“Atlas Shrugged,” Internet Shrugs Back

The Bible, the most influential book in America, has been made into a ka-jillion films over the years, so isn't it about time someone turned the second-most influential book into a film?

The trailer for "Atlas Shrugged" arrived late Friday and we're at a loss. Ayn Rand's opus, like all influential books, is wildly divisive and inflammatory, and the book was vilified anew upon the global economic collapse, as people like former Rand acolyte Alan Greenspan were among those blamed for the applying her free-market philosophies to disastrous effects.

Without getting into the merits of Rand's ideas, the trailer looks, well, cheesy. Stars Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler are virtual unknowns whose careers have been marked by bad movies and mediocre TV, though there are a couple of great character actors, like Jon Polito and Patrick Fischler. We find it odd that they didn't set the film in the '50s, when the story of a railroad magante would make sense.

Here's the synopsis from the film's official site:

Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) runs Taggart Transcontinental, the largest remaining railroad company in America, with intelligence, courage and integrity, despite the systematic disappearance of her best and most competent workers.

She is drawn to industrialist Henry Rearden (Grant Bowler), one of the few men whose genius and commitment to his own ideas match her own. Rearden's super-strength metal alloy, Rearden Metal, holds the promise that innovation can overcome the slide into anarchy.

Using the untested Rearden Metal, they rebuild the critical Taggart rail line in Colorado and pave the way for oil titan Ellis Wyatt (Graham Beckel) to feed the flame of a new American Renaissance.

Hope rises again, when Dagny and Rearden discover the design of a revolutionary motor based on static electricity - in an abandoned engine factory - more proof to the sinister theory that the "men of the mind" (thinkers, industrialists, scientists, artists, and other innovators) are "on strike" and vanishing from society.

If you read the comments, mostly from fans of the book, they are already convincing themselves that the press will either ignore the film or dismiss it as garbage. All we can tell you is the we will not be ignoring it.

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