David Mitchell's novel Cloud Atlas consists of six stories set in various periods between 1850 and a time far into Earth's post-apocalyptic future. Each segment lives on its own the previous first person account picked up and read by a character in its successor creating connective tissue between each moment in time. The various stories remain intact for Tom Tykwer's (Run Lola Run) Lana Wachowski's and Andy Wachowski's (The Matrix) film adaptation which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. The massive change comes from the interweaving of the book's parts into one three-hour saga — a move that elevates the material and transforms Cloud Atlas in to a work of epic proportions.
Don't be turned off by the runtime — Cloud Atlas moves at lightning pace as it cuts back and forth between its various threads: an American notary sailing the Pacific; a budding musician tasked with transcribing the hummings of an accomplished 1930's composer; a '70s-era investigatory journalist who uncovers a nefarious plot tied to the local nuclear power plant; a book publisher in 2012 who goes on the run from gangsters only to be incarcerated in a nursing home; Sonmi~451 a clone in Neo Seoul who takes on the oppressive government that enslaves her; and a primitive human from the future who teams with one of the few remaining technologically-advanced Earthlings in order to survive. Dense but so was the unfamiliar world of The Matrix. Cloud Atlas has more moving parts than the Wachowskis' seminal sci-fi flick but with additional ambition to boot. Every second is a sight to behold.
The members of the directing trio are known for their visual prowess but Cloud Atlas is a movie about juxtaposition. The art of editing is normally a seamless one — unless someone is really into the craft the cutting of a film is rarely a post-viewing talking point — but Cloud Atlas turns the editor into one of the cast members an obvious player who ties the film together with brilliant cross-cutting and overlapping dialogue. Timothy Cavendish the elderly publisher could be musing on his need to escape and the film will wander to the events of Sonmi~451 or the tortured music apprentice Robert Frobisher also feeling the impulse to run. The details of each world seep into one another but the real joy comes from watching each carefully selected scene fall into place. You never feel lost in Cloud Atlas even when Tykwer and the Wachowskis have infused three action sequences — a gritty car chase in the '70s a kinetic chase through Neo Seoul and a foot race through the forests of future millennia — into one extended set piece. This is a unified film with distinct parts echoing the themes of human interconnectivity.
The biggest treat is watching Cloud Atlas' ensemble tackle the diverse array of characters sprinkled into the stories. No film in recent memory has afforded a cast this type of opportunity yet another form of juxtaposition that wows. Within a few seconds Tom Hanks will go from near-neanderthal to British gangster to wily 19th century doctor. Halle Berry Hugh Grant Jim Sturgess Jim Broadbent Ben Whishaw Hugo Weaving and Susan Sarandon play the same game taking on roles of different sexes races and the like. (Weaving as an evil nurse returning to his Priscilla Queen of the Desert cross-dressing roots is mind-blowing.) The cast's dedication to inhabiting their roles on every level helps us quickly understand the worlds. We know it's Halle Berry behind the fair skinned wife of the lunatic composer but she's never playing Halle Berry. Even when the actors are playing variations on themselves they're glowing with the film's overall epic feel. Jim Broadbent's wickedly funny modern segment a Tykwer creation that packs a particularly German sense of humor is on a smaller scale than the rest of the film but the actor never dials it down. Every story character and scene in Cloud Atlas commits to a style. That diversity keeps the swirling maelstrom of a movie in check.
Cloud Atlas poses big questions without losing track of its human element the characters at the heart of each story. A slower moment or two may have helped the Wachowskis' and Tykwer's film to hit a powerful emotional chord but the finished product still proves mainstream movies can ask questions while laying over explosive action scenes. This year there won't be a bigger movie in terms of scope in terms of ideas and in terms of heart than Cloud Atlas.
Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn and Danny Pudi will be joining Peter Dinklage in the awesomely-named horror-comedy Knights Of Badassdom. The film, directed by Joe Lynch, will follow the adventures of a group of LARPers (Live Action Role Players) who accidentally summon an actual demon from a spell book they bought on eBay. Kwanten, best known for his role as dim-witted sex god Jason on True Blood, described the film as “sort of a comedy… like Shaun of the Dead meets Role Models.”
I can’t even start to explain how glad I am to hear about an actual original comedy film when all week we’ve been buried in remake news. They’re even assembling a really interesting cast! And I do mean actually “interesting”, not “interesting” like you say when you find out that they’re making a Les Grossman movie or konsidering Kim Kardashian for Tomb Raider. (You see what I’ve been dealing with all week?!) Danny Pudi is consistently the best part of the already hilarious Community, and Steve Zahn has been charming me all season as the buffoonish musician Davis on Treme. And Peter Dinklage can be great, as long as he has a role beyond just being angry and short. As for a downside, a film with a concept this unusual might have a difficult time finding an audience. Let’s hope that the ad department rolls for charisma.
For those who don't know what LARPing is, this video should give you an idea. A sad, sad idea.
Source: Cinema Blend
Actor Paul Gleason has died of lung cancer. He was 67.
The actor, who played Principal Richard Vernon in The Breakfast Club in 1985, passed away in a Burbank, California, hospital on Saturday of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos.
His widow Susan Gleason says, "Whenever you were with Paul, there was never a dull moment. He was awesome."
His daughter Shannon Gleason-Grossman adds, "He was an athlete, an actor and a poet. He gave me and my sister a love that is beyond description that will be with us and keep us strong for the rest of our lives."
The Florida-born actor started his acting career playing a ski resort guest in 1965 movie Winter A-Go-Go after training at the Actors Studio.
During his career--which spanned five decades, Gleason starred in Die Hard, Trading Places and National Lampoon's Van Wilder.
He also appeared in TV shows Friends, Dawson's Creek, Cold Case, Seinfeld, L.A. Law and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
Gleason is survived by his wife, two daughters and a granddaughter.