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Nordling On CLOUD ATLAS! Fantastic Fest 2012!


Nordling here.

It is difficult to write about CLOUD ATLAS, at least for me, without delving into personal aspects of my life.  Earlier in the week, after coming out of that film, I was almost physically compelled to spit something out within an hour of seeing the movie, and I believe that to have been a mistake.  I was so overwhelmed by the experience of it all that I couldn’t think rationally or critically about what I had seen.

It’s been several days since seeing CLOUD ATLAS, and I’m not sure that has changed at all.  It has profoundly moved me in ways that I did not expect, and I can’t stop thinking about it.  I know what the movie means to me, and certain scenes and lines play in my head like a broken record (vinyl, for those too young to remember), and CLOUD ATLAS doesn’t play to me so much like a movie as it does a kind of dream, or faded memory.  It feels like lives lived in harmony and synchronicity, rather than just simple stories told.  It has gotten under my skin and into my head in the way that the very best movies I have ever seen have done, and I’m convinced that CLOUD ATLAS will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Once in a while I’m asked what my favorite movies of all time are.  That’s an incredibly loaded question to ask me because while I definitely have movies that I can rattle off the top of my head as my favorite, who knows what time and circumstance will hold?  My favorite today may not be ten years from now, and that’s not even including the idea that I may see something in the meantime that will be “better.”  I am not the same person I was ten years ago.  Even five years ago.  My sensibilities have changed.  My values have shifted.  When people change their minds or their outlook in politics, they are looked upon as weak, or fickle.  That’s an idiotic way to look at things – I wouldn’t want to vote for someone who can’t look at things from a different perspective or viewpoint and come out unchanged in some way.  We grow, we learn, and then we become intrinsically different, and that’s just how a life well-lived is supposed to be.

What does this have to do with what my favorite movies are? Well, again, I’m hard-pressed to say why some movies are personal favorites except that I can find those movies incredibly relevant to my life.  If anyone wants to know what kind of teenager I was, I’d point to a film like RUSHMORE, which almost echoes my life in a very uncanny way, especially in my high school years.  E.T. has always been a touchstone for me because of my childhood and my life experiences.  And I can say, now, with finality, that CLOUD ATLAS enters that place amongst my very favorite films of all time, because its worldviews and themes coincide with my own.  I am forever an optimist, forever in love, and forever tied to the people around me in inextricable yet binding ways.  CLOUD ATLAS, through its multiple storylines, characters, and timelines, says everything I’ve always wanted to say about this world and my place in it.  It is a spiritual experience, and I understand that like most spiritual experiences that it will not affect people in the same way.  But for myself, I was profoundly moved, and CLOUD ATLAS brought me to a spiritual awareness that I have rarely experienced in my life, and certainly not through what most people would call religion.  Movies have been my religion for as far as I can remember, and CLOUD ATLAS has confirmed to me where my true faith lies – in the power of art to transform, to change, and to make this world beautiful.  From cave paintings to sonnets to operas to epic tales, these shared experiences are what bind us all, and they are the only place I find God.

This, of course, doesn’t really help the average Joe Moviegoer looking for a movie to watch on a Saturday night.  CLOUD ATLAS certainly isn’t casual moviegoing.  Its six storylines intertwine and loop back on themselves, and each scene that plays comments and complements the scene before it, so that the movie feels less like a movie and more of a symphony.  The film has a rhythm to it that feels like we as an audience are riding the tides, helpless in the waves.  The beginning of CLOUD ATLAS seems jarring, much like being thrown into the ocean, but once the currents resume their places, the moon pulls, the winds rise, and we are off.

These six stories each have their own build and emotional resonance, but they cannot be taken on their own.  Together, they form the tapestry that is CLOUD ATLAS – a young man on a merchant ship (Jim Sturgess), writing a journal, which is being read by a young composer in the 1940s (Ben Whishaw) who writes letters to his best friend and lover (James D’Arcy). Those letters make their way to the hands of a reporter (Halle Berry) working on a story in the 1970s, but her story is itself a fiction read by an older publisher (Jim Broadbent) in the modern day.  His story is recorded as a movie – or rather a 4D experience - watched by a Fabricant of Neo Seoul in 2144.  That Fabricant, Sonmi-451 (Doona Bae), becomes the prophet and centerpiece of the people in the far future – in particular Valleysman Zachry (Tom Hanks), after The Fall.  And the stories embrace each other like lovers, souls intertwined and destinies fulfilled across the fabric of time and space.

This is a movie that demands that you engage with it.  It’s not a difficult movie to watch – the masterful directing of Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer keep everything balanced and flowing, and it’s not terribly difficult to follow.  Each story has its own signature style and look, and we are never unaware of which story we are seeing.  Their script, based off the novel by David Mitchell, is full of big cinematic moments as well as intimate quiet ones, and each moment informs the last.  CLOUD ATLAS is a masterwork of editing – I’ve never seen a movie edited so well and effectively.  Even if much of the work was done in the script, the work of Alexander Berner and Chris Wehlisch is absolutely flawless.  It’s one of the best edited movies ever made.

Across the board, the performances of CLOUD ATLAS are some of the finest work these actors have ever done.  All the actors play multiple characters – some villainous, some heroic, some cowardly, some brave – and they keep each character unique and noteworthy.  No one is lost amid the makeup work or the setting.  Special notice must be given to Jim Broadbent, who is fantastic in his various roles, but there are no bad performances in CLOUD ATLAS.  Not a one.  The makeup work may be a bit disconcerting, but the larger point is not lost, even in the many different races and sexes that the actors play in their various personas.

But it is the optimism of CLOUD ATLAS that I respond to the most – in this cynical, hateful world, where it is difficult not to despair, CLOUD ATLAS assures us that wonders lie ahead.  It insists that people are ultimately good, and all the past prejudices, the past hatreds, will fall away and disappear.  The joy and optimism of CLOUD ATLAS feels revolutionary.  We are headed for greater things.  We will see the stars.  We will climb the highest mountains.  We will tell the truth, and in that truth keep evil from happening.  We will escape our bondage.  We will find that great, life-defining love.  The pettiness of our inhumanity to others will be forgotten like wisps of smoke from a campfire, as we listen to our oldest Grandpee tell us stories of majesty and wonder.  The universe will rotate on, no longer indifferent to our fate.  What CLOUD ATLAS says to me is simply, “We will.”  We will.

CLOUD ATLAS is a masterpiece.  It is one of the finest films I have ever seen, and it fills me with happiness and tears just thinking back on it.  It is everything I have always wanted a film to be, and even if others do not take away the same things that I did, it does not matter.  What I have taken from CLOUD ATLAS is without any measure, a rich experience that I will never forget.  The only thing left is for me to share in its glory and beauty with others, and hopefully they’ll get from it the same things I took from it.  It’s an earnest (perhaps too earnest for some), hopeful, joyous film, and it makes me feel new, and so happy to be alive.  I hope you feel the same way when you see it.  As Red's last words in THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION assures us all, "I hope."

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Wow! Looking forward to this now.

    by chrmani

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    So, you liked it then?

    by MainMan2001

    I can't fucking wait to see this. the trailer blew y mind.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Using the same actors

    by 2soon2eat

    Does the book imply this somehow. Is this a natural evelution of the story. That's the only aspect of the movie that has me concerned. I'm impressed at your honesty though, Nordling. Especially considering the hardened and cynical key board warriors that frequent Aintitcool.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST


    by pr0g2west

    Can't wait for this myself. Have been hearing good things.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST

    unfortunately this is going to flop at the box office

    by Titus05

    flop big time...trailers don't do a good job of selling what the movie is about...Tom Hanks and Halle Berry aren't enough to get people to go see it...neither is the "from the writers/directors of The Matrix' crawl...remember they also made Speed Racer best we can hope for is that this gets a loyal following on Blu-ray/DVD

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Wow, white males as asians and real asian females.

    by Jack Black

    i bet this movie won't be racially offensive. nope.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Man, I feel like an idiot.

    by 2soon2eat

    Just watched the preview. Kinda makes sense why the use same actors for multiple roles. Duh!

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Here Nordling. Have a tissue.

    by adeceasedfan

    The trailer was eye roll city for me. I mean it looks fine visually speaking, but the whole new age-y Everything is Connected message sends my inner self into spasms.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Bringing personal feelings into a review...

    by Glenn something I usually frown upon, though it does admit to a certain humanity on the reviewer's part. Nordling's announcement of this bias up top, as a rationalization for what's to come, I thought was well placed. He's an optimist so he contextualized his overflowing admiration for the film's themes, so I'll grant him that concession. He wasn't rambling about specific, bloated childhood nonsense. It also points out how personal films can and SHOULD be; I mean, at the core, that's ALL they are, which is something the moneymen don't get -- that we all bring our personal triumphs and failures to a story and either merge with it, or ricochet off. I'll have to wait and see. I wish I had that uplifting view of humanity. But I don't see it, in our times, in past times, and if history has taught us anything, it's that you can kill anybody (thank you, Michael Corleone). I'm in complete agreement with William Friedkin's sensibililty that the overriding throughline of most human interaction is some form of betrayal, whether it be the smallest act of gossip-backstabbing or Bernie Madoff's ponzi scheme. I don't think humans are, at their barest nature, Good. I think we help each other out of necessity (in large-scale disasters) or when it suits our needs (charity work has its bonuses). Unfortunately the world displays, time and time again, that people are rapacious and brutally cruel and circle around their family as an excuse for most of this behavior. Generally, it's "what's best for my family" which can excuse a lot of misdeeds to the public at large. Not to evoke The Godfather again, but we all see where that argument can go if left unchecked... Hope the movie's good though.

  • What the hell are you talking about? Is this some kind of subtle unrelated American election rhetoric? And why couldn't someone come out unchanged after viewing something from a different perspective? What if it only helps embolden their prior held principles for good reason? Must I need to be on the other side of the knife to see the helpful joyous side of murder? Gotta put on that thinking cap more boyee. Anyway, the movie looks good. Wachowski Bros haven't let me down yet. Well... maybe by producing the let down known as Ninja Assassin, and Bound was ,m'eh... Everything else was great.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 3:06 p.m. CST

    Don't agree it's a bad trailer

    by Glenn

    It's very broad, yes, and as a friend mockingly proclaimed (doing his schtick as the deep-voiced narrator), "It's a film about EVERYTHING." But the visuals alone sweep you up, and the V.O. gives you a hint to its epic human scope. Simply, it's a beautiful looking/feeling behemoth that will draw people in for a gander at the very least. Gotta remember, we are in dark times right now, and audiences always go to films that are the opposite of what's happening in the world. It's why uplift exploded, from Rocky/Star Wars on -- we needed out of the grim 70s. I should really say, titus, that you and I haven't a CLUE how ANYTHING will do, so we should both just shut it. Besides, worrying about goddamn boxoffice and money regarding film is antithetical to this site, we're celebrating the art form here -- we're not Variety & Hollywood Reporter. By musing on $$ helps to keep cinema enslaved to the dollar-centric Hollywood community. Basically, in precis: Quit being part of the problem. Bit by bit, it's your kind that makes it harder for filmmakers to embark upon making something great, rather than making something "starring _______ and costing _____."

  • some recent examples- Tree of Life and to a lesser extent Prometheus...people want movies to be about something not everything...not the creation of the universe told through the eyes of a family in 1950's Texas celebrating the art form is fine but movies also depend on the bottom line...unless you're James Cameron or George Lucas and don't need big time movie studio backing then you're beholden to the almighty dollar...Cloud Atlas has art house flick written all over it

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 3:27 p.m. CST

    Okay, Titus:

    by Glenn

    -- You gave two examples of failures, we can all do that for any genre or type of film. But I don't agree your examples are about "EVERYTHING"; they're ambitious in thematic scope, yes, and they underperformed -- actually, "Prometheus" didn't so what I think you meant is its word-of-mouth soured, but it still made global cash beyond its budget/marketing needs -- but I would offer that 2001 was not a failure and it's the granddaddy for these kinds of movies! -- Next counterpoint: "celebrating the art form is fine but movies also depend on the bottom line." Yeah, I know -- what's that got to do with you and me? We're cineastes. We're not the financiers, we're not the production managers and the accountants, so what's your point?

  • I can't let this go. I can't let you go. Now, you... you listen to me now. You're a good person. You're a good and beautiful person and I won't let you walk out on me. And I won't let you say those things - those things about how stupid you are and this and that. I won't stand for that. You want to be with me... then you be with me. You see?

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    well now I'm intrigued

    by stvnhthr

    From his interviews David Mitchell does not believe in God or a transcendent religion. The novel uses reincarnation imagery to promote the idea nothing is new in life. Cloud- the organic and fluid, Atlas- the anchor which holds and limits. Are you saying the movie promotes the idea that purpose and reason is not limited to or even centered upon mankind? That as man bends to God's will and purposes he will find true fulfillment and meaning? I was afraid from the trailer that it was trying to promote romantic love between men and women as the end all be all of love, that its beauty transcended time; rather than finding purpose in God.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST

    I hope I enjoy this film as much as you do, Nordling

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    I've certainly drank the kool aid regarding the trailers, and the directors heart felt intro. They have at least 1 tickets worth from me regardless of reviews. But this is how I am hoping I will react when I see it.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Hopefully the movie isn't as horrible as that poster is... Yikes.

    by RedJester

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Put it in the theaters!

    by Buck Turgidson

    Let's see what audiences have to say about it.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    Looks like 'Babel' to me

    by DukieMichaelNamondRandy

    a film that throws such a large net over everything that things cease to matter during it's narrative ...but that's not necessarily true of the film, that's just what the trailer makes it look like. If every volume knob in this movie is already set to 10, how will there be any upward movement? That would make it big & flat, like almost any Terry Gilliam flick. But...again...just an idea of how it might be, not really how it WILL be.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    This Review Cheered Me Up

    by pr1c3y

    Been a forgetful day, worse week, worst month and don't even ask about the year as a whole. I however am cheered up because of this review. I love it. Everything I hoped to read about this film was confirmed in this review. I'm a happier person for having read this review. Movies are my church. They're even my friends in recent days. Main thing I wanted to say here was Thank You Nordling, I feel like fate led me to this review, just to remind me that happiness awaits.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 4:01 p.m. CST

    "Vinyl for those too young to remember" - Strike one

    by john

    "I'd point to Rushmore which echoes my life in an almost uncanny way" - Strike Two "Joe Moviegoer" - strike three I'll stick to Capone's reviews and Harry's inane babble from now on.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 4:03 p.m. CST

    I see that Cloud Atlas is the new John Carter for AICN

    by D o o d

    they're going to plug the hell out of it. I can't help but feel that some of these movies are paying for this publicity! Sorry, It just feels that way!

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 4:06 p.m. CST

    I'm actually kind of worried...

    by 3lemenope a 'I love the book, and all the reviewers are making me think the filmmakers, while having made a superb move, have absolutely missed the main point of the book' sort of way. (Hopefully a bit spoiler-y). The book is, fairly explicitly, a meditation on Nietzsche's concept of the Will to Power (which is name-checked explicitly at least twice in the text, alongside Nietzsche's Eternal Return), that the desire to want, be, and have more than one is and has is what drives both cruelty and change. It is the force that underwrites both the oppression of the fabricants and makes possible Sonmi~451's revolution, it is what underwrites both the desire to keep slaves and the desire for slaves to be free, the desire for a relative to dispose of an annoying elderly relative in a nursing home and the desire for that person not to be confined and waste away. Most of the interaction using this metaphysical idea in the book is expressed through the choices, either of individuals or tribes or even nations, to predate upon others or to refrain from doing so, both metaphorically and literally. What scares me a bit (and Nordling's review did absolutely nothing to allay this concern) is that one thing Cloud Altas the book emphatically is not is a love story, nor is it a transcendent tale of human goodness or even particularly optimistic in tone. Most of the stories revolve explicitly about people being cruel to one another; the kindnesses which indicate a choice not to pursue the relentless desire to consume are rather exceptional and are not meant to be taken as either the natural state of people or even really the natural state of that particular person making the choice. So, it is absolutely totally cool if the Wachowskis and Twyker made a film based on the book that is as awesome as Nordling says it is but happens to have taken a thematic choice that departs sharply from the original text, but I think I'd like to know that before I go see it so my expectations are adjusted likewise. Signs are pointing to that, I think. Oh, and someone asked above if the whole same actor/same character thing is direct from the book, and I'd say that it can definitely be read that way to an extent. There is a birthmark that shows up on certain characters throughout the stories that at least implies they are closely related, if not the same person's essential self, though at another point of the book one of the characters (who is a book editor) actually point-blank makes fun of the notion of past lives recurring in text, calling it essentially a worn-out cliche. But, it seems to be a very clever way to visually capture the novel's invocation of concept of eternal recurrence/eternal return and it certainly isn't contradicted in any way directly by the novel (which I imagine was not written with movie rights in mind).

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Wait ! So did you like it or not?

    by corplhicks


  • Sept. 29, 2012, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Nordling is never going to learn how to spell Tykwer, is he?

    by Def Ref

    Over and over and over as he spooges about how this movie has illuminated his existence from within, he can't seem to stop getting Tom Tykwer's name wrong. Look at this other ravings about Cloud Atlas; I'd wager the times he's gotten it right are accidental. Here's a helpful mnemonic, Nordling: Tykwer is like "tick-whir," not "tweeker." You're welcome.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 4:41 p.m. CST

    note to 3lemenope

    by zodiacman

    I've seen the film, as well as read the book, and respectfully, your take on things is off the mark, on both counts. Most of the stories "revolve explicitly about people being cruel to one another", along with Nietzsche's "will to power"--say, wha..? If anything, the film (and the book) is about revolution, and the struggle for freedom. Every one of the stories in both the book and the movie revolves around that basic theme.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 5:14 p.m. CST


    by 3lemenope

    Do yourself a favor and google: cloud atlas nietzsche. Back yet? Now, to the text. Not only does the intro to the book talk about Nietzsche (how Vyvyan Ayres has a bad habit of quoting him) which is not a throwaway, but his magnum opus is called the Eternal Return (IIRC, he might have called it the Eternal Recurrence, which is another name for the same Nietzschean idea). Sonmi~451 during her orison talks for a few paragraphs about the Will to Power (she even calls it that) and relates it both to her situation of oppression and the desire for revolution. It is also called by name one other time by Frobisher, who comments:'After ten pages I felt Nietzsche was reading me, not I him.' It's page 63, if you care to look it up. The philosophic metatext even provided the climax and punchline (and the one time I laughed out loud reading the book) in the Scottish pub. Beyond the fact that the author was pretty damn explicit about all of this, including using the technical terms for these concepts as is, I don't know what to say. If you thought the whole point is ' about revolution, and the struggle for freedom' then you got exactly half the point. The point (and Mitchell says this explicitly in interviews) that desire leads to predation, of individual upon individual, tribe upon tribe, and nation upon nation, and the same force also drives the desire to be free from those conditions. That's the Will to Power, the desire to be free and also to be more than what one is. I think it's almost blindingly obvious how that theme gives rise to stories of oppression and revolution, control and freedom, since the easiest way to be more than what one is is to take it from someone weaker; it's a self-contradicting force. But hey, don't take my, the author's, or the Internet's word for it.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 5:21 p.m. CST

    I love movies like this.

    by Ironhelix

    Swing for the fences I say. I loved The Fountain for the same reasons. sure it's bat-shit crazy, but it spoke to ME, and it meant what it said. I will be there for this film too.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 5:31 p.m. CST

    Cloud Atlas

    by Joe OByrne

    Like Nordling the central philosophy's of this film are philosophy's I have felt all my life. I have never cried at a film trailer, untill I saw the five minute extended trailer to this film - it stunned me and moved me beyond words. This is what I wrote in my blog about the trailer two weeks ago. I am a playwright and film maker, and I know that everything I have done in my life is but a trailer to the work I will do after I have seen this film. I already know that it will impact my life more than any other film I have seen. Scroll down the blog to the entry marked 'Destiny Turns On A Dime...' Jim Sturgess is a very talented colleague of mine from my days at Salford Uni, and I was lucky enough to have Jim in one of my films. I returned the favour and was part of a piece Jim did back then. Mr Sturgess has made some great choices in his career so far, and the best is yet to come from him. 'Our lives are not our own, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness we birth our future...' Joe O'Byrne

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 5:32 p.m. CST


    by 3Dspiderbat

    For those of us scoring at home, I'd say 3lemenope's assessment of the book's themes is dead on. Or at least with my takeaway from the book. So while I can't argue that the movie isn't awesome (since I haven't seen it), the references in Nordling's review to everything coming up roses and daffodils for everybody everywhere seems a tad off the mark. But perhaps that's an oversimplification as well. I am still anxious to see the film and hope it's as well done as he feels it is.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    It's not a good film

    by R.S

    Read the book; seen the film and the film isn't very good. It's plodding and for the most part badly acted. Tom Hanks is especially poor. Cloud Atlas is a very stupid person's idea of a clever movie. It'll bomb.

  • Give me a fuckin' break.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 5:54 p.m. CST


    by Glenn you know why I have to respect the anonymity of this site...or rather, respect the anonymity it provides its talkbackers. ;)

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 6:14 p.m. CST

    I saw this at TIFF...

    by just_thinkin's my take:

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST


    by Michael Lunney

    Sort of, but not really- writers Roberto Orci and Peter A. David, to name just two that I know about, both post as talkbackers using their real names. Maybe you can give me an obscure clue. Otherwise, I'll just respect your desire to remain anonyous. But it would be nice to talk film with a professional filmmaker...and know who I'm speaking to...

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 7:10 p.m. CST

    I mean, are we talking a tree trunk here or what?

    by Mr. X

  • There's not a lot of actors that actually repulse me, but Halle Berry is one of them. Actually, I can't think of anyone else at the moment. Wait, Kristen Bell also makes me want to vomit when she tries to act. So, do I see a Tom Hanks movie from the guys who did Matrix even though it's going to be ruined by Halle Berry? Or just skip it and watch 007 or Hobbit another time? Maybe I'll wait to watch it at home and utilize fast forward.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST

    rumourd - betrayal requires faith, hope and love

    by AntonStark

    humans are not fundamentally good or bad. we are fundamentally need driven. and one of the most critical and pivotal things that we need is to trust each other. not just with our base needs for survival, but with all of our needs. and we have needs that are beyond mere survival. how the fuck we developed them, who knows, but we did and that is just the facts. we need to learn. we need to create. we need to be amazed. we need to share. we need to laugh. we need to touch. for all of these things we need to trust each other. yes, we betray, but betrayal is not what life is for us. betrayal cannot exist unless there is trust. and trust cannot exist unless there is hope and love. we love. sometimes we love ourselves more than others, but we love them too. that's reality. at our core we are not good or bad. we are much more complicated than that. imo.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 7:37 p.m. CST

    Hope better than the book...

    by ennio

  • Be objective.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 8 p.m. CST

    Prometheus is a lot like Lady Gaga????

    by john

    what the fuck are you talking about? and who are you talking to? There's a much simpler way to get your point across. I take it you're just trying to remind yourself how 'clever' you are? please fall on your sword.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST

    15 years a reader, my 3rd talkback.

    by jason

    This read was akin to strawpedoeing a Scarborough suitcase of RedBull. Full sugar variety too. Not as pleasant as you might think friendo.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 9:07 p.m. CST

    A L I E N > P R O M E T H E U S > A L I E N S > A L I E N 3

    by Nichole

    Never Forget. and if you don't like Prometheus, well..... You don't know shit, and are a new internet kid that doesn't appreciate film. Seriously. Fuck the haters.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 9:40 p.m. CST

    well done, nord

    by westie

    Don't ever be worried about putting your heart into a review, bro. Keep politics out, religion, status, other Shit. But a good review that's personal, based on feelings I always thought movies were meant to stir...go for it.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 9:48 p.m. CST

    Yeah, now that you mention it, Prometheus IS like Lady Gaga!

    by James

    Whoa! I can't believe that I never saw that before! Just like Lady Gaga! I get it! I bet the next time I watch that movie I'll be like *Yup, Lady Gaga!* You fuckin dope!

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Terence Malick presents "Tree of Life"

    by ShavedLeatherPig

    "Cloud Atlas" = Hot Pockets and Diet Mountain Dew

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 9:55 p.m. CST

    *I wanna know what's under that dress, Prometheus*

    by James

    Shakin your tail like Lady Gaga, Prometheus! You got a tree trunk under that dress or what, Prometheus? lolololololll

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Really good review.

    by skiprat1

    I'm not a huge fan of Halle Berry (not at all), but your review has made me want to see this. Plus, I think the Wachowski's are brilliant, and I want to see them make more, bigger and better sci-fi.

  • oh and you forgot the black woman (halle berry) who plays a white woman! also very racist.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST

    Joe Moviegoer here

    by James

    and I'm way too fucking stupid for this movie. I wish I were smart like Nordling so I could appreciate this film starring Tom Hanks. Who knew that the same guy who played dipshit Forrest Gump would end up starring in films that requires Nordling level intellect to enjoy?

  • By the Way, Prometheus is fucking awesome. Sick of you fuckface internet faggots, that couldn't make a movie if a 44. Magnum was pointed at your stupid ass face. Prometheus was talked about, and will be continued to talk about..... Forever. Just like Blade Runner. Why can't people on the internet be semi- intelligent? C'mon!

  • I have no idea if this movie is racist or not. I haven't seen it but I doubt it. But saying "a black woman plays a white woman" is comparable to the reverse/blackface, well insert your own "racism doesn't exist in a vacuum" response here. It's not comparable. Just like Kramer calling black people "nigger" was worse than him being called "Honkey" or whatever

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    ROFL at the talkbackers bitching about the review not being "objective"

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Some films are an experience, and you can't objectively review that. So fuck the naysayers, I loved this review.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 10:21 p.m. CST

    @phantomcreepsreturn, keep fapping over your memories of Prometheus.

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    You remember Prometheus as a beautiful woman who loved you. The rest of us saw through the illusion to the whore with no teeth.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 10:23 p.m. CST

    @phantomcreepsreturn, keep fapping over your memories of Prometheus.

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    You remember Prometheus as a beautiful woman who loved you. The rest of us saw through the illusion to the crack-addict 80-year-old whore with no teeth. But keep fapping if that's what gets you off, dude.

  • Sept. 29, 2012, 10:27 p.m. CST

    renetabard, I Agree.

    by Nichole

    Hypocritical mothefuckers, or you could say they are Pussified. Welcome to America. Where you can't walk down the fucking street Because you are to you are just look like you are a suspect walking down the street. No joke here. I got arrested by some fuckhead cops, for a DUI, Because...... They waited and pulled me over, when I pulled Out of the Bar. They Said: Have You Been Drinking? I said: What do You think? I Just left a bar? They did not like my backtalk. I was Arrested, because I had 4 Beers over 2 hours. I Fuck you, if you don't llike Prometheus, is what I'm saying. Do I sound Bitter? Over the Thousand dollars I've Had to pay over My fucking name? Fuck Cops, and Fuck Fuckers that don't like Cloud Atlas. Literally, fuck them.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 2:02 a.m. CST

    @hardboiled wonderland

    by James Stevenson

    (To augment your brilliant analysis, sir): Indeed, how very many of us walked through the door of Ridley Scott's own personal Room 217 of the Overlook Hotel, saw that nubile hottie in the shower, embraced her and kissed her, with the promise of a night of erotic bliss ahead... only to pull back and gaze upon a decrepit, skanky old hag who would make the strongest man's johnson limp for all eternity. A massive letdown Prometheus was, and a possible Director's Cut on DVD will not salvage it. Even worse, its failure casts a huge shadow of doubt on Scott's proposed Blade Runner sequel.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Bravo, not_quite_right! You said it more eloquently than I did!

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    Bladerunner is a product of its time, and Prometheus has shown you can't bottle lightning twice from the same source. However, Hampton Fancher is a step up from Spaihts, Lindelof, and Rothman!

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 2:34 a.m. CST

    The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi would make an interesting film

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    We need new mythologies. Bladerunner had its day, let's create new ones.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 2:55 a.m. CST

    @hardboiled wonderland [again]

    by James Stevenson

    Can't say I know a damn thing about The Windup Girl (though it sounds fascinating, if one can move forward from recommendations). I didn't know AICN still had an intelligentsia in the midst (been away for quite some time). Fucking oases seem to show up where & when you (the optimistic intuitive "you") least expect them to. If you have yet to see Looper, then by all means... have at it. I do believe you'll appreciate its hard-won efforts.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 3:26 a.m. CST

    Here's hoping Elysium next March will be the cherry on top, not_quite_right!

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    And yes, I'm eagerly awaiting Looper. I overhyped myself for Inception, so I've tried to keep a lid on it for Looper. The word I keep hearing though is making it damn hard. Rian Johnson, Neil Blomkamp, Duncan Moon... Sir Ridley, you have had your day in the sun and we thank you for it, but the new future is here and it's time for new visionaries.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 4:03 a.m. CST

    You guys are straight up wrong.

    by Nichole

    You WISH You could make a film like Prometheus. Get the fuck outta here. And My Wife, has teeth. You guys, need to recognize, and get a grip. Jesus.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 4:05 a.m. CST

    Please, Explain why you DID NOT enjoy Prometheus.

    by Nichole

    And, Please sidestep the dumb usual Venacular.

  • What story was it Wanting, Exactly? Or, Were You wanting something?

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 4:08 a.m. CST

    A L I E N > P R O M E T H E H E U S > A L I E N S > A L I E N 3

    by Nichole


  • Sept. 30, 2012, 4:10 a.m. CST

    hardboiled wonderland

    by Nichole

    Has No Merit. Fuck ya.

  • If it's another good flicky live action adventure by a couple who have clearly watched a few too many animes for their own sanity...........Then i'm in. P.s. you don't have to live themes to appreciate their balance in a story & ya don't have to like a story just cause it has the right themes. Then you factor in popcorn, do you share it if you bought the big one, do ya pour it into hands or let their grubby mitts dip in and out, a drink also, for the good ones 3d glasses, are people you are with enjoying the film as much as you are, i mean, how can they not be right, etc It's all a complicated operation to balance, having to add in personal existential meta-physical epiphanies in the first viewing would be too much for me and send me to the tiolet - which i never do in the movies!

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Question if you've read the book and Mitchell's "Ghostwritten"

    by I am_NOTREAL

    Could I enjoy Cloud Atlas if Ghostwritten came to a screeching halt for me around 2/3rds through? Loved the early sections of Ghostwritten, but when it came to the part where the late-night DJ starting getting odd phone calls...whew. I found that VERY boring and have still never finished it. I'm in the mind for some challenging fiction, but if I couldn't hack Ghostwritten, is Mitchell just not for me?

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Thank you Nordling

    by Dheep

    Thank you for this review. Going to receive the book in a few days as well. This was a wonderful review, touching on a discussion my wife and I had last night about the "Disappointment" we both feel with so-called modern life. Not really wanting for anything ,and suffering from the "is that all there is"? thing. Thank you. I could tell beforehand I would get something similar from this upcoming movie.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Hang in there pr1c3y

    by Dheep

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:57 a.m. CST

    Trailer & Personal Feelings

    by Mr Underhill

    I grew excited by this film when I saw the trailer, to the extent that I grabbed my wife and daughters & showed it to them. I immediately made up my mind to see the film. I thought a comment above that reviewers should avoid persoanl feelings in reviews was interesting. It sems to me that art is ALL about personal feelings, it either communicates & resonates or it doesn't. I want to know how & why any film effected the reviewer. The trailer excited and effected me, and this personal & first rate review has enforced that feeling. Thank you Nordling. M

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:15 a.m. CST

    76% on RT. I get very cynical when...

    by jimmy_009

    ...I see the trailers and read the descriptions of this one. It reads like something that I would have thought was "deep" when I was 16, but now just see as a superficial gimmick. Like Pay it Forward or What Dreams May Come. A lesson movie, heavy on the "hit you over the head symbolism" and "we are all connected!" new age gobbledy gook. I genuinely hope I'm wrong and I enjoy the hell out of it. Going in with low expectations, though.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Also F that poster

    by jimmy_009

    Photoshop nightmare. Let's just lump a bunch of heads together and throw in a keyboard to be a jarring visual distraction. FUCK can anyone design a poster anymore? It used to be an art form.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Prometheus was retarded shit

    by MustGoFaster

    I could comfortably spend several hours typing all the ways it was a complete clusterfuck. Some cave paintings are found which happen to match a distance they send a trillion dollar manned expedition without sending a robotic probe first. Riiiiiight. They find the alien beehive thing on their first pass over the planet when Holloway SPOTS IT OUT OF THE WINDOW. Omfg. Weyland hides aboard his own ship on the off-chance that 1) there is intelligent alien life on the planet 2) they can give him immortality 3) he can communicate his desire for immortality and 4) the aliens will want to give it to him. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together would freeze themselves until medical science can find a way to cure them - not travel to the other end of the galaxy on a completely crazy impulse. And I haven't even touched on all the batshit crazy stuff that happens in the alien dome yet. Those of you who love Prometheus - seek psychiatric help.

  • is a terrible shame you stopped at the radio DJ receiving starnge telephone calls, had you continued reading, you would've realised the guinius physist scientist who goes back to dublin to her family was actually running away from government spies who were pursuing her ... anyway, she saves her family by sacrificing herself and accepts being captured. At the end of the book you realise the radio DJ receiving those starnge telephone calls is actually an Artificial Inteeligent weapon which the government have devised by utilising the captured scientist's mindpower, whom they had killed and conducted a a brain transplant of sorts into a computer. Anyway, it is a very clever novel. But I would say David Mitchel is a shitty writer as his stories are not original in anyway but copies from far more superior sources, most notably, twilight zone, outer limits, short stories, etc

  • Nordling, I only read the beginning of your review, being spoiler-shy, even though your reviews are thoughtful and responsible about spoilers. I'll come back to finish reading your review after I see the movie. I hope you and Harry and the other reviewers on this site continue to dig deep into the personal feelings inspired by the movies you review, as long as they are genuine. It's why I keep coming back to AICN.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 2:10 p.m. CST

    Please Stop the Forum Digressions

    by Glenn

    I know it's what the kiddies call 'threadjacking'; whatever it's called, it shows a real lack of focus and discipline on the part of the talkback posters. What is so hard about keeping to the discussion? I realize this isn't a professional forum, per se, but when you guys (and you all know who you are) go off-topic about one or two particular film(s)' forum(s), your hypocrisy begins to show. You rant and rave about the lack of quality in a film or a filmmaker's work, i.e. lack of professional quality -- but then you explode into tangents of your own where they're inappropriate or, worse, well-worn and stated elsewhere on the site ad nauseum. Example: "Prometheus" has been discussed to death, there are plenty of places on AICN to bitch about it... though the subject should be exhausted by now. Please guys, I beg you -- quit the meandering mind-dumping, comment only on that column/article's topic, and keep it educated and non-insulting. We all have opinions/feelings/what-have-you, but reign yourselves in from the petty slights and balls-out shit-slingings at each other. You wouldn't want to go to a film-appreciation seminar where the Q&A derailed onto hedge-fund tactics, would you?

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    I wish i liked it...

    by Jackson

    but, sadly, i thought the wachowskis had a great oppurtunity here and fucked it up.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    Talkbackers, you lack FOCUS! and DICIPLINE!

    by James

    You have forgotten the face of your father!

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Larry Wachowski's dick

    by James

    I think they sewed it onto Carrie-Anne Moss.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 5:03 p.m. CST

    Dark Lord -- nice try

    by Glenn

    Reminds me of when during the junket for Star Trek III, some doofus in the audience asked Leonard Nimoy "So what was it like directing yourself?", as if he'd fall for that. (Cuz, y'know, it was still a secret whether or not Spock had regenerated from his death.)

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 5:17 p.m. CST

    so rumourd is a famous hollywood type?

    by James

    Shit, I'd probably do the same thing, go on message boards and drop hints that I'm a big deal in movies but not say who I am and be all coy about it on account of *wanting my anonymity* lol

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 5:54 p.m. CST

    I'm surprised, but happy, this is getting good reviews

    by Carmen A

    I always liked the many subtexts of the Matrix films, and the Wachowskis' subsequent work seemed to mark them as one-hit wonders. Cloud Atlas had the appearance of a real mess, but it seems to be wowing everyone. I'm glad and anxious to see it.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 7:08 p.m. CST

    rumourd is probably a porn director

    by Titus05

    or a guy who tried to make it in Hollywood and didn't for whatever reason...bitter and jaded he now posts incognito on AICN to warn others of the pratfalls of Hollywood...either that or he's M. Night Shyamalan

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:11 p.m. CST

    Projection comes easily to you guys...

    by Glenn

    ...and I'm not talking about 4K Christies. Never claimed I was a big deal, never claimed I was anything specific, but you all seem desperate to either fill in the blanks. Go for it. If you don't see the imparted knowledge as valuable, ignore it and provide your own -- but PROVIDE IT. All I hope is that you guys are working on your own stuff and blow the industry away with your own fresh take on things, lord knows we need it. I prefer to champion people like Cuaron and Fincher and Blomkamp and del Toro and Nolan to guide us through this dearth of innovation, rather than worrying about how things no longer compare to Blade Runner. I like to talking to film fans beyond the highfalutin' festivals, I just wish they'd bestow upon themselves a more elevated tone of response. If all this snarkiness is the way you express yourselves here, that means you're not a person to be taken seriously in real life, either. And sure, bandy about that I'm a charlatan, knock yourselves out; in the end, does it really matter? We're all even in here. We all have bills to pay, things to accomplish. I'm talking, but I'm also listening. All of you would be surprised who else is roaming amongst us, if you want to spout off like a 12 year-old, that's your prerogative. I'd go the other route and try to impress with insights, garner yourselves a little attention and engagement. Demonstrate your creativity and care. Be the future. Or continue the pettiness. Your call.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST


    by Glenn

    Correct. I direct very important, life-affirming orn. I'd ask where to send your prize but I'm too bitterly jaded to care... (Where did you get THAT from? I think I've been pretty even-handed but feel free to set me straight -- with examples. Otherwise, keep popping off with unsupported invective.)

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:29 p.m. CST

    *orn = porn (yuck)

    by Glenn

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:31 p.m. CST

    Pratfalls of Hollywood

    by Glenn

    Are you talking about the silent era of Hollywood? Or did you mean "pitfalls"? If you're writing 2-3 line responses, the least you could do for us is get your terminology correct.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:37 p.m. CST

    @Dark Lord

    by Glenn

    Dunno about Adam Nimoy fucking up negative, however some higher-up's son working as a P.A. on "Cocktail" (Tom Cruise) was chosen to take the day's neg footage to the lab. He decided to help the lab out and took it out of the cans and set it out on the counter, to expedite the processing. Another reason digital may have the advantage.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 8:57 p.m. CST

    rumourd - CLASSIC...

    by Mr. X

    If he ruined a days footage I wonder what the dollar amount was back then? Yeah, lets just say I've witnessed almost the same thing happening and it's scary. You're talking, on the low end, lets just say $100,000 for the days shooting, it's catastrophic. I mean what, no transportation dept. on Cocktail? Cut Tom's paycheck a smidge and hire a driver. Jesus.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Brian Cox makes a cameo

    by BuffDaddy

    He's the guy that shags Halle berry two times before passing her off to big sexy Tom Hanks

  • I do not like their respective personalities on-screen. I think Hanks is insufferable and Berry is truly an empty shell. The trailer made me groan every single time they spoke. If this film, which I have no plans on seeing, can somehow negate those two actors, maybe I'll be able to enjoy it.

  • Sept. 30, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    yack: I think the original lineup

    by soma_with_the_paintbox

    for the three "principal" leads very early on was James McAvoy, Natalie Portman, Ian McKellen. I don't mind what we've gotten instead. Halle Berry doesn't nauseate me and I find Tom Hanks only bland when it's obvious he doesn't care. I do love the novel but I hope the film can match it for thematic complexity, even if it inserts some new ones dear to the filmmakers. It'll be a long 2+ hours if the same simple themes are addressed but not explored 6 times.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 12:27 a.m. CST


    by James

    I don't have any reason to doubt that you're a big shot, calm down. I'll bet that if I found out your name I'd be like ERMAGERD it's you! Oh my goodness! I just think it's funny when someone comes on here claiming to be a hollywood insider talking about their *anonymity* when in all probability they're just some random cheese-dick asshole. I'm not saying that you ARE a cheese-dick asshole, I'm just saying that you could be, right? But you're right, people should be less snarky and petty on here, and I'm talking to all you angry nerds now. According to rumourd, *All of you would be surprised who else is roaming amongst us, insider-wise*, so SHAPE THE FUCK UP! Just because you're not in hollywood doesn't mean you can't make a good impression! Who knows, maybe you'll even get to kiss someone's ass! You can start with rumourd, because he obviously knows people. Be the future.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 1:27 a.m. CST


    by Glenn

    Look, dude, the whole subtext of my last coupla comments have been, stop worrying about who people are on here and just worry about elevating the discourse here. So you think I'm a phony, or you don't, or you're not sure, that's cool, because you'll never know -- and it doesn't matter! My message has always been: We're all film fans, let's respect film. Frankly, the only reason my anonymity has flamed up and out is because ONE guy asked about it and then everyone went to town. ONE guy. Then every guy was on it. In truth, it's no one's business who I am but that ONE guy seemed to authentically care about moviemaking without being a gigantic douchebag in his writings to me here so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. All I will say, regarding the industry cruisers of this site, is that a lot of us have known each other since film school so we all know who the others are through our TB names and it's fun for us. That's why I was saying, you guys wanna impress people? Do it via your creativity and aesthetic appreciation and expunge the idiocy. Oh yeah, your use of the ol' "calm down" tactic is psychologically tiresome and childish. Please, continue to write more; I'll be skipping them from now on.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 1:57 a.m. CST

    Oh, I didn't get the subtext

    by James

    Gotcha. I don't think you got the subtext of MY post, either. I thought I was projecting it crystal clear, like a 4k Christie (I had to Google that. You really do know your stuff! Wow!) I agree that it doesn't matter if you're an insider or not, and that you're here as a film fan, and if you don't want to establish your bona fides and tell people who the fuck you are, that is indeed your business. It's just that when you don't do that, and begin to project an air of authority based on your claimed industry status (tut, tut, let's raise the level of discourse, people), it makes you look like a real butthole. I say this because I have absolutely NO intention of raising my level of discourse, EVER! I'm speaking only for myself, of course. *wanna impress people?* Nope. lol.

  • The film is great (despite its flaws) and that fact won't change just because an anonymous talkbacker – desperate to convince others that their opinion is the RIGHT opinion – says otherwise. Those same people are the ones who look at a film like RETURN OF THE JEDI and say, "I love it despite its flaw."

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 8:07 a.m. CST

    Perhaps I'm too much of a von Trier fan to get Cloud Atlas

    by emu47

    To me, it appears to be another film where "Everything Happens for a Reason" (which I've come to abbreviate as EHFAR due to how ubiquitous a sentiment it has become). I tend not to like the step-and-repeat style of storytelling that this appears to be from trailer, as well; it's like a collection where the stories are all the same but the characters wear different clothes. Nordling's assessment sounds like a total spiritual conversion to me, which freaks me out. Really hope it's better than it looks.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 8:09 a.m. CST

    As for the rumourd sidebar conversation

    by emu47

    I appreciate your presence. You sound to me a lot like David Simon, but I'm pretty sure you're not. At any rate, it's nice to see some erudite opinions in the talkbacks; it's alarming to see just how much they stick out.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    sounds like a love letter to utopianism

    by Big_Daddy_Nero

    Utopia is a foolish, childish fantasy. Judging from talkbacks over the years, I know there is more than a fair share of people here who will no doubt feel a thrilling frisson at the mere suggestion of a utopian reality. Going by the reviews and the previews, it seems as though this movie was made by and for those people specifically. Rather like those same people who hold up a terrible and infantile movie like 'V for Vendetta' as a 'great movie', I suspect those same people will be the ones whose hearts go all a-flutter over Cloud Atlas. Now I admit I am engaging in typical talkbacker behavior, in that I am judging something I have not seen. But really, I am not judging, I am merely prognosticating. I hope I am wrong. I hope that this turns out to be a genuinely great movie, one which does not alienate people with functional brains, and that it is a great success. They will have my money for my ticket, I will be there on opening night, hopeful. But if this turns out to be merely another pining love letter to a utopian fantasy, then people will avoid this in droves. We'll see how it goes.

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Have we become this jaded as a film community?

    by Jon

    Have we really become this jaded as a film community? Based on a few trailers and spots that have the gargantuan task of summing up a movie with six integrated stories in a few short minutes? It really disappoints me that people already bitch and rag on a film they haven't seen yet, set in their opinion. Especially when it's a film like this which is at least trying something very different from the normal Hollywood blockbuster, and which at least we all know the filmmakers felt absolutely passionate about making, funding it all independently. Whether or not the film ends up being good or bad is beside the point - any time filmmakers take big chances like this, we should at least give them the respect of seeing the film before bashing it. Not saying you can't have a negative reaction to the trailers - but to then talk about the film's complexity or lack thereof, as if that can be immediately gleaned from a few short minutes? Let's give the film a chance to speak for itself, at least. After all, isn't this what we want more of - films that are not made by committee but made by filmmakers who truly want to make something bold and different? All that aside, I'm not saying the film will be good - but I read the script a few months back (easily available online if you know where to look) and it's a more subtle experience and less hammer-on-the-head about its themes than the trailers are. Obviously when you're trying to sell something, you're going to be a bit more direct about things and play up ideas and easy messages an audience can connect with. For those worried about the seemingly large presence of the love angle in the trailers, that's simply misleading marketing, based both on the script I read and from my friend's reaction (he saw it at TIFF). The rich dialects of the Sloosha's Crossin' portion all remain intact and that's not apparent at all in the trailers. I absolutely trust and respect my friend's opinion - he's actually the person we all thought would hate a movie like this. I don't believe he has any love for V for Vendetta, he generally isn't much of a fantastical film fan, preferring very grounded character stories and realistic dramas. His favourite show is The Wire, and he is particularly into documentaries. He came out of the movie with the same reaction as Nordling. He said it spoke to him at this point in his life and he felt moved by the film as a whole. If a movie can have that power for people (and they're not alone if you look elsewhere online like FirstShowing or BadAssDigest for starters), isn't that already worth being optimistic about and at least giving the benefit of the doubt? Isn't that exactly the kind of experience we hope to have when we go to see a movie in theatres?

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 11:38 a.m. CST

    I love V For Vendetta

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    What's up with it?

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST



  • Oct. 1, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST



  • Oct. 1, 2012, 1:44 p.m. CST

    joncedit & bigdaddynero

    by Glenn

    So where have you guys been all my AICN life? I'm cheering your full, thoughtful sentences, and yet you disagree with each other. This is good debate. Let's keep it going! Both of you have salient points. Though my overall thought is, before you dump on it based upon the trailer, see the film... though, the trailer IS, after all, how we judge what we choose to commit our money. The counterpoint to that argument would be, you can't trust studio marketing divisions; as Fincher says, they believe it's their job to 'save this piece of shit' which is probably the most cynical thing I've ever heard within the industry. And they often get it wrong. Look at how poorly "Drive" went and that was a fantastic film; shows you that if you target the big bucks in your campaign, by misrepresentation, you'll lose your shirt. As for utopianism and it being a model of childhood fantasy, I'm prone to agree. But it is exactly that, no less a fantasy than Lord of the Rings is. We do not live in that world but it's nice to imagine. The "Everything is Connected" is common in art, nothing wrong with it, and it works on a literal level in "Avatar" -- I mean, scientifically, ecologically, it's definitely true -- but for human beings? I think suicide -- which just surpassed car crashes in fatality rates -- pretty firmly defies this on a street-level basis for human beings. Maybe it's more my bias toward "Taxi Driver," the script of which opens with that great quote from Thomas Wolfe about loneliness being the ultimate chasm of existence, that reflects the real world for me. It also seems, wherever I've traveled, that for every great goodness a person/people display, that it's balanced by a horrible badness. My dealings with certain areas of the South have been rife with such dichotomies... great family people, generous to their neighbors, and aren't black people (I'm not gonna type the actual word they use) awful? Then there's Hollywood, where almost every single person is, if not craven and grubby and fame-hungry, driven by their singular artistic impulse at the exclusion of all things proper, like manners, compassion, and true charity. So we may all be connected, but it's not always 100% positive. As Kubrick said (I'm paraphrasing), the terrifying thing about being alive is learning that the Universe is NOT out to get you, it's that it is absolutely indifferent, and whether you're able to navigate that reality is the true test of your character. Also, someone suggested I might be David Simon to which I say: How dare you besmirch that genius' reputation. (He's a personal hero in every way -- we should all wish to aspire to his level of understanding the human condition.)

  • Oct. 1, 2012, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Saw Looper last night which was awesome

    by D o o d

    but before it there was a trailer for Cloud Atlas. Now I don't mean to hate but it just doesn't feel like it's going to be a good movie. I know, I know, it's a trailer, but it's just not selling it to me!

  • Oct. 2, 2012, 6:50 a.m. CST

    I really want to see this one -- thanks, Nordling!

    by Michael Morning

    Hearing Nordling describe CLOUD ATLAS reminds me of THE FOUNTAIN. I found THE FOUNTAIN profoundly moving. Not depressing, just amazingly sad. I loved it, and I rarely like - let alone love - such artsy fartsy movies. But THE FOUNTAIN told a tragic story using symbolism in a way that actually made some sense. I'm hoping CLOUD ATLAS is similar in that sense.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:03 a.m. CST

    This CAN'T be worse than Prometheus, can it?

    by SergeantStedenko

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:22 a.m. CST

    @sergeantstedenko - oh it absolutely can

    by Nintendarth

    Imagine if the "buzz" you got after people previewed PROMETHEUS was "It isn't about sci fi. It is about the interconnectedness of humanity, like BICENTENNIAL MAN!" So, yes. It can get SO much worse.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    CLOUD ATLAS is racist.

    by Nintendarth

  • Lwt me make a list to help out. Thia list will have nothing to do with anyone's personal life. Rate each item and explain your answer. Lighting Set design Cinematography Costumes Music Acting Direction Sound Editing Theme Script Dialogue Plot elements. Break down into smaller segments as needed, to taste.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Fortunately, early word is that nobody is going to see this.

    by Nintendarth

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST

    Not racist

    by Jason

    I'm thankful that not every creative filmmaker is so boxed in or terrified about being PC that they avoid any purposeful creative license for fear of offending. Historically black, yellow, brown-face was done for racist reasons -- i.e. the belief by Hollywood that audiences wouldn't accept actors who were not white in starring roles or that such actors weren't good enough. But that's not what's going on here. Here you have an intentional story device -- actors playing multiple roles. Sure you have European men playing Asian, but you also have Asian women playing white (is that racist too?) and men playing women and black playing white, etc.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST


    by Jason

    Interesting that Nordling's big take away is the optimism of the story. That's not my take away from the book -- the opposite in fact. Almost all the stories in the book end badly or at best not well. The recurring theme is man oppressing man, man's tendency to destroy, etc. Contrary to what you might think from the trailer, there is absolutely no real romance in the book and no suggestion of love crossing multiple lives, etc. Even the vaguely defined implication of reincarnation is a trivial side note and not entirely literal (since the book extends it to a fictional character within the story). The book is almost totally devoid of love in fact -- the closest you get to it is in the gently reference love between a letter writer and his unseen former male paramour. And by the final story (in chronology) there is absolutely no sense of evolution, but the opposite. We have de-volved back to the primitive and the implication is we're on the path to extinction. Perhaps the filmmakers have re-imagined the theme for the movie, but if so it is unique from the book, which was good but anything but optimistic.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 6:48 p.m. CST


    by Nintendarth

    Your take away is the same as mine. I think Nordling's take-away is totally understandable if you understand that it clearly shows an immature view of what life and love really are. For many lonely, desperate people, ANY kind of love is as good as any other. It is the cornerstone of bad relationships to accept anything to purge loneliness. Same with the celebration of a horrifying apocalypse of death. Hey, you're alive, and that a all that matters, right? Wrong. Quality of life is essential. But the immature don't really have those kinds of standards. Sad, really.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    laugh at this movie

    by dioxholsters_scion

    its funny. best comedy of the year

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Nordling seems to have converted to Cloud-Atlasism

    by dioxholsters_scion

    its a tough religion, requires you to suck the remnants of wachwaskis's dick.

  • Oct. 3, 2012, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Quality of life

    by dioxholsters_scion

    anyone who mentions that on AICN doesnt know what it means

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 2:17 a.m. CST

    I wouldn't worry too much, Dixholsters_Scion

    by Nintendarth

    I get the feeling this movie is going to disappear just as quickly as it arrives. Heck, the fact that it practically screams against concession sales (who wants to drink pop, munch sweets & eat popcorn watching yellowface racism for almost four hours). This is this year's SOUTHLAND TALES. It's trying to make a lot of noise and it'll vanish just as quickly and be remembered as a a hokey flop that nobody cared about.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Well, I'm no biologist but...

    by Motoko Kusanagi

    ...I smell plant.

  • Oct. 4, 2012, 11:11 p.m. CST

    Kinda looks like The Fountain

    by Blarg Barfington

    And that's not a terrible thing.

  • Have they lost that much faith in the matrix siblings? Obviously from what youtube has shown, lana is out and about in his/er pink dreadlocked transexual glory, whereas before the siblings were trying to remain as anonymous as possible (post matrix era). Now I'm starting to think lana just hated seeing "himself" and didn't want to promote the movie until he made the necessar, um, adjustments. Like a poster above, not a big fan of berry, but Matrix is in my top 5 of all time and I always respected Hanks so I will see this when I can.

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 3:58 a.m. CST

    Somebody just called Nordling a plant...

    by Jaka

    ...WTF? Dude, do you even know what that term means?

  • ...but I had no idea what this, Cloud Atlas was, or what it was about. Saw a trailer a couple weeks ago and was left slack-jawed and wanting to see it IMMEDIATELY. Really looking forward to this one.

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST

    *Asian women playing white

    by fred

    how about asian MEN playing white men and having an affair, a bit of kissing and even fucking with white women? how about a black Captain America instead of a black Kingpin? PC my ass, the average white mouthbreather was,is and always will be scared and disgusted of the other races.

  • Oct. 7, 2012, 5:39 p.m. CST

    I saw it at tiff

    by Jackson

    and I hated it. I was so excited, but the movie was ruined by too many jokes in the script. One of the plots is about an old guy escaping a retirement home for christs sake! It's almost as if they made the movie as a troll. The trailer makes it looks so friggin intense, and it ends up being like a Simpsons episode nowadays, not funny and just plain awful. Some of the plotlines I loved, it's just that the immaturity of the plot killed it for me.

  • Oct. 9, 2012, 8:45 p.m. CST


    by Immortal_Fish

    How do you define what a "mouthbreather" is?

  • Oct. 10, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Cloud Atlas seems like a perfect movie

    by bobbofatz

    to see boned. The Matrix was a good movie. On weed it is simply one of the greatest flicks ever. But kids dont smoke pot.