I saw Atlas Shrugged last night. Turned out it was showing in the part of Rochester that is most Real America, in Henrietta, in a mall off a four-lane big-box-store-filled road, within a mile of both an Applebee’s and a Chili’s.
There was a good crowd and some people cheered at the end, so there were definitely teatards in the hizouse.
The movie was terrible, one of the worst I’ve seen. The acting was poor, the dialog wooden, and the cinematography amateur. I thought it would have more camp appeal, but everyone played it straight, except maybe Jimmy Barrett from Mad Men. Speaking of Mad Men, the characters consumed massive amounts of alcohol. I wish I could have too.
Cheer up Doug!
I don’t have a reason, other than you’ve now satisfied your curiosity about AS, and lived.
You’re telling me you don’t drink at the movies?
Yes, but those of the productive creator class still got you to pop for a ticket for their creative produce, err, production.
Did you do this so you can review the movie or do you just hate yourself? Both/and is also a possibility.
If you want to watch a much better production of Atlas Shrugged, turn on CSPAN to the House of Representatives.
I understand that Applebee’s serves strong drink. Remember, it’s never too late to start drinking.
I don’t think even the most righteous Marley spliff could make that shit tolerable.
licensed to kill time
They probably figured “Hey, they drink a lot on Mad Men and that’s a popular show! If our characters drink a lot, this movie will be killer!”
I can understand that. Most movie theaters don’t want moochers and parasites bringing in their own booze, so they’re either dry or sell booze only at insane prices. Unless you can smuggle in a flask, drinking at the movies is right out.
Roy Edroso seems to have the same opinion you do. Vegetables and fruits may grow well from bullshit, but I’m not sure the arts do.
When the crowd cheered at the end, it would have taken all of my not-so-considerable resolve to refrain from shouting “Shut the fuck up, you intellectually disconnected idiots!”. Good on you for restraint. Me? I probably would have had yelled it and would have had to really beat feet to the car.
I thought that was only to toddlers.
DougJ, why do you hate yourself so much? Well, I hope you got free tickets.
Could it be that they were cheering because the movie finally ended and they could now drink heavily? I know that has been my reaction to some of the dogs I’ve sat through.
holy shit. That is actually kind of a zinger. What’s come over you?
@Roger Moore: Because how hard is it to smuggle in a god damn flask?
Maybe you misunderstood why they cheered? I mean it was over right? Or were they like high fiving each other, doing stomach bumps etc? In which case, I suspect someone took a bet and won. ;)
Just think, you could’ve been home watching Pulp Fiction again.
Greg Mitchell wrote your post title for you “Born Under a Bad Ayn”
He also has a roundup of snarkalicious reviews.
Do Real Americans go to Chili’s? I thought they served brown people food there.
Hey, both Pittsford and Fairport are such more real America than Henrietta is. Too many Indians and Chinese with their anchor babies in Henrietta.
joe from Lowell
There was a good crowd and some people cheered at the end, so there were definitely teatards in the hizouse.
The movie was terrible, one of the worst I’ve seen.
I remember discovering this when Fox tried that “Half Hour News Hour” of right-wing comedy: the worse a piece of ideologically-based “entertainment” is, the better.
Anybody can stand up and clap for a really good movie, or laugh at a really funny show, that has an ideological message, but to clap or laugh at a piece of garbage that pushes a political message really shows your ideological commitment.
Worse than Showgirls? Fuuuuuuuuck…
Yup. Ever since I saw the trailer, I figured it was pretty much a church basement kind of film except for greedy assholes.
Since the Koch’s are the true Galtian Supermen I would suggest they buy up the rights to AS and remake this film and do however many additional sequels are required to present every single speech in it’s entirety. Do ’em back to back like LOTR and put at least half a billion into it.
It would be their monument!
Old Dan and Little Ann
A quick trip to shop at Marketplace hopefully got the bad taste our of your mouth.
@MTiffany: No Gina Gershon.
I saw the previews and knew it was going to be horrible.
@Roger Moore: Score another point for watching films at home.
I’m only surprised they didn’t cram into the storyline with a crowbar some sledgehammer-unsubtle hint about birth certificates or ‘death panels’.
Overtly ideologically-driven entertainment made by authoritarians inevitably sucks.
It was true of Maoist China, the Stalin/Kruschev/Brezhnev Soviet Union, ‘Christian rock’, and equally so with today’s irony-impaired humorless prigs in the right-wing mediasphere.
Well, at least Showgirls has nekkid wimmins …
@joeyess: maybe they were happy that they could resume their lives as they were no longer held hostage?
Mr Stagger Lee
The last time I went to a movie that bombed at the box office, yet had a large number of Yahoos, who were hot for it, was Gods and Generals. A movie I believe every actor mailed it in for a paycheck. Well the battle scenes wern’t too bad.
You mean anvalicious
Mr Stagger Lee
andy: Phillip Anschutz an Kansas Oilman(a Koch ally) who owns among other things Staples Center in Los Angeles, is doing just that, his company owns rights to the Narnia series, and it is reported he is bankrolling films with a conservative message, and will pay for good writers. He is the spearhead to turn Hollywood into another division of the Right Wing wurlitzer.
Your sacrifice is noted, Doug. Somebody had to recon. Just glad I wasn’t the scout.
Best review EVAH!! from your link:
Hopefully, in the meaning of “gravestone”?
@Omnes Omnibus: No Gina Gershon.
How could I forget the one saving grace of that movie?
“I used to love doggy chow.”
Showgirls rises to the level of so bad it s unintentionally hilarious ( though I suspect Gina Gershon, Kyle MacLachlan and most the real actors in it got it quickly and were in on the joke so to say)
From all the reviews it sounds like Atlas is just boring
@Jay C: I think I like Peter Travers’ even more:
“Ayn Rand’s monumental 1,168-page, 1957 novel gets the low-budget, no-talent treatment and sits there flapping on screen like a bludgeoned seal.”
Yes, it shames me to say it, but the traffic wreck watcher in me wants to watch this movie. However, I don’t want to pay for fulfilling this personal desire, which may make me a libertarian.
-10, off the top.
Ella in New Mexico
I still don’t understand why somebody is not making hay out of the fact that Paul Ryan claims to be a Catholic, yet worships Rand so much he makes his staff read that damn book.
How the little punk reconciles his “Christianity” with the literal antithesis to anything Jesus, is further evidence of the Republican party’s deep, deep level of dishonesty and cynicism.
If I see one more picture of him looking upwards towards heaven with those wet lashed doey blues I’m gonna climb a tower.
I prefer “Atlas Sharted.”
Bro, the joke would’ve been on you for being in the theater watching the movie in the first place.
Thank you so much for linking my to read it and weep. holy crap is that podcast awesome.
The producer has said that he’s using the “Passion of the Christ” marketing strategy.
@Nellcote: What could go wrong?
Rotten Tomatoes current stats: 10% of critics like it vs. 85% of audience. As predictable as the sun rising and setting, the comments section pits the “liberal” critics against “regular joes” who get it. Why does Rotten Tomatoes hate capitalism?
Ah yeah… let’s see how well it does at the box office? Because “85% of the audience” doesn’t tell you jack shit about the percentage of the “regular joes” for whom the movie held absolutely no interest.
That’s the beauty of this. By the Randians’ own standards, if this movie doesn’t become the highest grossing film of all time, that would mean their philosophy is utter garbage.
Sorry, libertarians, but the invisible hand of the free market is about to give your childish ideology a big middle finger.
mmm, the dishes were “inspired” by brown people food but they have been vanillaized and blandified to suit real American’s tastes. That way real American can go to Chili’s and claim that that proves they are not prejudiced.
The only thing truly Hispanic about many Chili’ss is that they employ illegal busboys and other kitchen staff.
So far the box office has been kinda tepid. Box Office Mojo’s weekend estimate is $1,677,000, averaging $5,590 per screen. For a highly anticipated movie with a built-in audience, I’d say that’s pretty bad.
For perspective, Black Swan earned $1,443,809 when it opened on just 18 screens, averaging $80,212 per screen.
That new Jane Eyre movie had a $45,721 per screen average. I think Brokeback Mountain still holds the record with a $109,000 per screen average for its opening weekend.
Producers are spinning this as a major success, but it’s actually performing on the low end of the spectrum.
I’m flipping through the Mpls Star Tribune Sunday paper and see a column by Mpls wingnut radio talk show host Jason Lewis, “What Ayn Rand means to me”.
I think they’d much rather raise Rand from than dead than Reagan.
It doesn’t appear he has seen the movie yet but he said, “If its effect is anything like the book, the celluloid adaptation may have a whole new generation of Americans asking why they have to apologize for their own existence”.
90% of Americans are having to apologize for their existence now but I don’t think he means us.
The only name I recognized was Armin Shimerman, the guy who played Principal Snyder in BtVS.
Kinda bummed that appeared in AS. I hope he was paid well. I wonder if he’s a Randian?
@Kristine: Wait, that’s who you identify Armin Shimerman as? Seriously?
The movie theater in Rochester that’s the closest to real ‘murika isn’t that Regal by the Wal-Mart you went to, but the Tinseltown over in Gates. The one within walking distance of no fewer than five bars (that you nontheless have to drive to individually because the neighborhood, with its array of four and five lane roads, isn’t walkable at ALL), as many again fast food restaurants, a liquor store, AND, the piece de resistance, that burger joint where you can order a garbage plate with three hamburgers and two hot dogs on a bed of TWO kinds of french fries and mac salad. (Said burger joint is always filled with high school sports teams.)
There’s your winner.
Also: what sort of box-office “legs” is AS likely to have? Outside of whatever percentage of the audience(s) who are dedicated Randroids, likely to go multiple times, how big an appeal (especially with those sort of reviews) is it going to have for more than, say, a week? Maybe two?
Even given the fascinating-like-a-train-wreck aspect of this flick, how long is it really likely to to pull in bodies?
So they’re using the conscripted viewership business model? I have a cousin who hate-hate-hated The Passion of the Christ, but she was forced to watch it by her Sunday school class.
Isn’t it funny how nobody seems to give a shit about The Passion of the Christ anymore. I think it’s popularity was artificially inflated by its political marketing strategy. Proving my point, I just added TPOTC and The Ten Commandments to my Netflix queue. There’s a “long wait” for DeMille’s camp classic. (It’s always hard to get a copy this time of year.) But nobody seems to be renting Passion.
Either Principal Snyder or that Ferengi from Star Trek TNG.
Patrick Fischler is a great character actor and is always interesting in pretty much whatever role he’s in. My favorite funny moment in Mad Men is Barrett’s dinner apology to Mrs. Schilling. She’s a heavyset woman and he’s a wiseass, and after he apologizes, she says something like:
“I know that’s what you do for a living, but I guess I don’t have the stomach for it.”
Jimmy’s jaw drops because you can tell he’s just thought of a thousand hilarious rejoinders to what she just said, but he can’t say it, so he bites his hand and turns away. Such a great moment.
But it’s just part one! Didn’t people say similar things about The Fellowship of the Ring?
“Cybex had been looking to state government for several years, or frankly, it had to leave … Our global competition would certainly maintain a dry eye if they learned the Medway facility was shut down,” he said. “For America to compete effectively, businesses must work with local, state and federal entities.” – actual quote from AS producer John Aglialoro as he accepted a $3.1 million grant from the gubmint a few years back …
DS9, not TNG. (He did appear in a few guest slots in TNG, but he was mostly DS9.)
He also appeared in this piece of offal, which I think mostly means he’s happy to cash a paycheck.
Hey now, them’s fightin’ words. Besides, libertarians who watch LOTR root for Sauron and Saruman, those two being part of the productive industrial class after all.
Will never pay to see this but I will be more than willing to download a pirated version on bittorrent….so I can fastforward through the boring parts and ideological speeches. Not up there yet but probably will be in a week or two.
I wouldn’t bother with Bittorrent; if it eventually appears on Netflix to stream, I might watch a bit for the lulz.
@Kristine: Ferengi, Randian, same shit, different show.
Some people like to roleplay as elves and wizards, having magical adventures through space and time.
Some people like to roleplay as sexually frustrated cardboard cutouts of white people in suits, sitting around boardrooms discussing outmoded technology and how to screw their parasite serving staff.
I like to call that second group “Objectivists.”
jake the snake
Maybe he picked up too many of the “Rules of Aquisition from
Tim in SF
A proper gentleman never goes anywhere without a flask. I suggest you get one. Even if you only rarely imbibe, it’s a great accessory. I’ve had mine for years and I’m endlessly surprised at how often it comes in handy.
quaker in a basement
Maybe the producers of the flick were actually aiming for the Rocky Horror market?
True, but only one of these groups is deluded enough to imagine that they’re all handsome, squared-jawed he-men Real Americans.
@Mouse Tolliver: Well, everybody who rents that kind of movie is renting “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”, now. Come December, expect all the TPOTC rentals.
“Buy a ticket. What are you, a librul commislamist unMurkan traitor?”
Marketing via authoritarian peer-bullying. Combined with a ridiculously low budget and an audience seemingly indifferent to shitty quality since they’re only attending to ‘prove’ their ideological loyalty, it’s the business equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel.
@shortstop: I’m really sorry I clicked on the APB link. Has Janine Turner gone teatard? Is the new Victoria Jackson?
Well, everybody who rents that kind of movie is renting “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
I remember the 1995 remake, “How the Gingrinch Stole Christmas”, where an egotististcal asshole Speaker of the House shut down the government in December because he wasn’t allowed to sit in the front of Air Force One.
@Mouse Tolliver: You can watch POTC free on TBN tonight at 7 eastern. Do not ask me how I know that.
So basically, teh Gay dominates Objectivism.
@Bex: Thanks. But no thanks. I’m not into S&M like Mel Gibson is. I just wanted to see if TPOTC was in demand on Netflix.
@Bex: Janine Turner has been a dyed-in-peroxide Palinite for quite a while now. She was a big time Palin booster during the 2008 campaign.
Do you wonder if Anthony Hopkins is a murderer b/c he played one in Silence of the Lambs? Or that Ken Levine is a Randian because he conceived and made Bioshock?
That an artist is attracted to being involved in producing a work doesn’t mean they identify with or believe in the core principles explored in said work.
@Tim in SF:
With what does one fill said flask? A good single malt scotch?
@Arclite: I wouldn’t put a single malt in a flask. A good blended scotch, sure.
ETA: Brandy is good from a flask.
@Arclite: Gentlemen are supposed to carry a good whiskey or scotch in their flasks. Ladies are to carry brandy. For gays there are apparently no rules, but most gay guys I know are vodka hoors.
@Arclite: Some of the actors from are attending Washington cocktail parties with Tea Party activists like Pam Gellar, so it’s perfectly reasonable to wonder about their political beliefs.
It’s probably unproductive to try to impute “motivation” to performers, but back to Armin Shimerman: A quick glance at his resume will show that he’s not exactly been sitting around idle the past few years – even if a lot of his credits are for voiceovers and video games. But there’s nothing to indicate any particular political/ideological leanings (unlike, say, Janine Turner), so it’s a good guess that he isn’t appearing in Atlas Farted out of any Randian dedication, but probably through a motive Old Ayn would appreciate: being paid for it…
Yevgraf (fka Michael)
Speaking of shitty movies that are so bad that they become watchable camp, Showtime is running “Knowing” again.
1. Angels who can fly are out scouring the highways and byways of America for kids to take to space, but lurk around like creepy candymen in a 15 year old Ford Crown Vic?
2. God is really a dick. Rather than saying “look, you’re gonna die, but I’m sending my angels to save some of your kids” and hoping that it pacifies those who are about to lose their kids and die, he gets all cryptic and shit, as if having people in mortal terror over their kids is something which is necessary.
3. If the world is about to end, I’m not out looting in a city street. I’m eating a good steak, getting hammered and being as perverted as I can be.
4. There’s a few mile deep holes around. Why not try to have a few hardy souls brave it out?
5. If thousands of people are out in a street (some fighting), they’re not going to get out of the way so that you can have a cathartic family reunion just as the world is getting scoured down to bedrock.
@Mouse Tolliver: Actors are often contractually obligated to do a certain number of promotional events for the movies they star in. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case. That being said, it also wouldn’t surprise me if some of the actors were attracted to Atlas Shrugged because they were Objectivist. I just wanted to point out that actors approach projects for a wide variety of reasons, and not to conflate an actor’s working on a project with their personal beliefs.
Well, Arnie Shimmerman was also in Bioshock. That said, unless he worked on the writing or directing staff, I’d bet its as much about getting a paycheck as anything.
@Yevgraf (fka Michael): I kind of liked Knowing. Yeah, there are problems, but overall, I liked what the creators did. And when was the last time we had THAT ending in a scifi film? (to be vague and not give any spoilers away)
Otherwise, it would not have been true to its origin in holey scripture.
And yes, I meant that ‘e’.
@malraux: On the other hand, if an actor consistently seeks to be in Objectivist projects…
@Bex: Doesn’t she look oddly like Orly Taitz in that photo? The blond dye job is really bad, though.
Yevgraf (fka Michael)
“On the Beach” did it right at the end – no spiritual hocum, no exits for humanity from the circumstances of the moment. I think thats what irritated me about “Knowing” – a safety exit for the species.
In “On the Beach”, there were no off-ramps. People quietly went on to meet their personal finales, however they chose. As for me, I’d have never taken the sub back, but that would be a matter of personal preference.
I always thought that the whole concept of Bioshock was a blatant mockery of Randian twatwafflery.
Actually, we dominate pretty much everything. It says so right there in the agenda.
I was looking at Rotten Tomatoes yesterday and out of the 20 or so reviews for it, the only favorable one was from…
The Murdoch-owned New York Post.
Atlas Shrugged Derails?
Ella #43 — I concur! I, too, find his dewy/doe-y eyes gazing in melancholy fashion to be irksome. Dude can’t help his peepers, but I find his put-upon expression to be so annoying. Also deeply sick of Limbaugh’s big, fat moon-face bulging out of a black silk shirt… tired of Michelle B.’s giddy, slap-happy mug, Trump’s third-grade bully face (little piggy eyes, nasty pursed lips…)… Blah!
@Dick Weathers: hey there now. my in-laws live in Pittsford and every time we visit we look forward to the flagship Wegmans. if that’s Real America I want to live in Real America ;)
This is a win for Capitalism. I wish this movie could run for the GOP Presidential nomination.
I’m wondering if it’s worse than Sex and the City 2, which I just saw. Probably, but holy cow. I’d heard that SATC 2 was very bad, but I didn’t realize it would be so immorally bad. Exalting stupid greed, selfishness and venality might be a common link with Atlas Shrugged. I really liked the tv series, but the movie’s like, a recruitment tool for jihad, Why They Hate Us. Seems like a perverse excercise to intentionally destroy any leftover fondness for the characters by portraying them as grasping idiot zombies. Really something.
The Sheriff's A Ni-
@Mouse Tolliver: It did worse than Expelled. I think that says it all right there.
@MTiffany: I actually thought Bioshock was a very intelligent critique of Objectivism. It really took seriously all the ideas of Objectivism and built a society solidly on those ideas. The whole utopia came crashing down because Ryan had to restrict the freedom of Rapture by banning smuggling and surface contact. Within the context of the world, Rapture would have been fine had those restrictions not been imposed.
Of course, what that means is that even in the best of circumstances, Objectivist Utopias cannot work because of the rest of the world will always intrude. But its hard to say that Bioshock was not strongly predisposed to glorify Objectivism.
@Arclite: Speaking as a writer, I am aware of that. But the fleeting thought occurred that given the lousy production values and low recognition value–at least to me–of the other actors, that it might be more than just a job.
@malraux: Is this where I admit that I have never watched an episode of Deep Space 9 or any other ST other than the original series?
I am glad to hear they did justice to the book.
Some absolutely awful books can be made into great movies.
Atlas Shrugged is NOT one of them.
@Mouse Tolliver: Thanks for the update. Lost track of Ms. Turner after Northern Exposure.
Especially since Bioshock is actually cruelly mocking of Randiness.
I disagree. Rapture fell not because of the influence of the outside world, which was hardly a footnote in the story. Fontaine and Ryan weren’t squabbling because of external interference, and the hero is actually from Rapture and his brief stint in the outside world is only cover. Rapture went to Hell because everyone acted according to their self-interest, and that resulted in drug-addicted crazies, gang wars, and kleptocrats destroying the city rather than letting anyone else be richer than they are.
Perhaps we’re being too harsh. Part II, Ayn Kampf, has vast cinematic possibilities.
The CGI effects can be almost unlimited when they get to the scene where Dagny Taggart annexes the Sudetenland.
Armin Shimerman is a working actor and it was a paycheck. Most actors do not have the luxury of turning down jobs if they don’t like the politics of the producer or the script. I met Armin a couple of years back and he was one of the nicest celebrities I’ve ever had the privilege of telling I liked his work. Let’s not fall into the ideological trap of praising or dissing artists’ work according to whether we agree with their politics or not.
hfcs-gooey fake chipotle-seasoned deep fried chicken “poppers” are not brown people food
I’d say the “user reviews” of the film are probably badly skewed – limited release, limited sales, and a good portion of the audience primed to pre-judge it positively. Me, I wouldn’t pay money to see it.
As for Bioshock … well, it starts with the question of who’s going to clean the toilets in the individualists’ Rapture? Who’s going to make sure that the people laying the pipes are going to use the best quality materials, instead of lower-quality stuff that may net the contractor a larger short-term profit, but may spell doom for the community as a whole in the long term? Who’s going to make sure that your doctor does no harm? Who’s going to ensure that the artist doesn’t create a piece of performance art through the butchering of your beloved child?
Ayn Kampf…I am *so* stealing that.
Awhile ago, someone explained the attraction of Bioshock being that you got to shoot Objectivists in the face!
@Tehanu 114: Actors who are Scientologists, on the other hand, are “fair game,” as their prophet once put it.
It’s not so much an ideological trap as it is bad critical theory. Still, I agree, as long as we’re only talking about their work. Nothing will induce me to put Gary Sinise back on my sexual daydream list.
My my, quite a few sheep bleating here, and yet only one claims to have even seen the movie.
The screeching, mindless hatred, and temper tantrums are proof the movie hit its intended nerve. Feel free to continue your marxist diatribe. Yawn… predictable, and pathetic.