I’m about to head off to an advance screening of the likely-mediocre comic-book-based movie Wanted (not that I’m ungrateful for the opportunity), but I have bad Angelina Jolie-related news (which will greatly disappoint my fellow libertarian Katherine Taylor, who likes Jolie so much she still speaks fondly of Tomb Raider — not that I’m knocking that opening fight with the robot).
Anyway: Vadim Perelman isn’t shooting Atlas Shrugged — disappointing but not a shock. (Maybe Zack Snyder should do it.)
The linked article about it dares raise the possibility that Atlas is simply “unfilmable” — which sort of makes me think I should become a screenwriter. I can shorten anything. (“Then why are all your blog entries at least 700 words long?” some might ask. Simple: No one is paying me to make them shorter.) As a veteran of advertising, TV, and comic books, I know how to excise blather down to barest essentials when necessary. So I should write Atlas Shrugged, dammit — and I know how to do such things without even contradicting the story as shown in the book (elide instead of reimagining, except where aesthetically necessary).
Lots of things in this world would benefit from being shorter. Take David Lynch’s Dune movie (in all its forms: the two-hour version, the two-and-a-half-hour version on TV, the three-hour-or-so director’s cut, the five-hour-or-so director’s super-duper-cut, each more awful than the last). The whole problem there was that they tried to cram in every plot twist from a very dense novel. You want to see my outline for a decent, workable Dune movie? Voila:
1. Family living on desert planet gets attacked by bad guys.
2. Handful of survivors train with giant worms as weapons to
3. Good guys win. The End.
There’s your movie. Anything else is extra and shouldn’t be overly distracting or hard to follow.
Atlas I could do in ninety minutes. Give it an Art Deco feel, maybe. Change the frickin’ world.
To compensate for the lack of this capitalist film-epic, I recommend reading some conservative movie and pop culture reviews at RightWingTrash.com.
UPDATE on Wanted: Well, its level of quality, I think, is exactly what you’d get if you told someone the bare-bones plot of Fight Club and then had a typical Hollywood screenwriter write it instead of the actual Fight Club people. No memorable lines of dialogue, no recognizable laws of physics, but “stuff looks cool” and you’ll alternately laugh at cool stunt/CGI moments (we need a new word for that) and laugh nervously at the ceaseless brutality of it, which is (fittingly) like going through some sort of disturbing hazing for cubicle drones who secretly long for the sado-masochism of their old fraternity days.
How’s that for praise, eh?
Oh! And you get to see Angelina walking completely naked from the back without any of the tattoos concealed, so there’s that. Maybe I should have mentioned that first.