Cloud Atlas

We can’t show you the upcoming Wachowski Starship mega-film Cloud Atlas. That would be piracy, and piracy is illegal. We can tell you all about the film in our glowing review from Fantastic Fest. But we can’t show you the entire film. Even if we had a copy (which we don’t, lawyers at Warner Bros., seriously), the upload limit on our YouTube account is something like 15-minutes. And this sci-fi opus clocks in at 164-minutes, which would take us cutting it into 11 segments, further fracturing the already chaotic narrative being told in one of the most challenging adaptations of recent memory. And nobody wants that, especially not the countless VFX artists who designed this thing to be seen on the biggest, most brightly lit screen possible. We can, however, show you these 82 gorgeous images from the film in one big, ostentatious gallery.

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Cloud Atlas releases this month

This September wasn’t a bad way to get out of a summer slump. If any of you were disappointed by this past summer’s films, last month should have picked up your spirits. You were either in awe or disappointment over Paul Thomas Anderon‘s The Master, but whatever camp you fall into, at least you more than likely had thoughts about it. Rian Johnson‘s Looper completely lived up to the hype, wonky time travel logic and all. And we got Dredd 3D and End of Watch, two B-movies which exceeded expectations. Not a bad way to start a new season. There are plenty of offerings for every taste this October including one with a bug-eyed, jacked up, and horrifying Matthew Fox who apparently will be taken down by Tyler Perry. Keep reading for a glimpse at seven other movies you should run and skip to the theaters for.

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The Best of Fantastic Fest

It’s not hard to see that Fantastic Fest has come and gone for another year. If many a film fan could find a way to “wear black” on Twitter, they’d do so in mourning of the end of another great year of hardcore geekery. It was a diverse year for the Fantastic Fest programming team, bringing in equal numbers the intense, the gross, the violent, the real and the fun. On the whole, a truly “fantastic” experience for all involved. As we’ve done each year past, it is time for our Fantastic Fest Death Squad to round-up the festival and give you some parting thoughts. Most importantly, we’d like to leave you with a number of films that should occupy space on your horizon, films you should seek out when they finally get distributed in your region. To do this, each member of our coverage team has provided a recap of their experience and their three “Best of the Fest.” On the next page, you’ll find everyone’s nominations for the 2012 Death Squad Awards, highlighting the best films of each of Fantastic Fest’s competition categories.

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Somehow, despite my failings as a WordPress user, I have been allowed to return to you tonight with a collection of links that went around the Internet today. Above you might notice an image with a bunch of snakes, an alligator, and some lights. Neat, huh? Well that just so happens to be our first look inside the Ark that Darren Aronofsky is building for Russell Crowe’s Noah. Aronofsky’s cinematographer, Matthew Libatique tweeted the image earlier, but appears to have deleted since.

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Film, like any art at its core, can be like philosophy in its pursuit of things not easily quantified. With Cloud Atlas it’s easy to say that Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer came together to make a film which spans time periods and geographical locations (some as far away as the edge of the galaxy) to show that as tiny as each of our lives are, they are still interconnected threads that shape things to come. Cloud Atlas is the definition of epic. In the beginning, we see Timothy Cavendish (Jim Broadbent) at a typewriter, narrating his work saying, “I know that you’re tired of flashbacks and flash forwards. However,…” in a playfully pleasant way of apologizing for its misgivings. Then, the sprawling, era and personality-jumping film opens up to grow into something massive and wonderful. Don’t worry about the flashbacks, Mr. Cavendish.

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Cloud Atlas

The first thirty minutes of hanging out in line or around the Alamo Drafthouse on Day One of Fantastic Fest is reserved for excited greetings, hugs you only get one week out of the year and a discussion of what’s been going on with family. It’s a community coming together just like any other, and that means baby photos and inside jokes. The week after those thirty minutes features a lot of topics, but it’s anchored by discussion about what the secret screenings will be. Amid conversations about how fast Donnie Yen really is and what sex with an octopus might yield, the active guessing of the unnamed movies perforates, growing in waves of disinformation and speculation as the time slot grows closer. The thrill of waiting in a packed theater (with a bucket of beer), filled with anticipation (and a bucket of beer from earlier) is one of the unique emotions the festival offers, and a big part of that is trying to fit uneven puzzle pieces together. This is pure speculation – borne from my years of experience with Fantastic Fest and a look at the forthcoming release calendar – so take it only as that. We already know what movies will be there, but here are 10 that just might show up in a TBA slot.

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All evening I was prepared for the snarkily apathetic responses to a certain film holding its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Saturday night. Sadly, there was no Tweet expressing, “Cloud Atlas … shrug.” But there were indeed some claims of “meh” and “okay,” though perhaps not as many as there were declaring the ambitious effort either a monumental masterpiece or an epic failure. The film, which is based on the David Mitchell novel and adapted and directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, seems to be this year’s Inception or Tree of Life, as it parts the waves of criticism more distinctly than even the current American political divide. And, hey, Cloud Atlas actually sounds rather relevant to the presidential election with its apparent themes of history repeating itself and debate over change. The funny thing about a movie like Cloud Atlas is that the negative reviews seem to be more marketable than the positive. Those who say it’s a narrative mess still tell us to see the film for ourselves, if only because it’s still a marvel of cinema. And critics with the highest praise cut their own exaltations down by stating that a lot of moviegoers are going to hate it, whether because they won’t have the patience or they just won’t get it.

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TIFF 2012 Header

Editor’s Note: We’ve asked a Jamaican to go to Canada to cover the movies of TIFF 2012. Andrew Robinson, whose work you can check out over at his blog, has obliged and will be filling us all in on the antics in the Great White North. Here’s his first missive. Any day now I’ll be on a plane heading to Toronto for the very first time in order to attend a film festival for the very first time. I’ve been excited to attend the Toronto International Film Festival (affectionately known as TIFF) for the past three years, and now it’s finally happening. Before we dive into this list, which honestly cannot do the festival’s amazing looking lineup any justice, I will give a couple caveats. It’s based on my confirmed schedule, and therefore two films which I’m genuinely excited for but will not be able to see (Rian Johnson’s Looper and Michael Haneke’s Amour) are not on it; it’s also in no sort of ordered preference. So with that out of the way and with all the excitement being thrown around, let’s take a quick look at the films that I’m most excited for:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It should be said up front that it had no prior knowledge of the woman in the image above prior to researching a story. Seriously, you guys… We begin this evening with an image of Sunny Leone, an actress of adult films who is about to make her Bollywood debut. It’s an example of another cross-over path from porn star to actual movie star, in so much as we’d consider Bollywood movies to be real movies (I’ve seen them, they are.) Leading with this story has nothing to do with my desire to lead with that picture.

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Cloud Atlas

If you’ve seen this particular opening to Portlandia, it’s almost impossible not to think of it as the video featuring Tom Tykwer and The Wachowskis discussing how and why they made Cloud Atlas soon devolves into a contest of finishing each others’ sentences. Of course, that’s with good reason considering the film (based on the novel by David Mitchell) explores the mutability of identity through time and location. (One more sign that Chris Marker and Bertolt Brecht live on.) The video, put out by Warners, is incredibly encouraging because it involves the filmmakers expressing 1) a desire to make a movie like the ones that first inspired them and 2) their difficulty in finding a studio home for this admittedly atypical film. Even with shifting tides, Warners seems like an incredibly safe haven for creative types looking for some freedom. From the looks of the recent trailer (and from how giddy the three are here), it seems like that’s absolutely the case with Cloud Atlas. Damn the naysayers. It’s good to see directors open about their passion and free to turn it into something epic. Check out the video for yourself:

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The novels of David Mitchell are densely layered affairs concerned with a complicated multitude of characters facing big and complex issues. Or so I hear. His novel Cloud Atlas is a favorite of many, but even those who would love to see a film version have been adamant that such an endeavor would be a foolish and fruitless undertaking. That opinion didn’t change when Tom Tykwer and Andy & Lana Wachowski announced they had written a screenplay and were looking for funding and distribution. It wavered slightly when the casting announcements started rolling in, but it otherwise stayed steadfast. But now the first official trailer has dropped, and while the possibility of a disaster remains it looks like these three writer/directors have accomplished something amazing. Will it live up to the novel? Who knows, but there’s no doubting anymore that they’ve accomplished something audacious and wonderful here. Check out the extended trailer below (courtesy of Cinema Blend).

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a column about things and stuff. Mostly movies, a little television, all worth reading. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better assortment of things to read without having to dig through the same story 35 times in your RSS reader. We do that part for you. We begin this evening with a first look at Cloud Atlas, the upcoming film from the Wachowskis and director Tom Tykwer. This one features a man (Tom Hanks) who comes into contact with an emissary from an alien world. They both look frightened.

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It’s already the second day of 2012, which means we’ll all be sober within the next day or two. It also means that we can officially start looking (through blurry eyes) ahead to the future. A future of promise and potential. A future of hope. A future of tingling anticipation that the road stretched out in front of us that leads to the cinema will be paved with gold. Will there be piles of excrement along the way? Of course, but we don’t know how many or how badly they’ll tarnish our yellow-bricked roller coaster ride. All we can see from this far out is the shimmering wonder of movies to come – the vast unknown that looks wonderful (and might just live up to the hype). In past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), we’ve gone with a fairly arbitrary count of 20-30 movies. This year, we decided to prove that there were 52 movies worth prematurely celebrating (even though what we found were many more). That’s one for every week (even if there are some weeks with a few and some weeks with none at all). Regardless of the number, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Kate Erbland, Allison Loring, Landon Palmer, Brian Salisbury and Cole Abaius have joined forces to remind us all that there are a lot of great movies to hope for this year. Go grab a calendar and pencil in everything that gets your blood pressure up toward unsafe levels. It’s going to be a busy, flick-filled […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up that’s a little tired, a little wired and it thinks it deserves a little appreciation around here! Alright, so that’s the insomnia talking. For now, lets just do the news like we always do, shall we? The headline photo of the night is a shot of two morons Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin in Adam Shankman’s Rock of Ages, a film that will combine major Hollywood names with an infamously terrible director and a slew of over-the-top musical numbers. It’s so ridiculous that it just might work. But probably not.

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The Wachowskis made news when they signed one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, Tom Hanks, for their next feature Cloud Atlas. Hanks is kind of a brand name in the moviemaking business, and has been for quite a number of years now; so he’s not really known for taking chances. The Wachowskis, on the other hand, are pretty much known exclusively for taking chances. Everything they have done so far has been weird, experimental, and up in its own head. The other name involved in the development of this project, Tom Tykwer, is pretty off the wall as well. He’s the guy who made Run Lola Run. And the source material for this new film, a David Mitchell novel also named “Cloud Atlas,” is no exception. It tells six different stories, each taking place in different times and places, but involving characters who are recognized as being the same people, or reincarnations of each other, or something. Basically what I’m driving at is that everyone signing on to this film will have to take on multiple roles, so if the Wachowskis want to pull this off, they’re going to have to get some great actors. Thankfully, so far they have. In addition to having Hanks in the lead role, Cloud Atlas continues to add an impressive list of accomplished actors in supporting positions. Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, and Ben Whishaw had already been announced for key roles, and now when presenting the film to potential buyers and […]

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“Cloud Atlas” is a novel written by David Mitchell that sounds pretty complex and pretty cool. Kind of like The Fountain squared. The New Yorker describes the book by saying, “Mitchell’s virtuosic novel presents six narratives that evoke an array of genres, from Melvillean high-seas drama to California noir and dystopian fantasy. There is a naïve clerk on a nineteenth-century Polynesian voyage; an aspiring composer who insinuates himself into the home of a syphilitic genius; a journalist investigating a nuclear plant; a publisher with a dangerous best seller on his hands; and a cloned human being created for slave labor. These five stories are bisected and arranged around a sixth, the oral history of a post-apocalyptic island, which forms the heart of the novel.” Apparently each of the stories is read by a character from another, and some of them may be reincarnations of each other, and it all sounds complex and heady and exactly like the sort of thing that would catch the eyes of the Wachowski brothers siblings. And it has, because a while back they bought the adaptation rights and they’ve been developing the film alongside Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer. Actors like James McAvoy and Halle Berry have been rumored to be involved with the project at various points, but now comes the first time that an actor has become officially attached. And that actor is Tom Hanks. Seeing as the movie sounds like it is going to be super complex and involve tons of […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? For tonight at least, it will be your gentle companion. Due to it being a little on the late side, it will be brief and to the point. The point being all the audio/visual goodness that it can provide in one sitting. Fear not, generation of non-readers, there will be video! Tonight’s lead is something you’ll wish you could wipe away from your memory banks moments after you see it (so right about now), a first look at the stage production “Batman Live.” Clearly drawn from the recesses of Joel Schumacher’s mind, buried somewhere alongside his other horrid mistakes, is the look and feel of this London-set ‘stravaganza. God save the Queen, and The Dark Knight.

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huffington-wachowski-1

On plane to Chicago to take part in the Wachowskis’ movie on Iraq from the perspective of the future.” That’s where political pundit Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, began her day on Twitter.

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