Movie Review: THE UNTOLD STORY and CLOUD ATLAS - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Terry's Take

Movie Review: THE UNTOLD STORY and CLOUD ATLAS

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 Just after the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, hundreds of local Japanese leaders were arrested and taken to internment camps on all the major islands. That's the subject of an excellent feature length documentary called THE UNTOLD STORY: INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE AMERICANS IN HAWAII.

Principals and senior teachers at Japanese schools plus religious and business leaders were rounded up, handcuffed and taken to prison camps. On Oahu there were two: one on Sand Island, the other in Honouliuli on the Ewa plain.
 
Using skillful re-enactments and fascinating interviews with survivors and their adult children, director Ryan Kawamoto shows us the facts of the shameful racial profiling that tore so many families apart. The daughter of an internee tells us: "I remember somebody explaining he is not a prisoner; he's an 'intern,' and I thought what is the difference because you know Pop isn't at home. I just wanted to see him."

THE UNTOLD STORY was shown at the Hawaii International Film Festival, but it will have one additional screening next Saturday, November 10th at 9 AM at Consolidated's Ward Theater complex. For tickets, call the Japanese Cultural Center at 945-7633.  

CLOUD ATLAS is the most unique Hollywood movie of 2012 so far. This science fiction adventure-drama cuts back and forth between six different stories in settings ranging from the 19th century to a post apocalyptic future.

Nearly all of the actors appear in all six stories in very different guises. Some of Tom Hanks' six roles, for example, are villains; some are heroes. Halle Berry plays a man in one of her six parts and a Caucasian woman in another.

We hear in voice over bold philosophical statements like: "Our lives are not are own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."
 
Directed by three different filmmakers and running almost three hours, CLOUD ATLAS is both exhilarating and exasperating. I can't think of any other movie that I've had such a mixed reaction to.
 
I applaud the movie's ambition, but I also think it bites off way more than it can chew. The film practically demands that you see it more than once to figure out how everything is connected.
      
CLOUD ATLAS wants to be all things to all people which is impossible. Sometimes I groaned and scoffed. Other times I was dazzled and moved.
        
thunter@hawaiinewsnow.com