Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cloud Atlas Review - 2½ Stars

“Cloud Atlas” mixes six stories over five hundred years in hopes of visualizing the connection various generations have to past, present, and future.   Some of the stories worth better than other, but at least the story telling mixes them up in a way that keeps your attention—in other words”Argo” dishes up a little of this and then a little of that and then another and then we go back to the next part of something we’ve already seen.  A nice cast includes Tom Hanks, Jim Broadbest, and Halle Berry, who particularly stands out as a 1970’s investigative reporter “Foxy Brown” style.   Did I mention that each of these actors turns up in multiple stories.  I’m sorry to pass on that Tom Hanks fares the worst—he labors under a ton of silly looking make up with a voice that always let’s us know we’re watching Tom Hanks.  The worst story takes Hanks and Halle Berry far into the future with Hanks a simple goat herder who takes seeker Halle to the top of the mountain where futuristic stuff happens.  All of this comes with an irritating future language that sounds like a mix of New Orleans, French, Spanish and deep south southern with a very silly result.  Jim Broadbent fares better as a publisher on the ropes and as an old composer taking advantage of a younger man’s talent.  I especially liked the future tale of a “replicant”  played by Korean actress Doona Bae.  I couldn’t take my eyes off her wide eyed expression as the discovers the dirty little secret of her life and society, even though a quick viewing of “Blade Runner” and “Soylent Green” would have tipped her off.  I liked some of “Argo” but got irritated by other parts.  The total running time of three hours is something you need to consider.  Cloud Atlas” isn’t a movie, it’s a part time job.  Does it deliver what it promises?  Wild and wooly cinema.  Is it entertaining?  Some stories work other don’t.  Is it worth the price of admission?  Sort yourselves out.