Archive for October, 2013

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Review: Atlas Shrugged II

October 30, 2013

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What if somebody walked up to you and asked you a rhetorical question: I’m tasking you to make an “ultimate” version of a film property – you can take the best bits, defined by you, from two versions of the same movie and mash them together, making one that’s better than either solo version. You could do that with a lot of properties – Dune, Star Trek, and so on. But would you do that with what was, ostensibly, a single story broken up into sections?

I’m not sure it was working for AS2. The script was good, again, making the plot-heavy story digestible for the casual viewer. But I think the casting (which I believe was changed up completely from the first movie – meaning nobody who was in AS1 was in AS2) was hit and miss. It’s fascinating to think about who they’re going to cast in AS3.

Not sure why Taylor Schilling needed to be replaced with Samantha Mathis. I could live with either actress in the role – Schilling as she had the Confident Dagny vibe going on, Mathis, with her looking like she was about to cry throughout the movie maybe showing the side that was genuinely strung out about Galt’s strike. Slight edge to Schilling though.

Another coin toss as to who’s the better Hank Rearden. Jason Beghe has the better voice, but Grant Bowler had the presence of cool confidence I liked. Esai Morales as d’Anconia hands-down wins in that department. Paul McCrane was a way better Wesley Mouch though.

Maybe the raiding of the Jericho cast was a wise move? I’d like to think that a strategy like that wasn’t pandering, and these were the best actors they could afford for the roles, but D…B… Swee…ney as Galt? Really?

Apparently, they were so embarrassed by casting Sweeney as Galt that, in the Blu-Ray release, they darkened up his face so you really couldn’t tell who it was.  Sorry – I was there in the theater when I saw…DB Sweeney…as Galt. Really? DB Sweeney?

The plot point I realize they had to have (but didn’t ring true today) was Lillian’s insistence on not divorcing Rearden to keep her social standing. Like that’s going to happen these days – she’d divorce him and take him for at least half of what he had, and still get to be a socialite

The only part that really made my teeth grate (besides…DB Sweeney) was a bit where Mathis, in a jet chasing Galt through the Rockies, about to pancake into a mountain, says in an exasperated voice, “Who is John Galt?” instead of “AAAAAAAAHHHHH SHHHIIIITTTT!”

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Why Ron Swanson Matters

October 29, 2013

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(All images shamelessly swiped from the Ron Swanson Appreciation Society tumblr.)

Parks and Recreation hadn’t even been on my radar until I saw a post on it at Lew Rockwell’s site. (Unfortunately, I can’t find the original article – probably was a link) It referred glowingly to Ron’s libertarianism, so I decided to take a look.

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Once you see see the episodes that actually reference his political views, you’ll have to agree: this is probably the very first time that libertarianism is not portrayed as we-like-bananas-because-they-have-no-bones crazy. While I’m not really surprised that the fans in general have focused on his diet more than his political views, that his political views are referenced at all is something to be cheered.

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Episodes to watch (easy if you have something like Netflix). There’s probably more, but this is a good intro, and it really helps to get the full context of the character if you watch the whole episode…

Season 3 Ep. 14 “Road Trip”

Season 5 EP. 16 “Bailout”