Movie time!

I’ve never liked a movie where I read the book first.

The problem is you always create your own movie in your head. Mental images of the characters, the scenes, the direction. Rarely does a directors vision live up to yours. (Hell, I should direct!)

Anyway, they just announced the release of Atlas Shrugged the other day. And given the amount of time and sweat I put into that monster, it’ll be a tall order for director Paul Johansson…

Seriously.

It’s a tough book to bring to the screen. Like I wrote in my “1200 words” post, it lacks a lot in terms of dramatic conflict and her characters are generally pretty one dimensional – not much change from beginning to end.

  From the trailer, I already I don’t like what I’m seeing.

The movie appears to be set in modern day. Strike one.

The railroad business is / was far more relevant to the era when the book was set. Should have made it Taggart-Soft and Rearden Silicon, for all that’s worth. I mean, it’s all the same in terms of the philosophy of the book, but the charm and style of the 1950s is suddenly lost. Whats wrong with the 50s??? I want to see what a Hammond convertible looks like, damnit!  (On the plus side, the NY scenes look like they were moved to Chicago!)

And the acting… OK, to be fair, you can’t judge based on a 2-1/2 minute trailer, but the chick (Taylor Schilling) playing Dagny seems awfully flat.

For that matter, so does the rest of the cast – Hank, and worst of all, my personal fav – Jim Taggart.

Strike two.

And how do you fit 1200 pages into a 2-3 hour movie anyway?

I guess the answer is you don’t. They’ve only made Part 1 of the book. The story of building the John Galt line. OK. There’s some drama there. It does lend itself to film. But it kind of misses the whole larger point of the book.

Dangerous tactic by the writers and directors too. I think the general renaissance in popularity of Atlas Shrugged is due to the rise of “Tea Party” politics. Who knows what it’ll be like in a year or two if they do parts 2 and 3.

This ain’t Star Wars or Die Hard.

Strike three?

Anyway, it opens on April 15 – tax day (nice touch.) I’m sure I’ll spend my hard earned money to go see it. In the meantime, I’ll leave it up to you to judge.

Check out the site here…

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