October 28th, 2012
Troy was gone all this past week for work which is why, when he suggested I should get out of the house by myself for a couple of hours today, I went to see Cloud Atlas. I was intrigued by the preview when I first saw it a couple of months ago, and then Roger Ebert gave it four stars and said he knew he would want to see it more than once. That meant if I saw it once by myself and then got the chance to go see it again with Troy, I probably wouldn’t mind a second viewing. (Not that I usually mind seeing movies more than once. I saw Pitch Perfect three times at the theater in the first week it was out and that is far from the first time I’ve seen a movie more than once *cough* Avengers *cough* at the theater.)
I happened to be wearing my Harry Freakin’ Potter t-shirt from LeakyCon today. (That video becomes relevant around the 6:15 mark.) The guy taking tickets did a double-take, then grinned and said, “Hey, I like your shirt!” It was the first time I happened across a geek in the wild who got the reference, so that was kind of cool.
Anyway. My two-minute bulleted review of Cloud Atlas:
- Cloud Atlas is a wonderful movie. It’s gorgeous to look at and full of thought-provoking dialogue and quotable lines. The intertwining plot lines span hundreds of years and include the same actors in different roles, sometimes with heavy makeup and prosthetics and different accents, and even one or two gender-swaps. The universal desire for freedom and the importance of connections between individuals are the themes that run throughout all the stories.
- All of the above is true, but it doesn’t really describe why the movie was so enjoyable. I’m not sure I can even explain it. What I can say is, despite the facts that this movie is almost three hours long, and that I can barely sit through a 90-minute movie most days without getting bored and wandering off, I was not bored for even a single scene.
- Tom Hanks is never not awesome.
- Hugh Grant is a close second to Hanks in the awesome department.
- Weirdly, Grant’s voice sounds much deeper when he’s speaking with an American accent.
- Even though he’s a better, more versatile actor than he’s generally given credit for, Grant truly does shine brightest when he’s playing a smarmy jackass.
- Hugo Weaving might be tied for second-place awesomeness with Hugh Grant.
- Several of Weaving’s characters in this movie are not a million miles removed from The Matrix‘s Agent Smith. I kept expecting him to bust out with, “Mister Anderson…”
- One of Weaving’s characters is a fun, creepy nod to one of his other famous roles. It might involve drag. That’s all I’m saying.
- I would love to see a full-length movie of either of the last two stories (Sonmi-451 and Zachary/Meronym).
- This movie must have been so much fun for the actors, Hugh Grant and Tom Hanks in particular. They each got to play a couple of characters that are pretty far outside their usual wheelhouse.
- As amazing as most of the makeup was, there were still times when it was distracting. I understand why they worked hard to alter the appearance of the actors for certain roles, but I kind of wish they’d relied more on acting and less on makeup.
- That heart-stopping, beautifully-choreographed scene on the bridge high above New Seoul made a lot more sense when I realized this movie was directed partly by the Wachowski siblings of Matrix fame.
- I wondered why on earth I’d never even heard of the novel until I saw it was published the year Annalie was born. Guess what book is next on my must-read list!