Note: this is an archived entry. Some links might not still work, but I have tried to ensure scan and video embeds are still in place. If any linked material is unavailable, please let me know and I’ll attempt to find a copy in my personal archives.
There's a ton of new material since the previous post… but first things first: another new Hugo Weaving interview! This time three pages' worth, from Cinema Blend:
Cloud Atlas’ Hugo Weaving On Ambitious Filmmaking And The Movie's 'Yellowface' Controversy
2012-10-24 16:50:38 Author: Eric Eisenberg
It’s a strange pattern, but where there’s a big budget, highly ambitious project in the works there’s a very good chance that Hugo Weaving will be involved. It began in 1999 when the Australian actor first teamed up with the Andy and Lana Wachowski to play the villainous Agent Smith in revolutionary science-fiction modern classic The Matrix, but even since then he’s found himself playing in movies like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Captain America: The First Avenger (which qualifies due to its part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), and, most recently, in the soon to be released Cloud Atlas. Is he a conscious decision to star in films that could potentially change the industry? Does he actively seek out parts in the boldest projects he can find? I recently had the chance to find out the answers.
During a recent press day for Cloud Atlas, which reunites the actor with the Wachowski Starship for the first time since V For Vendetta, I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with the exceedingly talented performer to talk not only about his latest movie, but also the path of his career and the choices he has made. Check out the interview below, in which Weaving discusses his appearance-motivated performances, working with director Tom Tykwer in conjunction with the Wachowskis, and the film’s “yellowface” controversy.
NOTE: At one point in the interview Weaving did go into spoiler territory, and while what he says won’t ruin the movie for you, it might be best to come back to once you’ve already seen the film. Be careful scrolling!
I’m curious about how ambition enters in to the equation when you’re selecting scripts, because not only do you have this film – which is a major undertaking in its own right – The Matrix movies, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and even the Marvel Cinematic Universe are some of the biggest, most ambitious projects we’ve seen in the last 20 years. Is that something that plays a part in your mind?
I would certainly agree that The Matrix and this film were very ambitious projects in some ways, and The Lord of the Rings is a very ambitious project in a totally different sort of way – but then the majority of the work that I do is actually ambitious in other ways, and it’s much more low budget, small, Australian contemporary films, to be honest, and that would be the bulk of my work. Or theater! My ambition would be to stretch myself in all sorts of different ways and work with wonderful people and work with wonderful scripts, actually. The script is always the thing that’s the key for me, and that’s the thing that, hopefully, if someone’s got a script it means that they’re interested in the material, they’re interested in the ideas that are in that script, so if they’re interested in that and I’m interested in that hopefully that means we have a similar interest- and that might mean it would be good to work with them. So I’ve always taken the script as being the first place for working, the ideas are embedded in that, and certainly this film is chock-a-block full of ideas, from this wonderful book that I had loved so much anyways. So it was something that was very kind of exciting to me, the idea of it.
I have to imagine that reuniting with the Wachowskis as directors must have played a role as well.
Absolutely. We kept seeing each other over the years, either with The Matrix or V For Vendetta or this and in between times, but we kept chatting. It’s always lovely to see them. I feel very, very close to both of them, and the addition of Tom [Tykwer] on this one has been great.
I was actually just about to ask about that. How did working with Tom Tykwer in the mix change the dynamic on set, or did it?
It totally affected the dynamic of this film. Totally affected it in a wonderful way. This project came out of the fact that Tom and Lana and Andy met, and they met because they liked each other’s’ films and wanted to meet – which is a good way of meeting. They met, they talked, they loved talking to each other; they met again, they became friends, they shared similar ideas and are all highly intelligent men and women who have a shared bond. And they’re very generous, very warm. So the idea of working together came out of that. And if we are going to work together what is that project to be? So what I think Tom has brought to them is like he holds a mirror up to them in the way that Lana and Andy held a mirror up to each other and projected each other and reflected each other on to themselves. So the sense that you might have a triumvirate directing a film is a great one. But only if that triumvirate actually works together and gets on and in this case they do and the project would never have happened if they hadn’t gotten on. So if you have a studio and said, “Let’s get these three directors together and we’ll give them this script” it might not work so well. So the genesis of this project has come out of people who are interested in the material and people who are interested in working together. And so all the actors are interested in the material, all of the ideas incorporated around that, and the idea of working with either Tom or Lana or Andy. So I think he’s brought so much to them and he’s brought so much to the life of the project and the first day we had the read through he played his music, and that kind of underpinned that score – the Cloud Atlas Sextet – he scored the whole thing for us.
Obviously I don’t want to ignore the other great work you’ve done, but I’ve also noticed a pattern in your career where you take parts that not only change your physical appearance, but also play characters that are partially defined by their appearance. You have the multiple characters in this different looks, but even Agent Smith takes something as simple as a suit and sunglasses and makes them iconic. How does the appearance of a character, like Nurse Noakes or Old Georgie in this movie, change your approach?
Well, your body, what happens to your body, is a product of the way you think and the way you are and what you do in your life – we get older and we get saggier and wrinklier and we get more weighed down, or we get older and we have more of a thirst for life. So the way you think and what you do defines your body. So any physicality of any character is based on who they are and what they’ve done and where they’ve been and why they are the way they are. So as long as that physicalization springs from something that is truthful for that character, then that’s worth chasing and finding. Smith is a construct, he’s not a robot, but he’s not a human. He’s a construct, so he has a certain bearing, a certain gate, a certain vocal delivery, because I figured well, if he’s not a human and he’s not a robot what would he be like? He’s probably sound like a news reader and he’d have a particular kind of enunciated delivery. So any physicalization or vocalization of any kind in a character comes from what’s written there and what’s suggested by the character as written.
To talk a bit about your evolution in the film, I actually think that you have the most fascinating path in the movie. Unlike some of your co-stars who get to play on both good and evil characters, throughout this you are always playing someone on the wrong side of right, and what that leads to is Old Georgie, who is not a person but rather more like a manifestation of evil. How do you wrap your mind around that progression?
It was always a character that I loved – I loved reading a lot of the characters from the book, but Georgie jumped out at me, and he jumps out of you because he’s inside Zachry’s head and you’re with Zachry and you know what’s happened to Zachry. Zachry’s in a world where he believes in the devil. It’s a futuristic world, but it’s also a medieval world with medieval sensibilities, and so people are prey to the voices in their head. We’re all prey to voices in our head! And this idea that Georgie is just this embodiment of the voice that says “no,” the voice that tells you that you must do this, you can’t do that. That happens to me all the time! So the challenge of playing Georgie was this wonderful thing. Yes, he’s a character, but actually he’s not – he’s not a human being. So then how do you shoot that? When I was trying on the costume I thought, “Well, this costume is great,” but I kept saying, “I really love this costume, but the more I think about Georgie the more I think you don’t want to see him, in a way.” You don’t want to notice that he’s got a shiny suit – you don’t want to think about that. It shouldn’t be shiny or it shouldn’t have this or…it should be more amorphous.
So I was talking to Lana and Andy about that we thought, well, he can’t come into frame, and you can’t see him leave frame because then he’s exiting to somewhere else and therefore he’s physical. So he can be found. He can not be there anymore. He can’t disappear, he can not be there. He can then appear somewhere else – when you cut he’s there, he’s over the shoulder. It’s the vocal intention that’s important; it’s what he’s saying that’s important. He is just Zachry talking to himself. It’s just Zachry’s fears and preconceptions. Zachry’s brain and upbringing is telling him, “I can’t do this, I can’t do that. But I want to do this.” He’s conflicted. Zachry’s got Meronym, who is here and has all this stuff and he mistrusts her, and thinks she might be bringing about the downfall of his civilization. He’d rather have these cannibals, these nasty warriors on horseback to deal with because he knows them, rather than this mysterious woman who he doesn’t know and doesn’t understand. And the threat that she poses because he doesn’t understand her is the thing that has him saying, “I have to kill her” – and that’s Georgie. “Stay how you are. Don’t change.” So he’s the voice of absolutely “Don’t change. Don’t be free.”
You mentioned that you had input on Georgie’s look; was it the same situation for your other characters as well?
Georgie’s look was pretty much there, it was just to do with the shininess. So it became flatter, and it was to do with not the perfect top hat, but the battered one, the more amorphous one. And the way that he appeared on screen. So it was all of that, and it was a good for everyone. And that brought about things with the way they might film Bill Smoke as well. All of the characters have a link, so there’s the soul’s link that may be in the way that they’re shot or how they might appear. When Bill Smoke appears and kills Sixsmith he appears in the back of frame dropping down and then he’s not there anymore. And then Sixsmith turns and there’s no one there behind the thing. And then Sixsmith…and then BANG! So that’s like Georgie – the way that Tom shot that echoed Georgie. It sort of echoes all the way through.
END OF SPOILERS
I do also want to ask: some people have found Cloud Atlas to be controversial in that it has white actors portraying Asian characters. Basically, claims of ‘yellowface.” There have been some people that have attacked the film for that aspect and I’m curious what you make of it.
Again, it’s not just a silly, flashy idea – it springs out of this very central, simple idea in the material, in the book: whatever the wrapping you have around you, whether it be European, Asian, male, female, whatever age you are, whatever time you live in, there’s an essential humanity that lies underneath all of that. And having actors play… I’m playing a Korean, my character. Doona [Bae], who is Korean, plays a Mexican. So it’s not just “yellowface.” Keith David is playing cross cultural. I’m playing a woman. Halle [Berry] is playing a Jewish woman. This wasn’t happening…it wasn’t one way traffic, it was traffic going all over the place. You have more of an argument for saying, “Hey, there’s all these roles that are being stolen from other actors! What’s going on here?” If you stick to the way the world should be then things don’t change. So everything in this film, the structure of it, the way in which it cast, the way it’s being brought about, and the way which we did it and the way in which we jumped into it with that spirit is because that is fundamental to the ideas of the material, and it’s not some kind of flashy game that’s just being thought up to make money. On the contrary, it’s absolutely not that. So any argument about that is quite easily countered, really. I just don’t buy it. I think it’s silly nonsense.
Because I’m just a huge nerd, I do really want to ask about the future of Red Skull in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Do you know where the Cosmic Cube sent him at the end of the Captain America movie? Also, do you have the same kind of multi-picture contract that the other actors do?
I think, yeah. I think anyone who signs up for Marvel probably would be obliged to sign a certain deal for three or four pictures or whatever, or more, actually, in some of those cases. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to come to fruition. There hasn’t been a Captain America 2 yet, and anyway if there was you would probably introduce another villain. So I didn’t think I’d be in another Cap America movie. The only thing – the possibility you might want to bring Red Skull back into an Avengers thing. That’s also tied in.
But to be honest, I don’t know that I’d want to go back there. I had a good time and it was a good thing to do. I was really thrilled that I did it. I loved working with Joe [Johnston] again, it was great to meet a lot of those actors…it was kind of a different experience for me being in that world, to play…and he’s a villain. I don’t describe many characters like that, but this is like an uber-villain. This guy thinks Hitler’s a pussy [laughs]. He’s a villain. So that’s why I did it, I was like “Let’s try this.” To play a role like that, that’s fun.
And what happens to him at the end of the film…I always said that the interesting thing about Red Skull for me was not the bombing of America. He’s not interested in that! He’s interested in the cube – he’s interested in the cosmic cube. He’s interested in being one with the gods. He wants to be up there and he’s saying to Cap, [in German accent] “Come on! You’re pretty cool! Come on, man! We’re better than this! We can go up here!” So that’s what interested me. He’d probably be in Valhalla – that’s where he wants to be. But who knows!
Again, I gotta hand it to these guys for handling the Marvel Movie issue in a fan-friendly way, yet without stirring up controversy. Any sentient being would understand Hugo had fun with that project, has no regrets about doing it, and is in no way insulting it, or the film's fans. He just doesn't want to repeat himself playing what is, in essence, a one-note character for years of his career.
Also, so good to hear Hugo soundly dismissing the identity politics poseurs! I would argue that there's no "yellowface" in the film at all– some actors are playing Asian or partly-Asian characters, but not in a racially insensitive way. And the film has more authentic Asian actors in it that just about any big-budget English-language film I could name this past year. (Yes, there's The Man With The Iron Fist, but that's being sold on Russell Crowe and every kung fu action stereotype I the book… I know the film itself has to be more intriguing than the advertising because The RZA created it– interesting that he's in almost none of the TV ads. But why is selling a stereotyped, mythic version of Asian culture more OK than trying to suggest we as humans should try to transcend racial categories?)
Meanwhile, we're waiting on those first premiere pics:
Photo: David Levi Tinker, via Twitter
Hugo Weaving: I am Rogue Interview
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 13:56Written by Jami Philbrick
Veteran actor Hugo Weaving has had a long and illustrious career appearing in several groundbreaking genre classics such as The Matrix trilogy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the upcoming The Hobbit trilogy, as well as V for Vendetta, and Captain America: The First Avenger. But the actor can now add a new genre classic to his resume with Cloud Atlas, which features Weaving in not one but six different roles and opens in theaters on October 26th.
Cloud Atlas reteams Weaving with his Matrix and Vendetta directors Andy and Lana Wachowski, and was also co-helmed by Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer. The film is based on author David Mitchell’s extremely popular book of the same name and in addition to Weaving, features several actors in numerous roles including Oscar winners Tom Hanks (Larry Crowne), Halle Berry (X-Men), Jim Broadbent (Arthur Christmas), and Susan Sarandon (Jeff, Who Lives at Home), as well as Jim Sturgess (21), Ben Whinshaw (Skyfall), James D’Arcy (Hitchcock), Doona Bae (The Host), Keith David (They Live), and Hugh Grant (About a Boy). The film's story spans centuries and has been described as an exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Hugo Weaving to talk about his work on Cloud Atlas. The acclaimed actor discussed the new film, its intricate plot, playing six different parts in the same movie, how they all connect, why he doesn’t think of his characters as villains, working with Tom Hanks, reuniting with the Wachowskis, and what the new dynamic was like on set between them and co-director Tom Tykwer.
Here is what the talented actor had to say:
IAR: To begin with, I assume that as an actor part of the fun of doing a project like this is that you will get to play a variety of different characters in one film. But after you were initially cast in the first of your six roles, did you have any say over which of the less prominent characters that you wanted to play?
Hugo Weaving: No. I read the book about six years ago actually when we were doing the movie V for Vendetta. I was talking to Lana about it then, but I didn't know it was going to be a film then and I didn’t know that they were interested in it. So when the screenplay was finally written and financing was happening, Andy rang me and said, “Mr. Weaving” (in the same way Agent Smith would say, “Mr. Anderson” in The Matrix). He said, “The script's arriving tomorrow and these are the roles we want you to play.” He also said, “Look, because this is a film we're telling this more like a mosaic. Author David Mitchell describes the book as a series of Russian dolls, like opening them up and you then read half of each of them. But this is more like a mosaic and these are the characters we want you to play.” So I knew what all of those characters were. He listed the six characters then and said, “The uber-soul if you like, the soul connecting all those characters as we call it is the antagonist so that's it, that's the package.” And I said, Georgie and Nurse Noakes? You want me to play Nurse Noakes and Boardman Mephi? I said, okay, great. So it's really thrilling. On set people were saying, “You're playing six characters? I'm only playing three!” Then they were sort of going up to the directors and asking for more parts. Some of those choices they made were brilliant. I’m talking about in particular a scene where Jim Sturgess’ character is coming down the stairs at same time when Ben Winshaw’s character Frobisher is coming back to the hotel and Tom Hanks the hotel manager is there. Ben has checked in as Ewing, because he's been reading the Pacific Diary of Adam Ewing and so he's checked in under the Ewing name. One of the great ideas is that Jim thought maybe he should come down the stairs then because he played Adam Ewing. So when Tom Hanks says the line, "Oh Mr. Ewing!" to Frobisher, Jim walks past. It's a beautiful, and great idea. So the actors were really fantastic. They were always like, "Maybe I could be…" So all that was going on but I missed out on all of that because I already had six characters anyway.
You mentioned that your roles are really the antagonists of this film; do you ever get tired of playing the villain? While your characters in V for Vendetta and The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit trilogies are not necessarily bad guys, you certainly have played your fair share between The Matrix trilogy and Captain America: The First Avenger, so does it ever grow old for you?
Weaving: Not at all really because if you look at everything I've done I've played so many different parts really. I mean even with Lana and Andy, but Lana did say the other day, “I think maybe we should next time give you a role that's a little more sympathetic.” I mean even V in V for Vendetta, he wouldn't be out of place in this film as one of the common characters really because he's very much a revolutionary spirit. Someone who's forced to act because of the regime he finds himself in, a very futuristic dystopia that he finds himself in and he's compelled because of his disfiguration to wear this mask. He's compelled to embody the spirit of Guy Fawkes and to bring about a change. So he's very much a revolutionary figure, probably more proactive than some of the revolutionaries in Cloud Atlas because they’re people who have do something small because they have to and that has massive repercussions for other people. But no I don't tire of playing these roles and I don't see them as villains, except maybe Red Skull and Captain America. He's an absolute cartoon villain and the job description for that is just to enjoy it.
I’ve heard actors say in the past that it is always more fun to play the villain than hero, do you find that to be true as well?
Weaving: It's certainly more fun. I generally don't describe the characters as villains unless it's something like Red Skull, but all my characters in this, if you line them up chronologically they start with a businessman (Haskell Moore) who's an upstanding member of the community and he's a philosopher. He believes in the ladder of civilization and that each race has its own rung and you can progress through that, but generally there are lower races and higher ones and gods at the top and this is how it shall be. But he's a father, he's a charming man, and he's an educated man. Then you progress through him to someone like Tadeusz Kesselring who's a conductor, an artistic soul actually. He's got this wonderful artistic capability, but he's compromised himself by choosing to stay in Nazi Germany and not standing up. He's like a Mephisto character. He's like the classic Marlon Brando character that’s got all these gifts, but he hasn't done the right thing. So you get the compromise that involves that and there's this sort of idea in the film that his Jewish lover, who Halle Berry plays, that he didn't stand up for her. She had to flee and he didn't go with her. He looked after himself. Then there is a character like Bill Smoke who's an agent, he's an assassin, but he's doing the bidding of someone else. I think David Mitchell says (in the book), “Don't blame the man, don't blame the gun, blame the other guy.” Then Boardman Mephi who absolutely believes that repression is necessary to maintain the system and if that means killing you because you're making waves, that's how it has to be. Then on the other end of the spectrum you've got Georgie, who is not even a character. He's not even a person. He's not a human being. He is just the voice in your head. He is the voice that says, “You must do this, and don't do that. Don't free your mind, and stay trapped.” He's the voice so that the agent of order and oppression is linked. That idea is linked through all those characters.
You mentioned in an earlier conversation that since Georgie is actually inside Zachry’s (Tom Hanks) head, you wanted them to interact in a particular way, with Georgie always appearing to Zachry at angles or from behind. Directors Tom Tykwer and Lana Wachowski have stated that they actually took inspiration from that and wanted to shoot your ‘1970s era character Bill Smoke in a similar way during the assignation scene that takes place towards the end of the film. Had you spoken about that with them and were you aware that they were filming the scene in that way when you were shooting it?
Weaving: Yeah. There were certain threads that were actually because of certain things we were doing that were picked up along the way and that was great. The script was edited and that's why it was actually great. If you knew the story, that was why it was great to read and when we all read it aloud it was great to hear all those voices. So all those edits were there. You got a character leaving one frame and coming in another as a different character, but it's always the same actor. That was all in there. But those other things kind of fortuitously happened by the doing of the process. All the things that I was always saying to the directors before like, there are going to be these things which pop up no matter how much planning you do. There are going to be things that present themselves that are better, and of course that's why they're great, because they're totally open to, and they do all their homework. They do all their planning and then they remain open to possibilities. There are echoes of characters like in the book and in the script, it's not so clear in the film actually although it was on the page, but they have to do with the edits. So there are people who fall, that are falling and jumping and falling through space. Frobisher jumping out of the window ended up not being cut, but he climbs down a pipe and there was a thing in the book where he jumps and then there's Bill Smoke jumping off something onto the van to shoot the guy in the head, then Georgie at one stage jumped down. So there's these reverberations through character throughout, but there's so many of them, and that will be the draw of going back to see the film again because there's so many visual kinetic links. I love the fact that Cavendish’s (Jim Broadbent) prison that is the nursing home is the same house that Ayrs (again, Broadbent) lives in. It's not just the same set it's actually the same house in the same place sometime later. So you're seeing the same buildings. The nursing home’s central dining area is the same room in Ayrs’ house where Frobisher plays the piano. That is the same room, it was the same set, but it was the same room in the same house. So it's just been redecorated because time's gone by and the old mansion couldn't be kept up, so it's turned into a nursing home. Then because it's a nursing home they painted it all hideous green colors and put carpet. I love that in the film, I really love that.
Finally, you’ve worked with the Washowskis several times before, how did that dynamic change with Tom Tykwer being added to the mix? What was it like working with the three of them as directors on this project?
Weaving: Wonderful. I first met Tom while I was Skyping Lana and Andy from Washington, where I was doing a play. I was about to go to Berlin and I hadn't met Tom. I’d emailed Tom, we emailed each other talking about something, which was great, but I hadn't met him visually. I certainly hadn't met him in the flesh, but Lana and Andy were there. The Skype "boom boom" went on and there they were. They said, "Hugie!" Lana and Andy were there and suddenly this figure bounded in behind them and that was Tom. I'll never forget the image of these three going, "Hi!" I thought these guys were unified, spiritually unified. They're so unified in spirit and Lana and Andy were always a great mirror for each other. You hold up the mirror to nature and you're able to see things, but if someone holds up the mirror to you they’re able to reflect who you are better. They've always been great like that. They protect each other as well, but also reflect each other back to themselves. I think Tom's added another mirror to that dynamic. They all have wonderfully inquiring minds, they're just great fun to be with and genuinely warm people. They have this thirst for knowledge, a thirst for engagement and a love of film, so I think he's just I like to say he's our third sibling. I think he's given them an enormous amount. For example, the first day when we sat down and had the reading, we heard that music, that beautiful music, which was there on that day before the film started shooting. The score for the “Cloud Atlas Sextet,” that was played. It was already scored, written, recorded, and everything. Tom had done all that before, so it really underpinned the whole piece in a kind of great way. If you can work with more than yourself, you know with two people, theoretically it's great. Although the more people you have the harder it is because you need to maintain a sense of self, but also be open to the other, but you can do it. To have a successful triumph like that is pretty remarkable, but it came out of the right place and it was brought about in the right way. It's not like some of the most disastrous moments in history. It's not like the Roman Empire, where you’ve got Mark Antony and Octavian, and civil war erupts. The idea is great, but if it comes together in the wrong way it could be disastrous. But in this instance they met and they got on well. They got on so well that they thought said, “Maybe we can do something together? Maybe we can all direct together? How would we do that? What would that be? Let's find the right project but it's got be this, this and this. It's got to be good. How about Cloud Atlas? Maybe this?” So that's the right progress for something like that over time, but if you have an idea as a studio and they say, “Hey, why don't we get these three guys, throw them in a room and give them this project!” That may work, but it might not, so I think the way in which they've gone about it has being really great. That means that all of us have come on board for this in the same way. We've all become attracted to this material because of them and because of the material itself. No one would've been involved in this film otherwise because Lana and Andy have been burnt before with working with people, and so has Tom. It's difficult. You don't know people, and you think, oh, I think it will be good. Then you meet them and maybe it's okay, but you've got to have the right spirit I think to really successfully work with other people. To work on material that is challenging in the way that this is, structurally challenging and challenging to our perception of what things should be. Then you need people who have a similar spirit.
I should note that, if there's a similarity among some of these interviews, it's because some were conducted at a press conference, meaning multiple sources recorded or transcribed the same general interview… some sources also got individual interviews as well, and are posting a combination of the two. I wish everyone was clearer on what was recorded where, but it's fascinating stuff nonetheless. And interesting how different sites have transcribed the same remarks in slightly different ways. (Elissa Blake is clearly not in the house.) 😉 The same thing happened with V for Vendetta: about a dozen websites and newspapers attended the same press conference and no two reported/transcribed Hugo's words in exactly the same way. So I'm hoping someone took some video. Really, it's the only honest way. 😉
Still waiting for the premiere to get underway… But at this point that's probably Yet Another Entry. 😉
Meanwhile there's plenty of great stuff to peruse, including a new profile/interview with the Wachowskis from The Chicago Tribune, a new Jim Sturgess interview at Canada.com, a brief interview with David Mitchell at KansasCity.com, the third part of /Film's Wachowskis interview, and a basic overview of things you might want to know before watching the film at IB Times (actually, most of this stuff you probably already know if you've been listening to me all this time. At you should leave some discoveries to make in the theater. 😉 And Tom Hanks and Halle Berry have another go-round at USA Today.
Collider and Screen Rant both feature impassioned pleas to see the film early in a theater, as this sort of ambitious project needs at least some financial success to ensure other big-budget, unconventional pieces that don't involve superheroes, alien invasions, zombies or kid-lit characters and are not sequels might be made in the future.
Aaaand there are positive or leaning-positive reviews at Entertainment Weekly, In One Eye Out The Other, MovieFone (ignore the glib "con" side of the argument… and don't go pissing off to watch the latest James Bond retreat either) ;), Awards Circuit, Dearest Hollywood Love Hillary, The Salt Lake City Tribune, MovieFreak, East Bay Express, and Ry The Movie Guy. Sorry, no time for quotes this time… but this in no way should suggest these reviews are any less interesting or thought-provoking than the others. It's just a very busy night. I'll try to post another review roundup once the premiere coverage subsides… Meantime, back on the hunt for new pics and articles!