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Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Cloud Atlas”

Dear Frank,

Cloud Atlas German PosterAs we’ve previously discussed, I have a weird fondness for the Wachowskis despite their career ups and downs, and (as we have not previously discussed) I am DEFINITELY a fan of Tom Tykwer. (Run Lola Run is one of those movies that gets you a good two decades worth of goodwill from me. I mean, I haven’t watched it for at least a decade, and it might not hold up, but DAMN that was a good movie when it first came out.)

So a Wachowski/Tykwer team-up like Cloud Atlas, last year’s big budget genre mash-up? A-PLUS IDEA.

The actual movie, though… Sigh.

My initial exposure to Cloud Atlas, the book, was pretty much ideal: I borrowed it from a friend I was crashing with during a 2008 stay in England, and pretty much devoured it while crossing back and forth across the Thames on the bus. It absorbed my attention in spurts, and the structure of the storytelling kept me compelled; some sections I liked better than others, but that’s always the nature of a novel like this.

I’ve only read the book once, but it was pretty memorable — thus, when discussion of there being a film adaptation arose, I felt vaguely well-qualified to understand what a crazypants idea that was. (And that was BEFORE I heard about the fucking sixtuple-casting!)

A year after the film’s premiere, adapting this book remains a crazypants idea; yet I’ve now seen Cloud Atlas a whopping three times and could see myself watching it again at some point. Why is that, you might ask? I mean, what the hell happens in this movie, anyway? Read the rest of this entry

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Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Larry Crowne”

Dear Frank,

larry_crowneI have a pretty long list of things to tell you these days — like Orphan Black! I hear really good things about Orphan Black, Frank! — but I keep getting distracted by other stuff. You know, life, the universe, bizarre Tom Hanks movies…

I stumbled into Larry Crowne on HBO the other day while procrastinating some tasks, but had no plans to give it a single additional thought ever again until for some reason, I found myself trying to describe it to a friend, and was like, shit, this movie is WEIRD. So now you’re going to learn about it, Frank. Get excited!

Larry Crowne is the story of people rebuilding their lives in an almost completely conflict-free fashion. It is the story of a large cast of charming actors standing around and (for the most part) being pretty nice to each other. It is the story of a man finding freedom by buying a used scooter. It is simultaneously really strange and really boring, which is in its own way vaguely interesting? It’s a weird movie, Frank.

Let’s see if I can sum it up pretty quick.

Read the rest of this entry

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