Skip to comments.Highly Biased Praise for Atlas II
Posted on 10/15/2012 1:50:41 PM PDT by Shout Bits
Early last year, Shout Bits predicted that the Atlas Shrugged movie would change the world. Well, no, it did not. The movie tanked in the theaters, and not for good reason. Not only was it burdened by media writers who lean left, it was not a very good production anyway. The writing and acting were stilted, and the production values were like a soap opera. Fortunately Atlas II, which sill advocates for Ayn Rand's ideas, is on its own terms a triumph.
One would not know that Atlas II is a quantum improvement over part I by reading the reviews. The movie review site Rotten Tomatoes rates Atlas II at 0% (i.e. everybody hated it). Tellingly, nearly every review takes a snide swipe at Rand's philosophy. On the other hand, 81% of actual moviegoers like Atlas II, so if the purpose of critics is to help consumers find movies they will like, the critics are infinitely wrong.
No doubt leftist critics had a hard time setting aside their statist constitutions to consider whether Atlas II is a persuasive argument for something outside their belief systems. However, that is a common prerequisite for most Hollywood movies. Not everyone identifies with superheroes, kung-fu robot Camaros, or hairy footed little people. The review must be framed by the intended audience's expectations. So, let Shout Bits offer a review from the perspective of an individualist (spoiler it's great).
First off, Atlas Shrugged is not a John Gisham novel, seemingly written with movie production in mind. It is an 1100 page tome with entertainment as its secondary objective. Atlas is a philosophical thought experiment shoehorned into a railroad baron plot. Its characters, as in all Rand novels, are unrealistically heroic. Without wearing their underwear over their tights, Rand's heroes do not readily translate into movies, as movie characters usually have flaws and quirks that endear them to the audience. In short adapting Atlas to the screen is a monumental challenge, yet the critics do not seem to appreciate that compelling interpersonal conflicts are the grist of Margaret Mitchell, not Ayn Rand.
For Atlas II, the producers added some excitement by enlisting what star power they could afford. Sci-fi junkies will get a chuckle from Robert Picardo's bureaucrat. Libertarian card trick fans will notice a rare speaking cameo by Raymond Joseph Teller (of Penn and Teller). Beyond casting stunts, generally, the acting and dialog is much improved over the first installment. Still, Atlas II is a low budget indie movie, so major star power and special effects are nowhere to be found. Atlas II, by its nature and its budget could never be a thriller.
Where the two Atlas movies remain the same is in their adherence to the novel's message: individual rights. Capitalism and money are, as the movie explains, tools so that men may peacefully live as equals. Any other system is veiled serfdom. Atlas II argues Rand's point that individualism and capitalism are moral constructs apart from their public policy benefits.
Despite the thick themes Atlas II is not a documentary or an economic lecture. It fairly cleverly weaves Rand's arguments into bits of dialog that dissect collectivism. While no more subtle that a James Cameron film beating up capitalism, Atlas II's dialog on Marxism might just wash past the ears of those unfamiliar with the Left's code words (e.g. from those who can, unto those who need). Anyone who condemns Atlas II for heavy handed political symbolism must also condemn any number of big-budget Hollywood thrillers where the villains are predictable corporate malefactors. Of course Atlas II is political; that is its purpose. Condemning Atlas II for being what it must be is pointless and does not add any value to a critique.
Critics do not blast artsy films for their lack of action, nor do they object to leftist ideology embedded in Clooney movies. Why, then, are these the basis for Atlas II's poor reception? For those who already know that Atlas II is a small budget adaptation of a novel about individualist philosophy, Atlas II actually exceeds expectations. Indeed, it is lively, has a good pace to it, and engages the willing mind with Rand's philosophy. To this biased critic, Atlas II is an unmitigated triumph.
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3rd sentence: “not for lack of good reason.” stupid me.
Raymond Joseph Teller (of Penn and Teller).
Does he have a speaking role?
It would have to be quite an improvement over the first one, that’s for sure.
I’m telling Freepers that this (Atlas II) is a great movie! My wife reluctantly went with me and was thoroughly enthralled by the movie. I believe there is a deliberate plot to bury this prophetic movie. This movie like Brave New World and 1984 clearly shows where economic totalitarianism is heading.
I am planning on going tonight
Good, take some friends, too. If you like it and support the message, post your opinion on social media, as well.
Yes! He has a Line.
What's the problem?
The product works either way, once the biases are clear.
Knowing that I would love what any particular critic pans is just as useful as the reverse.
The main thing is consistency and reliability.
Mrs Rainman and I saw Atlas II on Saturday, and we are outside of Seattle. Told her it was probably a good thing we saw it opening weekend because I doubt it will still be in theatres next week. It was a good production of the middle part of Atlas, but even without reviews the theatre was empty for the 5PM Saturday show. I counted 10 souls ...
In regards to the movie itself ... yes, it was an improvement over Atlas I, yes, the special effects were pretty lame (how can the same jet pull away from you around every corner then you are suddenly within 100 feet of it again on EVERY shot until it goes thru the mirage ... then it cannot be found?) ... the dialog was actually pretty good ... a little corny but at least plausible ... but the worst part was character development.
Unless you had read the book, characters appearing out of nowhere with no clue as to thier significance then disappearing just as suddenly. Best example of this is the sequence of James going into the drug store, meeting Cherryl for the first time, inviting her into his limo ... next scene, James and Cherryl at the concert where the artist disappeared before the encore, next scene, Lillian insisting Hank go to James wedding and him not wanting to, then the wedding scene where Cherryl tells Dagny that she is on to her and going to protect James because she was the woman of the Taggart family now and Dagny saying thats OK because she was the man ... then Cherryl was gone the rest of the movie. Entire sequence ... 2 minutes tops.
If you are an Atlas fan ... definitly go see it, but as I said, it will probably be out of theatres in a week.
It was great. But there are new people playing some of roles from the first movie, and it doesn’t detract from the movie. BTW reardon’s wife is played this time by kim rhodes. If you ever watched the suite life of zack and cody, she played the mother. Hopefully you’ve seen part one, because they don’t show anything of it.
Aye, there's the rub.
The second one is actually fun.
Weekend at Bernie’s was a smash hit!
Went this evening with my wife (politically non-existent) and a friend of ours who is a real moon-bat (LOVES Letterman, thinks Bill Maher and Jon Stewart are journalists, you know the type). Guess what? Both of them liked it (Hey, Mikey!!!!).
Personally, I quite enjoyed it, but I have to say the scene with Hannity and "the Great American Round Table" or whatever he calls his sequence with multiple wags of various political stripes was not a good idea. While it brought a small sense of currency to the timeline, I thought it was somewhat nonsensical. Sort of like when they did a cameo of Clin-toon in the movie "Contact". Don't date a movie, especially something as timeless as "Atlas Shrugged", with a cheap attempt at star power.
They did show what looked to be an "Occupy Taggert Railway" mob in front of the building, but it was a subtle reference to the underlying theme and never referred to it as an "Occupy Movement" deal.
One irony was watching the previews before the movie tonight. Included the latest Matt Damon enviro-dreck flick about the dangers of fracking for gas as well as the nObama approved movie version of the Bin Laden killing, "Zero Dark Thirty".
“...nObama approved movie version of the Bin Laden killing, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Well, they got the ‘Zero’ part of the title correct.
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