This Rotten Week: Predicting Cloud Atlas, Fun Size, Chasing Mavericks And More Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2012-10-21 09:50:46discussion comments
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A lot going on this week. And by “a lot” I mean mostly a bunch of terrible movies with one Wachowski-led exception. We’ve got our head in the clouds, high school all-nighters, killer waves and silents hills.

Just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer.

Cloud Atlas
When a movie releases an almost six minute-long trailer that barely even scratches the surface of the scope and story, well I think you can determine there is quite a bit going on in the flick. So goes Cloud Atlas, an interwoven, layered and sweeping work that might just be genre-bending, fitting loosely into a number of spaces without being defined by a particular category. Based on the David Mitchell novel, it tells the story of lives spanning hundreds of years, connected through the spirit of the human soul, reconnecting through fate and circumstance. Do I sound excited enough about it? I hope so.

Movie critics and internet peeps have been writing about for it a more than a month now including a fair amount of coverage here on Cinema Blend. Katey gushed about the film in this piece and Sean talked about the Toronto International Film Festival reaction here. Both are quality reads that begin to give the scope of what the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer have put up on screen. “Begin” being the operative word, because most agree this thing is big baby.

And while it isn’t universally adored by critics (currently at 80% through thirty reviews) those who loved it, “looovvvveeedd" it. And most, even not adoring it as a whole, at least admit the flaws stem more from a “bit off more than you could chew” conceit. Hell this is a novel on the short list deemed unfilmable that has eventually made its way to the big screen. Very few would have even tried. These guys appear to have pulled it off.

The Wachowskis have some experience in delivering movies that upend the common conceptions around genre (see: The Matrix-87%) but also have been known to extend beyond their (or the medium’s) capabilities (see: The Matrix Revolutions-37%). They employ a “Go big or go home” strategy, that when firing on all cylinders, represents a gamechanger. And when it fails, it gets real bad, real quick. I think Cloud Atlas falls into the former group and begins challenging what film-making can represent when filmmakers “believe” they can make something bigger than the screen. The Rotten Watch for Cloud Atlas is 83%

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