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Atlas Shrugged Pt. 1


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#1 of 20 mattCR

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Posted February 12 2011 - 12:00 PM

I can't decide if this is a real or fake trailer.   The website looks legit.   Without debating the politics, I have always loved the book "Atlas Shrugged" but think it would be a real struggle to get it up on the screen in a way that would transfer what the author means without turning it into drastic oversimplification.


So, without further ado..





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#2 of 20 Patrick Sun

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Posted February 12 2011 - 12:35 PM

It's got a release date of 4/15/2011 (tee hee).  I love me some Taylor Schilling, though.


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#3 of 20 Charles Smith

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Posted February 13 2011 - 03:52 AM

Well, son of a bitch.  Never thought I'd see it happen.


Doesn't look half bad, either.  So far.  Except that today's fast-motion/fast-cutting crap and reality-TV-style sound effects seem more brain-numbingly ludicrous than ever, applied to vintage material like this.  (Yes, I see the story is brought into present day, and that's fine.)  Hopefully, most of it is for trailer purposes, but I won't hold out a lot of hope for that.  Regardless, and as bad as the whole thing might end up being, wild horses couldn't keep me away.  Thanks for post that.



#4 of 20 Greg Kettell

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Posted February 13 2011 - 12:57 PM

I don't know. Set in modern times, with railroads and steel as key American industries? Seems a bit anachronistic already.



#5 of 20 Worth

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Posted February 14 2011 - 07:04 AM

This looks like it's going to be terrible. I think either We the Living or The Fountainhead would make much better films as the books are far more story and character driven. There are no real characters in Atlas Shruged - just mouthpieces spewing Rand's propaganda.


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#6 of 20 Kevin M

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Posted February 14 2011 - 08:08 AM




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#7 of 20 Adam Gregorich

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Posted March 30 2011 - 04:03 PM

They talked about it on Stossel a few weeks ago and it is supposed to be a three part movie.


#8 of 20 mattCR

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Posted March 31 2011 - 02:53 AM



Originally Posted by Worth 

This looks like it's going to be terrible. I think either We the Living or The Fountainhead would make much better films as the books are far more story and character driven. There are no real characters in Atlas Shruged - just mouthpieces spewing Rand's propaganda.



I will admit, I've read "Atlas Shrugged" several times, and the message I get from it always seems to be very different then the one others do.  But, I enjoy the book.   That having been said, you're right "The Foutainhead" is a far better book to make into a film.   It would also be the filmthat could most easily be adopted.   Atlas Shrugged is a very difficult book to turn into a film because the conversations within it are beefy, and without them it becomes just a series of catch phrases of sorts.   I'm not sure at all how this film will work out.   I will go see it, though...


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#9 of 20 Jim_C

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Posted March 31 2011 - 06:35 AM



Originally Posted by mattCR 





I will admit, I've read "Atlas Shrugged" several times, and the message I get from it always seems to be very different then the one others do.  But, I enjoy the book.   That having been said, you're right "The Foutainhead" is a far better book to make into a film.   It would also be the filmthat could most easily be adopted.   Atlas Shrugged is a very difficult book to turn into a film because the conversations within it are beefy, and without them it becomes just a series of catch phrases of sorts.   I'm not sure at all how this film will work out.   I will go see it, though...



I think you may be right but, OTOH, I was convinced LOTR couldn't be filmed properly.  In the right hands it can be done.  Fingers are crossed...


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#10 of 20 RobertR

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Posted March 31 2011 - 11:11 AM

Definitely curious to see how this turns out.  Like Jim, I view this book as all but unfilmable.



#11 of 20 mattCR

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Posted April 15 2011 - 12:43 PM

I guess the best review I can give is: watchable.   It is not great; there are moments where staying very true to the book LONG speeches occur. The biggest problem is that the film suffers badly from what could best be called being cheap. The direction is ordinary. The staging is horrible. Some of the scenes are very hard to get through.


I will admit, I like Rand.   In the same way that I like a lot of philosophical writing.  I may not agree verbatim with her ideas, but I have always found it interesting and believe that a really good debate over things helps us find why we think the way we do.   This movie is a fair disservice to her ideas.    It is far too literal to the book, while missing a big chunk of the meaning - or even proposing one.    Like I said, I've debated Rand with tons of people, and I find there are a lot of different thoughts about it, and the debate over it is what makes the book one I enjoy.   This film doesn't offer much in debate because it just.. kind of lays there.


I think worse still, and no offense to the actors, but there is no real anchor talent here.


Done well, "Atlas Shrugged" could largely condense most of the heart of the meaning down to about 2 1/2 hours.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but if you think about how much of the book is about really expressing something to make it visual and how quickly you could shortcut all of that as well as the the referals back to keep the storyline on track..


My advice would be: if you have never read Rand but have decided based on what others have told you that "you won't like it" or "you don't believe it" pick it up and give it a try.  You may still hate it.   But the debate of ideas is a good one; if you can't challenge your own ideas and find out why you believe the way you do, then you're missing out.   But as to the film:  I think only die hards will overlook how poorly done this is, and I think most Rand fanatics will put their head in their hands, and think "for all it's faults, Gary Cooper was awesome in The Fountainhead"


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#12 of 20 RobertR

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Posted April 16 2011 - 02:59 AM

Thanks for the review, Matt.  It seems the film is suffering from the lack of a big budget.  But therein lies the dilemma:  I don't think there was any way that big Hollywood money was ever going to be behind the making of the book into a movie.  Rand's ideas are too much out of sync with mainstream Hollywood for that.  I'll still see it, if only to see the story depicted on-screen.




#13 of 20 Adam Gregorich

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Posted April 16 2011 - 06:20 AM

I just finished reading the book for the first time.  I'll give the movie a shot, but I agree with Matt's comments in post 8 about it being difficult to film due to all the dialog.  If the ideas don't come through the script its just a story about a railroad...


I've never read Fountainhead. I'll have to add that to my queue.



#14 of 20 Patrick Sun

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Posted April 16 2011 - 01:44 PM

FWIW, my audience applauded at the end of Part 1 at a noon showing today (theater was almost filled to capacity for my showing, last night's evening showings sold out, and tonight's showings were sold out as well - to be fair, it was only playing at Regal Cinema theaters in my city, AMC didn't book it).  I think the audience "got" the message, and the script was basically preaching to the choir.  I'll post more later after I sleep on it.



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#15 of 20 Patrick Sun

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Posted April 17 2011 - 03:40 AM


Ayn Rand's novel has been brought to the big screen in a multi-part presentation.  In the not too distant future, the economy is in the crapper, gas prices have skyrocketed, causing air travel to become less of a feasible way to travel or for transport, railroads have regained a footing in filling in that transportation need for people and business.

Taggert Transcontinental is run by a brother-sister team of James and Dagney Taggart after their father passed away.  James is not the smart one, while Dagny not only has a engineering background, but is business-savvy in an age where it becomes harder to keep their railroad transport company afloat.  I liked Taylor Schilling as Dagny in this role.  Grant Bowler plays Henry Rearden, the CEO and architect of Rearden Metal (and other business holdings).  Rearden Metal has been able to produce a lighter, stronger version of steel, and Dagny is willing to bet that it can be used to replace worn out railroad tracks, especially in the run to Colorado, where a crucial customer, Wyatt Petroleum, is looking to jump ship due to James' incompetent handling of the business.  James is far more reliant on goverment regulation to keep his company afloat, while sister Dagny forges ahead with actual business deal-making.

Obviously the broad strokes of determination of individuals in the face of oppressive governmental controls in the guise of the public welfare is a major thrust in Rand's novel, and the script is pretty polar about the 2 sides, so not too many shades of grey happening here. This film is tailored to a specific audience with specific leanings, that's can't really be argued.  But viewed as any other film where the protagonist has to overcome what appears to be insurmountable odds to achieve their goals, it works from that perspective.  It's just that the depiction of the antagonists probably hit home far too easily given even today's political climate.

The film as cinema is fairly average, the production budget wasn't big, and it shows, and the direction by Paul Johansson has a nightly soap opera quality to it, here and there, but the storytelling was satisfactory.  I'll check out Part 2 when it shows up later in the theaters, as I want to see what happens next for Dagny and Henry, as Part 1 ends with a dire turn of events for them both.

I give it 2.75 stars or a grade of B-.


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#16 of 20 RobertR

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Posted April 22 2011 - 09:02 AM

I'm enjoying seeing the novel brought to the screen.  A bigger budget would have made it seem more epic and more polished, but the overall feel of the novel is there, as well as the ideas, which is what really matters.  Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler seem spot on as Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden--they're just how I pictured them.  The moment I enjoyed the most was when the John Galt Line had its first run (I love seeing engineering achievements).  I'm very much looking forward to the next segments.  I'm curious how John Galt's big speech will be handled.




#17 of 20 mattCR

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Posted April 17 2012 - 06:55 AM

In a kind of stunning thing for a film that wasn't a box office success, Part II is filming right now and is scheduled for an October release.


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#18 of 20 Mikael Soderholm

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Posted April 17 2012 - 08:34 AM

Can't wait for Francisco's Money speech, actually I like that even more than Galt's big speech. Also Galt's description of the downfall of the 20th century Motor Co, which perfectly describes why collectivism is so bad. So, pt. 1 was not great, but it was great that it was made, and even more so that pt. 2 is coming. I enjoyed watching it nevertheless, if only to see how certain elements of the book were translated to film.
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#19 of 20 RobertR

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Posted April 18 2012 - 12:58 AM

Glad to hear that Part II is filming. I'll definitely check it out.

#20 of 20 mattCR

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Posted April 18 2012 - 01:21 AM



Originally Posted by Mikael Soderholm 

Can't wait for Francisco's Money speech, actually I like that even more than Galt's big speech. Also Galt's description of the downfall of the 20th century Motor Co, which perfectly describes why collectivism is so bad.
So, pt. 1 was not great, but it was great that it was made, and even more so that pt. 2 is coming. I enjoyed watching it nevertheless, if only to see how certain elements of the book were translated to film.




I will admint, Francisco's money speech is one of those moments for those that buy the philosophy is one of those things people who buy the philosophy will openly cheer if it's done well.  It has a great rhythm to it and delivered right - and I've seen it done more then a few times - it works.


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