I can’t smoke pot at home anymore because I have kids and I don’t want them to grow up to be cyborgs. So I do it at the movies. This week: Wachowski Starship and Tom Tykwer really blow my mind with Cloud Atlas.
I really thought the Matrix movies were pretty dumb. If you look at them now they’re just so 90s with trenchcoats and sunglasses and green numbers – dudes, the Internet future is nothing like that. As they got bigger they also got flabbier and less coherent until collapsing into a sweaty cave rave mess. And then the Wachowskis who used to be brothers but now are a brother and a sister made Speed Racer which I thought was… good? I did! It was colorful and silly and loud and weird. I was cool with them just making popcorn movie anime adaptations, but then they decided to make Cloud Atlas instead.
So here’s what this movie is: it’s based on a Literary Important Book that has six stories in it, each of which is being read by the character in the next story. They all move forward in time, and then at the end they go back to recount the “end” of each one. The movie keeps the same structure but kicks it up a notch like Emeril by using the same actors in tons of makeup for lots of the stories.
Here’s the problem with this movie: seeing it will make you feel like you’re high, even when you’re not. I spent a lot of it trying to figure out who some of the actors even were, and even though it’s almost three hours long there’s just a ton of stuff happening and I got confused over and over again. I like to think I’m a pretty smart guy (my Mom called me to have me explain Inception after she got it from Netflix) but Cloud Atlas just ran right over me.
But the thing is, I didn’t really care. It’s really cool to look at and you bet your ass you’ll have a lot to talk about with people after it’s over. In some ways it feels like Oscar bait but I’d rather see ambitious movies that just go totally nuts like this one, you know? It’s not like any movie you’ll see this year, and it might not be like any movie you’ve seen in your life.
Disclaimer: I fixed all the spelling and grammar mistakes but left all the other dumb stuff in.