Saturday, April 23, 2011

Shrugging off the critics

There is a general rule of thumb that the answers nearly always rest between extremes. In the case of the film adaptation of Atlas Shrugged the reactionary extremes exist. The far left kooks who also happen to be Big Hollywood have gone out of their way to pan this film. On the flip side Ayn Rand fanatics are acting like it’s the best thing ever. The truth lies between the two. The film is absolutely worth your time and money but is neither the best nor worst movie ever.

The reaction of the left was to be expected Ayn Rand hated Progressives (and social conservatives) so her writings would pretty much anger them anyway as her unapologetic pro-capitalism anti-statist ideology is a direct assault on Progressive sensibilities. How do you react when your ideology is directly challenged? I understand why Progressives hate Atlas Shrugged, it’s the same reason I hate Kingdom of Heaven which portrays Christians and their Jewish allies as evil racists and savage oppressors and the Muslims, lead by Saladin, as the oppressed seeking liberation. It’s a load of hogwash if you know anything about the crusades Islam was the aggressor… but that’s another blog.

The difference between Atlas Shrugged and Kingdom of Heaven is that the premise of Atlas Shrugged is absolutely true. The more government do-goodery the more oppression because, to paraphrase Dragonheart, “whenever you squeeze the rich it’s the poor who feel the pinch.” That pinch comes in the form of reduced wage growth, reduced job opportunities, and reduced economic investments, but whatever eat the rich! It’s the popular but not the right thing to do! If the entrepreneur is over regulated and over taxed they cannot move their vision forward, and their ability to invest in their community and create jobs dies. More often than not it takes a lot of work to follow their dreams and they cannot do it themselves so they create jobs by necessity creating opportunities for us the working class to exploit. In other words we get to ride their coattails, and someday we might have a billion dollar idea ourselves and in a capitalistic society we can get off the coat tails at any point to pursue our own dream. No other economic system enables people to start dirt poor and work their way up to filthy rich. Without the entrepreneur the world as we know it grinds to a halt.

In contrast Kingdom of Heaven’s premise is bogus on the face. It recasts the oppressor as the oppressed and literally makes heroes of villains and villains of heroes. History has shown us Islam is the aggressor… also Islam is a religion not a race I am therefore not being bigoted being educated enough on the topic to criticize it. The reason I bring up Kingdom of Heaven is because I don’t recall there being as many critics coming out of the wood work to attack this film, even if the movie was indeed a load of nonsense and historically and ideologically faulty. Atlas Shrugged is being accused of being a propaganda piece when it is not, but Kingdom of Heaven clearly is, but its ideology lines up with the crazy things the left believes so there’s no reason to go on the attack on that film.

Atlas Shrugged is a good but not great film. There are indeed some instances of poorly delivered dialogue, but most of the acting is at least passable which is more than I can say of most of the films Big Hollywood puts out. The cinematography is brilliant. Much has been made of the films $10-25 Million Dollar low budget, but the camera works so well and so hard that you will hardly notice. This film looks just as great as any Big Hollywood film, but watch the critics pan the “sweeping areal shots of the Colorado valley.” Never mind the fact that they are just as breathtaking as anything Hollywood has put out… The script has done a great job of taking a long story and condensing the first portion of it into a 2 hour film. While I agree there is some material missing I wish they hadn’t left out (a deeper exploration of the Plan) the film is still a very faithful adaptation of the first third of the book.

The score left much to be desired but what is truly impressive is that this film was made with so little money and therein lies the real threat this film poses to the left. This film is as good as anything Hollywood has put out lately. They did it on a shorter production schedule and with less money than what is normal for Hollywood. It will not take much more for them to make a profit off this film as more and more theaters run it which means there is a market for right leaning films which means we are on the threshold of taking away control of the narrative. Atlas Shrugged is to the film industry what Fox News is to the news industry, and if the film succeeds the way that Fox has it means we’ve won a huge battle in our three front war for the minds of the masses. Education, government, media… So long as liberals control even one of these three fields we can do nothing to stop the fundamental transformation of everything we hold dear into something unrecognizable… Especially for Utahns… look around… what looks familiar to you anymore?

This film will provide you with a weight, of sorts, to remind you that you are not alone, that the values you were taught as a child are still correct even if the world around you seems to be forgetting and is embracing “change” for changes sake. Help us win the war on Big Hollywood and go see this film. If it is not playing at a theater near you demand it here

3/5 stars

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