Local critics travel different directions on 'Cloud Atlas'

Local critics are all over the map with the multi-tier sci-fi drama "Cloud Atlas," one of the new films opening in theaters this weekend. Also opening is the new teen comedy "Fun Size," which recently premiered at the Mall of America.

By Tim Lammers

Local critics are all over the map with the multi-tier sci-fi drama "Cloud Atlas," one of the new films opening in theaters this weekend.

A 2-hour and 43-minute opus from the makers of "The Matrix" that tries to simultaneously tell six storylines over five centuries, "Cloud Atlas" stars the likes of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant, who play multiple roles under the direction of three filmmakers.

Chris Hewitt of the Pioneer Press admires the originality of "Cloud Atlas," and while he admits it's not a great film, he says it has moments of greatness.

Colin Covert of the Star Tribune on the other hand, says "Cloud Atlas" could use direction, and calls the leap-frogging narratives an exercise that "reeks of self-admiring cleverness."

Though not as harsh, Nick Pinkerton of City Pages is on the same page as Covert, saying "Cloud Atlas," summing up that the film is too ambitious for its own good.

Also perplexed by the film, Eric Henderson of WCCO.com poses the interesting question of how to grade "Cloud Atlas," asking, "How often can you say that an “A” for effort is attached to an “F” for achievement?"

Here's my review of the film on KARE 11.

Take an extended look at "Cloud Atlas" below.

On a much lighter note, Hewitt had fun with "Fun Size" (which recently premiered at the Mall of America) calling it a genial mash-up of every movie John Hughes ever made," but says star Victoria Justice doesn't quite measure up to Hughes film star Molly Ringwald.

Karina Longworth of City Pages also wrote a positive review of "Fun Size," saying it delivers a "smart and emotionally satisfying slice of wish fulfillment."

Here's my interview with "Fun Size" stars Victoria Justice and Thomas Mann.

See a video about the "Fun Size" Mall of America celebration below.

Bring Me The News news curator Tim Lammers is also a nationally-syndicated movie journalist whose work appears on more than 50 TV affiliate web sites in the U.S. Tim has interviewed more than 1,000 major actors and filmmakers throughout his career, and locally, he reviews films on KARE 11 News at 11 and WCCO Radio. Tim's work is also featured on his website, StrictlyCinema.com.

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