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Super Size Me

Director: Morgan Spurlock; Release Date: February 28, 2005

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The Ugly American

  • Jul 12, 2004
  • by
Pros: Insightful, funny, takes on the giant of McDonalds -

Cons: Crushing indictment on American culture and lack of exercise and junk food nutrition

The Bottom Line: Excellent documentary - recommend to family & friends. Will never think about fast food in the same way again.

The term popularized decades ago now takes on a new meaning ugly as in huge, obese, lazy, people. I had read up on the film and knew the general idea of the story. However, I was surprised at the behind the scenes looks at corporate America, the lobbying, the marketing, the indoctrination, aimed squarely at kids.

Super Size Me aims directly at the heart of McDonalds which is impressive due to the financial might of one of the worlds biggest corporations. The film goes for the throat of McDonald making profits at the expense of American's health - very similar to the tobacco wars going on today in American culture.

The main thrust is that McDonalds does not play fair and spends millions and millions of dollars to advertise, market and sell their basically unhealthy food. Most of the advertising is aimed at kids, the Ronald McDonald clown, the Play Grounds, the Birthday Parties, the Happy Meal - all go for children and putting McDonalds in their minds.

A clever technique is a viewing of first graders who are unable to identify major figures of American culture (the president, George Washington, but can immediately identify Ronald McDonald. Combined with lack of physical education in schools and poor lunchroom choices in schools this is a sad sad commentary.

To prove the point, Morgan Spurlock, the writer and director of this film goes on an all McDonalds diet for 30 days. Predictably the results are catastropic with his physical health, mental health and sex life. Not only does he embark on a McDonald's diet but he reduces his exercise to the average American office worker which is about 2,000 steps a day.

A depressing indictment of American culture and values. Morgan Spurlock films this in obvious imitation of Michael Moore's style of confrontational, sarcastic, in your face style. There are funny moments in McDonalds all across the county, but they are far outweighed by the sheer depressing facts of how obese many Americans and especially American children are.

Bottom Line - insightful, well developed documentary about the selling of fast food culture in America. This is a major inspiration to elimintate junk food from my diet and turn off my television!


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More Super Size Me reviews
Quick Tip by . September 05, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
What can I say?  This is ridiculously stupid for the fact that Morgan Spurlock tries to point out how unhealthy McDonald's food is by eating it for a whole month.  Of course if you eat crap like that for a month, you're gonna get tons of health problems.  But really, if you eat too much of anything, even healthy foods (such as only eating fruit for a whole month), you're gonna get sick one way or another.  Moderation is the key for everything.      …
review by . May 14, 2010
posted in Healthy Lifestyle
   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. And our youngest daughter used Spurlock's findings in a recent term paper.       Though this documentary was just the beginning of our awareness of what you eat can kill you, Super Size Me made …
review by . January 14, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: It attacks school lunches.     Cons: Is Spurlock asking for food regulation?     The Bottom Line: Wow, I hated this thing more than I thought.     McDonald's currently stands among the unholy trinity of corporate wrongdoing. (They share their spot with Disney and Microsoft.) Whether they've studied the reports and statistics or you're just giving in to peer pressure, a LOT of people profess to hate McDonald's. And why not? This is …
review by . June 14, 2007
Pros: One can take McDonald's playland balls and hurl them at certain DVD cases     Cons: Disgusting, inappropriate, and off-topic     The Bottom Line: Watch this if assigned to, or if you have a stomach of iron.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals everything about the movie''s plot. Turn Up the Valium      I was first exposed to this documentary in a rhetoric class. After inserting the DVD, she asked us to let her …
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About this movie


In this hilarious yet informative documentary, debut director Morgan Spurlock makes himself the victim of a cruel experiment: he puts himself on a 30-day diet of nothing but McDonald's food. Eating three meals a day exclusively from McDonald's, Spurlock's health quickly deteriorates. The film documents the process from beginning to end, with Spurlock and his doctors making observations and monitoring the changes to his energy level, moods, liver and kidney function, and obviously his weight. As viewers might predict, Spurlock gains weight at an alarming rate, and during this process he offers a shocking lesson about the serious problem of obesity in America. Clearly McDonald's receives the brunt of the blame, as Spurlock shows how the fast-food restaurant directs its advertising at small children, who are converted into faithful consumers of the brand--and its free toy giveaways, bright colors, and Ronald McDonald clown--for life. Spurlock also examines the quality of the food itself, showing the process...
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Director: Morgan Spurlock
Genre: Documentary
Release Date: 2004, May 7, 2004
MPAA Rating: R, PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 36min
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"The Ugly American"
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