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Fast, Cheap and Out of Control 1997

PG CC
4.3 out of 5 stars (55) IMDb 7.3/10

Four esoteric professionals contemplate life and humanity in this reflective look at the world around us.

Starring:
Dave Hoover, George Mendonça
Runtime:
1 hour, 22 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Errol Morris
Starring Dave Hoover, George Mendonça
Supporting actors Raymond A. Mendez, Rodney Brooks
Studio Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA rating PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
First off, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and find it bizarre that it merits an Amazon editorial review of such shabby professionalism. Who is Luanne Brown? Why is she reviewing a movie that she clearly doesn't comprehend (or didn't even watch), and how can she maintain a job in a field that requires a level of writing above hmmm... junior-high school book report? Not only is this review a total hack job, she also concocts some weird assumptions in her review that have no basis in the film that I watched, entitled 'Fast, Cheap & Out of Control' by Errol Morris.

Does George Mendonca really follow his passion in topiary gardening 'because he can'? Is Dave Hoover really filled with 'hand-trembling fear' dealing with the animals to which he's dedicated his life's work? She manages to follow such ridiculous notions by dismissing Rodney Brooks as a 'real wacko', hardly deserving given the fact that he is a robotics expert at MIT and Luanne is... Who again?

Why would I bother wasting my time with this? Well Amazon is unfortunately where a lot of people will check for information about products before making a purchase, and in this respect, I believe an editorial review should be balanced and at least somewhat deserved. Unfortunately, Luanne's review comes across as a film student crying foul because someone's breaking the rules learned in editing class. Sorry, it is not 'out-of-control', Errol Morris happens to be completely 'in control' and more than a 'voyeurestic peek', this is a captivating work of art that merits repeated viewings. Yes, it's weird and obscure, but that's the point --- why the 'rich and famous' would be interesting is anyone's guess.
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Format: VHS Tape
It confuses me how a documentary can stroll in and bump La Dolce Vita, Barton Fink and Delicatessen down 1 notch on my top 10 list.
In the first third of the film I reckoned the film to be just a gorgeous montage. A topiary gardener, a robot engineer, a mole-rat expert and a lion tamer... each doing their own bizarre thing. Visually great and certainly interesting. But at the midpoint the movie became alive for me. The passion the characters have for their respective activity forces the viewer to become a fifth character, a ghost eccentric facing the screen. Morris not only validates your passion, but makes you repent for not being more intense. Each day you've spent not doing what you love seems very wasted. And the remainder of your life becomes a resource that you ought not to squander.
"Fast, Cheap and Out of Control" subtly and generously leads anyone in the audience equipped with a gut, a heart and a brain to wake up and feel alive. This film melds what makes David Salle a great painter with what makes Gerald Stern great poet. Morris will certainly become known as a master.
Comment 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
I purchased this video expecting from the description to watch "weirdos" in hopeless, inconsequentual pursuits, only to find a film that makes a strong statement on "life."
The juxtaposition of the rat moles going about their core, instinctive routines and the scientest attempting to find reason in them; the lion tamer, attempting to control the core, instinctive behaviors of his "actors,"; the topiary gardener, attempting to shape "life" from the instinctive and natural growth of his shrubs; and the robot engineer, attempting to recreate "instinctive" reflexes --life -- in his creations.
The overwhelming question the viewer at the end of this film must ask is not "aren't they a bunch of weirdos," but is "why do I behave the way I do?"
All the segments show humans controlling and analyzing life and behavior in their own way. Put it all together, and one must wonder if there's not someone controlling their actions. Or, if it's possible for man to understand the complex intricacies of what "life" really is.
Don't buy this film if you want to see a freak show. These people are not freaks. They are all people attempting to grasp a little control and understanding of this thing we call life.
Comment 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Documentarian Errol Morris points his lens at four men who are attempting to exert control over and wrest meaning from the raw stuff of nature through highly idiosyncratic means. They include a topiary gardener, a lion tamer, an expert on the naked mole rat (the only mammal that has the same social organization as insects), and a roboticist. They each discuss the intricacies of their individual callings; the parallels and recurring themes that emerge result in a rather touching meditation on man's drive to impose control on his environment.

It is also worth noting that each of these men is clearly happy, at least when working. In this way, they show us how to be truly alive--find your passion, let it consume you, and don't worry whether the reviewer for Amazon.com thinks you are a weirdo./
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Format: VHS Tape
Rarely, if ever, have I seen a film so affecting as this one. The complex relationship between who we are and the work that we do is explored in conversations with four men whose seemingly unrelated professions all deal with other "life forms" (robots, plants, circus animals, mole rats). The filmmaker's use of stock footage, the incredible score by the late Caleb Sampson, and the affable weirdness of the film's four subjects result in an absolute gem of a film that is at times absolutely hilarious and at other times profoundly moving. I'm glad that the price of the video has finally dropped to a reasonable level.
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