Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Impression

As I've written here before, I'm a movie fanatic on a long, self-imposed exile from the cinema.  The quality of the experience when I quit going to see those first runs on the big screen had gotten to be too little gained for too much spent.  I've purchased hundreds of DVDs in the time between, but stuck to my boycott without regret.  But just now, the film we've all waited for longer than my lifetime has come into existence.  And I'm here to report on whether it was worth breaking the strike.

I fetched up Freckles and her first-born yesterday, and we all went to the picture show.  We rode an hour and a half, and had to dodge some Interstate highway gum-ups, incorporated a stop at Bass Pro (since I was to be right there at it, there was a fish net needed getting), had a fine meal, and settled in to see Atlas Shrugged.

I'll try to spoil as little as possible, but can say I was satisfied with how the movie-makers adapted a 54-year-old story to show to a 2011 audience.  And I think I'll see it at least once more before giving a full-fledged review.  There were elements that I immediately felt could have been a fraction better (a bit of the dialog seems hurriedly delivered, a little subtlety would do wonders), and I'd like to have seen an hour's worth of enhanced character development (not that everyone else would, of course).  But by and large, it was an excellent first installment of the 3-part series.

My two accomplices had not read the book, but were anxious for Part II.  And judging from the lively discussion we had on the long ride home, they caught on well to Mrs. Rand's themes, drawing parallel after parallel with their modern world.  And when it's all said and done, it is not for ourselves, those of us who've read Atlas, that we hope this film appeals, but that it does so to those who don't yet know the whole story and its importance.

If you only know Ayn Rand rhetorically, or if you read Anthem and/or The Fountainhead (or saw that movie) and couldn't make yourself endure the magnum opus, or if you tried to read Atlas and gave up for whatever reason, you should see the film.  Those of us who did enjoy the book and have yearned for the movie, were given a treat, and should certainly consider seeing it a couple times.  An 8PM screening, and no younguns kicking my seatback, and no other distractions.  All-in-all, a very enjoyable movie-going experience.  Can't wait for Part II.

It is worth noting that 1 week ago, there wasn't a theatre listed to be showing Atlas anywhere in North Carolina.  That's changed due in large part to fans demanding that it be shown.  Go here to find your nearest screen, or to demand that it be shown in your area.  It was worth it to me to drive that far, and it's certainly worth your speaking up to get it shown.

Again, it's not just for you.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Well, I said that I'd try to do better.  How about a few observations from the world of sports?

Great news out of Chapel Hill, the big guys are sticking around.  I read where someone was touting the potential continued successes of those mid-major schools (Butler,et al), due to the presumed continued trend of "one-and-done" players in the marquee programs, but not so with Zeller and Henson.  I predict Barnes stays, too.

What's more pathetic (for a sports fan) than having your biggest/closest news resource be of the McClatchey syndication?  Answer: nothing.  Because they're more intent on social engineering, the Charlotte Observer's sports staff keeps pretending that Cam Newton is a viable choice as the #1 overall draft pick.  See, it's their job to establish public palatibility for a black quarterback, not maintain objective reportage.

Hey kids, I've got nothing against Cam Newton, and don't care what the heritage of my team's QB is (remember that I'm a big Armanti Edwards fan).  Okay, maybe I don't quite believe his insulation from the whole pay-to-play scheme for which his father took all the heat, but I'm just not sold on his talent.  In fact, I don't think he'd be less of a project than Jimmy Clausen.  I still prefer his teammate Nick Fairley at the top spot, and as a fillable need for the Panthers, and I'd take Cam Newton...just not as the numero uno.  The only way I'd take Newton is if there's a team out there (there isn't) that would package their first and second round picks for him alone.  Or if Cincy will give up Carson Palmer?

The biggest crybabies in the ACC are up to their same old shite.  Again.  They fired their perfect symbol of mediocrity (Cindy "Butterball" Lowe) down at NoClassStateU, and before the new guy even gets to show how mediocre he can become in such a bile-filled environment their idiot Athletic Director starts throwing mud at...wait for it...the University of Maryland's Head Coach, Gary Williams, for sabotaging their coaching search.  Allrighty then Debbie Yow, you've got a bug up your ass about Gary Williams.  But seriously, imagine you're Mark Gottfried.  He's sitting there, getting ready to go to work for the Wusspack and his AD is telling folks that they'd have gotten who they wanted were it not for Maryland's head coach sabotaging their efforts.  How's that for a vote of confidence?

As usual, I'll be rooting for Freddie to take another green jacket.  I hope Woods putts it in the water (again), and misses the cut.  I hope Hootie Johnson sneaks up on Rickie Fowler and bitch slaps his hat around straight.  I hope Kelly Tilghman suffers a terrible allergic reaction to azaleas, and leaves Augusta...never to return.