I'm bummed to see Cloud Atlas do poorly at the box office. For one, I hate the idea that the Wachowskis are now essentially cemented as box office poison. Their next film will have to be smaller and less grand, and maybe even a little more obvious. But what's more, I think it's a defeat for interesting movies. People whine and moan that the theaters are choked with sequels and remakes and shitty Kevin James movies, but when given a challenging alternative, they don't take it.
Of course going to the movies shouldn't be a duty. All too often we talk about seeing a new film as something we must do as a fan, like we're gritting our teeth and letting our drunk husbands have his way with us for queen and country. The reality is that Cloud Atlas is a movie everybody should see not because it's homework but because even if you don't like it, it offers a lot to talk about. And it's a sheerly cinematic spectacle; this is a film that you'll like better on the big screen.
If you're still considering seeing the film, read my review and take a moment to watch my interview with the Wachowskis and co-director Tom Tykwer (original strength or director's cut!). Also read Film Crit Hulk's review. If you have seen the film, weigh in below. There's a lot to chew on in Cloud Atlas, and I'm excited to hear your take.