You have to wonder what they think they're accomplishing. The first two movies bombed. Critics hated them. Even the Objectivist community seems uninterested. Why bother with a third? Is it just a vanity project at this point?
It is inexplicable by ordinary sense, hence there must be a wealthy donor or perhaps Aglialoro is a wealthy fool who is being parted from large chunks of his money.On the plus side, this was always going to be the hardest part to film - not to mention Galt's speech. It now must be accomplished with an even smaller budget. In other words the gap between the philosophy and its grip on reality will be even more vast than its predecessors. Which anyone who follows the fundamental arguments of ARCHN will hardly be surprised by.
I never watched the first 2 parts. Were they that bad? Even ARIans gave them missed reviews, which makes me question whether they were that bad,
Neil Parille: "I never watched the first 2 parts. Were they that bad?"As someone who's seen both of them, I'd have to say yes, they are that bad. But I should explain in just what sense. Part 1 isn't an outright horrible film, and in this case I think it actually counts against it, because if it had been horrible, at least I would've remembered it. It's just such a bland, boring, non-descript flick that it's barely even worth complaining about. If I hadn't had an academic interest in Rand and Objectivism and hadn't read the novel (twice - what's wrong with me?) I would've turned it off after twenty minutes. I can't think of anyone except die-hard Randians and dedicated Tea Partiers who'd think it's worth the time to sit through. Part 2 is if anything even worse - the actors have even less charisma, the dialogue is even more inane, the absurdities of Rand's story becomes more apparent, it's just a clumsy mess. But one thing I will grant it over its predecessor is that it has a sorta campy, surreal quality to it that might actually push it into the So Bad It's Good-category, all the moreso by how damn seriously it takes itself.
"I never watched the first 2 parts. Were they that bad?"Yeah, they were. See my review of Atlas Shrugged II on amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-II-Strike-Blu-ray/product-reviews/B00AIBZGJ6/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1Gordon Burkowski
I agree with Samadhir that Part 1 was rather dull and ordinary. All the larger-than-life qualities of Rand's writing were lost. It had a TV-movie quality, though the production value was pretty good considering the budget, and Grant Bowler made a good Rearden. I didn't see the second one. The idea of using an entirely new cast seemed so stupid to me that I was turned off. I have heard that Part Two is marginally more entertaining than Part One. As I've opined on other occasions, the best way to dramatize Atlas would be as a mult-part animated extravaganza in the film-noir/retro/Art Deco style of the Batman animated series. The ultra-stylized look would allow for more use of Rand's portentous but striking dialogue, and the backgrounds could be drawn to create a dystopian parallel universe, complete with '30s hairstyles and fashions (and maybe some '50s-style sci-fi art for the futuristic gadgets). Let the show play out over a full season, 20 hours, so the plot and dialogue don't have to be ruthlessly condensed. No one will ever do it that way, but IMO that's how it should be done, if it's to be done at all. The story is too operatic and surreal (and, frankly, dated) to work in live action.
They say terrible books make great movies. Looks like the Atlas Shrugged moves are the exception.
Btw, one thing I've been really puzzled by, which those more knowledgable than me might inform me about, is the fact that EVERY single actor from the first movie left. I can understand that most of the main cast wanted to jump ship after it bombed so spectacularly, but surely at least some of the actors must've been desperate enough for a paycheck to return? Why was the switch in cast so complete and total? I will say though that it IS rather impressive that they managed to replace all the roles in so short a time. You can't fault the filmmakers on their determination...
Samadhir, you asked a good question. As you note, and as I noted in my own review, the failure of the first movie explains a lot. But there's something else going on and you have to suspect that it has a lot to do with Mr. Aglialoro. I've never met this guy - but what do you say about a leader who ends up with no followers?Incidentally, I would only be impressed by the speed in picking a new cast if the replacements looked even slightly like the actors from the first movie. They don't.
Part 2 is a hilarious showcase of Minor Actors Through the Ages. President Twin Peaks, top physicist Coach from the Wonder Years, grown-up Richie Valens turned playboy industrialist."Who is John Galt?" As it turns out, he's that hockey player who had to do a little figure skating.
J. Goard,Thanks for your research. I did a little checking on imdb and you're spot on!
"Why bother with a third?" - Michael PrescottCompleteness for completeness' sake.They can say they beat Ralph Bakshi, who made it about one-third of the way into "The Lord of the Rings" and then the studios woulden't give him the money to make the sequel....and Bakshi's film was animated, not live action.Because the ghost of Ayn drives them to do it, or she will eat their souls.
> In other words the gap between the philosophy and its grip on reality will be even more vast than its predecessors. Which anyone who follows the fundamental arguments of ARCHN will hardly be surprised by.What are you talking about? The movies are bad because they have little to do with the Objectivist philosophy.
Elliot Temple:> What are you talking about? The movies are bad because they have little to do with the Objectivist philosophyThis claim seems easily refuted. It might have been more credible if, say, the rights for Atlas Shrugged had been brought by a typical commercial company with no special interest in Objectivism, and cranked out as just one of dozens of features in production and if the focus had been more on getting a name cast or exciting action sequences or something. Then this sort of claim might falsify our position and make your claim more believable.But of course the project was taken over by a dedicated Objectivist as a personal labour of love. David Kelley, one of the most prominent of Rand's advocates was brought in early on as consultant on the project, and the Atlas Society engaged in promoting it. Furthermore the finished product received his glowing endorsement. Even more tellingly, the makers have considered the philosophical message of the movies so important they've persisted despite not just one but two massive critical and financial failures.For flavour, let's also quickly look at some of the audience reaction from the Atlasphere for Part 2:"As an Objectivist, I don’t think a non-Objectivist will get much out of the movie.""Basically they were turned into extended dialogues where the hero will say three or four sentences worth of clunky Rand dialogue (which works a lot better on paper) and then the villain will respond with an obvious looter one liner like, “But what about the public good!?” (which also sounds a lot better on paper).""Everything still feels clunky and disconnected like the writer was just trying to pack as many plot points from the book into the movie as much as possible. It gets especially bad when they try to do “big speeches” like Rearden’s trial and Fransisco’s Money Speech (even cringe worthy)"So even the fans are agreeing the film is faithful - even too faithful - to the book. John Aglialoro also said that due to shortage of time, they were going to go "just go by the book, a direct adaptation." If he fell out with his director on Part 1 so what? Part 2 was an even bigger flop.You make it sound like our view point is completely unreasonable. Yet based on the above evidence it clearly is a more than reasonable view. In fact it's your claim that these movies have "little to do" with Objectivism that ignores the contrary evidence, which suggests instead that Objectivism is closely intertwined with their failure.
That's not evidence. It's opinions. The opinions of the people who made the movie, the opinions of viewers, and your opinions."Evidence" would require actually showing what of philosophy was actually brought into the movies.On that point, I'm with Elliott. Virtually none of the philosophy is in there."Evidence" to the contrary would be instances in which her philosophy appears in the movies.
> But of course the project was taken over by a dedicated Objectivist as a personal labour of love. David Kelley, one of the most prominent of Rand's advocates was brought in early on as consultant on the projectBut as you must know, David Kelley is not an Objectivist.Your view is unreasonable here. You're blaming something on Objectivism which hired an opponent of Objectivism as an early consultant.And it's something which many Objectivists don't like or endorse. It's bad in reality and bad in the view of many Objectivists. That doesn't show Objectivists and their way of thinking is disconnected from reality.Which movie scenes did you consider to be really fair, awesome, impressive portrayals of Objectivism? And whatever they are, are they the problem with the movies!?
Elliot Temple:>But as you must know, David Kelley is not an Objectivist.No, I don't "know" that at all. You are just claiming it.Has he formally declared that he rejects Ayn Rand's essential principles eg The Law of Identity, the axioms, the rejection of altruism in favour of selfishness, the moral basis of capitalism etc? If so, I am not aware of it.If he accepts Rand's essential principles, I am curious as to why you - and it seems ungtss too - think you nonetheless have the authority to decide who is, and who is not an Objectivist?
Further, as I just posted on another thread, here is a reasonably recent Kelley quote:"As an Objectivist epistemologist and philosopher of mind, I side with Rand on every point of contrast, and consider Hayek‘s approach fundamentally wrong-headed, as the works of mine I have cited will make clear."This is someone who is an opponent of Objectivism?You're saying a lifelong Objectivist like John Aglialoro, who's putting a fortune into the series, and is hiring Kelley for the third time as a consultant on the project, can't detect that Kelley is in fact an opponent of Objectivism?Or is Aglialoro not an Objectivist either?
I have no idea if Aglialoro is an Objectivist. I never looked into him. On principle, it's entirely possible he is an Objectivist and the movie still sucks and lacks Objectivism. Making movies is kinda hard.As to Kelley, I expected you to know he is not an Objectivist because you recently linked an article about how he isn't an Objectivist. (Also it's well known.)Instead he does things like defend Marxists, which is super incompatible with the morality of Atlas Shrugged, among other things. It also talks about, for example, his not understanding objectivity and his non-Objectivist position on moral judgment.Your post:http://aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com/2013/06/now-we-know.htmllinkshttp://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=objectivism_fvso i expected you would know the content of that page
I should have added that if Aglialoro chose to hire Kelley then the reasonable guess would be he is not an Objectivist. It's difficult (but not impossible) to think of ways he could be an Objectivist and make that decision.
Elliot:>As to Kelley, I expected you to know he is not an Objectivist because you recently linked an article about how he isn't an Objectivist. (Also it's well known.)LOL! So Leonard Peikoff is the final authority on who is and isn't an Objectivist. And it's "well known" you say?Clearly not by Kelley himself....;-)
Incidentally, the Now We Know post was intended to illustrate the cultic absurdity of True Objectivist debate, not to agree with it!
I know you don't agree, but you don't decide who is an Objectivist, and you shouldn't be so surprised that I do agree. I'm a very pure Objectivist in many ways.The point is you're slandering Objectivism by attacking stuff that we don't want, endorse, stand behind, etc... It's not reasonable to slur us with what we don't regard as our own stuff.Since there exists a better type of Objectivist position which can't be criticized via the movies, why don't you try debating with that better position? Attacking instead a worse position and calling it "objectivism", as if it has anything to do with me, Peikoff, etc, is silly.Put another way: if your criticism of "Objectivism" doesn't even apply to Peikoff, what good is it? What position are you criticizing, and why, and why call it "Objectivism"?
Elliot:>Since there exists a better type of Objectivist position which can't be criticized via the movies, why don't you try debating with that better position?Um, do you think there is no more to this site than discussion of the movie series?We don't really care if Kelley doesn't think Peikoff is an Objectivist, or vice versa. The book is called Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature, it and the site is primarily about her doctrines. Unlike the aforementioned, we have no pretensions to being a final authority as to who is or isn't an Objectivist.If you know your scripture well enough, there is only One True Objectivist anyway - Miss Rand. Everyone else, including Peikoff, Kelley, et al is a mere Student of Objectivism.
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