2006 Fast Food Nation …. Cindy
Inspired by author Eric Schlosser’s New York Times best-seller of the same name, director Richard Linklater’s ensemble drama examines the health issues and social consequences of America’s love affair with fast food and features an all-star cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson, Patricia Arquette, and Luis Guzman. Mickey’s is the most popular fast-food chain in America, and The Big One is the top-selling burger that put them on the map. When the higher-ups at Mickey’s corporate offices learn that the frozen meat patties used to make the wildly popular burger have somehow been tainted with contaminated meat, they send marketing executive Don Henderson (Kinnear) on an urgent mission to ensure quality control and find out precisely how their product became compromised. It’s a long way from the Southern California boardroom to the immigrant slaughterhouses, though, and the further Henderson works his way through the bustling feedlots and toward the ubiquitous restaurant sites that have become a staple of modern culture, the more he begins to realize just how dangerous convenience can become when it leads to blissfully ignorant complacency.
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2003 Tiptoes …. Lucy
Matthew Bright directs the romantic comedy Tiptoes, written by Bill Weiner. Rolfe (Gary Oldman) is a dwarf, but his brother Steven (Matthew McConaughey) is not. When Steven’s wife, Carol (Kate Beckinsale), gets pregnant, she worries about the baby being born a dwarf. She also ends up falling for Rolfe, much to her surprise. Also starring Peter Dinklage and Patricia Arquette. After appearing at film festivals in Europe, Tiptoes made its U.S. premiere at Sundance Film Festival in 2004.
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2003 Holes …. Kissin’ Kate Barlow
A boy being punished for a crime he didn’t commit learns there’s more going on at a juvenile correctional facility than meets the eye in this comedy drama. Stanley Yelnats IV (Shia LaBeouf) is a teenager who has been told all his life that the men in the Yelnats family are cursed, thanks to a false promise his great, great grandfather made to a fortune teller. Given his frequent bad luck, and that which follows his father (Henry Winkler), Stanley has no trouble believing this. Stanley’s bad luck hits a new low when a pair of sneakers literally falls out of the sky on him — and turn out to be stolen. A judge sentences Stanley to a stay at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile correctional facility stuck in the middle of the desert, where he finds himself sharing a tent with a gang of misfits, including ringleader X-Ray (Brenden Jefferson), pushy Squid (Jake M. Smith), small but wiry Zero (Khleo Thomas), tough and stinky Armpit (Byron Cotton), paranoid ZigZag (Max Kasch), and thief-in-training Magnet (Miguel Castro). The Warden of Camp Green Lake (Sigourney Weaver) has her own ideas about rehabilitation, which consist of having the boys spend their days digging holes five feet deep under the desert sun. While well-mannered counselor Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson) tries to help the boys however he can, Mr. Sir (Jon Voight), The Warden’s right hand man, is a heartless creep who enjoys making Stanley and his friends suffer. Before long, Stanley wonders if there’s a good reason why the Warden seems so curious about what (if anything) the boys find during their digging, and in time he suspects there’s something they haven’t been told which might be connected to the Yelnats family curse. Holes was based on the award-winning book for young people by Louis Sachar, who also wrote the film’s screenplay.