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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Adventures in babysitting: Fast Food Nation

While Roger Ebert recuperates, the Chicago Sun-Times is employing staff writers (and occasional freelancer) to fill the gap, much to the disadvantage of most releases. fast food nation-7548547.jpgTake, for instance, staff reporter Teresa Budasi‘s sophomoric take on Fast Food Nation, which hits sour (and inadequately copy-edited) notes from sentence one: “Anyone who’s ever worked at a fast-food chain knows what goes into making its signature products: Frozen meat on a perfectly calibrated hot grill, with pre-measured condiments squirted from a stainless steel gizmo onto heated buns, all wrapped up in greasy paper or a cardboard box.” Anyone? “Perfectly calibrated”? “Greasy paper”? While I once called a certain actress “as welcome as a fart in church,” it is surprising to read words like these in a major metro daily (aside from the wishy-washy language masking disdain for the movie’s view of the life of work): “There are a lot of recognizable actors in this film, and most of them do a fine job with the material, but for every two who manage to rise above the weak script, there’s one who sticks out like a turd in a punch bowl — or, in this case, feces in a cheeseburger.” Ethan Hawke? “When was the last time he played a character who bathed?” The Colorado setting is described as “Middle America.” “Hey, it’s Patricia Arquette of TV’s “Medium”! Oops, sorry about that. Too many star-sightings in this movie. Focusing solely on the Mexican story line might have made a better film. Instead we have a whole lot of disjointedness that is supposed to all tie together… Ultimately the movie disappoints just like a trip to the food court for a No 2 with cheese. You think it’s what you want, but it ultimately leaves you feeling a little bloated and full of empty calories.” Roger… come back… you are missed.

One Response to “Adventures in babysitting: Fast Food Nation”

  1. aaron says:

    Man, you are so right about that Sun-Times review of ‘Fast Food Nation’. When I read that yesterday, it just rubbed me the wrong way. Mr. Ebert cannot get back soon enough.
    Love the blog BTW.

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles