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"Fast Food Nation" is a film that is more than entertainment. It is a
film made by vegetarians Richard Linklater and Greg Kinnear that
attempts to open our eyes to the horror of one of our everyday
While "Fast Food Nation" is a fictionalized and dramatized version of the non-fiction book of the same name, it is hard to judge it like a normal movie. It is not quite a docudrama but it is not entirely fiction.
The title makes it seem it is only about fast food but it is really about the entire meat industry, especially in the United States. We go about our lives blissfully unaware of where our food comes from and how it ends up on our plates. Most people do not really care about how much suffering the animals go through before they become our food, but maybe they would care more if they knew how much poison they were consuming when they eat these animals.
The film has several separate story lines. We see illegal immigrants who work in the meat packing plant, kids working in the fast food restaurant, and a corporate marketing executive.
"Fast Food Nation" did not do well during it's theatrical run. Most people were afraid to see it. The DVD has excellent extra features that are just as good as the film. I encourage everyone to see this film and to stop living in ignorance about the food that we eat.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hmmm, an interesting one!!! I love Richard Linklater and I loved every
single performance in this film.
But I have loads of problems with it too. For the moment I'll ignore the fact that its a film made by vegetarians with one agenda in mind....
The construction of the film seemed to be messy. With so many separate stories going on, it seemed that Linklater had too many characters to fit in and so various people have single scenes only while others drop out of the film after being established firmly with the audience.
The film was obviously designed as an attack on the growing concern about the fast food industry... but it had absolutely no effect on me in those terms. Perhaps thats because of the film's satirical nature... im guessing it would have been more potent as a doco (which apparently the book is non-fiction).
I just wasn't convinced that the fast food industry is THAT unsanitary. I know it very well may be, but this film didn't help convince me. If the food was so contaminated, why did the people who knew this fact keep eating it!?? And then there's the slaughter house. Yes, there is some very detailed and graphic scenes of animal slaughter, but this almost seemed like a desperate final attempt to ween the viewer off meat. It didn't succeed with me. I eat meat and I know that animals are slaughtered. Where else does meat come from? The animals in the film were killed humanely and quick and at no time did I feel guilty.
Animal slaughter is not pleasant but its a fact of life. The same meat they are telling us ends up in greasy and grotty burgers also ends up in the butcher shop and supermarkets. All the while I kept thinking of Sam Neill dancing the Chicken Dance... "We like to boogie" (that's an Aussie reference).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What an important movie this is. So very true. I have been turned off of fast foods for a while but now I might not even go once in a while. This movie brought to light the exploitation of people, animals and nature and it was done in a way that was tasteful. I will never again eat meat. That is how powerful this movie was to me. Corporate bottom-line comes before life, severed limbs and forestry. This movie drives the point ,drives the point and than some. The robotic way people behave in their jobs is also brought to light . The writers , cleverly humanized these people away from their jobs. In summation , I came away with a better understanding of illegal immigration, corporate fascism that exists and just the basic way people just 'act' content. The scene with the cows not moving when they can ,could very well have been a metaphor of people just not making waves, nicely done. I wonder if I am the only one that caught this in the movie. Along with 'Thank you for not Smoking' and 'Supersize Me' this is a must see movie.
With the title so close to super-size me I had thought this film would be another hyped slam on fast food and American's dietary habits. And it slightly is, however there is a story which you know truly brought forth so many issues known and gave each issues reality and face. To step further in understanding and feeling how everybody is effected by something that we all are privy too is fascinating. Many roles in this film was assumed generic I felt but after seeing it, I see that everybody cast had purpose and held their job. Knowing Wilmer was in it I shook my head thinking he was going to poke fun at things, acting like a fool like in other projects he's been known to do. To see him with Catalina I had further doubts and just he along with most other cast members blew me away. I sympathized with his character and Catlina's the most because it is their roles that the average American deals with on a daily basis practically. The end result of what she sacrificed had me in tears. It truly made me angry and hurt known how true her situation was and how that scenario is adapted in so many job settings all over the world. Crushing.
Not so bad at all. We have develop strong resistance to the E. Colli, Salmonella and all kind of amoebas and bacterial agents. I want to thank to McDonnalds & Burger King for that contribution to the health of human kind...(LOL)(LOL). This picture only reveals just a overview about the truth involved the fast food controversy, and for other part the writers link this problem with the Mexican illegal migration to USA. I think those subjects are very disconnected, because the first is a problem of Public Health and the Mexican migration its seen like a problem of Security of the State. I think the producers want to kill two birds with one shoot, and the final product was short at all. The acting is very well done, special attention for: Bruce Willis, Kris Kristopherson, Ana Talancón, Patricia Arquette and upstanding Greg Kinnear. Avril Lavigne and Ethan Hawke just pass without honors. A quote: Mexican theaters owners Cinepolis and Cinemex, prefer the no exhibition of the movie because his partnership with the fast food corporations.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fast Food Nation Fast Food Nation- Richard Linklater's novelization of the best selling Eric Schlosser expose of the fast food industry.A mix of several stories- from the mid-level executive to the clerk to the meat packing illegal workers-this ensemble story is both captivating and depressing.One of my major beefs with the reward season is when a movie this well done is basically ignored by the academy- I understand it was hard to digest-but I spent the entire afternoon with the movie- watched the movie and then re-watched with it with the informative commentary by Schlosser & Linklater.The DVD had some good cartoons on it- 3 Meatrix shorts and the Backwards Hamburger.In some ways this movie played like Schindler's List for cattle-right down to the parallel shower/kill floor sequences.And like other Nazi flicks- you could see the general populace while complicit where basically good folks doing what they needed to do to make rent.There were some terrible characters in the movie(Babby Cannavale was brutal as the tyrannical translator that had to sample every "pretty" illegal immigrant he was in control of)-but for the most part folks where just cogs in the bigger corporate machine.While this movie has it's comedic moments and a great cast- it is not light entertainment nor a straight documentary- but a well told story meshing fact with fiction. A-
While I always appreciate a good dig at consumer culture, I couldn't
help but feel that this movie was a little fake, glossed and, frankly,
consumer-oriented. I think it was all the cameo appearances by the
likes of Avril Lavigne (seriously), Bruce Willis, et cetera. Something
about the fact that the makers of this movie felt the need to insert
these big names into their film just seems kind of, well, corporate to
The fact that the three central stories didn't interact didn't bother me, although I had been expecting them to. I almost liked this aspect, since it illustrates the huge, faceless quality of the fast food chain--none of the workers ever really meet or interact in a meaningful way. However, it seems the movie bit off more than it could chew, and the three stories remained mostly open-ended and inconclusive. The story of the high-end management guy, played by Greg Kinnear, was the most disappointing, not solely due to the fact that it is all but forgotten about until the ending credits. The blurb on the DVD box was totally misleading. Serves me right for paying attention to advertising.
The story of the illegal immigrants was probably the best of the three. It was the one that kept my interest in the movie, since the high-school employee girl's story was thin at best and poor Mr. Kinnear's had evaporated altogether.If this movie was making a statement about anything, it was more about the conditions of being illegal than about meat. And yes, they threw in the disgusting images of wholesale cow slaughter just to make meat-eaters feel guilty. Overall, this movie reminds me of nothing more than a corporate attempt to attract the fringes of society. I don't need Avril Lavigne to tell me not to eat meat, thank you.
Went in cold on this, had never even heard of it, but Tara had heard
it's worth seeing.
"Fast Food Nation" follows the story of Mickey's, a hamburger joint who's just discovered that their meat patties have faecal (poo poo) contamination. The send out a marketing executive (Kinnear) to look into the meat facility and see what's going on. In between this story we follow a group of Mexicans who have immigrated illegally and gotten jobs at the meat plant.
From my perspective, the aim of the movie was to show the evils involved in the industry, but by pushing more so from the angle of the mistreated workers. I'm sure there's truth in it, and it raises some questions, but probably overdid the meat plant story a tad.
It held my interest, but the last 1/4 of the movie really dragged. Worth a look, and done well for it's aim.
When I initially saw the trailer, this looked to be a dark humored
satire, much like Thank You for Smoking. It isn't. It actually is not
funny at all. The movie completely blindsided me and not entirely in a
negative way. It was more surprise than anything. It is still nice to
see that a movie is still capable of this.
The movie seems to be less about fast food itself and more about the culture that spawned it. It is full of Magnolia-like interactions, albeit more possible since it takes place in Cody, Colorado (and not LA). It seems to be some sort of class study as we see how each level lives (the executive class, Dirty Jobs type people, the immigrants and even the cows). Each has some role to place in this fast food based hierarchy. Richard Linklater creates an adequate movie that tries to show the intricacies and gray areas associated with America. It displays this through some generic/stereotypical relations. It tries to say something or make us aware, yet in the end I have no clue if there was even a message at all. About the only message I got is that things have become so intertwined that it would be easier to cut off live flesh and start anew, than to try and fix whatever was in place already. Someone once said I want to eat the meat and not meet the cow.
There is a particularly brutal scene at the end where they show the death and dismemberment of the cattle. This is extremely graphic. Unless you have seen any of the Faces of Death or the features on the Eyes Without a Face DVD, this will probably be very graphic (and looks quite real).
Its nice to see Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) and Maria Full of Grace's Catalina Sandino Moreno. They seem to be somewhat typecast at this point. I guess it takes a while. John Leguizamo had a funny sketch how Latinos would always be typecast as drug dealers and junkies. I would just rent this one.
Eric Schlosser's bestseller "Fast Food Nation" was Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" for the end of the twentieth century, and not necessarily something that was destined for the big screen in a fictionalized form. Nonetheless Richard Linklater has attempted to do just that with his 2006 film "Fast Food Nation", which attempts to bridge the gap between several seemingly disparate stories that touch on topics of conformity, and namely the quest the meat takes behind those tasty fast food burgers. Linklater has assembled a cast full of familiar indie faces, which are there mainly to convey a sizable message about people in America. Unfortunately Linklater chooses to convey this message with such a heavy hand as to have the film flow like a bus ride full of talented faces that just happens to hit deep pot holes every seven minutes or so. The stilted documentary that could have been is educationally forced, and the content of the occasionally gripping narrative is frequently unpleasant, especially an unnecessary and exploitative scene in a slaughterhouse. "Fast Food Nation" is quite a disappointment for a filmmaker as recognizably talented and intelligent as Richard Linklater, whose previous work has run the gamut from the high IQ philosophical cartoon "Waking Life", to the intimate date movie "Before Sunrise", to the funny pot promotion flick "Dazed & Confused", to the sharp remake of "The Bad News Bears". Linklater seems incapable of dealing with the largest hurdle of this endeavor: there is simply too much going on, whether it's about Mexican immigration, teenage revolutionaries, angry fast food workers, greedy corporations, ranchers who hold onto frontier ideals, slimy meat packaging supervisors, stubborn cattle, or any number of other things thrown at the audience during the course of two hours. "Fast Food Nation" has attempted to be the "Traffic" (Soderbergh, 2000) of the fast food industry, and has unfortunately fallen short with a lot of interesting, but poorly crafted material.
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