Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged Part I

Where is John Galt?


It's a blessing, I suppose, that Ayn Rand, who loved the movies, and actually worked extensively in the industry, isn't alive to see what's been made of her most influential novel. The new, long-awaited film version of Atlas Shrugged is a mess, full of embalmed talk, enervated performances, impoverished effects, and cinematography that would barely pass muster in a TV show. Sitting through this picture is like watching early rehearsals of a stage play that's clearly doomed.   

The movie is especially disappointing because Rand's 1957 book, while centrally concerned with ethical philosophy (and inevitably quite talky), has a juicy plot that, in more capable hands, might have made a sensational film. (That possibility, alas, may now be closed off.) As anyone reading this will probably know, the story concerns strong-willed Dagny Taggart, who's fighting to save her family railroad, Taggart Transcontinental, from the inept leadership of her brother, James, a moral weakling, and from the metastasizing reach of government regulation. Dagny finds a kindred spirit in Henry Rearden, a principled industrialist who has formulated a new kind of steel that Dagny intends to use in upgrading Transcontinental's decaying tracks. She and Rearden are opposed at every turn by collectivist politicians and corporate titans corrupted by their addiction to the government teat. Meanwhile, the nation's most productive businessmen, demoralized by rampant political interference, are vanishing one by one from the public scene. And a mysterious figure named John Galt appears to have something to do with this.     

The film was obviously a labor of love for producer John Aglialoro, a multimillionaire Randian who held movie rights to the book for 18 years, and made every effort to set it up as a professional production. (Angelina Jolie was famously attached at one point.) Then, last year, with his option running out, Aglialoro decided he had no choice but to make the movie himself. He quickly hired Brian Patrick O'Toole, a writer of low-budget horror films, to work with him on the script, and an actor, Paul Johannson (of TV's One Tree Hill) to direct. He also managed to sign some seasoned professionals for the cast: Graham Beckel (Brokeback Mountain) in the role of oil magnate Ellis Wyatt; Edi Gathegi (from the Twilight movies) in the part of Dagny's loyal lieutenant Eddie Willers; and two veterans of Coen brothers films, Michael Lerner and Jon Polito, to play political fixer Wesley Mouch and the collusive corporate sleaze Orren Boyle.  

(Article continues after video.)

Unfortunately, Aglialoro then cast a pair of TV actors in the key roles of Dagny and Rearden. Taylor Schilling (Mercy) is an appealing performer, but she's not really equipped to project Dagny's passionate determination; and Grant Bowler (True Blood), an actor of low-key warmth, is too unassertive to hold the screen as the uncompromising Rearden. It may be unfair to judge these two on their work here—they don't seem to have been given much in the way of useful direction, and they've been set adrift in a succession of poorly blocked and shot scenes. Because of budget constraints, presumably, the whole movie seems underpopulated; and the one big party sequence is so low on energy that it resembles a casting call for which the auditioning actors have turned up already in costume. There's quite a bit of narrative padding and a woeful lack of action. We see rather too much footage of sleek trains speeding through countryside (assisted at times by surprisingly crude computer generation), and there are lingering shots of hilly, verdant landscapes shoehorned into the proceedings to no purpose. (At one point there's even a close-up of a flower.)

Anyone not familiar with Rand's novel will likely be baffled by the goings-on here. Characters spend much time hunkered around tables and desks nattering about rail transport, copper-mining, and the oil business. A few of these people are stiffly virtuous ("I'm simply cultivating a society that values individual achievement"), but most are contemptible ("We must act to benefit society"…"a committee has decided"…"We rely on public funding.") These latter creeps should set our blood boiling, but they're so cartoonishly one-dimensional that any prospective interest soon slumps. We are initially intrigued by the recurring question, "Who is John Galt?" But since the movie covers only the first third of the novel (a crippling miscalculation), we never really find out, apart from noticing an anonymous figure lurking around the edges of the action, togged out in a trench coat and a rain-soaked fedora like a film-noir flatfoot who's wandered into an epoch far away from his own.      

Rand's book is set in an unspecified future that bears a startling resemblance to our own here-and-now. There's a stock-market collapse, much populist demagoguery and union thuggery, and chaos in the Middle East that has driven gas prices to $37 a gallon (which purportedly explains the resuscitation of railroads as the only affordable transport for passengers and freight). The book is set in an unspecified future; the movie relocates the story to the year 2016, but it might as easily have been next week. These sociopolitical similarities might have been more rousing if they had been punched home more boldly. The occasional bursts of TV news footage employed here don't really do the job.

Although Rand's novel is well over a thousand pages long, one can't help wondering if, with a radically compressed script, it couldn't have been turned into a tightly edited two-and-a-half-hour film—into a real movie, in other words, not just a limply illustrated literary classic. Now we may never know. But this picture is too lusterless to stir much indignation. Instead, it leaves us feeling, in Rand's words, "the merciless zero of indifference."            

Kurt Loder is a writer, among other things, embedded in New York.

Note: For additional Reason coverage of Atlas Shrugged Part 1, see Senior Editor Brian Doherty's review "Atlas Shrugged: Is A (The Movie) Really A (The Novel)," which declared, "Anyone with a passionate interest in Ayn Rand and her opus will want to see, and will surely appreciate on many levels, this film version of a third of the novel." After attending an advance screening, Editor in Chief Matt Welch proclaimed, "You cared about the story and the protagonists, the look and sound were mostly (and surprisingly) handsome, Dagny in particular and Hank were good, and there are some pretty awesome capitalism, bitches!-style moments."

Reason.tv has provided in-depth coverage as well, producing a series of videos focusing on both the film and on the life and legacy of Ayn Rand. For an exclusive behind-the-scenes report, don't miss Reason.tv's "On the Set of Atlas Shrugged: 53 Years in the Making."

NEXT: Welcome Budget Talk

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  1. Although Rand’s novel is well over a thousand pages long, one can’t help wondering if, with a radically compressed script, it couldn’t have been turned into a tightly edited two-and-a-half-hour film?into a real movie

    This sounds like one of the major mistakes in this movie. Does anyone who has read AS not think it could use a little editing? What would part III be like, half of a two hour movie spent on John Gault’s speech?

    1. Does anyone who has read AS not think it could use a little editing?

      Ever met an Objectivist?

      1. I agree, great story but too much really. If I was a freeloader in the USA I would not like Rand or her message. Oh and by the way did you know that Alec Baldwin is a writer?

    2. John Gault’s speech

      Serious people do not obsess over its length.

      1. Serious people merely find it prolix and at times a bit tedious.

  2. Too bad if it really isn’t very good. The timing couldn’t be much better for some of the ideas presented in the story.

    1. You gotta give these guys a break. There are only like, what, 24 libertarians worldwide?

      Eight or ten of them regularly post here, that leaves 14. Three or four of them run comic book stores in their mother’s basement. Most of the rest write articles for Reason, leaving only a few with the talent to make a movie. Pretty slim pickins.

      1. You gotta give these guys a break. There are only like, what, 24 libertarians worldwide?

        I didn’t know we were that cloaked and mysterious.. and I thought punk rock was underground. I should be gettin’ all the pussy now! Libertarian Punk Rockers… we’re so rare and exotic and sexy!

        1. Libertarian Punk Rockers! Yeah!

          1. Well, besides the hippie punk shit like Crass.. punk is libertarian in essence (personal liberty, rejection of authority, freedom of expression).. it’s just not widely considered libertarian because being affiliated with political parties is not cool.

            1. Yep!

              1. Punk rock is for those who lack the talent or desire to master their instrument.

            2. I don’t know, while every punk band seems to like to style themselves as anarchic most are heavily socialist in reality.

              1. They’re Anarcho-Socialists

                1. Do the bands take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week? Because then they would be Anarcho-Syndicalists.

                2. Anarcho-socialists has now become my favorite term – classic

      2. Most of the rest write articles for Reason

        Citation needed.

        1. I;m not a libertarian.

          I play one on the intertubes.

          1. Wiegel, is that you?

    2. Currently sitting at zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

      1. Three percentage points higher than Alexander.

  3. Yep, this is pretty much what I expect when I see it friday.

    Who’s coming with me?

    1. Didn’t you say you’re in the DFW area? My friends and I are going to a showing in north Dallas, later in the evening.

      1. We’ll be in ft worth @ the movie tavern downtown. 7:20pm . Drinking and discussion afterward .

        1. I’d go but Mrs Smartass and I already have dinner plans with friends in Carrolton.

          1. I’d like to move back to Carrollton. Seemed like there was more to do. Plano pretty much shuts down past 9:00 pm.

            Anyway, not going to make the trip to Ft. Worthless, but anybody wants to go to the 9:55 pm showing at the Dallas Studio Movie Grill, we’ll be there.

        2. Same here.

        3. I’ll also be there.

          1. I wish they were showing it at the Plano Studio Movie Grill, but alas I’ll be making a trip to Dallas tonight.

            1. My friends and I will be going to the 9:55 showing at the Dallas SMG.

    2. I’m seeing it at 10 AM tomorrow, assuming I can find my spare monocle.

      1. I am going to catch it at 10:30a before I work all weekend.

        I have avoided reading the book because I thought there would be a good chance I would never finish it. If this movie is as bad as people say, I will never even start.

        1. That would be a shame. If you’re a libertarian, you owe it to yourself to read the book. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it is well worth the effort.

    3. I’m going to see it Monday. I’m just stoked it’s playing near me. At least I won’t have to drive far to see, what will probably be, a not so good movie.

  4. Among current filmmakers only Paul Thomas Anderson could have pulled this off – but he had already made the magnificent There Will Be Blood .

    1. shriek knows one director and repeats ad nauseum. Hilarious. And, it seems, one movie as well.

      1. Orson Welles is dead, you stupid fuck.

        How many film geniuses make great films about eccentric capitalists?

        Scorsese even blew it with his Howard Hughes film – it was a bore and I know critics liked it.

        1. Why does it have to be a director that’s already done a “film about eccentric capitalists”? What the fuck difference does that make?

          You never fail to be stupider than imagined. It’s a real skill you have there.

          1. I think he means that you have to find a reputable director who’s willing to be associated with AS, which might be quite a traipse in Hollywood.

            1. I think a lot of directors would love to be associated with AS. It would be huge publicity for them (if it had a real budget and real stars).

              1. No matter what marketing wankers say, not all publicity is good publicity.

    2. Exactly; it would be just like Boogie Nights.

      “I want a name that can cut glass. Like, razor-sharp. When I close my eyes I see this sign. And the name is in bright blue neon lights with, like, purple outline. And this name is just so bright, and so sharp, that the sign, it just blows up because the name is just so powerful. It says John Galt.”

      1. Yeah, what’s with the common, one syllable names? JOHN? All this time to meet a mysterious guy named JOHN? wtf! Guess if John Galts’ name was Dirk Diggler, and had a gigantic penis, at least the women would pretend to be Objectivists.

        1. Men, too.

    3. Only Zach Snyder could have pulled it off, since Rand’s heroes were all comic book material. Or, I guess you could have done a good villain study with it.

      Although I would have gone with Michael Bay, so that there something other than the original work to point to as to why it sucked.

    4. Uhh… did I miss something? There will be blood was a very negative perspective on the eccentric capitalist. Why would PTA direct a movie that makes a Daniel Day Lewis’ character the hero right after he made a film vilifying him.

      1. You missed that Shrike doesn’t like capitalists and doesn’t want a postive portrayal of John Galt.

  5. I’m not so sure that the book should be condensed into a single movie. I mean, it’s a very long story with many interesting details. Some of the more repetitive parts, like Galt’s speech, could definitely be trimmed, though.

    It’s too bad that this movie isn’t very good. I was looking forward to it, but did get worried after seeing the trailer. Now, I guess my suspicions were correct.

    1. http://www.working-minds.com/galtmini.htm

      Here’s a 964 word compression. I briefly toyed with trying to write a play and use this for the speech, but realized that wouldn’t work long before I got started.

      1. It’s needs a montage.

        “Sure a lot of things happing at once, remind everyone what’s going on (what’s going on)”

        1. Even Rocky had a montage!!

    2. It’s too bad that this movie isn’t very good. I was looking forward to it, but did get worried after seeing the trailer. Now, I guess my suspicions were correct.

      You can’t really be sure of that until you see it for yourself, can you? Why take someone else’s word for it?

      1. Especially Kurt Loder’s word. Didnt care for him in his MTV days, not sure why I should now.

        Especially since he thinks splitting it in 3rds was a bad idea. Did he think it was a bad idea for LoTR too? (Note: personally I thought LoTR should have been 6 movies, but I realize that wasnt feasible.)

        1. this makes no sense, as a comparison. lotr was WRITTEN in three parts. it’s nonsensical to say it was “split” into 3rds. that’s the way it was conceived and released in book form. making it any other way would have in fact been the modification. there was no “split”.

          the godfather otoh was split, since the book was made into GF I and GF II

          please don’t get me started on GF III. blech

          1. LOTR wasn’t written in three parts! It was broken into three for commercial reasons.

  6. Kind of appropriate on the opening day, don’t you all think? April 15.

    Nice timing. I’m going to hope it was intended.

    1. Then they moved tax day to the 18th this year. Hmmm….

      1. Thank God! I live for procrastinating and the extended filing deadline is the next best thing to an extension!

  7. So it’s exactly what I feared it would be from how the preview appeared.

    I didn’t want to be right on this one. Haters of libertarianism will pounce on this like Charlie Sheen on a briefcase of cocaine.

    1. If cocaine = criticims of libertarians, that analogy only works if Charlie Sheen is buried in cocaine every moment of every day.

      1. Terri finally got the front door unlocked and opened. But as she turned to run outside, the sight of dozens of dead cats in the front yard stopped her cold. They had not been there two hours ago when she had run out to buy cigarettes, but now they blanketed the lawn, quiet and still. Terri turned back around.

        “The kitties are the first to go,” Janet said, calmly. “You’re next if you don’t eat some of Precious.”

      2. Libertarians should stop making themselves so easy to criticise.

    2. Libertarians are going to be mocked because so many of them have so emotionally invested themselves in this silly bitch. And to the extent they have, they deserve it. Grow the fuck up already.

      1. Thank you for your comment. That was illustrative and informative.

      2. Pipe down… before you become a Mark-ed man…

    3. Kurt Loder.

      Repeat, Kurt Loder.

      He is agreeing with your fears so its probably good to go.

      1. Yeah, Kurt Loder. The one critic who liked the re-make of Arthur. I seriously question his judgment.

        Of COURSE he wouldn’t like AS.

  8. I for one, think it could get shrunk and not loose the theme.

    Lets face it, Rand was no Tolkien, and a trilogy just won’t have the audience draw.

  9. I’ll see it once, but my hope is that it does poorly enough so that they won’t continue to a part 2 without some MAJOR changes. I like Rand, but purists should be able to admit you need to sometime make significant edits to make an actual good movie and get the message across. I worried this would turn out to be incredibly cheesy, and it looks like it has. Oh well. Here’s to hoping I’ll be a billionaire one day and hire more creative people to do the book justice.

  10. Ebert found it to be a snoozer.


    1. After reading AS several times, I envision Wesley Mouch as a Roger Ebert lookalike…he must’ve read my mind…

  11. P.S. I don’t think it’s really possible to do justice to the novel in one movie. And I’ve always been one who didn’t like ANY movies if I’d read the book first. But I’m glad someone tried it anyway. Maybe it will inspire a few to read the book. It’s worth reading (even if it didn’t make a Randian out of me). “Anthem” almost did… and it’s still my favorite of her works.

    1. I don’t think it’s really possible to do justice to the novel in one movie.

      They souldn’t have been trying to do justice to the novel.

      Assuming we’ve already moved on to the postmortem, that’s probably the cause of death right there: rich guy sets out to share his appreciation of a book by making a movie out of it, but a movie’s got to stand on its own. It’s a very different art form. Every time they treat the source material as holy writ, the result is mediocre at best.

      I thought LOTR had the same problem, only it was masked by fabulous visuals.

      1. Also, this director appeared to be in way over his head, in all sorts of ways.

        1. Also, this director appeared to be in way over his head, in all sorts of ways.

          I know how he feels.

      2. This is a large part of the problem with the Gary Cooper/Patricia Neal version of The Fountainhead. Ayn Rand seems to have had no clue how to write a screenplay, and that brings down the whole movie.

  12. P.S. “Anthem” is probably the BEST anti-collectivist story *I* have ever read. It should be required reading in high schools. That is *MY* opinion.

    1. Not to mention, I was able to finish Anthem before having to return it to the library.

      The public library.

      1. Public libraries are for bums and middle school kids…

        fuckin’ pedophile

        1. Hey, I was in high school at the time. And, technically, it was the school library.

          1. Hey, I was in high school at the time. And, technically, it was the school library.

            Don’t feel bad man, I was hanging around middle school libraries when I was in highschool too.. probably not for the same reason as you though 😉

        2. I’m a public librarian. Change from the inside .

          1. L, O, fucking L!

            But spencer! Your salary comes from TEH FORCE! MEN WITH GUNS STEAL IT!!! PARASITE!! MOOCHER!!!

            1. He’s a saboteur, fool. Biding his time.

            2. Do you support everything YOUR employer does?

              Hell, if our tax dollars were used solely for basic things like public libraries and infrastructure, you wouldn’t see half the complaining about taxes that you do here. The problem isn’t the idea of taxes, per se, it’s the ever-increasing scale of society that’s made the collection of income so pervasive, insidious, and dysfunctional.

              Christ, government employees should theoretically be the biggest libertarians of all, since they ought to appreciate who pays their salary and understand that any corruption and waste in their institution is going to tar them by association.

    2. We had people brought in to give an Ayn Rand presentation and were required to read Anthem. It was 8th grade though.

      1. I saw what you did there, but now I’m curious: who goes around making Ayn Rand presentations to schoolchildren? What do they say?

        1. It was bizarre in retrospect. Just some older students giving a one-off presentation. Not sure what they were doing. But they presented the case sincerely and I bought it for a while.

          1. Oh I see. I had pictured adults doing this, as some unusual avocation.

      2. Cool man, you musta been in the sped class if you were reading that drivel in 8th grade. I read Atlas Shrugged when I was 12, and wrote a thorough refutation of all of its’ content by the time I had my first ejaculation.

        1. Eh, I focused on Joyce as an undergraduate. That’s a challenge at any age, so fuck you.

          1. Like to see you unravel Guy Debord’s “Society of the Spectacle”

            1. You guys are phonies.

            2. That’s a :45 minute easy read at best.
              Well in English translation anyways.

          2. Tony’s general pattern of incoherence just became a little more understandable.

        2. wrote a thorough refutation of all of its’ content

          Wow, that is incredible! You refuted everything in a 1000+ page novel? I was suspicious that there was a city called “Denver”. That whole “trains” thingy seemed totally made up too!

          1. Wow, that is incredible! You refuted everything in a 1000+ page novel? I was suspicious that there was a city called “Denver”. That whole “trains” thingy seemed totally made up too!

            Can you prove outside of your own consciousness that Denver and Trains exist?

            1. First prove to me that you are not an asshole.

            2. First prove to me that you are not an asshole.

              1. Huh, that was weird.

            3. Oohh… Subjectivism. What an interesting philosophy.

            4. I can take the train to Denver?

        3. I read Atlas Shrugged when I was 12, and wrote a thorough refutation of all of its’ content by the time I had my first ejaculation.

          So in other words, you’re still a virgin.

    3. [Anthem] should be required reading in high schools

      Actually it was required reading in my high school, which was in fact inside the D.C. Beltway.
      (It is probably her best fiction work, and it was short. Coincidence? I think not.)

      1. There was a pile of them in the back of my 10th grade 1970s HS English class. Anthem was lit for the slow learner class*.

        (*seriously, we were reading Gogol’s Dead Souls and the Rand book was for the ‘tard class)

        1. Dead Souls was so…fucking…tedious. I recommend Fathers and Sons by Turgenev for good Russian lit from that time period.

  13. chaos in the Middle East that has driven gas prices to $37 a gallon (which purportedly explains the resuscitation of railroads as the only affordable transport for passengers and freight).

    Freight rail is profitable even in the real world today…but you’d probably see a massive proliferation of electric cars in response to gas prices like that (a la Car Wars) before a renaissance of passenger rail.

    1. But, but……[head explodes]

    2. Wow, Car Wars – haven’t heard that mentioned in a long time.

      But yeah, you’d see electric and booze powered cars first.

  14. I’ll just read AS again…I have too many images burnt into my mind about what the characters look like, and the descriptive scenes, in order to have it ruined by a low budget flick…I still appreciate the group that put this together though…better luck next time!

  15. Faithfulness to Rand’s vision requires presenting John Galt’s speech in its entirety.

  16. Am I the only person who looked most forward to Galt’s speech when reading the book? I wanted the meat, and the fiction was plodding all by itself. The speech was stupid too, though. One key to being a great writer, I think, is to make your points vaguely enough to be misinterpreted.

    1. That explains your writing Style.

    2. Francisco’s speech on money is far superior to Galt’s, IMO. And he didn’t take over 100 pages to make his point.

      1. No, it just seemed like 100 pages.

  17. Coffee’s for closers! Alec Baldwin

  18. And is that Dagny’s midriff in that recycled picture? Hm, I always pictured her with decent sartorial sense.

  19. There are few things in life that are five fingers simply better in every way, and leave no room for argument. vibram fivefingers is one of them. This

  20. My wife and I will be going to the 7:05 showing in Westwood LA. We’ll be the either terrified or disappointed randroids depending on whether you catch us coming or going. Anyone else going to that show?

    1. I’m going to the showing in Annapolis, MD. Maryland is a leftist state without question. I just hope me and my old lady don’t run into any lunatic protestors or people saying, “You know you had to drive on PUBLIC roads to get here, right?”

      I wouldn’t mind if I was alone, but she’s a good chick that doesn’t like a lot of controversy and I’m kinda draggin’ her out to see it with me.

    2. I’m going to try and make it to that one. I know some other folks going as well. Should be interesting to see everyone’s faces after.

      1. I think you’ll be able to tell during the movie by their hysterical laughter.

      2. Great. We’ll probably go to Barney’s Beanery for a drink after the movie.

  21. Given the (often inexplicably) intense reactions Rand’s work inspires in others, I think I’ll wait to see this myself before making any judgment.

  22. There’s only one flaw here: Hank Rearden wasn’t played by Kurt Russell. Without him, it can’t work.

    1. It would also need to be directed by John Carpenter.

      1. I think I just achieved total consciousness. Too bad Adrienne Barbeau is too hold to play Dagny.

        Harry Dean Stanton as Eddie.

        1. Uma Thurman as Dagny

          1. Yep, that would have been cool. . . . except we would have all been waiting for her to quite literally disembowel her brother. Fun to imagine but not true to the story.

  23. “Objectivism” is a childish cargo cult for loser teenagers and emotionally stunted man children.


      1. Blow me.


    2. Re: The Truth,

      “Socialism” is a childish cargo cult for the risk averse and mediocre.

  24. But don’t worry, maybe this movie will finally surpass Manos, The Hands of Fate as the worst movie ever made.

    1. You’re so fucking stupid. Everyone who isn’t a conspiracy loon like you knows that either Bad Boys II or Pearl Harbor is the worst movie ever made (take your pick).

      Holy shit you’re an idiot.

      1. Pearl Harbor is pretty bad, but it at least has things like, oh, I don’t know, shot-to-shot continuity, correct sound syncing, and professional editing.

        1. Don’t you understand that the high production values make it worse, you clod? Like Battlefield Earth; you can’t get that level of awful on some shoestring budget. That’s either 44 or 74 million dollars (the cost of the production has been disputed) of awful. That’s a special kind of awful, and Michael Bay is an especially awful director with especially high budgets.

          1. Did any of the actors actually commit suicide after appearing in any of those movies?

            1. I didn’t think The Dark Knight was that bad.

              Anyway, Torgo probably committed suicide due to the chronic knee pain from the poorly designed metallic “satyr legs” he wore during filming, not because of shame from the film.

            2. I wish they had, but sadly, no.

          2. Shit. The +1 was meant for Epi, not stunted growth.

            1. Your screen name is from a fictional character (and rapist) in one of the most turgid novels ever written.

              It will be utterly, utterly hilarious to see the invisible hand give this piece of shit two thumbs down.

              1. This coming from someone with such a subtle screen name. Not even a touch of hyperbole, hmm?

                Anyway, where in my comment did I say I think the film will be good, or even refer to it?

                1. Hyperbole>?

                  You’re not a captain of industry like your fictional idol, pal.

                  You never will be. You’re never going to be rich. You’re just a white, middle managing computer science or engineer nitwit like 99% of “libertarians”, carrying water for Wall St. parasites, bankster goons, and thug CEOs, because you think “if the government just got out of the way, I could be just like them!”

                  And what’s even funnier is that you morons think you understand economics. Some dumbass on the other thread started babbling about “comparative advantage”, something that doesn’t fucking work in the age of global capital mobility. Ricardo assumed that capital would remain immobile. It isn’t anymore.

                  1. Gee. I guess you told me. I couldn’t possibly counter such brilliant argument.

                    I suppose I should go find that middle management computer science job or become an engineer so I don’t shatter your baseless assumptions.

                    1. I’m going to bet that, whatever you do, you’re not in the top 1%. You just think you will be in your fantasy world someday, just like Joe the Plumber, so that’s why you don’t want taxes raised on the top 1%.

                    2. I’m going to bet that, whatever you do, you’re not in the top 1%. You just think you will be in your fantasy world someday, just like Joe the Plumber, so that’s why you don’t want taxes raised on the top 1%.

                      Yeah, the top 1% is a good start… not many people sympathize with those scholastic behemoths capable of being in the top 1%. Nevermind private investments and mutual funds that enable small businesses to grow… fuck those greedy job-providing assholes. What happens when it’s the top 5%, then 10, then 15, then 20? Just some Libertarian paranoia eh? Yet it’s happened in several states, including the one I live in… Now 250,000 is considered obscenely wealthy.

                      This anti-capitalist bullshit is just the rhetoric of envy. I equate it to a bunch cannibals in the congo thinking I’m Richie Rich because I got my own car and fridge full of guinness.


                      hahaha, get real dude.

                    3. Now 250,000 is considered obscenely wealthy.



                      The wannabe-yuppie, life’s-not-fair defense followed by what appears to be an attempt a being sardonic? Epic fail bro.

                    5. Damn! but it must really suck to have such an itty bitty, little dick, and to realize that no matter what you do you, no matter all that advertising on the porn sites, you aint never gonna be able to make it grow bigger than the smallest one percent.

                    6. That was truth for The Truth.

                  2. And what’s even funnier is that you morons think you understand economics. Some dumbass on the other thread started babbling about “comparative advantage”, something that doesn’t fucking work in the age of global capital mobility. Ricardo assumed that capital would remain immobile. It isn’t anymore.

                    And Da Trooth knows this because Wikipedia told him so.

                    1. Haha copied straight from wikipedia, you little shit.

                  3. “Ricardo assumed that capital would remain immobile. It isn’t anymore.”

                    I know. We’ve known this was coming ever since Terran buildings got the ability to lift off and move to more resource-rich areas. That’s over a decade that we could have taken some sort of action, like embracing fascism or whatever bullshit you’re peddling.

                    Although I think if we have anything to fear, it’s from the Koreans, not the Chinese.

                    1. Those Koreans definitely know how to play the Terran side really well.

                    2. Sarcasm noted.

                    3. +1 reference, though part II didn’t do as much for me. I’m a zerg man, myself. That Queen of Blades…hottie!

      2. Epi, I’m not a conspiracy loon, but I also happen to know that Troll 2 is the worst movie ever made. The second worst is Simon Sez, with Pearl Harbor pulling up a close third.

        1. No, no, no. “Good” bad movies don’t count. A truly awful movie should have no watch value at all. It’s the kind that you don’t even continue watching in fascination at its awfulness; you just turn it off.

          Thus: Pearl Harbor. And Bad Boys II.

          1. So I guess “The Room” would be out then? It’s terrible but in a hilarious way.

          2. Manos.

            Even with robots and Joel it took me 3 tries to make it thru it. And the robots and Joel (and Mike as Torgo) were rocking that episode.

      3. I’ll take Clerks over those two as the worst I’ve ever seen. Watching that dreck didn’t even rise to the level of being a guilty pleasure (Wow, a bunch of emotionally retarded 20-somethings screaming at each other for 90 minutes–how edgy!!), plus it somehow made the mindset of mentally dysfunctional nerds into a culturally acceptable trait.

        1. 37 dicks!

          1. In a row?

      4. Have you seen Dondi? My God it’s awful.

      5. I was shocked by the vitriol of your response, but by the end of it I had to agree with you.

        Bad Boys II …shudder…

    2. Plan Nine from Outer Space.

      1. No love for Actium Maximus or Monsturd?

      2. I hate to agree with rectal, but I like Ed Wood movies a lot. They have a strange charm to them. And Ed Wood by Tim Burton is fucking great.

        Ed: Mister Weiss… I have never told anyone what I’m about to tell you. But I really want this job. [pauses, takes a deep breath] I like to wear women’s clothing.

        Weiss: You’re a fruit?

        Ed: No, not at all. I love women. Wearing their clothes makes me feel closer to them.

        Weiss: You’re not a fruit?

        Ed: No, I’m all man. I even fought in W.W. Two. Of course, I was wearing women’s undergarments under my uniform.

      3. More like Granny Trannies #7 or Real German Two-Ton Gangbangs.

    3. Re: The Truth,

      But don’t worry, maybe this movie will finally surpass Manos, The Hands of Fate as the worst movie ever made.

      People who know, know that Red Zone Cuba is the worst movie of all time.

    4. Look, Manos, The Hands of Fate gave us a great MST3K episode, so the upside means that, net net, it can’t be the worst movie ever made.

  25. Its politics are the least of the hurdles for “Atlas Shrugged,” the movie.
    About to lose his long-held rights to Ayn Rand’s novel, and perhaps to cash in on apparent Tea Party interest and support, producer John Aglialoro (the CEO of Cybex International in Medway) rushed this film into a low-budget production and it shows in every frame. Even fans of Rand’s 1957 antigovernment manifesto may balk at having to endure dialogue that would be banal on the Lifetime channel, along with wooden performances, particularly from Taylor Schilling as rail tycoon Dagny Taggart, and a tedious plot that reduces political and high finance machinations to boring dinner table patter. To make matters worse, this is merely part one, covering just the first third of Rand’s opus.

    Don’t worry! It might (might, mind you)be as good as An American Carol!


    1. All right, enough gloating.

      A good film-maker can make even an idiotic premise seem like a roller coaster ride, and there are plenty of interesting ideas in AS. If they had pulled this off, I suspect you’d be crying foul right about now.

      1. I only see one idea in AS:

        “I’ve got mine, so fuck YOU!”

        The Speech could have been distilled down to that.

        1. As opposed to Da Troof’s mantra of:

          “How dare you question the state, fuck you and gimme your money!”

          Your sorry existence can be distilled down to that.

          1. Beat me to it by a minute.

            1. Tell me what’s the difference between Rand’s ‘philosophy’ and the creed of the Church of Satan?

              1. I don’t even subscribe to Rand’s moral philosophy (no decoder ring for me) but I’m rational enough to acknowledge that she makes some excellent points about how the State slowly destroys the individual and stifles creativity.

                Shit, even Kurt Vonnegut satirized your turgid thinking in ‘Harrison Bergeron’ where no one can be special or exceptional less the State fail to fulfill its promise of total equality.

                1. I find it hilarious you morons think I’d support a system like the USSR.

                  No, numbnuts, exceptional people are wonderful and should be ENCOURAGED and DIRECTED by the state to rise even higher.

                  Why do you think the world chess champion is Chinese? Or that the world’s smartest students are in Singapore?

                  1. I find it hilarious you morons think I’d support a system like the USSR.

                    You say this but then you proceed to say….

                    No, numbnuts, exceptional people are wonderful and should be ENCOURAGED and DIRECTED by the state to rise even higher.

                    Holy shit, you mean the US needs to take kids from their families and send them to government schools so they can be FORCED to do what they appear naturally suited to do? And yet you claim to not support the Soviet command economy model?

                    The bullshit is strong with this one.

                    1. I support authoritarian state capitalism as practiced in Singapore and China.

                      Try to criticize what I actually propose instead of some strawman about Stalinism.

                    2. China has talented piano players precisely because they force kids to cultivate their skills from an early age. FORCE, as in no consideration for their mental and physical well-being. How many kids do you think either committ suicide due to stress or fail and are conscrpited into the military before they produce one Yundi Li?

                      So you’re fascist pig, but at least you’re an open fascist pig.

                    3. China has talented piano players precisely because they force kids to cultivate their skills from an early age. FORCE, as in no consideration for their mental and physical well-being.

                      They’d be a much stronger country if they let their kids play video games, fill their brains with TV mush and stuff their faces with HFCS, right?

                    4. 50 years ago America was thinking the EXACT SAME THING about the Soviet kids. But how did that work out for them? Surely they won the Cold War right? I mean how could the US possibly compete with the Soviet Union when their kids smoked pot and listened to Bob Dylan rather than spend time at a forced labor, er, I mean government academy?

                      So yeah, fuck free markets and an emphasis on individual achievement and free thought! We need fascism, er, a command capiatalist system!

                    5. They’d be a freer country.

                    6. The Americans should submit to the Qun. They can find happiness within the roles assigned to them.

                    7. No, we’re BETTER OFF if we weed out the strong from those who are week through competition, pressure, and testing. It leads to a society of the mentally and physically strong instead of the weak and self-indulgent.

                    8. Better hope you are not deemed ‘weak’ by the committee Mr. Truth.

                    9. Better hope you are not deemed ‘weak’ by the committee Mr. Truth.

                      He’s a “week” speller.

                    10. No, we’re BETTER OFF if we weed out the strong from those who are week through competition, pressure, and testing. It leads to a society of the mentally and physically strong instead of the weak and self-indulgent.

                      This has to be a spoof. You can’t be that stupid to parody Rand, claiming she was promoting an “I got mine” mentality, then turning around and personally promoting a eugenic system of weeding out the weak.

                    11. “I support authoritarian state capitalism as practiced in Singapore and China.”

                      So you’re a fascist?

                  2. “Why do you think the world chess champion is Chinese? Or that the world’s smartest students are in Singapore?”

                    You remember that comment you made to Galt1138 about how libertarians will never be capitalist overlords, and will expend their talent in the service and for the benefit of some gladhanding, politically-connected corporate asshole?

                    Do you think it’s because they (the people you admitted in the same comment tend to be programmers and engineers) aren’t smart or don’t understand math?

                    Think about that for a second, okay?

                  3. The world chess champion is India, numbnuts.

              2. I’m not an Objectivist. I don’t care. I was pointing out how dreary your posts are to read. You’re as mentally adroit as lead, which I hear they put in Chinese toys!

        2. You must have the brain of a 6-year old… and I bet he was glad to get rid of it.

      2. Really, what else needs to be said about a philosophy that thinks people aren’t selfish enough?

        Does anyone truly think that “you know, the real problem with America today is that people just aren’t self-centered enough!”

        How can you say that with a straight face, especially since Reagan?

        1. And really, your posts can also pretty much be summed up in one concrete idea, if not a few words. Funny how intellectually limited people get so vehement about people they believe to be their intellectually limited adversaries. Shit, son, you can’t even imagine a generalized abstraction like Rand could.


          1. Not command economy, dipshit, a state capitalist one.

            There’s quite a bit of space between Somalia and the USSR, dumbass.

            1. State capitalism? Nice distinction. Part and parcel. Not buying it. Sort of like anarcho-communism and the like. Lipstick and pigs.

              1. Uh, not really.

                Nobody is lining up at the state store at 5 am in China because there’s a toilet paper shortage.

                Instead, they’re out buying Audis and luxury goods.

              2. The truth is, a (well-regulated, subsidized, and protected) market is the best mechanism to make consumer goods, but when it comes to the “commanding heights”, rational planning beats market chaos every time.

                1. Oh I get it. By truth you mean lies.

                2. http://blogs.reuters.com/georg…..d-economy/

                  According to an official announcement posted on a Kunming government website, one of the largest cities in southwestern China, five retailers including Wal-Mart and Carrefour have been ordered to report any price adjustments with clear reasons for the changes in advance, with the final decision in the hands of the local government.

                  If you’re still setting prices, where does that leave you? Look, you’re a troll. Perhaps you’d love to make fine points of difference. Fact is, you have very few property rights in China. The government still has the final say in wages, prices, and the like. Command economy, state capitalism…barely degrees of difference.

                  From Foreign Policy. with the words “command economics” in the title. 2011.


                  1. The price controls are to prevent inflation, and they’re extremely effective.

                    The inflation tiger in China has been contained through rational government action, and the markets agree.

                    1. Effectiveness was not my point. Controlling wages, prices, production and consumption are hallmarks of…wait for it…

                      COMMAND ECONOMY! Ought not be so quick with your “dipshits,” pally. No matter what fine distinctions academics or wiki-niki lefties would like to make, it is what it is.

                      Another one, from (gasp!), HuffPo

                      “The Tempest in the Teapot of China’s Command Economy


                3. “Nobody is lining up at the state store at 5 am in China because there’s a toilet paper shortage.

                  Instead, they’re out buying Audis and luxury goods.”

                  Bullshit. My wife is from mainland China, just north of HK (they still speak Cantonese, but were part of the PRC, and not the British colony). They’re poor as shit. Her parents paid for my plane ticket to visit their homeland with them last year, and they didn’t have indoor plumbing, nor paved roads.

                  You’re fooled by what they’ve done in the cities, but just like in the USSR, the countryside is still 19th century. At least poor assholes in Kansas has phones and running water; this was more like a camping trip, where she’s from. You’re fooled by propoganda.

                  1. The countryside is much better off than 30 years ago while, say, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore,, etc. are worse off.

                    1. This countryside didn’t seem to be any better, or worse off, than 30 years ago, or 100 years ago, for that matter.

                    2. Well, 30 years ago, they were still living in a populace that was only a generation removed from the 38,000,000 (or possibly 45,000,000 if you accept more recent numbers) starved to death in the provinces and provincial capitals.

                    3. The countryside is much better off than 30 years ago while, say, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore,, etc. are worse off.

                      30+ years of progressive social engineering and grievance-mongering will do that.

          2. And yeah, you really didn’t tell me how Rand brings any ideas except that one sentence–and idea that is neither new, nor creative, nor needed.

            1. Oh, I didn’t particularly want to defend her. But she at least tried (however much she succeeded is up for debate) to grasp and write about the part of humanity that strives to create, or to be excellent, or to feel joy as an individual who owns one’s self. It’s the Nietzschean aspect of her. Compared to her, your constant comments about command economics are like a one-note jam band. That’s what I was pointing out.

        2. All right, so Rand went overboard. Get back to me when your ass has been sacrificed for the greater good.

        3. People are not selfish enough.

          1. People are not rationally selfish enough.

        4. Was that an assist from Christopher Hitchens? Not only are you an obnoxious troll, you can’t even credit those that put forth the argument in the first place.

  26. While I never thought I’d agree with the prince of pretentious hipness I think Loder’s right. AS could be a half-decent novel if Rand had eliminated the flashbacks, blind alleys and rambling side plots and speeches. Cut away the goo and dribble for the film version, make the villains more than the straw-men Rand uses and maybe, whether one agrees with the premises of objectivism or not, it might be a compelling film. It would at least make a better case for Rands world view.

  27. I guess the only question at this point is, will parts 2 and 3 be direct-to-video or direct-to-dumpster.

  28. Guess I’ll be seeing the Lincoln assassination movie instead. But if they release this on DVD I probably will NetFlix it.

    1. I think NetFlix for me as well, I don’t really need to watch this in a theater. Hopefully this weekend, I’ll be enjoying some Game of Thrones fun, if HBO and/or Comcast will put it online.

  29. In 2011, Rearden Steel, John Galt, and Dagny Taggart would have given up on trying to build things like high-speed rail, revolutionary new metals, or green technology (face it, morons, that’s what Galt’s magical engine is!) and gone to a country that actually cared about investing in the future and would provide the resources and subsidizes necessary for them to achieve long-term success.

    1. How are subsidizes necessary for long-term success?

      1. Because there are certain things (like, I don’t know, the fucking INTERNET) that won’t pay off in the short-term model of for-profit business but can in the long-term if the government provides support and protection in its infant stages.

        Space travel would be another good example. And, for that matter, railroads (you think the federal government didn’t have a hand in building the Transcontinental Railroad?)

        1. So b/c the gov’t did subsidize some industry that means those industries could not have survived with out it? On the other hand did it ever occur to you that an industry or business model that doesn’t make money shouldn’t exist?

          1. On the other hand did it ever occur to you that an industry or business model that doesn’t make money shouldn’t exist?

            Just because it doesn’t make money at first does not mean it isn’t an excellent long-term investment. Again, the internet. No business would have invented it because it was a money loser for the first 30 years of its existence.How can a corporation convince its stockholders to invest in something that will lose money for three decades?


            2. I’m pretty sure you’re off-base here. Every now and then government gets lucky. DARPA provided the seed (a backbone), but the private sector built out the intertubes.

              1. The private sector didn’t make a profit on the internet until early last decade.

                Even real companies that weren’t smoke-and-mirrors and survived the dotcom bust (Amazon.com, Google) weren’t making profits in 1999.

                1. You asserted that the internet required public investment, because the private sector wouldn’t make that investment. But it did.

              2. And Bell Labs that developed packet switching.

  30. “These latter creeps should set our blood boiling, but they’re so cartoonishly one-dimensional that any prospective interest soon slumps.”

    So it IS just like the book.

    1. To be fair, Wesley Mouch is a pretty accurate portrayal of quite a few over-degreed/ intellectually mediocre government bureaucrats I’ve met.

  31. I like how Loder tries to let Rand off the hook–lucky she’s not around, blah blah blah. Well, she was around for The Fountainhead–she wrote the screenplay. And it is one of the most embarrassing scripts of all time. THE PROBLEM IS RAND SUCKED AS A WRITER OF FICTION. If you want to bitterly cling to her “philosophy”, OK–but her fiction is pure shit. And if you are so buried in her cult that you can’t acknowledge the obvious, then your taste is in your ass as well.

    1. hey mike hunt. You ran for sheriff of Aiken county a while ago. That was a good time. Sorry for stealing all your signs.

    2. Taste is not objective.

  32. State capitalism: a system in which vital parts of the economy are directed by the state, but in a capitalist manner.

    The perfect fusion of the efficiency and innovation of the market with the strong hand and rationality of a command economy.

    Basically, think of what it would look like if the entire US was run like Wal-Mart or McDonalds. They don’t have any “democracy” in those organizations, nor is their a totally “free market” within them. They’re PLANNED inside. And they are TOP DOWN organizations. Why can’t the entire economy be run like Wal-Mart, with the government as the board of directors?

    1. Here, make you sure you clean up after jacking-off to this:


      1. Thanks. It’s been 20 years since I’ve seen that.

    2. Dude, you really had me going until that one. The world as Wal-Mart. Very nice.

    3. Why can’t the entire economy be run like Wal-Mart, with the government as the board of directors?

      I think you’re overdoing it a little, troll. But, since you asked, here’s why the entire economy can’t be run like Walmart.

    4. Yeah, corporatism has worked great thoughout history.

    5. “The perfect fusion of the efficiency and innovation of the market with the strong hand and rationality of a command economy.”

      This is an unobtainable fantasy — indeed, pretty much an oxymoron — or have you not been paying attention to the many failed government attempts to simulate markets or “harness market forces/discipline,” command-economy style? From the “deregulated” energy market that Enron gamed so well to the cap-and-trade pollution credit schemes, to “managed trade” under such organizations as WTO and NAFTA — not to mention so many other aberrations that we have seen in the past few decades — authoritarian imitations of free-markets lack the essential ingredient of true FREEDOM, and so inevitably fail as markets. This is because, inevitably, critical situations occur that require players to work outside of the “managed trade” rules: when the market players are forced to play within the short-sighted rules despite imminent peril to themselves, reality kicks them in the behind, or they abandon the game. All the while, those who know how to game the rules make out like the bandits they are.

      Keep dreaming. For all its flaws, there is no substitute for — and nothing shown to perform better over the long haul than — the FREE market. A true market entails self-regulatory forces that perform as well as, or better than, the artificial constraints that politicians and naive reformers may impose.

      1. But you don’t expect any private business to run like a free market. You expect to be top-down managed. By genius entrepreneur producers. Right?

        1. The difference between a business and a government is that a business can’t force you to buy their products. Nor can a business restrict your freedoms.

          1. > a business can’t force you to buy their products.
            > Nor can a business restrict your freedoms.

            Like how labor unions — which are technically private corporations — can’t force their members to contribute to political candidates and causes they disagree with? Even when mandatory membership in the labor union is a condition of employment?

            Somebody better tell John Stosel, and all the other advocates of “paycheck protection” and “right to work” laws.

        2. Also, how can a business not run “like a free market”? In a free market individuals may trade freely and be secure in their own property. Top down management over things you own is free market. The American people are supposed to have ownership over the government, they don’t own businesses.

          1. > In a free market individuals may trade freely
            > and be secure in their own property.

            …and to contract themselves into slavery.

            If an individual is stupid enough to do that, it’s his own damn fault, and he deserves whatever happens to him.

            Even if the slavery clause was in some fine print that would have required a $300/hour lawyer to figure out, not actually included in the contract but in some other document referenced by the contract, or if the contract was later unilaterally amended by one party (a contract can allow one party to modify the terms), too bad.

            Because governments shouldn’t interfere in contracts, and the concept of unconscionability has no place in libertarian philosophy.

            1. What you’re describing isn’t libertarianism. Libertarians believe that contracts require consent – and uninformed consent isn’t consent at all. If someone doesn’t know what they’re consenting too, they’re not consenting.

              1. Clearly, ‘too’ should have been ‘to’. Only an idiot would make that mistake.

                1. LOL

                  But was it consensual?

        3. No, I expect it (i.e. any given business) to be run however it makes the best sense for it to be run, and for it to succeed or fail based on the fitness of the strategy chosen. That’s the whole point of the free in free markets; that markets are allowed to reach their natural equilibrium, rather than being biased by planners who have not only incomplete data, but also no way of correctly inferring the meaning of the data that they do have. The same malady applies in the case of overly large private businesses; bureaucratic overhead and wrong assumptions based on incomplete data reduce the agility and efficiency of the enterprise; unless these losses are smaller than the gains realized by economy of scale, the business will find its market being eaten into by newer, smaller, and more agile enterprises.

    6. “directed by the state, but in a capitalist manner.”

      You know, since I’ve got nothing better to do than entertain a troll, I’d like to point out that capitalism is at its shittiest when there is a monopoly, which is what you’re proposing to make the default.

      The decentralization of economic power to consumers and producers is one of the promises of capitalism — not creating an elaborate, orderly structure for a vast, cool, unsympathetic intelligence to optimize (without any real notion as to how to ensure that intelligence chooses to do so rather than just extract as much benefit for itself as possible), but instead breaking the problem down into many smaller chunks that can each be optimized independently by an entity that is kept on track by the promise of personal benefit.

      But hey, what’s smarter, a highly complex circuitboard designed by the smartest engineers or a sprawling network of billions of simple, primitive natural switches? It the silicon, right? Has to be.

      1. Hey,nothing better to do,
        what is the name of the Islands of the West Coast of Africa but not the Cape Verde Islands?

  33. is this guy seriously saying we shuld run an economy just like China’s? lol

    He cant be serious? lol

    Does he realize that their workers get paid very very very little compared to what the average worker in America makes

    1. start with physicians

      1. Show us on the doll where the bad physician touched you.

    2. Not for long!

    3. A few days ago, he was arguing that workers needed to be paid like Swedes.

      Some day, it will sink in with him that Scandanavian progressivism and East Asian authoritarianism are mutally incompatible.

  34. Here’s a genius way to determine whether your ideas should be funded by the public or not:

    Get all the American people together for a big vote. If less than 50% of the people vote in favor of it, then hell, society didn’t want it that badly after all. They lose fair and square in a legitimate democracy. If the vote is greater than 50%, then you hand them the bill and say, “Thanks guys, that oughta cover it”, while the rest of us, content with our democratic and voluntary system, walk away whistling the national anthem with a pocket full of cash.

    Simple solution.

    1. No wonder you’re sad and mad

      1. No wonder you’re sad and mad

        Oh no, there’s plenty of wonder left. I have yet to tap the wonder reserves. All this talk kind of makes me want to watch the Wonder Years.

        Can I ask you question? What would you do if I sang out of tune…. Would you really stand up and walk out on me? Really? You really would? You’d actually leave in the middle of the performance just because I missed a fuckin’ note!!!???

        Some friend you are

        1. You keep lying, when you oughta be truthin’
          and you keep losin’ when you oughta not bet.
          You keep samin’ when you oughta be changin’.
          Now what’s right is right, but you ain’t been right yet.

          These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do
          one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

    2. And what if less than 50% of the people vote? Hell, I can call a vote of the american people, slap the old mandate label on the result, and proceed to act on it — all it requires is that I have the muscle to back it up. That’s your so-called democracy in the modern world: brute force shrouded in the appearance of positive consensus.

  35. im pretty sure Doctors in China make allot less as well lol

  36. Kurt, you missed the point by a mile. While, perhaps a purist would wish (and expect) to see something more perfectly representative of the awesome book, there’s a greater purpose at work here. First, it should not only be enjoyable by those who read it but also to a far more diverse audience ensconced in circumstances far different than when the book first appeared. The time shift to the future is to give the viewer some possibility of avoiding the idea that “this happened already.” The time shift allows it to remain a WARNING of what could still happen.

    That being said, we arent like you. We aren’t movie critics. We’re US citizens in circumstances the likes of which we have never seen before and this movie adaptation of the book is SUFFICIENT to inspire and embolden us… SUFFICIENT to reach many new people who might not have otherwise ever heard of the book.

    So, lighten up a little, Kurt. This isn’t a group of journalistic peers who are going to judge you harshly if you speak in the language of the layperson. We’re Americans… and we’re in some interesting, unique times… and this movie is just what we need right now… even if it’s too common and drab for your ELITE taste.

  37. Why can’t the entire economy be run like Wal-Mart, with the government as the board of directors?

    *face palm*

  38. I have no love for Actium Maximus or Monsturd!

  39. I have no love for Actium Maximus or Monsturd

  40. There is no John Galt. Economic history is independant on the medium and long terms to the contributions of individuals. If Henry Ford and Steve Jobs had been killed by lightning as children, we would still have cars and cell phones little different from the ones we have today.

    1. Yes if Henry Ford and Steve Jobs were never born, other entrepreneurs would take their place. So how does that support “There is no John Galt”?

      1. Well Heller, when productive geniuses get struck by time-travel-lighting before they innovate, then other productive geniuses come along and innovate all the stuff they would’ve innovated, therefore productive geniuses aren’t important nstuff. And once again that’s because they get replaced by other productive geniuses when they get struck by time-travel-lightning nstuff.

  41. Sounds pretty true to the book.

  42. There is no John Galt. Economic history is independant on the medium and long terms to the contributions of individuals. If Henry Ford and Steve Jobs had been killed by lightning as children, we would still have cars and cell phones little different from the ones we have today.

    Unless of course the federal government, upon realizing the fatal hazard of lighting, banned the use of electricity in manufacturing and engineering 😉

    This idiot argued in favor of the smoking ban because it “kept workers safe”, and I have just been demolishing safety hazards left and right in the name of human rights all day!

    You like football and boxing? Fuck you! The work environment is too dangerous and the government should protect them from injury!

  43. Damnit, HBO could do this book and with alot more interesting people.

    I will go shovel $10 to watch it, if only so libertarian philosophy doesn’t look completely bankrupt.

  44. “if only so libertarian philosophy doesn’t look completely bankrupt.”

    Key word being “completely”

    I wouldn’t say that libertarianism philosophy is bankrupt, but it is running serious deficit that requires some major soul searching.

    1. For most of history, the idea of individual liberty has been “bankrupt.”
      Except for maybe 1/3 of the population in 1776 north america, it seldom has appealed to enough people to hold any sway over the culture or government of society. It was totally bankrupt in 1939 Germany, 1920 Soviet Union, 1802 France, present day North Korea, etc.
      And, you know, I’m proud to espouse this “bankrupt” philosophy.

  45. Whatever will Liberals do when Atlas says to hell with them all and shrugs…? Maybe President Obama needs to read or “re-read” this book.
    Best quotes:”If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose ? because it contains all the others ? the fact that they were the people who created the phrase ‘to make money’. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity ? to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted, or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words ‘to make money’ hold the essence of human morality.

  46. Here is another whining Reason writer that probably sits in a dark room in his soiled undershorts and criticizes the people that are trying to do something against this massive tsunami of statism. These people … are worse than the statists, because they act like they are on your side, but actually do nothing, create nothing, but spend their time putting you down! Get up and do something!!!

    1. God forbid someone have a different opinion on a MOVIE or BOOK than you do.

  47. Can’t wait to get home and write a diary indicting libertarianism (and by extension, tea party people and all greedy capitalist pigs) on the basis of the rottentomatoes meter! oh joy!

  48. I always enjoyed the S&M undertones in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. These should be made into movies for late-night cable.

  49. I always enjoyed the S&M undertones in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. These should be made into movies for late-night cable.

  50. Let’s see…small budget, abysmal script, wooden acting, boring premise, nobody actors, nobody director, limited release with no promotion.
    Epic fail. This won’t even gross $1 million, it will be out of the theaters by May.
    But I don’t expect any of the Rand-huffers to point out the obvious, that it’s a crappy movie that wasn’t given the proper treatment (HBO mini series with a decent cast and quality crew, bigger budget). They want so badly to like it. Remember The Phantom Menace? Remember all you Star Wars kiddies who wanted so badly to like that, and you left the theater hopefully saying, wow, that sucked balls.
    It’d be nice to see some honest from Objectivists, rather than fawning gushing adulation like teenage girls at a Justin Beeber concert.

  51. Just reading some of the comments here are hysterical. Why are you all so butt hurt that the critics think this movie sucks? It does suck. It’s a bad movie that was only made to satisfy the ego of some trust fund kid who didn’t want to lose the rights for it. He did the worst thing possible; tried to make a movie from a book that should not be made into a single movie, or three for that matter. Mini series is the only way this could have been done.
    Cry all you want about Hollywood being controlled by liberals and gays and Jews, this is true but at least they know how to make money on their investments. Conservatives just suck at the creative arts.

    1. Broken clock-twice a day.

      Mini-series would have been the way to go. Also you’re a prick.

    2. Saw it last night with my wife and some friends. One who had not read the book.

      I enjoyed the movie in parts. It was nice to see some of it on the screen for the first time.

      However, it is not a very good movie. More like a made for TV movie. And the dialogue was pretty poor in places and the acting was spotty (probably due to the lines they had to deliver).

      Showing as much of John Galt as they did was a mistake. It should have been kept a mystery. (You know, like in the book) so that anyone who has not read the book would want to know “Why were they disappearing”? Plus he had some of the worst lines since they sounded corny. The Hugh Akston scene was a complete joke, horrible casting. He looked like an unshaven bum and was rude to Dagny. The scenes with the new engine were stupid. They added more fake science than was in the book and then you had ten minutes of pretty boring scenes while they drove from state to state looking for clues. I give it a C+ and that is only because at least it is finally on the screen. My wife was outraged at how bad it was. If they finish it, maybe it will be better. Or maybe a ten part mini-series next time.

      1. Yup. You kind of lose the mystery of the phrase “who is John Galt?” when you can answer within the first half hour, “he’s the guy in the goofy hat who’s been taking all the producers to his underground society.”.

        My wife was upset too. As she should be.

  52. Truth, as a purely practical matter the reason your system will never work is because, to its rotten little core, it absolutely depends on “the right people” being in charge. Ain’t. Never. Gonna. Happen.

  53. Thank you, Kurt Loder. Finally.

  54. Awhile back, I talked to a kid from Singapore who had cousins in India. He loves to visit them, he can have fun there.

    Authoritarian societies can produce many measures of success, they are just not as much fun.

  55. I say this film should have been done as a costume drama set in the New Deal era (when the original narrative was written) and done with noir lighting, fedoras, trench coats, art deco visuals, etc. The plot about railroads and steel mills and oil fields would have worked in a New Deal era setting.The New Deal powerbrokers’ overreaching hubristically in response to depression economics, and eventually getting their policies rebuked, would’ve spoken for itself.

    This film’s attempt to update the plot with REALLY EXPENSIVE GAS @ 37USDOLLARS was weak, the dialogue scenes (Rand was a writer of eloquent heightened drama scenes) way underdone. Honestly, this screenwriter couldn’t write a traffic ticket.

    I wouldn’t spend the money.

    1. It is now occurring to me that a book about innovations in railroad technology should probably not be set in “the future” unless of course it was written and directed by Joe Biden.

      I am going to see it anyway.

  56. I don’t care how terrible it is, I am going to see it out of interest to the book and it’s subject matter. The only thing that pisses me off is that I have to travel nearly 70 miles to find a theater playing it because I live in The Peoples Republic of Massachusetts.

  57. Dagny was a hot, submissive little bitch in the book. In the movie, it seems like she just talks too much.

    1. The thing that made it so hot when she was all submissive to Hank was the fact that she was so dominant and assertive the rest of the time and with everyone else.

      In the movie, she was neither.

    2. So +10 is what I meant to say.

      1. You dickwads let your little head do your “thinking”.

        1. Sex is bad mmkay?

  58. A profile at http://www.Libertarian-International.org plus other articles on world Libertarians.

  59. sigh..figures it would suck. After all these years of anticipation how could it not.

    1. +1

      Total bummer

  60. First: Kurt nails it in this review. Just saw the movie and could not agree more. Hamfisted dialog “borrowed” from the book and delivered with all the cinematic muster of a high senior’s semester project. Full disclosure, all of you can seriously suck it. Atlas Shrugged is a great book and a classic. Period. You do all realiz that you’re agreeing with 99.9999% of her views on.. pretty much everything, right? So typical of my fellow Libertarians to shit on one of the best and most capable of our defenders. Stubborn? Sure. Arrogant? Ok. I don’t give a fuck about the woman personally. You think more people get turned on to the ideals of individualism and liberty by Hayek than Ayn Rand? Go smoke a turd, you’re out of your mind. She has done more for our cause than Bastiat, Hayek, Hazlitt, Rothbard and Mises combined. Deal with it. Disagree? Your fooling yourself.
    Ohhh booooo, the book was too long, booo she doesn’t write like Shakespeare, booooo she said mean things about Libertarians, booooooo I have to pretend like I hate Ayn Rand so I smirk and roll my eyes to insinuate that I’m above liking someone so popular, oh booooooo! I secretly agree with everything she’s written, boooooo oh poor me!
    Anyway, yes I wanted to like the movie. Yes, in more capable hands it could’ve been amazing. There is no question that this movie is in fact, a horrrrrible representation of the ideals of Ayn Rand and the ideals of individualists in general.
    A true tragedy.


    1. Yes

    2. Who the fuck is Andrew76? Just another troll.

    3. God, shut up….and disable the “I” on your keyboard for a while!

    4. I disagree. Ayn Rand and Orwell and Bradbury informed my anti-collectivism. Hayek and de Tocqueville shaped my politics. The first group made illustrative and brilliant critiques of an omnipresent collectivist zeitgeist, the others were something to build on.

      I have deep respect for her, but she lost me with her denial of inherent altruism and the possibility (possibility, however remote) of a supernatural being. It struck me as dogmatic — better to let freedom and inquiry have primacy.

    5. When you consider that the lefties stood up for (and still stand up for) “Salt of the Earth,” libertarians ought to reconsider standing up for “Atlas Shrugged.”

      Just for the ideology and philosophy. No matter how bad the first movie might be. Maybe Parts II and III will be better if we give the movie some support.

  61. I mean seriously, what the fuck… “I’m simply cultivating a society that values individual achievement.” This line, delivered by Galt, played by the director (super obvious) near the end of the film. Nothing like giving away THE fundamental mystery of the book at the end of the first film and with some shitty, invented dialog. Say what you will about Rand. Haters, watch the film, you will see what I’m prattling on about. Ridiculous. I wanted this movie to crush. Instead, it farts.

    1. Yes

    2. This did bother me, but i loved the movie anyway

  62. … and Rosewood, I’m lookin’ at you. Big fan of Ms. Rand who turned me from a lover of Zinn, Chomsky and Democratic Socialism to a true believer in the ideals of Liberty. From her I continued to different authors and thinkers.
    Indeed, I had high hopes for this film and it is just flat out bad cinema. Forget what the story is even about, let alone politics. Everything from the script to the actors to the cinematography is bad, really bad.

    1. and yes. I really wanted it to be good and I was well prepared to forgive a lot of poor choices and bad quality. It was just too bad. If the content had been handled well, I wouldn’t have minded the film quality or acting but they just fucked it all up. I told my wife that it seems like Sarah Palin read the cliff notes and wrote the screenplay via Twitter. She agreed.

      1. Also, we saw Nathaniel Branden being helped into his limo at the opening. Dude got old.

  63. @ Ted S; “Dondi” is a crime against humanity. We should use it to threaten the Taliban; saying that we will force them to watch it over and over until they tell us everything they know. They’ll be begging for death before the end of the first re-run, if not the initial showing.

  64. Saw AS on opening night. Loved every minute. The less-than-full theater laughed when it was supposed to and applauded at the end.

    We are so jaded by phony-setup, plotless, chase-scene-driven, special-effects-loaded wastes of time Avatar/Transformers/Bourne movies that a film portraying the actual political reality that is bankrupting us is considered “too much talking” when these very back room crony capitalist deals (Obama/GM/GE/Al-Gore-subsidized-green scams) involve only talking, corrupt Dodd/Frank/Waxman pols and executive orders, not special effects, car chases and blue aliens.

    1. > not special effects, car chases and blue aliens.

      Are you claiming that the election of Obama didn’t involve special effects and Blue aliens?

  65. Obviously we didn’t view the same picture. Kurt Loder must live an alternate reality. Lacking talent of his own, he lashes out in a fashion typical of the many negative reviews of Rand’s novels.

    Like the original Star Trek, this movie is under-funded but sure to become a classic, and progenitor of many to come in the same vein.

    1. Everybody’s a critic. Most of the critics here are trolls…never seen them before.

  66. A very good movie. Well cast and directed. The socialist, Obama loving dickwads will not like it….but that’s its beauty.

  67. Most of you assholes here that didn’t like the movie, are pissed there were no stoners!

  68. Too bad that Loder didn’t like the film. I thought it was pretty good, not great. I saw some of the continuity problems and production that was not as good as it might have been, but the audience seemed to enjoy it. One problem is that if you haven’t read the book, the film may leave you in the dark. I never thought this thing would ever be made into a movie — way too detailed and difficult. But, the next two sections (I hope) will be more polished. If Aglialoro makes enough money with this part, then more power to him to go ahead with the rest. I don’t think Rand would have disliked the film.

  69. Well….this is our shining moment in the populist sun guys. Not sure this film will get us anywhere, but Reason should make at least half of these postings available forever- honestly these postings are some of the funniest shit Ive read at this website, Id pay $10 to see the AS actors read this stuff. Kudos to the capitalist who gambled on the idea- I wanted to see this story in short form because I am much lazier now, I hope he clears his ante.

  70. Kurt is wrong. Has Kurt ever made a movie? It is a very good movie and I cannot wait to see Part 2. The theatre was full. Clapping at end.

  71. I loved it and was happily surprised. I’d see it again, and probably will even buy the whole set, yes its that good. I can’t wait for parts 2 and parts 3. And it matters little if its the same actors, director, producer!

    This movie watcher with a critical eye, this rand reader and this libertarian YES, I LIKED IT and I liked it very much.

    So what is Loder’s problem? Who’s kurt Loder anyway?

    Most of all, what is WRONG with REASON? Reason is always so unReasonable when it counts that they remind me of little crawly crabs in a fisherman’s bucket: when one crawls up and out for freedom, the others pull’em back. In the same way, when one freedom message starts escaping into fame, they pull it back as best they can… True for Avatar, true for Atlas and Ron Paul and true for many others…

    Look, the Atlas story needs to be told and retold again and again, much like Robinhood or King Author gets told and retold… or like spiderman and batman gets told and retold. Capitalism and freedom has its heros and villains…

    …but reason is well, weird, a weird crab in the bucket, one that does its best to kill freedom when it counts,

    …..Oh that’s it, Reason has a big case of the Crabs.

    Find a cure Reason… and get back to Spreading the Freedom Message…

    In peace & liberty,

  72. Sorry, I know you miss Brad and Angelina and don’t like any movie without Samuel L. Jackson or their like. Pathetic….sorry, you just don’t get it.

  73. Haha! Yes indeed, because I don’t spend every waking minute on here, enough to even “make friends” with other posters I’m therefore a troll.
    You have no idea how much I wanted this movie to be great. I thought the independent route was a smart choice, as was the casting of nobodies and the fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants way it seemed to be coming together over the last year.
    However, this movie is a fucking joke. It’s an atrocious, cliffs notes version of the story with barely T.V. Movie quality acting.
    I mean for real, at the end when we actually HEAR(!!) Galt telling Ellis Wyatt “I’m simply cultivating a society that values individual achievement..” with hack digital fires burning in the background… I almost got up and left. Corny. As. Fuck.

    And we all know the politically connected con artists and bureaucrats are corrupt bastards, but in the book, as in real life, these people truly BELIEVE they are doing good things.

    Rand alludes to their unformed feelings of subconscious guilt, but they cannot accept that what they’re doing is evil. By contrast, all the bad guys in the movie are one dimensional, “we gotta take down that Hank Rearden!” kinda bad guys. The powerful lesson on the negative consequences of their meddling and do-gooderism is lost in re-tooling them all as simply “bad guys who want to bring down the productive just because that’s what bad guys do.”

    Anything subtle and clever in the story has been replaced with obvious, stupid and poorly acted dialog.

    I literally have no idea what anyone sees in this film. It will do more harm than good.

    Troll or no troll, this version of the story is a tragedy to behold.

    1. Sadly, I agree. I found myself trying to like the film but many times the obvious flaws were cringe-inducing. Aside from a few bits that were spot-on, much of it was quite bad. Frisco could have been written much better. I did like the last scene. Dagny’s scream was great, but then they had to ruin it with the voice-over of Ellis Wyatt instead of just letting his sign speak for itself. Far too many times in the movie they had to put labels at the bottom of the screen. Very amateurish. Maybe in the mini-series in 2030 they can start with the first episode showing their childhoods and you get to meet Nate Taggert and then showing them going off to college, meet Stadler and Akston so you get to know the characters and then jump ahead to the “present” of the main story. I’m still glad they made the movie but it should have been much better to do the story justice. It is a hard book to turn into a movie for many reasons and doing it on a limited budget and with a short deadline made it even harder to do.

      1. I wouldn’t have minded the low budget except that it caused them to have to set it in modern day. The time they spent justifying the story to modern times chewed up a lot of time that could’ve been used to tell the story and introduce the characters.

        To be positive for a second, Lillian Rearden was perfect.

    2. There are just 2 or 3 of you posting your dilike using a number of names to look like a conscience. That is a troll.

      1. Should read “dislike” and “consensus”.

  74. @Andrew76
    Relax, it’s only a movie, better than some, not as good as others.

    The remake of Arthur might be more to your liking. Seriously.

    Of course AS has problems. The book has problems. If you’re looking for perfection you will be disappointed every time.

  75. There was nothing wrong with this film.

  76. Saw Atlas Srugged today. Packed theater, applause at the end.

  77. Well, I had the privilege of meeting, talking with and spending a little time with Ayn Rand, and I feel comfortable in saying that she would have liked this version. Yes, I think she would have.

  78. While I don’t think this was a bad movie, I found it far from what I would call good. The easy fix would have been to make this movie longer. 1 Hour and 40 minutes is not enough time to tell the story Rand set forth in Part I.

    The conversations between characters were cut short, often cutting out very important parts. D’Anconta never explains why he invested in the Mexican mines that were vacant. We never see the anti dog-eat-dog rule passed, thus the need for Rearden Steel in 9 months makes no sense to the viewer (especially since the request for getting the steel quicker came before any mention of the dog-eat-dog rule in the movie).

    I know that the solution to making this movie better means longer conversations, less action, longer scenes. But we are not talking about making the next Iron Man movie, we are talking about a movie that is mostly political and social commentary.

    The actors were really good, and the look and feel of the movie was great. I have a simple suggestion. Hopefully they all get back together to start filming Part II, when they do go back and film additional scenes for Part I and release it on DVD as a 3 hour movie. They will make their money back on the DVD sales and will put out a much better tribute to the novel.

  79. I’m never buying Reason again as a result of this unnecessarily harsh and negative review, … well, actually, I haven’t bought one in 20 years due to almost relentless assaults on reason contained within (occasional sops excepted) and am not going to start now.

  80. Bad review or not the film is doing very well thank you very much.

    1. I hope it continues to do well…I want to see Part II and III made into a movie. My poor review comes in part because almost everyone who loves a book will give the movie version a poor review. Here’s to more people watching the movie…even more buying the book…and even more turning toward true libertarian principals.

  81. sorry kurt loder, but i enjoyed this movie. even if it could have been made better, we should still encourage films with this message, rather that the typical socialist dribble that comes out of hollywood.

  82. I saw the movie on Friday. It was a better movie than Hannah, I can say that for sure. It got Rand’s theme across quite effectively, I thought, and expressed Rand’s ideas and her affective sense of things well. I feared that it would really be like a TV movie after reading all the lukewarm reviews and feedback here and elsewhere, but it was a better movie than they said. It’s true that there were occasional flat moments, but most of it was engaging and (of course) thought-provoking. I loved the photography of Colorado.

  83. ty rights, etc. seem like a more accurate measure of freedom than democracy.

  84. This plan has no merit

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