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November 3, 2012

Cloud Atlas: Reach Out to the True-True

Oh jeez.  Where do I even begin?

I guess I can start by saying two things.  One: this might actually be a short post, because I know almost exactly what I want to say; you won’t be seeing a week’s worth of content like you did with The Dark Knight Rises.  Two: I don’t really want to make this post -- like, I want to, but I don’t want to.  I feel like there’s not much I need to say, and only so much of merit.  And unlike other posts where I’d pretty much spell out the whole movie, I don’t think that’s necessary or appropriate this time around, as you’ll see by post’s end.  Whenever that may be.

So let me start (again) by saying this: I went into this movie not knowing what to expect.  I mean, yeah, I saw the trailer for it for the first time when I saw Looper.  I didn’t think much of it, except a call back to a joke made on The Editing Room: “I couldn’t decide which movie to make, so I just made ALL OF THEM!”  I didn’t think much of it at the time, but it’s not like I automatically hated it.  I just had the same neutrality I often do with movies, and more so for trailers (remember when the Prometheus trailer made the movie look sick as shit?  And then the movie happened?).  But apparently, the trailer -- and the presence of Tom Hanks -- was enough to win my brother over, and he had designs to go see it with me as soon as possible…or as soon as Assassin’s Creed 3 came out. 

So I went with him, and sat down in the theater with him.  And after about seventeen minutes of preview trailers, I watched the movie.  I sat there and watched that movie for nearly three whole hours.

Three whole hours.  Huh.  I feel like that reminds me of something.  Something…magical.  Something worthwhile.  Something that I owe myself to experience again and again and aga--

Did I say worthwhile?  Sorry, I meant a complete mess.  I’m sure that has nothing to do with my opinion of this movie, though.

(All right, people, you know the drill.  Spoilers of every persuasion are going to follow, so if you’re not in a mood to get tailed by them and stabbed in the face, you’re better off hiding in a stack of hay and hoping the Redcoats don’t find you, or else you’ll desynchronize and have to start the mission over.

No, I haven’t played Assassin’s Creed 3 lately.  Why do you ask?)

All right, let’s take the proper precautions first.  Wheat lands, swathe me in your divine protection!  Barrier!  As I’ve said before, you can never be too sure when it comes to expressing your opinion on the internet.  But hey, I think my opinion this time around isn’t controversial by any means.

This movie is a complete and boring mess.  Considering this is a movie that features Woody, Storm, Megatron, House, and Goliath, it’s about as cohesive as randomly throwing those characters into one frenzied film.  I will admit upfront that how you feel about this movie will ultimately come down to the same things they always do -- tolerance of issues, your precedents with fiction, and of course good old opinion -- and those same factors will likely be multiplied when dealing with this movie.  Bob “Moviebob” Chipman explained in his (glowing) review of Cloud Atlas that this is going to be a love-it-or-hate-it movie, and I agree with him.  And while I’m not going to say “I hate it” or that I’m in that camp, and while I won’t yell that this movie is bad and you shouldn’t see it, I can’t in good faith say I like it without compromising my pride.  And I can’t recommend this movie beyond what I said for Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises: you owe it to yourself to go see the movie to form your own opinions.  The most I can do is what I’ve done many times in the past: prove my case and help others understand my line of reasoning.  Take my word as the gospel, or cast them into the fires of perdition at your leisure.  As for me, I’m just going to talk.

All right then.  Let’s take this step-by-step.

1) The Cloud Atlas Sextet...in case you don't pick up on it
 In case you haven’t heard, Cloud Atlas isn’t as much one movie as it is six.  It’s a string of narratives connected by certain events and themes, with a timeline that stretches from the 1850s all the way to a post-post-apocalyptic future.  And you’ll see plenty of worlds and events in between -- chronologically it starts with a seafaring lawyer who befriends a slave during his journey home.  Then there’s pre-WWII Scotland where a young, aspiring composer tries to create a masterpiece with an old master in the field.  Then there’s the 1970s story where an intrepid reporter tries to bust open a conspiracy revolving around an impending nuclear catastrophe; from there, the misadventures of a present-day publisher who has to escape from a nursing home; from there, Neo Seoul and the transformation of a mass-produced waitress into a voice of a rebellious zeitgeist; from there, a low-tech future where hunter-gatherers come in contact with a technologically advanced adventurer looking to reap the long-buried benefits of their home.  And as the movie progresses, it’s made very clear that there are connections between each story, as there should be -- events and items from one story carry over to another either directly or indirectly, and there’s an obvious theme of reincarnation (and the Eternal Recurrence is mentioned at one point).  So to say that there’s a lot of material here goes without saying.

The problem is that virtually none of this material is compelling in any way.  See, Cloud Atlas has one major problem, and it becomes readily apparent before the title card even pops up: it’s heavy-handed to an unbearable degree.  None of its ideas are delivered with any sense of subtlety.  Golden nuggets of truth -- and I use that term lightly -- aren’t just sprinkled throughout, but saturate the film until it becomes a sopping-wet paper towel.  Efforts to tell a competent, engaging story are constantly, repeatedly, and utterly sabotaged because these people constantly have to break character to say something “profound.”  It wears thin really fast.

But it goes on.  And on.  And on. 

For nearly three.



In case you haven’t guessed, I got annoyed by all the preaching before the title card popped up.  The movie opens with a purposefully-disorienting sequence of images, showing each story (or Zone, because it’s cooler that way) at various points -- flash forwards, call backs, the works.  But of course, none of these scenes are given a chance to breathe because they’re all strangled by my arch-nemesis.

2) Cloud Atlas loves its internal monologues...because what is an internal monologue if not a recital of a truth so beautiful and hidden from the eyes of mortal men?
 I have a lot of issues with internal monologues (or voice-overs, or whatever you want to call them).  Ignoring the fact that they remind me of some of the worst parts of JRPGs, I can only think of a fraction of times when they’ve ever been as effective -- or more -- than dialogue that’s actually spoken by the characters, or otherwise just shown in the narrative.  Example: would you rather have Sonic the Hedgehog going “I had to go as fast as I could, and to do that I’d have to peel out and run through that loop”?  Or would you rather have him run?  Would you rather have him explain his obvious, no explanation-necessary action and break up the beautiful flow of his game, or would you just have him run?  Would you rather have him tell you he’s running/going to run, or would you rather have him show you how fast he can move and how well he can maneuver?  Or here’s a question for you: would you rather have Sonic run, or would you prefer for him to give you excerpts from his high school English paper he wrote the night before?

Conventional knowledge would suggest “No, DON’T flood the movie with philosophical nonsense.”  Yet here I am, with the biggest impression left by Cloud Atlas being lots and lots of rambling. 

3) The brilliance of a star in the sky is as evident and beautiful as the glimmering of a soul that may one day soon return to the sky...also, Cloud Atlas likes saying stuff
Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t have a problem with a movie trying to be intelligent, or provoking thought, or inspiring its viewers to do or think something they wouldn’t have normally.  But if you’re going to do something like that, do it well.  Do it sincerely, but do it subtly.  Don’t make these characters mouthpieces for your ideological vision.  Don’t act like your movie is a brilliant, paradigm-changing work of art.  If you’re going to make a movie, the first and greatest focus should be TELLING A GOOD STORY.  If I’m watching your movie and constantly rolling my eyes and thinking to myself “Shut up, shut up, shut up” or “Tell a story” then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Here’s an example.  One of the major themes of the movie is “the truth.”  That much is obvious in the first ten minutes of the movie, but in case you can’t quite put it together -- in spite of the 70’s-tinged Conspiracy Caper Zone (in which there's an extremely high density of turtlenecks) being all about the pursuit of the truth -- you’re constantly reminded of it by characters that refuse to shut up about it.  It comes to a head in the futuristic Hanks Hunting Zone, where naturalistic family man Zachry cannot stop using the word “true-true”.  Ever.  At first it’s an interesting character trait, and helps flesh out how different Zone 6 is from the other Zones of the movie, but when you’re watching something that lasts for three hours it ceases to be interesting and turns grating about an hour in.  It certainly doesn’t help that much of the future-peoples’ dialogue is a different dialect than our standard English -- again, something that fleshes out the new world, but comes at the cost of making the characters that use it difficult to understand…except for “true-true”, as if the dialogue was purposefully spoken to make all but that one phrase unclear.  

Everything related to the movie’s ideas is delivered with massive amounts of conviction and gravitas -- something that I wouldn’t have minded if they were subtle about it.  But they overplay it, and overplay it, and overplay it, to the point where it becomes too ridiculous to take seriously.  And by “it” I mean everything; not only is the search for the truth a big theme, but there are a good half dozen others that you are told about.  Love, reincarnation, trust, racism, courage, rebellion, perfection, dreams, selfishness, defiance of expectations, defiance of societal norms, defiance of fate, acceptance of fate, deceit, destruction, disaster, dessert -- it’s six movies in one, but there are so many damn ideas trying to force their way down your throat that it’s overwhelming.  And of course, all these people, at one point or another, are trying to convince you VEEEEEEEEEERY VEEEEEEEEEEEERY SUBTLY that this is something life-changing.  And all it cost was shredding their characters down to mere nubs.

Which leads to a bigger problem with this movie.  

4) Cloud Atlas would make chefs everywhere very, very sad.
I’m reminded of a moment from MasterChef when Chef Gordon Ramsay called out one of the contestants.  While he and the other chefs judging the contestant’s meal applauded his bravery for taking a few risks, they couldn’t let slide the fact that he’d made some severe technical errors.  He tried to inject some style before getting the fundamentals down -- and because of it, his dish suffered.  That same principle applies heavily to Cloud Atlas.  There’s enough potential here to turn any one of the six Zones into a fantastic movie (with some edits), or as others have suggested elsewhere adapt the book not into one big damn movie, but into a TV series.  That would have worked too.  But as-is, there’s only so much -- or rather, so little -- that I could latch on to.  The preaching reaches such absurd, alienating lengths that virtually all the characters don’t get the time they need to become anything worth remembering. 

By design, each Zone has something going on to give each story an arc, but there’s an undeniable disconnect.  I know I should be invested, but I’m not.  I’m not feeling anything that goes on.  There’s action in Crazy Cloning Zone, but…well, it’s just action.  Nothing worth getting excited about, especially given that it’s more or less on par with the average video game (though I have to wonder how a handful of soldiers can’t hit a single man standing on a foot-wide platform while cradling a genetically-replicated maid).  There’s a mystery to be blown wide open in Turtleneck Turnpike Zone, what with its intrepid reporter going all in to solve it, but it’s just one straight progression of events to another.  There are some heady ideas and moments that our young composer friend has to face -- the consequences of his homosexuality in a mid-20th century world well among them -- but even then, it’s undercut and underutilized.  It all just feels like they’re going through the motions -- trying to tell compelling stories and putting on lots of make-up to seem like deep and fleshed-out stories, but they all miss the mark in one way or another.  And there’s a shitload of characters, so you know there’s no way they’re all going to get the time they need to develop -- even if they’re main characters.  They get a bit of it, and there ARE some golden moments (Solyent Green, anyone?), but again, there’s so many and so much ground that needs to be covered that nobody gets what they need or deserve.

It certainly doesn’t help that just when I start to get invested in a Zone, just when I’m getting intrigued by its particulars…WHOOP!  Time to warp to another Zone!  Every time I’m starting to feel the groove, I end up having to start all over, or jump to a Zone that I care less about (the two future Zones chief among them).  Is this how the book worked, too?  (Though a cursory glance at Wikipedia suggests no, to an extent).  Because I’ve read a book with a similar format, and I would jump straight to the next section that continued that story before getting mixed up in another -- and even then, there was more to latch onto in each snippet…even if there weren’t even any characters in them and just invited readers to indulge in the landscape.  If it’s not how the book worked, then why go with this format?  If the themes and props and characters are universal, couldn’t they have just finished each story before going on to another, a la Batman: Gotham Knight or The Animatrix?  What was the point?

I ask these questions because -- as I guessed a few minutes in -- the movie can’t handle the transition between scenes.  In one scenario, you’ll be getting into the arc of one Zone, then suddenly cut to another for a few seconds for…some reason…and then jump immediately to a third.  In another scenario, you’ll spend huge chunks of time with one or two zones, and rather than getting invested in what’s going on in front of your eyes, the inevitable question is “Hey, it’s been a while since we’ve seen Stowaway Slaves Zone -- what happened in that one?”  And you end up sitting and waiting, sitting and waiting, with that wait becoming steadily more intolerable when these characters stop talking to each other and start talking to the audience with all the grace of a drunken moose. 

5) To its golden and glowing credit which rivals the illuminosity of the splendadiant sun, ever so reminiscious of the sparkletting soul that endures the reincarnatibirths of time-time, Cloud Atlas gets some things right.
If I had to point toward my favorite Zones, it would probably be the one set in the 1850s and the one set in the present -- featuring the lawyer/slave combination and the elderly publisher, respectively.  They feel like the most complete stories, cut off most of the chaff that plagues the rest of the movie, and are -- at least in my eyes -- the most entertaining.  I imagine that I like the earliest Zone because it encapsulates the movie’s themes and depth the best without going overboard (get it?  Because they’re on a boat), and the present Zone because it trades drama for effective comedy, action, and characters I actually cared about.  But of course, the film’s content with jumping away from those and leaving them orphaned for an uncomfortable amount of time…and what’s onscreen regularly feels like faffing about.

If I had to give the movie credit for something, it’s this: the things it leaves blank are naturally more intriguing than what it makes (obnoxiously) clear.  Outside the efforts of publisher Timothy Cavendish -- whose story ends up loosely, loosely adapted into a movie that gets shown in the future -- there’s little indication as to what effect each arc and action has on the present day.  Ewing decides to go against his father-in-law’s wishes and takes up the abolitionist fight at the end of his story, but the full effects of that remain unseen in the context of his story.  And given that the next entry takes place nearly a hundred years later on a different continent, it’s even harder to judge.  How much does Cloud Atlas (the musical piece) affect the seventies, or the present, or the future, or the super-future?  We may never know -- a blessing and a curse.  It’s a curse in the sense that in some ways, it cheapens the efforts and overall purposefulness of each story; it makes you wonder what the point of exposing a conspiracy might be if the next story features a man getting his groin mauled by a cat (mood whiplash at its finest).  On the other hand, in the grand scheme of things maybe we’re not supposed to know.  Either it’s supposed to emphasize that whatever good deed or triumph is done in the past, it will automatically have a good effect on the future, even if we never see it.  Maybe it’s just an enigma for the sake of keeping audiences guessing.  Or at the very least, it gives each Zone a chance to develop on its own merits, rather than chain itself to a previous era.  So to say that the movie gets everything wrong is not what I’m getting at; it at least tries to be smart, and in some instances succeeds at doing its job of giving the audience something savory to absorb.

That said, I feel like I have to take a moment to address something that’s on everybody’s minds when discussing this movie...

6) Cloud Atlas and make-uuuuuuuuuuuuuup go together in harmonyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy -- also, some lipstick is made using fish scales.  How's that for true-true, ladies?
I’m not in any position to discuss the actual technique on display here, but I find it interesting that any time the movie gets brought up, there’s a subsection dedicated to how amazing it is to have a core cast of actors transformed into different people with different ages, races, and even genders with the magic of make-up effects; even the movie’s credits tout its disguising ability by revealing who played what role -- as if to say “Betcha didn’t know Halle Berry played this guy, huh?  Huh?  Huh huh?” with a wink and a nudge of the elbow.  And…honestly?  I can’t bring myself to care.  Is it impressive that they managed to do what they did?  Yeah.  Does it change anything?  No.  Outside of noticing the prominent and inherently-villainous brow of Hugo Weaving wherever he may have appeared, I couldn’t have cared less about the Guess Who amongst the actors.  Maybe it has to do with the fact that as a gamer I could care less about graphics, but nice visual effects aren’t enough to sway me, regardless of the medium.  It left me wondering “What was the point?”  Was it to hammer in the reincarnation theme?  Was the comet-shaped mark not enough?  Was making these people go “I feel like I’ve met you before” and “Déjà vu” and “I remember this song from somewhere” not enough?  Was it just a way to save on hiring more actors?  What?  And why?

And that’s the question I keep coming back to.

7) Why?
Why?  Why does this movie not trust its audience to come to its own conclusions?  Why does the movie have to bludgeon us with writing so obvious it might as well have been shouted by Gilbert Gottfried?  Why is it that I can’t bring myself to care about more than a third of this movie’s tales, if that?  Why were some of these choices made in terms of planning and formatting?  Why does the execution feel so off and uneven in a movie that should be firing on all cylinders at all times?  Why do I feel like the biggest lesson learned is the inherently obvious “do good things, and you may make the world a better place someday”?  Why do I feel like I haven’t seen a cinematic revelation, but a test of patience and willpower?

If I gave The Dark Knight Rises trouble for its issues, then there’s no way I can pass on hassling Cloud Atlas.  It’s a movie that tries to be intelligent by design, but its lead-handed preaching and overall hollow messages don’t resonate.  A single action can have lasting effects, yes, but considering that the movie’s events and characters are flanked by racist money-grubbing sailors, racist landlords, homophobic composers, government conspirators, hired hitmen out to keep the truth buried, murdering writers, debt-collecting hooligans, abrasive nursing home staff members, an entire capitalist civilization that sees no fault with producing and abusing clones that are fed each other so they can serve in something eerily akin to maid cafes, and roving gangs of face-painted horseback-riding murderers, isn’t it easier to assume that every era is going to be filled with all but one or two good people?  Isn’t it safer to assume that we’re all connected not by eon-spanning bonds of love and friendship, but by the constant presence of slavery, lies, greed, and self-satisfaction?

 As for intelligence by execution, I don’t think I need to say anymore on that.  So while the movie wants to be right about here on the SmartChart™…

It’s actually somewhere around here:

And that, my friends, is a real tragedy.  I didn’t know what to expect from this movie, but I was more than willing to give it a fair shake.  I was ready to like it, and see what the fuss was about, and see if it could find a place into my heart.  It didn’t.  It has most of the pieces to create a compelling story, but the missing components combined with the serious flaws make it much too unwieldy.  It looks good, but underneath the layers of make-up and effects and storytelling twists, there's not much to it than...well, Hugo Weaving in drag.  It’s not a movie I can bring myself to hate, if only because it DID try to do something different.  But even so, it’s not a movie I can bring myself to like.  As it stands, I think I’d be better off reading the book.

With all that said…I think you need to go see this movie.

If what I’ve read is true, Cloud Atlas is a failure in the box office.  I’m not asking you to throw money at it out of pity, but I think this is a movie that more people need to see.  You need to come to your own conclusions.  You need to decide which story is your favorite, or at the very least experience each one for yourself.  You need to figure out how you feel about the messages, and whether or not their delivery is effective.  As I said before, I don’t the movie but maybe you will.  Maybe you’ve already seen it, and maybe you enjoyed it.  And that’s fine.  I get that.  Maybe my complaints are just matters of preference.  But whatever the case, go and see it -- or even see it again if you want -- and have your buddies see it too.  It’s a test of patience and will, and has the potential to challenge your mind as well as your bonds; I’d like to think that it’s possible for this movie to make people come to blows, and engage in gladiatorial combat under rival flags of support or defamation.

That’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing, to be honest -- wars sprouting over a disagreement over a movie, with old friends becoming newfound enemies.  It’d be great.  And in my eyes, a lot more enjoyable than Cloud Atlas.

I think it’s also worth mentioning one more thing: the description of this movie.  The theater that we usually go to lets visitors pick up free pamphlets that give info about current and upcoming attractions.  Here’s the blurb for Cloud Atlas:

“In this epic story of humankind in which actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present, and future, one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior while a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.”

Cripes.  Even the synopsis is full of pretentious fluff.  Eh, well, maybe a nice song will cheer me up.


  1. "To its golden and glowing credit which rivals the illuminosity of the
    splendadiant sun, ever so reminiscious of the sparkletting soul that
    endures the reincarnatibirths of time-time"

    I kid you not, it's seven in the morning over here by the time I read this and this line blew my goddamn mind. After the fifth read, I've started laughing like an idiot and now you woke up my girlfriend. Thanks, Rhamy.

  2. You know, I was kidding around when I typed that line, but I'm starting to wonder if that's actually a closer representation of the dialogue than I care to remember (or admit). Even if it isn't it's just...just so obtuse. I remember rolling my eyes and thinking to myself "Subtle" every time somebody said something "profound and meaningful."

    As you can imagine, I ended up doing that a lot.

    In any case, good to hear that I got a laugh out of you...though it's a bit worrisome, knowing that I might have invoked your girlfriend's wrath. Whoopsie-daisy!

  3. Wow. I'm speechless. I don't know what to say other than I feel I've read all this before and I know you some how. It's as if I've actually known you my whole life! Let me tell you this... I went over to Imdb (yeah, big mistake) to basically say a fraction of what you just did here and got barbecued by a Clout AtLast fan who basically told me that disagreeing with my views just means I didn't understand the film.

    You mentioned a few things I had brought up in different topics, all of which were met with disdain. I must remember to always proceed with caution if I criticize a film. Like you, didn't entirely hate the film, I just thought it was a waste of talent. I also didn't like being spoonfed my storylines or who-was-who when it came to makeup and made a comment about, "well, that's Hollywood for you", to which a knuckledragger vehemently corrected me, "The movie was actually made in Germany. Duh." What do you say to this? Like a fool, I answered. "Sure, the filming locations are wherever, but the term 'Hollywood' can account for westernized produced films.' Once he sarcastically told me I must know everything, I secretly felt pride that I probably did compared to him, and left it at that. That's good ol' Imdb for ya.

    I think Hollywood (as an industry, not the city), has done so much that what we're left with is to watch filmmakers overdo it with length of the film, violent scenes (come on, some of those scenes were unnecessary and meant to amuse the audience which I think has had its day when Bruce Willis stopped being cool while he murdered people in self defense), and visual and makeup effects that are always competing with other films for authenticity to the point where it just simply looks like it's trying too hard.

    But you? With this review? You're my hero. Thank you for putting words together that made me feel exactly the same knowing that someone out there feels the same way I do. Giving Tom Hanks a chance and without too much disdain, found the film to be one that tried way too hard. Can I squeeze in too that I thought Doona Bae made a terrible looking ginger? I kept hearing Ewing's wife referred to as beautiful: "You'll never see your beautiful wife again." When I finally saw Tilda at the end, I seriously thought Ewing must have had another wife stashed away who was actually beautiful. Not that gingers aren't cute, and not that Asians shouldn't dye their hair red. It's just that Doona Bae should never, and I mean NEVER dress up as a Caucasian ginger again. True-true.

  4. Well, if there's one thing that I've learned as a gamer, it's that the internet is a breeding ground for some VERY strong opinions. And bile. And poor composition skills. And missing the point in an attempt to shove in their own.

    ...Why do people like the internet again?

    Well, whatever. There's no denying that there is a lot of content of merit in Cloud Atlas; the problem is that the execution -- the transmission of that merit -- is completely butchered at every turn. I'm actually with agreement with you on the whole "Hollywood has done so much" angle, because it's true in a lot of cases as well as this one. (I don't know how closely you follow video games, but let's just say it's getting BAD and leave it at that.)

    Excess and bombast are used in place of anything else, and if any given movie can't get itself under control, then it's going to hurt the overall final product. Simplification would have done Cloud Atlas wonders; if nothing else, if it had managed to make these characters more relatable and intimate -- i.e. by NOT cramming as many golden nuggets of wisdom into their dialogue as possible -- then that could have helped the movie at least a little bit. Bludgeoning an audience with main ideas doesn't.

    In any case, I'm glad I managed to give your argument a smidgen of clout -- and I'm thankful for the kind words. It can be rough out there in the virtual wilds, but there's always a bastion or two where you can have a level-headed discussion.

    "The movie was actually made in Germany. Duh." Sooooooooo...is that supposed to make it a quality movie? Oh internet, y u so internet?

  5. I'm a recovering WoW addict. And if it means anything, was a rogue, which is
    why I felt some satisfaction after a sap, (respond to an Imdb troll), and
    garrote, while performing some finishing moves. I took a year off gaming but
    refused to go back to WoW, but when searching for something else to play, there
    is nothing else out there. So yeah, it's bad.

    The gaming industry has created a pool of anonymity so that there is no real accountability to own what one says anymore. At first, I blamed the kids. But it was adults too. Some of the most awful comments and attitudes came out... and for what? Because I forgot to use an elixir in a battleground, or because I criticized someone's favourite popcorn flick? I have my favourite films too, and will defend them, but holy crap, you won't see me wishing someone would drink bleach if they didn't agree with my viewpoints or taste in film. But the internet has given people the opportunity to be the bullies we didn't have the guts to be in elementary school. Without a care, anyone can now say what they want over the stupidest shite, and not have to make an apology for it. Instead, log off, eat a cookie, and forget about it. I think when MMOs came out and incorporated chat in games, that seemed to spawn a whole new level of meanness out of people. So, yes, it is part and parcel for the internet, and message boards have never been great for policing this stuff. But back to the film...

    But I didn't entirely hate Cloud Atlas. I just didn't think the hype was justified...and did I mention Doona Bae frightened the hell out of me as a Caucasian? Okay, so I sort of hated this movie also. I did find myself watching it and re watching it while I had it for 48 hours On Demand. I guess if it really bothered me, I wouldn't have done that. Oh one more thing...no amount of makeup or costuming does a thing for Tom Hanks. He's just so Tom Hanks. Those down-turned blue eyes and bulbous nose?--he is one of the most recognized men in Hollywood (the industry, not just the city). So I guess that's why I sort of sit on the fence and don't entirely please those who love the film, and don't please those that hated the film. I just like poking fun at it. While thinking of it, I continue to run different things through my mind that I remember, such as Halle Berry's Meronym, and how awful of a hick language she mimics in order to speak to the Valley Folk.

    I'm not sure if you got my reference from the last message.. but I was hinting at the possibility that we might have shared a joint while we were on company time in a past life or something. Yay...or nay?

    (Yeah, I know.. if I keep referring to the film or quoting it, it's enough to make me want to punch myself in the face.)