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Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,883 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 52 critic

What do an elderly topiary gardener, a retired lion tamer, a man fascinated by mole rats, and a cutting-edge robotics designer have in common? Both nothing and everything in this ... See full summary »

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Title: Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997)

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997) on IMDb 7.3/10

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8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself (Wild Animal Trainer)
...
Himself (Topiary Gardener)
Raymond A. Mendez ...
Himself (Mole-Rat Specialist) (as Ray Mendez)
...
Himself - Robot Scientist
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Storyline

What do an elderly topiary gardener, a retired lion tamer, a man fascinated by mole rats, and a cutting-edge robotics designer have in common? Both nothing and everything in this unconventional documentary directed by Erroll Morris. Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (Referring to the robot specialist's strange philosophy of robot design structure, not Erroll Morris's documentary techniques!) interplays, overlaps, and interrelates these four separate and highly specialized documentary subjects in order to in truth study all of humanity, raising questions about the future of mankind. Written by Matthew F. Griffin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

robot | topiary | lion | circus | lion taming | See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$23,665 (USA) (3 October 1997)

Gross:

$832,785 (USA) (9 January 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Discussed in Episode 97 of the popular radio program This American Life. The subject was "Death to Wacky" and it originally aired on March 20, 1998. See more »

Quotes

[On creating topiary]
George Mendonca: This is all done from memory. If you know what a animal looks like, you just, well, you just start making an animal.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Quest for _____ (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Less than the sum of its parts
3 February 2007 | by (Tucson, Arizona, United States) – See all my reviews

Hiding within this movie are four fairly interesting mini-documentaries about four men, each with a vision - perhaps even an obsession - about one particular facet of life. The common thread uniting them is that each of the four is fascinated by the ways in which animals, men, plants, and even machines evolve, learn, and grow. A recurring theme is training or control.

Unfortunately, these four interesting stories are chopped up and interwoven in ways that often seem arbitrary and pointless. Plus, about 25% of the movie is made up of clips from other, mostly bad, movies... and the soundtrack music is often intrusive and annoying. So I'm mystified why a number of critics thought this was the best documentary of 1997. Maybe there were just a lot of bad documentaries that year!

Worth watching if you have nothing else to do, but nowhere near great.


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