[adrotate banner=”1″]Buh? That’s what I say when a film needs an almost 6 minute long trailer to vaguely explain what the frak is going on with Cloud Atlas. There is high concept, and then there’s Lindsay Lohan concept. Still, it looks like it could be brilliant. I’ll go on record now and say Cloud Atlas will be a masterpiece. Because it will…or it will be the most ridiculous film of all time. But probably a masterpiece. Based on a 2004 book by David Mitchell I’m now adding to my reading queue, Cloud Atlas took three directors to make it to the big screen – Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings, and the three also did the screenplay.
The cast of awesome actors includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Keith David, Jim Broadbent, Zhou Xun, Bae Doona, Hugh Grant, and Susan Sarandon. Many look to be playing multiple roles spread out over different time periods, each person’s past and future affecting their other lives.
Song Kang-ho as Park Gang-du
Byeon Hie-bong as Park Hie-bong
Park Hae-il as Park Nam-il
Bae Doo-na as Park Nam-ju
Ko Ah-sung as Park Hyun-seo Directed by Bong Joon-ho
The Host is one of the best monster films to come out in years. End review.
Okay, I’ll continue. I’ll be doing this two-fold. First, a general review up top, and then a full recap of the film after a break with warning, so if you wish to avoid spoilers, you will know when to stop. As the American release has been pushed back again, and based on many other films might never show up in American theaters outside of film festivals, so TarsTarkas.NET is plowing ahead and taking it on ourselves. Take that, terrible American foreign film distributors!
The delightful opening sequence when the monster runs amok is a nice change from the films that spend forever building up and then end up insulting the audience with disappointing action sequences and a creature with no personality. Godzilla from 1998 is a good example, and why that monster is called GINO (Godzilla In Name Only.) As people run around in panic, the sense of chaos is portrayed by the handheld camera shots and the people running for their lives. The monster is not always in view, at times we don’t know where it is, as the scenario would be like to anyone caught in the middle of the action.
With actors who’ve played characters in great Korean treasures such as Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Memories of Murder (the latter was done by the same director), The Host has collectively some of the best actors in South Korea. The characterization and acting in the film are top notch, another thing missing from many monster films (the too numerous to mention Sci-Fi Channel films would be a major contributor.) Song Kang-ho is Park Gang-du (or Kang-doo or Kang-du, depending on which translation scheme you use) who is a single father working in his dad’s food shop by the Han River. Gang-du had a tough life growing up, and now spends lots of his time sleeping. His professional archery competitor sister Nam-ju is played by Bae Doo-na (or Bae Du-na), one of Korea’s best young actresses. Her hesitation costs her at tournaments. The third sibling is Park Hae-il as Nam-il, a burnt out college graduate who has no job besides crawling into a bottle to forget his unemployment, and is a die hard pessimist. The father of the clan is Park Hie-bong, played by Byeon Hie-bong, who is great as well. Relative newcomer Ko Ah-sung plays the young daughter of Gang-du, Park Hyun-seo, who is trapped in the Creature’s lair.