5 items from 2015
McDonald's just racked up a most unlikely defender: Oscar-nominated actor, writer, director and full-time provocateur James Franco. In a new op-ed for the Washington Post entitled "McDonald's was there for me when no one else was" (!), the "Interview" star waxes poetic about the beleaguered (if that's a word you can use to describe a multi-billion dollar corporation), allegedly union-busting fast-food chain, which employed him as an 18-year-old UCLA dropout for three months before he booked a national Pizza Hut commercial. "I was treated fairly well at McDonald’s. If anything, they cut me slack," he writes. "And, just like their food, the job was more available there than anywhere else. When I was hungry for work, they fed the need. I still love the simplicity of the McDonald’s hamburger and its salty fries. After reading 'Fast Food Nation,' it’s hard for me to trust the grade of the meat. »
- Chris Eggertsen
If you own stock in McDonald’s, I am so very sorry. The leading fast food chain is slipping, and by slipping I mean no one ever says, “Hey let’s go to McDonalds for lunch today” ever. Unless you are on a road trip and there is virtually nothing but that … or gas station refrigerator mystery sandwiches and bagged Doritos to select.Even James Franco agrees with me:…I still love the simplicity of the McDonald’s hamburger and its salty fries. After reading “Fast Food Nation,” it’s hard for me to trust the grade of the meat. But maybe once a year, […] »
- April Neale
A same-old male-ego-stroking romantic-wish-fulfillment fantasy becomes actually enraging when it adds a sci-fi-horror twist. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
There are all the movies about regular schmoes who snag amazing gorgeous brilliant girlfriends because they so totally deserve amazing gorgeous brilliant girlfriends despite the fact that they are not amazing or gorgeous or brilliant themselves. Those movies tend to be really annoying for the stroking of male egos they represent, both onscreen and off, with their subtext of “Hey, you, out in the audience. You totally deserve a supermodel neurosurgeon girlfriend too!” And they’re annoying for how we never see the converse: the regular gal who totally deserves a billionaire genius playboy boyfriend. And for how the fact that these movies are not derided as wish-fulfillment romantic fantasies while infinitely more realistic romantic »
- MaryAnn Johanson
This pro-vegetarian campaign video stars Richard Linklater, the director of Boyhood and, perhaps more appropriately, Fast Food Nation. I assume he wrote and directed this clip too; whoever did made space for some nice nods to Nintendo and Back to the Future.
It’s particularly amusing to see Linklater stuff-up the period set dressing on purpose when he’s already shown an interest in detailed recreations of bygone eras, most noticeably with the hazy, nostalgic 1970s of Dazed and Confused. His next picture, That’s What I’m Talking About, will be a period piece too, though there’s not much else known about it at all.
That was not the first time Linklater and Peta have worked together. This video from 2012 is altogether more serious in tone – though both are pretty serious in message.
Linklater can next be seen at The Oscars on Sunday, almost certainly »
- Brendon Connelly
Most Richard Linklater fans can tell you which film – and sometimes which scene – ignited their enthusiasm for the director, whether it was 1991’s influential indie Slacker, 1993’s high-school classic Dazed and Confused or 2003’s comedy School of Rock.
But, it all began with Before Sunrise.
Released 20 years ago this week, Before Sunrise boasted fresh-faced actors and a swoon-worthy premise: An American man (Ethan Hawke) meets a French woman (Julie Delpy) on a train, and they spend one magical evening together in Vienna. That alone was enough to attract my 17-year-old self to the theater, as was the case with many of my peers.
News: Julie & Ethan Reunite 'Before Midnight'
The true magic of Before Sunrise, however, lies beyond the picturesque scenery and smitten gazes. Building upon his gift for crafting relatable and engrossing conversation, Linklater’s characters feel fully formed, discussing everything from philosophy and religion to love and their hopes for the future.
5 items from 2015
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