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Cloud Atlas [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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Everybody loves a trier--and Cloud Atlas, Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski’s genre-hopping epic of interlinking stories, is a deserving sci-fi contender that sets its originality and complexity against the grain of risk-averse Hollywood. The writers have heroically adapted David Mitchel’s bestselling 2004 novel, condensing its 500 pages into three brisk hours and ditching its famous chronology, in which successive time periods are arranged concentrically like Russian dolls. Instead, Cloud Atlas slides back and forth over its half-dozen stories --Victorian travelogue, interwar romance, 70s corporate thriller, bedroom farce, dystopian sci-fi and lyrical post-apocalypse--interlocking them like an enormous cross-word puzzle. As with the Wachowski’s Matrix trilogy, the overall plot of Cloud Atlas is an earnest epic of metaphysical freedom-fighting, and a daisy-chain of clues place the film’s themes of slavery (whether personal, political or corporate) and abolitionism as an eternal cycle in human history. Rejected by Hollywood in early production, Cloud Atlas was rescued by $100m of independent money and the good faith of its up-for-it cast--who bust a gut to inhabit multiple roles, including successive reincarnations of the same set of characters. Artistically, it just about breaks even as a sci-fi blockbuster: staring its critics down and flaunting its eccentric touches. These includes some out-there moments of race and gender promiscuity: Hugh Grant switches between a playboy pensioner, a Korean restaurateur and a grunting cannibal warlord; Hugo Weaving plays the silver-tongued demon Ol’ Georgie whilst holding down a side-role as Jim Broadbent’s bosomy matron; and Halle Berry is both a feisty Blacksploitation-era journalist and a deracinated English rose. Leading the cast is Tom Hanks, in the most generous performance of his career--diving in and out of wigs, accents, makeup and false teeth, exchanging dramatic leads for comic bit-parts and revolutionary heroics for panto villainy. A box office underachiever, Cloud Atlas is geared towards multiple viewings, and offers a rare glimpse of a major literary adaptation battling against production odds, and a cast and crew uncynically giving their all. --Leo Batchelor --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
From beginning to end, I was utterley enthralled. Admittedly, I found it hard to understand the devolved language of Zachry and Meronym, the most future distant of the storylines (solved by turning on the subtitles on the Blu Ray which added even more pleasure for me), but that didn't prevent me having a wonderful and emotional experience, which is rare for a movie these days.
How they managed to jump from one genre to another, covering six connected stories, and yet keep you emotionally charged for each one is remarkable to me. They should have won honors for the editing alone.
You will find Robert Frobisher's voice captivating as he dictates his letters to his lover Sixsmith, you will fall in love with Sonmi 451 ( a nod here to Fahrenheit 451 ) and laugh at Timothy Cavendish's ghastly ordeal.
Watch it once, then watch it again. If you find it hard to understand Zachry and Meronym, turn on the subtitles, as their story reveals so much.
Going to read the book now.
I won't go into too much detail about the plot(s) but each story (or timeline) has a uniqueness and beauty that warms the heart. I won't lie, you really have to give it your full attention or you might end up missing a key plot point but the pay-off is worth it.
I will give my reasons why I believe this movie bombed at the box office: Firstly it was released in America first and the general movie-goer in the US of A has the attention span of a gnat and therefore they just didn't get it. The negative reviews spread to Europe and it did badly here also. Critics were a lot more sympathetic to the movie but you only have to go to Rotten Tomatoes website to see how different the average rating of a movie is between a critic and the public. It's a sad fact of life that we live in a society of braindead zombies that want to watch dumb explosions (Transformers, Battleship) as opposed to movies with an exhilarating story.
In conclusion, I understand that this movie won't be to everybody's liking but if you want to watch a unique, beautiful piece of epic storytelling then I highly recommend Cloud Atlas.
The plot is very complex and I was struggling 30 minutes or so into the film, but just relax, enjoy the show, and all will become stunningly, amazingly revealed. The weaving together of 6 stories, from 6 timelines, but all with a connection and a strong philosophical (sometimes allegorical) bent, is masterful. The futuristic scenes pay homage to Blade Runner, Logans Run, Soylent Green and Serenity, which gave me no cause to complain at all - and they are incredible to look at. All the performances, with each actor playing multiple roles, are good - Jim Broadbent is always solidly reliable, Hugo Weaving can play anything (watch Priscilla if you need further proof) but for me the standouts were Ben Wishaw as Frobisher and Doona Bae, whose performance of Sonmi 451 is hauntingly beautiful. The intricate weaving together of seemingly disparate and unconnected stories was fascinating. It's not an easy film, but any effort you put into watching will be paid back tenfold. Wonderful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful evocative and entertaining movie with some wonderful acting. A very simple premise of Karma but aparently even that is too complicated for your spoon fed hollywood... Read morePublished 4 days ago by StevieB
I'm not quite as able as some of the other reviewers to give you an detailed insight into what is awaiting you, but it is definitely what I would call a tale that eloquently sums... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Matthew Cole
Fantastic film, I hadn't seen it for years and still every now and again think about the plot. It's long! But well worth watching. Glad to see it on Amazon Prime.Published 15 days ago by Ana
Not as good as the book its based on. Bad make-up is a distraction. Could have had better casting. Would have been better to film this as a TV mini-series which would allow for... Read morePublished 15 days ago by cobb
After a second morning of fighting with over hanging ivy and branches to clear a footpath to my front door and feeling increasingly like a budding eco warrior ( minus the piercings... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Miss Money Pennies
I visually enjoyable film; coupled with that aspect was the nature of the story. It was nice to see a film where one had to pay attention so as not to miss out on aspects of... Read morePublished 16 days ago by Writer's Block