Originally posted at DRScoundrels April 18, 2011
The premiere of Atlas Shrugged was Friday, April 15th to mixed reviews (not surprising giving Hollywood’s extremely leftist slant) but one stood out that must be ripped apart – not for the opinion – but for the blatant inaccuracies in the review. This review was written by the know Left Winger Roger Ebert. No one in their right mind would expect Ebert to write an unbiased review when it comes to a non-liberal leaning movie – it is after all his opinion. He gets paid to sit on his ass, watch movies and then write his opinion about them. The problem with Ebert’s review is that he apparently didn’t pay attention to the movie. He distorts facts and clearly targets ridiculous things in the movie that make him look biased and unprofessional.
Ebert: I suspect only someone very familiar with Rand’s 1957 novel could understand the film at all, and I doubt they will be happy with it. For the rest of us, it involves a series of business meetings in luxurious retro leather-and-brass board rooms and offices, and restaurants and bedrooms that look borrowed from a hotel no doubt known as the Robber Baron Arms.
Apparently Ebert didn’t actually talk to anyone who had never read the book. Many people I talked with who never read the book understood what was going on completely (kind of easy since we are basically on the verge of living it in real life). Everyone I spoke with who had read the book enjoyed the movie – the biggest complaint was that the characters and storylines weren’t developed like in the book but that would have been physically impossible given time constraints. You’ve got to love Ebert’s injection of his liberal hatred of capitalism and business when he mentions the Robber Baron (this is an entirely different area for which he could be lambasted about as well but would take entirely too long in this space).
Ebert: During these meetings, everybody drinks. More wine is poured and sipped in this film than at a convention of oenophiliacs. There are conversations in English after which I sometimes found myself asking, “What did they just say?” The dialogue seems to have been ripped throbbing with passion from the pages of Investors’ Business Daily. Much of the excitement centers on the tensile strength of steel.
People sip wine at parties and dinner just like in ‘real life’. They are shown responsibly sipping wine at appropriate times. Unfortunately for Ebert being outright drunk or drugged up like many Hollyweirdo movies today just isn’t acceptable. Clearly Ebert doesn’t understand business chatter – that’s why he sits on his ass as a movie reviewer. Even people who aren’t in business had no complaints about any of this.
Ebert: But you’re thinking, railroads? Yes, although airplanes exist in this future, trains are where it’s at. When I was 6, my Aunt Martha brought me to Chicago to attend the great Railroad Fair of 1948, at which the nation’s rail companies celebrated the wonders that were on the way. They didn’t quite foresee mass air transportation. “Atlas Shrugged” seems to buy into the fair’s glowing vision of the future of trains. Rarely, perhaps never, has television news covered the laying of new railroad track with the breathless urgency of the news channels shown in this movie.
Clearly Ebert missed the part in the movie where gas prices were almost $40/gallon making train transportation much cheaper than any other form. This is where he starts to go off into la-la land with his facts. Because of the insane gas prices, which are hurting all forms of the economy, trains are considered the saving grace which is why it is deemed so important by the news outlets in the movie (mind you, he’s exaggerating this point as it is).
Ebert: There is also a love scene, which is shown not merely from the waist up but from the ears up. The man keeps his shirt on. This may be disappointing for libertarians, who I believe enjoy rumpy-pumpy as much as anyone.
Earth to Ebert – All of the women that I know who watched Atlas Shrugged absolutely noticed that Hank Reardon (Grant Bowler) took his shirt off in the sex scene. How could anyone miss that? Another fact that is incorrect from this ‘professional movie reviewer’. Maybe Ebert is used to the soft porn that comes out of Hollywood such that a sex scene not showing pubic hairs or boobs is deemed abnormal. Probably a disappointment in Ebert’s case since I’m sure that’s the most action he gets.
Again – it’s Ebert’s opinion and that is his job to provide. He is entitled to his opinion but he is not entitled to changing the facts which is exactly what he did. In a job as tough as his, you’d think he’d get that one little detail correct. Roger Ebert – You’re Fired!
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