My impressions of Atlas Shrugged 3

Posted by LionelHutz 9 years, 2 months ago to Movies
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Just got back from watching the movie. I'm not going to get into great detail here, to avoid spoiling the movie for those who haven't seen it yet. I'll just say this: the first 20 minutes of the film are pretty bad and if you sit down in the theater thinking this is like watching the Titanic sink, just hang on until Dagny starts planning out how a rail line could be run in the Gulch. The movie starts to run much better from this point out. Other than that, obviously the directors and producers had to decide what was going to get carried over from the book and what was going to get left out...and I think they made some strange choices. In particular, how they handled Cherryl. The John Galt speech: well done. But my surprise: Hugh Akston's conversation with Dagny in the Gulch. I think that scene is the best in the movie.

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  • Posted by Ranter 9 years, 2 months ago
    It started off slowly for those of us who knew the book and had seen ASP1 and ASP2. I think the slow start enabled the movie to stand on its own and to be comprehensible to people who don't know Ayn Rand or Atlas Shrugged, the book, and who had not seen the first two movies. Now, I'd like to see a remake of The Fountainhead.
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    • Posted by IndianaGary 9 years, 2 months ago
      It started as it did precisely so that it could stand on its own. Remember, many people did not see the first two movies and are going to this one because they want to know who this John Galt is that so many people have been touting for over 50 years. Perhaps some of the intellectually curious will now read the book as a result. I agree that the scene with Dr Akston and Dagny was a clear and concise snapshot of the philosophy that can be expanded upon in a miniseries.
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    • Posted by hrymzk 9 years, 2 months ago

      Indeed, a remake of the Fountainhead would be nice. To get rid of Gary cooper's wooden performance. And to show that someone like Patricia Neal should have played the Dagney role.

      Harry M
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    • Posted by starznbarz2002 9 years, 2 months ago
      It bothers me to see the movie done in real time. No cell phones, no technology other than a dial telephone. Fountainhead was fine just as it is now with Gary Cooper and Patricia O'neal.
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      • Posted by teri-amborn 9 years, 2 months ago
        I was actually impressed with the "upgrade" version of the first two.
        Ayn wrote philosophically (non-concrete-bound) so the principles are the same ... the content of the sets and props change.
        For instance: We used to watch TV on a small screen situated in a gigantic box with vacuum tubes and transistors. NOW we watch TV on our cell phones because of digital technology.
        TV is still TV.
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  • Posted by SD86 9 years, 2 months ago
    Totally agree, especially about Cheryl Taggart. I also would've liked to see more on the night Rearden Steel was attacked, maybe showing Francisco getting Hank to join the Strike. Last on the downside, I thought the movie was a bit "soft" vis-a-vis the destruction of the World. But overall they were true to the work and Ayn Rand's vision, the parts were well played by the actors, and it was a good ending to the trilogy.
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  • Posted by dwrucker 9 years, 2 months ago
    I saw it last night. There were about 30 or 40 of us in the theater on West Sahara in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, only 5 of the people in the theater didn't have gray hair. I'd like to see more young people exposed to this.

    I hate to say anything negative about the movie because I really want it to succeed and I really was hoping more people would be exposed to Atlas Shrugged as a result of seeing the movie, but... I'm sorry to say I was severely disappointed with the acting and direction in the first 10-20 minutes. Overall I'd have to rate the movie a B or a C. The acting in the first 20 minutes quickly killed my enthusiasm for the movie. All that enthusiasm turned to dread about how bad the following scenes would be. It was less than I'd expect from a high school play or a soap opera.

    It did pick up later on with a few bright spots.

    The scene with Akston and Dagney turned out to be the best part of the movie. PLEASE post that to YouTube. If the people of America see nothing else but that one scene they'll get the entire point of Atlas Shrugged.

    James Taggert was brilliantly acted. I really, really enjoyed watching his parts. Brilliant!

    Francisco was too old to be Dagney's old childhood boyfriend and there was zero chemistry between them. Not already knowing the storyline from the book, I would have thought he was an older family friend. Casting completely missed the mark on that one.

    I, too, failed to see the horror of Project F. What a joke.

    Too many important parts of the story were left out or glossed over. Another 30 minutes of film could have made this a much more powerful movie storyline.

    I'm glad it was made, but I'm greatly disappointed with the result. Now, I'm looking forward to a remake of it.

    Again, though, PLEASE post the Akston/Dagney scene to YouTube. If the people of America see nothing else but that one scene they'll get the entire point of Atlas Shrugged.
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    • Posted by khalling 9 years, 2 months ago
      thanks for your comments. if you want stuff, you have to offer value for value. what have you done to ensure people go see it? Just because you, as an AR fan, found things to be critical about in the movie-don't assume someone who has s not yet heard of AR or AS would view the movie in the same way. 10s of thousands have been introduced to Rand through these movies. I know. I meet people everyday in the gulch who have. Some of my closest friends I have met because they watched the movies and found this site. Unbelievably they knew nothing about AR before they watched ASP 1. amazing!! Who Is John Galt? You
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      • Posted by $ rockymountainpirate 9 years, 2 months ago
        You are so right about people finding AR through the movies. In today's culture many, if not most people have an attention span of 140 characters. They find a book of any size daunting. The movies expose them to AR. Some of those exposed will read the book. When people see the conversation between Akston and Dagny, when they hear the doc talk about his invention without the interference of government controlled health care, when they hear Thompson and Galt....they will get it.

        I personally have introduced over a dozen people to AR just through the movies.
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      • Posted by brando79az 9 years, 2 months ago
        I spoke to my friend about Atlas Shrugged before but it was not until the movie releases that he truly understood. We can now have discussions about the philosophy and relate the story to current events. He has, in turn, recommended to movies to his family. True story about the positive impact of these films.
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    • Posted by gerstj 9 years, 2 months ago
      The picture is headed to a very low audience total and a poor box office as things now stand. Is there anything that can be done to change that course? How long will the limited number of theaters continue to run it without a sizable audience. It is probably too late for an advertising campaign, even if there is funding for it. I wonder if a plug from Rush would help if he were willing to do it? What else?
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      • Posted by khalling 9 years, 2 months ago
        call talk radio hosts in your state who are local. get them to get the producers on the radio. same with your local news paper. find an angle. now- non fiction. call theaters. rockymountainpirate had no theaters in Montana showing the film. She got through to the CEO of a string of theaters in her state. They were highly enthusiastic and getting the film. Who is John Galt? You
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  • Posted by $ Starwagen 9 years, 2 months ago
    I saw the first showing at my local theater. Maybe 10 people there.
    I give the producers an A for effort especially with the limited budget. But again disappointed with the casting, acting and direction. One key scene that I was especially unhappy with was they way "Get the hell out of my way" was handled.
    But I am very happy to see that the trilogy got finished and released. As someone has already said this third part will not be considered any kind of 'great cinema' in the future, But the message is out there now.
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    • Posted by IndianaGary 9 years, 2 months ago
      Actually, I rather enjoyed Galt getting into Thompson's face and saying "Get out of our way!" I thought it was quite effective and not anything Thompson could have expected. I really enjoyed Galt saying, "I'm always open to a deal" (always the trader) because it was clear that Thompson didn't know what was coming next.
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 9 years, 2 months ago
        I burst out laughing when Galt said, "What have you got to offer me?" It was so good natured and open and all it still said, "What the fuck could a creature like you possibly have to offer me?" Very nicely delivered. Good scene!
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  • Posted by SharedToDeath 9 years, 2 months ago
    Entirely with you on both Akston and the dreadful Project F torture scene. That said, I'm going back to see it again this afternoon. The "New Jim Taggert" was exceptional, but I deeply miss Taylor Schilling.
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    • Posted by cranedragon 9 years, 2 months ago
      Yes, Taylor Schilling was great. She "looked" the most like Dagny of the three, to me. But then I always wanted Lauren Bacall as Dagny. So sad.

      I also thought that this was a great Jim Taggert -- and Gerald Starnes was good too. Ned Vaughn was so energetic in that small role that I wish he had had a bigger part in the movie. He looks the age and could conceivably have been a good Ragnar.
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  • Posted by Itheliving 9 years, 2 months ago
    The Akston Diner Mugs used by Galt are for sale at the movie site. I have two. Cant decide which to drink my coffee from. Choices too many choices.
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  • Posted by kalkalmanek 9 years, 2 months ago

    Posted by kalkalmanek 9 minutes ago
    I saw the AS 3 yesterday at 11:30 AM. I was hoping that it would have shown the machine that blow up things from a distance and how the Taggert Bridge was blown up but that was the only disappointment. It is a very short movie but it shows somewhat what the liberal & bureaocrates have done to the once great country. We can take it back now since most democrates have finally seen what damage they.have done to this country by giving a man a fish instead of teaching a man to fish. "Run Ben run
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  • Posted by CBT 9 years, 2 months ago
    As a theatrical entertainment, I found it to be severely lacking. I don't think anyone who isn't ALREADY interested in Rand's message will find it engaging.

    HOWEVER, I did find that this movie explained the concepts better and illustrated the conflict better. But it was done through narration (which is primarily what the book does too) and not through any action or character portrayals.

    Atlas Shrugged is a difficult concept to explain other than through narration. And narration does not translate to the big screen very well.

    I agree that some of the choices were quite odd and sometimes irrelevant to the real conflict and drama. Dagney and John's tryst in the train yard was important in the context of the book, but so much of that was edited out of the movie as to render it irrelevant in the development of the story told on the screen.
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  • Posted by hes1000 9 years, 2 months ago
    While I understand there was a limited budget, the story and acting were right out of 50's TV series or B movie. The way the idyllic world of the 'valley' was shown with such a cheesy soundtrack with repeating scenes, to that of the monochrome outside world. They have it all in this utopian world, food, wine, hot and cold water, blissful weather in the Colorado mountains...Shangri-la. I was waiting for the bad guys to show up in black hats!! It was like the movie was made by a bunch of kids ...think "Super 8". The producers should have hung out until they could obtain a larger budget, or at least make the story more believable with the existing budget. I loved the first AS. I liked the second, but this was a huge disappointment!
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  • Posted by Karenena 9 years, 2 months ago
    The love scene was Laughable. Could have done without that. Loved the msg. Would love it if it was redone by a larger budget where it could reach more people. There were a couple of times we all looked at each other and laughed because (although written long ago) these things ARE happening now! Thanks to the folks who brought this forth in a movie so more people COULD be exposed to Ayn Rand!!!!
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    • Posted by radical 9 years, 2 months ago
      The love scene followed the book. It showed pent - up desire that couldn't wait for a more secluded venue. As I recall from the book, Dagny and John"did it" on top of a sack filled with grain or some other substance.
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  • Posted by neilevan 9 years, 2 months ago
    I applaud the efforts of the producers/director on such a limited budget, but I was disappointed with the end result. (The "torture" scene with "Project F" was horrible joke.) I guess the mistake was taking the book out of the period and trying to update it with private jets and cell phones, but leaving the dialogue and 1950s mores as written. An "A for Effort," and I'm still glad I "kicked in," but this will not stand up in the annals of film-making to the likes of V for Vendetta, a brilliant work with a similar theme.
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  • Posted by 12-StringFrank 9 years, 2 months ago
    I saw it last week and I will say that even though some of it was good, this film looked like something from the Hallmark Channel. The villains were like out of a dumb comic book. There's a ridiculous torture scene. Good music, however. Some nice spec sci-fi FX. But it's a 1 1/2 star film. Too bad. The fu*king dumbest scene is when Dagny gives orders to the train workmen to find a way of getting the trains running, then immediately dashes off to a private location to have sex with John Galt. Friggin' STUPID !! I don't care if it's "in the book". That's make Rand look like an inept writer. I wanted to throw a tomato at the movie screen. Another thing --- that "bad guys" are so lame. They just drink wine and smoke cigars and they're portrayed as some sort of evil cadre. And one more --- don't expect to see any $ sign at the end of the film.
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  • Posted by $ puzzlelady 9 years, 2 months ago
    Saw it on opening day. There were 12 people in the theatre, eight of them my group; five of my people had read the book and the other three had seen parts 1 and 2. We were all accepting of the fact that each part had a different cast, and we all agreed that all the actors in all three films did a credible job in capturing the essence of their characters. After all, how many Batmans, 007's and Dr. Who's have their audiences embraced?

    We all thought part 3 was superb. The chemistry between Galt/Dagny was palpable. All the important points were included, Rand's many monologues masterfully condensed to state the essential philosophical principles in the clearest form for today's audiences in today's vernacular, reaching its peak in the Akston/Dagny dialogue to build up to Galt's speech. Bravo on reducing the book's inexorable dissertation to the few minutes of a powerful colloquial summary.

    Yes, the book's fans will all have their own gripes about what had to be omitted and severely abbreviated. It could be argued, for example, that after an earlier foreshadowing comment about it, the destruction of the Mississippi bridge should have been more dramatic and active than just showing a still shot of it broken. I, for one, was willing to accept that, as well as the several other newsreel-style shots that I consider to have been brilliantly selected to illustrate the narrative in shorthand form. The editing was excellent, interweaving black and white shots and captions with the live action.

    The sex scene was exquisitely done, and I had no problem with substituting a table for the book's piles of sandbags.

    The decision to have John strapped crucifixion-style to a fence rather than lying on a table should get the most controversy, but I can understand the symbolism chosen by the filmmakers to connect to the culturally embedded image of the savior of the world.

    A thousand other details can be argued even for why Rand structured her plot and specific scenes as she did, but that is just static when discussing a work of art. That the three films now exist and have entered the world's cultural lore is a magnificent achievement. On the battlefield of ideas, they are the visible representatives of Reason, Freedom, Individualism and, in essence, the building blocks of a civilized society and the bulwark against the notion that looting and mooching are the ideal forms of social justice.

    One can only hope and encourage the eventual production of a series with a consistent cast and more detailed inclusion of all the material in the book. In the meanwhile, people can read the book or listen to its audio version. They will then gain an even greater appeciation of the skill and love that produced these three films.

    In my view, these three parts by Kaslow and Aglialoro stand as historical landmarks of courage, passion, intelligence and a celebration of Rand's unique contribution to human art and intellectual evolution. As for being propaganda, damn right. The world is perishing from deadly ideas, and this is the antidote.

    We have all received far more value from this work than the cost of a movie ticket and eventual purchase of the DVD and our Kickstarter pittance. Denigrating their work on petty details is unworthy, especially from individuals who are not capable of doing it better.

    That the closing scene shows the Statue of Liberty where the lights do NOT go out is poignant and moving, no dry eyes here. My personal thanks to all involved in these productions. Well done!
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  • Posted by rainman0720 9 years, 2 months ago
    I saw this movie last night (Friday night), 10:15pm showing. There were 12 people in attendance including me. Saw it again this afternoon, 2:25pm start time. There were 49 or 50 people, ranging in age from early 20s to probably late 60's or early 70's, and all ages in between.

    I agree that the first 15-20 minutes were a little tough to sit through. I also agree that the Galt speech was well done. I thought they did a really nice job condensing a 3 hour speech into 3 or 4 minutes.

    And I also agree that Hugh Akston's conversation with Dagny was the best scene in the movie. In that 2 minute scene, the entire conflict between the producers and the moochers & looters was explained very well.

    And although I like Joaquim de Almeida, his casting as Francisco d'Anconia just didn't work. On the flip side, Larry Cedar was well cast as Dr. Ferris (almost as good as Rebecca Wisocky as Lillian Rearden)

    I'll follow Lionel's lead and not get into much detail to avoid any spoilers for anyone who hasn't see the movie yet.

    But in considering what had to be done in order to bring this literary masterpiece to the big screen, ASP3 suffered (if "suffered" is the right word) from the same malady that afflicted ASP1 and ASP2: far too much story to tell in far too little screen time.

    When I look at the trilogy, I think that everyone involved did about as well as they could have done, knowing that they would have to condense 60 hours of an audio book into maybe 5 hours of movie.

    But because so much either had to be left out or had to be severely condensed, there were things that just wouldn't make much sense if one was seeing any of the three parts without having read the book.

    I do have one question: Why was there a license plate on Galt's vehicle? I'm assuming he never drove it out of the valley, and I'm also assuming he flew his plane back and forth between Colorado and New York. Since the vehicle never strayed onto public roads, why the need for a license plate?
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  • Posted by CounselorJeff 9 years, 2 months ago
    Saw it yesterday - first screening. I thought I was the only one disappointed in it.
    REALLY ? You brought Ragnar in the movie....for THAT ?
    Reardon - too old.
    Dagny - too young.
    The destruction of the Taggart bridge was too important to have sluffed over like that. The death of Jim's wife ? a fish out of water - ZERO perspective. Project F was laughable. There should have been more leading up to "the end". How could you NOT show when Reardon was finally convinced to join ? I LIKED AS1&2 - this was not even in the same category. After waiting 2 1/2 years, I'm glad it was done, but I wish it had been done better.
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  • Posted by johnpe1 9 years, 2 months ago
    well, Lionel, I *know* that I'll love it when I get the
    chance to see it -- because it will be worth the $$.
    in severe contrast with the rest of the movies out there.
    thanks for your impressions, and I bet that you'll
    like it more the second time through. -- j

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  • Posted by jordanmprince 9 years, 2 months ago
    Yeah, this was pretty much as terrible as the last two. I'm glad to have supported conservative cinema, but the bad guys were basically two dimensional straw men. The only interesting one was Thompson himself. And really, project F? What's do damn scientific about an electrocution machine? Saddam had one just like it - a car battery + a bed spring. It was ridiculous. The whole idea that a couple guys could break into a Federal installation and get John out too was too much.

    Also they got too into the politics. They kept throwing it in our faces. Instead of telling a story I was subjected to a bunch of political crap every scene - from the mother talking about homeschooling, the banker talking about loans, etc. It was too preachy. As always, I am disappointed yet again by this production company but they're the only one out there actually making conservative films. It's unfortunate there isn't enough competition in this space to make something good.
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    • Posted by slfisher 9 years, 2 months ago
      Yes, the political stuff seemed too partisan and felt tacked on to the basic romance movie that the producers had decided it was going to be. I didn't think it was well integrated. I wish they had trusted people to be able to get the philosophy without having it dumbed down into a romance movie with occasional billboards here and there.
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  • Posted by sabhmkk 9 years, 2 months ago
    I agree it did start off slow.
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    • Posted by gerstj 9 years, 2 months ago
      Yes, and the acting seemed particularly bad during the first few minutes. It did get better, but I wish that the finished product would have more appeal to a wider audience. There were only a few people in my showing and they were all older. There needs to be an outreach and a product that appeals to young potential objectivists and gets better coverage.
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