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Movie Critic R. Ebert Gives Atlas Shrugged 1 Star

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No, that is not what I'm claiming. I suspect that the disparity between critic reviews and audience reviews is due (at least in part) to the fact that most people who go out of their way to see it are going to be people who are either familiar with Rand's writings or who know enough to know that she believed in small government and, therefore, rate the movie highly after having heard 2 hours of pro-small government dialogue. Not exactly the same as the "Silent Hill fanboy" phenomenon, but similar.

Having said that...I haven't seen the movie, and don't plan to, so I could be way off-base. I've heard enough bad reviews from Objectivists and other people sympathetic to Rand's philosophy (as well as mainstream critics) to make me not want to see it. On the flipside, the positive reviews that I've seen focus almost entirely on the presentation of the philosophy, and not about the technical aspects of the movie itself. As Grames said, a true critic will review the movie as a stand-alone work of art, not by how much he agrees with it or how true it is to Rand's philosophy. If I start to see some reviews that praise the movie's artistic value and technical competency, I might rethink whether I want to see it.

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OK, I've been to see it, here's my review: As (quite possibly) the first Front Range Objectist to see the Atlas Shrugged movie (a 12:15 showing in Colorado Springs) it was my intention to give a

I saw it. I hated it. Nicholas Cage makes better movies than this. I was cringing from practically the first moments when John Galt is speaking his absurdly badly written lines to recruit people to

Amy Peikoff, at "Don't Let It Go," has been producing a weekly (Sunday) podcast, now up to number nine. In her latest podcast, #9, the entire one hour is dedicated to discussing the movie, Atlas Shrugged - Part 1. Mostly negative, yet interesting, reviews of the movie as a movie, but some positive hopes for it none-the-less.

"Don’t Let It Go…Unheard #9 Available for download" (Link is not the download, but the page on which one can download the file or listen via one's browser.)

Edit: Minor errors, spelling and grammar.

Edited by Trebor
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Thought I'd post this up since this post was originally about Ebert and the issue came up of whether he was still reliable as a writer or critique outside of his political opinions.

He's gone really far over the edge. Frankly, I think he's developed mental problems.

Here, he is tweeting his approval of the notion of assassinating Trump and Palin. While I'm a fan of neither it goes to show how out there he's become.

http://twitpic.com/4npuw9

Someone took a pic of the screen shot because it has become common for celebs when they realise they could lose ad revenue over a moment of bad judgement scrub their media.

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Atlas Shrugged the movie will hopefully make it to theatres closer to all of us. I would need to drive 300 miles. I looked at Diana Hsieh's podcast, though not until its end, to avoid spoilers, since I have not yet seen AS, and it was quite good. And I enjoyed Robert Tracinski's review on The Intellectual Activist Online today. When asked how he liked the movie, Robert answers it was a great book, but he did like the movie too, though that quote doesn't sound like it.

I wish they were simultaneously making a twelve part movie, perhaps for HBO that portrays more of the novel. It was number 14 on the most seen list for last weekend.

I no longer listen to Roger Ebert. His likes and dislikes do have a racist bent. For him to like a film it needs a social conscience and many actors "of color" in it.

It is 12:53 pm and the producer of AS just came onto FOX. he mentions that as far as influential books go it is number two behind the bible. It will be in 500 theatres this weekend and hopefully in a thousand or more for the third weekend, per John A (Aguilara?)

Semper cogitans fidele,

Peter Taylor

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I saw it. I hated it. Nicholas Cage makes better movies than this. I was cringing from practically the first moments when John Galt is speaking his absurdly badly written lines to recruit people to his strike. This is invented dialog that Ayn Rand never wrote, and never could have written.

I saw it yesterday and agree that it was terrible. Everything fails on a cinematic level from the casting and acting to the screenplay and direction. Ebert starts his review with "I feel like my arm is all warmed up and I don’t have a game to pitch. I was primed to review 'Atlas Shrugged.' I figured it might provide a parable of Ayn Rand’s philosophy that I could discuss..."

What he is in fact acknowledging truthfully is that the movie was so goofy and poorly made (my take), he doesn't feel it's worth any effort to discuss the merits of Rand's ideas presented in the film, which is pretty sad considering how much I love the book.

I had a discussion with someone afterwards and asked if the script could carry the movie if all of the other aspects were fixed (proper actors, production, etc.) but we still concluded unlimited money and talent could not save the screenplay.

At least the book sales are up.

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Are the people who made the movie Objectivists or at least interested in philsopophy? I'd hate to think this movie is just a quick cash-in on a work with millions of existing fans. Anyway I don't know if I'll get a chance to see it - I'm still trying to get hold of The Fountainhead from 1948!

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Are the people who made the movie Objectivists or at least interested in philsopophy? I'd hate to think this movie is just a quick cash-in on a work with millions of existing fans. Anyway I don't know if I'll get a chance to see it - I'm still trying to get hold of The Fountainhead from 1948!

Yes, they are. Anyone other than Objectivists wouldn't push to make a movie like this, especially in terms of Hollywood, where the more liberal crowd has control. That's why it's so disappointing that it was mediocre. They disregarded the philosophy, or at least lost sight of it when creating the script.

However, The Fountainhead isn't much better. I finally watched it, it was on Demand last year, but it was exhausting and much more like a stage play than anything. Yes, the screenplay was written by Rand, however the film itself is still a bunch of talking heads, with extremely stilted acting. That was the time period and how the book was written, but it doesn't translate emotionally because of the type of filmmaking. The visuals are great thanks to King Vidor, with jagged lines and shadows. Lots of fantastic architectural choices. But I feel like we now could make a FANTASTIC Fountainhead adaptation because the acting style has changed and the camera has also changed in the way it interacts with the actors. Older films tended to stay away, set shots, blocking like a theatre stage. Now we can become much more intimate with the actors in terms of connection with the audience through the lens. In otherwords, like Atlas Shrugged's adaptation it's also somewhat of a cliff-note version of the book, lacking the emotional intensity it deserves.

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I saw it last night. Drove 80 miles to see it. It was a movie with a 10 million dollar budget in a world of 100 and 200 million dollar budget movies. Having said I that I really enjoyed the movie as I went there to see a movie that I knew was on a low budget, no big special effects and no 50 million dollar actors. If you go to see it expecting a 100 million dollar movie and true perfection of the Ayn Rand book then you WILL be disappointed. The only way to make the book truly come to life would result in a 20 hour movie, therefore it would never be done. I however felt the movie was as good a portrayal of the first part of the book as could be done on that budget and in 142 minutes. I will see any followups as I am happy to see someone at least made an effort to get the movie out there for people to be able to see it. My biggest disappointment with this movie is not with the actual movie but with it's promotion. I think they really missed the boat with that. In a time when most of the headlines in first part of the movie are becoming true life experiences they could have used that to drive people to see it. That I think is the wasted opportunity in all of this. Absolutely NO advertising at all.

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Are the people who made the movie Objectivists or at least interested in philsopophy? I'd hate to think this movie is just a quick cash-in on a work with millions of existing fans. Anyway I don't know if I'll get a chance to see it - I'm still trying to get hold of The Fountainhead from 1948!

The main guy didn't even know how to pronounce Ayn Rand's name correctly.

The main guy stated nothing is black and white.

The main guy said that if Ayn Rand's society existed poor people would die and the rich would absorb all of the wealth.

This is juts the start of the things he has said on vids that are on youtube. Maybe he has a somewhat better idea now, but at the beginning when they started filming this guy had not the slightest clue, I understood Rand and the philosophy better than him during the first month I found out either even existed.

They did get input from the Atlas Society (the Kellyites) though so I can imagine that helped somewhat.

Yes, they are.

Might want to check the basis for that claim again.

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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  • 2 years later...

While there's no way I'm going to sit through a two-hour-long review of a three hour movie by some guy that looks like Meatloaf, I can say that I saw the movie and it was... a train wreck. The movie that is, not the climatic scene within the movie. It was painful to watch. The mainstream, hearing the "ayn rand" name tossed about like crazy these days because of the latter-day Republicans ala Paul's Ryan and Rand are going to watch this movie and be left baffled.

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Well, at the risk of embarassment to the fact that I had nothing else better to do this evening, I put away just under 9 oz of Canadian Club, and watched that overextended video. To my deep commitment of the truth, I enjoyed it more than both of the Atlas Shrugged DVDs in my collect. The producer of this video looks more like Rob Zomby than Meatloaf, if that matters to anyone. But the video is tedious, yet redeeming if watched through to the end. The footage of the Tea Party harassment was needlessly lengthy. But the commentary was articulate, if not succinct. Criticize it only after you've committed the time to it, as I have. The producers of the Atlas Shrugged films must be called to the proverbial carpet. The creator of this video demonstrates the contrast between the actual novel, by Ayn Rand, and the wishful thinking of right-wing propagandists who created the films, as well as the ring-wing collectivists, for whom the film adaptations were intended. And he has a good eye (and ear) for art. Well, that's all I have to say; I'm pretty well wasted.

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