Escape to the Movies: Atlas Shrugged

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Agospy:
snip

I guess you do have the choice, but by objectivist philosophy it would be a cruel thing to do. To heavily paraphrase, "the worst thing a man can do for another man is help them". reasoning being that by helping them you rob them of the chance to better themselves, and will only make there future harder when such skill, character, toughness, whatever, is needed.

i7omahawki:
I still have Atlas Shrugged on my bookshelf, ready to read after Ulysses, and my degree.

It's a shame that a movie couldn't pull off a good enough adaptation, so I'll have to trawl through Rand's writing to get at her message...

I like how apparently Bioshock, a videogame, captured Rand's philosophy better than a movie dedicated to her work.

Go games I guess.

Except, it really didn't.

They based Andrew Ryan entirely around "objectivism," and then had him make incrediby statist decisions and screw everything up. Also, the game's equivilent (and I use this term only in reference to how he was initially portrayed,) to John Galt, Atlas, was a more or less a socialist, who was actually a corrupt businessman/mobster in disguise.

While they essentially nailed down some of the philosphical aspects, Bioshock completely missed the mark on accurate portrayal in my mind.

"Would you kindly join me next time?" You don't have to brainwash me to see your upcoming reviews Bob :) I really enjoy them ether way.

Now, for this movie - WOW. It looked so painfully boring, that I couldn't even remember the scenes to it. All I saw was people standing around and talking with some little chaos but that's it. Gosh man, I haven't even heard of the book itself. You must have a lot of interest in order to like this movie, for the book I can understand that people would get into that. Still, I mean.. wow, just the plot alone makes me feel like it's a chore to see rather then entertainment. No offense..

CronoT:
Every time the hardcore GOP falls out of power and/or favor, some desperate dinkleburg comes along and lets Ayn Rand out of Pandora's Box. Once the general population recovers from its mass lobotomy, people realize how unsustainable her ideas were, and she gets shoved back into the box.

For the purposes of sociology and political science, I think college students should have to play and/or watch someone play Bioshock through to the end for both endings. Might learn them a thing or two.

Bioshock is an accurate portrayal of Objectivist (or even Libertarian) Philosophy in the same sense that the collective works of Ke$ha are considered music.

ClifJayShafer:
I'm sorry MovieBob, but as I always loved your work as a critic, you have fully misunderstood this movie's presence to the public. First off, Rand was writing of 'what was to come' in her day but that is now 'what is happening'. Second, the reason this movie is 'corny', as you put it due to the 'cheep and rushed' premise is because it had no endorsements.

Have you even read the book this is based off of? The source material itself is quite poorly written, overdramatic and ludicrous. More skilled actors and better production values are not going to magically make the source material any easier to take seriously.

ClifJayShafer:
That is why this movie failed previous times to being made and why fans of the novel are extremely happy of this coming to theaters. Third, the reason it has a 'to be continued' aspect to the end is because the book itself was a collection of three parts. Atlas Shrugged Part I II and III, so as you would guess it, yeah, there are going to be three movies. But hey, if any one is going to argue about that, take a look at what is going on in the Hollywood movie scene. Twilight newest movie coming is cut into two parts, and even the Hobbit, a book I read while in middle school, no more then three hundred pages, is being cut into two parts.

The difference is that those are all movie franchises that have already been proven wildly successful.

ClifJayShafer:
A well done adaptation of a novel that depicts the world.

A world that only exists in Ayn Rands own universe.

ClifJayShafer:
It seems that to me, as well as you normally do with all other movies, you missed the target on this :(
"A movie must stand on it's own." No MovieBob, it doesn't. A movie stands on the message it brings to the people. Every movie has a message, either of love, freedom, friendship, honesty; The message to this movie was 'Who is John Galt?'

The message to this movie is that everyone should except the dead end philosophy of objectivism despite of how it conflicts when take out of Rand's universe which is constructed specifically for objectivism to work, and apply it to our universe, wherein the laws of nature and especially biology are not design to work with objectivism's moral philosophy and the laws on nature do not bend backwards for your opinions of things no matter how much you want them to.

New York Patrick:
Bioshock is an accurate portrayal of Objectivist (or even Libertarian) Philosophy in the same sense that the collective works of Ke$ha are considered music.

Based on everything we know about biology, evolution and how social species survive and thrive, the true nature on where morality and altruism originate and why they exist, objectivism is about as accurate look on how society and the world should operate as your analogy is a successful challenge against criticism of objectivism.

Wow so Movie bob finally pulled his head out of his and realized what strong female character is.

There's plenty of holes in the movie and the source material:

1)They are not sticking close to the source material because it's impossible to create compelling characters since all of Rand's heroes and are soulless greedbots whose only goals in life are to make great innovations and then profit like crazy off them. In and of itself this isn't a bad thing since a lot of people like creating things and being rewarded for them. But in the case of Rand's characters, their desire for money and achievement supersedes all empathy, family relationships and basic human decency.

2)Rand couldn't right any characters with feeling so the actors can't can't convey any, and they go from bland randroids to passion in a harsh jerk like they're being held and gun point and told "GET HOT FOR EACH OTHER"

3)The richest are the ones being bullied by poor and liberal people so they go on strike and retreat to a billionare owned small-gubment island sanctuary; trying to make billionares look like victims of the needy and poor is going to be equally impossible.

4)The thing these poor bullied millionares were doing that made liberal big-gubment want to shut down was the world's fastest high-speed rail line. Yes, rail. The mode of transportation that has been championed by liberal commie nazis and that has become the bane of good conservatives everywhere. In reality, of course, a liberal government would be tossing bundles of subsidies at any entrepreneurs building high-speed rail lines in the Western United States but in Randality, these noble entrepreneurs were crushed by the rent-seeking big businesses who used their Washington ties to extinguish the flames of competitive markets... which DOES happen in reality... but the big business owners are conservatives

5)The heroes think the business owners going on strike and not spending will make society crumble. Rand doesn't realize in reality, labor produces the capital for the owner and others will step in to take all that money and their positions... ironically out of their own self interest, leaving the business owners with no new capital and exposing the self-contradiction of the philosophy. If Trump or the Koch brothers, or any rich bastard on walstreet disappeared to the cayman islands, no one would care and they'd only be replaced.

6)The author, Ayn Rand, who was so traumatized by the oppressive nature of communism that she developed a philosophy which is the polar opposite would probably be pissed to see the current American capitalist system depending almost entirely on communism, spesifically because it's oppression and lack of rights which she hated, provides it cheap labor while funding an oppressive communist government's growth.... again out of its own self-interest and greed, which is another self-contradition. At the time Rand lived, America was producing it's own goods, since her death, the selfishness and greed of business owners, which she said was a virtue, has made big-gubment hating Randian heroes take in massive profit directly because they employ communists who would be killed if they demanded worker rights.

I wish she was alive to see how self interest has played itself out by making communism the foundation for modern capitalism.

Also, as a little further idea behind the philosophy:
-people who can't solve their own problems deserve what happens to them
-people who are robbed deserved it for not protecting their posessions better
-people who steal deserve it because those they steal from don't have the power to stop them
-people don't help the victims because they're too weak to be worth it and are parasites, unless they have something to offer those that help them.
-people only help as a demonstration of the power they have over those they assist, and only for compensation

It's just as awful as communism, only the oppression comes from the people not the government

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers

Mortrialus:

ClifJayShafer:
I'm sorry MovieBob, but as I always loved your work as a critic, you have fully misunderstood this movie's presence to the public. First off, Rand was writing of 'what was to come' in her day but that is now 'what is happening'. Second, the reason this movie is 'corny', as you put it due to the 'cheep and rushed' premise is because it had no endorsements.

Have you even read the book this is based off of? The source material itself is quite poorly written, overdramatic and ludicrous. More skilled actors and better production values are not going to magically make the source material any easier to take seriously.

Is it like Also Spracht Zarathustra (I may have the song, not the book, I mean the book) - in which as just a book it's a shit book, but it's just a tool for getting to the philosophy?

Baneat:

Mortrialus:

ClifJayShafer:
I'm sorry MovieBob, but as I always loved your work as a critic, you have fully misunderstood this movie's presence to the public. First off, Rand was writing of 'what was to come' in her day but that is now 'what is happening'. Second, the reason this movie is 'corny', as you put it due to the 'cheep and rushed' premise is because it had no endorsements.

Have you even read the book this is based off of? The source material itself is quite poorly written, overdramatic and ludicrous. More skilled actors and better production values are not going to magically make the source material any easier to take seriously.

Is it like Also Spracht Zarathustra (I may have the song, not the book, I mean the book) - in which as just a book it's a shit book, but it's just a tool for getting to the philosophy?

Yes. I forget if its Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, or both, where one of the main characters literally delivers a 50+ page speech on the tenets of objectivism. If you really like objectivism you might enjoy a fifty page monologue describing it, but if you actually care about reading a good story of where the philosophy is delivered appropriately throughout the story telling rather than author filibusters, its a shit book.

Heh. I only just found out about this movie. Not really surprised it failed; anyone wanting to take on Ayn Rand directly is gonna have to put a lot more effort into their project.

Angelina Jolie as Taggart. Hmm...

New York Patrick:
Bioshock is an accurate portrayal of Objectivist (or even Libertarian) Philosophy in the same sense that the collective works of Ke$ha are considered music.

Heh, you might have a point there.

Objectivism seems to work on the principle that your actions effect you alone. Which is, of course, utterly flawed.

It's a shame this film is bad, I've had an interest in the book for a while but Vonnegut currently has me traversing Mercury with Unk.

Mortrialus:
-comment-

First off, yes I have read the novel. If I haven't read the novel and commented my opinion based on just the movie, or worst off (and like some people on this forum) on what MovieBob commented on the movie without seeing it for myself, then I'd just be an idiotic follower of someone's own objective criticism riding on what ever personal political beliefs he may have. I, good sir, am not a tool or some sort of fool.

But... you did get me on one part. The book itself was considered 'par'. But then again, there was a story built around a message rather then message that could be found in a story. This, I believe was her opus, explaining her views of the world in a fashion that could be read by the publics majority. Would you have taken Rand seriously if she were to just come out of the blue and shared this (her) opinion of politics with this new philosophy? No. So she disguised it in a fictional world; which seems to me that is playing out in real life (but that is my opinion).

And in-a-way, isn't objectivism just another form of philosophical metaphysics that could be implied in anyone's life? Dianetics proved that. Objectivism is just a continuation of self-realization and inner enlightenment theories given by many scholars of ancient times (Greek and Roman). But again, my opinion.

I'm glad the film turned out to be bland. Bland is uninteresting, and not influential, thus it won't "inspire" (I use the word distastefully here) anyone to follow objectivist philosophy, which they shouldn't, because it was proved truly worthless over the course of the 20th Century. It made sense at the time it was produced, but not long after that time of economic and capitalistic overly optimistic behaviour, the Great Depression occurred. If you bet too high and take too many risks, you lose.

Relying on the sword of brilliance alone and not tempering it with morality or at least some restriction or rules is only a sure way to bring about chaos and depression in any established society, because established society relies on the majority of the population following rules. Yes, there are sacrifices, but the alternative is societal collapse, which achieves nothing but worse sacrifices. The best you can say about such unrestricted production is that it would help you survive in the wild. To modern society itself, it is simply inapplicable.

More or less what Ebert said in his review, and he really wanted to tee off on Ayn Rand's philosophies. Sounds like a fun book, though.

Mortrialus:

Baneat:

Mortrialus:

Have you even read the book this is based off of? The source material itself is quite poorly written, overdramatic and ludicrous. More skilled actors and better production values are not going to magically make the source material any easier to take seriously.

Is it like Also Spracht Zarathustra (I may have the song, not the book, I mean the book) - in which as just a book it's a shit book, but it's just a tool for getting to the philosophy?

Yes. I forget if its Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead, or both, where one of the main characters literally delivers a 50+ page speech on the tenets of objectivism. If you really like objectivism you might enjoy a fifty page monologue describing it, but if you actually care about reading a good story of where the philosophy is delivered appropriately throughout the story telling rather than author filibusters, its a shit book.

Well, if you haven't, chuck away your atlas shrugged and zarathustra for now and pick up "Brave New World", since that's the kind of thing you seem to have looked for in atlas, but you got hefty philosophical stuff that's like some weird hybrid on reference. For this objectivism, Bioshock seems like a pretty good way to actually incorporate it into a story.

Personally I'd prefer it if we all just did what kant did, and write philosophy books as philosophy books, since it means philosophers needn't concern themselves with a shit story, and readers needn't concern themselves with a shit story and intricate philosophy either.

image
Now I feel bad for those who never played Bioshock,cause they won't get the joke.

That's too bad really. I didn't think that book was *that* bad, although a bit dry and long-winded at times.

Pretty much my view of it: Anyone effected by a decision's outcome should have some say in that decision.

on personal matters of morality, taste, and what you want to do with what you have, go nuts. When you want to make a splash in society at large: well, that's what elected governments are for -- to ensure that the people whose lives you are impacting have some say over whether or not it happens.

as for the movie-
Honestly, I'd never even heard that this was coming out. Sounds to me like someone was just trying to cash in on the Tea Partiers (really, why else release it on April 15th? Is that supposed to be subtle? Reminds me of all the horror movies that came out on June 6, 2006)

Oh Bob, you don't need to use Andrew Ryan's "Mind trick" thing to get me to watch next time. Hell if you blatantly attacked all the films I like for a month straight I'd still come back because I find your reasoning so compelling.
P.S Forgive me for using the word compelling.

I heard some stuff about this movie coming out, but I guess I just had the Naive hope that the director would die from a heart attack or something and stop the movie in its tracks (no pun intended).

The book was... decent and I knew that if it were ever turned into a movie, it'd suck horribly unless it had top tier actors and a good screenplay.
It apparently had neither.

i still dont get how the hell they expected it to work with a modern setting. The plot worked in the book because of the greater importance railroads had in the early 20th century due to the lack of faster methods of travel. These days no one cares about trains.

At risk of sounding like an elitist snob... some books will never work well in film, I think. Atlas Shrugged is one of them. I read and liked the book, even if I don't entirely agree with its message. I would be interested in a good film adaptation, but... this doesn't sound like this is it. Oh well. Moving on. :o

I can't say that I'm surprised. Take something as complicated as Atlas Shrugged and try to turn it into a six-hour film? I think not.

I've always found Rand's philosophy kind of flawed. Like Bob said, I like the "broad strokes" of it, but there's a problem. She acts as if the gifted and the dullards are separated by clear lines, but they aren't. Who are the gifted ones? Me? You? MovieBob? Ayn Rand? Stephen Hawking?

I have so much rage that they botched this movie. I dont know if this particular book could ever work as a film and i especially doubt it could be made today when there are so many contra creative trends in Hollywood.

I think a lot of people (including modern Rand proponents) forget the context of her philosophy. She escaped Soviet Russia extremely disillusioned and cynical about government, and objectivism is more a response to Soviet-style communism than anything else.

It's funny, the best iteration of this groundbreaking work of 20th literature, is Bioshock. Ladies and gentleman of the 'games as art' debate: we have won. Games can tell better stories than movies. FUCK YOU HOLLYWOOD!!!

In my experience, most people who take issue with objectivism are just regurgitating an opinion they heard somewhere else. I swear, sometimes they even repeat Jon Stewart word for word. It would be funny if it wasn't so depressing.

How much do you want to bet, this movie is going to catch on in a couple weeks and get all this attention even though its not that great, while the general public goes on none-the-wiser of the best adaptation of "Atlas Shrugged", Bioshock.

OT:
Can someone tell me if objectivism is considered conservative or liberal or neither?

Now I want to read Atlas Shrugged. I sure it's probably not as strange as the book 'Geek Love'.

Caligulove:
I actually like how Bioshock was probably the best adaptation and deconstruction of the works of Ayn Rand during its best parts and achieves what this movie could not do- too bad it's from an 'inferior' form of entertainment and doesn't just give Ayn Rand's novel a tongue bath, so the political wingnuts on the right would never know anything about it.

I suppose I am biased, though, since I read Atlas Shrugged for an extra-credit reading group in high school and was one of the handful of people in the group that didn't think it was anything to write home about, let alone something that deserves all the attention that it has gotten along with Rand herself. All I ever read and saw of Ayn Rand was an astronomically selfish, racist bitch, constantly avoiding criticism and other realities with an equally ugly personality to match her fugly appearance. Also she died while on Medicare AND Social Security... Couldn't even follow by example

I just read the entire book as Ayn Rand's Mary Sue Taggart or Talbert wanting to sleep with businessmen. Like twilight only replace vampires with CEO's or something.

Eric the Orange:

Agospy:
snip

I guess you do have the choice, but by objectivist philosophy it would be a cruel thing to do. To heavily paraphrase, "the worst thing a man can do for another man is help them". reasoning being that by helping them you rob them of the chance to better themselves, and will only make there future harder when such skill, character, toughness, whatever, is needed.

Well I've always found that help can be addictive. Give a man a hand too many times and soon he loses his independence and starts using you as a crutch. Why would you do anything productive if either way you were made comfortable? Desperation tends to breed productivity, so I can see how an objectivist would feel that, yes.

triggrhappy94:
How much do you want to bet, this movie is going to catch on in a couple weeks and get all this attention even though its not that great, while the general public goes on none-the-wiser of the best adaptation of "Atlas Shrugged", Bioshock.

OT:
Can someone tell me if objectivism is considered conservative or liberal or neither?

I would say its more conservative in economics and more liberal socially. I think of it as libertarianism's snobby older brother.

head desk tricycle:
In my experience, most people who take issue with objectivism are just regurgitating an opinion they heard somewhere else. I swear, sometimes they even repeat Jon Stewart word for word. It would be funny if it wasn't so depressing.

In my experience most people who generalize end up looking silly. That depresses me too sometimes.

/feels compelled to watch Moviebob's next Escape to the Movies because he used the trigger phrase used to trigger the hypnosis that served to deconstruct video game linearity in Bioshock

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