Fast Food Nation
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Inspired by the incendiary New York Times bestseller that exposed the hidden facts behind America's fast food industry, Fast Food Nation combines an all-star ensemble cast lead by Greg Kinnear, Wilmer Valderrama and Avril Lavigne with riveting, interlocked human stories to serve up "a firecracker of a movie that jumps off the screen" (Rolling Stone). When a marketing executive (Kinnear) for the Mickey's burger chain is told there's a nasty secret ingredient in his latest culinary creation?"The Big One"? he heads for the ranches and slaughterhouses of Colorado to investigate...but discovers the truth a bit difficult to swallow.
If you're still eating that fast-food burger after watching Super Size Me, you might not feel too hungry after watching Fast Food Nation, a fictionalized feature based on Eric Schlosser's bestselling nonfiction expose. Director Richard Linklater, who cowrote the screenplay with Schlosser, guides a topnotch ensemble cast through a peek behind the veil of how that Big Mac is born. Much of the film focuses on the illegal immigrants who work in the loosely regulated meat-packing industry, and actors including the luminous Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), who plays a desperate but outraged laborer. Greg Kinnear also delivers a spot-on performance as a fast-food chain marketing manager, trying frantically to discover the source of stomach-turning contamination in the company's meat. Stories are woven in unexpected ways, and cameos by the likes of Kris Kristofferson, Patricia Arquette, and especially Bruce Willis keep the narrative fresh. The film has a point of view, but thanks to Linklater's deft touch, is never didactic. As Willis's character slyly says, "Most people don't like to be told what's best for them." Agreed, yet Fast Food Nation likely will help the viewer be more conscious of what's on the end of that fork. --A.T. Hurley
Extras from Fast Food Nation
Fast Food Nation Arcade-Style Game
Beyond Fast Food Nation
Super Size Me
Fast Food Nation (Paperback)
Fast Food Nation: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture
Stills from Fast Food Nation
- Commentary with Director Richard Linklater and Writer Eric Schlosser
- Manufacturing Fast Food Nation Featurette
- The Meatrix Flash Animation Short
- The Meatrix II Flash Animation Short
- The Meatrix II 1/2 Flash Animation Short
- The Backwards Hamburger Flash Animation Short
- Photo Gallery
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Top customer reviews
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Scenes from the movie were a little much for me as I HATE animal cruelty and that's basically all that factory farming in America is. So parts of it were hard for me to stomach personally - even though I can watch horror movies with insane amounts of blood and guts and gore.
There is a little side story within the movie that helps keep your interest in the diluted documentary style they are trying to portray but I would never watch this film again.
This is a graphic and shocking film, I am not a keen admirer of American shock tactics for fun, but if the events are accurate- then people need to be aware. Really, what can be said? If people open their eyes, they will see that people are fat and sick, and older people can remember that food doesn't taste the way it probably used to. The film was not an enjoyable thing- but eye popping, to say the least. I held on til the end, I did leave a few times, however, as I am not as jaded as my spouse.
As a chef, I am involved in what my food is made of, I also spent all my life in another country and have a totally different food relationship than what I have seen here.
You are what you eat. End of.
Happy cows are healthy cows, eat sensibly. Eat responsibly. If one must eat meat, do your best to eat organic and ethically killed meats. Research this stuff for yourself- it info is out there. Research Kosher food laws, and try to seek out Kosher foods, as it won't be filled with stress adrenaline.
It is a dramatic feature film geared around some of the concepts mentioned in the book of the same name (author, Eric Schlosser).
I do appreciate movies with thematic or social significance, but they're better flicks if they subdue the overt message. Provoke thought without dictating thought. Or otherwise, make a documentary...
Most of the subplots failed to engage. I've already read the book, and watched Food, Inc. -- both of which I highly recommend instead of this. Drama-wise, probably the best scene in the movie happens just about at the very end: without giving it away, the illegal woman from Mexico who first found employment in a motel has financial need to switch to working for the slaughterhouse. She's a fine actress. I also appreciate the crusty old cattle rancher, but he gets about 5 minutes of screen time. There's one other moment (which would really give too much away) that I appreciate. But overall -- give this film / video a pass.
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.