"Books, Records, Films -- these things matter. Call me shallow but it's the damn truth." - High Fidelity

February 8, 2013

Who is John Galt? - Live Blogging Atlas Shrugged Part II

The film opens on Dagney with her Reardon metal braclet flying some sort of futuristic jet plane, showboating with another plane.  This reminds me, I guess they flew biplanes or something in the book, fooling around.  Maybe.  The music is bad, melodramatic and the CG and greenscreen, well it's always gonna be there, just like the last movie.  Part of me can't believe I didn't go see this in the theaters.  Part of me can't believe I saw the last one in theaters.  Part me of wonders that now that I can pause it, will I ever finish it.  Dagney's about to crash into the mountain and starts repeating "Who is John Galt" and I laugh cause I know and wonder how many suffered through the book to get to this disapointing conclusion and then suffered through it again for fun.  I wonder how many people still devote themselves to this melodramatic drivel disguised as philosophy.

I restart the movie and wonder if I will make it through it all.

Whoa, it's the doctor from Voyager.  Examining Galt's engine.  Greyer.

"But you built it anyway."  Main problem with the films is that they follow the books too closely and the books are mad melodramatic.  The cheap music and constant greenscreening doesn't help much either.

"Deactivating Emergency Medical Hologram."  Dagney uses scifi to hide the Galt engine when he mentions the State Science Institute.

I'm betting the science guy starts trying to steal the engine right away.

How funny they have to create a rail system for Dagney to run as the original robber barons bought up and destroyed the streetcars and urban rail in America has failed under the rule of the gasoline engine.

Love how they still talk like robots even though they're all modern holding their ipads.

Media exists to explain Ayn's laws and ideas.  "Fair Share Act"

It feels like they're reading the book outloud.

"It's as if some destroyer is sweeping up everybody who could dig us out of this mess."  this so classic.

Wyatt thinks leaving the oil burning is the same as leaving it when he found it.  Asshole.

Trying to remember where we left off.  This must be horribly confusing to people who haven't read the book.  My only real wonder is, will Galt's speech be in this movie or will it be the entiretity of the second movie.  Will they do a director's cut where somebody reads it all?

Love it how Dagney gets all whiney everytime you mention John Galt.

Tagline for the movie is, "Everyone has their breaking point" -- I wonder if it will be the music.  Booooring.

Holy shit it's Hannity.  CREEEEEEEPY!

Reardon speaks with a creepy smoky voice that sounds awful.  His office is obvious fake green screen and looks bad.

"It's the job you chose, I've just never met a looter with such a sense of dedication..."  -- I sense a lecture coming from Reardon.  Two characters, sitting on couches, lecturing eachother.  We're gonna be here a while.

Reardon is lecturing him on why he won't sell the government his metal.  With his gravely voice and the way he's lecturing he sounds just like Edward James Olmos from Stand and Deliver.

"try pouring a ton of steel without ridgid principles."

Dagney's brother literally giving cash away on the street and now he's flirting with some shopkeeper.  Shades of Citizen Kane.  Ever performed in an Opera House?

They went to a concert instead.

Oh sweet.  The pianist disapeared.  "Who is John Galt?"  this is done pretty well and despite the incredbily cheap typography they keep using, helps to build a real sense of drama.

Wish that more people would disapear.  Like gravely Reardon and idiot dagney.  Love the way cars in the future all drive perfectly flat on green screens.

Two characters in a car reading the book aloud not looking at eachother.

Yup.  It's one of the guys from Drew Carey.  I can only assume this is a who's who of Republican leaning actors who agreed to be in Atlas Shrugged II on the cheap.

This Guy.

And he's gonna save the day and fix Galt's motor for her.  It's almost too good to be true.  Cause he's goone.  This is the vanishing bullshit part of the book.  Real page turner.  Vanish vanish vanish.  Reardon.... drum roll.  Can't believe there's gonna be like three more hours of this.

Only the bad music can carry us through these endlessly boring scenes.

I wonder if this is what watching that On the Road movie would be like.  Watching pale imitations of characters.  Odd scenery that doesn't fit.  Romanticism with all the romance taken away.

Safeway says these chips are generic, but I think they taste better than Doritos.

Pause to get some snack food and a banana.  Ayn would demand that I do this for myself and not think of you first.  It's important for me to eat despite the internet's endless hunger and demand for more Atlas Shrugged II live blogging.

Thinking about why I have absolutely no faith in this movie, despite liking the themes and the characters, the scope and the melodrama and at one time even the philosophy, it's because I know.  I know that instead of hiring a screenwriter to recreate this old book as a movie, and rewrite everything, they just took Ayn's word as if it were the gospel, and didn't change anything.  That's why everything sounds wooden and stolid, pale and old.  Every choice they made, they went with the gospel.

Wow, time passes and he married the girl from the supermarket just like Citizen Kane.  Classic Randism, "I'm the woman in this family.  -- That's quite alright, I'm the man."

Finally Fransisco, left out of the first movie.  Not good enough.  None of the actors are good enough.  Fransisco, not young or fun enough. Dagney, not pretty enough, too much Amy Poller playing Hillary Clinton, Reardon terrible voice not large enough shoulders, not imposing enough figure.  Eddie not wormy enough, no sweater, bald head is too modern, why not let him be a throwback.  I can only dread who they got to play Galt.

Big Fransico speech - What is the root of all money?

Shitty actor, he's too short and too old and not rich enough and fun enough, but it's still a big speech and he tried his best.  No music, no drama, they underplay the moment.  They need to go bigger with the mellodrama.  It's very dramatic.

"Money is the root of all evil, so I just got tired of being evil."  -- Fransisco, when asked why he destroyed his mines.

3 hours more and we're back to the slow moving music and no talking.  Reardon's unhappy wife, life, etc.

Email says not to miss Foreigner.  Dunno about that.

I've got double vision.

Reardon and his gravely voice are fucking his shitty wife, or maybe that was Dagney.  Who cares.  Just waiting for Galt, Galt, Galt.

Oh.  So it was Dagney, so quiet and blah.  His wife found him and she's mad, blah blah blah.

Galt Galt Galt!

Film is also held back by this panelboard directing.  All the shots are wide.  When his angry wife is talking I want a close up.  A real close up.  Where I can see her face, not her face and a curtain.  Seems like most of the shots are set up in advance so they can walk in and out of them, with teh room.  And there it is face to face with the lighted window behind them and they hold it forever, it looks bad and cheap like two talking fishheads, puppets.

Again, no movement, no extra cameras for closeups, boring.

All the visuals are just so cheap.  The redlight and recording button just make it look so old.  Why bother doing it if it ruins the perfectly good computer animation behind it.

Reardon's voice is just so bad I can't believe he's one of the major characters in this film.

Coulda sworn that angry guy was Richard Dreyfuss, but IMDB doesn't agree.

Love it when two people get together in a room and talk.  Dagney trying to convince the coal guy not to quit.  another great speech about Coal being used by steel and rail.  value for value trades.

"I can't set my price.  Can't decide who to sell it to.  I'm just feeding the beast that's trying to destroy me."

"You're just going to let them have your coal?"

(Your coal, that is to say he owns the earth and all that comes from it, not the people or the human race.)

Love it when they use the word looters, moochers!

This part is just as confusing as it was in the book.  Why send Fransisco to Reardon, why not just send Galt himself.

Whoa big Atlas speech.  Can't believe they left this out of the first one.  Fransisco has the best lines.

"I'd tell him to shrug."

Love it how he knows the problem is the low grade ore.   Big drama as the rest of the factory is falling apart and he saves Fransisco.

Dagney goes to visit Diedrich Bader and her engine.  Yeah right.  I'll bet he stuck around.  Whoa, he's still here, one final scene I guess.

Looks like Reardon is going with the Flesh and Blood Defense.

Whoa it's the Dad from Family Ties.  Gonna fuck your shit up Keaton style now.  Awww yeah.

I swear given the quality of these extras they must be selling these parts to rich donors.

I keep trying to make it louder and leaving it on while I leave the room ot get more chips and hoping it will go away.

"Capitalism doesn't work."  Big men in suits speech in boardroom.  Evil, but just not evil enough and we've lost the music, it's not meant to be melodramatic, but it is, it is.  They just don't get it.

Directive 10-2-89 - woooooooo what's that?  Wow.  People made slaves of their corporations.  Another big speech.  Government taking all patents and "no new products to be built".  Pretty awesome directive.  "it's all happening so fast...." (yeah, that's cause it's bad melodrama.  one of the best lines so far.

How are they going to explain this.  One of the most unexplainable moments of the book.  Reardon won't sign his patents away unless you blackmail him.  He's already being divorced and his name is ruined, but he does it for Dagney's good name?  The very thing that Dagney would love him for is his ability to stand up to these goons, but he signs to save her name from an affair?  What would Dagney care about her affairs?

Dagney quits.

It's strange how they've added in a group of conservative protestors acting against the government.  Tea Party inpiration I guess.

Reardon bent like a slug.  Gravely voice so bad.  Wish he would hurry up and disapear.  Booooring.

Neat to see conservatives marginalized with their cheap handwritten signs just like liberal protesters.

They put some kid who answers phones in charge of the railroad and said he got no raise thanks to 10-289, that was actually pretty cool.  But of course here comes the resulting collision.

Dagney takes her anger out on some wooden furniture.

Ha Ha, bueracrats destroyed by their own collectivism.  This scene is actually pretty funny.  Too bad they didn't actually collide.  Just broke the bottom of the train and now their transportation system is fucked.  Trains are such a collectivist thing anyway.

Paused it for a long time, but the movie is still here.  Sounds like it's not going to be a collision, but a death train, a smoker run through a tunnel.  Not sure though.  We'll see.

"To pull, when you've got it, you've got it."

Ah there it is.  the collision.  How awesome, a passenger can push a button to stop a train?  And now the switch jams.  Too bad they couldn't have called the driver of the other train on his cell phone and told him to stop.  Or a satelite phone.  Technology kinda ruins 1940s plots.

Dagney is using a power drill to build her deck.  You get my point.  Power drills, but no cell phones or Sat navs to tell the other trains to stop.  Realtime location tracking, but they can't stop them.  Sorry, I can't type well from all the laughing.

Fransisco's back and his lines have never sounded more cheesy.  How could this character have seemed so much better on the page?  He also slips into the Edward James Olmos gravely voice at time.  I wonder, did Olmos direct this film?

They use a cell phone to call Dagney at her cabin to tell her about the train they lost.  Even the Army didn't have cell phones to tell the train to stop.  It would have made more sense if they'd just had a broken engine on the tracks and couldn't move it and someone else decided to go through anyway not knowing about the train.  Eh whatever, no 1940s plots make sense when brought to the future but not updated.  Why not just shoot it in the 1940s?  If you're gonna go with the script and the melodrama why not just make it old?

If Dagney had been younger and more beautiful I'd believe she was saying these things because she was optmistic and young, rather than old and desperate.

The lines just need to be so much harder than the way she's delivering them.  She's just not strong enough.  "I'm taking the train."

And now she's holding her old hand up to her old neck and looking whiny and weak on the train.  I'm not even sure Ayn Rand would have liked this movie.

Like the Godot that never comes, we spend the entire film looking for Galt.  Old Drew Carey guy is working on his engine again and it seems to be working.  Maybe Galt will show up now.

Nope.  Engine guy gone and Galt only speaks again.  Denied Galt.  It's just not enough though.  Two movies and still no real main character.

Dagney meets the last engineer.  The only man working.  Another scene of two people talking.  Wonder if the train behind them is bluescreen.  Ha Ha.  He's the guy who started the expression.  How perfect.

"best of his ability, paid to his needs."  Communism.  The heart of the film.  Just like being back on Animal Farm with Georgey Orwell.

"I will stop the motor of the world."

so dramatic.  but what a dickwad.

John Galt, Major Asshole.  Denied at one company, decides to destroy entire world.

Wow.  $50 a gallon gasoline.  Pretty awesome.  Her tank is barely filling and the money meter is going crazy.  $500 for 10 gallons.  That's crazy.

I just want to say.  Finally an actor.  Diedrich Bader.  "You'll be too late."  Delivered perfectly.  Melodramatic and closing the computer and leaving.  "you'll be too late."  excellent.

Saw a shitty old honda on screen.  First not new car I've seen in a movie in a long time.  Of course it's the scientist's car.  Ha ha.

And now Dagney is chasing Galt's plane explaining the opening scene.  Guess the movie is about to end.  Fingers crossed for a cliffhanger without showing us Galt.

Worst case, they open up Galt's Gulch and he starts speaking and we'll never leave.

Aww sweet.  She's gonna fly into the mountain.

It's not just a mirage, but some other crazy shit.  Like a Star Trek wormhole.  And I don't think they finished rendering the outside of her plane.  Musta ran out of money.  Big finish!  You'd think Galt's plane landed at an airfield and she could have just followed it.

Too bad she didn't have a smaller plane she could have ejected from.  Not sure that people usually crawl away from these ones unhurt.  Although at least this plane crash has engines, bodies and seats.  Even has a big part of the nose.  Not like those other planes that vaporized.

Man in the shadows, coming to save her.  "I am John Galt."  Finally some melodramatic music, must have tipped the composer the leftover animation money.  Big dramatic lighting on her face, almost a close up, but still leaving room for the rest of the frame.  Gotta get this all in two shots boys.  Big slow getting out of plane scene.  Incredibly slow.  Oh it's cause they're holding hands, and that's it.  END.

I did it!  Wooo!

Bring on Part 3:  Galt's Speech!

1 comment:

  1. Your sneering viciousness towards the subject matter is exactly what this movie deserves. Go Get'em!