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Super Size Me

Comedy and Drama movie

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Docu-tainment at its best!!

  • Sep 19, 2005
  • by
Rating:
+2
Morgan Spurlock makes a great central character in this documentary. It's bad science in the way that Michael Moore is bad science...e.g. lop-sided, already knows what side it's going to take going in, etc. Not really a documentary as much as a pseudo-documentary edited to promote one side. (This is not to say that Spurlock's conclusions are wrong about fast-food...I think they're probably accurate. It's just that there's no sense of discovery as you see in a more "objective" documentary. There is a great sense of..."I'm going to show you what makes me mad and we're going to poke fun and provoke." It's agit prop.)

Again, though, Spurlock has the most fun at his own expense, so when he makes his snide comments about the food industry, or school lunches...we also know he's perfectly capable of turning the rudeness on himself. He's a likeable everyman...he wears hair that's dangerously close to entering mullet-zone...but he lives in Manhatten. He's obviously a thoughtful and skilled filmmaker...but he comes across as the idiot next door, sometimes. He's honest about loving the taste of the food. No pretense that he's giving up strict morals by conducting this experiment on himself. He's almost turned himself into a 30 day Candid Camera skit.

The basic premise (I'm going to eat NOTHING but McDonald's for a month) is where most of the humor and humanity is found. It's the interviews and traveling he does around the country that truly support his central themes of how unhealthy we are and how beholden to the "Industrial Food Complex" we are. His indictment of school lunches is easy to accomplish (the programs are SO awful), but we share anew the horror of discovery. Some of his "experiments" are certainly unscientific...but they can raise goosebumps anyway. When he shows kids pictures of "famous" people, only one recognizes George Washington and NONE recognize Jesus...yet they all know Ronald McDonald!!!

Spurlock is constantly turning the camera on himself, and he really is a funny guy. I can see why he's getting his own TV show. He laughs at himself, is unselfconscious and he never pretends to be something he isn't. His vocabulary is down to earth. We also get to meet his horrified Vegan girlfriend, and his befuddled doctors and dieticians. They are shocked at how much he falls apart under his questionable diet...it's a bit disconcerting to see just how bad things go for Spurlock, particularly as reflected in the demeanor of his amiable physicians.

Overall, I was very entertained, a properly illuminated by SUPER SIZE ME. It moves quickly, has lots of laughs, and even entertained the picky 13 year old in our household. The DVD has some fun extras, so I truly recommend this film.

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More Super Size Me reviews
review by . May 13, 2010
Entertaining, shocking and horrifying details follow and the viewer gets an education that may inspire some serious rethinking of what is allowed on said viewer's table. Well worth the time investment.    Super Size Me inspired my family's love of quirky documentaries. (Super Size Me is also joined by the classic Best In Show Mockumentary on our list of favorites.) Though we first saw Super Size Me a few years ago it is in our DVD library and we have watched it several times. …
review by . January 05, 2008
This DVD has added material, but not just non-nutritive stuffing. There's a surrealistic interview with a couple who collects McDonald's memorabilia and an introductory analysis of how a supermarket's layout is designed to sell certain foods (guess which ones).There's a consideration of the deep-fried Twinkie- a subject that scarcely belongs with food at all and a completely revolting section on composting McDonald's.  The additions turn this into more of a complete essay on trash food, …
review by . August 20, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Documentary meister, Morgan Spurlock, goes to extremes. `Super Size Me' captures what it's like to eat nothing but McDonald's food for thirty days. Sporting a set of stated rules, Spurlock`s "ridiculous diet," as his personal physician quips, jump starts a fault finding mission with the world's largest fast food retailer. Armed with testimonials, statistics, and nutritional information, Spurlock also provides counter contrasts to compare with his extreme situation. He does show that McDonald's food …
review by . September 23, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Currently one of the biggest ideas in scientific study and in educational theory is that of inquiry-based learning and research, meaning that people doing research and study decide for themselves exactly what they will research and study and find their own results instead of relying upon experience, knowledge, and findings from the past. It is a good concept and usually works well, but inherit in the idea is the possibility of exploitation--it could be very easy for someone to perform an experiment …
review by . April 25, 2005
Ahhh, the good ol' Big Mac theme song. I've always loved it. I've also been very fond of the sandwich it describes. As a matter of fact, I enjoy a lot of things on McDonald's menu. "Super Size Me" introduces us to the ugly side of those loveable golden arches and that friendly-faced clown spokesman they call Ronald. Morgan Spurlock goes on a diet most of us fat folks would love to be put on in this documentary which sets out to show us how bad Mickey D's and fast food in general really are for us.    …
review by . October 02, 2004
posted in Movie Hype
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock abandoned his typically healthy diet for 30 days to make this film, opting instead to eat nothing but McDonald's menu items and capture the results of this "special" diet on film for us to see.    To be sure, the resulting documentary is extreme in principle and in concept. Nobody is really meant to eat nothing but McDonald's 3 times a day, and we all know that. What Spurlock did was provide an accelerated look into what diets heavy on fast food and …
review by . September 11, 2004
Supersize Me is a highly effective propaganda piece: it's slick, funny, and pointed. It's also not nearly as pernicious as Michael Moore's output (with which it is otherwise comparable): you don't get the sense in the same way that Spurlock is massaging facts, glossing over inaccuracies or artfully splicing quotes, and he also seems all round a much better guy.     Those that complain that everyone already knew MacDonalds was bad for us are, of course, right - but they're also …
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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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About this movie

Wiki

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, rejected five times by the USC film school, won the best director award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival for this alarmingly personal investigation into the health hazards wreaked by our fast food nation. Under extensive medical supervision, Spurlock subjects himself to a steady diet of McDonald's cuisine for 30 days just to see what happens. In less than a week, his ordinarily fit body and equilibrium undergo dark and ugly changes: Spurlock grows fat, his cholesterol rockets north, his organs take a beating, and he becomes subject to headaches, mood swings, symptoms of addiction, and lessened sexual energy. The gimmick is too obvious to sustain a feature documentary; Spurlock actually spends most of the film probing insidious ways that fast food companies worm their way into school lunchrooms and the hearts of young children who spend hours in McDonald's playrooms. French fries never looked more nauseating.--Tom Keogh
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Details

Genre: Comedy, Drama
DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004
Runtime: 96 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
First to Review

"Hold the fries"
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