At Any Price [Blu-ray] (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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In the competitive world of modern agriculture, ambitious Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid) wants his rebellious son Dean (Zac Efron) to help expand his family’s farming empire. However, Dean has his sights set on becoming a professional race car driver. When a high-stakes investigation into their business is exposed, father and son are pushed into an unexpected crisis that threatens the family’s entire livelihood. A farming family's business is threatened by an unexpected crisis, further testing the relationship between a father and his rebellious son. --This text refers to the DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Henry doesn't always abide by the rules. Dean has anger management issues. Things come to a head as Henry has to choose to make things right or face dire consequences.
The film is an okay drama, that perhaps plays out better in Iowa. The characters nicely evolved in the film, although they didn't grab me. Might make for a drama rental at a low price.
Parental Guidance: F-bomb, sex, porno magazine nudity of a topless woman with a male organ at her mouth. Must be the strong graphic reference mentioned on rating.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Several comments: first, the plot at times seens contrived, almost soap-like, but somehow it all works out well as the movie progresses. Of more interest are the performances. Zac Efron continues to try and evolve away from his early Disney days, building on his most recent role in "The Paperboy" (where ho co-starred with Nicole Kidman). I am a huge fan of Heather Graham, but she is under-used, and type-cast, as the sexy siren. Dennis Quaid gets the better of the deal as he gets to show his chops as the tormented and frustrated farmer/dad/lover. But the breakout role is from Maika Monroe, a new-comer for me, as the girlfriend of Dean, I am looking forward to seeing her in future roles! Bottom line: this is an entertaining family farm drama, warts and all. As a complete aside, there was a recent Supreme Court case on this very issue of farmers re-using genetically modified seeds for a second or third crop without paying the seeds manufacturers (the farmer lost the case).
This movie showed up unannounced in the art-house theatre here in Cincinnati on a single screen and when I went to see it this weekend, I got a private showing, literally, as I was the only person in the theatre. I figure this won't play long here, but glad I saw it. If you have a chance to see "At Any Price", be it in the theatre or on DVD, go for it!
Spoilers: I have been around farmers my whole life and they certainly do not behave they way this movie portrays them. Yes, they do sit in air conditioned, GPS guided equipment. No, they do not commit murder in corn fields and toss the body into their well (water is precious you know). Yes, GMO seeds are highly regulated and watched by seed goons who WILL come after you. No, farmers are not going to have an adulterous affair out in the middle of the day in public. No gun blasted robbery would go unnoticed and never investigated (sort of like the murder above). Sex in a corn silo is unsafe and should probably not be attempted (with protection or otherwise). Yes, seed cleaners have all been put out of business. No, farmers do not drive around in gold Chevy Impalas!
For such a "star studded" cast, this movie falls short by miles. It is slow, boring, long, drawn out, and just plain not entertaining. There is no back story to any of it. Why is the oldest son leaving the farm to go climb Mt Everest or whatever mountain it is he climbs? Why does the other son freak out while racing? It's his life dream and he's good at it. He has never shown fear, winning every race he has ever been in, never letting anyone get the best of him, until major race day and he chokes? Who is this woman we see Dennis Quaid having sex with? Where did she come from? What is her back story? Why is she even relevant to the story? Why does she then have sex with his son? How does a car load of kids take a 9mm, shoot a store window out, setting off an alarm in the process, steal an engine part, hooting and hollering the entire time, speed off noisily, and never see a police car ever? Why does a missing person/murder never get investigated?
I could go on and on about the inaccuracies and absurdities of this movie, but I will just leave you with this warning: it's not a good movie plain and simple.
Essentially, this is the story of one bad apple out of a driven group of businessmen--farm seed vendors--set near Decatur, Iowa (it was filmed in DeKalb, Illinois and for some reason I found even that to be a red flag). When the seed company from which Henry Whipple bought his seed gets a tip-off about certain contractual violations, things spin out of control. The entire Whipple family goes nuts (not too far to go, for them). It ends in murder. Frankly, I was deeply offended that this film was even conceived, let alone that it was made.
It is an ugly, graphic, stupid and deeply ignorant condemnation of the people of the American heartland--a place and a people who live mere hours from me. A land where I was born and raised. Certain scenes were shot at locations where I have been many times. So this film, as a 'morality play', was simply "hate America" all the way. Cinematically, the acting was top-grade, I suppose; but I have to ask, to what end? If a morality play, how can you show me this ugly, pointless film with no morals in and of itself?
In its effort to show the immorality of Americans in the heartland at any price, it showed its own true, evil, meaningless face. In other words, you could not possibly make a film like this unless you TRIED to make precisely this kind of film. So I have to wonder why the filmmaker hates us so much. And please don't insult our intelligence by saying this is fiction, this is allegory, symbolic, metaphorical. It is a gross insult unlike anything I have ever seen in my long film-watching life.
The entire time I was expecting this film to explode in a different direction. There are "corporate whistle-blowing" films and I usually love that type of film. This film utterly failed to clearly explain what Whipple had done with the exactness the audience needed--most of us are not farmers--and of course it failed to represent the people. Were I a farmer or seed man or any other remotely related worker, I'd have been even more deeply offended and insulted by this.
It made me ask why Quaid and especially Zac Efron would participate in such a thing. I know Quaid to be a good, conscientious man and philanthropist, and my guess is the filmmaking was originally well-intentioned. What little I know about Efron tells me he made every wrong mistake he could have possibly made by being in this movie. For a film to excoriate and ostracize even a small group of families in this way is an insult to the entire nation.
We are not a perfect planet of perfect beings. I am not a right-wing fascist republican and I am not in favor of extreme or illegal censorship. But a film like AT ANY PRICE makes me wonder what kind of person it takes to conceive of and produce a stinking, horrible movie like this. So allow me to quote from a respected fellow amazonian: "I live in this actual filming location just shy of a few miles south. We were greatly anticipating this film as it was in every local paper and the news spread like wildfire. Our own streets were blocked off to show the "Farmer's Co-op" building and the 'happenings' where Quaid met Graham. Where was any redeeming factor involved in this movie's storyline or the making of it? To be truthful, this inaccurate film representation broke my heart personally and the enthusiasm for it from others in our town was certainly dashed. A complete misrepresentation of our gorgeous Midwest and the people of it. Absurdity "At Any Price"."
Thanks, S. Well said.