Escape to The Movies: "Cloud Atlas"

See it. Love it or hate it, it’s going to be one of the most important movies of the year.

Intermission: “Let’s Watch ‘The Iron Man 3’ Trailer”

88 thoughts on “Escape to The Movies: "Cloud Atlas"

  1. Gospel X says:

    @anonymous 11:10 PM – I don't think that having the comments moderated would solve the problem, at least not for Bob. We wouldn't see them, but anything unapproved by him will be met with multiple follow-up posts about censorship. Being a critic in some part of the public sphere, I'm sure he can handle some of it…but I'm sure he doesn't want to be overloaded by things just because he rejected a comment.

    Anyway, I'm starting to think that “James” and “Phil” are the same person. Maybe in the future everyone should just ignore comments left by him/her/it. It won't make the person stop commenting, but it will remove some power from it. The more people respond, the more opportunity the person has to get attention.

    On a more appropriate note, I liked the review, Bob. And I also enjoyed the movie. It was definitely ambitious and had a lot to say. It wasn't the perfect movie, but it kept me engaged and made me think. What I really enjoyed was the fact that the six different time periods really could all have easily been their own 1.5 hour films. My wife and I will definitely be watching it again in the future…but probably only when we can watch it again at home.


  2. FinalCupil says:


    Okay Bob, seriously. You have to do something about these comments. There is a reason moderating comments exists on other sites and it is to stop shit like this. Honestly, why are these comments even enabled still? No intelligent discussion happens here anymore. For every semi-interesting comment posted, we get a dozen anonymous trolls, James being a creepy, narcissistic psychopath (redundant), and now Phil, who somehow manages to make people, many of whom actually agree with him, tell him to shut the fuck up.

    Bottom line Bob, either disable comments here or start moderating them. You are actively driving away your audience by not doing it.


  3. Drake says:

    Honestly, I have to agree with FinalCupil. I understand you need to keep things from appearing you favor one side or the other, but I come to your blog for your opinion on a subject and not James, Phil, or any one else, I have no problem if they were showing respect or constraint with their opinions, but they aren't. If they want to be this disrespectful, they have the option to create their own blog and find others that agree with them that way.


  4. John says:

    These comments that are rushing in either defending or condemning Bob make me very sad.

    The man has a right to his opinion, and the right to voice his opinion. If you don't like, fine you have that right to. Getting as hateful as these comments? No. That's just not right.

    Seriously, comment sections like these? They make me weep for the human species, and this one in particular has managed to single-handedly lower my hope for Humanity.

    If I were in the position of half of the commentators on here, I would feel ashamed of myself. I feel dirty just typing this much.


  5. Razmere says:

    Wow. This seems like a very interesting movie to say the least. Now with your review I'm gonna put this on my “I should probably watch this” list.

    Also, what are your thoughts on the new Silent Hill movie? It's a guilty pleasure of mine but I was curious to hear your opinion on the flick.


  6. Dustin Hiser says:

    Well, I'd like to talk about the movie, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

    I second some kind of way to moderate the comment section. For fucksake, there's over fifty comments here and almost none of them are actually discussing the movie. I was hoping for some kind of parsing together of all the clues and threads. There's so much to chew on.

    And all anyone can talk about is nonsense the controversy surrounding the makeup, how much Bob sucks, and attacking of the trolls. It's beyond old.


  7. Phil says:

    Man and I thought the silly accusations that me and “James” are the same person were desperate. Now some have dug even lower by demanding that comments be “moderated” (read: censored) because someone is questioning white supremacy in Hollywood and is calling out someone on their hypocrisy who claimed he was against such things in Hollywood. It's about a couple of steps up the petty ladder beyond calling someone a “troll” just cause you don't like what they say.

    Just goes to show you that if really question white supremacy directly, especially in these communities, people will call for you to be silenced.

    Oh and Anubis C. Soundwave… you don't know what you are talking about. At all. Not one bit of it. The only way that a nonwhite person would ever argue that, “There's little racism to no racism in this day and age and most nonwhites don't care that they are constantly being screwed out of opportunities in Hollywood” was if you are some kind of shut-in or what you meant by “nonwhite” is that you are an alien. Meaning you just crash landed from outer space. And if you did just crash land from outer space you might want to get in touch with Bob. He wants the chance to go to space just so he can fuck green women just like privileged white man Captain Kirk did in Star Trek.


  8. Phil says:

    Hopefully it's obvious to most but just in case there are some that may be easily fooled, the “Phil” from 5:40 PM is not the same “Phil” as I from all the other posts on this page.

    This happened before in one of the previous entries I posted on. It's really telling how desperate some will go to try and discredit me.


  9. FinalCupil says:

    Ah, the good old “censorship” card. Censorship has to do with what the government tells us we can and cannot say. The fact that we have the FCC forbidding certain language on TV is a testament to that. Still, the First Amendment pretty much allows people to say just about whatever they want-with a few exceptions-and the government can't do anything to stop it. This is the reason people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are allowed to spew their verbal diarrhea and get away with it.

    However, just because someone can say whatever they want without government interference, does not mean everyone else has to listen to them nor does it mean they can force people to listen to them. For example, if I invite you into my house, and then you start insulting me and, in general, start being an ass I can tell you to leave and if you refuse I can physically throw you out or just call the police. See, you are allowed to say whatever shit you want, but it is still MY house and I don't have to listen to you in MY house.

    This is Moviebob's blog (house) and he does not have to listen to or acknowledge anyone posting here and can block people from posting-though blogspot makes that more difficult then other formats-if he so chooses. The fact that he even acknowledges some of the terrible posters here is either incredibly good of him or just incredibly masochistic of him.


  10. The one true Phil says:

    Don't listen to the Phil from 5:40, or 6:50 pm. I am the one true Phil, all the others are impostors. Shame on Thee, faker Phils!


  11. Robert Chen says:

    Seriously, I keep hearing, “Too much going on in this movie, it's a bad movie.” The same community that rated the Grindhouse, which is two directors wanting to make bad movies for the sake of making bad movies, higher than Cloud Atlas. What?

    3 hours is too long? Yall having a good time with just about any movie made from a book? 6 stories that needs each other, that averages 30 minutes per story. Each story had 30 minutes to make intro, character development, story development, rising, climax and ending. This movie was too long?

    I didnt get everything in the movie, and I would like to see it again, but I'm kinda short on movie, but seriously tho. Unless the movie was just badly made to the point that it's hard to understand, okay, that's a fault. But if it's hard to understand because it covers a lot of ground, it's not the movie makers' fault. Are they going to do a half ass job at telling an epic so the audience can get all the message? No, you tell the epic. Hell, if they did a half ass job, then the author of the book wouldnt have agreed to let them do it. They even take the time to pace it for everyone, seriously, the passion of the Christ, a movie about a holy figure getting tortured for a long time got a higher rating than this movie. You guys…

    It's always like this, any movie that covers some significant amount of grounds with people's brains always get the whole, “well that was too complicated, so it's a bad movie.”

    Physics text books covers a lot of grounds, fucking minutephysics videos cover a lot of grounds (Henry does it in less than 10 minutes), are we gonna shame a movie that may have meant to be view at least twice? Sometimes stories, topics, etc requires you to glance at it a few times. Why is it that these stories should just not be covered or modified to be on the big screen?

    I'll tell you what people hate about it, the ideas, concepts were just foreign to them. People didnt hate the Matrix, but the brain in a jar concept is Western, people here at least have heard about it. But when we're talking about cycles, returning, consequences from 1 time to another, a lot of these ideas arent familiar to the Christian/Western paradigm of people living 1 life and 1 chance.

    Shit we see this cycle in history, where despite history being the subject that should allow us to do better, we dont really. We continue to have wars, continue to oppress others, continue do selfish things. This theme of cycles and karma, it's not that hard to understand.


  12. Phil says:

    Nice try, FinalCupil but no cigar.

    Fact is, all my comments here are on topic. I was talking about Cloud Atlas the entire time. Everything I said had to do with Cloud Atlas. Even Bob himself replied directly to my comments because it had to do with this movie.

    The issue here is that you and those like you just don't like what I am saying. Even more laughable is you projecting yourself onto Bob telling Bob he must “moderate” (aka censor) comments just because YOU don't like them.

    Wanna how this is hilarious? I remember seeing responses in the comment section in this very blog page on one entry that actually tried to argue that slavery wasn't as bad as some say it was. I sure as hell didn't agree with that but I didn't post there to do the same you and people like you are trying to do here by pressuring Bob to “moderate” because of me. Did anyone come in and pressure Bob to “moderate” comments then? Nope. But I make some comments that you don't agree with that have to do with the racism that so called movie fans refuse to talk about and Bob must censor with an iron fist?

    You want to talk about Cloud Atlas? Go ahead. I was the entire time. Your problem is you and others like you don't like the topic I was bringing up about it. You see, when you bring up white supremacy many people don't like it if you go at it brutally and honestly. That's why so many whites like movies like The Help. It deals with racism in such a dumbed down way that it doesn't question white supremacy at all because it makes the false case that most whites were not racist even in that era. It was just a very few amount of them that ruined it for everyone. Also, it was a white savior movie and lots of whites really like that kind of movie.

    And speaking of white savior movies, last year it was The Help and this year it's Django Unchained.

    Should I be surprised Bob really is looking forward to it and doesn't think there is any problem that it's yet another white savior movie like Hollywood produces every year?

    “But… but how could slaves have done anything without whites at the time?”

    There were hundreds of slave riots at that time that had nothing to do with whites. Didn't matter to Tarantino though. And with so many people ignorantly defending the yellowface and blackface in Cloud Atlas despite us not living at a time when we are past the racism that those things helped continue you can be sure as hell that many misinformed people will also defend Django Unchained in all its white savior glory.

    And anyone that thinks otherwise, well you are apparently just some kind of “troll”.


  13. FinalCupil says:


    Seriously dude, why are you doing this? Why do you cherry pick the arguments that allow you to stay mad at everyone and constantly try to start a fight? I have actually said in previous posts to you-from other articles you have replied to-that I agree with you. You are just going about it the wrong way. Why do you not listen? Myself, and others, have said that you should start a blog and get the message out there. I am being sincere, not trying to get you to go away. Why do you want to verbally punch everyone that actually agrees with and tries to talk to you? There are pro-active ways to approach the problem of whitewashing in Hollywood, why are you going about it this way?

    Honestly, you have never answered these questions when many other posters have asked them.

    So, I will ask them again:

    Why don't you start a blog?

    Why aren't you being pro-active about this problem (and it is a very real problem)?

    Please, just ask yourself those questions and give an honest response. Or, you can chose not to answer them, but you are only hurting yourself. I would actually like to help solve this problem, but you have to make the first move and provide a real solution.

    God, I hope I am making any sense.


  14. Anonymous says:

    Phil, the petty pompous pretentious petulent and pedantic purveyor of purely puerile and pathetic piss,
    pustules, pestilence, and palilalia upon the populace. Piss off you paranoid parasitic pedophage!


  15. FinalCupil says:


    And I just got through reading your last diatribe toward me and “others like me”. I can only assume you are implying I am racist even though you know nothing about me, but you are very angry so I will take the abuse I guess?

    The moderating comments thing is more in regards to James then it is to you or anyone else really. He is the one that started the derails and just pointless thread shitting, not to mention posting after just about any of Bob's posts cheer leading Gray Johnson. Phil, I only see you post when it ties in with your anger at Hollywood and whitewashing.

    Let me repeat, whitewashing is a BAD thing. It is a very terrible and disgusting thing. We are on your side, stop with the attacks. You have a right to be angry, just stop directing your anger at random posters on the internet, direct your anger at the actual problem. Please.


  16. asdfasgd says:

    @aiddon: Did anyone really expect it was going to make its money back on initial release? This was one of those movies that get made because someone influential decided this was a story that deserved to be viewed through the visual medium. Every so often an influential director or actor gets there dream project made (despite the potential losses) due to their industry clout. My guess is the Wachowskis will be doing something potentially very profitable for Warners very soon and this was kind of what they got in return. Just my guess.

    I am sure it will ultimately make money though; in its afterlife as a cult classic (which it inevitably will be).


  17. JamesT says:


    I get your anger towards whitewashing, and to be honest it's a valid point to bring up, even in the case of “21” and “Argo.”

    But you seem to be aiming your anger in the wrong place. The use of the makeup effects in Cloud Atlas is not whitewashing in any sense of the term. It's use as an artistic statement absolutely protects it from the kind of criticism you suggest, ESPECIALLY since the film is 100% ON YOUR SIDE in this argument. Getting angry at Cloud Atlas is basically shooting yourself in the foot. Saying “Fuck this movie and anyone who supports it” makes you seem as if your looking at this issue through a very narrow lens, despite your good intentions, and it just comes across as childish.

    Plus, even with you valid criticism of “Argo” and “21” your viewing the issue as a intricate part in the film's quality, when in reality, is only a small issue with the film. Yes, it's unfortunate, those films did contain a certain amount of whitewashing, but your issues with the production choices of the film should be directed towards Hollywood producers, and it doesn't ultimately have much baring on the overall criticism of the film. Whitewashing is a problem, but those who enjoy the films are not. The film's quality will be subjectively judged on the merit beyond this issue. Saying that the people who enjoy these films are bad people is absolutely ridiculous, because it's the producers who deserve the scrutiny.

    Hollywood will evolve with time, and it's probably because of people like you who are fighting the good fight, but direct your anger at the right people. Bob and others who enjoy these films are not who you should be getting angry over.


  18. Cam says:

    I could point out that its not just whites who get cast in roles that belong to another race/group I mean look at Memoirs of a Geisha that movie is set in Japan about a Japanese girl yet was played by a Chinese woman (Ziyi Zhang. does that take away from the story? Not really. Is it still a good story. sure. Maybe its because I live in the real world and don't spend every second preaching on some stupid blog. that i enjoy movies and books and watching my gf play Mass effect that i dont sweat the small stuff. i just enjoy the story. But what the fuck do i know


  19. Cam says:

    @ ALL!
    I do have a crazy theory if anyone cares to hear it?

    I'm sure its BS but wouldn't it be funny if that obnoxious PHIL guy was just Movie BOB fucking with us. Saying a bunch of stupid shit to get us to comment on his dumb blog and create discussion.

    Oh Phil i mean Bob ;-)YOU SLY DEVIL YOU. you got us good.

    From now On Phil I will address you as Philbob. Im on to you buddy 🙂

    @ Philbob stop be such a racist all the time. its rude


  20. Andrew says:

    Just got back from the movie. Overall: It was better than I thought it was going to be.

    It is a long movie, and it feels it, but I think the six plot structure and overall fast pace helps that out a lot. The only issue I had with the story was that they weren't tied together satisfactorily; the bridges are very faint, such that the stories REALLY don't have anything to do with each other than a passing reference or two in each.

    The makeup was also pretty bad at times. The “Yellowface” worked OK (kinda) for Sturges but just looked silly as hell on the others. Warner Oland looked more convincing, sadly. East Asian people don't all have tiny, slanty eyes, you know? The movie's one Asian actress' eyes are huge, why didn't you take a cue from that? Hugh Grant's alternate character's makeup was pretty silly too. It may win Best Makeup for quantity, but I wouldn't give it to them for quality.

    That said, these are nitpicks. The production values were impressive, and the cast did a good job for the most part. Jim Broadbent was as fantastic as he always is, and Bae Doona was haunting. Hanks was hit or miss, but it's always fun seeing him doing something out-there, and I liked that they didn't have him trying to be funny (they left that in Broadbent's more capable hands).

    It's a huge story, it's not that approachable for the most part (you don't have much time to get to know half of them), and it requires the audience to pay attention to what's going on in several stories, to juggle multiple plots, to sit for over 150 minutes, and then to put them all together at the end if you want them to make sense together. And even when you do…well, as I said, they only SORTA fit together. Really, it felt more like an anthology than anything I can recall seeing on the big screen. And I know those aren't popular.

    Overall, three or three-and-a-half out of four stars, leaning towards the more generous end based on the sheer ambition and gutsiness it took to put this thing today, and on the effects, which were well-put-together and not remotely gratuitous. It's a shame it's gonna bomb, but it's not remotely surprising.


  21. Elessar says:

    @Charles B…I'm sorry, @Phil

    Yes, I saw you harassing Ebert under that name too. Come on man, using the same exact arguments. Bringing up 21, when no one besides you even cares about that movie? Accusing Jim Sturgess of hating Asians by 'Taking their roles?' Even “finding it very interesting' that you drew Argo to his attention and that he didn't comment (not like he has a job to do. First off Charles/Phil, this is not a series of stand up comedy bits in a bunch of bars. Get some new material.

    Second it proves a point that I made earlier (see that wall of text you never responded to?): You look like a coward. Same thing, all you do is harass critics about how they're racist, but you hide behind anons. You say you want to change things, but rather than start your own blog and letting the material stand on it's own, you force it into discussions of the movie's quality so that people who want to discuss the movie will be forced to read it.

    Finally, harassing people is not the way to get them to respond. You talked about the Akira remake. I love Akira, it's my favorite non-Ghibli anime movie, and I agree, it needs a fully Japanese cast.

    But you also complain about the casting of Bane, how he is Latino in the comics. But he's half-british in the comics and has never looked exceptionally Latino, but hey he's partially Latino so he HAS to be cast as a Latino. Doesn't matter that the director has made a career in these movies reimagining his characters from the comics (compare Joker in the comics to Joker in the movie, or Catwoman in the comics to Catwoman in the movies). Never mind that Hardy gave fantastic performance. Director, writer, actor, casting director, none of their ideas matter. The character is half-Latino, so he MUST BE PLAYED BY A LATINO.

    Phil/Charles, that is idiotic. Casting people purely based on something as superficial as race is likely to lead to worse movies (looking at you Tyler Perry). But that should change, and there should be more Black, Asian and Latino actors (never mind the damage Hollywood does to LGBT or Atheist characters).

    But that's not going to change if all people who support change do is try to piggyback their ideas on popular movie critics or try to force those critics to be their soapboxes. So go out and write your own blog. Until then, please stop harassing critics. All it's down is annoying people who want to discuss the pros and cons of a movie regardless of race.


  22. Phil says:

    @ FinalCupil

    I am bringing up a topic that is almost never talked about in these circles. Making my own blog is pointless as there are several websites on the web doing a fine job on it. The problem is that those websites are avoided by lots of people in these circles because they think it's a bunch of nonwhites complaining about nothing.

    Bob threw his thoughts on it on that Big Picture episode on Idris Elba's casting in Thor but there was inconsistency in Bob's position. That inconsistency was proven when he refused to bring the topic up in his Argo review. He had the opportunity to mention and purposely decided not to do it and just recommended the movie. The Escapist has a huge audience and he could've brought this issue to light to a lot more people. Him not doing so says a lot about how he thinks.

    @ JamesT

    You're missing crucial points I made several times on this page about Cloud Atlas. Take the time to read them again.

    No, people who enjoy a white washed film are not the problem. That is if they are unaware of it. But if they are made aware of it and choose to support it anyway they are part of the problem.

    @ Elessar

    First of all, why are you bringing up Bane now? Since you decided to fine I'll comment. Yes, Bane should've been played by a Latino. Don't give me that he is half-British crap when that revelation came way after his introduction in a twist of the crappier Batman stories. I don't even think that it has been included in the New 52. Hardy wasn't even cast because of that since Nolan specifically changed his background. That accent that Bane has in Nolan's movie was meant to mark him to not be Latino. Hardy mentioned that in an interview. That's cause in Nolan's version they changed his ethnicity due to the casting of Hardy.

    Now, what are you on about? Anyone that brings up Argo, Cloud Atlas and Jim Sturgess must be the same guy? Did you bother to actually read the 2nd article I posted back up there? That entire article talks about Jim Sturgess and Cloud Atlas. Am I also that author? There is article on that same website about Argo and in the comment section someone talks about how critics are not bringing up the fact that Latinos were ignored again for a great role in that movie. Was I that person too?

    You think it is unique to mention Argo and Cloud Atlas especially when you figure that they came out within a month of each other? And by the same studio? Heck it was even Warner Brothers that also released The Dark Knight Rises a few months back.

    No Elessar you need new material as I've already been accused on this page of being not only “James” but even Movie Bob himself. Add to that, you need to stop being a bigot. Just because you didn't care about 21 doesn't mean no one else did. Many Asian Americans and other nonwhites were insulted at the white washing of that movie because it showed that Hollywood is still just as bad as back in the day. The problem with you is you think everyone has the same experience as you do. You don't experience discrimination so no else must be experiencing discrimination and they must not care cause you don't.

    You don't want to care? Fine. But don't go around telling other people this isn't an issue when there are many being affected by this.


  23. FinalCupil says:


    Haven't read the rest of your last post yet, so this is a response to the part directed at me. Just wanted to say thank you for responding to my questions. However, I would like to know about these blogs you mention that do report on these problems. Seriously, can you post some links or something? I would really like to read them. How can you say they are avoided by people “in these circles” when many of us may not even know about them? Maybe not many people visit them because they don't get much exposure or something, I don't know. Still, some links would be awesome and might help get more people involved in fixing this.


  24. FinalCupil says:


    Consider this an edit to my last post (stupid blogspot). I noticed you actually posted some links in a couple of your previous post, so I am checking them out now. Still, please post anymore links that you know of.


  25. Anonymous says:

    Lol, looks like someone's mad.

    Also, posting on a blog is going to MAKE A SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE. Glad you're doing it, and I'm glad you're here.

    Please, continue to entertain me. You're the star of this show, ironically.

    -A privileged white person


  26. The absolute true Phil says:

    I'm just disgusted by all of these fake Phils, especially you, The One True Phil!

    I am the absolute, positive, no shadow of a doubt true Phil!


  27. Elessar says:

    This is my last comment, as I've now seen the movie and I'm fairly tired of commenting on this. Repeating myself over and over gets tiring so let's make this quick:

    1) Phil, I could side by side your comments over at Roger Eberts blog and here and except for a few random curse words, they look like they've been copy-pasted. Don't hide, be proud of who you are.

    2) I am not saying no one is being discriminated against. The treatment of non-whites (and non-males. And non-straights. And non-christian) in Hollywood is a legitimate issue. I think it's a fucking disgrace that the number of roles for minorities is as limited as it is. I said

    My point is that your way of going about making this point is the wrong way. You just accused me of racism based on…what? The fact that I liked Argo and Cloud Atlas? The fact that I don't scream at Bob or Roger Ebert about these things?

    Your rage at Argo at least has some basis. It is bad that Ben Affleck took a role that could have gone to a Latino. But he, as the director, chose to play the character and he did a good job.

    But your rage at Cloud Atlas is insane. There are 6 stories of the movie and 4 of them have a minority actor as one of the main leads. So they used makeup to make Jim Sturgess appear Asian? They also used makeup to make Donna Bae appear white and latina. They also used makeup to make Halley Berry appear white, latina, asian, indian. Could this be a part of a larger point about how race is just a construct of the mind? Doesn't matter. Context, story, meaning, depth, treatment of characters, none of this matters. Just your complaints. And if we don't go out of our way to turn our blogs into a soapbox for a random person who doesn't even have the balls to register an account, well then we're racists.

    I'm going to repeat myself here: YOU HAVE A VALID POINT ABOUT THE TREATMENT OF NON-WHITE STRAIGHT MALE CHRISTIANS IN HOLLYWOOD FILMS. But you are not going to do anything about it by screaming at film critics. ESPECIALLY when you're screaming at a movie that has gone out of it's way to hire non-white actors in leading roles. Even more so when the movie is making a statement about how races is just a construct of people's minds.

    Alright I'm done.


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