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Atlas Shrugged Part III Greenlighted

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Elizabeth Stoker wrote an article appearing in The Week critiquing Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity for accepting roles in the third installment in the Atlas Shrugged trilogy.

 

Her criticism of Christians who try to blend Objectivism with their Christianity aligns well with this line from John Galt's speech: "There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil."

 

Rand fans who puzzle over how to squeeze a little Jesus into their preferred philosophy may appreciate Aglialoro's meager, patronizing olive branch. But everyone else will see the result for what it is: either a failed form of Objectivism, which would otherwise spurn the supernatural; or a failed form of Christianity, which would otherwise reject ethics of self-interest. In short, both Christianity and Objectivism are mutually exclusive comprehensive doctrines; that is, each make claims about the nature of reality, moral goodness, and right action which contradict the other. And conservatives used to have the guts to admit it.

 

 

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Elizabeth Stoker wrote an article appearing in The Week critiquing Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity for accepting roles in the third installment in the Atlas Shrugged trilogy.

I don't understand what these nut-jobs will do in the movie. Sounds like a parody: an Onion production.

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Ok, peeling a layer deeper into the article is linked to Conclusion of Atlas Shrugged trilogy pulls out the big guns, casts Ron Paul

The Hollywood Reporter article reporting Paul’s role in the film says that he and Beck will be giving their “honest responses” to John Galt’s speech in the film, but we’re pretty sure that’s beneath a thespian of Paul’s talents.

 

And linked with this by The Hollywood Reporter  Ron Paul to Make Acting Debut (Exclusive)

Kaslow says that several small parts in the movie were written with well-known political figures in mind, but also with the assumption that he'd allow them to ad-lib. Paul and Beck, for example, are TV commentators covering the aftermath of a speech by one of the primary characters, John Galt, played by Kris Polaha.
 

Dr. Ron Paul might have made for a loose parallel as Dr. Thomas Hendricks.

 

More from the second article:

Part I grossed $4.6 million while Part II grossed $3 million in theaters.

 

This could underscore an idea of a calculated financial strategy on behalf of the producers, which would feed back into Ms. Stoker's charge of  Beck and Hannity helping peddle a movie via their personality recognition.

 

How would you like that onion parody: raw, sautéed or caramelized?

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The Internet Has "Hollywood Very Scared": Atlas Shrugged's Harmon Kaslow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ElTC4rjAtqY

 

Harmon Kaslow discusses with Nick Gillespie in part:

"Rand's continuing influence on American audiences and what he hopes audiences will take away from the Atlas Shrugged films.

About 9 minutes. Camera by Joshua Swain and Amanda Winkler. Edited by Winkler."

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IBDwOdlQ0VM

 

John Aglialoro's, the producer of the Atlas Shrugged trilogy, interview with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie

 

Excerpt from 3:07:

NG: So, tell me though how does it feel—so you finished the three movies. The first two have not been reviewed well. I mean, they have been critically kind of admonished. Box office has been pretty good, by your reckoning?

 

JA: No, no. No, it was trashed, as you say. Box office has been low. What has been interestingly high has been the DVD sales and the rental—the after-box office sales. Part of that suffered because in Hollywood, you put up a movie, you put up $100 million or more. A big part of your budget, $20, $30 million or more is advertising, and we had limited funds for that.

 

 

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Not to be a Debbie Downer, but this entire project was so bad that I can't watch a "serious" interview impartially. As Scott Holleran wrote in his review, linked above:

"That it’s all dramatized in the style of a flat, boring cable movie where nodding off makes not a lick of difference seems to fit what has turned out to be an ill-conceived undertaking by a businessman who does not understand the novel."

But... maybe, yeah probably, it was a marketing budget problem.

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The question that comes to my mind is: If Atlas Shrugged is the second most influential book in America, why is a movie, which can at best be an advertisement for the book more successful in DVD and rentals than the box office? (contrasted, say,  with The Lord of the Rings.), especially one done as piecemeal as this has been done thus far.

 

Considering the degree of complexity that arises from dealing with philosophic issues, and grasping that "A Picture is not an Argument", yield expectations higher than the medium permits  - where are the lines to be drawn that demarcate between the advertisement and the dramatized?

Edited by dream_weaver

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I saw it yesterday.  I thought it was the worst of the 3.  I'd be hard pressed to come up with anything positive to say about it.

 

FWIW, there were about 20 people there.  It was a 2PM showing.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfrezza/2013/02/06/atlas-shrugged-producer-shares-insights-and-a-surprse-that-awaits-in-atlas-iii/

According to this interview with John Aglialoro, Part III is going ahead as planned. There's a little detail buried in there that seems designed to get tongues wagging, but doesn't strike me as a big deal at all. Aglialoro says there will be a scene that's not in the book, where Dagny goes into St. Patrick's, which is of course across the street from the Atlas statue in Rockefeller Center, and a priest talks to her. Shrug.

A concern I have is how they're going to do the adaptation, especially "Act I". In the book Part III starts in the valley, and there's not much in the way of action for quite a while. I'm afraid audience interest will sink like a stone for lack of tension.

The church thing referenced above wasn't in the movie.  My concerns about "Act I" were well founded.  They tried to pull it off with a voiceover...the whole thing was a disaster, let's just leave it at that.

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It was a total disaster.  The low point for me was the Glenn Beck cameo.  Evidently the producers think Objectivism is perfectly compatible with Christianity.  OMG

 

I can't help but wonder what the producer of The Godfather--Al Ruddy--might have done with Rand's novel if she had not stood in his way.  I guess now any hope for a film adaptation that truly honors the book is lost.

 

This movie should be an embarrassment for everyone in any way responsible.  What a travesty!

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I guess now any hope for a film adaptation that truly honors the book is lost.

I wouldn't rule that out. Maybe it won't be remade in our lifetimes. But what about the random super-rich dude who quietly lived his entire life according to Rand's principles, is eternally grateful, and decides to make his final life project an exquisite adaptation of her genius novel?

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According to The New York Post, the budget for AS3 was almost entirely raised through Kickstarter.   It was around $447K, compared to 20 million for Part 1 and 10 million for Part 2. 

 

So perhaps Glenn Beck, Ron Paul and Sean Hannity bought their own cameos.  And silence on the topic of religion. 

 

What the heck?  Why bicker over some technical philosophical issue? 

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This scene is all I needed to see to know that these people have no clue how to make a movie, let alone adapt Atlas Shrugged. It's painful enough to watch. I wouldn't consider attempting to watch the entire second and third parts.

 

I guess the only upside is that there might be a couple dozen more Objectivists in the world thanks to the fair amount of publicity the first film recieved. I myself came across Ayn Rand from the videogame Bioshock.

Edited by oso

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This scene is all I needed to see to know that these people have no clue how to make a movie, let alone adapt Atlas Shrugged.

That was one of the best parts of all three films.  Maybe the best, in that here was a genuinely clever and effective bit of adaptation and condensation, well (enough) executed. 

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I’ve often thought that Ayn Rand was wrong to condemn libertarianism for corrupting her philosophy.  With all their faults, I have often defended libertarians, and obviously many of them are good, admirable people.  After seeing AS3, though—which might  be described as a libertarian perversion of Atlas Shrugged—I would have to say Rand was justified in her fears and misgivings. 

 

Part Three was the most important part of the trilogy because it was supposed to explain everything that happened in the first two segments.  Instead, it obfuscates the story and totally sidesteps the real philosophical issues involved.  It relegates the collapse of Rearden steel to the cinematic equivalent of a sound bite.  And Galt’s vacuous, disjointed speech explains nothing.

 

It is not only the implied mixture of Objectivism and religion (with Glenn Beck, et. al., giving their stamp of approval to a philosophically banal Galt’s Speech).  It is the generally pathetic quality of the film itself from just about every angle—writing, casting, directing, acting, et. al.

 

Consider this comment from The Village Voice:

 

Rand's parable is meant to showcase just how much our world needs the best of us, but this adaptation only does so accidentally — by revealing what movies would be like if none of the best of us worked on them.

 

Critics love to portray Ayn Rand as a philosophical nitwit.  Now they have a movie from her alleged followers they can offer in evidence.  The film makes Objectivists look not only elitist but pretentious and foolish.  Not to mention singularly unheroic and intellectually confused.  Egoism, like the evil of force, is not an axiom.  When civilization collapses due to the wihdrawal of the “men of the mind,” the typical movie goer could understandably blame Galt and his incoherent defense of selfishness, not government coercion.

 

Sadly, many potential readers will never buy the novel after seeing or reading reviews of this film. It is so laughably bad they may dismiss Objectivism as some bizarre ideology like scientology.  (Remember “Battlefield Earth”?)  They will never know what they missed.

 

Atlas Shrugged Part 3 may well go down as libertarianism’s worst crime against Ayn Rand and Objectivism.  Anarchism was bad enough, but the anarchists have never received much attention.  Fortunately, few people have heard of the naïve, rationalist “theory” of anarcho-capitalism.  But now libertarians have produced a “major motion picture” which may further serve to marginalize Ayn Rand and Objectivism as a lunatic fringe.

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You needn't worry.  The movie got effectively no attention at all, favorable or not.  In the few reviews I've seen, the message was that this was simply a bad movie; nobody blamed Rand for what the moviemakers did with her work.

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Am I the only one utterly unconcerned with the bad-ness of these movies? Maybe it's because I reread Atlas recently, but the quality of the book is so good that I can't imagine an intelligent reader thinking anything else about these movies than what have the knowledgeable Objectivists -- bad quality, and probably made by hacks, unlike the book, which wasn't.

 

When I read the novel knowing literally nothing about Rand, the overall quality and depth was so obvious to me. The easiest defense against this movie is the original work. All you have to say is, "Read Atlas Shrugged!"

 

Edit: just saw Reidy's reply. That makes sense, since, although leftist movies often get a pass on nonsense, what never gets a pass is a crappy movie. I think people also understand the difference between an original author and people that work on the adaptation for screen.

Edited by JASKN

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The point of course is that the movie should motivate people to buy the book.  This movie will have the opposite effect.   Very few people are going to read Atlas Shrugged because of this movie.  If they do, then the poor quality of the movie will not matter.  But some people—not a lot, but some-- may never read it because of this awful movie.

 

As to being concerned with the film’s badness:  I know it isn’t cool to make moral evaluations and explain why you make them.  Atlas Shrugged is a supreme value of mine.  I’m just not very cool when it comes to my values.

 

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There are comments from Irfan Khawaja on the film Atlas Shrugged III here. I didn't see it myself, as it did not show at my town, and the nearest showing was over an hour away.

Edited by Boydstun

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EC    16

The other two movies were decent if low budget but this movie was just horrible. I personally think Galt's Speech is the greatest intellectual achievement in the history or man and to see the way it was perverted in this movie was just sad. Every time I read it the speech brings tears to my eyes because of the way it connects with me to the deepest part of my soul. Watching it in this movie was the first time I haven't felt that connection and that's just well... sad.

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*** SPOILER ALERT ***

If you don't mind spoiler's here's a review of Part-III, written by Scott Holleran.

I just saw it, having already seen Pts 1 & 2. Same disappointment as with the first 2, the acting was so flat! I always pictured Dagny as being much more animated in her joy and bitterness, and the actor's "Who Is John Galt?" speech was comparable to having an opera sung by a folksinger!

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