Filmmaking siblings Lana and Andy Wachowski never do anything by halves. The Matrix was a genre-changing blockbuster followed by two head-scratching sequels that ramped everything up a bit too much. Speed Racer was simply too much eye-candy for most viewers. And Cloud Atlas' intertwined storylines left audiences both exhausted and exhilarated. Now they've taken on the space action adventure with unfettered gusto, creating an utterly bonkers story that can't help but keep us thoroughly entertained.
So it turns out that Jupiter (Mila Kunis), an immigrant cleaner in Chicago, is actually the recurrence of a powerful matriarch whose empire runs the universe as a big business. Her three children (Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Tuppence Middleton) are tussling over control, because their mother's re-appearance changes their inheritance rights. Chased by bounty hunters, Jupiter is rescued by Caine (Channing Tatum) and his cohort Stinger (Sean Bean), who help her navigate the complex galactic society to claim her genetic rights. But each of the three children has plans for her. And as she zips back and forth across the universe, Jupiter realises that she's going to need to rise to the occasion if she wants to save herself. And Earth.
The Wachowskis clearly understand that the story is far too complicated to make much sense, so they only provide enough information to hold the audience's interest. Large plot threads and characters pop up and disappear at random, while Jupiter's own journey lurches through a series of contrived set-pieces and tense encounters that feel oddly unresolved. But none of that really matters, because the film is infused with a sardonic sense of humour that makes it enjoyable. Even the bad guys are intriguing; there's not much Redmayne can do with his leather-trousered grump, but at least he goes for it. Kunis has a great time with Jupiter's continual sexy costume changes, while Tatum performs a series of action scenes with his shirt off for no real reason. All of the cast members dive in without hesitation, using sheer charisma to make the characters a lot of fun to watch.
Continue reading: Jupiter Ascending Review
Despite a relatively small output, the Wachowski Brother's have made a profound impact on Hollywood. Here are their film listed from critically impeccable hits to flaccid failures.
Press shy and intentionally low-profile, the Wachowski brothers (now brother and sister) occupy a rare position in Hollywood of being household names, responsible for some truly awe-inspiring works of cinematic innovation that have enamoured critics and audiences alike. Yet, unlike directors of a similar calibre and position in pop culture- Tarantino and JJ Abrams for instance, they allow their films to speak for themselves, eschewing the usual directorial promotional tropes and refusing interviews.
Andy and Lana Wachowski rarely appear in public and never commit to promoting their films.
They are so ardent to withhold anonymity in favour of greater artistic candour that it is reportedly highlighted in the Wachowski’s contracts that they will remain unburdened by arduous press commitments. Despite this, the pair are amongst the biggest names in Hollywood, thanks mainly to the Matrix trilogy, which revolutionized the cinematic experience. A Wachowski Bros. picture is synonymous with outstanding cinematography, multi-dimensional plots and a visual feast that is never short of the spectacular. Positing a triple threat of sorts, the Andy and Lana have proven their ability to not only direct a picture, but also to produce and pen truly original and brilliant screenplays in their own right.
Continue reading: The Movies Of The Wachowski's: From Best To Worst
Jupiter Jones has an unfortunate life, barely scraping by with her job cleaning toilets as a janitor. She wouldn't have thought that her life would ever be anything meaningful, but she couldn't be more wrong. One day she is captured and an attempt is made on her life, but she finds herself spectacularly rescued by a charming, if unusual-looking, warrior; a half-man, half-human hybrid who has been genetically modified for the interplanetary military. It's he who leads her to the truth about herself and her destiny. Having been born under a night sky where the stars aligned to form her extraordinary future, Jupiter is the foretold forthcoming Queen of the Universe who has been prophesised to usurp the power of the current King and Queen. Living in fear of their imminent fall from power, the rulers order her to be disposed of as soon as possible. Will Jupiter succeed in her rise to power, or will she be praying to return to her uneventful life on earth?
Continue: Jupiter Ascending Trailer
Jupiter Jones is an impoverished janitor who dreams of a life with much more purpose than she is living. She is convinced that her life will always be one of the many in the world that is simply unimportant, but there are others out there who think differently. Jupiter was born under a night sky whose stars traced a very definite and critical destiny for her. Little does she know that the Earth is a tiny speck in a much larger cosmos ruled over by Queen of the Universe, but also that her genetic make-up makes her the one and only threat to the Queen as she is biologically destined to usurp her title. When an attempt is made on her life, she is rescued by former military hunter Caine; a genetically modified hybrid with human and wolf DNA. Will Jupiter find the strength to fulfil her destiny? Or is it something she could simply do without?
Continue: Jupiter Ascending - Teaser Trailer
Wachowski siblings creating new series Sense8 for online streaming service Netflix
The Cloud Atlas directors Andy and Lana Wachowski have announced their next move in the world of entertainment. The sibling directors will be teaming up with the online streaming service Netflix, the BBC reports, to create a series entitled Sense8. Talking about how they arrived at the idea for the show, the directors revealed in a statement “Several years ago, we had a late night conversation about the ways technology simultaneously unites and divides us. Out of that paradox Sense8 was born.”
The show will make its debut in late 2014 and is described as “a gripping tale of minds linked and souls hunted.” Let’s hope it fares better than their ambitious adaptation of Cloud Atlas which looked brilliant on paper, but ended up bamboozling both critics and audiences alike. The Wachowskis are also responsible for creating The Matrix, and have also directed movies such as V For Vendetta and Speed Racer. Netflix previously announced their intention to make a minimum of five original shows every year, giving viewers good reason to subscribe to their service, over any other (assuming the shows are any good, of course). They started of with a remake of House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, which has been hugely popular and is soon to embark on a second series.
This spring, Netflix will be streaming the horror series Hemlock Grove as well as the highly anticipated comeback of Arrested Development.
Continue reading: Sense8: New Netflix Series Announced From Wachowski Siblings
On the back of mixed reviews, Cloud Atlas hits cinemas in the UK this week.
After green-lighting the Wachowski's big screen adaptation of David Mitchell's apparently "unfilmable" novel Cloud Atlas, the head honchos at Warner Bros probably half expected it to be competing for the major prizes at the Oscars. A quick glance over the nominations will tell you the Tom Hanks starring movie will play no part in the celebrations at the Kodak Theatre on Sunday (February 24, 2013). Its solitary nod at the Golden Globe Awards was for Best Original Score.
Shot on a budget of $100 million, Cloud Atlas has been no financial disaster - it easily made back the cash at the U.S. box office and a European release, together with DVD and Blu-Ray sales means it'll become a tidy earner, though critically, it fell way below expectations. Overblown at nearly 3 hours long, the Wachowski's film left critics and audiences empty, though it won praise for impressive visuals and cinematography - something that will be of no comfort to writer Mitchell, whose novel is loved for its depth and sprawling narrative. "Finally, what sinks "Cloud Atlas" is not the largeness of its ambitions but the lack of skill it displays in terms of writing, directing and acting," said Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times. Xan Brooks of The Guardian said, "Unfortunately, these bold ambitions come to naught. They confuse the cosmos with the costume department and wind up lost in a world of wigs and bonnets."
Continue reading: Cloud Atlas: The Would-Be Oscar Contender That Went Oh So Wrong
Mad geniuses Tom Tykwer (Perfume) and the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) boldly take on David Mitchell's layered epic novel, which connects six generations through the power of storytelling. The film takes so many huge risks that it's breathtaking to watch even when it stumbles. And as each tale is passed on to the next generation, the swirling themes get under the skin.
The six stories are interlinked in a variety of ways, transcending time to find common themes. On a ship in 1849, a seriously ill American lawyer (Sturgess) shows kindness to a stowaway ex-slave (Gyasi). In 1936 Edinburgh, a great composer (Broadbent) hires a musician (Whishaw) to transcribe his work, then tries to steal the young man's magnificent Cloud Atlas symphony. In 1973 San Francisco, a Latina journalist (Berry) gets a tip about dodgy goings on in a local nuclear power plant. In present-day London, a publisher (Broadbent) is trapped in a nursing home by his brother (Grant) and plots a daring escape. In 2144 Neo Soul, an official (D'Arcy) interrogates a replicant (Bae) who started a rebellion alongside a notorious rebel (Sturgess). And in a distant stone-age future, an island goatherd (Hanks) teams up with an off-worlder (Berry) when they're attacked by a warlord (Grant).
While the themes in this film are eerily involving, what makes this film unmissable is the way the entire cast turns up in each of the six story strands, changing age, race and gender along the way. Even so, they're essential variations on each other. Weaving is always a nemesis, whether he's a hitman, a demon or a nasty nurse. Hanks' characters are always strong-willed and often badly misguided. Grant goes against type to play sinister baddies. And D'Arcy is the only actor who plays the same character in two segments, as Whishaw's 1930s young lover and Berry's 1970s elderly informant. Meanwhile, each segment plays with a different genre: seafaring epic, twisted drama, political mystery, action comedy, sci-fi thriller and gritty adventure.
Continue reading: Cloud Atlas Review
Cloud Atlas has flopped into third place in the US Box Office after a dreary weekend saw the film, which many thought would do well commercially, take in less than Hotel Transylvania and chart topper Argo in US markets.
The film, an adaptation of the David Mitchell novel of the same name, was brought to the screen by Matrix masterminds Andy and Lana Wachowski and Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer, with many foreseeing the time-jumping epic to make a huge impact at the box office. Instead the film only brought in a meagre $9.4 million over its opening weekend, a long way from the predicted $100 million it had budgeted for.
The film, which stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving among others, follows the inter-twining lives of a host of different people throughout time, following the implications of actions made in past lives and how the soul lives on through time. It has so far split opinion right down the middle, with some marvelling and the ground breaking spectacle and story telling of the film, whilst other have smeared it for being overly ambitious.
Continue reading: Cloud Atlas Flops On Opening Weekend At Box Office
We’ve taken a look at some Cloud Atlas reviews to see whether the Tom Hanks epic is worth your hard earned cash. Enjoy!
Based on the 2004, Booker Prize nominated book of the same name by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. It’s basically Love Actually for sci-fi fans, but what did the critics think? Well, they couldn’t really decide, culminating in a rather mediocre media response. “This is by no means the best movie of the year, but it may be the most movie you can get for the price of a single ticket,” wrote New York Times review A.O Scott, in a fairly positive review. However, The Newark Star Ledger condemned the film as a finished product: “If the talented Wachowskis are ever going to achieve true artistic nirvana, they're going to have to be more disciplined with their grand ideas, more ruthless in their rewrites.”
MSN Movies were perhaps the most succinct in their decision on the movie, writing: “It's kind of astonishing that for all its ambition and accomplishment, and for the ostensibly subversive philosophy it pushes, Cloud Atlas ends up being just another platitudinous overblown pummel-you-into-submission movie-machine.” Did we say succinct? We meant the opposite. To surmise, Cloud Atlas is a film for: a) movie lovers, b) fans of the book or c) fans of confusion and inevitable derision, or all three. Have fun.
Continue reading: At The Movies: Cloud Atlas Review Roundup
Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer - Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer Wednesday 24th October 2012 Arrives at the "Cloud Atlas" Los Angeles Premiere held at Grauman's Chinese Theater
With his upcoming film, Cloud Atlas ready for release later this month, one of the film’s stars, Tom Hanks, has alluded to the deep plotline that runs through the book adaptation and said that the film is as “risky as Inception” was when it was release in 2010.
Hanks was plugging his new film during a chat with Canadian paper The Montreal Gazette, when he brought up the Christopher Nolan film, suggesting that it was the closest thing to compare to his latest movie outing. Cloud Atlas follows the intertwining lives of a massive cast that drifts between centuries both past and present, examining the impact of fate on good and bad behaviour.
In his discussion, he not only had praises to sing for Brit-director Nolan, but also his three “bold” directors for the upcoming project; Tom Tykwer and Lana and Andy Wachowski. And if three directors were a lot to take on board, then the number of characters the actors have to transform themselves into throughout the film will take some effort to get your heads round too, with Hanks alone taking on 6 different roles.
Continue reading: Cloud Atlas Is As Risky As Inception, Says Tom Hanks
The main message being beamed back from the movie’s premiere is: make sure you go to the toilet before you take your seat. Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski and Tom Twkyer’s adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel clocks in at a staggering 2 hours and 52 minutes long but according to LA Times, the movie is all killer and no filler, meaning that you wont want to leave your seat for any of those 172 minutes.
If you do decide to leave your seat, it seems, you do so “at your own peril, running the risk of missing of ... oh ... Hugh Grant licking blood off a knife as a cannibal or Hugo Weaving making a grand entrance as a female nurse who'd make Louise Fletcher's "Cuckoo's Nest" administrator cower.” As the narrative skips about, rejecting all notion of linear storytelling, it looks to be a case of ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ when it comes to keeping up with the interwoven stories.’
Continue reading: Report From Cloud Atlas Premiere: 172 Minutes Of Essential Viewing