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Worth A Look: 27.85%
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9 reviews, 104 user ratings

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Super Size Me
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by Rob Gonsalves

"It made me give up McDonald's, man. Not every movie can say that."
5 stars

In 'The Fly,' Jeff Goldblum's slowly mutating character monitors the progress of his own decline with a mix of horror and fascination. He might've approved of the unscientific experiment conducted by Morgan Spurlock on his own body in 'Super Size Me.'

Spurlock, a 33-year-old multimedia whiz, has made an engaging if sometimes sickening documentary about the effects of a month-long diet consisting only of McDonald's food. He casts his net wider, though, questioning a society that cares so little about the fuel that runs the body that it blindly consumes very bad fuel just because it's faster and easier. Would we put the equivalent of a Big Mac in our gas tanks if it made our cars run slower and stall routinely?

McDonald's just so happens to be the biggest dealer in immediate-gratification food, so it takes the biggest darts in Super Size Me, but Spurlock doesn't stop there. Have you seen what passes for school cafeteria food lately? Spurlock does find one school in Wisconsin that has adopted a healthy lunch program emphasizing fruits, vegetables, and baked meals over fatty, sugary, calorie-ridden items; the school has reported a marked decrease in bad behavior among students, and says that their program is no more expensive than your typical program dependent on frozen, processed food. So why don't more schools opt for health? Why are recess periods being decreased across the country, and PhysEd classes dwindling to far below the recommended weekly amount of exercise for growing kids? It all boils down to politics and money.

You may find it ridiculous that people are suing McDonald's for serving fattening food, or for that matter that the famous old lady sued them for serving her a hot cup of coffee (never mind that the coffee was so scalding hot -- the average temp being 180 to 190 degrees -- it gave her third-degree burns of the groin, inner thighs and buttocks; you don't hear that part of it much). But it's time to start questioning what the corporate-owned media nudges you to find either important or ridiculous, and Spurlock does, starting with the McDonald's claim that a nutritious diet from their menu is possible. Spurlock's method, granted, is a bit of a stunt. He goes beyond what most people would eat, though he only super-sizes nine out of the presumable 90 meals he gets at McDonald's (he pledges to super-size only when asked by the counterperson if he wants to). But this formerly trim and healthy man becomes a lab rat for a variety of illnesses, monitored by three doctors and a nutritionist and worried about by his vegan girlfriend. Spurlock turns nutritional awareness into a kind of extreme sport; the change in diet shocks his system so much that he can't get through the second day without vomiting.

That scene, and another involving gastric bypass surgery shown in leering detail, may put you off your popcorn as well as your fast food. And some of Super Size Me verges on a medical horror film -- Spurlock has one of those terrifying middle-of-the-night health scares that reminded me of Goldblum in The Fly sitting in the bathroom and saying "What's happening to me?" But most of the movie is fun, smooth sailing, like a Michael Moore film without the sarcasm. Spurlock isn't really out to embarrass McDonald's (though he wages an unsuccessful Roger & Me-like campaign to score an interview with McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo, who ironically died in April 2004 of a heart attack); when he goes to various McD's joints asking where their nutrition info is posted, he doesn't come off as mean-spirited as Moore sometimes does when grilling secretaries. (Super Size Me could be a genial companion piece to Moore's Bowling for Columbine, which meditated on why America is so violent; it's suggested here that a diet high in fat and sugar can make people more aggressive.)

Super Size Me might just change some minds and lives in a way that a more sober-sided Nightline treatise on fast food couldn't. At the end of Spurlock's ordeal, his girlfriend Alex Jamieson already has "Morgan's Vegan Detox Diet" ready for him; I wish that were on the film's website, because having seen the film I have little interest in consuming fast food anytime in the near future. The movie isn't a one-sided diatribe; Spurlock interviews Don Gorske, a healthy-looking guy who set a Guinness record for number of Big Macs eaten during his lifetime -- Gorske is like the anti-Spurlock.

But not everyone is Don Gorske, and many people in this 60%-obese country will die sooner than they have to because of their diets -- whether McDonald's, Wendy's, KFC, too many potato chips, or whatever. Spurlock only wants us to think about that. Preferably before dinner.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8631&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/05/07 23:09:42
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2004 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 San Francisco Film Festival. For more in the 2004 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Palm Springs Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/17/15 Cool cool Ha the movie was so good 4 stars
8/11/11 AAA Great Message 4 stars
2/27/10 alyne it's funny movie 5 stars
5/26/09 The Master of All Things Obvious Everybody knows at least a size XXXL who gorges on McDonalds. Those = big $$$ For McDonalds 5 stars
4/01/09 Norma Salinas This movie realy change the way I think about eating I think that can help alot anyone 4 stars
1/18/09 arlin its a agreat movie to bad people never learn 5 stars
1/14/09 yo mama this film is jawdropping 5 stars
5/14/08 Ana Gabriela It's very useful for students. All the school should have it. 4 stars
2/17/08 Dan Ward Great 5 stars
6/28/07 Jasmine This movie it wonderful, to bad it didn't affect the fastfood industry. 5 stars
5/09/07 Mandee I love McDonalds so this movie sucked 1 stars
2/09/07 affiq fast food suck!!! 5 stars
1/16/07 Crimb Awesome! 5 stars
1/08/07 CJBlalock can't you just smell the pre-digested, vomit-like aroma of McDonalds? 5 stars
8/16/06 Mary Beth interesting medical results to experiment 4 stars
8/05/06 Agent Sands It's definitely an eye-opener. Sadly, it's to what you already knew. It's a reality check. 4 stars
7/31/06 David Cohen Too much fast food is bad for you, this is supposed to be news?!? 1 stars
5/23/06 Brian Roberts very good 4 stars
5/02/06 Jim Interesting stuff. I'll still eat fast food once in a while though. 4 stars
4/18/06 mike made be want to go out and have a Big Mac afterwards, they looked so damn good. 4 stars
4/10/06 Robert Hartshorn Shoddy, simple minded, self righteous, unwittingly right wing schlock-doc! 1 stars
4/01/06 JRE why? 4 stars
4/01/06 Thomas Semesky Left too many questions to be answered. The directors integrity for one. 2 stars
2/03/06 arti show us how effrct of fast food 3 stars
11/14/05 FlashyNig Yo people, this s**t is tight an' you gotta see it 5 stars
8/08/05 yuko americans should definitely come to japan where one of the most healthy foods is served 5 stars
6/04/05 Denise Gannon Micky D's makes U poo cubes! seriously-after eating U can feel a brick form in yer colon! 5 stars
5/20/05 Jeff Anderson I'm not lovin' it! The movie truly made it's observant point. FAST FOOD IS BAD FOR YOU!!!!! 2 stars
5/19/05 MyGreenBed Pathetic Michael Moore wannabe doc, also anti-vegetarian, anti-real, anti-useful. 1 stars
5/09/05 NotEd I'll be damned if I still wanted fries afterwards. Extra proves they are immortal! 4 stars
5/03/05 Quigley pretty gross sometimes, but an overall fascinating look at fast food and obesity (kidding)! 4 stars
4/25/05 DM Morgan Spurlock could be Michael Moore's little brother (in a good way.) 4 stars
4/14/05 HL Fruit cup anyone! 5 stars
4/11/05 Paul Not really accurate but it is entertaining. 3 stars
3/30/05 hannaho Entertaining and educational! 3 stars
3/17/05 B. D. Cole very interesting and relavent twist on the documentary ... its you he's talking about 4 stars
3/16/05 Naughty Devil Man Fat people are abhorrent and need to be shunned from society. 1 stars
3/16/05 He- man Great film dude. Hurray for spurlock!!! 5 stars
3/06/05 chris. in my opinion, this if very much needed. 5 stars
3/02/05 David Tsung got so hungry watching this movie 4 stars
2/26/05 Charlene Javier The French fries were scary! 5 stars
2/25/05 Darlene Wright OK 3 stars
2/25/05 Denise shocking not 3 stars
2/05/05 bullit16 Eye-opening, and more than a little nauseating 4 stars
1/31/05 Paul He was overeating. 4 stars
1/29/05 Carrie Hubbard Imagine that, if you eat McDonalds 3 times a day, you'll get fat. Pure Genius! 4 stars
1/23/05 Paul D I will keep an eye on what i'm eating!!! 5 stars
1/16/05 HL So Now It's No Mystery How People Get Unhealthy...Bravo! 5 stars
12/14/04 fdmHamiltonOhio i could have done without it. Since i had to do a research paper on it, i'm glad he did. 3 stars
11/27/04 Portly Paul from Portland. Just saw the DVD and it friggin' rocked! Best doc I've ever se, now I'm going to the gym. 5 stars
11/23/04 chris walker I think people are fat and lazy and pretty much fat 4 stars
11/14/04 Gabby Wow, what a suprise! America is the fattest country in the world! Great doco. Well done 4 stars
11/14/04 da hood' you fatasses need to quit scarfing down food. if not, then fuckin die! 5 stars
11/10/04 Jillian Rath A wicked movie 5 stars
10/19/04 Kelly It really made you think about what you are eating 5 stars
10/14/04 Addy Wilson i'm a teen that needs to start making health decisions and this movie was a kick in the but 5 stars
10/11/04 Katie A very creative way to urge America into being a healthier country 5 stars
10/04/04 blakeh great film, informative and entertaining 5 stars
9/29/04 Simon Khalil It made me think.... think that this is a great movie! 5 stars
8/26/04 Maureen McDevitt Painful to see someone purposely destroy their good health! 4 stars
8/04/04 Snickerdoodle Really interesting and shocking, I eat mostly at Subway now, no BK or McD for a while! 5 stars
8/04/04 Chloe OMG - so fucking awesome! I h8ed McDonalds before...but I will NEVER eat there again now... 5 stars
7/21/04 dropdead hilarious. stay away from dead animals. eat your veggies, damn fatties. 5 stars
7/01/04 Nikolai Unfair bias on McShitlets even more so now since their CEO died from a heart attack 4 stars
7/01/04 jeffrey See this & You'll never eat again @ McD's 5 stars
6/28/04 four44@444.net This is what I call REALITY TV!! I consider Morgan Spurlock to be a modern day hero! 5 stars
6/17/04 Cindy Very eye-opening and well done. 5 stars
6/13/04 man you fat bastards should not need a movie to realize that your gonna die! eat shit! 5 stars
6/13/04 ezrgd Spurlock trying to do too much here, forced 4 stars
6/13/04 Ira Friedman Important to see and entertaining 5 stars
6/06/04 Helen Bradley This beast Michael Moore anyday Great viewing 5 stars
6/01/04 Miriah Engrossing, informative, and witty. Should be required viewing in all health classes. 5 stars
5/31/04 James Kustes I wonder how it will affect fast food sales 3 stars
5/31/04 Raspberry Of course the doctor was independently chosen... it's opinion with an agenda... not balance 1 stars
5/30/04 Laura Lydigsen We couldn't stop talking about this movie after leaving the theatre! 5 stars
5/30/04 reenum Excellent, thought-provoking film. I had no idea how deep the problem was. 5 stars
5/29/04 Titus A very fine documentary, but not as moving or hilarious as "Bowling" 4 stars
5/29/04 ajay very interesting... made me rethink at my diet of soda and fast food... 5 stars
5/29/04 Cameron Slick This film has wholly convinced me to never again eat McDonald's. 4 stars
5/28/04 Flo An excellent film. Too bad the people who really need to see it won't go... 5 stars
5/25/04 Ana Excellent film 5 stars
5/21/04 Mitch You'd expect something stale and preachy, but its the total opposite. 5 stars
5/20/04 Vinnie If you're so fucking stupid you think McDonald's is good for you, you deserve to keel over. 1 stars
5/20/04 too-much-coffee mistress Oh my god! McDonalds is bad for you? *shock* This will change the world... What an ass. 1 stars
5/19/04 Proteus Go see this. Bring friends. Caution - don't buy the usual large popcorn. 5 stars
5/18/04 RICH C sequel idea:2 hrs of flogging Rnld McDnld,ending in crucifixion. "the passion of the clown" 5 stars
5/17/04 Julie Enertaining & interesting, but why would McD's ever let him?? I'm never eating there again! 5 stars
5/12/04 This girl Loved it. I laughed almost as often as I cringed. It's not a ripoff of Fast Food Nation. 5 stars
5/11/04 cocky bastard Isn't this movie a rip off of Fast Food Nation? 5 stars
5/10/04 Christina Awesome. This is why I eat at SUBWAY 5 stars
5/10/04 Jorge Fragette It's not about Mcdonald's, dumbass, it's about a culture of consumption. Idiot! 5 stars
5/10/04 Cameron Slick I'm never eating at McDonald's again. 5 stars
5/06/04 JOE AMBROZY MUST SEE 5 stars
5/03/04 Matt McCaskey Fantastic Film. 5 stars
4/15/04 Antonia Hadley first rate film about critical subject 5 stars
4/15/04 Vinnie Why do we need this dumbasses' movie to convince us that MCD's is bad? Idiot. 1 stars
4/11/04 Robin Frey 6 stars for a super-sized rating! 5 stars
3/25/04 Bingo was his name-o A reality movie that works! 4 stars
3/21/04 Elle Anee Totally fun, totally gross, totally shocking, totally amazing, totally educational, SEE IT! 5 stars
2/27/04 James Edwards This movie is fantastic. Just saw it and loved it! AMERICA: YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE! 5 stars
2/04/04 Michael McCallister An incredible movie - everyone in America should see this! 5 stars
1/31/04 rich smith awesome film - give me that BIG MAC 5 stars
1/29/04 Randy Smith This was great! Super size this movie. Can't wait til it comes out in theatres! 5 stars
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  07-May-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2010



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