Entertainment :: Movies

Cloud Atlas

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Tuesday May 14, 2013
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"Cloud Atlas" is a gorgeous, epic, confounding, and breathless piece of thought-provoking entertainment that is rarely seen on screen. Based on the acclaimed novel by David Mitchell, it’s a big-budget thinking-man’s film that divided audiences and critics alike. Make no mistake, director and writers Lana and Andy Wachowski ("The Matrix") and Tom Tyker ("Run, Lola, Run"), have created a balls-to-the wall cinematic experience that is truly filmmaking at its finest. The plot is about six interrelated stories that date back to the 1500’s all the way to a dystopian future. The stories weave in and out, sometimes moments at a time, to slowly reveal how they connect and spring back to tell a story about universal connectivity that is as befuddling as it is profound. A suggestion from this critic would be to use the subtitle option to make sure you understand the futuristic languages and dialects.

The good thing is that if you aren’t exactly sure what it was all about, the special features do an amazing job of explaining how the stories relate to one another. It will blow your mind how intricately detailed the filmmakers were in making it all connect. (Watch for the explanation of Somni’s book of her philosophy. Whoa.) If you’re up for a challenge and want your head to be dazzled along with your eyes and ears, this is a sorely underrated film you should check out.

All featurettes included on the Blu-ray are a little under ten minutes long and include:

  • A Film Like No Other - which concerns the logistics of creating such a detailed vision.
  • Everything is Connected - discusses more on how all six stories weave together to form one narrative.
  • The Impossible Adaptation- further explains the difficulty in adapting the novel, complete with author David Mitchell chiming in on his writing of the book.
  • The Essence of Acting- Tom Hanks, Jim Sturgess, Halle Berry, Doona Bae, etc. talk about the challenge of playing six characters a piece.
  • Spaceships, Slaves and Sextets- a more intricate look at the parallels of the stories.
  • The Bold Science Fiction of ’Cloud Atlas’ - focuses on the sci-fi sequences and how the production designers created Neo Seoul and the "After the Fall" sequences.
  • Eternal Recurrence - gets philosophical about the repeated themes throughout the stories.
  • Love, Life, and Longing in "Cloud Atlas"- more examination of the connections between the stories.

    "Cloud Atlas"
    Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet
    $35.99
    www.warnerbros.com

  • Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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