Cloud Atlas (Andy Wachowski/Lana Wachowski/Tom Tykwer) ***1/2 - I haven't read the book but I've been told it's so gargantuan and complex it's widely considered to be unfilmable. Based on the film I've seen, I can definitely see why. There are many, many things to love and admire about this film. The sheer scope, complexity and ambition involved in interweaving six stories spanning millenniums featuring an ensemble cast performing multiple roles oftentimes changing age, race and even gender. For all its ambitions, it's still a flawed piece of work but with many, many moments of brilliance. It's obviously a risky, passion project that despite the fact that it's not 100 percent successful, it should still be seen as a somewhat of a masterpiece, a flawed masterpiece but a masterpiece by the three directors nonetheless.
Something in the Air (Olivier Assayas) *** - (see below)
Amour (Michael Haneke) **** - (see below)
Batang West Side (Lav Diaz) **** - (see below)
Distortion (Nonzee Nimibutr) ** - (see below)
Barbara (Christian Petzold) *** - (see below)
Jan Dara: The Beginning (ML Bhandevanop Devakula) **1/2 - (see below)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Peter Jackson) *** - I'm a fan of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. It was only a matter of time before there was a film adaptation of The Hobbit. I went "hmmm" when I heard it was being split into two but I got very, very concerned when Peter Jackson was announced it was gonna be another trilogy. As for the film itself, it's not bad but it's nowhere near as great as any of the films of the original trilogy. Though it's seldom boring, the film does feel padded out. Though I must say the third hour (and when Gollum is on-screen) comes close the majesty of the original films. I saw this in 48 fps/HFR 3D. It felt weird at first but then I got used to it. Except for small number of shots, I felt it really wasn't needed to fully appreciate and enjoy the visuals. The CGI and makeup, however, looks and feels a bit more real and I jumped a couple of times. I will say it's optional. All in all, not a bad movie but falls short of the greatness of the original trilogy.