Atlas Shrugged Movie Review: Early Slam by the Hollywood Reporter to keep you from wanting to see the film

 

As sure as the sun came up today I knew that the Hollywood establishment would seek to discourage people from wanting to see Atlas Shrugged.  As I’ve pointed out, Hollywood considers strong characters that rely on their individuality as being one-dimensional, or two-dimensional characters.  Hollywood likes flawed characters and communism, so it is without question that the Hollywood establishment is bracing themselves for a strong financial showing of Atlas Shrugged.

Do not expect good reviews of this film.  Most of the press will hate the premise that Atlas Shrugged is built upon, and those same media outlets hate the Tea Party.  So it goes without saying that on a Tuesday before the film’s opening on Friday that the Hollywood Reporter rushed a review of the film out to hopefully set the pace for the USA Today reviews and all other city newspapers all across the country. 

The best way to combat this type of undercutting from the media is to prove them wrong.  Go see the movie and support it with the purchase of a ticket. 

Now, study how the left will attempt to frame the opinions of the masses in the review from Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter.  Notice that many of the comments are similar to the way the government reports they can’t cut spending, or a school levy attempts passage.  It’s spin toward a “collective” society. 

 

Atlas Shrugged: Film Review

4:02 PM 4/7/2011 by Todd McCarthy

 

The Bottom Line

Flubbed, under-produced representation of the first third of Ayn Rand’s still controversial novel bodes ill for parts two and three.

Opens

April 15

Cast

Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Matthew Marsden, Edi Gathegi, Grahame Beckel, Jsu Garcia, Jon Polito, Michael Lerner, Rebecca Wisocky, Neill Barry

Director

Paul Johansson

The independently financed-and-distributed rendition of the book’s first third is unlikely to generate sufficient box office to inspire production of the final two installments.

“There were a few rare men of talent around her, but they were becoming rarer every year,” it is lamented about the circle surrounding Ayn Rand‘s ultra-capable heroine Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged, and the complaint certainly applies in the case of this botched partial screen adaptation of the mammoth novel that has materialized 54 years after the book’s publication. Although the recent surge in annual sales of the revered and despised author’s fictional manifesto arguably testifies to its continuing relevance, the central battle between fearsomely independent corporate mavericks and hostile big government has been updated in a half-baked, unconvincing way that’s exacerbated by button-pushing TV-style direction, threadbare production values and blah performances except for that of Taylor Schilling in the central role. Set to bow in roughly 200 theaters on April 15, this independently financed-and-distributed rendition of the book’s first third is unlikely to generate sufficient box office to inspire production of the final two installments (the 1,000-plus-page novel is divided into three sections of 10 chapters apiece), although the producers could conceivably forge ahead anyway if their pockets are deep enough. A TV miniseries with a high-powered cast–several were planned at various points over the past four decades–would have been a preferable way to go with this didactic, sometimes risible but still powerful material.

Published in 1957, Rand’s summation novel continues to compel and repel; designed as a paean and exhortation to fulfillment of personal excellence and unrestrained industrial productivity, it is also seen as an abject endorsement of wanton selfishness and the right of the capable few to lord it over the parasitical many. Especially as former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had been an ardent Randian, it’s recently become easier than ever to blame contemporary economic ills on the fallout from her unregulated philosophy, even if the fiscal blundering of many governments provides equally persuasive arguments on the other side.

 

These philosophical debates can and will go on forever, but screenwriters Brian Patrick O’Toole and John Aglialoro (also a producer) have themselves bungled in their attempt to remain faithful to the letter of the sacred text while moving the action to the near-future (specifically, 2016). Many scenes are devoted to dull conversations among business fatcats about the economics of railways and steel, central industries that helped drive the nation 60 years ago but seem like afterthoughts today (Amtrak, anyone?). Updating the story would provide a provocative test to any writer but could certainly be done; however, to do so without acknowledging the present-day realities of high-tech industries, outsourcing, shifting transportation modes and advanced information technology (the characters here actually read newspapers) places the action in an unrecognizable twilight zone. So does the fact that the central manufacturing triumph here is the construction of a high-speed train (managed from scratch within a few months, no less). Not only is it unremarked that Asia and Europe are decades ahead on this front, but conservatives who might be perceived as the core audience for this film are the very ones currently fighting against fast-train funding and construction in the U.S. 

 

For these reasons alone, a serious cultural/historical disjunction derails the enterprise from the outset. Television news clips portray a nation in recognizable disarray and decay, as well as a Middle East that has imploded, triggering unimaginable oil prices, but these seem like overwhelming issues unlikely to be turned around by the efforts of the laser-focused Dagny to take over decision-making at rail giant Taggart Transcontinental from her ineffectual brother James (Matthew Marsden).

 

Poised, beautifully groomed and impeccably coiffed, Dagny strides through the corridors of male hesitation, indecision and ineffectuality with a fierce confidence shaken only by the inexplicable “retirement” of certain skilled executives and the baffling question she increasingly hears at unexpected moments, “Who is John Galt?” This is a query that may or may not ever be answered onscreen, depending upon whether the next two parts are made, but suffice it to say that in Part I he is a shadowy figure resembling the Humphrey Bogart character in Woody Allen‘s “Play It Again, Sam.”

 

Galt is impersonated here by Paul Johansson, a young actor who stepped in to direct Atlas Shrugged when the original director left shortly before shooting began. The best that can be said for his work is that it’s perfunctory, a word that also describes all the performances except that of Schilling, a blond beauty whose open face, direct gaze and plain speaking do more than anything else to make watching the film tolerable. One has little doubt that, in a more substantial version of this story, one populated by strong actors in the other principal roles, she would have held her own and moreso, justifying the casting of a relative unknown in the most important part.

 

Although ostensibly set in New York City, the film features various buildings and cityscapes recognizable from Los Angeles and Chicago. 

Opens: April 15 (Strike Prods. Release)
Production: Harmon Kaslow, John Aglialoro Prods.
Cast: Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Matthew Marsden, Edi Gathegi, Grahame Beckel, Jsu Garcia, Jon Polito, Michael Lerner, Rebecca Wisocky, Neill Barry
Director: Paul Johansson
Screenwriters: Brian Patrick O’Toole, John Aglialoro

 

Rich Hoffman

https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

The Cannibals of the United States: Sacrifice the RICH!!!! Save the needy!!

On my way home today I was riding my motorcycle in the pouring rain and listening to the soundtrack to the film Apocalypto on my Ipod. It was a surreal kind of experience that I enjoy a great deal, and the simplicity of a complicated problem made itself known to me through that cryptic music as the rain tried desperately to penetrate the confines of my helmet.

If you’ve studied other cultures, their rise and fall, there are common themes. Visit any ruin of an ancient civilization and you will see that all those societies bankrupted themselves. They either ran out of water, food, or their currency. Visit Ankor Watt, Chitzen Itza, or any city in Egypt and you’ll see it. Study the past to see your future.

In Mel Gibson’s brilliant film, Apocalypto Gibson showed wonderfully the height of the Mayan Empire and displayed the problems they were having. The Mayans built huge cities, depleted their food supply and built a corrupt hierarchy of politics that sought human sacrifice to appease the mob, and to keep the masses believing that the ruling class held some sort of power with the “gods,” so that society could continue for just a bit longer hoping by some miracle that if they cut off just one more head, or paint their faces just a few more colors so the gods would take mercy on their lives and save them all. In this case the god is Kukulcan. For those of you that don’t know much about history, the main street in Cancun that all the nightclubs are on, is named after that god.

The civilization of Cahokia, just outside of St. Louis, did much the same thing. They had sacrifices which were buried in Mound 72. It is highly likely that this culture along the Mississippi River was trading with the Mayans across the Gulf of Mexico and they had cultural influences on one another. The cultures were remarkably similar resembling the type of societies found in Mesopotamia during the pre-Christian era.
During excavation of Mound 72, a ridge-top burial mound south of Monk’s Mound, archaeologists found the remains of a man in his 40s who was probably an important Cahokian ruler. The man was buried on a bed of more than 20,000 marine-shell disc beads arranged in the shape of a falcon,[16] with the bird’s head appearing beneath and beside the man’s head, and its wings and tail beneath his arms and legs. The falcon warrior or “birdman” is a common motif in Mississippian culture. This burial clearly had powerful iconographic significance. In addition, a cache of sophisticated, finely worked arrowheads in a variety of different styles and materials was found near the grave of this important man. Separated into four types, each from a different geographical region, the arrowheads demonstrated Cahokia’s extensive trade links in North America.
Archeologists recovered more than 250 other skeletons from Mound 72. Scholars believe almost 62 percent of these were sacrificial victims, based on signs of ritual execution, method of burial, and other factors. The skeletons include:
• Four young males, missing their hands and skulls.
• A mass grave of more than 50 women around 21 years old, with the bodies arranged in two layers separated by matting.

• A mass burial containing 40 men and women who appear to have been violently killed. The suggestion has been made that some of these were buried alive: “From the vertical position of some of the fingers, which appear to have been digging in the sand, it is apparent that not all of the victims were dead when they were interred – that some had been trying to pull themselves out of the mass of bodies.”
The relationship of these burials to the central burial is unclear. It is unlikely that they were all deposited at the same time. Wood in several parts of the mound has been radiocarbon-dated to between 950 and 1000 CE. Check out more about this from this article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cahokia

Many people don’t even know that Cahokia is even there in the middle of the United States. It’s the giant hill alongside the highway on the way into St. Louis. You can see the arch of St. Louis easily from the ruins of Cahokia, yet people don’t know much about the ancient city. In fact, Cahokia wasn’t even discovered until developers tried to build a neighborhood over it. I wrote a screenplay about the place for some financial people a few years ago and we had an actress and a director, but the whole thing fell apart in pre-production. But here was the conception teaser for it. The history that I speak about is real. The modern aspect of it is fiction.

So why am I talking about cultures declining and human sacrifice? Well, listen to Porter Stansberry talk to Doc Thompson on 700 WLW. We’re doing the same thing now as those collapsing civilizations did then. We are in a state of decline. The mob you saw in the Apocalypto clip is the poor, the welfare recipients, the union workers in the modern-day. The chants are the same. If you go back and watch the clip from Apocalypto you’ll see their union ancestors chanting at the bottom of the pyramid where the high priest is basically saying the same thing that President Obama is saying now. And who is being sacrificed…..who are getting their heads cut off. The people who produce.

In a culture like the United States it is the producers that are being sacrificed through regulation, taxes, Federal red tape. New inventions are being restricted out of fairness. New medical technology is being held back so government can pursue Obama Care.

Education reform is being held back by the corrupt unions that are only trying to protect the jobs of the teachers, forget about the effectiveness on the children. It is new ideas and the producers who create them that are lined up on the great pyramid steps waiting to have their heads cut off to appease a mob of fools.

We are told that the dollar is fine, because Obama and his gang of union thugs are running Washington. Who believes that? Our government can’t even agree on what to cut out of our federal budget, because we as a civilization are paying for everything, Planned Parenthood, which should be for profit, NPR, which should have always been for profit, Social Security which should work more like a 401K and be privatized, Medicare that has more corruption than most countries can endure just on that issue alone, and needs a major overhaul.

All cultures that failed went through these steps. In fact, at Cahokia they had a thing called Woodhenge, which was a bunch of logs stuck in the ground in a circle just to the west of Monks Mound, on the East St. Louis side of the ruin. The only function of that artifact was to convince the mob that the high priests could predict the sun rise, the spring and winter equinox, and other astrological observations. The intent was to prove that they “the ruling class” had mastery over the “heavens.” All they really did was make observations, and that’s all our current ruling class of fools is doing, making observations that they sell to us as mastery over economics.

On the other hand there are people like Porter Standsberry out there that are “really” looking at the real problems coming to our culture, and people like Porter are the kind of people our government wants to cut their head off in human sacrifice, figuratively speaking of course.

All cultures that believe in sacrifice, and most agriculturally based societies do to some extent or another is limited in their vision, and leaders of those cultures should be removed immediately. Because in the world of productivity, there is no limit, only in the capacity of machinery, or manpower, but demand can be infinite. Sacrifice to the “gods” whether literal or to economic gods is foolish and short-sighted.

I saw a sign over the weekend from a woman protesting the government cuts saying “don’t cut down the economic recovery.” It is amazing that people like that are out there, that they believe there is enough money, that the recovery we are having is somehow created by government and not business owners that have decided that now that there are Republicans running a branch of government, they are investing back in business again. The woman holding that sign is no different from that mob of Mayans chanting for more blood at the foot of a giant pyramid. And the high priest will be all too happy to appease the mob so long as there are sacrificial bodies. The same type of signs are being held by people protesting S.B.5. “Keep collective bargaining.” There’s that word……collective. That is one of the most evil words in the English language, disguised as an angel, but doing the work of the devil.

For society to thrive, the rich should be encouraged and not penalized. Those less fortunate should be pushed to work not just given a check.

A few years ago I walked the streets of Washington D.C. and was about to head into a McDonalds to get a bite to eat. A beggar asked me for some change. He was sitting outside of McDonalds right next to a “Help Wanted” sign. I asked him if he had applied for a job. He ignored me and asked a woman who walked by, which she gave freely with a polite smile. The man had lost his pride and allowed himself to be a beggar. There was a job opportunity right behind him, but he’d rather plead to the high priest for the blood of another, which the priest will always be willing to oblige. There’s no shortage of those types of people, power-hungry and craving to stand on the top of a pyramid and cut off the head of sacrificial victims.

Taxes are a form of sacrifice, property taken from those that have, and given to those that have not. It’s not the head of the sacrificial victim, but it is still their property. Estate Taxes are along the same lines, when a person dies, their property, “part of their living essence and history on earth” is taken by government and handed out to the vicious mob.

Sacrifice is the kind of behavior that will only take us in one direction. And it won’t be the way of success. Clinging to old, sacrificial activity, like high taxation, cumbersome education methods, and a stifling environment that fears competition from new technology will destroy our civilization and leave us all as just one more ruin in the history of the world. That is, unless we can take our civilization back from the looters, the high priests, and other derelicts that act as a cancer upon it.

What a bunch of idiots………..

Oh, and while some may say that Mel Gibson is crazy, hey, Mel has done crazy things with women for years. He cheated on his wife, drank heavily, and was generally a wreck of a person for many years, and the media covered it up just like they do George Clooney and Robert Downey Jr. But, Mel’s a great artist and a great director. It was after he made The Passion of Christ, then Apocalypto that Hollywood turned against him. If he hadn’t made The Passion, Hollywood and the press that feeds it would still be making excuses for his behavior. That’s the world we’re living in people. The high priests with all their fancy headdresses want the mob to believe they are gods! God forbid someone like Gibson comes along and shows the truth of something. Is that acceptable to you?

It’s not to me.

Rich Hoffman

https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com