Reactions from the Rublik: Cloud Atlas, Argo, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

Now a little over three weeks into my stay, I have found myself returning to the Rublik again and again in order to try and keep abreast of the latest (and sometimes future) releases. This week, I also branched out and tried a new cinema — Парма — for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and the promise of a beer with my popcorn.

I feel that my Russian is improving, as I seem to be understanding more and more of the dialogue — or, at least picking up more of the gist — than ever. That said, Cloud Atlas and Argo both had their mystifying moments, particularly in the case of the latter. Regardless, here as usual are my reactions to each.

Four years on from Speed Racer — in which time they have produced Ninja Assassin and signed to write and direct Jupiter Ascending — the Wachowski siblings have returned with Cloud Atlas (Облачный атлас), an adaptation of the acclaimed novel by David Mitchell (not that one), which was co-directed by Tom Tykwer. 

Described by its creator as a pointillist mosaic, Cloud Atlas incorporates six separate narratives, each cut-off by both space and time. Highlights include a beautifully imagined future dystopia, in which a clone becomes a Christ-like figure, and a revolt at an old people’s home in 2012. Each cast member takes on a number of different characters — unrestricted by race or gender — in what is often a triumph of versatility and computer effects. At almost three hours, however, it is simply too long.

The third feature-length effort from Daredevil-turned-director Ben Affleck, Argo (Операция “Арго”) is a vast improvement on the rather staid likes of Gone Baby Gone and The Town. A loose dramatisation of CIA-operative Tony Mendez’s account of a bravura plot to rescue six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, with Affleck’s character posing as a producer for a Canadia science fiction film looking to shoot in Iran.

With its historical underpinnings and absurdist plot, Argo is very far removed indeed from the American gangster fodder that has fuelled Afflecks directorial efforts to date. Beautifully contrasting the desperate plight of its six refugees with the prosthetic razzmatazz of 1970s Hollywood, the director wrings incredible tension out of a story that we already know the outcome of, and — despite a finale that pushes his creative license a little too far — creates not only something which is technically proficient (the period trappings are perfect: all hair and smoke) but genuinely thrilling as well.

Three and a half books into Stephanie Meyer’s hyper-successful Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (Сумерки. Сага. Рассвет, часть 2) is the fifth and final instalment in Summit’s blockbuster film series. Helmed by Bill Condon (who did the last one, too), the film picks up where Part 1 left off: with newlywed vampires Bella Swan and Edward Cullen the proud parents of a bad special effect and the Volturi learning of the Bella’s transformation.

Of all the films I have watched in Russian so far, Breaking Dawn – Part 2 might well be my favourite, and not only because the word “shield” (used throughout) translates almost exactly as “shit”. The Hoegaarden helped too. Approximately 25% running, 25% Mackenzie Foy’s  Renesmee touching people, 25% posing in knitwear and 25% the audience cringing into their popcorn, Condon’s film really is a sight to behold. From the Cullen’s pixel-faced child (presumably employed so Taylor Lautner didn’t have to feel weird about mooning at a ball on a stick), the truly awful racial profiling and a final battle so out of place that I may well have hallucinated it, this is nothing more than a fitting end to The Twilight Saga.

Next up: Rise of the Guardians.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

3 Responses to Reactions from the Rublik: Cloud Atlas, Argo, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

  1. Pingback: November 2012 – Welcome to Scotland! « popcornaddict

  2. Pingback: Films of the Year – 2012 « popcornaddict

  3. Pingback: Cloud Atlas (2013) « popcornaddict

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