I saw Cloud Atlas and I really, really liked it. Although, reading Gabe's review, I have to admit that he's right on all accounts. I wasn't bothered by a lot of the things in the film that should have bothered me, but the one thing that did get me was the casting. Very rarely did the casting races into other races not look... weird. Also, while I thought Tom Hanks was fine in the Sloosha's Crossing storyline (the post-apocalyptic one) and the Half Lives: A Luisa Rey Mystery, I thought he did come off very sketch comedy-ish in the others... Some of the casting gimmicks did work for me, though. I loved that Hugo Weaving played the mean nurse in The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish. I was also surprised to see that the young Sixsmith and the old Sixsmith were played by the same actor. That old person make-up sure fooled me... Also, I though Hugh Grant was pretty good in this.
As far as the content of the stories, I wasn't bothered by their inconsistency and problems, because, well, the same can be said of the novel. This is what I was expecting. Just like in the book, my favorite story (one that I love, actually) was the Letters from Zedelheim (the music storyline), because it was very straight-forward, and it wasn't trying too hard to fall into a genre . I love David Mitchell, and this book got me into him, but I have to admit that it isn't his best work. The Luisa Rey Mystery comes off as a badly-written detective fiction, and even though we learn in the Timothy Cavendish comedy that it is supposed to be a badly-written detective fiction, it is still as fun to read (and watch) as a badly-written detective fiction. I mean, I admire what he was doing, but I don't like that section. I also don't really like the Orison of Somni-451 and Sloosha's Crossing stories, because the former is way too cliché and the latter is quite confusing. That being said, I loved the visuals in the movie for Somni-451... I did enjoy the Timothy Cavendish storyline (the old people one), but it isn't exactly an amazing story. It is supposed to be a movie-comedy, and I think it works all right... I also enjoyed the Pacific Journal storyline, as I also did in the book. I think the twist in that story is creepy and good, but I don't like Tom Hank's casting in this one.
All in all, I really want to go watch it one or two more times at the theaters. I loved the visuals and the music. Sometimes it was weird, but I like that they presented all the stories at once, instead of how Mitchell did it (first half of 1,2,3,4,5, all of 6, last half of 5,4,3,2,1). Mitchell's presentation worked in the novel, but it might have been oddly paced in the movie. There were so many times when the gimmicks pulled me out of the movie, but then, Mitchell's gimmicks do the same for some of his books. Despite its faults, there were moments in the movie that got me quite emotional and moved.