Quick, when I throw out the name Keith David, what's your first thought? Him casting a suspicious glance towards Kurt Russell in The Thing? The fistfight with Rowdy Roddy Piper in They Live? Face it, the guy's been around.
It is a visually glorious and occasionally powerful achievement that, if possible, should be seen in its IMAX format. To use a cliche suited to the film, Cloud Atlas reaches for the moon yet ends up in the stars. But what beautiful stars they are.
What is Cloud Atlas about? In various ways, it examines the nature of tyranny and the human instinct toward freedom. It is about the search for truth and the many obstacles that stand in the way of that search.
The dividing lines have already been drawn -- and continue to be drawn -- about what should or shouldn't be among the year-end awards contenders. And the biggest line, of course, has to do with The Master.