Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Ryan Reynolds Says Having a Daughter was Dream Come Tru...
Oscars Nominees Luncheon Class Photo of 2016 Revealed ...
Bernie Sanders confirms: 'I am Larry David'...
Breaking News: James Corden to Host the 2016 Tony Award...
Marty Balin Remembers Paul Kantner: 'He and I Opened Ne...
House of Cards season 5 renewal announced, showrunner B...
Joseph Fiennes plays Michael Jackson in British TV 'roa...
Nate Parker's 'The Birth of a Nation' a powerful film...
Chris Rock, Oscar host who really seems to hate the Osc...
Matt Damon Praises The Oscars For Voting Process Change...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

20th Century Fox presents
Fast Food Nation (2006)

"In a town like this, hope'll kill you."
- Uncle Pete (Ethan Hawke)

Review By: Dan Heaton   
Published: March 05, 2007

Stars: Wilmer Valderrama, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Ana Claudia Talancon, Greg Kinnear, Ashley Johnson
Other Stars: Patricia Arquette, Juan Carlos Serran, Armando Hernandez, Frank Ertl, Michael Conway, Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Willis, Mitch Baker, Ellar Salmon, Paul Dano, Dakota Edwards, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Luis Guzman, Bobby Cannavale, Francisco Rosales
Director: Richard Linklater

MPAA Rating: R for disturbing images, strong sexuality, language, and drug content
Run Time: 01h:53m:03s
Release Date: March 06, 2007
UPC: 024543418689
Genre: drama

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B B+B+B+ B+

DVD Review

Eric Schlosser's acclaimed book Fast Food Nation inflicted a nasty body blow to the dominant fast food industry and inspired countless readers to re-consider their eating habits. This material appeared to offer a perfect model for an incisive documentary about this nasty issue. Instead of taking this approach, Schlosser and Director Richard Linklater (Waking Life, Slacker) chose to develop a fictional picture that covered many of the book's essential themes. Their decision still promised to enlighten viewers about the stunning tactics of the fast-food industry. However, a fictional project created additional obstacles that could lessen its overall impact. The characters would serve as archetypes, but they needed to be engaging or audiences wouldn't care about their unfortunate situation.

Fast Food Nation weaves multiple narratives and a wide array of characters together into a single presentation. The first hour spends considerable time with Don Henderson (Greg Kinnear)a marketing executive for Mickey's, a fast-food chain closely modeled after McDonald's. He created the idea for their latest burger hit, "The Big One," but grows concerned when indications appear that fecal matter is prevalent in the meat. Instructed by his boss to visit the processing plant in the fictional Cody, Colorado, Henderson initially believes everything looks aboveboard. However, meetings with a grizzled rancher (Kris Kristofferson) and a straight-talking supplier (Bruce Willis) reveal that he might not want to keep eating his employer's burgers. But can Henderson really do anything to change the system? Does the American public really want to see the truth about this cheap food? This film does not answer this question directly, but it raises doubts about our desire to truly seek the truth.

Another major storyline involves illegal aliens Raul (Wilmer Valderrama) and Sylvia (Catalina Sandino Moreno), a husband and wife who arrive in Cody with hopes of realizing the American dream. He finds work at the meat processing plant and works overnight in the grim atmosphere. During this time, he discovers nasty conditions that include rats, workplace injuries, and brutal overseers. However, they pay considerably more than jobs in Mexico, so Raul continues working there. Sylvia quickly decides to seek employment elsewhere, but unfortunate events lead her to disturbing conclusion. Another related character is bright high-schooler Amber (Ashley Johnson), who works at a local Mickey's. She does not seriously consider her nefarious employer, but a visit from an influential uncle (Ethan Hawke) changes her perspective. Amber hopes to make a difference, but idealistic actions may not be enough in today's overly corporate world.

During his eclectic career, Richard Linklater has succeeded in eliciting great compassion for a diverse collection of characters. Dazed and Confused inspired nostalgia for the idealistic '70s through the eyes of partying high-school students. School of Rock may be a formula picture, but it also makes both the adults and children highly sympathetic. His wonderful companion films Before Sunrise and Before Sunset consist largely of two intellectuals talking, but we love spending time with these characters. This picture offers an incisive topic that appears to provide him with plenty of chances to connect with the audience. Surprisingly, the characters never feel like real people and act more as symbols to exemplify the key messages. The actors perform well, particularly Kinnear, Valderrama, and Johnson, but they only generate mild interest for each individual's situation. The result is worth a viewing and succeeds to a certain point, but it never grabs attention to generate a lasting impression.

A grisly late sequence in Fast Food Nation takes us directly to the "killing floor," a grisly environment that appears to come straight out of a horror film. The cows are brutally killed, and low-paid workers must deal with internal organs while standing in nasty sludge. This sequence is shocking, but it actually provides less motivation to change than the lengthy descriptions offered in Schlosser's book. We're tempted to hide our faces from the bloody images, but the effect dissipates a short time after the viewing. The overall film has a similar consequence because its perspective feels a bit disjointed. Henderson disappears during the second half, and his final status undercuts his revelations. We never identify truly with this everyman; he simply acts as a conduit to learn about the issues. The camera maintains a cold distance from the on-screen events, and this detached approach lessens what could have been a possibly groundbreaking impact.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Fast Food Nation includes a solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that presents Linklater's vision in realistic fashion. The down-to-earth style is interesting, but it does include some grain that makes the picture less than pristine. There are no major distractions, but the filming approach lowers the grade slightly when compared to the best visual transfers.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Spanishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: This release offers a 5.1-channel Dolby Digital track that effectively presents the bi-lingual story. The audio is clear and involving, but it lacks the power and complexity of the top-notch transfers. The music from the Friends of Dean Martinez does move well throughout the sound field, which helps to create an engaging presentation.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, French with remote access
1 Documentaries
4 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Director/writer Richard Linklater and Author/Screenwriter Eric Schlosser
Packaging: Unknown
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo gallery
Extras Review: Fast Food Nation includes a solid collection of extra features that shed light on the production. The most prominent inclusion is Kevin Ford's 55-minute documentary The Manufacturing of Fast Food Nation, which provides a large amount of behind-the-scenes footage. Avoiding the fluff of many promotional extras, this feature chronicles much of the filming but offers only quick insights into the creation process. Writer Eric Schlosser does cover the book's origins and the decision to make a fictional film, but this material is only a small part of this documentary. Better information is available in the feature-length commentary from Schlosser and writer/director Richard Linklater. The duo has great chemistry, and they speak almost constantly throughout the picture. We learn plenty of notable details about the production and the key problems depicted.

The remaining features include a black-and-white photo gallery and four animated shorts that offer an entertaining look at the issue. Three of the shorts are episodes of The Meatrixa humorous take-off from the popular film trilogy. Leo is a happy pig living on a farm, but his life changes when Moopheus reveals that his reality is false. Two clever sequels continue the story while making points about the horrid conditions for cows and the nasty parts of our fast food. The other entry is The Backwards Hamburger, which begins with a guy about to eat a burger in his sports car and then goes back to see its origins. Relevant stats quickly fly by the screen and reveal the troubling aspects of this type of food.

Extras Grade: B+


Final Comments

Fast Food Nation sheds light on important issues that many people do not want to hear about. It becomes tougher to take your kids to McDonald's every week when you know about the company's practices. However, the film's story falls short of generating the emotional connection needed to make a huge impact. Schlosser and Linklater deserve credit for making the attempt, but if you haven't read the book, I would begin your education there.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


movie, ryan reynolds, deadpool, blake lively, james, shrimpie, celebrity, academy awards class photo, beverly hilton, leonardo dicaprio, brie larson, sylvester stallone, lady gaga, bernie sanders, larry david, anderson cooper, television, cbs, tony awards, james corden, the broadway league and the american theatre wing, music, jefferson airplane, paul kantner, marty balin, doors, netflix, house of cards, president frank underwood, kevin spacey, robin wright, comedy, michael jackson, joseph fiennes, nate parker, the birth of a nation, sundance film festival, nat turner, d.w. griffiths, movies, academy awards show, chris rock, will smith, white chicks, icymi, matt damon, the martian, cheryl boone isaacs, iggy pop, josh homme, gardenia, the late show, stephen colbert, post pop depression, academy award controversy, charlotte rampling, 45 years, cheryl boone, glenn frey, eagles, don henley, post-beach boys california pop, disco, punk, rock and roll hall of fame, david bowie, alan rickman, cancer, cameron crowe, rolling stone, ride along 2, ice cube, kevin hart, buddy-cop action-comedy, debbie harry, chris stein, blondie, heros, ricky gervais, jeffrey tambor, mozart in the juncle, aziz ansari, mr. robot, quentin tarantino, china box office, $32.1 million, walt disney, lip sync battle, beyonce, channing tatum, jena dewan tatum, paula abdul, spike tv, premieres, shades of blue, jennifer lopez, nbc, angel from hell, my diet is better than yours, abc, adele, 26, 7.44 million album sales, amc, the walking dead, frank darabont, glen mazzara, pbs, downton abbey season 6, gareth neame, sophie mcshera, paul copley, nichola burley, michelle dockery, the bachelor, bachelorette, ben higgins, alex michel, aaron buerge, andrew firestone, bob guiney, game of thrones, george r.r. martin, the winds of winter, song of ice and fire, kanye west, facts, bill cosby, steve harvey, miss universe, cosby show, george lucas, charlie rose, star wars: the force awakens, disney, star wars, harrison ford, mark hamill, carrie fisher, aging, sports, basketball, meadowlark lemon, wilt chamberlain, u.s. army, basketball hall of fame, clown prince of basketball, ritz theater, nathaniel rateliff, night sweats, blues band, denver, nathaniel rateliff & the night sweats.

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store