Neal Boortz, over more than 40 years on the radio, always loved Ayn Rand’s book “Atlas Shrugged” and would cite its virtues (though at times, he said it was so scary, maybe they shouldn‘t read it.)
Rand’s 1957 opus, which features entrepreneurs fighting against an increasingly oppressive government, fits Boortz’s worldview.
Boortz, who is heard on more than 250 stations nationwide including 750AM and now 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB, said in an interview this week he was glad to finally see a film version finally come out. (There are plans for three parts since the book is more than 1,000 pages long.)
Originally, Atlanta was not one of the cities that was going to show the film opening day April 15 so he offered to hold a screening.
About 200 fans who won tickets in a contest will be at Regal Medlock Crossing Stadium Theatre Friday evening. You can buy tickets for other showings at the theater here.
Boortz saw an advance version of the movie and was impressed with the production values.
“It was very surprising,” Boortz said. “For the most part, the acting is good. Some people are going to say the actors are a little two dimensional. But the characters are that way in the book. They are all business in the book and in the movie.”
“Progressives,” he added, “are going to be irritated to no end. They’re going to go nuts.”
Although Boortz thinks anybody will enjoy the film, reading the book first will help.
Boortz said encroaching government regulation stifles business development. He sees Pres. Obama’s health-care changes and the Frank/Dodd financial reform acts as examples of this. “A lot of people are going to say, to hell with it, I’m dropping out,” he said. “That’s basically what happened in ‘Atlas Shrugged.’ ”
He said some politicians are trying to cut back regulations. In Florida, where Boortz lives part-time, Gov. Rick Scott is trying to drop licensing of interior decorators. But interior decorators are balking, Boortz said, some claiming it will cost tens of thousands of lives since they help make people’s homes safer. “That’s the type of hyperbole that comes right out of ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ ” he said. “Someone recognizes the onerous regulatory burden, tries to lighten it up, then people get in his face and start screaming.”
Boortz would love to get a part in part two or three of the film – as long as his character doesn’t get killed. (He said he did a few acting roles in the 1970s where his characters died, but when he was told he had to join the Screen Actors Guild, he balked.) He predicts the film will become a cult classic.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog