With all the sports and Halloween activity these days along with political back and forth, I’m not sure how many of you are taking in the latest movies. As you know, as we get into the holiday season, some really fine ones come out.
My wife and I went over to Davis to see the new film Cloud Atlas, which started showing Friday. You may have seen some snippets of it in previews, but they don’t give much of an idea of its scope.
First off, you should know that the same people who made the Matrix series of flics and V for Vendetta were the driving force behind this epic film, which cost over $100 million and is on the screen for nearly three hours.
It’s based on the book of the same title (which I haven’t read) and has such familiar stars such as Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant (and others you may recognize).
At its most basic level the film tries to show (in the words of one of the characters) that “Our lives are not our own (and) we are connected to everyone else.”
To do this, the film follows a number of different story lines, ranging from the 1800s to the near-present to the sci-fi future. The film skips between these various story lines, and I am one who usually gets lost in such convoluted plots, but didn’t get lost in this film. Parts of the film are deadly serious, and some are humorous (especially the part where some old people escape a locked-in existence at a senior home). There are some quiet, sublime scenes, and some with swashbuckling fury and bloodletting.
The near-three hours in the theater passed quickly.
As you might expect after spending $100 million, the cinematography and production values were suburb – easily as good as the Matrix series.
Most of the main actors play multiple roles, and Tom Hanks in particular pulls off different roles using different voice accents with great skill. He is aging very well.
Another theme in the film is how acts of kindness expand like ripples on a pond. And how it's possible to transcend one's dark side.
Halle Berry still has her fine figure, showed to maximum effect with white, skin-tight pants. She is aging especially well. Some of the children in one of the futuristic story lines looked more like the well-fed and well-tanned children of Hollywood parents than the children of a Native-American style of existence.
Surely, if Dixon gets its major film studio, we will be making films like this in our own back yard!