Cloud Atlas -
This was a movie of such astounding scope and scale that it is a triumph based on those aspects alone.
Then we have the actors playing multiple parts over 6 different story threads. And somehow, the directors manage to interweave it all together, and have it be steadily interesting and, above all, entertaining.
Even after watching this very long movie, I was so enthralled by the whole endeavor that I couldn't help but start clicking on the features about it's creation. I also wanted to immediately watch it again! This is just not like me.
Tom Hanks, who I admit to being tired of seeing pop up on my screen, does an incredible job portraying numerous vastly different characters. He basically holds this thing together, from an acting standpoint. Amazing work.
All this gushing aside, this is a far from a perfect film. It truly does take a while to realize what's going on. And it can be rather confusing jumping from character to character, and era to era.
Then, of course, we have the characters that go by the wayside, or really are never explained at all, like Hugo Weavings Bill Smoke.
As I expected with the Wachowskis involved the movie looks and sounds fantastic. South Korea in the future looked so darn cool.
I loved this movie. I want to watch it again. I want to watch all the making of featurettes, and listen to director commentaries. Movies like this are what keep me loving movies as much as I do. The passion for the medium is readily on display from all involved. I am encouraged for the future of film, and the possibilities therein. Good show, Cloud Atlas.
Before Sunrise -
This movie is the perfect example of why I don't write off a single genre. I will see any movie in any genre, even ones I don't generally like, if it's well reviewed/well liked.
This is a great movie. It's intelligent, and doesn't insult the viewer like pretty much every modern romantic comedy does. The conversations between these two feel genuine, and like they could take place between real people.
My only problem was with Ethan Hawke being a tad obnoxious, but one could chalk that up to meeting a hot french girl, and getting her to agree to spend a day in Vienna with him.
I very much look forward to watching Before Sunset to find out what comes next for these two.