Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Cloud Atlas Could Be "What Dreams May Come 2"

Watching the trailer for Cloud Atlas I'm wondering how awesome this film could possibly be. The Tomatometer can't help but worry me when it's displaying 79%. After all, a film like Cloud Atlas should be as good as it is bold. 

But if I had to be a betting person, which I'm not to Vegas' dismay, I'd wager that Cloud Atlas is going to be so-so at best. Watching the trailer may be the best experience you could probably have with this film - much like The Phantom Menace was. 

I couldn't help but think of another far reaching, epic film when I saw the trailer for Cloud Atlas. That was What Dreams May Come. As a 19 year old I was blown away by the trailer and hoped that it would be one of the most amazing films I'd ever see. People were describing it as Wet Dreams May Come - for good reason. The visuals were majestic, colourful and it had Robin Williams. He was cool then. 

Then I watched the film. It quickly got destroyed by bad characters, a boring, overly complex storyline and a misuse of some of the most amazing visuals. What a sad waste of great potential.

So when I look at Cloud Atlas that's what I see. Potentially another sad waste of great potential. After all, these are the siblings who brought us The Matrix. The very first Matrix film was amazing. It was simple, incredibly visual and left the viewer hanging. When Neo is revealed at the end of the film to be The One you're already salivating for the sequel. 

Sadly, The Wachowski's decided they wanted to make a more far reaching and religious storyline for the two other Matrix films. Because of that the entire franchise was destroyed - despite what the box office says. They are as pointless now as George Lucas' second foray into film making. 

I can't help but wonder why we as an audience were robbed of what could have been one of the most amazing parts of the Matrix trilogy: the awakening. We never got to see the moment where all the humans woke up and realized that they were enslaved by robots. As a film lover I can't help but fathom why that scene didn't arrive in their heads. It's one of the reasons I am looking at the trailer of Cloud Atlas and thinking it's going to be a dud. I have no faith in the creativity of the Wachowski's and they've done little to prove me wrong. The best thing to come from V For Vendetta was the Guy Fawkes mask, after all.

So nice try, Lana and Andy. You probably have just made What Dreams May Come 2.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Stanley Kubrick's Films Suck

As a lover of films for most of my life I was indoctrinated into believing that Stanley Kubrick was a genius. There were many examples of his genius; such as "Dr. Strangelove", "2001: A Space Oddyssey", and "A Clockwork Orange". The scope and content of his films cannot be denied as having a huge impact on the artform. These films, and his many others, often push the envelope by introducing us to new forms of filmic storytelling and show us themes and visuals not before seen by the craft. As a result his films are highly memorable and important historically.

So I recognize that Stanley Kubrick has done a lot of great for the film world and yet when I watch his films I'm bored. Really bored.

There are notable performances from his films by George C. Scott, Malcolm McDowell, Jack Nicholson and R. Lee Ermey, and Hal.

The central themes of Stanley Kubrick's films are usually interesting enough: Futuristic gangs, Aliens who spawn mankind, a haunted mansion, the vietnam war and the secret sexual world of the rich & powerful.

So what's the problem?

Having watched his films multiple times I have concluded that the reason his films suck is because of two distinct things: The films are often slow-paced, shot with an almost unmoving camera and the actors performances are like cardboard. Both of these reasons can stem back to one man: Stanley Kubrick.

I really want to love Kubrick. I can see quality in his work. The sad thing about as I get older is that my tolerance for lying to myself diminishes. His films have no heart. They are boring, long-winded stories told by actors in subdued performances. Many of the films have a great premise that is largely lost by the length of the film. The directing is boring, his shots often static and characters emotionless.

It's a shame, really. Because I really, really wanted to like Stanley Kubrick.