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Cloud Atlas (****)
directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski
written by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, from the novel by David Mitchell
Principal Cast
Tom Hanks -- Dr. Henry Goose / Hotel Manager / Isaac Sachs / Dermot Hoggins / Cavendish Look-a-Like Actor / Zachry
Halle Berry -- Native Woman / Jocasta Ayrs / Luisa Rey / Indian Party Guest / Ovid / Meronym
Jim Broadbent -- Captain Molyneux / Vyvyan Ayrs / Timothy Cavendish / Korean Musician / Prescient 2
Hugo Weaving -- Haskell Moore / Tadeusz Kesselring / Bill Smoke / Nurse Noakes / Boardman Mephi / Old Georgie
Jim Sturgess -- Adam Ewing / Poor Hotel Guest / Megan's Dad / Highlander / Hae-Joo Chang / Adam / Zachry Brother-in-Law
Doona Bae -- Tilda / Megan's Mom / Mexican Woman / Sonmi-451 / Sonmi-351 / Sonmi Prostitute
Ben Whishaw -- Cabin Boy / Robert Frobisher / Store Clerk / Georgette / Tribesman
Keith David -- Kupaka / Joe Napier / An-kor Apis / Prescient
James D'Arcy -- Young Rufus Sixsmith / Old Rufus Sixsmith / Nurse James / Archivist
Xun Zhou -- Talbot / Hotel Manager / Yoona-939 / Rose
David Gyasi -- Autua / Lester Rey / Duophsyte
Susan Sarandon -- Madame Horrox / Older Ursula / Yusouf Suleiman / Abbess
Hugh Grant -- Rev. Giles Horrox / Hotel Heavy / Lloyd Hooks / Denholme Cavendish / Seer Rhee / Kona Chief
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Cloud Atlas Cloud Atlas is a historical/romance/contemporary thriller/comedy/science fiction/fantasy unlike anything you've ever seen. Whether it is the wave of the future or a flash in the pan, I enjoyed it far more than I expected. What a less media savvy audience would make of this series of quick, vivid images that tells six different stories, interrelated but not interconnected, I cannot imagine.

I have not read the novel, but I understand that, unlike the movie, it tells the six stories in the order A B C D E F E D C B A. Thus, while the novel has an original structure, the structure of the film is even more original, with very quick cutting between one story to the next. Hearing about the film before I saw it, I wasn't sure it would work. All I can say is, it worked for me.

Some movie critics are always puzzled by anything new, and many of them have no idea what to make of this film. But, like 2001: A Space Odyssey (and Cloud Atlas is nothing like 2001: A Space Odyssey) I suspect that in time Cloud Atlas will be considered a classic. Both films thrilled me the first time I saw them. Cloud Atlas is more pure fun.

Copyright © 2012 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at

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