With a face like Polaha’s that’s so-o-o right, here’s Everything (else) that’s Wrong with Atlas Shrugged Part III (that I can remember)
Well, the long wait is over and nothing I could say in this obituary could “spoil” a film more than AS-III’s producers and screenplay writers have already. Part III is merely their crowning quote achievement. (After hoping against hope that this Part would clear the rock-bottom bar set by Part II, I’m feeling so cynical I could actually believe this film was Designed to Fail.)
1) The enemies of Liberty and of Ayn Rand (and therefore of her ability to dramatize Mankind’s most important of struggles) sleep peacefully tonight with the release of this flickering disgrace called a film.
2) Made for the Choir ONLY and barely so. At points even the Libertarian/Anarcho-capitalist choir may want to plug their ears. Please, please, please do NOT take anyone unfamiliar with Ayn Rand’s literary fight for Ideals (especially the necessity for Human Freedom) nor those to whom the concept of taxation equaling State-aggression will draw blank stares. If they are unfamiliar with “universally preferable behaviors” in general and that foundational and omnipresent State breaching of the Non-Aggression principle, specifically, they will leave the theater more confused than when they entered.
3) If you hated Part I or Part II…save your hard-earned fiat currency. Wait a few weeks ;-) and see it on Netflix. Then you’ll be able to fast-forward through all the awkward moments and more we were forced to sit through.
4) Dear “Casting Directors:” a) Atlas Shrugged is not a comedy, which according to your resumes is what it appears you two ladies “do” best (Lisa and Sarah always seem to work together; could it be that this time the tag-team took a dive on purpose?); b) “Dagny” and “Francisco” were lovers once-upon-a-time, yet considering the obvious age differences of the current actors, this Dagny would have had to have been super-jailbait back then (did you ever actually stand them next to one another? Serious squeamish-factor); c) at least you picked a Dagny and a Galt who were easy on the eyes MOST OF THE TIME…but why oh why did you cast OUR HERO John Galt with that actor, knowing how he’d be built up in our eyes the first hour only then to be visually exposed as a physically-flabby-fraud as he’s dashed on the rocks in that torture scene at the end?
I could have forgiven much about AS-III but for that cinema-sin. ALL y’all (from producer, writer, casting director, etc.) purposefully made Galt hunk-ish in the beginning in that leather jacket of his; carrying Dagny from the plane wreck like she weighed “0”; gallant in his RayBan’s as he slid into the pilot’s seat of that old school twin-prop Airstream-with-wings; hotter than a pistol with Dagny in the dim underground of the railroad’s tunnels…Couldn’t you, you casting-duo, have picked someone with at least A PAIR of abs? Or told the director you only chose what’s his name because he had the potential to GROW some? Didn’t you try desperately, shouting out and causing a scene on-set, for the actor to put-on-a-torn-up-T-shirt, for god’s sake, and cover that dough-boy midsection of his? Gahhh!
No. Of course not. I believe you two wanted John Galt, the best, the most beautiful masculine image in “Atlas Shrugged” to blow-up with a nuclear intensity (and I’d contend this man, Kristoffer Polaha, is the only male actor in all three parts whose FACE onscreen approached an Ideal).
Whew! Now to the less important stuff.
5) Overuse of heroic music: at the start nothing had happened yet which might have warranted such music, other than Dagny crashing her plane, yet as Galt takes her to his truck; drives to his house among the towering trees, then carries her into it we are swept by overly loud strains meant to make it all so much more dramatic. Oh…and the Artists in Shangri-la? The composer, the award-winning actress? Hell, we didn’t even get to hear Haley’s music much less meet the woman after being told at a dinner party in essence, Yes that’s her over there.
6) Overuse of forest-bordered roadways: we understood early on the “virgin forest” type of Shangri-la the gulch was set in, so did we really need to see Galt’s truck winding along the road multiple times? No. And why not make the “centerline” something other than Old-World yellow? Why not Galt’s Gulch Green?
7) Colorado license plates: why hadn’t Galt spray-painted or removed the Old World’s oppressive and anti-Liberty permission-plates from his vehicle? There was no driving back to Colorado (according to the novel I believe the pass in/out had been purposefully blocked by setting off a sufficient rockfall).
8) Guns. Training, tactics, effects: Dagny seemed ill-equipped to lead the four [Dagny, Francisco, Ragnar, and Rearden (only maybe 1 minute screen time)] who came to Galt’s rescue at the (virtually unguarded) State Science Institute; all of them seemed uncomfortable in the “footwork” and in handling the weaponry save for Ragnar. Realistically, only Ragnar the pirate would have had such experience, the other two I would have expected to be total amateurs as we had been given no reason to believe guns/team-tactics were in their experience. Dagny’s threatening to shoot the (lone!) guard was portrayed especially foolishly, as she: stood barely an arm’s length away; a warning count to three and he failed to so as she demanded; she clearly changes her aim down and to her left then she shoots him (in the book it’s straight in the heart). He crumpled as if instantaneously unconscious from the arm (or leg) wound!
9) The End. No…Just the beginning: no, really…I’m about done and it really said that bold phrase onscreen at the End, just like that. Trust me, I actually breathed a sigh of relief. The closing scene of the film had been in the rescue helicopter with Dagny & Galt all lovey-dovey. She tells him she’s his “forever” or something equally as syrupy. (Gag! And cue Ayn Rand to roll-over in her grave even faster.)
So now off our heroes all go to Shangri-la, I mean Galt’s Gulch, a.k.a. Atlantis. They are shown flying behind the still-lit Statue of Liberty when suddenly we see the lights of NYC going dark in big multi-blocks. How many times they’ll need to land and re-fuel a helicopter on the way to Colorado is above my pay grade.
10) If you are a fan of Ayn Rand and HER “Atlas Shrugged,” please make Part III way above your pay grade. (Boy oh boy, here’s hoping my long wait for Denzel Washington’s “Equalizer” makes up for today’s film fiasco.)
Sure the movie adaptations of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus have fallen short. What great novel-turned-screenplay and its subsequent film hasn’t? I’m going to the opening of Part III today anyway, for no other reason than to hear her words spoken aloud and from outside my own head. Oh, to have sat around the dinner table or thrown back a cocktail or two with that woman..
I’ve waited ’til today to post this, out of respect for those families who lost innocent loved ones on September 11th, 2001. Negligence on the part of Fed-Gov agencies (from the foot-soldiers/agents up to and including their bureaucratic handlers & Admins) stripped those families of countless lifetimes of memories; stripped the living children of their parents; stripped the unborn (and now, never-to-be born) of the same relationships.
We will never know the horrors experienced by the innocents that day, in those planes and in those buildings. That alone should haunt the above noted incompetent (or thoroughly evil and corrupt) Bureaucrats. But barring a sudden attack of conscience on the part of a few whose “pay grade” was sufficient to actually have been in-the-know, we will likely never know – in our lifetimes at least – all that truly occurred that day. And considering how often such politicians and political-operatives feel such compunction, it is safe to say our posterity may be forever in the dark. It is easier for The Powerful that way. [Just saw this in my Facebook feed.]
That way we outside-the-loopers are left bantering back and forth until we are burnt out…or until we forget, because Life (or the next Dot-Gov inspired tragedy) overshadows it. When we do recall and discuss-amongst-ourselves, we’re the so called nutjobs…all for desperately trying to put disparate facts together in a “sensical” fashion. We become the Mouthpiece-media’s temporary darlings, their Conspiracy Theorists, if we dare question the narrative they are called upon (or willingly choose?) to feed us.
But I know Reichstag fires happen “over there” and Pearl Harbors happen closer to home….so don’t even try the Nut job on me.
After quickly reading both snippets I must agree with the meme’s sentiment but in an unintended way.
I see both selections as too touchy-feely to have been considered “journalistic.” They provide us too few facts about two wildly different sorts of individuals and leave viewers (we are not really “readers” as we don’t have either selection in its entirety) with a false sense of understanding. Michael Brown was of course in the infancy-stage of criminality and who knows, maybe he never would have stolen anything again, nor used illegal substances again. Regardless, compared to the romantic portrayal of the UnaBomber on the right, I grant that the molecularly thin Positive Spray-Coating the NYT (cleverly) applied to the Brown piece on the left IS harder to see. Ted K., the UnaBomber, was of course never excoriated by the liberal media as other violent types have been; he’s practically meant to be worshipped here (also from the NYT we are to presume): he was living a hippy dippy woodsy lifestyle; an organic back-to-Nature dude who provided them the ultimate example of an activist, literally a Social Justice Warrior. UnaB ate, drank, slept, and exploded the leftists’ own late-1960’s down-with-the-System beliefs (Weather-kaboom-Underground, anyone?). UnaB got out of his armchair (presuming he even had one) and took his fight directly to The Man.
Jordan Lebeau, a Black writer at Boston.com, agrees wholeheartedly with the straightforward intention of the meme-maker; JL sees the NYT as having written a gotcha-piece on Michael Brown. He thinks a white guy dying-young in similar circumstances would never have his past brought up like MB’s is in the NYT. Well, if that’s true then I’d suggest Lebeau (I didn’t want to “register” to leave this comment for him) needs to take it up with The Times as well as everywhere and every other time he actually sees such bias, rather than try and make me or any other White person feel guilty when facts about the living or dead are revealed.
But now consider the NYT’s clever use of language on the M. Brown side of the above meme/poster – as well as the juxtaposition of terms in several of those paired thoughts:
1) the “was NO ANGEL (-),” gives the initial impression this is a negative piece, but keep reading carefully;
2) “both PROBLEMS (-) and PROMISE (+) in his YOUNG (+) life;” we are left with the + terms ringing in our ears; “young” typically implies innocent; merely reading some of his rap “lyrics” will clue you in that MB was no naive child;
3) “his ENCOUNTER (+ or neutral) with Officer Wilson;” Confrontation-with or Questioning-by or Stop-by would have been negative in that it would indicate to most readers the cop likely had some probable-cause to act;
4) “the POLICE (-) SAY (+/-) he was caught on security camera;” as opposed to witnesses’ statements or judging for oneself by looking at the footage on the internet;
5) A 6’3” nearly 300 lb. guy, “PUSHING (+/-) the (passive, puny by comparison) clerk…into a display case;” imagine if it had been a FEMALE clerk; with that great a physical disparity there’s hardly any doubt it would have been called an ASSAULT (-);
6) A community with, “ROUGH PATCHES;” huh? What does this mean other than perhaps excusing MB for dealing with it through escapism…
7) “…he DABBLED IN (+) drugs and alcohol;” in fact he was a CRIMINAL (-) (by virtue of the drug use, who knows at what ages he used booze); dabbled-in sounds downright playful and appeals perfectly to the NYT’s readership;
8) “producing lyrics…by turns CONTEMPLATIVE (+) and VULGAR (-/+); now Contemplative makes him sound practically like a poet; we all know there’s nothing wrong with vulgar lyrics; that’d be judgmental against an entire segment of the Music Industry built upon vulgarity;
9) A “SCUFFLE (neutral or +) with a neighbor;” scuffle could be bad, but absent details it could sound downright childlike, but, question: how do we know about this, were charges brought then dropped; was blood spilled but no cops called?
So what say you…anti-Black Bias? clever Opinion-Shaping? or plain old Piss-Poor “Reporting?”
My husband James and I just got back from a lovely birthday lunch – he turned fifty-five today. Of course he’d known it would be great; we were, after all, at a restaurant of his choosing. Halfway through that meal I stumbled upon what I think could be a mind-blowing “litmus test” for men out there still willing to date women.
I could be wrong but I’m really hoping there are four, maybe five such men left in America (maybe a couple more out in the far reaches of the Empire), you who still date or would like to, if only……so as Bill Nye the Science Guy used to say, Please; consider the following. (I’d love to hear what you four think.)
So, there we were, not only senior-citizens (Gag!) but “a couple,” in a place designed from the parking lot forward for guys or groups of them. Infused with testosterone it was. It all begins with the business’ double entendre name (Twin Peaks p.s. I have no personal interest in this chain). It then carries through with a rustic cabiny-décor, juxtaposed with dozens of flat screens broadcasting sports, a ¼-mile racetrack of a bar…and oh, off to the side a wall of funny t-shirts (favorite one above) that could easily bring down some kind of Hate-Crime-against-Women I’m sure! Other than the female hostess and all-female wait staff, I was only one of three women customers when we first sat down at about high-noon. During our meal a couple more Olders came in with husbands presumably, a couple more Youngers with boyfriends, equally presumably.
Being in a restaurant overflowing with the proverbial buxom waitresses? I confess it took me a few minutes to get acclimated. Maybe it was all that fresh mountain air and the alpine altitude. Certainly it was different in a good way from what I’d felt in the past – merely upon contemplating such an establishment from afar. Then it’d been annoyance. With a vigorous pooh-poohing I could always dismiss the whole idea of those kinds of so-called restaurants. They were mere excuses for men to go and ogle pretty girls without the “stigma” of a strip club or the out-of-the-way drive. And a man’s got to eat lunch doesn’t he?
Which brings me to the first three things I realized today: 1) the food was much better than I imagined it’d be; it was terrific actually (fried pickles & chicken-fried chicken done to perfection, “Knotty Brunette” beer icy/slushy, pulled pork mini-sliders moist & flavorful); 2) our server was only one year older than our daughter; and 3) waitresses in uniforms “like that” should AVOID tan-lines.
“She’s the best looking one here,” my husband said most of the way through the meal. I assumed he meant our waitress, but realized he was looking towards the bar. “She’s OK,” I said, scrutinizing the long-haired brunette – I guess subconsciously, I guess for a flaw – when, Bingo! Found one, so I added quickly, “She could use more eye make-up, though.” God. I couldn’t believe I was advocating a 20-something go further out on the Cosmetics’ Ledge I’d been trying (in vain) to talk our daughter back down from for several years now.
I can see now that comment was My Bad, My Petty Ugly (typical female!!!) Bad. Afterwards I looked more closely at our waitress as she went here and there to her other tables. She was, in fact, one of the cuter ones. Natural (unlike some that were a bit unusually well-endowed); not wildly tatted; casually smiling (unlike one who’d looked very sour as she brought our food on behalf of our waitress). And then it dawned on me. This restaurant was The Perfect First-Date Place for men. It’s very raison d’etre is to be Male-Friendly. Add to that it’s inexpensive; the food is pretty simple (mostly all-American favorites) and very deelish; plus, plus, plus, they offer Glenlivet (and a nice selection of beer, too).
So choose one of these guy-spots you few, you happy, hardy few gents-still-dating and I’m certain you’ll get a deeper “peak” into your date’s brain in one short night than a therapist could in a year. Her skull may start thinning, hence exposing its inner workings/her true personality from the moment you pull into the parking lot. Just what does this female think about the business’ blatant nod to Male Sexuality? Does she “get it?” Does she understand: 1) men always like to Look-at-Women; 2) they always have; 3) it’s not SAFE for men to do so in most other places given today’s Femi-twisted world; and 4) if she’s offended at #3, does she understand that makes her a part of the problem of #3? And now, unto the breach…
Once inside, does she seem comfortably conscious of her own exposed flesh or uncomfortable with the “competition?” Is she happily or lightheartedly observing (even comparing herself to) the waitresses or sullenly sizing them up and down (and muttering!)? Is she eager to be seated or more eager in suggesting an alternative dining establishment, say, something quote nicer or quieter (read: more expensive or where all eyes might be more apt to be on her)? Have you started to your table yet?
You might consider going ahead of her. This not only saves you from running into her if you get distracted and she stops suddenly, it shows you’re no ladies-first Neo-Con slash Traditionalist. Besides if you do reconnoiter the room in transit (with full knowledge she can see you) and she then fires icy stares across the table as soon as you sit down, what more could you possibly need to know?
I wish you the best of luck administering this unique litmus-test. In the event you’ve already quit dating, might I suggest instead you give a Twin Peaks restaurant your undivided attention? Bon appetit.
God, how I loved those shoes!