Sunday, April 17, 2011

Yet Another...

Atlas Shrugged review.  Strange as it may seem, small town Central Florida (well pop. of about 100k) got it.  And the theater was about half full. 

Terrible confession that I know puts me at the bottom of the libertarian pecking order.  I've never read the book.  Been meaning to, and all, but I've never been much on fiction, and I don't think much of her writing, at least what I've been exposed to.  In high school, I had to read The Fountainhead, and I found her writing (searching for a word) painful.  Tedious.  Ponderous.  Most of my reading tends to non-fiction, things like what you see on that list over there on the right...

All that out of the way, I enjoyed the movie.  The movie is dated 2016, and the headlines and actions of the politicians seemed completely believable.  It's a sign of the times we're in that an openly socialistic/crony-capitalistic government that passes laws to reward some companies or states and punish others is a faithful depiction of life and not the extreme fiction it was when Atlas was written.  None of the government actions struck me as going too far.   I thought Grant Bowler, as Henry Rearden, and Taylor Schilling, as Dagny Taggart, both put in compelling performances.  Certainly, Taggart, Reardon, and Ellis Wyatt were the most developed characters and the characters who made the most sense.  (Ellis Wyatt, by the way, was played by Graham Beckel, conservative brother of regular liberal commentator Bob Beckel).  Extra style points for a minor character in the movie: Dr. Potter, the government wonk that offers to buy out Rearden Metal from Hank Rearden, getting him to sell out rather than excel.  The mousey Dr. Potter is played by Armin Shimerman, best known as "Quark" in Star Trek Deep Space Nine - minus the Ferengi ears. 

I don't know enough about the book to know what's coming, but I hope they continue to get part II out next year and part III out the following year.  All planned for tax day. 

We hesitated about going because of what we've read online.  Don't know if you've noticed it, but the liberal Rand-haters hate the movie (as expected) and the die-hard Rand-fans are bad-mouthing the movie, too, for failing to live up to their expectations.

Go see it.  Maybe a few times. 


  1. In the Atlanta area it was pretty hard to find a theater that had A-S playing, but we found one. We went on Saturday night (second night of the showing) and the place was PACKED! Several showings were sold out.

    I have read the book, about two years ago. You're correct, Ms. Rand's writing can drag on, but she really does a good job of developing the characters, and there are a lot of them. Many of the minor characters were left out of the movie and they would have to be or they couldn't have gotten part one into just under 2 hours and $10M. The movie was very fast paced and I suspect that if I were to see it again it would find things that I missed the first time through.

    I liked the movie. I went with my Wife and Daughter who hadn't read the book and they "got it" as well as another friend that had read the book. We all liked it. The showing closed to applause by the entire audience, which I must admit, took me by surprise.

    See the movie and read the book.

  2. The movie did exceptionally well for not having a huge number of theaters for its opening week release. I was just reading that in theater productivity, they were the second highest revenue per seat for the weekend and through this whole week. They were only behind Rio, the big budget movie with huge advertising budget.

    Bodes well for getting parts 2 and 3.

    The thing about not reading the book is that you don't know you missed those minor characters. Sure it's the Cliff Notes version, but you certainly get the essence of the story.