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"Atlas Shrugged: Part 2" release date set for October 12, will

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I suppose this thread will do for posting a review. If there's to be a single thread for that here than this can be moved later. I went to a 2:30 showing. There were 4 people there, including m

I found the first movie to be extremely awful to the point of being offensive and insulting. They took what I consider to be one of the greatest works of art ever created, if not the greatest, and tur

They released a teaser poster. OH MY GOD IT SUCKS SO BAD.

It still got campy in parts

Yeah, I think 'campy' is a better term than what I used in my write-up, when I said 'clunky'.

3. The partially burnt out neon sign above Rearden when he was calling his lawyer to divorce Lillian spelled out “hopeless”.

I liked that touch too, though I took it as a shot at Obama's worn out slogan.

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<p>I thought parts of it were incredibly amateurish. Opening a movie with expository text is almost always a bad idea, and here it was messy and completely unnecessary. Literally, they could have just removed it flat out, put nothing else in, and made the movie much better. Within the first 2 minutes, we see a billboard with $40 gas displayed on it, we see beggars littering the streets... we don't need some horrid expository text to get the picture of what the world looks like, or to understand why trains are back.<br />

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I really liked opening the movie with Dagny in the plane. It functions extremely well as a hook, and to give the movie the sense of coming 'full circle' around to John Galt by the end, and making the viewer feel that this quest is important. However, Dagny's delivery of her desperate "Who is John Galt" as the plane goes down was comically bad. That's really the best take that they got?<br />

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A few other elements just jumped out as amateurish and made me cringe. The slow walk of board members into the board room was awful. John Galt's delivery of "Are you ready, Mr. So-and-so" right before he disappears them was bad. "Who is John Galt" was overused and got really repetitive.<br />

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The filmmakers also definitely took the easy road when it comes to Lillian Rearden. You can feel that they are desperate to get the viewer to sympathize with Hank, especially after we've seen that he's cheating on his wife, but we haven't seen how bad the marriage is, so they do that in one scene with Lillian basically saying that she knows that Hank has been miserable their entire marriage (a fact she is obviously indifferent to, shown through her mannerisms). We do indeed sympathize completely with Hank at this point, but its done by turning Lillian into a garden-variety terrible spouse, which completely misses the progression of Hank and his family throughout the book. It's not enough to hate Lillian the character, invoking that in the audience is useless without better tying it to family obligation separated from love, which is what Hank has to learn to throw off. It gets the characters but misses the theme. They took a similar easy road with Jim Taggart, with his "make sure they know who it's from" line displaying his insincere and pathetic nature abundantly clear.<br />

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I also would have done the two speeches a bit differently, particularly Francisco's. The blood, whips, and chains vs dollars line felt like an offhand remark; I would have had him build up a little more to it and deliver it with more intensity. The camera work didn't help; how about a longer, uninterrupted shot of Francisco building up to the end of his speech, with the camera slowly zooming, to draw the viewer more into the speech and build intensity. It sounds kind of cheesy when I describe it, but it can be really effective. Just one example from the geniuses over at Breaking Bad:<br />

<br />

<br />

Hank's speech could have benefited from a similar strategy, although that one had some more intensity to it at least.<br />

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Overall, I thought the movie was not too bad, with some incredibly amateurish and cringe-worthy moves thrown in. The movie did do a very good job of using humor to show the ridiculousness of some of the statements and ideas held by altruists. It was actually very funny, and in a good way that contributed to the themes, rather than distracting from them. Dagny's "I'm the man" line was great. However, there were more than a few times where I felt that the filmmakers just didn't know what they were doing, and couldn't tell that some of their decisions didn't play well at all.</p>

Edited by softwareNerd
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Your complaints about James and Lillian and about Francisco's speech are simply ways of pointing out (altogether accurately) that the moviemakers took a novel and turned it into a movie. On the screen you simply don't have time for the detail and buildup a novel can provide. The ideal solution is to invent the story for the screen in the first place, but this wasn't an option here.

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Your complaints about James and Lillian and about Francisco's speech are simply ways of pointing out (altogether accurately) that the moviemakers took a novel and turned it into a movie. On the screen you simply don't have time for the detail and buildup a novel can provide. The ideal solution is to invent the story for the screen in the first place, but this wasn't an option here.

Except the things I'm proposing can be done by a competent filmmaker. In the case of the speech, I provided a concrete example of precisely how it could be done in a visual format. Scriptwriters and directors are able to invoke these sort of judgments about characters from the audience all the time; it simply wasn't done here. Changing plot points, dropping scenes, etc, all that is vital to adapting a book, and was certainly utilized here, but it wasn't used effectively in many cases.

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The Breaking Bad scene lasts less than two minutes, and it's full of vivid, concrete imagery and of references to the story in which it appears. The character is expressing not ideas but simple emotions familiar to everybody. None of this is true of the speeches as Rand wrote them. The movie didn't convince me, as the book did, that Francisco's speech leads up to Hank's, and so the viewer is less willing to sit still for Francisco in hopes of picking up some plot point. They were more successful at making Hank's speech part of the story line. Just the same I think the running time was just about right in both cases and that more talk would have put moviegoers off.

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There's a nice selection of interviews and such to see here:

http://www.atlassoci...nterviews-stars

Box Office Mojo is currently saying it took in $1.7M, a little better than Part 1 did on it's first weekend, however Part II opened with on more screens so it's probably not a good sign.

http://boxofficemojo...ruggedpart2.htm

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eb6b1f.jpg

This is the guy playing John Galt. Really directors? REALLY?

I take it you haven't seen the movie yet. You never get a clear look at him. He appears at the very end, but his face is still in shadow, you only get the outline of it. But what's wrong with this guy's face? You post a picture of him that looks like it comes from him having a night on the town, but he doesn't look shit-faced or anything. He looks fine to me.

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The Breaking Bad scene lasts less than two minutes, and it's full of vivid, concrete imagery and of references to the story in which it appears. The character is expressing not ideas but simple emotions familiar to everybody. None of this is true of the speeches as Rand wrote them. The movie didn't convince me, as the book did, that Francisco's speech leads up to Hank's, and so the viewer is less willing to sit still for Francisco in hopes of picking up some plot point. They were more successful at making Hank's speech part of the story line. Just the same I think the running time was just about right in both cases and that more talk would have put moviegoers off.

Most of the people I know who have read Atlas Shrugged think that the speechifiying in the novel doesn't work, at least not as art. Most of them enjoyed the knowledge or viewpoints gained from the speeches, but thought that they came across as unrealistic and preachy, and as bursting the microcosm of the novel. They felt as if the novel that they were reading was interupted so that they could receive a message/lecture from the author. I think most of them wouldn't quite label it propaganda, but would say that it comes very close. It's seen as a breaking of the "fourth wall."

I think that translating the novel into film is necessarily going to cause more people to see artistic awkwardness where they hadn't before. And I don't think that there's a way to successfully film Rand's speeches as written (or even condensed versions which remain true to the essence of the originals) without their coming across as aesthetically jarring to most people.

J

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I take it you haven't seen the movie yet. You never get a clear look at him. He appears at the very end, but his face is still in shadow, you only get the outline of it. But what's wrong with this guy's face? You post a picture of him that looks like it comes from him having a night on the town, but he doesn't look shit-faced or anything. He looks fine to me.

No, I did see it. He cheesed up the ending with 'I am John Galt.'

I'm really hoping they swap him out with a new model for part III.

Edit: That pic was his default on IMBD. He looks okay there- sort of creepy, but okay.

Anyway, here is a recent picture of him from June 2012. Age 50.

Edited by mdegges
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I agree with Dante; translating the ideas and speeches to film can be done. I think the best way to do it is to work with plenty of visual metaphor. For instance, an opening shot of a big oak tree combined with Willers' voice-over explaining that he never understood the nature of the rot that brought it down. The shot would be time-lapsed, so that over the course of the short commentary (I'm thinking 30 to 40 seconds), you begin to see the rot exposing itself on the outside of the tree. Camera zooms in so close that the branches disappear, and the trunk bisects the screen with the circular rot front and center. As Willers gets to the part where he feels the same when he sees the broken clock, the shot will fade to that tower bisecting the screen in the same proportion as the tree, with the broken clock front and center to replace the rot. The shot will pan down to the backs of two people walking down the street, Willers will look over to the guy he's walking with and express that maybe he'll never understand, but "Who is John Galt, right?". THEN the movie can shift to the barrage of news clips, protesters, government regulations and the like. A scene like that would prime the audience to think in terms of metaphor, and to try to figure out what the cause of society's rot is. They'd also be primed to think about that rot again when someone asks that question later.

A movie watcher who is primed to think of broad ideas in terms of concrete visual metaphors (as opposed to expository text) might be more accepting of speeches that speak to those ideas. To create a whole movie would require giving the same attention to each 30-90 second scene (more attention, actually, when you consider music choice, dialogue spacing, etc.). The second part did a better job of this, with occasional reference to gas prices and the Taggart train map, but it still seemed a little backward. It seemed like the visuals were there to support the dialogue and exposition after the fact, instead of as a primer.

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He cheesed up the ending with 'I am John Galt.'

He looks different in the movie then in either picture, his face to me was loose looking, hard to describe. What I didnt like about the scene was the extended time that they held hands. Its like he was about to pull her right out of there, sliding her on her hurt arm, right after he said not to move youre hurt. Could have been done better, at least thats how I remember it. I intend to see it once more in theatres while its still being played...

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The camera work didn't help; how about a longer, uninterrupted shot of Francisco building up to the end of his speech, with the camera slowly zooming, to draw the viewer more into the speech and build intensity. It sounds kind of cheesy when I describe it, but it can be really effective. Just one example from the geniuses over at Breaking Bad ...

..Breaking bad? How about the number one movie on the imdb? (And my personal favorite)

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eb6b1f.jpg

This is the guy playing John Galt. Really directors? REALLY?

It doesn't matter how the actor who plays John Galt in Part II looks because in Part II we see him only shadow and in Part III someone else will play Galt.

From http://www.slate.com...ns_.single.html:

When the third installment comes, in July 2014, we’ll probably get another all-new cast. “It’s hard to lock people down,” says Aglialoro.

Edited by John Link
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From the co-producer of AS II: "'The left dismisses Ayn Rand,' he says. 'The version of her that they attack is childish, it’s a cartoon.' But he understands why. 'I wish she didn’t say ‘selfishness’ as she did. That she was for ‘selfishness.’ She was human, and probably meant that in a rhetorical way. But if she was on this earth again, maybe she’d put it another way.'"

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From the co-producer of AS II: "'The left dismisses Ayn Rand,' he says. 'The version of her that they attack is childish, it’s a cartoon.' But he understands why. 'I wish she didn’t say ‘selfishness’ as she did. That she was for ‘selfishness.’ She was human, and probably meant that in a rhetorical way. But if she was on this earth again, maybe she’d put it another way.'"

No. And she would be right to decline that alteration. The center of pure self-interest is pure selfishness. That pure form of selfishness is articulated—expressly, by the name selfishness—in The Fountainhead, where it is contrasted to a variety of conceptions commonly accepted as selfishness. Her novel argues that the latter are incoherent and at odds with pure selfishness, which entails independence and a certain kind of integrity. It is not only those unfitting parts in common conceptions of selfishness that are attacked as immoral in our culture. It is also pure selfishness, as exposed by Rand in Fountainhead, that is daily attacked in moral criticism of behavior by voices such as those speaking Christianity.

Rand was right in the Preface to The Virtue of Selfishness to defend her choice of the term selfishness as naming a core of human being needing to be championed. I would wish only she had added, “See also The Fountainhead.” Yes, selfishness in common parlance entails things excluded and antithetical to the selfishness Rand applauded. That makes for an invitation to further examination of the phenomena and the concept of selfishness. I mean among open-minded readers. Such are not those who understand well enough what is Rand’s ethical egoism and understand well enough the selfishness she was holding up as a glory, but are then smearing it for the sake of religion and politics, in a word, for the sake of old mistaken morality.

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The new issue of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies includes an essay by Marsha Enright titled "The Problem with Selfishness."

 

No. And she would be right to decline that alteration. The center of pure self-interest is pure selfishness. That pure form of selfishness is articulated—expressly, by the name selfishness—in The Fountainhead, where it is contrasted to a variety of conceptions commonly accepted as selfishness. Her novel argues that the latter are incoherent and at odds with pure selfishness, which entails independence and a certain kind of integrity. It is not only those unfitting parts in common conceptions of selfishness that are attacked as immoral in our culture. It is also pure selfishness, as exposed by Rand in Fountainhead, that is daily attacked in moral criticism of behavior by voices such as those speaking Christianity.

Rand was right in the Preface to The Virtue of Selfishness to defend her choice of the term selfishness as naming a core of human being needing to be championed. I would wish only she had added, “See also The Fountainhead.” Yes, selfishness in common parlance entails things excluded and antithetical to the selfishness Rand applauded. That makes for an invitation to further examination of the phenomena and the concept of selfishness. I mean among open-minded readers. Such are not those who understand well enough what is Rand’s ethical egoism and understand well enough the selfishness she was holding up as a glory, but are then smearing it for the sake of religion and politics, in a word, for the sake of old mistaken morality.

 

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