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Passions in Poetry

Atlas (and the critics) Shrugged

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Balladeer
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0 posted 04-19-2011 10:22 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The Critics.......


Variety - Peter Debruge  (0 stars)
-------------------------------------

A monument of American literature is shaved down to a spindly toothpick of a movie in "Atlas Shrugged," a project that reportedly once caught the eye of Angelina Jolie, Faye Dunaway and Clint Eastwood. Part one of a trilogy that may never see completion, this hasty, low-budget adaptation would have Ayn Rand spinning in her grave, considering how it violates the author's philosophy by allowing opportunists to exploit another's creative achievement -- in this case, hers. Targeting roughly 200 screens, pic goes out hitched to a grassroots marketing campaign, hoping to break-even via by-popular-demand bookings and potential Tea Party support.  http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944986?refcatid=31

Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert  (1star)
----------------------------------------------------

And now I am faced with this movie, the most anticlimactic non-event since Geraldo Rivera broke into Al Capone’s vault. I suspect only someone very familiar with Rand’s 1957 novel could understand the film at all, and I doubt they will be happy with it. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110414/REVIEWS/110419990/ 1001
www.latimes.com  - Michael Phillips   (0 stars)
------------------------------------------------------

The tinhorn film version of "Atlas Shrugged" fails to rise even to the level of "eh" suggested by Ayn Rand's title. But with so little going on in cinematic or storytelling terms, we can cut straight to the fascinating tea-stained politics of the thing. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/15/news/sc-mov-0413-atlas-shrugged-20110415-33

Then we have the 200+ reviews listed on IMDB. Here's is the header of the ones on the first page..

An exhilarating ride!,
Electrifying from beginning to end
Better Than I Expected
very impressive
The book was finally made into a solid and enjoyable movie
Loved it - entertaining and true to the book,
Worth seeing
Enjoy -- It's Atlas At Last!,
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/usercomments?start=0

It would seem the "professionals" have a far different view that the "average" people who have seen the film. Why do I not find this surprising??? Methinks the orchestrated political smear is in progress. That doesn't surprise me, either, and neither does the fact that there are a microspopic number of theaters in the country who will carry it.

I  will see it to form my own opinion although I will have to travel to one of only five theaters in Miami who carry it.
Bob K
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1 posted 04-20-2011 02:15 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     So how was it?

     Politics aside, I hope you had a lot of fun.  Myself, I don't see how the can get all those great tomatoes into that itty-bitty can.  I'm not very sympathetic politically, but Ienjoyed the book, and getting something that big into a time limit that makes it potentially watchable sounds like an enormous challenge.

     How'd they do?
serenity blaze
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2 posted 04-20-2011 07:15 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

That book...that damned book.

*smile*

It was almost impossible to read in parts, and other parts were like strings, in a backtrack.

I don't even want to talk about it any more.

In fact, I just popped in here to say that.

I admire Ayn Rand's ability, but in many ways, I found her a little creepy.

There's no other word.

Perhaps I'm critiquing the author, and not the book--or maybe I'm critiquing the method and not the style...

I don't care about the movie now.

I find myself less curious about the story than I am about the author. She's the point of fascination, and yes, I agree with those who believe she took a medium and totally made it the mouthpiece of her mind.

Genius, yes.

Good?

Well that would depend...

But it is art.

movie or no...
Balladeer
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3 posted 04-20-2011 08:17 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bob, I agree withthe tomatoes and the little can. No, I haven't seen it yet. I meant I have plans to. I'm afraid of being disappointed, as I was when I saw what they did to the Fountainhead but I'll hope for the best.

Karen, thanks for stopping by to say you don't want to discuss it.
Ron
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4 posted 04-20-2011 10:00 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
It would seem the "professionals" have a far different view that the "average" people who have seen the film.

That particular dichotomy might not be all that is seems, Michael.

Let's put it this way. If you had a hefty investment in something, say a movie, would you sit back and wait for the "average" people to roll a snowball that might quickly turn into an avalanche? Or might you send in a large handful of your own people to seed the initial findings?

Reviews on the Internet that are open to everyone are, indeed, open to everyone. Even those with a vested interest.

I'll see the movie when the opportunity presents itself. I'll see it with every expectation of being disappointed, knowing that no movie can ever do justice to a book.


Balladeer
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5 posted 04-20-2011 12:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Let's put it this way. If you had a hefty investment in something, say a movie, would you sit back and wait for the "average" people to roll a snowball that might quickly turn into an avalanche? Or might you send in a large handful of your own people to seed the initial findings?

My point exactly, Ron. WHo has the hefty investment? Well, the makers of the movie do but I doubt they sent out the professional critics to lanbaste it. In my view, the government also has a vested interest, in light of the subject matter, how things are now, and how close the movie hits home. Would they send out the pros to belittle it? In my opinion....in a New York minute.


People actually pay attention to the Roger Eberts of this world. How many times do you hear that a movie, restaurant, hotel or whatever "only got one star and the critics say it's lousy so let's pass"?. It happens, with regularity. Add the negative critiques to the fact that only a microscopic few of the nation's theaters will show it and you get an evil smell....and it's not coming from the movie producers.

No, of course it can't match the book. One can only hope that it comes close enough to make an entertaining and thought-provoking movie. Apparenty the 200+ viewers whwo made up their own minds without being scared off by the reviewers think it did. I look forward to seeing who was right, in my opinion.
Ron
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6 posted 04-20-2011 01:21 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

LOL. Boy, did I apparently mess that up or what? You got my point exactly backwards, Mike.

The Roger Eberts don't work for the government and are unlikely to bend to government influence. I suspect the negative reviews are warranted.

Most of the 200+ viewers you would like to think made up their own minds, however, are quite possibly cronies of the movie studios.


"It is possible that some of the dozens of crew members or cast members on the movie posted their own reviews. This was not under some conspiracy directive or a planned campaign. These people have as much right as any to post what they think."

From this amazon.com discussion


Fake reviews are endemic on the Internet, Mike, especially on influential sites like amazon.com and imdb.com (which, btw, is owned by Amazon). Here's a few substantiating links.

http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/imdb-whats-going-on-with-your-scores/

http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/apparently-it-is-easy-to-game-amazons-reviews/

http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/10/news/companies/bogus_reviews/

http://consumerist.com/2010/04/how-you-spot-fake-online-reviews.html

http://www.thebuzzmedia.com/imdb-whats-going-on-with-your-scores/
Essorant
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7 posted 04-20-2011 05:56 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Bad movies based on good books alway have some success because those that like the book are eager to watch a movie based on the book they like.  And even as a bad movie based on a book, it usually can't miss everything, so anyone that read the book will probably still find it interesting and find some good things about it.
Balladeer
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8 posted 04-20-2011 08:14 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

No, The Roger Eberts don't work for the government but they owe their careers to Hollywood, that democratic bastion of the west.

SO the critics are shooting straight while the hundreds posting on imdb are shills. Got it.
Bob K
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9 posted 04-21-2011 01:41 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     Mike, you're not making any sense here.

     Did you like the movie they made of "The Fountainhead?"  It sounded like you didn't from your posting above.  Am I supposed to think that your dislike of the movie make you a government stooge?  I don't think so.

     I enjoyed most of what Ayn Rand wrote and dislike her politics.  I didn't even enjoy her politics in the books, but I thought they were fun.  I never confused her fictions with reality, they simply seemed interesting games of let's pretend, and I thought she did them pretty well.  A lot of folks did.

     A lot of folks who thought The Fountainhead was a terrific book stayed away from the movie because they thought the movie was poorly written and wasn't as much fun as the book.  That doesn't make them government stooges, either.  

     For that matter, I enjoyed Exodus as a book and thought it was a pretty poor movie as well.  By the kind of logic you're trying to sell here, that'd suggest I was ant-semitic.  Nope, I simply didn't think they adapted the movie well; they didn't get those eight great tomatoes into that itty bitty can.  

     I suspect that's the issue here with Atlas Shrugged, which has even more overt philosophy in it.  Heaven help them if they tried to put that into the movie; it'd be like watching a Steven Seagal lecture on environmental degradation in one of his more didactic martial arts films.  Snore-a-rama.  Ms. Rand is almost always on the edge of doing that anyway in the same way that The Sound of Music is constantly in danger of bursting out into song and dance.

     Mr. Ebert has criticized Steven Seagal for that sort of thing, by the way.  I don't know what he's said about Atlas; but a critic gets paid for being both critical and amusing about being critical, so you can probably bet that whatever he said he wasn't saying it to be boring.

     The point about Atlas shrugged would be far better made, of course, if you could counter it by saying that the movie was a wonderful movie and that you knew the critics were wrong because you'd see it and could testify to its quality on the basis of personal experience.  Simply smearing critics because of their presumable connection to a geographical location and activity — Hollywood and film-making — suggests that all Hollywood politics are left wing.  Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger might suggest that you are not thinking straight on that issue, and that you are talking more stereotype than fact.

     President Nixon, too, came from these parts.
Balladeer
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10 posted 04-21-2011 01:59 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, we share the same thought, Bob, because I don't see any sense in your comments presented, either. Do I think anyone who doesn't like the movie a stooge? No, and I never said anywhere I did. Some of the inferences you draw escape me completely. I did say I found it strange that the top professional critics all badmouthed the movie while many of the few who have actually seen it enjoyed it. Whether I would enjoy it or not would not mean a thing to anyone. When professional critics trash it nationally it does. COmparing me, or any average joe, to them makes little sense.

No, I did not like The FOuntainhead movie. Things were presented in a very choppy way without proper references, which made the characters look like nutcases most of the time.

ANy Rand bok would be very difficult to transfer to a visual presentation. I'm simply hoping this one succeeds in some way.

What do you think about the microscopic amount of theaters showing it?
Bob K
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11 posted 04-21-2011 09:04 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I don't know.  I have to search for possible explanations.  My sense is that there's a big market for Ayn Rand material, and has been as long as her stuff's been in print.  If it isn't in a lot of theaters, I suspect that it may not be well publicized, may not have good actors in key roles so that distributors don't think it's bankable, or may simply be a bad film of an entertaining perennial bestseller.  I mentioned before that it's a tough book to film, and I have to stick by that as well.

     I mean, what would be the plot that you'd want to shrink down to — at the most — maybe two hours of viewing time?  The vanishing titans of industry part of things would need that much all by itself to unfold in an interesting way for me, and people simply don't have the patience to sit through that sort of thing these days.

     The solution would be to break it into a trilogy, but you can see they haven't done that, so it's going to be choppy, and you're not going to have a way of getting the exposition in without breaking up the plot unbearably.

     I suspect that's the reason for opening in so few theaters.  When you see it, let me know.  I suspect, though, that you'd better act quickly or it'll be gone without a trace.  The economics of the thing won't let them keep it around unless it takes off big-time, and if they don't keep it around, you won't get a chance to see it on the big screen.  You need to examine your own feelings here about why you aren't rushing in to see it, I think, not because your feelings are off base but because your feelings on the matter may be much the same as other people's on this, and they may give you some clue as to what's going on in the Ayn Rand community at large about the film version.  There have got to be a lot of folks in your position, and they'll be the ones who make or break the movie by voting with their feet and their ticket sales.  There will be something that brings you in or keeps you out and it's likely to have something in common with the thoughts of your fellows.

     Is there, or maybe not?

     Make it clear, Balladeer!
Balladeer
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12 posted 04-21-2011 10:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The nearest theaterr to me showing it is almost 30 miles away, Bob. WHen I can free up my work schedule, I'll be there.

Theaters judge movies by their appeal? When Attack of The Killer Tomatoes can play in 2000 theaters??? That's funny
Denise
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13 posted 04-22-2011 08:25 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Fort Lauderdale
Regal Cypress Creek Station 16
6415 N. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33334

I just checked the theatre listings again, Michael. Is this one closer to you?
serenity blaze
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14 posted 04-22-2011 08:34 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"And now I am faced with this movie..."

No one made a movie at you, darlin'.

EVERYBODY has a choice to "face" the movie.
And you haven't even seen it, yet.

OH--and there was supposed to be an adaption of the life of Hypatia, and it was rumored that Angelina Jolie was to star in that too.

I think I've heard she was gonna play just about everybody.

*chuckle*

One can hope, eh?



Like Disneyworld, long damned line, but worth the wait?


Denise
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15 posted 04-22-2011 08:37 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

New theatres are being added daily. I just found one near me in Bensalem, PA, about 8 miles from where I live in Northeast Philadelpha!!!  I plan to see it tomorrow night.

Denise
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16 posted 04-22-2011 08:48 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Bob, this one is listed as Part 1, so perhaps it will be a trilogy?

Karen, that was a portion of Roger Ebert's review. That wasn't Michael's personal statement on the movie.

Balladeer
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17 posted 04-22-2011 12:45 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thank you, Denise. That's not far at all. I'll see it this weekend!

Yes, it is a trilogy, due to come out that way.

Nothing like a misdirected dig, is there? I'm not sure Roger will appreciate Serenity calling him darlin'...LOL!
serenity blaze
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18 posted 04-22-2011 01:54 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Hey--Rogert Ebert has scored much better than the likes of me. (Don't ask me how...)

He's just not my type.

thanks for correcting my misdirect, Denise.

I'll try to have a better Friday.
Denise
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19 posted 04-22-2011 02:11 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

You're welcome!

I should have included this link before. You can check locations and show times and even purchase tickets online if you want to do that.
http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/theaters
Bob K
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20 posted 04-22-2011 08:56 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     A Good Friday is difficult enough, Mike, religiously speaking at least.
Balladeer
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21 posted 04-22-2011 09:09 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LOL....am I living in a parallel universe here?? Serenity fires a shot at me for something Roger Eberts said, Bob reminds me that a Good Friday is hard enough, even though I haven't said a word about Good Friday anywhere....maybe I need a drink or something???
Denise
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22 posted 04-22-2011 09:47 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Have one for me too, Michael! A stiff one! I'd have one myself but I can't afford that either!

I'm so angry right now. There were some unexpected medical expenses today and I can't afford to go to see the movie tomorrow.

I can only hope that it will come to another theatre near me somewhere in a few weeks.

It's pretty depressing when you can't squeak a lousy 10 bucks out of the budget.

I used to fantasize about getting new carpeting or a new roof or maybe a trip down to Florida. Now I fantasize about being able to see a movie.

Damn.

Balladeer
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23 posted 04-22-2011 10:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Bummer, Denise!! Hope the medical situation isn't bad.

You'll see it soon. Sometimes you just gotta shrug..
Brad
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24 posted 04-23-2011 12:40 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

W
h
o

i
s

J
o
h
n

G
a
l
t
?

Uh, anybody see "The Passion of Ayn Rand?"

The movie, not the hagiomentary.

I thought it was pretty good.

Hmm, I wonder if a conspiracy theory explains why the last Star Trek movie had essentially the same plot as Star Wars: Episode 4?  And still was horrible.  

 
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