Fast Food Nation

2006

Comedy / Drama

2
IMDb Rating 6.3

Synopsis


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116 min
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116 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by swkidder 7/10

This is a difficult film to watch if you are as tired as I am of beingashamed of this country. But maybe, as the film itself says, &quot;The badguys win until they don&#39;t.&quot; So go and see it.<br><br>It&#39;s well done, with an excellent cast, a reasonable script,cinematography that is occasionally better than you wish it were, andexcellent editing. It&#39;s a complex film that sets out to tell a numberof stories that it believes are inextricably entwined... and succeedspretty well in doing that. It deals with a number of themes and threads... social, political, and &quot;human stories&quot; ... and connects them all toa process we have collectively enabled ... the high jacking of the foodwe eat as well as the culture and economy that should nurture andsustain us ... and instead leave us fat and still hungry.<br><br>Warning to those who love animals, other humans, and may not besufficiently desensitized to violence and gore .... you will never eata hamburger again after seeing this film. You might even go on toquestion chicken. And you will lose any illusions you might havecherished in the past about the extent to which the industry that sellsus this crap goes on to affect the lives of people across the Americas. <br><br>You may not enjoy watching Fast Food Nation, but you should make theeffort to see it. And, you should make it a point to take at least oneperson you love that has been eating this kind of junk. You will havedone your good deed for the day ...

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Reviewed by Joseph Belanger ([email protected]) 7/10

FAST FOOD NATION Written by Eric Schlosser &amp; Richard Linklater Directedby Richard Linklater<br><br>I&#39;ve tried on a number of occasions to eliminate McDonald&#39;s from mydiet. The first time I tried was a few years back, after reading EricSchlosser&#39;s non-fiction work, FAST FOOD NATION. I remember going to buyfries for the last time before reading the chapter entitled, &quot;Why theFries Taste so Good.&quot; I had to go for that last fry before I couldnever look at them the same way again. I went for months without a BigMac or a Quarter Pounder with cheese but it didn&#39;t last. Eventually Isuccumbed to my cravings that persisted despite the time that hadelapsed. I knew what I was doing was wrong but as I bit into my twoall-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions ona sesame seed bun, I conveniently forgot about all the chemicals in themeat, the subliminal advertising geared towards toddlers and themigrant, illegal workers in dangerous meat rendering factories thatmade my burger possible. No sooner had I had my last bite did mystomach twist into a tangled mess. The pain was both horrible andfamiliar. Unfortunately, Richard Linklater&#39;s narrative interpretationof Schlosser&#39;s novel is nowhere near as nauseating or as a big aturn-off as the feeling of a Big Mac sitting at the bottom of yourstomach.<br><br>The decision to translate FAST FOOD NATION from a non-fiction work ofin-depth investigative journalism into a narrative film is a bold one.I was apprehensive at first but Schlosser&#39;s involvement co-writing thescreenplay with Linklater made me less so. Shaping facts into a storycertainly humanizes the global implications of the fast food industrybut if the narrative is not compelling then there isn&#39;t much of apoint. FAST FOOD NATION tells different stories to show the wide reachof how many are affected by the fast food industry. Greg Kinnear playsDon Anderson, an advertising executive responsible for The Big One, thelatest burger success at Mickey&#39;s, the fictional fast food chain at thecenter of the film. Don must investigate reports that there aresignificant traces of cow manure in the meat (Fun!). Ashley Johnsonplays Amber, a teenage Mickey&#39;s employee who juggles school and workwhile she begins to see her role in the corporate machine that iswaiting in her future. Wilmer Valderrama and Catalina Sandino Morenoplay Raul and Sylvia, two Mexican illegal immigrants who have beenbrought into the United States specifically to work at the renderingplant that manufactures the millions of patties that become The BigOne. Very little is revealed about the characters themselves as theyare merely symbols for the bigger picture. Consequently, there is verylittle identification with the film. A film that is trying to telleveryone, &quot;America &#133; this is what you&#39;ve become,&quot; needs the audience tofeel like this is their America.<br><br>What FAST FOOD NATION best exemplifies is America&#39;s complacency withthe progression of its society. The problems don&#39;t stop at Mickey&#39;s.The fast food industry is merely just one faceless industry that isdriving the American people into hopeless futures. Kinnear&#39;s Don is aprime example. He has spent his life packaging products, feeding themto people the way they like it. All the while, he has also been feedinghis convenient lies to himself as well. A successful burger comes at acost and as he travels from his board room to the assembly line andbegins speaking with people who don&#39;t have any stake in the productionof The Big One, he understands that there are truths under his liesthat he cannot go on ignoring. By the time we see him bite into histhird burger, his apprehension to do so is rampant. Yet, he still takesthat bite. This is what we do. We get fed a ton of information fromdifferent angles. The product pushers tell us how wonderful it is andthe non-believers prove otherwise. Schlosser&#39;s book, which clearlydetails all the subtle atrocities the fast food industry unleashes intothe fabric of America to make one more dollar at the expense of itsloyal customers, is well researched and fact-checked. The flip side tothe convenience of fast food, from obesity to the exploitation ofunderage employees, is being discussed by too many people and withincreasing validity to be ignored. Yet millions still take that bite.<br><br>Linklater does not shy away from expressing his disappointment in theAmerican people nor does he mince words about his lack of optimismrelating to making change on the subject. Each character&#39;s story isbrought to a close and none of them are any better for any of theirefforts. Some end up exactly where they wanted not to. Some end upcontinuing to support the industry despite their newfound knowledge.All these choices are made to ensure money is still coming in, toensure the American dream is still within reach. Even the youth oftomorrow fail at their attempts to affect the future. The attemptitself does show a trace of Linklater&#39;s hope, albeit it fleeting.Despite all this, Linkalter still wants to do his part. The last tenminutes of FAST FOOD NATION bring about some of the more gruesomefootage found in the film. We finally get a tour of the &quot;kill floor&quot; atthe rendering plant, with plenty of blood and dead cow to go around.The nausea comes too late in FAST FOOD NATION but you certainly won&#39;tbe rushing for another burger any time soon.

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Reviewed by goldbe 5/10

I had the chance to see this film at this year&#39;s Cannes Film Festival.Of all the films I saw, this one was the most disappointing, and themost shockingly mediocre. The film jumps around between a fewdifferent, barely interconnected stories, yet none of these segmentsare explored enough to draw the audience in. For example, towards theend of the film, I began to realize that Greg Kinnear had completelydisappeared from the movie without a trace. He is not again seen untilthe ending credits. The film seems to pride itself on continuallythrowing in more and more familiar faces, yet these actors prove to bemore of a distraction than anything else. Patricia Arquette, EthanHawke, Avril Lavigne, Bruce Willis, and others all pop up for a briefscene or two, yet for the most part, they fail to leave any lastingimpression. At the films end, I left the theater feeling no moreenlightened, no more informed, and no more interested in the topicsdiscussed throughout the movie. Richard Linklater is a great director,and he has cast some great actors, but still, Fast Food Nation fails tocompel or leave any sort of impact. My guess is that a year from now,most people will have forgotten about this movie entirely.

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Fast.Food.Nation.2006.WEB-DL.x264-RARBG.mp4 [1039900330.00]

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