Thursday, September 06, 2012

Someone Made "Atlas Shrugged II," After All

Huh. Y'know, I kinda thought this project was over and done with when the first one bombed - I mean... The Market had spoken, no?

In any case, they seem to have aquired a whole new cast, and it looks like the low budget is going to be even more apparent now that the bigger scifi stuff starts showing up in the story. For those of you only tangentially familiar with the material - no, believe it or not The MacGuffin seen in this trailer is not a new addition to the story: The supposed "Right-Wing Bible" of American political philosophy really does end up revolving around the good guys having to protect a Green Energy Source.


Joe said...

Ayn Rand on religion: "There is no god."

David Brin on Atlas Shrugged and Rand:

Why do none of Rand's characters ever have kids? Because those kids'll inherit the olympian status wrested by Howard Roark or by Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden. Sons and daughters of demigods, they will assume privileges and power that they never earned through fair competition. They will take lordship for granted as a right of blood, and use it to squelch new competitors from rising to face them on a level playing field. Until their own decadent line has to be toppled, amid war and waste and pain.

Is it a surprise so many so-called "conservatives" cherry-pick Rand? So many are already cherry-picking Christ.

NathanS said...

That's President Dugan!

Mads said...

Will watch this for President Dugan and Cmdr Adama's dad...

cathal said...

This actually lots a lot better than part I did. Might actually watch these movies one day.

James T said...

Actually, Joe, the idea of inheritance in the Rand stories is dealt with a bit. Francisco and Dagny both come from lines of wealth, with the idea being that they also were brought up with (or rather, naturally had) the /attitude/ that was necessary. There's a line somewhere in AS about how the worthless being rich really isn't a concern because their wealth will flee them quickly enough. Finally, and by FAR most troubling, is a passing line somewhere in Galt's Gulch about how children are walking around... I wish I could remember exactly how it goes and I don't feel like skimming two hundred pages to find it. Anyway, the kids are walking around, unburdened by the lies that parents tell their children. Yeah. Rand would have set back advancements in child rearing by hundreds of years.

Anonymous said...

Teller (of Penn & Teller) will have a role in this next installment. So that's one reason to see it at least. Here's hoping it's actually a speaking role.

Chris said...

That trailer plays like a tea partiers conspiracy wet dream.

Government BAD, Corporations GOOD

And the funny thing is. It probably wouldn't be the government shutting down the invention of an unlimited energy source. It would be the oil companies.

Aiddon said...

uh, WHY?

KevinCV said...

@Chris: Yeah, but some people in the government are in the back pocket of said oil companies. Hence why we've had little or no progress on cars that run on alternative fuels and such. Also hence those same people didn't bat an eye when the oil companies decided to ratchet up the gas prices to ridiculous heights while we were at war with Iraq.

maninahat said...

I'm actually quite delighted they somehow managed to shit out another sequel, in spite of the (ironic) train wreck that was part 1. I'll be waiting with bated breath

Anonymous said...

I find it humorous that a movie about the triumphs of capitalism that lost money in our capitalistic system is getting a sequel not because its predecessor succeeded in any market measure we have, but instead because of blind ideology... funny.

JeffBergeron said...

"And the funny thing is. It probably wouldn't be the government shutting down the invention of an unlimited energy source. It would be the oil companies."

So they would get their puppets in Washington to help them in that goal.

Fascist corporatism is NOT the free market.

Redd the Sock said...

This is a vanity project. They'll get the whole book out or go bankrupt trying all in the hope that people not familiar with it will see it and be converted. Of course, if you can't get the cast of Twilight and a wide release that won't happen, but hey, the philosophy itself involves a certain level of self delusion.

Jake said...

I'm not really a Rand fan and haven't seen the first movie, but I think a lot of people would be less annoyed with you if you just made a blog post that said, straight forwardly, "I'm a Liberal", instead of your current label as a "Libertine". If you're not ashamed of it just say it and get it over with. If you have good reasons to not call yourself a liberal, (and I know you don't tow the line on every issue with them) then maybe some of your more conservative viewers if they can find some common ground with you and this site might contain some good discussions.

Also, please stop trying to play amateur psychologist with conservatives, it's kind of presumptuous.

I'm not trying to be mean, just giving out some suggestions.

angrykirby said...

Saw the first movie on netflix it is really lousy the acting was bad in a way Iv rarely seen before so stilted and odd. Grant Bowler was completely wooden he didnt emote at all and He kept his arms at his sides like a video game character. Bad forgettable film.

I like that they recast it but I really doubt the sequel will be good. If they do take the time to adapt it well it still would be weird next to the first one they should scrap it all and start over.

Bioshock is by far the best adaptation of Atlas Shrugged Andrew Ryans "sweat of your brow" speech says in 2 paragraphs what John Gaults speech trys to say for 9 pages

Nixou said...

"Bioshock is by far the best adaptation of Atlas Shrugged"

The problem with Bioshock is that it does not depict the triumph of an objectivist utopia but its collapse and presents it as an inevitable outcome of its inherent self-contradictions (with Adam acting like a catalyst more than a cause). No Randologist is going to aknowledge this game as a metaphor for they dogma because it does not depict their team winning and dragging the rest of the world in the mud.

Jake said...

For anyone who cares, here's a Conservative Catholic (free-market leaning) who despises Rand's philosophy:

Pat said...


Bioshock is actually interesting in that it's not 100% clear whether or not Rapture failed because of the inherent flaws of Objectivism or because Andrew Ryan ultimately decided to compromise his beliefs in order to combat Fontaine/Atlas. One could argue that if he allowed the market to take its course and allowed Fontaine/Atlas to take control of Rapture away from him, things would have turned out very differently.

Andrew Ryan seemed convinced that Rapture could not survive without his guidance, but that very belief flies in the face of his own philosophy.

Of course, one could argue that this is the very flaw of Objectivism. It is difficult to ask someone to simultaneously value self-interest and be rational and reasonable about it. Even so, there are actually a lot of things Andrew Ryan did that many Objectivists would say go against the philosophy. The fact that his one law for Rapture was a law restricting trade with the outside world could be seen as his first betrayal of his philosophy and by restricting trade, he gave Fontaine a foothold to build his empire.

I do agree that Bioshock does a great job of showing the flaws in both humanity and the Objectivist philosophy, but I don't know if I agree that it is a straight-up condemnation of it. In a lot of ways, it leaves that decision up to the player, which is another thing that makes it such a great game.

James T said...

Well said, Pat!

And what I truly loved about Bioshock was that, despite the fact that it went out of its way to make Ryan look like a villain, his final moments were him believing in his choice, that /will/ was the ultimate and that such a thing as conditioning wasn't really, well, real. He had the means of the characters destruction in his hands but would rather die, and even past that he would rather see the protagonist make a decision of his own.

This actually feeds into Rand's extremely interesting views on genetics, which is the source of (what I believe) her primary flaw, but that's a story for a different day...

Oh, and for anybody who didn't know, Andrew Ryan was voiced by Armin Shimerman, who played Quark in Deep Space 9 (how's that for a free market role?) and had a small role in the first Atlas Shrugged.

Zeno said...

Atlas Shrugged would make a better music-drama than a movie. Atlas Shrugged would also make a better music-drama than a novel.

If you don't immediately recognize who I'm referencing with that hyphenation, just think "opera" instead.

However, there is no film score composer in the world I'd trust to write the music, so they would have to go back to the classics. Only a real genius could do it justice by transmuting the heavy-handedness into existential tension.

If it had to be a movie, Terry Gilliam would be the best possible director, and no, that's not some joke about how troubled his productions end up being.

The Fountainhead was vastly superior.


An Atlas Shrugged/Red Alert crossover would be better than this preachy propaganda piece. Just imagine what a John Galt IFV would be like...

Zeno said...

Its been said that Wagner had great moments but awful quarters of an hour. Rand had great paragraphs but awful penultimate speeches.

Anonymous said...

I like how the delicious irony of the previous movie failing in the free market is lost to no one.

Also curious as to the absolute silence when it comes to explanations as to why it failed. Like, I remember some Fox News people thinking there was a conspiracy in movie companies to make the movie fail. Yeah that's it. It's not that the story is awful and the populace at large doesn't care.

So delicious. I think Troll 2 made more money than Atlas Shrugged, therefore, it is the better movie.

And no, Ayn Rand is a fucking TERRIBLE writer. Her contemporaries hated her. Readers at the time hated the books. Readers now hate her books. The books are only kept alive as school reading and as businessmen's religious texts.

As regular books, they're boring and stupid.

As philosophical tracts, they contradict each other.

All the more fitting that she died sans the wealth she only measured human worth by, living off the government she so hated with Social Security and Medicare.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

@ comments about Bioshock

I've always had to take issue with the idea that Bioshock was in any meaningful way a criticism of Objectivism. Despite Ryan's rhetoric, true laissez-faire never existed, taxes in some form or other must have existed to keep the whole structure maintained, and the Ryan himself was a bit of a tyrant. In fact, once you start to take ADAM into account, I can't help but feel Rapture is much more analogous to Marxism. Just think of how ADAM is controlled and manufactured by the state, and is consistently being seized and redistributed at behest of the state.

And Rapture's downfall not only had absolutely nothing to do with what Libertarian policy there was, but was directly caused by the regulations Ryan did have.


The downfall have Rapture was pretty directly analogous to American Prohibition. Gangsters got rich off trading prohibited goods with the surface, which would never have happened if it weren't illegalized.

Nixou said...

One of the main criticism leveled at randologist is that they, in fine, do not believe their own gospel; that objectivism is in the end little more than a rather mediocre attempt at trying to justify the aristocratic privileges its adherent want for themselves.

So you have, in both bioshock and in real-life, self proclaimed ├╝ber-lbertarian who claim that they would be so much more successful if not for the evil big government rigging the game against them: but as soon as they end up on the top of the social hierarchy, they'll do anything they can to rig the competition in their favor. In one case, it takes the form of a libertarian "utopia" which starts to look suspiciously like North Korea underwater while in meatspace we can see a republican party which looks suspiciously similar to the entrenched elites of the former Soviet Union during its later years: so busy preserving their de facto status as nobility that they end up sabotaging their own country economy and quite clearly lacking faith in the ideology they use to justify their power and privilege.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

@ Nixou

Tu quoque does not constitute a meaningful criticism.

Pat said...


While Fontaine's power was amassed as a result of his smuggling operation, which was only possible due to Ryan's law against open trade with the outside world, he was only able to lead an uprising due to the inherent dissatisfaction with the populous who refused to work in menial labor, which led to an economic collapse. An uprising was inevitable since Ryan had no government or law enforcement outside of easily-hacked security bots and the nature of a self-interested society would gravitate towards a top-heavy class system.

As for how Rapture survived without taxes, Ryan built the structure himself with his own money and resources. The air was created by a scientist who figured out how to make trees flourish. The city was powered by a geothermal reactor. Everything else was handled by the private sector or came out of Ryan's pocket.

It's also important to distinguish between Libertarianism and Objectivism. Objectivism is far less practical since it can really only work as a guiding philosophy for a nation if each citizen of the nation individually decides to adopt an Objectivist philosophy. This was the problem Andrew Ryan faced. Ultimately he had to choose between letting his city abandon Objectivism and losing control of it, or forcing the populous to adopt a philosophy that they no longer valued, which in itself goes against Objectivism.

Rory said...

So, Atlas Shrugged was a massive critical and financial flop...and they're STILL shoving a sequel down our throats!? And yet we're likely to never get more John Carter films, that I WILL see again opening weekend despite Bob's apathetic reviews he'd probably give those too!?

Fuck you Hollywood.And to all the Republicans who now worship Rand, she hated Regan y'know, or is that another fact you're gonna willfully deny?

Andrew "Nodagamera" Krickhahn said...

To a lot of you - while Rand's ideals were to such a extreme that they were unrealistic and seemed heartless, all these things are your opinions, clearly not shared by everyone and as evidenced not by the producers. I for one in a very liberal or left way like the ideals of objectivism, and actually enjoyed reading the book and despite its flaws such as stiff acting and dialogue, which given Rands personality and the way she described the characters actually kind of fit. Sch it would have been better as a A&E or AMC miniseries or something to that effect but I am looking forward to seeing the film in theaters and have a lot of respect for the crew taking upon this endeavor and pushing forward with it despite the first efforts financial losses.

Now see I just shared my point of View without out getting mad or barking...this is the internet people, Why waste your effort getting all snarky?

Buy the way, BOB, I'm surprised you didn't hear of this sooner, I knew of it back in May. And on one final note those of you who groan at the thought, James is trolling again posting again as Anonymous. Sigh

Anonymous said...

"Tu quoque does not constitute a meaningful criticism."

Actually it does when you are advocating a philosophy of life. If you have your followers eschew government programs or benefits, while taking them yourself, criticizing that isn't tu quoque. That's just hypocrisy. Spouting off about the merits of the free market while working to stifle said free market and eliminate competition to benefit themselves, criticism of that isn't tu quoque. That's just hypocrisy.

The difference is that it's the idea under attack here. Not the person. The argument is against the ideas of Objectivism and Libertarionism, not against any one person who believes them. To say that anybody who takes a handout from the government is a mooching parasite and then, like Ayn Rand, take one herself, either destroys the idea of Objectivism itself or makes Ayn Rand a moocher, and thus a hypocrite.. Period.