In California, the VP of Marketing of the Mickeys Fast Food Don Anderson is responsible for the hamburger Big One, the number one in selling in Mickeys chain of fast food restaurants. When an independent research in the meat patties produced in Cody, Colorado, indicates the presence of cow manure, Don is sent to the facility to investigate possible irregularities in the meatpacking production plant and also the major supplier of kettle. Along his surveys, Don finds the truth about the process and how meat is contaminated. Meanwhile, a group of illegal Mexican immigrants arrive in Cody to work in the dirty jobs in the plant while a group of activists plot how to expose the terrible situation of the Mickeys industry.
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I liked this movie. I never read the book its based on, but Its about aguy who works for the marketing department of a fast food chain calledMickeys and they discover there's crap in the burgers. He is sent downto Texas or somewhere to investigate. While hes there he gets a burgerin a Mickeys and one of the guys spits in his burger. We also follow abunch of Mexicans on a quest to go into America for a better life.However they all get jobs in the meat factory and one guy loses a leg.I thought it was a very good movie, and Avril Lavigne is in it too andshes fairly hot. Bruce Willis also makes an appearance as a guy who knows all about theindustry and he gives us an insight into the hypocrisy of the industry.Greg Kinnear finely plays the unscrupulous marketing executive who isdetermined to just do his job and find out why there's crap in theburgers. In the end he fails.In the end you see all the cows getting murdered and it was prettyshocking. You see all the heads with the skin peeled off and theirhorns hacked offSo for those reasons , I am giving it 8 stars.
I expected this film to be informative and entertaining (a documentary of sorts). I regret not reading the back of the DVD cover carefully. The rating is in fine print, but it says: "Rated R for disturbing images, strong sexuality, language and drug content."The story could have been told just as well without the constant cursing and perfunctory smut (including one graphic sexual scene) which devalued the noble idea of helping people to understand that the fast food industry has more than one dark side.I cannot recommend this film to anyone. I was sorely disappointed and felt that it was a complete waste of time since I didn't learn anything new about the fast food industry. If I had to describe this film in one word, it would be: Trashy.
With the title so close to super-size me I had thought this film wouldbe another hyped slam on fast food and American's dietary habits. Andit slightly is, however there is a story which you know truly broughtforth so many issues known and gave each issues reality and face. Tostep further in understanding and feeling how everybody is effected bysomething that we all are privy too is fascinating. Many roles in thisfilm was assumed generic I felt but after seeing it, I see thateverybody cast had purpose and held their job. Knowing Wilmer was in itI shook my head thinking he was going to poke fun at things, actinglike a fool like in other projects he's been known to do. To see himwith Catalina I had further doubts and just he along with most othercast members blew me away. I sympathized with his character andCatlina's the most because it is their roles that the average Americandeals with on a daily basis practically. The end result of what shesacrificed had me in tears. It truly made me angry and hurt known howtrue her situation was and how that scenario is adapted in so many jobsettings all over the world. Crushing.
This movie was decent in the message it was trying to get across, but the movie itself just lacked a complete ending, or a strong storyline to keep my interest going. Plus, if you have read Upton Sinclair's novel "The Jungle" you would know that meat packing has been since he wrote about it in 1906. The problems of the meat packers and unions, and strugling immigrants. It's sort of a shame that hollywood had to slick the storyline up and push it back out into the forefront because almost everyone has forgotten about Sinclair, but I'm glad there is discussion going again. Save your money on the movie, read "The Jungle", then possibly the book of Fast Food Nation.
There is a scene in Richard Linklater's Fast Food Nation where twoillegal Mexican immigrants sit in the back of a pickup truck as theyare being carted off to work at a meat packing plant in a midsizeColorado town. As the truck glides down the town's main drag, the twomen are greeted with their first uninhibited sight of America: alandscape comprised of chain restaurants and $2.99 Happy MealsÂ-aliteral sea of neon signs and billboards. From this, it's obvious thatFast Food Nation isn't a movie that holds its punches. With eachpassing burger joint and pizza place dotted along the road, Linklateris posing a silent question. He's asking about consumerism and anAmerican obsession with immediacy. He's criticizing the "bigger isbetter" and "quantity over quality" aphorisms that have run amuckamongst this country's social conscience. But, as the film progresses,it becomes clear that Linklater likes to pose more questions than heactually likes to answer. The film is attempting to be a desperate wakeup call to a society that is trying to eat itself to death. But, inreality, what we get is nothing more than a bold prophet that simplycan't begin to live up to or answer its own queries.Based on a nonfiction book of the same name, Fast Food Nationultimately fails because it doesn't quite know what it's trying to do.Filmed in a style that feels very organic, Linklater is attempting toblur his cinematic world with that of realityÂ-where his fictionalized"Mickey's" burger joint could easily pass for the local McDonalds orTaco Bell. This realist approach is juxtaposed against thefictionalized characters that artificially inhabit the playing field.To put it bluntly, it's a mixture that just doesn't work. Severalsub-stories are told in conjunction with each other, each poorly pacedand each not given the appropriate attention it deserves. For instance,Greg Kinnear's blissfully ignorant fast food marketing executive iscompletely dropped halfway through the film. This unevenness not onlyfeels awkward, it stilts the narrative structure. If the character isso unimportant that he can just disappear, why should we care? Theother stories get similar treatment, complete with stereotypicalteenage miscreants and an overly aggressive meat packing foreman thatpreys upon the immigrants that work there. The moments of genuineemotionÂ-such as Catalina Sandino Moreno's performance as a distraughtmigrant wifeÂ-are too few and far between. The rest of the movie isclumsily ground together with odd cameos that, while somewhatinteresting, are not smoothly congealed into the rest of the recipe.By the time Linklater gives us his grand finaleÂan uncensored, raw lookat the killing floor of a meat packing plantÂ-we get the feeling thatthe film is less concerned about stirring genuine emotions and moreinterested in manipulatively gutting the feelings out of us. If we canwatch such bovine terror, than darn it, we should feel something! Yet,there is no connection to what we are seeing. It's a spectacle,stuffing us with a bombardment of grotesque images that ineffectuallyforce us to reactÂ-gross, but ultimately hollow. And in that respect,ironically, Fast Food Nation is very much like the pre-made meals itclaims to despiseÂsomewhat visually appetizing, but ultimately void ofemotional and nutritional content.
In this zesty, exuberant telenovela of a family turned on itself, two sisters battle it out for control of their heritage and their destiny. Exciting Mexican superstar Ana Claudia Talancon headlines an international cast as Coco, a life-affirming young woman with big dreams, who doesn't mind using her sensational body and classically beautiful face to help her get her way. Life's too short, is Coco's motto, and she proves it by entering the US illegally, via a thirty-six hour border crossing led by everyone's best friend Luis Guzman. Once her feet are firmly on US soil, Coco quickly finds work at a food processing plant where she encounters tall, smoldering foreman Mike (Bobby Cannavale, from TV's WILL AND GRACE) and their passion lights up the screen!But even closer to her is her staid, repressed older sister Silvia (Catalina Sandino Moreno, Colombian-born Oscar nominee for MARIA FUILL OF GRACE), who has perhaps the more difficult role as a woman who loves her sister dearly but hates the choices she's making. Silvia has a stable, loving relationship with Wilmer Valderrama, as if such a thing were possible with the notorious Hollywood heartthrob, and leaves the food service industry to work as a maid in a local hotel, learning the tricks of the trade from a kindly older woman who oversees her entrance into the hospitality business. Meanwhile Coco slides into drugs as she and Mike carry on their extracurricular affair to the despair of her family.In the film's most shocking scene, Coco and Silvia really get into it in the beautifully furnished apartment Silvia shares with Raul, while he watches open-mouthed at the shocking crevasse he sees developing between the two sisters. Where's the love, he wonders? I don't want to reveal any spoilers, for this is the kind of meaty, full blooded soap opera that Maria Felix and Dolores Del Rio might once have acted in, while Richard Linklater once again proves that he is the finest US "women's director" since the heyday of Sirk and Cukor.
This title was one of the finest books I have read about the present food culture in the U.S. I was so much looking forward to being able to watch this in a video presentation along the lines of Super-Size Me, and being able to show this in my HS Nutrition class that I teach. What an embarrassing, huge disappointment!Not only was this video a mutation of a very well written and researched book, but its whole approach was rather clueless and pointless. If you read the book, you may have scratched a little bit of meaning out of the film, but to an unfamiliar viewer, was this about illegal aliens, fast food chains, teenage workers, meat-packing and ranching industries, or some fast talking Hollywood cameos? The scenes were so piecemeal and disjointed, it almost makes you want to eat a "Biggie" because I was getting sick watching this mess anyway!The crude pointless sex scenes and inappropriate vulgar language makes this a definite off-limits to young adult viewers, especially in a school setting. Guess what producers....this is what your target audience shoud have been! I am just so glad I rented it from Blockbuster before I purchased this piece of junk!!!!!
Richard Linklater is a great director.I had a lot of expectations withFast food nation:the movie had a lot of excellent commentaries onfestivals around the world,it has an excellent cast and Linklater isbehind it.The result?A good movie but I expected more from it.Thismovie reminded me of Super size me,the documentary about fast foodnominated to the Academy Awards.The whole cast from Fast food nationbrings solid performances.As the bad things this movie has is that someparts are very slow and they needed a better edition.Except for thatslow parts,Fast food nation is a movie which kept me fun but I expectedmore from it.
How does one explain the charms of Richard Linklater's "Fast Food Nation" without recognizing that its most wonderful, honest moments reveal it as a failure? We expect a tactical strike on fast food restaurants and the meatpacking industry. A film version of "The Jungle," or at least the Eric Schlosser book it's based on. But Linklater crafts something much tamer. "Fast Food Nation" is not sunny, per se, but it's hardly a satire; it takes frustrating Linklatarian detours. It says too much, too incoherently. It mirrors real life, to some extent - how often do we communicate poignantly and pointedly? - but, given the book as a template and a free shot at the business, it whiffs like the local scholar at the coffee house might. Many scenes are excellent little gems of writing and acting, but they're also beside the central point: Fast food is a disgusting industry, organically and morally, and yet, built on the backs of the poor and overweight, it's essentially unstoppable. We expect a fearless work that begs for lawsuits. "Fast Food Nation," instead, exercises its table manners in all the wrong spots. Set in fictional Cody, Colo., the movie unsuccessfully juggles three storylines, all of which revolve around fast food chain Mickey's. One involves a group of illegal immigrants (Wilmar Valderrama and Catalina Sandino Moreno among them) sneaking across the U.S.-Mexico border to work in a meatpacking plant. The plant is being investigated by Mickey's executive Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear) for mixing [...] into the meat that becomes Mickey's signature "Big One" hamburger. The third plot concerns a bright, working class high schooler named Amber (Ashley Johnson), who faces the dim prospect of wasting her best years at a local Mickey's joint. These plots never really intertwine; rather, they run alongside each other, telling the fast food story from different angles. Surprisingly, the executive's journey to Cody makes the most impact, as Linklater sends Don on an investigation full of sharp cameos (Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Willis) that essentially confirms his fear and yet leaves him little way to change it. Willis' single scene, where he plays a liaison between Mickey's and the meatpacking plant, is spot on in its depiction of indiscriminate, willful corporate greed. Willis, never an actor`s actor, knows the guts of this character; he eats his burger, sloppily and ravenously, like a vulture. It's a terrific performance. The immigrants' plight deserves its own movie, and some of set ups (a cute Mexican girl falls under the sexual influence of a abusive supervisor) never quite pay off. Linklater takes jabs at the meatpacking industry without ever fully teeing off; he reveals the "kill floor," with its gut streams and blood puddles, at the very end, after several random detours. Valderrama is unmemorable. Moreno mostly stands on the sideline. The final story, involving the girl, is the most perplexing. Here, it seems Linklater is attempting to inject the ennui from "Slacker," and "Dazed and Confused" into the dim-lit Mickey's restaurant. The 23-year-old Johnson actually seems like a confused kid, but her longest scenes are spent conversing with her hardened mother (Patricia Arquette) and "cool" uncle, played by Ethan Hawke.The three actors share some nice moments, and these conversations lead Amber toward some local college activists (one of whom is Avril Lavigne) and a daring act of protest. And yet, again, this little diversion seems beside the point. Which isn't to say the unconventional approach is worthless. "Fast Food Nation" unfocused as it seems, doesn't come off like some Michael Moore tirade. Kinnear's character and performance is meant to humanize Mickey's to some extent, and Esai Morales portrays an uptight-but-decent Mickey's supervisor. Aside from the meatpacking supervisor and Willis' delicious villain, "Fast Food Nation" is a movie of normal, scared, private Americans quietly get ground up by the machinery of big business. Problem is, none of them really know that, and the movie doesn't seem to, either. It underachieves by merely being smart and observant. It is as helpless as that Mickey's executive, who sits in a board room at the end, wishing to be somewhere, anywhere, else.
Fast Food Nation didn't make me a vegetarian. I guess I'm like most people: when it comes down to the dirty details, I'd rather not know. Like war, no one wants to see a bunch of dead and maimed soldiers. To have an idea of something is one thing: to actually know, see, and understand that thing is quite another. We hear about illegal workers coming into this country, and we hear about subhuman slaughterhouse conditions--all of these things we hear about in abstract. But seeing these issues in a specific context enables us to understand these issues. Fast Food Nation is a fabric of interwoven threads. The film opens in a dark alley in a U.S. border town in Mexico. Smugglers collect fees from a small group of poor Mexicans. The scene shifts from Mexico to the corporate offices of Mickey's Burgers in Anaheim California. The CEO of Mickey's Burgers has a problem: a culture test found high levels of fecal matter in their frozen patties. The CEO sends an executive--played by Greg Kinnear--to trace the source of the infection. The film shifts back to Mexico. Smugglers process a bunch of poor Mexicans through a labyrinth of sleazy motels and packed vans. Eventually, the Mexicans cross the border into the U.S. and wind up in a grimy drop house. Here, the supervisor of a meat processing plant--a tall sticky-looking white male--looks over the human livestock. He waves a casual finger around the walls and the floor selecting the strongest males and the most attractive females. A couple of new hires are led through the meat processing plant. The floors and walls are spotless and glowing. The employees' uniforms are snow-white. The new hires receive their white shiny hard-hats, their white shiny aprons, and take their places at the receiving end of the production line--the last stage of the meat processing line; the kill-floor is the first stage of the meat processing line. Another plot-thread involves a teenage girl named Amber who works at one of the Mickey Burger chains. She's bright and intelligent. She has a lot of potential, but she's afraid to leave Mickey Burgers because it is her first job. Back at the meat processing plant, there's drama at the slicing section of the production line: jealousy. A couple of female line-workers strive for the affection and favoritism of the line-manager. The females use their bodies to negotiate favors from the line-manager. In another plot-thread, a group of young Eco-activists sublimate their frustrations against animal abuse by freeing cows from the ranch that supplies the meat processing plant. But when the gates to those filthy pens fly open, the cows--with dung and urine clinging to their legs--refuse to leave. The activists kick and yell at the cows, but the content animals remain in the filthy pen where they'll eventually be slaughtered and transformed into Mickey Burgers. Greg Kinnear, Bruce Willis, Kris Kristofferson, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Luis Guzman, etc., all performed well in this underrated film from 2006. Richard Linklater and Eric Schlosser, who authored the bestselling expose of the same title, co-wrote Fast Food Nation. Linklater is one of my favorite directors; his films are both brainy and entertaining. The disparate elements of Fast Food Nation--illegal immigration, animal abuse, sexual abuse, corporate greed and irresponsibility, etc.--converge into a grisly and powerful metaphor on the consequences of fear and complacency. In many ways, humans and cows have much in common. This is a great film with an important message. I highly recommend it. author of Gotta Be Down!
This review is from: Fast Food Nation (DVD) I enjoyed the dvd film as it gave an eye opening view of what takes place in the process of fast food provision of their product, From the corn provided cows that should have been eating grass to the butchering of the cow to its conversion to hambugers it was informative. I had purchased the book fast food nation and enjoyed it so with the film the book was simplified. the film was well worth the purchase.
This review is from: Fast Food Nation (Amazon Instant Video) I would include this movie along with "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Who Killed The Electric Car" as one of those movies that every American should see. I read a review elsewhere that objected to the fact that the story seemed disjointed. Most of the major characters never interacted with each other in any way. But, in all the time I worked at fast food places, I never met the ranchers, meatpackers or ad execs, either. So, that objection was irrelevant. However, the movie does seem to want to show all levels of the rotten facts of the fast food industry in a short amount of time and some viewers might feel a bit overloaded with all this information. The truth hurts. But, the truth is that illegal immigrants are hired to work in the meat-packing plants in hazardous conditions where they could suffer dismemberment or death, as well as having to endure life under supervisors who can exploit them on a whim, knowing that these people are illegally in the USA and have no legal recourse available to them. Another truth is that, save for the management, many restaurant employees view their jobs as something to be endured until something better comes along. If you've ever wondered why your local fast foood places have such a high turnover, its probably because those smiling faces behind the counter hated their jobs and were glad to leave. All the pep talks their bosses give them go in one ear and out the other. Low ages, minimal benefits and union-busting corporations beat any sense of loyalty out of these people that may have had to their employers. Then, you have the ad executives who have to find that gimmick, that special slogan to bring in the customers so that they will buy a product that even the ad execs might not believe in themselves.The next time you go in for that quick burger, understand that it was brought to you by exploitation, lies and lack of concern for your health. If you respond to this movie by avoiding the local fast food place, the companies aren't worried. There are tens of millions of other Americans who will be taking your place in line for a taste of The Big One.
The book was good and this movie had the opportunity to be insightful,but instead the characters are weak, the plot line non-existent, andthe dialog is awful--it makes even someone awesome like Bruce Willisseem flaccid. The whole movie should have been of the kill floor and ofthe investigation of the feces in the meat--too many plot lines that gonowhere. The trailer was good and shot the full load right there.Nothing more to see. Go see "Thank you for smoking" if you want to seesomething like this that isn't awful. I have to fill in more to submitthis comment so I shall: THIS MOVIE IS SO BAD MY MIND EXPLODED. IWANTED TO STOP WATCHING BUT I COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW BAD IT WAS ANDPERSEVERED TO MY GREAT REGRET.
This review is from: Fast Food Nation (DVD) It was for Christmas gift and someone loves it so I can say that it is a good movie. I haven't seen it myself so I can't say much about it.
I had the chance to see this film at this year'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.
Moral of the story: Junk food and fast food are EVIL. This is new. Noone has ever done this moral before. Ever. I just didn't see that onecoming, that message just punched me right in the face, especially withtag-lines as clever and catchy as "Would you like lies with that" (GETIT? INSTEAD OF FRIES?! HAHAHA! Hilarity. And yet clever and subtle andjust smart. Or...), or "The truth is hard to swallow" (That's a clearwarning sign that you're in for a festival of condescending know-it-allmessages, when they declare their own message a truth or a revelationof some sort... how cocky and pretentious, eh?).As far as the movie goes from a purely political or moral perspective,it's crap. First of all, it isn't controversial at all, despite thefact that they insist on trying to make it seem as if it is. It wascontroversial 30 years ago. Stop acting like this is some spark to arevolution or something, for Christ's sake. There isn't really anythingyou didn't know if you watched SuperSize Me and read the book and havejust in general not been locked in a closet for the last 20 yearswithout a TV. The messages are old, stale and uninteresting. Andbecause it's a work of fiction, anything bad that could happen, doeshappen, and then it gets the balls sensationalized out of it. To usethis movie as a piece of education would be like using Terminator toban research on robotics and AI. So, weak and stale points,sensationalized arguments and an arrogant and condescending tone. Oh,you thought this was why I declared this movie garbage?The story... whoa Nelly... the story. Poor Mexican border crossers gettreated badly and butchered, elite corporate guy sells crap to peopleand doesn't care because he's a corporate guy and that's what corporateguys do, because corporate = evil, and the teenager feels rebellious.The acting is good, but it can only mask the absolute shoddiness of thestory to a certain degree. Characters are all on sided, the story is soobviously politically motivated and without emotion, and the charactersbarely, if at all, tie in to each other. It's just bad.The only reason anyone is giving this movie a good review is becausethey agreed with the moral before they even saw it. They liked that itsmashed at fast food just as much as they liked to smash at it. Morallyinclined bias to the actual review of the movie. That's all it is.This movie is indeed just plain fart smelly garbage.
Richard Linklater continues to impress with this socialcommentary/document film. The risk with this type of film is that themessage will either be too heavy handed or too subtle/unclear to beeffective. I think Linklater has managed to straddle that line nicelyhere and the film's central theme of America as a "fast food nation" inmore than one aspect is right on the mark. The conformity andcomplacency of people as portrayed in this film is all too realistic.Too many people's lifestyles resemble the immediate but emptysatisfaction of a fast food meal.The logical consequence of this attitude is fat, lazy people who areunwilling/unable to make any sort of positive impact on anything atall. We see that even the most sympathetic character, the young womanwho joins an environmentalist group, wants to help but just can'tfigure out how. A minor setback seems to be all it takes to end hergroup's attempts at action. Another major character, the fast foodexecutive who seems to have good intentions, is afraid that he willrisk his job by speaking out against the bad things he sees. It's justeasier for these people to ignore the problems they see than it is todo something about them.The problem doesn't seem to be limited to American citizens however;most of the Mexican immigrants are quickly sucked into the fast foodmentality.One of Linklater's greatest strengths is capturing the behavior ofnormal people. He showcases this talent with Fast Food Nation.
Early in the movie, we learn that there is fecal matter in the burgers.The poop in the burgers symbolizes the ethical compromises that thecurrent economic system requires of anyone hoping to succeed. As Harry(Bruce Willis) observes, "Everyone must eat a little sh*t in life." Inother words, find ways to adjust your values, and you will get alongOK. The three rebel characters Â Rudy (Kris Kristofferson), the radicalstudent Paco (Lou Taylor Pucci), and Amber's uncle Â each challengeHarry's assertion by choosing to live their lives outside the system.None of them drives a shiny new car (like the Chevy truck -- Raul'ssymbol of success), nor are they likely ever to have prestigious highpaying jobs. Yet, they hold onto their integrity by resisting, byrefusing to "eat sh*t".The movie follows the development of three main characters Â Mickie'sVP for marketing Don Anderson (Greg Kinnear), Amber (Ashley Johnson),and Sylvia (Catalina Sandino Moreno). We meet each of these charactersas they struggle to make it within the system. They find themselveseach situated on different rungs of the systemic ladder of "success"and the movie tracks their efforts to move up to the next rung. Don isalready a "success". He has a wife, two sons, and a comfortable, wellpaid white collar position of a major US corporation. Yet he discoversthat staying on the ladder of success is not as easy or straightforwardas one might imagine. He has only slightly more job security than theMexicans. If he wants to continue on the ladder, he will need to "eatsh*t" just like everyone else. The alternative Â ratting out thecorruption in the system Â spells almost certain economic disaster forhim and his family.The Mexican main character is, in fact a family. The Mexicans Â Sylvia,her younger sister Coco (Ana Claudia TalancÃ³n), and Sylvia's partnerRaul (Wilmer Valderrama) arrive in Texas full of hope. Unfortunatelyfor them, their dreams of a better life were made more of marketingthan of reality. They imagined that they were among the lucky ones whosucceeded in sneaking across the border to a better life. Theygradually realize that they have been lured into a deadly trap,kidnapped really. The trap is destined to extract from them their lifeforce. These three characters are tempted by the promise of quick andeasy money ($80 in one day!). Over time however, they are seduced,drugged, screwed, and broken Â physically as well as spiritually. Thecorporation "cares deeply for the family" as long as it serves thecorporate mission to maximize profits. As soon as any one of thembecomes a liability, that person is spit out to fend for themselves orto die. Sylvia is the first to realize that something is wrong. Shechooses to defend herself by seeking a lower paying but lesshumiliating form of employment. Cleaning hotel rooms, she is able toremain in relationship with another human being, maintain her sense ofhumor, and with it her humanity. Little sister Coco gets seduced byfalse promises and is used up, addicted to car payments as much as tocrack. Raul risks his life to save his friend and gets his reward --broken ribs, a false drug charge, and a pink slip (unemployment).At the end of the movie Sylvia and Don are in identical situations.They realize to their horror, that their souls have been kidnapped,that they are slaves to a mindless system of profit making whichdoesn't care about them in the least. They are devastated by thethought that they may have to "eat sh*t" for the rest of their livesand there seems nothing they can do about it.Amber, the high school student, dreams of becoming an astronaut. She isthe only main characters who defies conventional wisdom, turning herback on the system. She looks at her mother's pathetic conformist life,listens to her rebel uncle, and decides to embrace an uncertaineconomic future by quitting her job over the prospect of a lifetime ofunreality. Amber is an "everyman" character, an average student at anaverage high school, working at one of the nation's millions of minimumwage "entry level" positions. She is a cog in the corporate machinery,starting her life at the bottom, but with "great potential" accordingto her boss (Esai Morales). Gradually, it dawns on Amber that somethingis not right. She doesn't yet know what is wrong, but she decides tojoin a group of like minded young people who begin by just saying "No!"They choose the path of integrity, listening to their inner voice.While their initial attempt at direct action Â freeing the slave cattleÂ appears ludicrous, they are, at least, doing something. They learnfrom their efforts, and refuse to give up. Meanwhile, Amber is remindedof the ludicrous behavior of Nelson Mandela, founder of the AfricanNational Congress, who spent more than 20 years of his life in prisonrather than to bend to apartheid. In the end, the power of his examplebroke the back of apartheid and made Mandela president of South Africa.Rather than "hope for change" Mandela refused to eat the "sh*t" thatSouth Africa required of every black person. Amber, like Mandela,doesn't know where her protests will lead, but she opts for idealismover compromise, preferring rebellion over obedience.In the end it is the single-minded pursuit of corporate profits whichrequires that the line move ever faster. The speed of the lineinevitably leads to mistakes (unwanted substances in the ground beef,injuries, inhumane relationships). Perpetual growth in the corporatebottom line requires that every day, some new compromise be made, somevalue sacrificed, some life lost. This important film challengesviewers to ask themselves if they are swallowing humiliation for thesake of false security.
I think everyone in America should see this film, but probably fewwill. I hadn't read the book before I saw the film, but I thought itwas both powerful and important. I think Richard Linklater can do nowrong, and this film is no exception. I didn't think the movie was dryat all, as some have reviewed it. It was compelling throughout. Theacting and story were good with minor exceptions, the characters weresympathetic, the subject matter was certainly relatable. This filmfocuses on everything that's wrong with America, and it's not pretty.It was certainly not an easy movie to watch at times, but I am verygrateful that Linklater is still making thought-provoking films.
Fast Food Nation Fast Food Nation- Richard Linklater's novelization ofthe best selling Eric Schlosser expose of the fast food industry.A mixof several stories- from the mid-level executive to the clerk to themeat packing illegal workers-this ensemble story is both captivatingand depressing.One of my major beefs with the reward season is when amovie this well done is basically ignored by the academy- I understandit was hard to digest-but I spent the entire afternoon with the movie-watched the movie and then re-watched with it with the informativecommentary by Schlosser & Linklater.The DVD had some good cartoons onit- 3 Meatrix shorts and the Backwards Hamburger.In some ways thismovie played like Schindler's List for cattle-right down to theparallel shower/kill floor sequences.And like other Nazi flicks- youcould see the general populace while complicit where basically goodfolks doing what they needed to do to make rent.There were someterrible characters in the movie(Babby Cannavale was brutal as thetyrannical translator that had to sample every "pretty" illegalimmigrant he was in control of)-but for the most part folks where justcogs in the bigger corporate machine.While this movie has it's comedicmoments and a great cast- it is not light entertainment nor a straightdocumentary- but a well told story meshing fact with fiction. A-