First Review Of "Atlas Shrugged: Part I," The Movie - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 382 Old 04-19-2011, 03:12 AM
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Not bad for an Indie film with a political subtext.

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post #92 of 382 Old 04-19-2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adpayne View Post

I think this shows that we are all closer in beliefs than some would realize.
Politicians, and media mouthpieces from both sides stir up emotions in people, and that's when it gets out of hand.

In fairness, I guess I need to read Rands books for myself. I've gone on other peoples opinions of her work, and I need to form my own.

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post #93 of 382 Old 04-19-2011, 02:04 PM
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I "tried" to read "Atlas Shrugged" back in the 1960s but it was dry and boring and I soon lost interest. I've seen "Fountainhead" and another one of her stories that was adapted to film probably "Love Letters" since it was in B&W and looked like a 40's production. For those who want to discuss the politics of the film the political forums are abuzz with discussion of it. Have fun.
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post #94 of 382 Old 04-19-2011, 05:16 PM - Thread Starter
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One of the limited releases was near me in an upscale area north of Houston. My wife, a friend, and I saw a performance on an early Monday showing with very sparse attendance of ~25 folks. There were no spontaneous outbursts of enthusiasm at the end.

All three of us in our group had read the book years ago and are of Rand's target audience, and by that I mean individualists as opposed to collectivists by persuasion. So, we were spring-loaded to appreciate the film. My wife fell asleep. I am so invested from long familiarity my review has to be tilted beyond measure, but for my part, I enjoyed the movie even knowing the first third is devoted entirely to background and formation for the payoff later. After a third of the story, the audience hasn't seen the protagonist other than as a disappointing (yet true to the book) shadowy cartoon. I wonder how the uninitiated can keep interest. Thus, speaking for myself, I can say Part I was about what I expected. I had hoped Francisco d'Aconia's "Money Speech" made the early cut as it is the "hook" in the book for me, but, alas, we will have to wait to see if there is a Part II for that. Much of that speech can be included, as it is relatively short, but the insufferably long 110 page culminating John Galt speech at the end is a mystery as to how the writers will approach it, especially as it is Rand's piece de resistance.

Readers can jump the gun and read the "Money Speech here -
http://www.working-minds.com/money.htm

The book and the movie cannot be divorced from the driving philosophy for which it was created. It is and was always meant to be a didactic allegory to express Rand's singular ideas, and any power it has is from those ideas expressed by Rand as, "the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." The characters are paper thin and the dialog stilted and unsubtle. Not the stuff of great art, but the stuff of an important philosophy suitable to invoke more disagreement than this thread can stand taken to its limits. Part I has only touched on the essence of that Raison D'être, so whether this first effort is enough to carry to conclusion with production of the following two parts remains to be seen. I hope so.

.........

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post #95 of 382 Old 04-19-2011, 07:37 PM
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In a sense, one could almost view the movie as a documentary today.

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post #96 of 382 Old 04-20-2011, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post

In a sense, one could almost view the movie as a documentary today.

Not surprising since the book could be considered a "documentary" of Rand's youth growing up in Soviet Russia before she emigrated to the US in the 1920's.

People seem to think that Atlas Shrugged is just a figment of Rand's imagination, but it isn't. She actually experienced a lot of the events in Atlas Shrugged before she fled Russia. Such as "bourgeois" factory owners and managers being ousted and replaced with party cronies who then ran the factories into the dirt. Workers refusing to work any harder than the laziest worker in the plant since they were no longer being rewarded for extra work. Her father's business being seized and herself being kicked out of the university because they were bourgeoisie, etc, etc.

All that being said, I still find We The Living to be an even more powerful indictment of Soviet Russia than Atlas Shrugged because it isn't trying to be social commentary, just a romantic triangle. But all the horrors of the Soviet system are glaringly obvious. It would also make a much better movie than Atlas Shrugged (in fact it was made into a movie in Italian, but I haven't been able to locate a copy of it and I don't speak Italian, so I'm not very motivated to look for it).
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post #97 of 382 Old 04-20-2011, 05:29 PM
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I'll have to seek out "We the Living." Reminders of the evils of such systems are of great value.

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post #98 of 382 Old 04-20-2011, 09:35 PM
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I saw it today. Liked it. I found it interesting. On the way home I stopped at Barnes & Noble and picked up the book.

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post #99 of 382 Old 04-20-2011, 10:28 PM
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Rotten Tomatoes shows:

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1

7% rating by critics (29 reviews}
85% rating by users (7431 reviews)



Tron Legacy

50% rating by critics (219 reviews}
67% rating by users (131,624 reviews)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

79% rating by critics (241 reviews}
87% rating by users (234,979 reviews)


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

50% rating by critics (143 reviews}
66% rating by users (136,095 reviews)

The King's Speech

95% rating by critics (205 reviews}
94% rating by users (94,884 reviews)

Something tells me fans of the book are less likely to pan this movie. Critics who are fans of the book pan it no problem.

EDIT: Read all the comments a Rotten Tomatoes, too. Virtually all Ayn Rand devotees praising the film to high heaven. Something tells me if it was done with hand puppets in a church basement, they'd still be raving.
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post #100 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 08:48 AM
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Further though the book, and it keeps getting better. It is about ideas more than the actions it tells, making it a tough adaptation for cinema. But its ideas are important. Including the one in my sig.

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post #101 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

Rotten Tomatoes shows:

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1

7% rating by critics (29 reviews}
85% rating by users (7431 reviews)



Tron Legacy

50% rating by critics (219 reviews}
67% rating by users (131,624 reviews)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I

79% rating by critics (241 reviews}
87% rating by users (234,979 reviews)


The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

50% rating by critics (143 reviews}
66% rating by users (136,095 reviews)

The King's Speech

95% rating by critics (205 reviews}
94% rating by users (94,884 reviews)

Something tells me fans of the book are less likely to pan this movie. Critics who are fans of the book pan it no problem.

EDIT: Read all the comments a Rotten Tomatoes, too. Virtually all Ayn Rand devotees praising the film to high heaven. Something tells me if it was done with hand puppets in a church basement, they'd still be raving.


That goes both ways, people who hate Rand will stop at nothing to thrash this, even if it was made an Oscar contender caliber production, because it's not about that for them either. Also let's hope that you don't think that any of those figures above will mount to any scientific levels.

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post #102 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

That goes both ways, people who hate Rand will stop at nothing to thrash this, even if it was made an Oscar contender caliber production, because it's not about that for them either. Also let's hope that you don't think that any of those figures above won't mount to any scientific levels.

Battleship Potemkin

100% rating by critics (33 reviews}
85% rating by users (15,779 reviews)

Triumph of the Will

94% rating by critics (16 reviews}
77% rating by users (5,238 reviews)
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post #103 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 12:02 PM
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Yeah, a lot of those reviews aren't attacking the subject matter but the presentation.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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post #104 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 12:32 PM
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Kilgore's examples of Potemkin and Triumph are interesting, as they are ideologically opposite from Atlas, and the critical/viewer trends are also opposite...

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post #105 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 12:58 PM
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I wouldn't call them exactly opposite. There's only a 15-17 point swing in critic/viewer ratings between them in Kilgore's example, versus a 78 point swing in Atlas Shrugged.

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post #106 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

Battleship Potemkin

100% rating by critics (33 reviews}
85% rating by users (15,779 reviews)

Triumph of the Will

94% rating by critics (16 reviews}
77% rating by users (5,238 reviews)

So you think there is scientific value on any of this? Pity.
See one doesn't have to cite RT to know where the entire entertainment writer/critics stand ideologically speaking, I can't speak for the users of RT, since I hardly ever visit that site, but I'm sure they are much more diverse. BTW the difference between fascism, and communism is well.................... another subject and forum maybe.

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post #107 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thehun View Post

See one doesn't have to cite RT to know where the entire entertainment writer/critics stand ideologically speaking,

Let me guess...you said it as fact, but didn’t mean it as fact. Right?

Its me, Mr. Pumpernickel...

Michael Medved converted? And what about Steve Sailer, movie critic for The American Conservative. Read about him and you’ll understand why it’s best for society to keep with the status quo.
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post #108 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Aliens View Post

Let me guess...you said it as fact, but didn’t mean it as fact. Right?

Its me, Mr. Pumpernickel...

Michael Medved converted? And what about Steve Sailer, movie critic for The American Conservative. Read about him and you’ll understand why it’s best for society to keep with the status quo.

It's Mr. Pecksniff, and "I didn't say it as a fact" because there would be no way to prove it such, but you're correct I should have said almost the entire, which remains my opinion only, which seems has to be spelled out to some.

Oh there is no status quo only if you care for those people's writing, I don't and I'm positive the majority of the movie going public doesn't either.

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post #109 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

I wouldn't call them exactly opposite. There's only a 15-17 point swing in critic/viewer ratings between them in Kilgore's example, versus a 78 point swing in Atlas Shrugged.

I spoke only of the trend, not the values. Sorry if that was unclear.

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post #110 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 03:38 PM
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Oh there is no status quo only if you care for those people's writing, I don't and I'm positive the majority of the movie going public doesn't either.

Mr. Perquackey, again...

I’ve always used my own judgment when it comes to movies. Critics have a job to do and I understand that, but I give so little value to what they have to say I don’t read them. And whatever happened to Rex Reed? I do remember he was a top critic in his day.
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post #111 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

Something tells me if it was done with hand puppets in a church basement, they'd still be raving.

Indeed caught myself almost doing the same. Coming out of the theatre, I was thinking 'not bad considering...' before wondering why I was about to cut it some (any) slack. I don't ever do that for, say, a Pixar movie.

Still, for all its stiff acting and stilted dialogue, it kept me entertained. The filmmakers were smart enough to keep the film short and tight. I just wish the writers had adapted the novel to be a little more emotionally engaging and relevant to current events. It would have been nice to see what a filmmaker with the skill of an Oliver Stone would have done with the material.

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post #112 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 03:42 PM
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Rex Reed writes for the New Yorker, I think. He still reviews movies in his patented snarky manner...

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post #113 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 03:43 PM
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It would have been nice to see what a filmmaker with the skill of an Oliver Stone would have done with the material.

What a brilliant idea! Stone could do wonders with such a project, save for his hatred of the principles it espouses...

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post #114 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

I spoke only of the trend, not the values. Sorry if that was unclear.

I understand, but I'm not sure the trend matches since the values are so wide apart.

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post #115 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliens View Post

Mr. Perquackey, again...

I've always used my own judgment when it comes to movies. Critics have a job to do and I understand that, but I give so little value to what they have to say I don't read them. And whatever happened to Rex Reed? I do remember he was a top critic in his day.

He's on RT of course.

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post #116 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 04:06 PM
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What a brilliant idea! Stone could do wonders with such a project, save for his hatred of the principles it espouses...

I think he used Stone more for his "caliber" as a filmmaker not because of his political POV.

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post #117 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 04:19 PM
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...save for his hatred of the principles it espouses...

Oh that. Well, they can fix it in editing. But yeah, that's why I was careful to say "with the skill of".

BTW, if anyone (including those with opposing principles) doubts said skills or wonders if he's still got the touch, his recent 'World Trade Center' is a brilliant demonstration of straightforward, narrative storytelling. And about as apolitical as he's ever been.

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post #118 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliens View Post

Mr. Perquackey, again...

I've always used my own judgment when it comes to movies. Critics have a job to do and I understand that, but I give so little value to what they have to say I don't read them. And whatever happened to Rex Reed? I do remember he was a top critic in his day.

Prominent, yes. Top-critic? Never.

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post #119 of 382 Old 04-21-2011, 06:06 PM
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Oliver Stone was a particularly good example of a level of talent that could have been applied to such a challenge as this book, in part because of the brilliant editing his films have had. "JFK," as horrifically wrong-headed as it may have been, was among the finest examples of superlative editing. It was clever to the point of being almost criminally deceptive.

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post #120 of 382 Old 04-22-2011, 11:51 AM
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I saw it in the company of friends last night. I found the film to be fast moving, never dull, and somewhat preachy. Just like the book. I haven't actually read the book since Philosophy 216 in (sigh) 1977.

The Cinematography was great. I saw it in a large theater (700 seats, of which possibly two dozen were occupied). The bullet train and the exterior shots were quite beautiful. The lush interior scenes apparently are the actual residences of the extremely wealthy, the materials were high-end and beautifull. Interiors were perfectly lit and focussed. The movie was shot all in the digital domain using a Red One Camera, and had a 4K digital intermediate. The two distribution print formats are 35mm film and D-Cinema - I definately suggest the latter. The realer-than-real clarity of the digital recording was apparent, with a total lack of film artifacts and debris. Audio was clear and unmuddled, with a seldom intrusive surround mix. Note that I did see an occasional artifact that may be due to lossy compression, and I understand that the Red One has been criticized for this before. These were few and fleeting moments, overall I'd have to say a beautifull movie.

In the end, I was entertained. Although no movie can come close to communicating the same intricate detail as a lengthy novel, this one moves along at a brisk pace which never lags.

I find myself wishing in fact that the book's plot had been updated. The obsolete and obstinately low tech railroads of today just do not make for a convincing plot device in 2011. I remember the late 1950's, and Rand can be forgiven for thinking that what was then a vital and healthy railroad industry would prosper. I wish instead that they had gone ahead and used "Reardon Metal" in a state-of-the-art suborbital spaceplane equivalent to that which Burt Rutan is building for Virgin Galactic. It would have been a better plot for 2011, and a better SF movie.

Yes folks, that's what I said. With a setting in 2016 and an alternate history, Atlas Shrugged is an SF movie for political junkies.

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