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Fast Food Nation

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Eric Schlosser’s non-fiction book Fast Food Nation is a dense but fascinating (and nightmare inducing) read, an in-depth dissection of the many elements that feed and influence the fast food machine in the U.S. I have to confess I couldn’t get all the way through it – about half way through the chapter concerning how the companies prioritize profit over the safety and welfare of their teenage employees, I threw it across the room in horror.

The roots of the industry as we know it today are so deep, so entrenched, and so high-dollar, it’s terrifying. It’s much more alarming and pervasive than a few industrial accidents, exploited teens, or nasty-tasting product. Schlosser’s book goes into the how and the why and who benefits and who suffers, and it’s more than just the obvious hierarchy of capitalism.

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Jurassic Park III

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If they remade “It’s A Wonderful Life,” they could make it about Steven Spielberg being shown what American cinema would be like if he had never lived, and Clarence would show him this movie. Director Joe Johnston is not entirely to blame. He has enormous shoes to fill, the shoes of a man who, as even as his detractors agree, has a gift for presentation. Johnston previously helmed Jumanji and Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, which are in their ways, very similar to JP3: lots of crashing, noisy, exciting sequences, with enough of a story to keep you interested but not necessarily to transport you to another world.

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Galaxy Quest

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The first time I saw this preview, I thought, the only way this movie could have been funnier is if they actually got the real crew of Star Trek to play these roles – have Shatner as Shatner, being forced to become a real hero as his Captain James Tiberius Kirk role is made real, etc. It’s a fantastic little plot idea that was played out very well. At the beginning of the movie, my companion and I were recasting the movie, first with original Trek actors, then with the various Kids in the Hall playing the aliens who seek the Galaxy Quest crew’s help. By the end, however, I don’t think either of us would have had the movie any other way (and we still got a cameo by Kevin MacDonald from Kids in the Hall!).

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