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41 Spoilerific Reasons Why I Loved That Beautiful Disaster Cloud Atlas

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | October 31, 2012 | Comments ()


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Tom Tykwer and The Wachowski's cinematic gamble, Cloud Atlas, opened this weekend to divisive reviews and a disappointing box office haul. My Pajiba colleague, Dan Carlson, didn't spare any scathe or bitch in his review of the film. And while I respect both Dan's view of this specific movie and his general philosophy that any film adaptation should be able to stand on its own, I cannot help but admit that I fell head over *ss for this gorgeous mess of a film. Did it have flaws? Oh, hell to the yes. Could the filmmakers have avoided the yellowface controversy by casting the same actors without "asian" make-up/special effects on their face? Indeed. That particular setting is a fantastical, futuristic South Korea. If Tykwer and The Wachowskis were committed to using the same actors to maintain the narrative thread, then white people could easily have populated the various echelons of society. Why, then, am I willing to overlook the flaws? Quite possibly my love is a residual one left over from the hours I've spent with David Mitchell's incomparable novel. But all I can do is offer my honest reaction: unabashed admiration. Even for the sh*tty bits. So here, folks, is some (spoilerific) Cloud Atlas love. Choke on it.

Because Although There Was Regrettable Yellow Face
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There Was Also White Face
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And...Green Face?
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Because If Short Skirts Don't Do It For You
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Then Low Slung Pants Surely Will
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Because Of The Astonishing New Faces
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And The Reliable Old Ones
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Because Of The West Side Story References
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And That Thing He Did
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Because, Aw, David Keith Keith David!
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Because Tom Hanks Works Really Well With Kids
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And Children Too
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Because Fellow Ben Whishaw Fans Should Form An Orderly Q
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Because, Listen, We All Loved Blade Runner
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And That First Matrix Movie
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Because Of The Pretty Women
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And The Prettier Dudes
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Because Of The Awkward Way Tom Hanks Smokes Cannabis
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And The Badass Way Halle Berry Smokes Cannibals
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Because Hugo Weaving Let Them Do This
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And Hugh Grant Let Them Do This
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And, Most Of All, Halle Berry Let Them Do That
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Because The Soundtrack Alone Will Crack Open Your Heart
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But Bae Doona's Tears Will Tear It To Pieces
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Because Of The Way The Film Rallies Around Underrepresented Minorities Like Homosexuals
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And The Elderly
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And, Uh Replicants
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And...Scotsmen?
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Because Of Old Souls
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And Old Seoul
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Because Of The Vulcans
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Because Of The Daleks
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Because Of The Happy Endings That Weren't In The Book
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And The Sad Endings That Were
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Because Of The Terrible British Accents
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And The Seamless American Ones
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Because Of The Actors You Expect To Play Villains
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And The Ones You Never Would
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Because Of The Bits Of David Mitchell's Writing That Didn't Translate Well To The Screen
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And The Ones That Most Definitely Did
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Comments Are Welcome, Jerks Will Be Banned


  • denesteak

    i liked it. I didn't think I would since I love the book, but I really, really enjoyed the movie.

    (still think Halle Berry is a shit actress and Tom Hanks was miscast.)

  • What in God's name.

  • HMDK

    Yes. Let me throw "deep" sounding pompous idiocy at the audience while plying them with pretty pictures... Aha! Sound and fury signifying fuck all, still works!

  • Love this, Johanna! Atlas is a high point / for 2012.

  • John G.

    and because you're incapable of disliking anything.

  • melissa82

    I loved it too. I had very low expectations though, so that may have helped.

  • I'll see in recognition of the gloriousness of the book, like you, Joanna. Truly a wonderful novel. If it is a train wreck, it'll be beautiful, worth the try and have enough lovely moments to make it worth the time. People who try to do something as challenging as make this movie deserve some response beyond the simple 'consumer' satisfying reflex, IMHO.

    Also, Tykwer - we want him to make more movies. For those who only know of him via 'Run Lola Run', I point you to 'Winter Sleepers', made before that Lola goodness. Go!

  • Natallica

    Pigmy goats! I'm sold. Because pigmy goats. And pigmy goats.

  • Slash

    Eh, maybe I'll go see it in the cheapo movies. But I'm not paying $8 to see pretty pictures. I can see those for free any day. I will give them credit for trying something new and different, as opposed to a sequel. Any time someone makes an effort to make a cool movie, that's worth mentioning. Maybe it'll win some Oscars for art direction and editing. It does look like a beautiful mess.

  • Rocabarra

    Never read the book but I loved this movie. I was confused as hell for the first two hours but it did come together in the end. I found it quite compelling and look forward to seeing it a second time.

  • Nicolae

    This was horrible. I went in expecting a bad movie, but not to be tortured for hours. Constantly left hoping something would happen to make up for the time lost. Dante had no idea there was a tenth circle in hell, and that's because this movie was too horrible for his nightmares.

  • e jerry powell

    Because Hugo Weaving Let Them Do This

    What do you mean by that, Joanna? I mean, it's hardly the first time he's been in drag, and he didn't look particularly sexy that first time, either.

  • BWeaves

    Besides Pricilla, he was almost a woman as Elrond. Dress, hairdo, elven tiara.

  • e jerry powell

    *snap*

  • JoannaRobinson

    How DARE you malign the sexiness of Mitzi Del Bra.

  • Aratweth

    Because Felicia Jollygoodfellow has better legs, and he damn well knows it.

  • e jerry powell

    *snap* *snap*

  • Aratweth

    Great post; almost makes me want to see it for the sheer pretty...however, it's really, REALLY bothering me that if one threw a beret on Lady Weaving, he/she's a dead ringer for Mama Fratelli from The Goonies. I keep waiting to hear something about Francis and a toupee...

  • Lee

    I'll probably see it, despite the bad reviews, and I'll probably be disappointed. But it still looks way more interesting than all the remakes, sequals, prequels, reboots and rip-offs out there in Hollywoodland.

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