Rightbloggers on Atlas Shrugged: It's the Feel-Good, Piece-of-Crap Movie of the Year!
"Surprisingly good!" said Matthew Vadum at NewsReal Blog. Why surprisingly? "There is so much information, so much political economy and philosophy, packed into so little movie," he said.
That doesn't sound promising, nor does Vadum's judgement that "the dialogue seems a bit wooden, a bit unnatural, like in a soap opera" and "it's not going to win any Oscars for various reasons," the wooden dialogue presumably among them.
But Vadum insisted that "it is definitely worth seeing, especially if you care about America and want to reverse its planned decline." Because political activism is why we go to the movies.
Also, seeing it would "give a one-finger salute to the looters and parasites who run and influence government," and spite film critics, whom Vadum said would pan the film because "they despise Ayn Rand's philosophy of enlightened self-interest." (Among their number he included not only Ebert but also "alleged conservative Michael Medved." You'd think Medved's book Hollywood vs. America would put him on culture warriors' permanent A-list, but no, said Vadum, "this is a guy who thought the remake of The Omen was much better than the original," and is therefore capable of any kind of wrongthink.)
Jacob Huebert ("attorney, law professor, and writer") "thought it was great," then qualified his praise: "Not a great movie in the usual sense, but a great adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, which is not a great novel in the usual sense."
Interesting! Tell us more. "Yes, it's low-budget. Yes, the direction is pedestrian. Yes, the dialogue is often clunky. So people who want to whine can whine about those things."
But Huebert found in these artistic failings a propaganda advantage: "You can wish the movie had a big budget and better talent," he explained, "but if you got those things, you would almost certainly lose this movie's faithfulness to the book's story and ideas -- and the ideas, after all, are the point."
This is probably the kind of movie you looters enjoy -- it makes fun of rich people!
"The movie does not entertain in the obvious ways," admitted Timothy Reynolds at Sharon's Views, "relying instead on dialogue to drive the story," and "in the absence of explosions, poignant death scenes, and epic battles many critics will quickly pan the film as unappealing to the general audience. They would be right, mostly. But most people don't vote, can't name their state senator, and miss the irony in 'un-paid-for tax cuts.'"
So who cares what those parasite moviegoers think? They're only interested in thrills, poignancy, and spectacle, whereas Atlas Shrugged is for people who are above such things -- people like the ones at the showing Reynolds attended, who "responded to the dialogue with knowing chuckles, outright laughter, and even a blurted comment 'Way to go lady!'... I estimate the average age to be above 50 years." (So, basically the audience for Wild Hogs, then.)
Whether they thought the film was any good or not, rightbloggers generally agreed that its existence was important ordnance in the war against looters, Obama, socialism etc.
"It must be seen," declared Survive December 2012. "It must be understood. This movie is about today. I implore each of you to take a friend to this movie and understand the message."
"If you're a believer in capitalism looking for a little entertainment, knowing your hard earned dollars are helping to spread a free market message," said The Lonely Conservative, "then I would recommend the movie."
Tamara K of View from the Porch did her bit: "The trailers are showing before the start of Atlas Shrugged," she reported. "Movie Screen: 'Disneynature proudly presents: The next great Earth Day adventure!' Me: *snort* 'Wow! Target marketing fail!' People Inadvertently In Earshot: *laughter*."
She sure told that eco-socialist trailer, and perhaps even converted some citizens with her guerrilla heckling. Nonetheless, Tamara K said the Disney film "looked pretty cool, what with it being about big kitties and all." But don't worry, she hasn't gone soft: "I refuse to go see it on Lenin's birthday, however," she added, "lest I inadvertently contribute statistically to the propaganda effort. (Conversely, I planted my butt in a theater seat for Atlas Shrugged two days in a row, for just the same reason.)"
Well done, citizen shill! Her devotion to the Cause would no doubt have lifted the heart of John Nolte of Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood, who told the troops just what's at stake here:
"Our political enemies in Hollywood will be watching how well 'Atlas Shrugged' does over the weekend," he wrote. "There's nothing they want more than to have another excuse in another story meeting to shoot down an ideal appealing to us based on actual box office numbers. But because we're the Tea Party and not the Republican Establishment, I'm thinking they're going to be pretty disappointed. Here's how you can find a theatre near you..."
All this is dismayingly reminiscent of the old Soviet attitude toward art -- that its primary importance is to advance a political agenda, to which all aesthetic concerns must take a back seat. Which is particularly strange coming from a bunch of alleged individualists who are always complaining that Hollywood movies are too politicized.
Fortunately it's a free country and they can enforce their Zhdanovism only on themselves. So may Galt go with them to the cineplexes and give them a good time. If other moviegoers prefer Rio, Rango, and Hop, why shouldn't these guys enjoy cartoon characters of their own?