With six stories spanning nearly three hours, told by an ensemble cast and three directors, the sheer amount of information presented by and discussions one can have about Cloud Atlas is staggering. Co-writers and directors Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski took David Mitchell‘s novel, which nests six stories within each other, and broke it down into one forward-flowing mosaic. Set in several time periods from the 1800s through the 2300s, the film blends genres and tones to show the human soul moving from century to century, and explore how our actions in one life might affect the next.

And that’s just a very superficial interpretation. There’s much, much more to the movie, which is why it’s one of the year’s best.

As one might expect on a production so massive, there are tons of bits of behind the scenes trivia and on-screen secrets. Were there additional stories meant for the film or novel? Were the directors ever on set together? How did characters get cast? Which actress thought she’d be fired? And what exactly happens at the end of the film? We’ve complied 15 things you probably didn’t know, or notice about Cloud Atlas. After the jump, read all about them. Read More »

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Editor’s Note: This is the fourth and final part of /Film’s interview with Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, the writers and directors of Cloud Atlas. Read part one herepart two here and part three here. The full interview will be published tomorrow, the day the film opens.

All of the major actors in Cloud Atlas play at least four roles. A few play as many as six. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Doona Bae, Hugh Grant, James D’Arcy and Keith David all have multiple personalities to portray. Some significant, others less so, and they’re not always the same race or sex as the actor in the role.

So in the film, you’ll get to see Halle Berry as an Asian man and a white German woman. Hugo Weaving is a hulking female nurse; Jim Sturgess is a Korean crime fighter; and Ben Whishaw is a loving wife. In doing this, co-writers and directors Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer were able to visually display the movement and evolution of the human soul across eternity and also play against segregated acting conventions Hollywood has employed for years. They believe actors should not be pidgeonholed by their race or sex and, after the jump, the three filmmakers discuss not only that, but how the process was liberating for their actors.

After the jump, read the fourth part of my interview with the team behind Cloud Atlas. Read More »

The red-band trailer for Peter Farrelly‘s Movie 43 leaned hard on the shock factor of seeing big Hollywood stars revel in foul language and filthy jokes, but the poor green-band trailer is stuck trying to sell the exact same product by only hinting at what the NSFW version could actually show. Is Anna Faris asking Chris Pratt to take a dump on her still comedy gold when the word “poop” has to be substituted with a fart noise? Is Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts bullying their own kid still shocking when they have to keep their behavior G-rated?

Eh, truthfully, I think the answer is that none of this looked all that outrageous to begin with. But at least it’s not any less funny than it was before. Hit the jump to see Hugh Jackman, Gerard ButlerKate Winslet, Halle Berry, Stephen MerchantEmma Stone, Kristen Bell, Elizabeth Banks, Josh Duhamel, Terrence Howard, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Seann William Scott, Jason Sudeikis, Kristen BellRichard Gere, and so, so, so many more celebs in the new SFW trailer.

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Do you want to see a couple generations of today’s stars — Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Emma Stone, and many more — spouting dirty jokes? Then Movie 43, masterminded by Peter “One Half of the Farrelly Brothers” Farrelly, probably has something for you. The red-band trailer has turned into an essential component in marketing the R-rated comedy, and when the comedy is promised as a collection of particularly dirty, foul-mouthed sketches, nothing but the red-band will do.

So here’s a first look at Movie 43, which features over 20 comedy sketches from nearly a dozen directors, and a cavalcade of stars. Some of the stuff is so in line with people’s previous work that it doesn’t even seem transgressive; I think one of the Scary Movies pooped on me, so seeing Anna Faris ask for the same thing is just turnabout/fair play. But seeing Halle Berry in wild mode might be great, and it’s always fun to see Kate Winslet go blue. (Check out Romance & Cigarettes if you’ve never seen it — not a great movie, but lord, does Winslet let go there.)

Be ready for some dirty, but not off-puttingly filthy jokes in the not safe for work trailer below. Read More »

Given the sprawling scope and staggering ambition of the Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer‘s Cloud Atlas, it seems only appropriate that the movie open on some of the largest screens in the world. IMAX has announced that the epic saga will hit their super-sized screens next month, on the same day as Cloud Atlas‘ regular, non-IMAX release. It’s worth pointing out, however, that Cloud Atlas was not shot in native IMAX but is being digitally remastered for the release.

Still, whether you plan to see it on the big screen or the extra-big one, Cloud Atlas looks like one of this fall’s most intriguing offerings. To pique viewer interest, Warner Bros. has just unveiled the first TV spot for the movie. While the previously released extended and theatrical trailers underscored the movie’s more emotional themes, the new 30-second spot cuts straight to the sci-fi action goodness. Watch it after the jump.

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The themes of Cloud Atlas are legion, and the 160 minutes the film spans are epic. Six or seven plots are considered, depending how you define your storylines, and the time period ranges from 1849 to somewhere 400 years into the distant future. What I’m getting at here is the grandness of the scope, the giantess of the spectacle, the massive overarching ambition of the work. Co-writers and directors Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski have delivered a weighty film tome for our analysis, and I have a feeling this one is going to be spurring conversations for years to come.

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‘Cloud Atlas’ Theatrical Trailer

Anyone who’s really eager to see the Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer‘s Cloud Atlas has likely already pored over that six-minute trailer released over the summer, but for the rest of the moviegoing public there’s now a more traditional two-minute theatrical version. Whichever camp you fall into, the new cut is worth checking out, as there’s a bit of fresh footage to be found here.

Based on David Mitchell‘s acclaimed novel, Cloud Atlas weaves together six tangentially related stories that traverse time and space. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, and Bae Doona star, each playing a number of different characters across the different plotlines. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Early Buzz: ‘Cloud Atlas’ Test Screening Reactions

The same breathtaking ambition that makes Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer‘s David Mitchell adaptation Cloud Atlas so intriguing also gives it the potential to flop, hard. Weaving together six interlocking stories that cut across time, space, and genre is difficult enough to do within the confines of a novel, to say nothing of a three-hour film. Then there’s that insane casting: stars like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, and Jim Sturgess are each playing multiple characters, in some cases switching genders or races to do so.

Thankfully, buzz from test screenings suggests that much more of it works than not. Keep in mind that quite a few things may have changed in the few months since testing began (for one thing, some of these folks saw a cut that was four hours long), and that these reactions are coming from people whose tastes we don’t know. Even so, a flood of positive reactions seems like a very promising sign. Hit the jump to read the comments.

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