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11-07-2012, 01:20 AM
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Cloud Atlas (2012)

Trying to write something about a movie like this can be quite hard. For one, many critics I hold in high regard believe this movie to something great. An opinion I cannot come to agree with, but gives me enough pause that despite my better judgement I may simply not get it. These multi-storyline film are so hard to create because each of the stories must be engaging despite working within a smaller time frame and there has to be a prominent thread to connect them all. Unfortunately I believe "Cloud Atlas" has failed on both of these levels.

While it might run close to three hours in length, that still only leaves under a half an hour per story and it shows. They seem split; some just shells of more complex stories while the others far too simple. Consequently the complex stories seem cliche since the movie never has time to get into the details which make it truly unique. Others I think stayed around too long, only to give a very basic lesson. In the end I look at these stories and none were particularly worth telling... or lasted long enough for us to discover why they are.

Yet if the message and strong than I would be more than happy to give this film the benefit of the doubt. I believe the major failing in "Cloud Atlas" is what we have heard so much of: the multiple roles each actor plays. Perhaps more specifically it is the type of actors cast. Tom Hanks is far from what I would call a character actor, and each time he appears on screen it is impossible not to know it is him, this goes for all the actors who are either far too famous or have too distinct of a look. All this causes the theme of people being interconnected through time to be shoved in the audience's face. Such a mystical and unquantifiable idea is made instantly observable destroying any chance of a brilliant "aha" moment as they all come together.

I usually stay away from trailers, but months ago I caught the extended one and thought to myself "this is either going to blow me away or be some glorious disaster." It is a disaster, but I don't regret going to see it for a second, in fact I would love to live in a world where we get 2 or 3 of these ridiculously ambitious films every year and the only way that is going to happen is if people support these types of films... perhaps with better directors next time though.

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