Directors: Tom Tykwer, The Wachowski Brothers
Tagline: Everything Is Connected
“An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.”
I could never do an in-depth dissection of this film in its entirety and I wouldn’t dare try. It’s futile and irrelevant. This movie is like LIFE itself — beautiful, deep, mesmerizing, often confusing, seemingly random sometimes, and complex - which we do not need to understand point by point because in the end it all fits perfectly. It meshes together, woven by a single invisible thread that’s made from the magical mysteries in the universe.
So all I can do is sit back & enjoy scene after scene of visual treat, calming musical score, enchanting portrayals of different people by the same actors, and mesmerizing stories beautifully and perfectly intertwined by the geniuses behind this film.
It’s 3 hours long. 6 different stories. 7 timelines. Each actors have multiple characters. Not every movie can pull that off. Yes it’s long, but was I bored? NO. It’s a fusion of different genres and it’s really amazing how that could be done so effectively. And it shifts from one scene, one timeline to another - sometimes even mid-action or mid-dialogue, your mind trying to keep up with the pace that you won’t have the the time to think about getting bored.
Was I confused? Confused in a sense that I try to figure out whether one character is connected to this character and such. But like I said, it’s useless to try and piece together everything, just enjoy the ride and the movie will do that for you.
Was I satisfied? Definitely. There’s a magical feel in this film. Yes it’s complicated, but it has a vision. It doesn’t make you confused in an annoying, pretentious way.
Favorite Characters: I like Timothy Cavendish, the Kona Chief, Robert Frobisher
Favorite Scenes: every part where Timothy Cavendish was in. Especially the nursing home scenes. LOL
One thing that distracted me a bit though is the make-up, although i’m not sure if it’s deliberate on the part of the production. While some are nicely done, some are a bit artificial looking. And some are just really bad. O_O
And I really can’t figure out why, but Halle Berry seemed kinda boring for me. There’s just something off with her..
Cinematography is beautiful. There are several shots to which I can only say “wow. this is art”. Editing is superb. The musical score is “soul-tingling”. The vision of each world/timeline is just so awesome. The idea of using the same actor repeatedly for different characters is an absolute delight to see.
Would love to see more of The Wachowski Bros. and Tom Tykwer (I’ve only seen one of his movies RUN, LOLA, RUN — and that was one helluva trip!)
I’m in love with Timothy Cavendish!! LOL
MY RATINGS: 4/5 — three hours is too long for me, but it’s all worth it.. Definitely recommended.
” I know, I know!” - Mr. Meeks
Haskell Moore: There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well… And for what, for what, no matter what you do it will never amount to anything more than a single drop in a limitless ocean.
Adam Ewing: What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?
“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” - Sonmi-451
I had a lot of the same feelings as this review! I tried to write a post on Cloud Atlas and I was just like “this is a losing game, this isn’t happening” lol. This is an astounding achievement in cinema and the Blu-ray comes in the day after my finals are over!
Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.
Glad I caught this movie in theaters last December and even more glad that I caught it for a second time in March at the Castro Theatre. This is going to be one of those movies we look back on and call a masterpiece that was overlooked in its time. I don’t know why it’s taking so long for the Blu-ray to come out! May 14 seems so long from now… At least I can look forward to something at the start of summer haha.
BTW that bottom left GIF absolutely blew my mind the first time I saw the trailer in theaters. BLEW. MY. MIND. Its usage was even better when you saw the whole film.
One of them anyway.
Awesome shot at the ending. Soo hopeful and infinite! arghh I can’t stress how much I loved this movie!!! Imagine if I watched this as a teenager, I would be going bonkers… and i don’t even use that word lol
I love this movie so much!
One of the most beautiful shots in film for 2012, hell, probably of all-time.
I actually saw this movie in theaters on my birthday last year and I have to say… kind of a fucked up movie LOL. It’s been in my drafts for the longest time and I just got done with it, so enjoy!
This movie garnered a lot of controversy due to the NC-17 rating it garnered from the MPAA. I think that it lived up to its billing. There are 4-5 scenes I think of off the top of my head that made me literally cringe my seat as I watched it. I think in my Killing Them Softly review I said there was a scene so brutal that I couldn’t remember the last time I saw something that bad - I don’t know why I didn’t immediately think of this film considering I’d seen it only about 6-7 weeks earlier - well, this movie has several scenes that may have topped that one. A few scenes are so uncomfortable that you feel like you have to laugh because if you don’t you’ll never be able to watch the scene.
I love the fact that Matthew McConaughey is having a career revival and his performance in Killer Joe is outstanding. He reminded me of a less autistic version of the Driver from Drive. His every move feels well calculated and he can turn from a professional to straight up threatening in a split second. He just knows how to get things done and he isn’t afraid of using violence.
The other standouts in this film are Juno Temple and Emile Hirsch. I love Emile Hirsch because he starred in one of my favorite movies ever, Into the Wild, but unfortunately his career has been on a downward turn recently. I think the fact that Speed Racer bombed at the box office (that was a great movie by the way, fuck what anyone says!) really limited the amount of roles he could take. Hirsch is great here as a wimpy kid who tries to play the tough guy. His character essentially wants to be the Matthew McConaughey character but doesn’t have the smarts or the strength to pull it off. Juno Temple gives a brave performance because her character is so… weird is the only way I can describe her. She’s supposed to be 14 in the movie, but the way she acts is like she’s still in grade school.
What distinguishes this movie from other crime dramas is how far it is willing to go. This movie is no holds barred and goes places that I never expected it to go. As I said before, some scenes in this film are hard to watch and you honestly can’t believe that they’re showing what they show.
Killer Joe is a crazy film that features great performances and some of the most awkward and cringe-inducing scenes I’ve ever seen in my life. If you don’t think you’re up for some bat shit insane stuff, for the love of God do not see this movie. If you’re an open movie goer who feels they can watch any movie and not be offended, check out Killer Joe.
You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand. You’re a wallflower.
I really need to cop this on Blu-ray.
Every passing year, civilization births a cornucopia of movies both magnifacent and atrocious, with the latter unfortunately leading the pack in pure quantity. Film, perhaps more then any other creative medium, has a transcendent power that allows millions if not billions of people to shed their…
AMAZING 10 top films of 2012 write up! I’ve always found it funny when people disagree with other people’s top 10 lists because a top 10 list is obviously personal and the fact of the matter is that you’re not supposed to “agree” completely with someone else’s list. I’ve always seen a top 10 list as a personal reflection of the writer and a great way to shed some light on movies that others may not have heard of or even considered seeing. A great critique allows you to rethink what you thought of a particular movie and this post definitely made me rethink my position on some of these films. Fantastic write up and I hope that a lot of you reading this will give this a read!
Movies I’ve heard were great, might have made my top 10, but I haven’t seen: Cabin in the Woods, Headhunters, Safety Not Guaranteed, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Magic Mike, The Imposter, Ruby Sparks, Compliance, Lawless, Anna Karenina, Holy Motors, The Sessions, Flight, Zero Dark Thirty, The Impossible, Les Miserables, Promised Land.
Honorable Mentions: ParaNorman, The Hunger Games, 21 Jump Street, Argo, The Secret World of Arriety
10. Cloud Atlas - A late addition to my list, I literally saw this movie the day before I left the country. I couldn’t believe it was still in theaters on December 27th considering the movie came out October 26th and didn’t do so well at the box office. “Ambitious” would be the best word to describe this film. It reaches for so many emotions and while it may not always work completely, I can’t deny that I was moved and stunned at this monumental effort from the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. I think this is one of those movies that has been unjustly ignored by both audiences and critics alike that we’ll revisit 10 years down the road and say was an incredible film.
9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - This movie took me by surprise the way that the book did. Both cover familiar territory as far as coming of age stories, but the execution and earnestness is bound to move you. The way this movie handles growing up and dealing with our inner demons is nothing short of astounding. This is another film that wasn’t given the marketing push it deserved because I honestly could’ve seen this becoming a major hit at the box office had they marketed it more to mainstream audiences.
8. The Avengers - After setting this film up with five separate movies, this was either going to be a colossal success or an epic failure. Thankfully, with such a talented writer like Joss Whedon at the helm, it was bound to be the former and not the latter. One of the best superhero films to date and one of the most fun blockbusters in recent memory. In a cinematic landscape where “dark” and “gritty” are thrown around at every property, The Avengers showed us that comic book movies could be grounded but also remember to stay fun. It has one of the best final acts in recent superhero movie history and is one of the best experiences I’ve had in a theater in a long time.
7. The Raid: Redemption - Pretty much the best martial arts film I’ve seen since Jackie Chan and Jet Li in their heyday. The amount of sheer jaw dropping spectacle in this movie is stunning. I LOVE action movies and I’ve seen my fair share of action movies over the years, but this movie had so many memorable moments that made me just go “ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!?” Not in a “this is stupid” way, but in a “this is so fucking ridiculously awesome!” way. If you enjoy action movies or martial arts movies, DO NOT miss this one!
6. Seven Psychopaths - Martin McDonagh’s directorial follow up to his criminally underrated and underseen 2008 film In Bruges is his criminally underrated and underseen 2010 film Seven Psychopaths lol. While both his films went unnoticed by the general public, McDonagh managed to craft two of the best films of their respective years. Seven Psychopaths is an off the wall movie that still manages to have a heart. This movie has a sequence that literally made me laugh so hard that I cried, and I can’t remember the last time any movie made me do that in theaters. If you missed it in theaters (which you most likely did), definitely catch it on Blu-ray/DVD/streaming because you won’t regret it.
5. Life of Pi - This was a movie that by all means should have been a disaster, critically and commercially. You take an “unfilmable” book and throw in three of the most difficult elements to shoot a film with (water, child actors, animals) and you should have a train wreck. Amazingly, Ang Lee manages to stay true to the source material AND make an equally engrossing cinematic experience. Visually and emotionally, this movie is a stunning achievement. I was amazed at how well Lee was able to put everything together, crafting one of the most powerful and thoughtful movies of the year.
4. Chronicle - A movie that could have easily been another throwaway February release turned out to be one of the best and most intriguing movies of the year. One of the best found footage films to date takes the concept of “what would happen if three teenagers gained telekinetic powers?” Maybe not what you would think. Josh Trank’s directorial debut hits all the right emotions and the cast (including up and comer Dane Dehaan, as well as Michael B. Jordan from The Wire and Friday Night Lights) hold it all together and show us something new in the superhero genre. This is a visceral experience that will take you on a ride, go with it!
3. The Grey - A film that was pegged as the typical “Liam Neeson kicks ass in January/February action movie” turned out to be one of the most harrowing and thoughtful films of the year. Who’d have thunk it? I think I love it even more for trolling the hell out of the demographic that the marketing team was aiming for (pretty much meatheads/goons who thought it was going to be Liam Neeson kicking ass for 2 hours). The Grey poses many ideas such as the idea of man vs. nature, the will to survive, God and religion, all packed into an ultra-tense survival thriller. Liam Neeson gives one of his best performances in recent memory that DOESN’T have him playing a mentor character (The Chronicles of Narnia series, Kingdom of Heaven, Batman Begins, Star Wars, The A-Team, etc. etc.). You can feel Neeson’s pain and suffering through the screen and the movie brought me to tears. Easily one of the best films of the year.
2. Killing Them Softly - A polarizing film that many people loathed is my number two movie of the year. It’s not going to work on everyone, but for those who can appreciate it, there’s so much to love here. The political overtones combined with the subversion of typical mob tropes help make Killing Them Softly more than just a typical mafia movie. The parallels to modern politics and the mob work together to form one of the most entrancing cinematic experiences of the year.
1. Looper - Rian Johnson finally did it! He made an amazing movie that didn’t compromise his integrity as a director AND made a crossover hit that should have studios throwing ample amounts of money and gigs his way. The concept, the execution, the action, everything in this movie is nearly flawless and feels so alive. While this movie may remind you of a few other films, it isn’t based on another property, isn’t a sequel, isn’t a prequel, it is truly an original sci-fi film that reeks of greatness and boldness from start to finish. Simply put, this is a film that will go down as one of the best sci-fi movies ever made and will inspire countless filmmakers in the decades to come. If you haven’t seen this movie, go see it NOW!
the best speech in 2012
I hate reblogging spoilers, but I’m reblogging because this is easily one of the best scenes of 2012 in film.
SPOILERS!!!! DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE FILM “KILLING THEM SOFTLY” YET!!!!!!!!!!!
There’s nothing wrong with being scared Norman, so long as you don’t let it change who you are.
Just barely missed my top 10 films of 2012 (which I’m still working on btw). I love the hell out of this movie!
Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.
Literally saw this film on the last day I was in the U.S. before I left for the Philippines and it was the last 2012 release I saw before the new year. I’ve started assembling my top 10 films of 2012 (I know, I’m so late! I’ll probably finish it when I get back to the States) and spoilers for that list, but this movie snuck into my top 10. I fucking loved it!
I saw this movie way back when it was released in August and now seems like a good time to finish this review considering it was just released on Blu-ray/DVD recently (I say that just to cover my ass because I was too lazy to write this back in August LOL). I was a big fan of the previous Laika stop motion animated film, Coraline, so I had fairly high expectations for ParaNorman. Overall, I loved it! Such an enjoyable film that clearly pays loving homage to movies that came before it.
The stop motion animation is stunningly gorgeous. There were times when I actually forgot that it was a stop motion film and I was just completely swept into the world. There’s one scene in particular at the end that almost made my eyes burst from how awesome it was haha. Let’s not forget that Jon freakin’ Brion did the score for this film (does the title Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ring a bell for anyone?). Excellent work as usual from Mr. Brion.
This movie feels like it was made with a lot of reverence for previous children and horror movies that came before. This is understood right from the opening where we witness Norman watching a cheesy horror movie and we see the way the rest of the movie plays out.
I particularly connected with the story of the movie with Norman feeling like an outcast for being a different. That’s not an uncommon theme in kid’s movies, but it was handled well in ParaNorman. I dig the fact that what is ostensibly a “children’s movie” can go into some deeper themes and places that most kids movies these days don’t dare to go. Paranorman didn’t fall into the same final act trap that Coraline did when that movie essentially became a video game at the end. The conclusion feels earned and it deeply moved me.
ParaNorman is a great stop motion animated film for all ages. It provides an appropriate mix of scares, laughs, and heart in this tale of accepting yourself and learning to forgive. I for one cannot wait to own this movie on Blu-ray and experience it again. Give it a watch!
The buzz and hype I’ve heard about this movie is ridiculous. Some people calling it the best action movie ever, a thrill a minute nonstop actionfest, etc. I was pretty sad that I missed this in theaters, but it did come out in the summer after my knee injury so what could I do? I was pretty pumped to see this film though and I rented it to close out my 24th birthday this year. So what’d I think of it?
The action in this film is the true showcase and it is some of the best martial arts action I’ve seen in a long time. I can’t recall the last time I was this impressed by the action choreography in a film. It reminded me of those great Jackie Chan fight scenes in the Police Story series, except they were about 100 times more brutal lol. The violence is beyond gratuitous in this film and if you’re an action junkie, you will absolutely love this movie to death.
Gareth Evans’s direction is fantastic. I love the tracking shots as well as the old school martial arts editing. One of my favorite recurring action beats were the parts where someone is just full out sprinting and collides into a guy. The visual is just so cool and the collisions always look brutal. The final action scene of the movie was so glorious! One of the best hand to hand fights I’ve seen in a long time.
I really love the lead Iwo Kuwais. He has a certain martial arts star charisma and likability to him. He has a sympathetic face lol. He definitely has a lot more screen presence than Tony Jaa ever had. Jaa had the physicality but I never thought he had the aura of a star that a Jackie Chan, Jet Li, or Donnie Yen had. I hope Kuwais becomes a crossover star in Hollywood and gets more work. I know they’re filming the sequel to film and hopefully it’s just as good, if not better.
If you love action movies or martial arts movies, you owe it to yourself to see The Raid: Redemption. Nonstop thrills from beginning to end and some of the best action choreography that I’ve seen in years.
I posted this when I did my original brief review back on my birthday, but I’m going to post it again. This is what my mom said as soon as the movie was over.
“That was the most violent thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” - my Mom
Okay, I just want to talk about some spoilery moments that I loved in the movie. So SPOILERS for The Raid: Redemption after the “read more” break!Read more