hologram king

Tom Hanks stars in a movie currently in theaters, but you might not be able to tell judging by the absence of advertising, much less critical buzz, for A Hologram for the King. Tom Tykwer‘s gentle (and often lovely) adaptation of Dave Egger‘s novel of the same name was recently released into a few hundred theaters, and it was met with somewhat mixed reviews and an underwhelming opening weekend at the box office, even by its own modest standards.

How exactly does a movie that stars Tom Hanks manage to fly so far under the radar for the general public? Is the film simply not commercial enough? Maybe, but whatever the case, it’s still a little disheartening to see a fine drama with a name like Hanks attached to it fail to reach a wide audience.

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hologram king

Tom Tykwer‘s last movie was one of the stranger things Tom Hanks has ever done. Cloud Atlas, co-directed by the Wachowskis, had Hanks playing a number of different roles spanning genres, continents, and centuries. It was an intriguing reminder that Hanks, who could easily coast on popularity and charisma at this point, is still the kind of actor who takes risks. Now the pair have teamed up again for A Hologram for the King, a more ordinary-looking adventure — though to be fair, pretty much everything looks ordinary compared to Cloud Atlas.

Based on the novel by Dave EggersA Hologram for the King stars Hanks as a struggling American businessman. In a desperate attempt to save himself, he jets off to Saudi Arabia to score a potentially massive deal. At first he’s disoriented by his unfamiliar new surroundings, but eventually this strange new land helps him rediscover himself. Watch the first A Hologram for the King trailer below.

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hologram king

We haven’t heard much about A Hologram for the King over the past two years, which is when we got our first look at Tom Hanks in the film. Tom Tykwer‘s adaptation of Dave Eggers‘ novel began shooting in March of 2014. It was surprising when the film didn’t premiere at any major film festivals last year, but perhaps Tykwer was afforded the right amount of time to properly finish his upcoming project.

A Hologram for the King will soon be released, though, and a German trailer for the film has hit the web, in addition to a slew of new photos, which you can check out below.

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Tom Hanks in A Hologram for the King

That shot above is the first desolate look at Tom Hanks in A Hologram for the King, which is the new film from Tom Tykwer. Hanks had a big role in Tykwer’s last film, too, which was the Wachowski siblings collaboration Cloud Atlas. Hanks’ company Playtone produced this new movie, along with a couple other companies, and it is being shown to distributors at Cannes. Read More »


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Cloud Atlas Hanks future

Some of the Cloud Atlas team is coming back together for another literary adaptation. Tom Hanks and Tom Tykwer are teaming up to adapt A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. Hanks and his company Playtone will produce, and Hanks will star, while Tykwer will produce and direct. (Presumably he could do the film’s music, as well.)

The book, which the New York Times called “a globalized Death of a Salesman,”  follows a struggling American businessman who attempts to mount a plan for personal and financial salvation in a Saudi Arabian city. Read More »

The Alamo Drafthouse Picks the Top 10 Films of 2012

The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.

With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.

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Here’s my full interview with the writers and directors of Cloud AtlasAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowksi and Tom Tykwer.

Last week, we broke up this long interview into four parts to make it both more digestible and to keep in spirit with the film, which comprises six radically different, but related, stories. The film jumps from story to story to story, with the last scene informing and enlightening the first, even though they’re set in totally different time periods and genres. Actors portray upwards of six roles each giving the viewer an hint of how these beings relate to each other, only to effect the others – and human history – in radical and exciting ways.

While the Wachowskis have done little to no press since the release of The Matrix, it was my honor (and horror) to be able to sit down with them, and Tykwer, for thirty minutes to discuss the movie. I was frightened, nervous, intimidated  but in the end all three filmmakers not only enhanced my (immense) enjoyment of the movie, but were themselves fascinating and brilliant subjects. I wish I could have talked for an hour more.

I can’t recommend Cloud Atlas highly enough. You may not emotionally connect to it as much as I did, but it’s such a different, expertly crafted experience, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself, and big budget, risky films in the future, by not seeing it.

After the jump, read a full transcript of my interview with Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowki and Lana Wachowski, the writers and directors of Cloud AtlasRead More »

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 »

Editor’s Note: This is the third of a four part series breaking down /Film’s interview with Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, the writers and directors of Cloud Atlas. Look for a new part each day leading up to the film’s release October 26. Read part one here and part two here.

When Cloud Atlas opens this Friday, it’s going to be very divisive. Some, like myself, will be transfixed by the way the film takes you on a journey across time, enlightening the audience to the evolution and connections of the human soul via multiple genres, tones and more. Others might find it confusing, overly long and distracting. Directors Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer are aware of this and, in the third part of my interview with the co-writers and directors of this incredible film, they discuss those difficulties and how they were an obstacle from the very beginning of the process.

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Editor’s Note: This is the second of a four part series breaking down /Film’s interview with Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, the writers and directors of Cloud Atlas. Look for a new part each day leading up to the film’s release October 26. Read part one here.

With six stories, three directors and actors playing multiple parts across totally different stories, there’s a lot going on in Cloud Atlas. One of the film’s pleasures is how art, and a love of art, is always part of the story. Whether it’s one character reading a book, listening to a piece of music, or watching a movie, art is always at the center of Cloud Atlas helping to sew all of its seemingly random threads together. This is a fact that’s not lost on the film’s directors, all art lovers themselves.

In the second part of our interview with the writers and directors of Cloud AtlasAndy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, we discuss this particular reading of the film and how art is truly a way to link us all.

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