Months ago, the on-line trailer for Cloud Atlas caught my interest immediately. After reading a number of professional reviews today after the film’s debut over the weekend, this is no attempt at competing with the pros. As I hope “some day” to have my historical fiction/fantasy/sci-fi novel Burden of Privilege:The Secret Life of Geoffrey Collins adapted into a movie that includes the premise of the reincarnation of George Washington Carver I was thrilled and curious as to how the promoted theme of “we are all connected” would read as an entire movie. As we know, trailers are edited to “pull us in” and the first trailer and a few additional ones did just that. After initially being exuberant about its possibilities, I admittedly began to have some faint gut misgivings but dismissed the internal nudgings by rationalizing that I needed to be open minded and objective, see this on the big screen and see what I could learn. Because each person should be free to judge the movie for themselves I will simply state the following opinion: For a story that held promise of further birthing the expression of “spiritual” film themes into the world of mainstream moviegoing experiences, Cloud Atlas was a difficult delivery. My main point? The scenes of shocking graphic violence that appear numerous times throughout the film sully what could have been a beautiful and still dynamic and action packed spiritual message that at its end could have given us a special gift of substance and wonder. We have all seen movies before where there is a message of love, overcoming, or acts of unselfishness that become so overshadowed by the too oft used Hollywood mindset approach that the recipe must have large measures of titillating violence and orgasmic sex, that you leave the theater with the definite hunch that somebody had promised you a nice uplifting story but had instead picked your pockets while you were munching on your popcorn and scratching your head about what was actually taking place.