Saturday, April 4, 2009

Angelina, We Hardly Knew Ye

The original purpose of the RandZapper blog was to troll Objectivist newsgroups looking for the most idiotic statements made by Randian fanboys. But after a while, this pastime gets old. The idiocy is never-ending and always the same. And even though we have unlimited time on our hands (being a resuscitated and therefore immortal Aztec mummy), we still don't care to waste our time listening to the nattering nitwits who frequent Objectivism's online salons.

But there's still one feature (or is it a bug?) of the Randian mindset that continues to exert a certain morbid fascination, and that is the idee fixe that a movie version of Atlas Shrugged is "in the works" and will soon take America by storm (und drang).

If you ever need proof that prolonged exposure to Randism rots all critical faculties, consider this medical fact: People have been talking about Atlas Shrugged: The Boring Movie (or Atlas Shrugged: The Even More Boring Miniseries) since the early 1970s. It has never happened. It is never going to happen. Yet the twittering twits of O'ism blindly maintain their optimism that this time it will be different - this time the project will hit the screen - this time the obstacles will be hurdled and the challenges will be met.

This time.

Permit us, in our inimitable fashion, to offer our carefully considered reply to such Pollyannish puerility:


(In case you're wondering, that was a Bronx cheer, or as it was known to us in our youth, Quetzalcoatl's revenge.)

The latest evidence that Atlas Shrugged: The Incredibly Dumb Movie isn't going anywhere is found in an online post that tries manfully to talk up the project. Of course you have to read between the lines. Objectivists, most of whom seem to be high-functioning autistics and Asperger's patients, are congenitally incapable of doing this, so in the spirit of charity toward our benighted brethren, we will help them out.

The post begins with the exciting news that a powerful new money man may soon climb aboard the Atlas express to provide financing. A little history is in order here. Other powerful money men have tried to bring Atlas to the screen - Ed Snider comes to mind. But here's the thing about powerful money men. They didn't get that way by flushing their rubles down the toilet on vanity projects. They invest in something only if it looks like it will be profitable. So far, even Rand's most devoted and well-heeled admirers have not been able to convince themselves that a feature film of her unreadable magnum opus will not sink like a stone.

In fact, it appears that the current incarnation of Atlas Shrugged: The Exercise in Cinematic Tedium is sinking already. Here's the key quote from the article:

A number of stars have expressed serious interest in playing the lead role of Taggart. Angelina Jolie previously had been reported as a candidate to play the strong female character, but the list is growing and now includes Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway.


Now, if you are a Randinista, you will no doubt wonder why we are grimacing in exquisite schadenfreude at this seemingly harmless paragraph. Isn't this good news for Atlasphiles and all their imaginary friends? Not only Jolie, but even Theron, Roberts, and Hathaway are in the running for the role of a lifetime!

Ah, you poor deluded saps. Permit us to explain a little thing we like to call reality.

In reality, if Angelina Jolie were still committed to this movie, the producers would not dare mention any other actresses competing for her role. It would piss off La Jolie, which is the last thing the moviemakers would want to do. The fact that they are floating these other names means one thing and one thing only: Jolie has put on her stiletto heels and walked away from the project.

That's right, Rand fans. Angelina is no longer in the building.

Even so, the bemused Galt fetishist may wonder, what's the big deal? Theron, Roberts, and Hathaway are big stars in their own right.

Sigh. It gets tiresome explaining the obvious to the simpleminded, but we will soldier on.

If Theron, Roberts, Hathaway or anyone else was actually signed for this role, or even close to being signed, then that name - and only that name - would be announced to the press. The fact that all three names are being bandied about means that none of these fair ladies has signed up. In fact, the post says as much, referring to these glamour queens merely as "candidates" for the role.

Translation: What we are reading is the producers' wish list. Having lost Brad Pitt's multiply tattooed, anorexic, baby-making significant other, they are desperately searching for a replacement and throwing out every plausible or semi-plausible name they can come up with, to give themselves the illusion of box-office credibility.

Because, unlike O'ists, we know how the real world works, we can say confidently that none of the above - not Aeon Flux, not Pretty Woman, not Shakespeare's wife, and not Mrs. Smith - has signed for the role of Dagny, and most likely Theron, Roberts, and Hathaway have not even discussed the idea. They would probably be as surprised as anyone else to see their names mentioned in connection with a "movie" they've never even heard of. ("Who the heck is Dagny Taggart?" might be a typical response.)

The post also contains the exciting news that Randall Wallace, having written the screenplay for Atlas Shrugged: The Interminable Waste of Time, is thinking about making his directorial debut helming the epic. This is, of course, because director Vadim Perelman already walked.

Wallace's last major cinematic effort was the screenplay for Pearl Harbor, a movie so bad an actual song was written about how stinky it is.

What kind of song will they write about Atlas Shrugged: The Celluloid Crap-Fest?

I miss you more than Randall Wallace missed the mark
When he made that lame Ayn Rand film.
I miss you more than that movie missed the point
And that’s an awful lot, girl.
And now, now you’ve gone away
And all I’m trying to say is
Atlas sucked, and I miss you.

It's enough to bring tears to a dusty old mummy's eyes. Sadly, that song will never be written, because Atlas Shrugged: The Weak-Ass Direct-to-the-Video-Bargain-Bin Movie will never be made.

And if any powerful money men are reading this, they can take that prediction to the bank.