Why ASP3 is the worst of the trilogy and a disaster.

Posted by JRMR 6 years, 10 months ago to Movies
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Here it goes. I know many people here are going to attack me for not liking the message and trash my opinion of the movie. I hope the people of the Gulch are not so blinded by ideology to deny reality. Doing so is incredibly against Objectivism itself and I feel that some of us have done that in the past whenever someone else has an opinion. Any way onto my review and explanation.

Despite having a paltry $5,000,000 budget, ASP3 should have been made well. Hell the budget was around as much as ASP1 production budget.

The good: The acting was nice. Casting was good (except for the LAUGHABLE Francisco who is old enough to be Dagny's father, not her former lover). Polaha is fantastic as Galt.

And this is really my only positives of the film onto the negative: While I understand the limits of the budget, the producers still FILMED many of the scenes that should have been included. For example the love montage between Galt and Dagny. Those scenes could have had dialogue explaining things and showing more of the Gulch, but instead it's just loud happy music and Galt and Dagny doing random things like cleaning a boat, talking by the fire etc. If I wanted to watch something that cheesy I would turn on Lifetime. Those scenes could have been used to show the Gulch and the philosophy and further develop the romance.

The Gulch scenes were WAY to short. I mean my God we were really only there for twenty minutes before Dagny was blindfolded and stuffed in the plane.

Now here is the WORST OF THE WORST: Cheryl Brooks, Hank Rearden, and the cameos.

Cheryl Brooks was compressed down to sixty seconds and then just promptly killed off WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION AT ALL. In the book she jumps off a bridge but in the movie all we get is a newspaper headline. Absolutley horrible.

Hank Rearden having no lines is also a HUGE problem. His romance that was built up in Parts 1 and 2 is promplty forgotten completley without any explanation. Also no detail as to why he was trying to find Dagny. The only scene that he has in the movie is when he briefly talks to Dagny on the phone while shots from the first movie are re-used (probably to save money). His character is so important to Part 3 and if you are going to build up a character so much in the first two parts, and if that character has so many scenes part 3, why brush him off with a "meh." Its a disaster.

Next is the cameos. My God were they horrible. The biggest problem that I have seen in this movie is that it is way to Republican. Ayn Rand HATED Republicans and Democrats and to see so many of them in the movie is horrible. One problem is that many of them are devoutly religious. This is a problem considering that Atlas Shrugged decries any form of mysticism. You CANNOT be an Objectivist by believing in God you just can't! It undermines everything that Ayn Rand wrote in the book against religion. In order to truly be free you cannot have some mystical force holding you back and obviously this has been forgotten in the movies. Also having Galt being strewn on his back like Jesus Christ does not help either.

Another horrible problem is the fact that the movie does not capture Ayn Rand's sense of life at all, unlike Parts 1 and 2 which did. Ayn Rand's philosophy is not solely about government regulation and politcs, but about living on earth, and this movies focuses almost solely on the politics, thereby changing the book in a way that bastardizes the novel.

This is not a film for Objectivists, this is not a film for people of the book, this movie is for people who solely believe in less government, and that is a HUGE problem considering that the book talks about MANY MANY other things besides a take over government.

I am an objectivist, I beleive in Ayn Rand very much and love ASP1 and ASP2, but this movie is not Atlas Shrugged. In many ways it echoes the famous saying by Whitaker Chambers "To the Gas Chamber GO!"

Project X has also been cut out for no real reason. The Taggart Bridge now falls because of regulation. OK? but WHAT regulation and why don't you SHOW US THIS REGUALTION AND ITS TRUE EFFECT ON THE WORLD INSTEAD OF TELLING US! This movie does way to much telling and not enough showing. Honestly I had NO idea how bad an overbearing government was because the movie simply tells us it is through narration. SHOW ME WHY I SHOULD CARE AND DON"T JUST TELL ME ITS BAD BECAUSE "WELL THE TAGGART BRIDGE FELL DOWN" BULL SHOW THE EFFECTS OF THE GOVERNMENT!!! Project X could have been used to SHOW the effects of the government but NOPE the job goes straight to narration to tell me that it is without providing any real proof.

Also Eddie Willers is suppossed to be lose at the end. Instead he is saved hurting the message of the book and changing what Ayn Rand intended by his death/leave.

Ayn Rand is rolling in her grave. I gave money to the kick starter campaign and have loved the first two parts, but this movie is just horrible. It is not about Objectivism, not at all. It is something completely different.

The only chance for the movie to be saved is to put in the deleted scenes and many of the things we saw during the live streams that were cut. That is the only way to make this movie any good.

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  • Posted by cruiseladytexas 6 years, 10 months ago
    So, I would hope the DVD gives us a director's cut that puts back all those scenes. Perhaps that would make the DVD worth the price.

    However, I enjoyed part III for what it was. I hated the casting of old man Frisco
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  • Posted by $ winterwind 6 years, 10 months ago
    I'll add my disappointment as to the casting for Frisco - great voice, tho.
    I'll offer you a thought, JRMR, about the scenes in the Gulch. I thought there were too many until I started watching Dagny - and I have posted this elsewhere - I watched her regaining that joy in being alive which was being stretched to the tearing point in the outside world. That helps make it an Objectivist work for me.
    As for Rearden, he is mentioned more times than I thought after watching the movie once. I think that "quadrangle" was just too long and too difficult to explain in the available time, especially since there was not great "setup" for it in the first 2 movies. He had his time to shine in 2, in the courtroom, and while I wanted the whole story, I see the advisability of leaving out 90% rather than giving us a 14% swipe at a very complicated set of relationships - Lillian would have to have been included as well.
    I am neutral on the cameos, except for the last line of Beck's, which is in my commonplace book and I can't remember - something about "not the volume, the...." drat! sure somebody will correct me on this one.

    Let me ask you something, please. I commend your Producer status and your Kickstarter contributions. What was your purpose in seeing this movie made? and was the movie which was made counter to your purpose?
    I'm asking myself the same questions as I see it again and again with different people and have different discussions.
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    • Posted by Ramius 6 years, 10 months ago
      I liked it a whole lot more the second time through. When I first saw it I was a bit disappointed. It was OK, but not great. The low budget shows.

      I think the first time I was so preoccupied with keeping track of all the stuff that was left out of the story or given short-shrift, it got in the way of sitting back and watching the story that they -did- tell.

      But the second time, I knew all of that and I could enjoy it more. The music is really good, and some of the cinematography is really gorgeous. The casting for Dagny and John was spot on. The supporting characters were well cast... except for Francisco D'Anconia. He needed to be about Dagny's age, or at least close, but he was old enough to be her father. The actor was good, just not the right choice.

      Making a movie of a book sometimes means hard choices have to be made, especially with a book as huge as Atlas. Things that work in the book just don't work on screen. Movies need simplicity. More than two or three strong main characters and commingled plot lines makes for a movie that's impossible to follow because there isn't time to do them all justice. So you decide which story to tell. Hank is gone because the story isn't about him anymore which was true in the book too. It's not about Cheryl either.

      A movie can't tell the whole story, but as a tool for sharing an idea with someone else a movie is easier to share. Showing a movie to someone is always going to be easier and quicker than sharing a book with them. Especially a 1200 page book.

      Discussing objectivism and Atlas Shrugged with someone who has seen the movie is better than discussing it with someone who hasn't read the book.
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    • Posted by 6 years, 10 months ago
      The reason why I wanted to see the movie made was because I captured my sense of life and my life philosophy. I did not see that in the final product.
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      • Posted by $ winterwind 6 years, 10 months ago
        sorry, there's a typo there which deletes some meaning. it is "because it captured"?
        So, I think you're saying the BOOK captured your sense of life, and you wanted to see a movie which showed your sense of life?
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        • Posted by 6 years, 10 months ago
          Yes, thank you for catching my typo
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          • Posted by $ winterwind 6 years, 10 months ago
            It wasn't the typo I dinged you on, it was that the typo made what you said unclear.
            So how does a movie show YOUR sense of life, and mine as well? When reading, most people have a movie running in their heads as they go. When the book is made into a movie, unless everyone makes one, that movie will be the vision of the creator, not a reader.
            So do I understand that you thought it was "a disaster" because it wasn't the movie in your head?
            and, anticipating an answer, there's nothing wrong at all in saying you didn't like it because it wasn't the movie in your head. Broad and sweeping generalizations have no support if the major tress to your criticism bridge is idiosyncratic.
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            • Posted by 6 years, 10 months ago
              The matter of the movie not being the same as the one in my head is not important (it was actually pretty close). The problem is that the movie was so dominated by politics that the joy that for example Dagny feels when she listens to the music of Richard Halley is completely gone. The only sign of this is when she is smiling around the Gulch but IMO that is it. So IMO yes, the movie fails to capture Ayn Rand's sense of life properly and instead turns solely into a political diatribe that it never solely was in the first place.
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  • Posted by Snoogoo 6 years, 10 months ago
    I have to say I agree on many of the points in your critique, there have been a few critical points and I think this is extremely important. If you think about your work, do you openly seek critique? Most of us do unless we are complete narcissists. We must all be honest about the film and where it falls short so that we can continue to tell the story of ASIII. Some of the major errors that you mentioned distract viewers from "getting" the underlying message of the book. The old Francisco actor.. sorry but he almost made me barf... Yes, he looked old enough to be her father and he acted like a father which was just as disturbing. The final book scene with Eddie Willers was BEGGING to be shown on screen, and as I have professed in previous posts, is a perfect summary of the entire book. What happens if we allow the "greater good" to take control over the mind of the individual? We revert to the primitive, there are no incentives to greatness. There is no desire for creation. Rand's message was pure and not really all that complicated, the representation of her work should also be pure and simple and harmonious like a symphony and stick to the philosophy without bringing in politics. Her message is timeless and it applies whether the oppressors are religious zealots, oppressive militias, or smiling, golf clad politicians... I appreciated the effort on the film and it needed to be done, the casting was better (EXCEPT for Francisco **I'm glad I didn't eat before I saw that**). Let us all hopefully learn something from this experience.
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  • Posted by sydney 6 years, 10 months ago

    Sure, it's easy to critique the technical aspects of the movie, even the casting of Frisco...however, though I felt the execution was indeed lacking, so what!?

    The movie should be judged as a whole, and being in love with Atlas and all of the characters, and especially the story...I give the movie excellent marks!

    What would we all be saying if a movie was brilliantly cast, an unending budget for advertising and making the movie, but the story and message extolled the virtues of communism and Mr. Thompson's world? Would we be saying the movie was great? I know I wouldn't. For me, the story is everything.

    AS3 casting was, for the most part, terrific! The acting was terrific! The speech should have been longer, if not intact, but I prefer a movie made on a shoestring extolling the life, message, story of the good guys, like AS 1, AS 2, and AS 3...great job, all who were involved! And, from this movie goer, a heartfelt thanks to all who participated and to Mr. A & Mr. K...thank you!!!
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  • Posted by $ hash 6 years, 10 months ago
    Also, I must disagree with respect to Eddie.

    I think the movie made the absolutely correct choice by making a point of rescuing Eddie.

    In the movies, Eddie has a much more central role than he does in the book. The movies, of necessity, dispense with a lot of the subtleties of the book. Even in the book, I didn't think Eddie being left out of the Gulch was well enough explained. In the movie, it would just have been impossible to justify.
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  • Posted by $ hash 6 years, 10 months ago
    Your point about the Taggart bridge is valid, and that's exactly what I was thinking at that point in the movie. OTOH, the different regulatory interferences had already been highlighted throughout, including the Railway Unification Plan, the copper wire shortage, resulting in the breakdown of the switching system, so arguably the context and background had been built up.

    Nevertheless the clip about the collapse of the Taggart bridge was one of the most abrupt and badly worded in the movie. The movie would lose nothing (and IMO would be vastly improved) if that bridge clip was just omitted. In the next scene, Frisco mentions the collapse of the bridge anyway so the audience will come to know that it's happened.

    The Glenn Beck bit on the TV was rather irritating too.

    And the scenes where Frisco and Rearden discover Dagny is alive were both too short and truncated.

    Although I was initially not thrilled with de Almeida as Frisco, on subsequent viewings I started to appreciate his performance and I now think he was actually awesome as Frisco. He also perfectly delivered the funniest line in the movie ("They are just as stubborn as women." :-)

    There are also some glaring continuity issues which really should have been fixed before release. Hopefully they can be fixed in the DVD version.
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  • Posted by SolitudeIsBliss 6 years, 10 months ago
    I said it before and will say it again. Atlas Shrugged would be best served as a miniseries in order to get the entire story and its nuances across to the audiences.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 6 years, 10 months ago
    I gave you a point up, but I do disagree with the substantives. You have a right to your opinion. It is not irrational. However, it is not mine. My review will appear later. I liked the movie and had no problem with the (ahem) "problems." I agree that it is not the movie that I would have made. Clearly, it was not the one you would have. However, we did not.
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    • Posted by gerstj 6 years, 10 months ago
      Well, after reading a number of the comments back and forth on the good and the bad, there is one overriding truth underlaying all of the debate - the audience numbers are terrible. If the message is not seen or listened too, then all of the effort brought into the project was only to put the light under a bushel.
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