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Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 2:00amSanction this postReply
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The people behind this movie executed it the way they did because of the threat of losing the movie rights if they did not act in time. I thought it was well made despite the rush to make it. I hope the man in question re-thinks his decision not to press forward with Parts II and III. Recruiting more experienced writers would be a big help in overcoming the main critique, namely the glossing of the philosophy in the film. I could name other franchises with various levels of success in recovery from a weak start. These range from Star Trek to Dungeons and Dragons. Hopefully, Aglialoro will re-think his re-thinking and concoct a recovery plan to complete the trilogy.

Ultimately, all that matters is that the films profitably make paying customers happy, not make critics happy.

Does anyone know the time scale and other legal requirements now for retaining the movie rights?

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 4/27, 2:09am)




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Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 5:26amSanction this postReply
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The very same thing happened to Rand when she published the book in the first place: negative review after negative review (there is even similarity between criticisms of the book a half-century ago and critics of the movie, now). Yet the book's success was only stalled, it was not halted (ever). We should expect the same thing to happen again with the movie. We should expect it to follow the same pattern as the book. 



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Wednesday, April 27, 2011 - 6:39amSanction this postReply
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The film has been compared to My Big Fat Greek Wedding which had near-zero traffic at first but which stayed in theaters for a year, building a following.  Atlas can go to dollar cinemas at the malls for months to come.  Producers of the 1939 Wizard of Oz were reluctant to take on a story that was not popular and which failed as a film in 1910.  I hope that we don't have to wait 30 years for the next attempt.  I have compared this to Pride & Prejudice, a movie made often and always targeted to fans.

Atlas Shrugged is too easy to perceive as a political novel.  At the showing I attended, I ran into another old guy I know from the county GOP.  He brought two more old guys who had not read the book.  For them, it was political. 

The theme of "the mind on strike" is deeper as every social structure knows social loafing.  We call them "slackers" because when not pulling their own weight, it is their segment of the line that hangs loose. The demise of General Motors, Chrysler, and Bear Stearns was due as much to internal expropriation of talent and "sanction of the victim" operations as anything the government did -- after all, every firm suffers government intervention in some way, though, granted that software development is not the same as investment banking and heavy industry.  But, that, too, points to the deeper theme:  employees who saw themselves as entrepreneurs were not welcome in the corporations that failed.  Long ago, those people were attracted to other kinds of work, other employers.

It is an old joke -- The Phases of Project Management: Exultation, Disenchantment, Search for the Guilty, Punishment of the Innocent, Praise for the Uninvolved. 

Then, there is the conflict within Hank Rearden and its consequences as conflict against his family, especially his wife.  It is a story that could play out in a laissez faire utopia. The government was largely irrelevant there, but the theme was the same and the action followed the same path: he quit working for them.  And, as for the mind not working, his was not properly engaged on the problem of Dagny Taggart until Francisco d'Anconia gave him a kick start.  Rearden's thinking about romance was not actually thinking at all. 

I understand John Aglialoro's disappointment, but the show is not over.

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/27, 6:49am)




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Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 6:01amSanction this postReply
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It appears Aglialoro changed his mind again (link).




Post 4

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 6:14amSanction this postReply
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If he can't hire the same cast in all cases, I hope he finds a new Francisco.



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Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 4:52pmSanction this postReply
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I'm glad to see he is fired up again, but I wish he would see two things: That the long term profitability will be like the book.... it will build over time and his return on investment will be maybe 5 years out. Second he has to be open to a distribution scheme, or schemes that will maximize that slow, but building response to the movie - and that does not include being stuck to this idea of releasing on one year intervals through these Event rentals of independent theaters.

He has a great opportunity to take all of the valid criticism, given by those who liked Part I, and to study them, and bring in some more experts to work on improvements in those areas, and shoot part II and part III all at once, and soon, - with the same cast for continuity except maybe for Francisco), and then working the different distribution channels - cable TV, DVDs, etc.



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Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 10:53pmSanction this postReply
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So what's wrong with Francisco? Sure, he doesn't physically resemble the one in the book, but that's not a reason to replace him. Perhaps you can fault the script that he has to work with, but that's not his problem. So what is it exactly? I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm just curious.




Post 7

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 11:38pmSanction this postReply
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In the book, Francisco was a contradiction. When you saw him or listened to him talk, it was a man of high self-esteem and confidence. This showed in how he held himself and in his voice. It was the stories, the gossip and the rumors that he let people spread that painted him as a low self-esteem playboy. In the movie they had him with a women on each arm, they had him slouched over, with hair in his eyes, a beard and looking down, like he was ashamed. In the book someone like Reardon would talk to him because the man in front of him didn't match the stories.
(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 4/28, 11:41pm)




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Post 8

Friday, April 29, 2011 - 4:59amSanction this postReply
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Persons familiar with the history of the Star Trek movie franchise know that the first movie turned a profit solely on the huge fan base despite the fans' scathing reviews of the movie itself. Their biggest complaint involved the lack of soul of the film. It proved bland, sterile, and "safe" and lacked the provocative ideas and colorful dialogue and characterizations of the series that made it so appealing to so many.

The second movie project brought on board Harve Bennett, an experienced television producer with numerous successes under his belt such as The Six Million Dollar Man. Bennett knew how to squeeze three movies out of the budget of one based on his shortcuts learned in the television industry. More importantly, since he had zero experience with the classic series and had never seen any of the shows, he took the time to watch the entire series in a personal "viewing marathon" before proceeding with the next movie. This marathon made the "Space Seed" story jump from the batch as a strong candidate for movie material.

Next, he brought a talented and experienced young film writer and director, Nicholas Meyer, onto the team to write a script. Bennett, Meyer, and other backers of the new movie retreated to create an effective story that revitalized the qualities that gave the series its initial draw. In addition, Meyer consulted with the primary actors to assure that his lines resonated with their years of experience in character development. DeForest Kelley, for instance, absolutely insisted on inserting a line in the film to convey his anticipated irascible response.

In short, Bennett single-handedly rescued a franchise from potential disaster with key decisions regarding story, script, direction, and budget. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan became a critical and commercial blockbuster. It led to numerous sequels and eventually several new television series.

Although I border on comparing apples to oranges here, I still see this story as offering many lessons for Parts II and III of Atlas Shrugged, especially in terms of script and the characterizations that arise from it. One reason the novel remains a powerful draw rests in its provocative dialogue. I sincerely hope the next two movies engage much more in this provocation. The Golden Compass, a film based on a novel I have never read, reportedly "sanitized" the controversial atheistic message. This annoyed fans and bored non-fans. I hope the screenwriters for this movie learn from their own and others' mistakes.



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Friday, April 29, 2011 - 5:51amSanction this postReply
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And, the first Star Trek movie gave us the theme music for THE NEXT GENERATION.

:)

(Edited by Joe Maurone on 4/29, 5:52am)




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Friday, April 29, 2011 - 8:49amSanction this postReply
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I love that movie





Post 11

Friday, April 29, 2011 - 8:53amSanction this postReply
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I remember that movie - vividly... attending it was like going to a religious revival, with lines of 'believers' lined around the block, waiting to get in... very interesting and different experience, to be sure...



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