16 April 2011
Atlas Shrugged is a classic story we've waited decades to see on the silver screen. But first a confession. I haven't actually read the book. I'd always meant to but never found the time. Years ago I found the audiobook on the SCMoms shelf and borrowed that. It was 16 45 minute sides so I'm sure it was an abridged version.
Still the script closely followed my recollection of the audiobook. I loved the epic scenery and CGI for the train scenes (at least I assume it was CGI, how else could it have been done?). The cast fit well into their roles. Mrs. Reardon plays the royal bitch very well. I've known people with a spouse like that and don't understand why they stay in the relationship. Seems to me, life is too short to spend with an abusive spouse. Here is another with Dagney confronting the union rep. BTW I prefer movies with unknown actors; they don't bring along any baggage to the role.
Currently it's only showing on two screens here in Arizona. After a late lunch I dropped back in on the theater while walking back to my car. I asked the manager "How's business?" He had a great big smile on his face and said "this is the busiest I've ever seen this place. My next two showings are already sold out." Our 1:30pm Saturday Matinee performance was also a sellout.
Continuing on the sidewalk back to my car I overheard a cellphone call which I think summed it up well "...This was a book written over forty years ago and accurately predicted what is happening in the world today."
BTW, props to Vox for showing up in a shirt decorated with Taggart Transcontinental and Reardon Metal logos. Nicely done! (I wish I'd thought to do it, and will take your left overs to apply to a shirt of my own!)
Bottom line, best movie I've seen in years. Go See it!
*** Warning Spoilers below ***
A coupla quibbles...
1. The deal with John Galt seems to be "Right here, right now. You walk away from everything and come with me". And yet the first guy ("Kellogg?") was able to go in and explain to Dagney that he's resigning and there is no offer she can make to keep him. Why did he get a different deal? (Req'd for the story I'm sure. Nuff said)
2. The movie portrayed the rail line first run as "Ok tracks are laid, lets take our train out and run it up to full speed. Let's see if this Reardon metal is any good or not". That simply doesn't happen... A series of test runs are conducted to gradually expand the performance envelope at a slow deliberate pace until full performance is achieved. A friend agreed but noted the movie didn't have time to show that in the 100 minute film. And I can agree with that, but I think there should have been a couple sentences of dialog to show that proper engineering procedures had been followed. After all Dagney was trained as an engineer and she would know that.
3. Whilst showing the industry magnates in their mansions and being chauffeured around in their limos, why aren't the government parasites shown the same way? When was the last time Mr Mouch drove himself anywhere? Last presidential cycle John McCain was demonized for not knowing how many homes he owns (apparently the answer was 7). We are currently in a situation where government employees are paid significantly better than the private sector for comparable positions, enjoy glorious benefits and never have to worry about layoffs or pay reductions (I took a 10% pay cut last year to avoid layoffs). That side should have been shown. Perhaps it will come out in future parts (after all, this is only part I).