Cloud Atlas, Flight, Lincoln, Skyfall, Red Dawn…

Quick thoughts on: The Wachowski Siblings and Tom Tykwer’s Cloud Atlas, Robert Zemeckis’ Flight, Spielberg’s Lincoln, Sam Mendes’ Skyfall, and the Red Dawn remake… from some guy who, I’m pretty sure, is also awesome.

It has been a while…

Cloud Atlas

Flawed yet beautifully well made, and I’m sure you’ve heard the same thing too from various sites. Would’ve enjoyed — and even loved it — more if the editing wasn’t sloppy. Nevertheless, I left the theater feeling strangely compelled thanks to the film’s almighty theme of “every guy is connected”.  That concept has always fascinated me over the last couple of years, and it’s one of the key reasons why I dig movies like Babel etc.

First act’s a bit messy, yes, and the film can drag in places (running time after all is around the 3-hour mark). If you’re gonna approach it with more of The Matrix in mind than The Tree of Life or Amores Perros, then you will be really disappointed.

That said, whether you’re the type who can approach anthology films with ease or not — I am still highly recommending everyone to catch it on cinemas if you can for 2 major things: The “experience” alone of watching 6 stories back to back, and figuring out which actor/actress had the best/worst make up is a must; AND the Neo Seoul future arc. It is, in a word, stylish.

Flight

A sleeper hit.

I expected Robert Zemeckis’ first live-action film in years to be decent, at the very least, because most of his films have always been entertaining with their unique stories and such. Flight is, generally, no exception and it’s something you’d expect from the guy who gave you classic outings such as Forrest Gump and Cast Away.

It has surprisingly exceeded my expectations, and I’m thanking the folks who’ve handled the marketing. Basically: If you saw the trailer and thought it was interesting, then you’re in for a treat simply because there’s more to it than just “oh, nice, a story about a pilot who miraculously prevents the plane from crashing”. A goodie one, and I wouldn’t mind revisting it in the next few months. The crash sequence alone, by the way, is one of the highlights of the movie. Good job, Mr. Back to the Future.

Lincoln

I’ve always imagined a Steven Spielberg Abraham Lincoln movie to be this Civil War epic masterpiece forged with some of the best acting known to man; as well as engrossing and jaw-dropping war sequences similar to Saving Private Ryan. Probably the antithesis to Timur Bekmambetov’s Vampire Hunter movie, if you will.

Unfortunately, the final product wasn’t entirely what I hoped for: Spielberg’s Lincoln focused more on the last few months of Abraham Lincoln’s life, and it was mostly a chatty film filled with politics and a bunch of other thingies that I’m not really super into. Disappointed, a little bit, yes. But good gods, the acting and the dialogue are equally impressive — I was mostly “paying attention” from start to finish.

Skyfall

Oh yeah, it was good. Classy action filmmaking at its finest, primarily thanks to the stunning (and I do mean stunning) cinematography c/o Roger Deakins. My only major issue though — and not to mention the only factor that prevented me from labeling it as “this year’s Ghost Protocol” — was the final act. Two words: Home Alone.

But, again, it was a classy and stylish action movie that everyone can (and will) enjoy. It’s also one of the most beautiful looking films of the year, and I was actually inspired to brush up my semi-photography skills after watching it. That’s right, a James Bond movie has encouraged me not to just only play certain espionage games, but also to do something imaginative and creative. That’s a pretty solid achievement right there.

Red Dawn

Decent, typical, “OK” — you name it! I’m actually glad I saw it on a press screening because every little bit about it — from the standard cast of teens/tweens to the mediocre, if not tolerable, fight scenes — just feels… well, “OK”. Matinee it (or Greenbelt 1, fellow Manila friends) if you are indeed curious when it comes out next week. Spending $10 just to see Thor, Hunger Games boy, and the guy from The Wackness carrying semi-automatic weapons can be a little bit too much.

Now, I haven’t seen the original version, so I couldn’t comment whether or not this remake was spot-on, or if Chris Hemsworth had the same haircut as Patrick Swayze’s. But something tells me that the original’s going to be the winner here (ala Total Recall) because, hey — there’s a reason why they had to remake it, right?

*Cloud Atlas art by Kimberley Salt*
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