Lana and Larry Wachowski (The Matrix) team up with German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) to make this sprawling science-fiction drama that spans 500 years and features a large cast of characters whose lives intertwine as they are reincarnated over the centuries.
One story has a San Francisco lawyer travelling in the Pacific Islands in 1849. In 1938 Britain, a young composer plys his trade. In 1973 San Francisco, a journalist investigates environmental corruption. And back in London, a publisher struggles with his business and personal life. In 2144, a genetically engineered domestic worker labors in New Seoul. And in 2300s Hawaii, the indigenous inhabitants are engaged in perpetual tribal warfare
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Halle Berry and Bae Doona are just some of the stars.
Based on the 2004 novel by David Mitchell that had been considered "unfilmable", critical reception is mixed, but it's probably worth seeing on the big screen just for the spectacle of it all. Cloud Atlas opened last week in Bangkok for a sneak-preview run, and now moves to a wider release. Rated 18+.
The Impossible – Filmed more than a year ago in Khao Lak, Phang Nga, Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) directs this fact-based account of a vacationing British family caught in the disaster of the 2004 tsunami. A mother and father and their three sons are torn apart by waves, with the mother and the oldest boy carried away and the dad and the two younger boys frantically searching. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star. A likely multiple-nominee for the Academy Awards, it premiered at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Critical reception is mostly positive, with many plaudits for its gripping realism. You can read more about it in a recent Nation article. Rated G.
The Paperboy – Director Lee Daniels, who won acclaim last year for Precious, about a troubled inner-city girl, heads to 1960s Florida for this steamy and sordid tale about a newspaper reporter (Matthew McConaughey) digging into an old murder case. Zac Efron, a trashy Nicole Kidman and John Cusack also star. It's based on the best-selling novel by Pete Dexter. Critical reception is mixed. At Apex, House and SF World at CentralWorld. Rated 18+.
Rise of the Guardians – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost form a superhero team to take on Pitch the Bogeyman who is scheming to take over the world by scaring all the children. The voice cast in this animated feature stars Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine and Jude Law. If you've seen the old Rankin-Bass holiday TV specials or Monsters Inc., it's a familiar tale, but has a few new twists, such as Santa as a tattooed Russian and the Easter Bunny as a boomerang-throwing Australian. Critical reception is generally positive. In 3D. Rated G.
Cold War – Despite Hong Kong's film industry being largely subsumed and devoted to making Chinese fantasy movies, the island territory still manages to produce the cracking type of police thrillers it's famous for. Cold War has been widely compared to Infernal Affairs, though other pundits say it's more like one of the early Police Story movies without any Jackie Chan martial-arts action. The story involves a police van carrying cops and hi-tech equipment that's been hijacked. The officers have been taken hostage. With the clock ticking, senior officials jockey to take charge of the case. Cold War opened this year's Busan International Film Festival, and has been generally well-received. It's in Cantonese with English and Thai subtitles at some cinemas, including SF cinemas at CentralWorld, MBK and Central Rama 9. Rated 15+.
Son of Sardaar – Jassi (Ajay Devgn) is a young man returns to India from London to his home village, where he eventually comes into conflict with a powerful local man named Billu (Sanjay Dutt). Things are further complicated when Jassi falls for Billu's niece (Sonakshi Sinha). A sprawling action-drama and comedy, along the lines of Dabangg and Rowdy Rathore, critical reception is mostly positive. Starts on Friday at Major Cineplex Sukhumvit and Central Rama III.
Talaash – A simple car-accident investigation spins out of control for a police inspector in this thriller starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherji. Released by the Bollywood Thai gang, it's at SF Cinema City Terminal 21 from Friday until December 5. For more information, call (089) 488 2620.
House cinema on RCA is closed from today through Sunday for a private function.