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Actually, cutesy Brad self rated himself the opposite ratio :) But said NO NO NO to gods and spirituality, pretty clear, no matter how he chooses to add'em up :)
There are a few 'spiritual atheists' who've commented positively about the TToL on IMDB, but they are few and far apart. The film overwhelmingly reeks of Christian symbolism, mixed in with a little metaphor of outerspace as innerspace BS. I think it ties in nicely with recent discussions on various atheist forums regarding "spiritual atheists".
I just watched what I declare to be my worst movie ever. I was volunteering at our small town arts centre which was playing Brad Pitt's latest award prize winner: The Tree of Life. I went in blindly, knowing nothing about the film's making and awards. I like Pitt enough as a human, I'm not too fond of his acting, to me he's just extremely talented at being a pretty boy, though he was perfectly cast in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, he manages to generally have decent tastes in project choice.
The first memorable words spoken are by a whispy redhead with pouty lips, WHY? why? why? why? and this goes on and on, throughout most of the movie. I started to squirm on my seat within the first couple of minutes, and was still squirming on my seat 131 minutes later. At two points within this horror I felt like a semblance of 'something' would come about on screen. There were a couple of really nice outerspace sequences, and there was a half hour of story development about a troubled teen.
"I offer you my son" are the last final words.
Throughout this tripe we hear over and over again, in words and visuals, the metaphysical question of WHY would gawd dare take away the human offspring of a godfearing family? Interspersed with innumerable slow motion shots of swirling liquids and gases, slow motion nature, slow motion foot washings, slow motion abuse between siblings. This stuff goes on and on. Near the end, there's a crowd of people walking on water and mother bends over to caress the sandy feet of a robed Jesus like human. I thought I was going to vomit!!!
So we spend 130 minutes pondering how dare gawd take away our offspring, and in the final minute, we're at peace with death. Something to do with finding grace, VOMIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Upon exiting the theatre, I mentioned to my buddy the manager how this tripe had dethroned my worst ever previous movie: The New World; he giggled and said yep, that was Terrance Malick also, I nearly peed myself laughing. He has to be the biggest cinematic fraud in existence. What a load of BS. Hollywood's segue from Blockbuster violence movies... Blockbuster "spirituality"?
Not sure on the Gateway - as it's a laptop, it's possible the sound is going via HDMI. According to this on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI) the v1.0 spec didn't support DVD audio and there are varying standards for PC audio.Without seeing the issue, it's very difficult to diagnose but it could be that the TV is having issues over the link. It must be decoding the stream correctly or you would not get sound at all.
Optical audio is the next best bet, if available on your system; next would be PCM, followed by good ol' analogue down-mix which should be available on most TVs. Let us know how you get on.
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