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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I went to see Cloud Atlas, then did some shopping at Whole Foods Kahala.  I bought three items:

On top, Dragon Fruit (0.5 pounds), to the left a small chunk of Moliterno Black Truffles Cheese, and to the right, Pine Nuts (0.20 pounds).  Can you guess which of the four, including a ticket to Cloud Atlas, was the most expensive?

The comparison:

    Pine Nuts            $6.24
    Cloud Atlas        $8.00
    Cheese                $8.24
    Dragon Fruit       $9.06

The pine nuts were okay, the truffle cheese not worth it and dragon fruit a worthy experience.  I bought it because my posting this weekend on My Day in Chinatown lamented that I did not.  I've seen this fruit in marketplaces throughout the Orient, and never tried it.  

Chances are most of you never learned how to prepare this fruit.  First cut it lengthwise in half:

Then spoon out the flesh in one piece.  You are cautioned NOT to eat the skin, and should scrape off any bit of pink.  Why?  Various articles cite high levels of toxins.  Yikes...but the same articles rave about the health benefits:

  -  good for low cholesterol diet

  -  high in vitamins C, B1 and B2

  -  high in anti-oxidants

  -  high in fiber

  -  neutralizes heavy metals in your body

  -  reduces blood pressure

  -  contains a protein to maintain cardiovascular health

Except for not being green, the dragon fruit looks, tastes and has the same texture as kiwi fruit.  However, the former is a cactus and the latter comes from a tree:

Anyway, I can get at least six bananas for one dragon fruit, so this might be my final purchase.  On the other hand, I wonder what this costs in Chinatown?

Cloud Atlas is just about three hours long, and, while ambitious, if not staggering, they tried to do too much with six "interconnected" stories at different points in the past and future.  The switching back and forth in time without much meaning (to me) was confusing.   One story was filmed in Hawaii.  Again, this was like A Sound of Thunder, in that any act can shape the future.  Best as I could figure out, there is such a thing as a soul, which evolves over time.  At least the Cloud Atlas Sextet did transcend time, and, perhaps, music is one variation of what might be a soul.

Rotten Tomatoes indicated that reviewers gave it a 63% rating, while audiences averaged 77%.  I doubt if the film will earn more than $140 million, the cost of production.

I fell asleep a couple of times and was dismayed that Tom Hanks and Halle Berry were mostly tedious.  Hugh Grant is in all six stories, except you wouldn't recognize him.  Here is one role:

I equate Cloud Atlas with The Tree of Life.   What does Cloud Atlas mean?  Not sure, but something  to do with the universality of human nature, whatever that means.  Maybe I should go see it a second time.


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