This can stand on its own as short film, I would also pay my money to see it extended to feature film.

Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery. First part that doesn't work. As much I dislike Halle Berry, this isn't her fault. I also trust in Tykwer, when it comes to thriller. Making short thriller is very hard and with structure of Cloud Atlas is almost impossible. Whole momentum is ruined by cutting to other stories and without that not much is left. I didn't feel any thrill watching this.

The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish. Much needed comic relief, especially since movie is pretty long. It was huge variety compared to other parts. As British comedy it fits perfectly - all you need is good sketch and few tens of a second. It was funny and it worked, not much else to say.

An Orison of Sonmi~451. Dystopian love story from Wachowskis? They done that before, more than once and once again is was pleasure to watch. On top of that great monologue - not surprisingly this part was used in trailers. Makeup of Sturgess was disturbing, which was minor and only flaw of this part.

Sloosha's Crossin' an' Ev'rythin' After. Post-apocalyptic adventure in fantasy vain from Wachowskis? Sounds interesting, but thanks to neo-speak is almost unwatchable. Annoying makeup? I can stand that, but this was too much for me. Maybe it looked good on the paper, but on screen... Heck, I would guess that even going all the way - imaginary language and subtitles - would work better. Shame, because basic premise was good.

Overall only two parts were bad. I don't know why thriller was attempted at all - film could make without it. I believe they would find a way to connect stories again. As for neo-speak, it is lesson how not to do it. Tom Hanks is miscast in my opinion, on other hand he is probably main reason why Cloud Atlas happened. I liked the movie, but it is far from perfect. I don't feel like watching it again right now. Still congratulations for sheer boldness, there aren't that many films of this kind.
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Jeremy Blackman

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2013, 11:28:34 PM »
+1
I expected this to be a "love it or hate it" scenario, but I find myself somewhere in the middle. It was decent. Could have been great of course, but it's just so goofy. For example, a scene will start, and you'll see some normal people, then you'll see some rubber-faced people; the distinction is kind of shocking. The stories, action sequences, everything... it's mostly just "pick a cliche out of a hat" with some serviceable movement/rebellion themes. This is just way too silly to achieve what I think it was going for.
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Pubrick

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Re: Cloud Atlas
« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2013, 12:32:21 PM »
+1
the wachowskis had this problem with speed racer. and to a lesser extent the matrix.

what they are aiming for is always more than people are willing to pay attention to. and what they do to keep your attention turns out to be hokey or overly convoluted. they simply cannot engage the audience at the pace they are thinking. at that's a shame.

they are SO well intentioned it's embarrassing. that's also why i love everything they do, i'm too forgiving even of the shitty final scene of Cloud Atlas. I'm thinking too much of what they were trying to achieve and it's actually tangible. it's much more than most shitty movies try for, and i will always give them credit for that.
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