I have to confess that I’ve never read the book that the movie ‘Cloud Atlas’ was based off of, so from that stand point I can’t say if it is accurate or true to the book but I can say that this movie is a leap forward in the way that movies are filmed and actors act. There are six interlocking, interacting and overlapping stories that weave in and out of each other to tell one story over the span of several hundred years. The Wachowski siblings (remember when they were the Wachowski brothers?) have only been around for sixteen years as directors and are primarily known for the ‘Matrix’ movies and that god-awful ‘Speed-Racer’ movie that looked like a living, breathing Technicolor yawn.
Cloud Atlas is a movie that spans from the mid-1800s to the post-apocalyptic days of a humanity that has survived a great cataclysm. There are interlocking aspects of the story where characters from one story blend over into characters from another. The movie has frank discussions about slavery, activism, racism, and homosexuality detailing the way that all of these aspects of life meld and mix with one another over the span of six lifetimes and lives that are interconnected through reincarnation, overlapping characters and odd moments of déjà vu.
Cloud Atlas gives a half dozen who’s who of actors the opportunity to play parts they would never have dreamt of playing before. Tom Hank, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Keith David and Hugo Weaving all play multiple characters of varying ages, nationalities and sexes. The special effects are outstanding with plenty of practical effects being interwoven with modern day computer generated imagery interplayed and woven throughout the movie. This is one of those movies that you’re probably going to have to see more than once, just because of the sheer size and scope of the movie. At almost 3 hours long, this is a movie that one has to pay close attention to because of the nature of the interweaving storylines.
4 out of 5 stars.
Iron Sky (out on DVD)
Nazis on the moon.
Do I have your attention? This is a movie about a secret Nazi installation on the moon that gets discovered by United States astronauts who are slaughtered by the Nazis who plan to invade Earth in an attempt to return to their rightful birthplace. Is there any big named actors in this z-grade movie? No, none that anyone outside of the most diehard cinema-philes would recognize (Udo Kier, who you ask?) and that is probably for the best.
The movie has the Nazis return to Earth after capturing an African-American astronaut and turning him into an Aryan (yes, you read that correctly…) and making a Faustian like deal with the President of the United States (who suspiciously looks a lot like a certain ex-governor of Alaska…) to get her re-elected and make the United States loyal to her.
So how is this movie? In a word, offensive. The lone African-American actor in it gets turned into an albino Aryan, conditioned to support the Nazi way of life and whose conditioning doesn’t take. He and the blond Aryan hellcat of a Nazi teacher fall in love with one another and end the movie on the moon educating the Aryan’s left behind by the Nazi. The writing is awful, the acting is worse and yet it has better special effects than it deserves to have. I was actually surprised at how good the effects were and in the end that is the movies only saving grace.
0 stars out of 5. Watch at your own risk…
Keith Kilburn and his wife, Dawn, live in Leesburg with two cats and dog named Godzilla. He’s written for Herorealm.com before they were bought out by corporate interests and has written a novel that he’s working on publishing. It’s rumored that he’s seen more movies than Blockbuster rents in a year and knows more about comic books than Stan Lee himself!