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"Atlas Shrugged" Movie

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Honestly, I'm kind of disappointed that there seems to be such a limited release of the movie. I'd love to see it, but apparently my area hasn't sent in enough votes on the website to get the opportunity.

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Rational Biker, It is an independent, each individual theater has to make the independent decision to purchase the film reel or not. You should contact your local theater instead of "demanding" it.

Also, I give this movie several thumbs up. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And I also found it strange that they decided to cut the guilt thing of hank's it was strange...

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**Mod Note: Merged Topic. Originally "My AS movie experience" -Dante**

I went with a group of 8 friends, four of which had read the book. The others know me well enough to expect what it was going to be about.

We go to eat before the showing, discussing what we think will be kept, and what will be cut. The evening is full of excitement and anticipation.

And then we get to the theatre. First of all, the kid at the box office doesn't know what movie I'm talking about.

"Atris what??"

"No Atlas Shrugged.... It's opening today?" I have to repeat the name 3 times.

Not that big of a deal, I don't really care if the only movie in existence that this kid is aware of is Hop.

So we get inside, walk past the cold popcorn and overpriced, oversyrup'ed soda stand, and enter theatre #15. The smallest screen in the building. (I suppose that's to be expected.)

To my suprise the room is already filling up, leaving mostly just small gaps between couples, the seats resembling gapped teeth, leaving little room for our modest party.

But then I spotted a row not too far up, with one guy sitting by himself, seven seats to his left, one seat to his right.

I ask politely ask him if he can move aside one seat, so that my friends and I don't have to split up.

His response: "I have my seat. Looks like you need to find yours." Wow, someone has a misunderstanding of selfishness.

Though it would have been quite hilarious if he had said something like: "I already earned my seat. I won't give it up to any looter!"

So we are forced to split, which is not a huge deal, considering we won't be doing a lot of socializing during the movie anyway.

Previews start rolling. We watch a Trailer for Morgan Spurlock's movie about the advertising industry and how we can't go like 30 mintues without an advertisement or something. Then a "heartwarming" tale about an illegal immigrant who's barely surviving the harshness of his illegal life in this country, dealing with the theft of his only truck, being forced to hunt it down himself because he can't get help from the police. Did the theatre know who they were likely showing this movie to?

Then the movie starts. The rest of the night was pretty damn enjoyable, except that our crowd wasn't a whole lot of fun, which is usually the reason I go to opening night showings. My friend and I laughed out loud at most of the scenes between James and Dagny, especially the one where he's playing with an electric train set and she walks in and un-plugs it (I just laughed again thinking about it).

We also found a few lines, that may or may not have been meant to be amusing, quit hilarious. Like when Wyatt, Hank, and Dagny are at Wyatt's junction and upon realizing he is the odd man out, Wyatt looks at his watch and says: "Oh, I see that the Shanghai stock market is opening, better get going."

The problem is, nobody else in the theatre laughed at all. Ever.

Nor did anyone more than maybe 4 or 5 people join us in applause when the John Galt line started it's first run.

Overall it was a fun night, just kind of a lame crowd. But maybe that's what I get for living in San Diego. Still, the movie was really enjoyable. The music was great, the acting was for the most part good. The dialouge didn't feel wooden, except for maybe a few lines, mostly Dagny's. The climax was so powerful, it made my insides stir, and got my pulse going. I'm pumped for the next two. Bring it on, San Diego.

Edited by Dante
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**Mod Note: Merged Topic. Originally "My review of 'Atlas Shrugged: Part 1'" -Dante**

Like most people that watched Atlas Shrugged at 11:30am on the Friday that it premiered, I am an obvious fan of Miss Rand's work. Virtually all reviews of the film have been not only incredibly negative (fine, that's a critic's job) but also presumed to analyze and judge Objectivism and associate it with all of its modern bastardizations (Libertarianism & the New Right to name two). One LA Times critic even went as far as name-checking Rush Limbaugh & Glenn Beck, two Christian Conservatives whom have never been (nor claimed to be) Objectivists. My goal is to review the film itself, drawing careful distinctions between what to expect as a neutral movie-goer and what to expect as an Ayn Rand enthusiast.

First of all, let me be the first to point out: the aesthetics of the film are magnificent. Keep in mind, I am not a film- nor art- major. But I can tell you that I found just about every scene to be very pleasing to the eye. It was beauty at every turn, which I did not expect from a movie with such a low budget. Speaking of low budget, here’s what’s probably really bothering the critics: the acting is pretty difficult to swallow.

Adapting the dialogue from Atlas Shrugged into film sounded like an impossible task. Essentially, it was. Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet aside, it’s very challenging to engage an ordinary audience with dialogue that demands intense concentration. An Ayn Rand fan can forgive the stiff acting, though, knowing that the characters spawned from Rand’s mind could not adjust their behavior to a modern pop-culture-influenced sarcastic vulnerable disposition without betraying the essence of their characters. Alternately, someone with no opinion on Ayn Rand (and infinitely moreso someone who disagrees with Ayn Rand) might not be willing to suspend their disbelief at the acting.

The story takes place five years from now in the United States, when Mideast turmoil paired with constant domestic oil spills raise the price of gasoline to $37/gallon. As a result, air flight becomes mostly obsolete. The new popular method of travel? Railroad trains. From a script standpoint, this is a clever way to make railroad travel relevant in modern settings while illustrating Ayn Rand’s belief that collectivism ultimately leads to regression in technology. The U.S. government has grown unrecognizably monstrous in size and in action, working to prevent any monopoly by any means necessary. The economy is collapsing, bringing about massive poverty. Beggars on the street aren’t necessarily alcoholics nor shell-shocked war veterans, but rather former Fortune 500 executives perplexed by the newfound lack of opportunity. The public is largely outraged by the poverty, blaming capitalism and demanding socialism. Where are the pro-capitalist protestors? I asked myself. The first answer that came to mind was that people tend to turn to government in times of great despair. Fair enough. And then I remembered an even more damning detail: this is a universe in which Ayn Rand’s work has never hit the shelves. Capitalism has not been clearly defined nor effectively advocated. Collectivism wins by default.

Dagny Taggart, the film’s heroine, is not easy to defend to non-fans of the novel. I’ve never seen such a fierce businesswoman with the appearance and mannerisms of a suburban trophy wife. Also, she seems to give “bedroom eyes” to just about every man whom she respects. I thought to myself, boy is this character easy to dismiss and laugh at. But to a Rand fan, Dagny is the embodiment of romance: she is intelligent and strong, yet feminine and an avid worshipper of heroes. To paraphrase Ayn Rand, Dagny’s character is not meant to represent the way that things are, but rather the way they ought to be.

The other characters in the film are similar to Dagny, in the sense that they appear ridiculous to the “untrained eye,” meaning, to the non-fans of Ayn Rand. But if one understands my analysis of Dagny’s philosophical make-up, then one can apply the same analysis to the other characters. Each character represents a philosophical standpoint, from the fearless Ellis Wyatt to the scheming Orren Boyle to the mindless government bureaucrat offering Hank Rearden a blank check in exchange for his invention. Everyone serves a purpose, once you stop expecting them to behave as real-life everyday folks.

In conclusion, the film is incredibly bold. It drives to bring to life Ayn Rand’s novel at all costs, including ridicule. To people that reject Ayn Rand’s philosophy: do not watch this film just so you can laugh and point. You will quickly grow impatient and cynical. Besides, you’ll be financing the remainder of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy. Do you really want to spend $15 sarcastically?

If you’re unfamiliar with, or neutral to Ayn Rand’s philosophy, watch this film with an open mind. It’s based on a novel that many people have held dear to their hearts (and minds). The producers of the film did not work with any major studios, and so no Weinsteins were involved with this project. It’s an independent and powerful film. Do not, under any circumstances, affiliate this pure unadulterated ode to capitalism with the likes of Sean Hannity, Michael Savage or any other alleged advocates of capitalism. Let this film stand on its own and speak for itself.

To my fellow Ayn Rand enthusiasts: remember how long it took to read through the first third of Atlas Shrugged? It’s obviously not going to translate to an action-packed Vin Diesel flick. But it’s exciting nonetheless.

Roger Ebert predicted that Ayn Rand’s fans would be very disappointed. Well, the crowd at the cinema where I viewed Atlas Shrugged burst into applause at the very end. But hey, that was the 11:30am crowd on the day of the movie’s release. For all I know, the 2pm crowd walked out of the film‘s screening to catch the second half of Scream 4.

Edited by Dante
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**Mod Note: Merged topic. Originally "Atlas Shrugged film (2011)" -Dante**

I just saw it yesterday, opening day. The theatre was not packed, but I wouldn't have expected it to be where I live (the Bay Area). I was skeptical before seeing it because of the low budget and no-name cast, but hoping to see something unique and enjoyable. It was not a good movie. Only, perhaps, as a cheap cliffnotes guide to the book, but it was very cheesy, the acting wasn't spectacular (however, I don't know whether to equate that with the directing choices or not) and frankly boring. The first act was a jumbled mess, which didn't give anyone any reason to like this character or that. The climax of the John Galt line was not even close to the thrill it was in the book and even their, Hank & Dagny romance seemed boring and lacking chemistry-the lust in their relationship doesn't exist. The last scene was something nearly out of Gone With the Wind, where Scarlet stands on the hilltop against a bright orange background, however instead Dagny screams at the top of her lungs as she watches Ellis Wyatt's oil burn in the hills-the first sign of emotion on her face throughout the film. For those who say that she is emotionless in the book, see this film and you'll see what I mean. She doesn't have any screen presence.

In other words, I'm pretty disappointed and can only hope they learn from their mistakes before making Part II.

Edited by Dante
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.....the acting wasn't spectacular ....and frankly boring. ...... She doesn't have any screen presence.

I did not go to see this in a theater based on my agreement of your assessemnt of the acting just from what I saw in the trailers. I was frankly apalled by the acting in the trailers. (As I'm apalled by the acting in The Fountainhead.)

The day after I reviewed the traiilers (for a second time), I happened to be in a dentist's chair with an episode (April 14) of the soap General Hospital playing on A TV stuck in front of me. At the end of the epsisode I thought "Every single actor in every single scene was better than every single actor in every Atlas trailer. No thanks, I'll watch Atlas on DVD.

And don't take any guff from the people who may claim that your disappointment with the technical aspects of Atlas movie somehow makes you less of an Objectivist.

Flyboy 2160

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My review as posted on Yahoo:

Dagny Taggart Will Rock Your World

It is safe to say you have never seen a movie like this, because there has never been a movie like this. A mystery thriller which casts industry tycoons as romantic heroes, which celebrates human genius, which dares to challenge the "altruistic" motives of government bureaucrats, and which features a stunningly beautiful woman who is, at the same time, strong, intelligent and ruthlessly independent. Atlas Shrugged will not only challenge your preconceptions about great entertainment, it will challenge you to rethink your deepest assumptions about what is wrong with the world.

Taylor Schilling is perfectly cast as the beautiful heroine, Dagny Taggart. She is at once a woman of supreme self-confidence, determination and brilliance – and a woman of captivating femininity. Her remarkable performance carries the film. But she has an impressive supporting cast and a script that does an amazing job of condensing the story line of Ayn Rand's mammoth novel into a fascinating motion picture. Many of Ayn Rand's admirers questioned whether the philosophical themes of Atlas Shrugged would translate to the silver screen without a lot of long, yawning speeches. As you watch the film, however, you will realize that Ayn Rand's philosophy is being made manifest for you in the events and expository dialogue unfolding before your eyes. You will have to see it to believe it.

And that's what I recommend doing. Run, do not walk, to the theater and see Atlas Shrugged Part One. It is a once-in-a-lifetime movie experience you do not want to miss.

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Tomorrow (Sunday) morning, I'm going to be discussing "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" in my Rationally Selfish Webcast. So if you want to hear what I have to say -- and chat with other movie-goers about it -- join us at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET here:

http://www.RationallySelfish.com/

If you can't attend the live webcast, then look for the podcast (and likely a text review and video) to be posted to my blog NoodleFood early next week. More details are in the announcement below. Given all that I have to say about the movie, I'm not sure that we'll cover all six questions this week, but any omitted questions will be answered next week. See you tomorrow, I hope!

***

Every Sunday morning, I answer questions on practical ethics and the principles of living well in a live, hour-long webcast. Learn the nuts and bolts of applying Ayn Rand's ethics of rational selfishness to your life!

* What: Rationally Selfish Webcast

* When: Sunday, 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET

* Who: Dr. Diana Hsieh, (Ph.D, Philosophy)

* Where: http://www.RationallySelfish.com/

Here are the questions that I'll answer this Sunday:

* Question 1: What did you think of the movie "Atlas Shrugged, Part 1"?

* Question 2: Is it morally wrong to be a free rider? Some people say that it's wrong to be a free rider -- for example, by sneaking into a movie without paying for it, using a gas station bathroom without buying anything, accepting a ride to the airport but refusing to return the favor, hiking on trails in your community without helping to maintain them, or enjoying the Christmas lights of your neighbors without putting up your own. In such cases, you seem to be enjoying a benefit from someone else that you've not paid for or earned. Isn't that unjust, and hence, morally wrong?

* Question 3: Is it immoral to browse a store with no intention of buying there? Is it immoral to take advantage of the freedom to look through books in a bookstore, or to try out a laptop in a shop, with no intention to actually buying it in that shop? For instance, you check out a book in the shop to decide whether you want to buy it, knowing that if you buy it, you'll do so from Amazon instead. Is that wrong?

* Question 4: Should age matter in romance? Is it in your rational best interest to date someone who is significantly older or younger than you? Assuming that both individuals are mature, is there anything wrong with an 18 year old dating someone who is 38? Or a 40 year old dating someone who is 60? Or a 70 year old dating someone in their 20s? Does age matter?

* Question 5: Do I have any responsibility towards my younger brother? My parents constantly ask me to help my brother with his studies, homework, etc, and look after him when they're out and do things for him at the expense of my own studies and time. But I don't find any value in helping my brother. Should I refuse to help my parents in this way?

* Question 6: From Objectivist Answers: How do you validate free will? For example, if a man is hungry and he values his life, then wouldn't his eating be predetermined?

You can submit and vote on questions for upcoming episodes here: http://bit.ly/e1Eee2

If you miss the live webcast, you can listen to the podcast by subscribing to the NoodleCast RSS feed:

* Enhanced M4A Feed in iTunes: http://bit.ly/day9dO

RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/noodlecast-m4a

* Standard MP3 Feed in iTunes: http://bit.ly/9NREjD

RSS: http://feeds.feedburner.com/noodlecast-mp3

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**Mod Note: Merged Topic. Originally "Box Office Success for Atlas Shrugged Part One: Taylor Schilling is Dagny Taggart" -Dante**

Box Office: Tea Party-Fueled “Atlas Shrugged” Makes Respectable Debut

Atlas Shrugged Part One averaged $5608 per theatre, surpassing the per theatre gross of Robert Redford’s The Conspirator ($5500), although Redford’s film was on twice as many screens (707 vs 299). Atlas producer Harmon Kaslow is hoping to open the film on as many as a 1000 screens within the next few weeks.

The film performed well despite being panned by the critics—not to mention some Objectivists.

Through her brilliant, dazzling performance as Dagny Taggart, Taylor Schilling may be doing more for the spread of Objectivism than anyone since Ayn Rand herself. And Objectivists who sincerely want to spread their philosophy should be doing everything they can to encourage as many people as possible to go and see her.

Hank Rearden demanded an answer of Dr. Potter of the State Science Institute: "Is Rearden metal good or not?" I would ask the Objectivist critics of this movie: "Is Taylor Schilling good or not?" Whatever flaws some may have seen in the movie pale in comparison with her riveting portrayal of Ayn Rand's heroine. Objectivists need to seize this opportunity.

Edited by Dante
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I totally agree about Dagny. But I also think Rearden was portrayed fantastically.

The whole movie is totally worth it just to see them shine. Personally I like every part of the movie, but I believe even critics can anjoy their performances.

Most especially her acting the final scene of the movie. I got chills.

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I totally agree about Dagny. But I also think Rearden was portrayed fantastically.

The whole movie is totally worth it just to see them shine. Personally I like every part of the movie, but I believe even critics can anjoy their performances.

Most especially her acting the final scene of the movie. I got chills.

I think Grant Bowler did an excellent job of acting, but I'm not sure he was well cast. It's no fault of his, but his face just did not quite capture the look of an industrial genius. He did a great job with his lines, and the scenes where his image was reflected in the glass as he watched his metal being poured were very effective. There was good chemistry between Bowler and Schilling throughout the film. You could read the growing passion in Dagny's eyes. But I always envisioned Rearden as being tall, and Bowler appeared to be either the same height or shorter than Schilling.

Some have criticized Ayn Rand's choice of Clint Eastwood for the part of Rearden. Not me. I think he would have been perfect even as recently as ten years ago. (180509142618)potereassoluto_5.jpg

This is not a big deal for me. I'm just trying to explain why I thought Schilling was perfect and Bowler maybe a little less so.

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Reports are that it grossed $1.7M opening weekend, and since its production costs were < $10M, I think there's a decent chance of it making a small profit - hopefully enough motivation to see the project to completion. :)

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Reports are that it grossed $1.7M opening weekend, and since its production costs were < $10M, I think there's a decent chance of it making a small profit - hopefully enough motivation to see the project to completion. :)
I'd be interested in seeing what it makes in the second or third weeks, once most fans have seen it.

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**Mod Note: Merged topic. Originally "Atlas Shrugged Movie Report" -Dante**

Atlas Shrugged Movie Report: April 17, 2011

The other number I was watching closely was its performance on Saturday compared to Friday–because I knew that the bulk of Objectivists were seeing it on Friday. It performed almost as strongly on Saturday as it did on Friday–which is a good sign...

How was the movie received by Objectivists? I conducted a poll of my Facebook friends asking them to rate the movie as wither Excellent (5 stars), Good (4 stars), Average (3 stars), Poor (2 stars) or Awful (1 star). 100+ people have voted so far and you can see the poll results On my Facebook wall. If you have trouble viewing the poll results or voting in the poll because you are not my Facebook friend, you are welcome to send me a Facebook friend request. You will also be able to see my frequent updates about Atlas Shrugged Movie as they are posted on Facebook. Please add you own vote in the poll...

Edited by Dante
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I have trouble seeing it because I have no facebook account.

It gets tiresome when people assume everyone has one.

*** Mod's note: I've split the discussion on Facebook into a separate topic, here. - sN ***

Edited by softwareNerd
Topic split

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And don't take any guff from the people who may claim that your disappointment with the technical aspects of Atlas movie somehow makes you less of an Objectivist.

Flyboy 2160

Thank you! Of course not. Anyone who actually believes in Objectivism should understand that supporting this sub-par film simply because of it's relationship to Objectivism is ridiculous. The entire point of objectivism is to be objective and use logic and reason, and emotion as a reaction to that logic. Therefore liking Atlas Shrugged the film for the sake of liking it is a complete contradiction of Rand's philosophies. I was extremely appauled when my friend, who I saw it with said "yeah, I know it was cheesy and bad" but he liked it because of what it was supposed to achieve. Which makes it a very easy to argue against the person who likes it, unless they are convinced it truly is a great film. Being a film major I think I have a fairly trustworthy opinion.

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I do hope you aren't suggesting that, when someone puts forth what (presumably) is their best effort, and it isn't as good as what we think someone else can achieve, we cannot like and respect the effort for its own sake.

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I do hope you aren't suggesting that, when someone puts forth what (presumably) is their best effort, and it isn't as good as what we think someone else can achieve, we cannot like and respect the effort for its own sake.

A is A. Fail is fail. Effort is good, but results matter more.

Speaking of fail, there are now nine threads on the Atlas Shrugged movie counting this one. Some consolidation is in order. I would leave the thread about the trailers alone, it is not active.

Most of them are in the Movies, Shows, and Theater subforum, but this one is not. There may be more threads elsewhere and more may be created as the release broadens to more cities.

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I do hope you aren't suggesting that, when someone puts forth what (presumably) is their best effort, and it isn't as good as what we think someone else can achieve, we cannot like and respect the effort for its own sake.

Exactly. I tried to explain that to the friend I saw the film with. He agreed it was cheesy and poorly acted, but liked it because of what it stood for. I was appauled because that is the antithesis of Objectivism. If Ayn Rand knew people were accepting this film in spite of it's many flaws, she would be outraged. I think the film is only hurting Objectivism, especially if many people are liking it for the sake of liking it.

It is called Objectivism after all. Not subjectivism.

Edited by Mstark

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I think the film is only hurting Objectivism.....

Atlas Shrugged Movie Boosts Book to #4 on Amazon Bestseller List

Here’s a marketing question I thought I’d never ask: Would you think that a critically panned, low-budget movie, with a virtually unknown director and cast, could catapult a more than 50 year-old book near the top of the Amazon bestseller list? Well, exactly that appears to be happening with the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

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But to that, I would respond that the extra support and buyers of the book are not people who have seriously studied Objectivism, or even read enough to understand its basic tenets. Atlas Shrugged is being hailed--by some conservative bloggers--as the "Tea Party blockbuster." Given that the Tea Party is composed, to a large degree, of extreme religious conservatives who just happen to share our goal of decreasing government intervention in the economy, I wouldn't necessarily be excited about that. When people from that particular demographic (i.e. my parents) read Atlas Shrugged, the deepest point they glean from it is "taxes are bad." Not quite what Rand intended...

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