America 2028 Movie Reviews
Also posted at Medium.
The Fountainhead is the only Ayn Rand work I have ever read. When this new movie assignment first came my way, that book from years ago came to mind. True, the story was enjoyable at twenty. Growing older though, I saw why people disliked her tale. Its lack of awareness about the world, the misogyny—
Wait. What am I doing? This is the year 2028—why would I speak at length about such issues and run the risk of disappearing in the middle of the night?
Full disclosure here, this movie reviewer has not had the pleasure of reviewing any of the previous Ayn Rand’s Anal Antics movies. While conducting background research, I discovered a few facts that seem worth sharing with my readers. For starters, the multi-volume series had originally been envisioned as just a single stand-alone movie. An historical biopic about the influential 20th-century writer.
Surely many of you A.R.A.A. fans remember the interview footage from eighteen months ago at the Hollywood premiere of Ayn Rand’s Anal Antics #1. All those immaculately-dressed stars strutting the red carpet in front of the theater marquee, milking the heck out of that photo op, smiling at the cameras popping off all over the place.
At one point, a red-headed entertainment reporter covering the crowded gala pulled aside the movie’s director and executive producer. With her microphone in their faces, she asked the two identical, non-distinctive blonde fellas to describe the movie progressing from idea to finished product.
One of the non-distinctive blonde guys—I forget which one—replied. He explained how the creative team wanted to develop a cinematic tribute to the proto-libertarian author whose writings influenced so many young men, including them. The initial vision for the story involved creating a big-budget dramatic period piece, complete with costumes and sets from the early and mid-1900s. The team tossed around the names of script writers who could effectively research and dramatize each stage of Ayn Rand’s life, bringing her hopes and motivations to the big screen. Her philosophical beliefs and thoughts about concepts like collectivism needed a writer who understood her worldview. Many names got discussed in that meeting room.
“Then…I dunno which bro said it, but one of us bros in that conference room…like…the creative gods must have grabbed the bro by the skull and jammed this vision inside bro’s head. He yelled out, ‘Bros! Her name is Ayn Rand…Ayn…Ayn…Anal? Anal…hello?’ The rest of us bros lost our shit right there!”
Nodding in triumph, the other blonde guy grabbed the microphone, “And just three short weeks later, it’s the premiere: here we are!”
Yes…here we are.
Here we are.
Here. We. Are.
Reviewing the seventeenth installment of the movie series.
Okay, enough moping and on to the review.
To familiarize myself with the A.R.A.A. series, I checked out the movie reviews of numbers one through sixteen before I got to reviewing number seventeen.
Four different reviewers tackled those flicks. After reading their thoughts and then watching A.R.A.A. #17, the first thing I will say is that the producers didn’t reinvent the wheel with this installment.
Any fans of the previous sixteen movies who enjoyed them as-is won’t experience any unpleasant surprises with A.R.A.A. #17. Don’t worry. None of the male characters who have sex with Ayn Rand have names. Before I knew much about the series, I thought maybe the “story” would involve her hooking up with, say, a “Howard Roark” or a “John Gault”—or maybe the writers would get craftily political and the male co-stars would have pseudonyms like “Paul Ryan” or “Tucker Carlson”. Nope. It’s just anal penetration with no set-up, like a live sex show from Amsterdam brought to the big screen.
As with the other movies, #17’s seven scenes take place in a motel room.
Being a movie about a specific period in time, one would automatically assume that the motel would have looked like it belonged in the early part of the 20th-century, with maybe a Victorian-style lamp on an oak nightstand positioned to the side of a big brass bed covered by a weaved quilt. But no.
I can’t say with 100% certainty, but the set looked like it was either a Motel 6 or maybe a Howard Johnson’s—definitely corporate, the type of room and decor that resembles a few thousand exact carbon copies in different motels all across the country.
Yup. A big flat bed covered by a light orange comforter and a nondescript, faux-wood headboard behind it. (Surprisingly, the comforter stayed on the bed for every scene except the last one. Personally, I thought they would have pulled it back sooner for sanitary purposes, but who am I? I’m just a movie reviewer.) As is the case with many public spaces these days, portraits of Secretary of Defense Jesse Watters and President Eric Trump adorned the walls behind the bed.
Like the set, the supervisors of the makeup and the costumes didn’t seem to be bogged down by any desires to aim for historical accuracy, either. The blonde actress’ mini-skirt and leather bustier? Definitely not early- to mid-20th century and most DEFINITELY NOT Ayn Rand. The seven actors began each scene wearing jeans, shorts, t-shirts, ball caps. I’m sure that longshoremen from Rand’s era could have gotten away with dressing so sloppily, but it’s safe to say that these filmmakers focused their concerns on areas other than creating a visually-realistic viewing experience.
Dialogue-wise…maybe I began the film thinking they’d get clever and suggestive with the dialog—whatever I had in mind, I didn’t envision a movie with zero dialog. (Unless one counts grunts and orgasms as “dialog”.)
Every scene began with the two actors disrobing, hopping onto a bed and the action beginning. Watching this interpretation of the author’s life, one couldn’t imagine her having the energy or the opportunity to be so prolific and write so many books.
Here’s another aspect of the film that ran around in my skull a bit: the actress. (Again: she is the twelfth to play the part.) At first, I thought that Ayn Rand would probably be personally insulted by the casting of a tall, blonde, blue-eyed, Aryan-esque actress to portray her. And since the petite, darker-featured woman never underwent any type of surgery to improve her looks, it felt like that would add an extra layer of disrespect. A couple of days after seeing the movie, though, I got it. When thinking about the ideas running throughout Ayn Rand’s work and also the group of white males that make up her male fan-base, the choice of thespians was spot-on. It’s a safe bet that Ayn Rand would have been pleased with the casting choice.
In closing, I wouldn’t call this movie my favorite.
Maybe it’s a political thing.
President Eric the Great!
President Eric the Wise!
All hail President Eric!
Also posted at Medium.
I don’t just write movie reviews from the year 2028. I also write fiction.