539 of 585 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on Atlas Shrugged Part 1
Being a big fan of Ayn Rand's great novel Atlas Shrugged, I expect a less-than-stellar movie version of the book. Happily, I was very pleased with the first installment of the film.
With the length and scope of the story, it requires either an incredibly long movie or a division into different parts, which they decided to do here. While I've heard plenty about...
Published on October 24, 2011 by Alan Dorow
346 of 390 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good despite the negativity of many reviews
I've never read Atlas Shrugged, and probably never will, so I wasn't familiar with the story at all. When the movie was originally released at the theaters, I read one bad review after another, so I opted not to see it at that time. The move recently went on sale with Amazon, so I bought it and watched it. I came away from the movie surprised; surprised at why it got...
Published on November 10, 2011 by Kevin Burnett
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539 of 585 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughts on Atlas Shrugged Part 1,
With the length and scope of the story, it requires either an incredibly long movie or a division into different parts, which they decided to do here. While I've heard plenty about the overall low budget of the film, it is still very well done and they spent some good money on CGI effects for the John Galt Line. Taylor Schilling is actually very good as Dagny Taggart - she projects the high-end efficiency and passion of the character, and she is appropriately sexy as well. Grant Bowler as Hank Reardon turns out to be a decent choice as well.
Bottom line, though: I brought along my 16-year-old daughter to see the film, and I expected her to find it "boring" or otherwise uninteresting. Big surprise, though: she loved it! She likes the story and was very drawn to the character of Dagny Taggart. Dagny is such an inspirational role model for women, and I'm glad to see my daughter was inspired as well.
346 of 390 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good despite the negativity of many reviews,
For certain, if you're looking for a movie with explosions, action, comedy, gratuitous sex or horror, you're not going to find Atlas Shrugged worth watching, but if you're looking for an erudite, smart and philosophical movie, Atlas Shrugged hits the mark. The complaints about poor production are so wrong it logical to assume it ideologically driven. The acting it convincing and realistic; anyone who's worked for a successful, self-made business person will quickly recognize the character of "Hank Reardon". And the musical score; some reviews described it as over wrought, but the score for Inglorious Bastards is significantly more "over wrought" than Atlas Shrugged.
In short, if movies about business and/or philosophy appeal to you, then this movie is worth your time.
422 of 485 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Adaptation . . .,
The movie is well made - the quality is actually quite good. Acting was generally good to excellent. Camera work was good; although the low budget resulted in a missing camera angle here and there. Special effects were consistently well done.
The story, of course, is exceptional; and it is well-told in this movie.
Numbers I've seen indicate 80% of the audience (more than 12,000 people were polled) give this movie a thumbs up. And yet, only about 13% of professional movie critics gave this a thumbs up. By voting it down, the professional movie critics really got it wrong. Why? I don't know . . . I am truly surprised that so many movie critics would allow their own political bias to influence their review - but I can find no objective reason for the critics' poor grades.
Some people would say that those of the liberal persuasion would not enjoy this; as the message is counter to the socialist perspective. But regardless of the message, we are today living in the world of Atlas Shrugged; and thus, I urge you to watch this movie. If you are to open your mind to new and different ideas, then this is certainly a movie that will challenge you.
Edited on February 4, 2012: Atlas Shrugged Part 2 has now been confirmed to begin the main part of production in April 2012. Yes!!!
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm wondering if I saw the same movie....,
Between that, and movie reviews, I was prepared this just wasn't going to be very good. Just goes to show you should realize that so much of the world is so politicized, it's becoming impossible to get an objective (no pun intended, a la Rand's philosophy) opinion of what the movie is about.
Having said that, I really liked this movie. I liked it so much, I'm going to reread 'Atlas Shrugged,' which I read years ago in college. And while I'll probably still skip over some of the long winded parts of Ayn Rand's commentary (the woman could write, but my God, did she EVER need an editor!!), this movie is so spot-on to what is wrong with this country, and the world, that the timing couldn't have been more perfect.
Now to the technical details. I loved the casting. No one has made much of a mention of this, but I think Grant Bowler is perfect as Hank Reardon. His looks are perfect; he's also subtle. Taylor Schilling is fine as Dagney.
The casting of the minor characters is really good as well. I particularly liked Patrick Fischler as Paul (very good cold blooded betrayal there), but I must admit, I adore Graham Beckel. He is absolutely perfect in his role.
The cinematography in this movie is fantastic (a sure sign a reviewer didn't see this movie is when they criticize this!) The score is also perfect.
In fact, the only criticism I have of 'Atlas Shrugged,' and it's a big one, is that the movie is WAY too short. All it did for me was whet my appetite to see MORE of it.
Get some funding already and churn out the rest of this series!
37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the book, but pretty darned good!,
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Geared up for a flop but discovered fruition instead...,
With that said, I still didn't expect much from the movie because the book is extraordinarily complex and rich, with thought provoking dialogue, emotionally vibrant characters, and difficult economic ideas that took over a thousand pages for Rand to lay-out. Needless to say, I purchased this expecting very little.
Surprisingly, I was very pleased with the adaptation. Yes, they had to drop a lot of the dialogue, but remarkably, they were still able to deliver the gist of the plot in under 2 hours. I am honestly looking forward to part two, and I hope they are able to fund it and produce it. I thought Hank Reardon was well cast as was Dagney Taggert.
Someone mentioned the score - it didn't bother me at all. I didn't notice it. I did notice the acting, which pleased me, and the script, which as I've already said, surprised me.
I would suggest this movie for those who enjoy thinking about and pondering over our world, our system of government, and how we the citizenry play a part in shaping those realms. If you are looking for glitz, chick flicks, or something you can get up and get popcorn without missing anything, pass this one up. It's not for the casual movie goer, or the lazy watcher. It demands your attention and your involvement. My thirteen-year-old son enjoyed it very much, but he is fascinated by government and economics AND trains!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely refreshing,
The preview gave me little inkling of how enjoyable the movie is. Taylor Schilling projects intensity simmering under self-control as Dagny Taggart, Grant Bowler projects both quiet strength and weary patience as Hank Rearden, and Jsu Garcia brings low-keyed charisma to his few scenes as Francisco d'Anconia. Graham Beckel is considerably older than Ellis Wyatt in the book, yet makes the role very much his own. Rebecca Wisocky absolutely nails Lillian Rearden. Matthew Marsden as James Taggart, Edi Gathegi as Eddie Willers, Jon Polito and Michael Lerner as Orren Boyle and Wesley Mouch--all are convincing in their roles and I want to see ALL of them in the same roles in Parts 2 and 3.
I've left one star off my rating because the role of John Galt is overdone in this movie--not visually, but aurally. He looks good in diners, but he talks too much outside of them. To my mind he shouldn't talk at all in this part of the story. But I have no other quarrel with this movie.
ATLAS SHRUGGED Part I does not pretend to be the same experience as the book, but follows the book closely enough to remind me of reading the novel many years ago. Back then, in the 1960s, I mentally cast Diana Rigg as Dagny and Patrick McGoohan as John Galt. Surprisingly, the first movie version hasn't spoiled that old dream, but rather given me a new experience of the story. I much prefer this production of ATLAS SHRUGGED to the 1940s Hollywood version of THE FOUNTAINHEAD, which was not as well cast and comes across as semi-hysterical. On the other hand, I've found this 2011 independent movie enjoyable in repeat viewings.
42 of 55 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fan,
66 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie for a great novel,
I do however have one chief complaint and that is that the movie was too short and did not cover some major topics that the book did. One glaring oversight is that the movie does not have any coverage of the relationship between Eddie, Dagny, and Francisco and how they were childhood friends. In more depth the movie only briefly hints at the teenage romantic relationship between Dagny and Francisco. In addition there is no mention of Dr. Robert Stadler in the movie even though Hugh Akston is portrayed.
I hope that this glaring oversight is corrected in the second part and more depth is added to the movie. Don't get me wrong, the first part was great. But I feel it could have been even better with the extra depth of the character relationships to each other.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected,
First and foremost, there's the setting. We're told the story takes place in 2016, but everything looks a lot the when the book was written, or maybe even a few years earlier. All the men wear suits and often hats, the women wear retro dresses and heavy makeup, and it looks like in four years people will start to get a lot of their information from newspapers again. A little modern technology creeps in, but it doesn't really affect anything. There are cell phones, but no texts, the occasional computer screen, but no one attempts to just google "Who is John Galt?". Most importantly, trains and the steel industry are really important again (??). They try to explain this with high fuel prices, but that would drive freight and commuter lines, not interstate passenger trains. Whatever the reason, you just have to accept that Dagny's rail line and Hank's new steel appear to be the biggest news items of 2016. I guess that means we won't have reality TV by then, and that at least is something.
Don't get me wrong, I find the anachronistic atmosphere the biggest charm of the movie, but it gives it more the feel of an alternate history set in the 50s than a cautionary tale about a plausible future.
All in all, the casting is good and the acting is decent, but again they're shackled to the book. If characters appear wooden and two dimensional, it's because that's how they were written. If you liked the book, you'll like the movie. If you *loved* the book, you'll *love* the movie. That explains the split between the reviews by critics and the audience. The critics had to see the movie, while the audience is a largely self-selecting group, predisposed to enjoy it.
Personally, I always got the feeling that Rand considered readers somewhat thick. so rather than simply relying on the story to convey her rather obvious message, she insisted on having her characters forever launch into mini (or not so mini) lectures and non-sequitur conversations to further clarify her worldview - as if it needed clarification. This kind of works in a book, where the line between dialog and narration can be blurred, but in the movie, I got the feeling the actors were rushing through the requisite sermons to keep them from dragging the pace even more than they already were.
For all the reverent adherence to the book, I was a little surprised that the makers got a bad case of cold feet when it came to Rand's trademark rough sex imagery and decided to omit it entirely. In the book, there's a smoldering passion between Hank and Dagny that culminates (like all Rand's "love" scenes) in a near rape. In the movie, there's very little sexual chemistry between these characters, and when they finally consumate their relationship, it's in a scene so tepid that it wouldn't raise eyebrows in an ABC After School Special. It struck me that if Rand were alive today, that lukewarm love scene might be her biggest - and possibly only - complaint about the movie.
Don't expect this movie to stand on its own. It just stops. The makers clearly intend to make all three and expect you to see them all. Luckily, I expect them all to appear on video/Netflix soon after they're released.
I'm not an Ayn Rand sycophant, but I think she had some important things to say. I believe that Atlas Shrugged could have been made into a decent movie by modernizing the plot and shortening it to something appropriate to its simple and straightforward message. Through their religious devotion to the book, the makers have created something of a novelty. Definitely worth watching if you read the book, but unlikely to be as world shaking as they clearly hoped.
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Atlas Shrugged: Part One [Blu-ray] by Paul Johansson (Blu-ray - 2011)