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Cloud Atlas

3.6 out of 5 stars 2,546 customer reviews

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(May 14, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Cloud Atlas (DVD)

Based on the best-selling novel, and from the creators of The Matrix Trilogy and the director of Run Lola Run, Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.

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Special Features

- A Film Like No Other

Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess
  • Directors: Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer
  • Writers: Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer
  • Producers: Grant Hill, Philip Lee, Stefan Arndt, Uwe Schott, Wilson Qiu
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Ultraviolet, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 14, 2013
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 2,546 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00A8MGIZG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

David Mitchell is one of my absolute favorite writers, and Cloud Atlas is among my favorite novels. It was my top pick for 2004. I've previously blogged about my unusual first encounter with Mr. Mitchell while he was touring for Cloud Atlas. (Google "David Mitchell returns to San Francisco" if you're curious.) Good times!

Anyway, considering my love of the novel, you can imagine that I've been looking forward to the film with equal measures of anticipation and trepidation. You always want the film to do the source material justice, but it's rare that it actually happens. Especially when you're looking at a novel as complex as Cloud Atlas. It was said by many to be unfilmable, and if asked, I would have agreed.

And I would have been so very wrong. What Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer have achieved is nothing short of astounding. I'll cut to the chase and tell you that I LOVED this film. It will surely be my favorite of the year.

Have you read Cloud Atlas? The novel has a very unusual structure. Mitchell's an experimental writer. The novel is composed of six linked stories taking place in six different time periods and comprised of six different literary genres. Yeah, that's not too ambitious. The novel opens with the most distant story in the past, a 19th century adventure at sea. Halfway through, the story ends abruptly, mid-sentence. Next, we're at the home of a once-eminent European composer in the early 20th century. That, too, ends abruptly, and now we're embroiled in a mystery in early 1970's San Francisco. But halfway through the tale just stops and we're on to a high comedy set near the present day.
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Have you ever felt hammered by a movie? Has it ever taken you days, weeks,
to integrate a movie, in your head and heart? Read on ...

If you see this movie, you'll probably see why some people don't like it. In
fact you may see different reasons for different people. A great movie allows
the individual to bring their own positive interpretation. Cloud Atlas also
allows the individual to bring their own negatives.

My own personal bitterness was "How come my heros always die, but your heros
always live happily ever after?" This hit me hardest as I was walking out of
the theater, but it still galls me to think about it.

You see, its like this: Cloud Atlas goes for power and effect. If they hit
something positive in you, you rave about it. If they hit something negative,
you hurt big time. This movie isn't about entertainment, its about achieving
enough kinetic force to shake you up. Its wrenching. And some people do not
like being shaken like a rag doll. More so, because as people have said,
Cloud Atlas is unlike any other movie ever made.

In a broader sense, I think almost everyone has at least one scene where you
ask yourself "Do I really wanna sit here and watch this?" The whole diversity
thing, not just diversity of people, but diversity of fates, gets close to the
point of overload with Cloud Atlas, and anyone who feels pushed over the redline
will walk out, having better things to do.

Again, its like this: If you can hold the movie at arms length, you're ok, but
if you step inside it, then its really disturbing. And I'm not talking about
the sex and violence either. Its the ideas, plural.
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14 Comments 419 of 483 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I am a Buddhist and I went with a group of fellow Buddhists and Buddhist Monks to see this movie today.
Right off there are Buddhist messages all over the place. Sutras quoted over and over, Buddhist imagery and of course the message of rebirth and Karma.

But the problem is that unless you are a Buddhist it is very unlikely that you would pick up on all these undertones and the theme.
The general Western public has zero knowledge about Buddhism and the message will be lost on most people. This is unfortunate because there was a great opportunity here to bring this message to the foreground and introduce people to Buddhist concepts.
It's there but so very few people will ever understand what is being told here. Had they only taken a moment to maybe give people some obvious clues so that the curious could at least have some point of reference to begin asking questions, that would have been great.
But the curious are left unfulfilled and empty handed and most people will walk away thinking "WTF did I just watch?"..

That said. As for the movie itself, be prepared for a great deal of graphic violence and gore. It was awful and tragic but it was a necessary thing that needed to be shown to illustrate the cruelty and hateful nature of humans and to illustrate Dukkha (Suffering).
The six tales illustrate the six realms of suffering and Saṃsāra which is the endless cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth and how several characters attempted to escape that cycle.

I cried throughout most of the movie, at the cruelty and suffering and cheered a few parts when some of the characters stood up for themselves and did what they could to put a stop to it, to change the course of their lives.
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89 Comments 616 of 728 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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