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Overall Rating
4.37

Awesome60.76%
Worth A Look: 27.85%
Average: 4.43%
Pretty Bad: 1.27%
Total Crap: 5.7%

9 reviews, 104 user ratings



Super Size Me
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by Jason Whyte

"You take care of your body...it will take care of you."
4 stars

During the recent screening of the documentary "Super-Size Me" I attended, I quietly noticed people who had purchased their popcorn and gallon-cup of soda placed their concession items on the floor to be ignored. As I left the screening, I walked by several popcorn bags that were still pretty much full, and I can only assume those 44oz. cups remain untouched. (Remember that news report years ago that a bag of buttered popcorn had more fat content than six Big Macs?)

I remember writing in my review of "The Corporation" a few months back that the corporations know that we're addicted to cinema food, because many of us don't feel that we're properly watching a movie without it. So they make sure their advertising dollars and publicity is strong enough to make sure that we keep wanting it time and time again.

Where Morgan Spurlock's documentary takes off, however, is on America's obsession and over-consumption of fast food. Big food conglomerates like McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell (mmm...Taco Bell) and others thrive on the selling and the return-customers of cheaply produced, low-cost food that many adore, mostly for its addictive substances and the fact they can get "full" on such a low cost. And even a few years ago, two teenage girls tried to sue McDonalds for selling food to them, which failed because they chose to eat so much of it rather than make it a part of their diet.

Since McDonalds is the most prominent fast-food outlet, the hook in this docu is when Spurlock decides to go on a one-month McD's diet where breakfast, lunch and dinner are spent at the Golden Arches. He's to supersize when asked, and he must only order what is on the menu. Talk about a filmmaker loving his material! This idea is protested by his doctors and especially his girlfriend, who is ironically a vegan chef that would be right at home in Woody Harrelson's recent Vegan-crusade film "Go Further".

The effects of the McDiet is disastrous. Spurlock gains nearly 10 pounds in one week and has violent chest pains, vomiting and I can only assume bad digestion and diarrhea. Even his girlfriend is let down by his ability to "perform" in bed. At one point his weight goes down a pound, but that's probably because he is losing muscle mass and gaining fat. What's even sadder is Spurlock slowly begins to become adjusted to the food that is slowly consuming him.

The documentary also intercuts with stories involving those girls that tried to sue the McD's corporation, the horrible food used in high school cafeterias, talk about how the corporations use their marketing to keep people coming back (there was a McDonalds commercial about a year ago when they advertised free Supersized drink and fries if you purchased a meal, and sales shot through the roof) and some horrific scenes involving bypass surgery to those whose food consumption has went too far. There's even mention of Don Gorske, the Big Mac aficionado (who looks like someone directly out of the pages of a Harvey Pekar comic) who eats nothing but Big Macs and maintains a fairly decent waistline.

Spurlock isn't saying that we should cut McDonalds out of our life for good. Rather, only go to these places in moderation (once or even twice a month isn't out of the question) and also include a healthy lifestyle with fruit and vegetables in your diet, as well as exercise. (I personally recommend swimming once or twice weekly.) And keep your portions small, because you can really CAN get full on a regular fries, a small drink and a Big Mac. Try it sometime.

"Super-Size Me" isn't a perfect documentary, mind you; I could have done without some cringe-inducing scenes of surgery being performed, and sometimes Spurlock goes overboard with facts and numbers that are really common knowledge, yet they're passed off like they've never been mentioned before.

That said, the film does raise enough important issues. Already in our society, we're seeing a change in food options. Even in fast food places, there are healthier ways to eat. Bottled water is so prominent in convenience stores that it almost outdoes the soda racks now. And remember Jared, the Subway guy? Featured in this film, he was a man who lost lots of weight by getting more active and eating Subway sandwiches (which can NOT be healthy for you if you pick the Meatball and top it with five sauces), but that angle was just a hook to sell more Subway. There's a scene in the film where a teenage girl meets Jared, but immediately thinks she can't lose weight on the "Subway Diet" because she can't afford it.

Being a Canadian, I must bring up some of the differences in the fast food outlets here. While McDonalds IS omnipresent and in every WalMart, the food portions in the US aren't as large here. In fact, that 44oz. soda that the American McDonalds have doesn't even exist here -- the 32oz. "Large" is the biggest we get. And our Supersized fry container is their large. As well, meat portions and even the Chicken McNuggets are of a slightly smaller size. Which is not to say it's healthier, but more of a placebo effect where our mind thinks it's the same, we get as full, but we haven't had as much. What's amusing is McDonalds is doing away with their super-size option at year's end in the US. They claim that this documentary had nothing to do with their decision. Make of that what you will.

While "Super-Size Me" is subjected primarily at the United States which is the fattest country on this planet, it means a lot to most parts of the world, and for anyone who eats bad food constantly without thinking of the end result. And there was a documentary filmmaker crazy enough to do that for one solid month. But hamburgers are still pretty tasty food, and one thing is for sure...The next time I'm down in Los Angeles, there's no documentary that will make me stop from going to In-N-Out burger.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8631&reviewer=350
originally posted: 05/24/04 03:15:09
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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

3/18/15 Cool cool Ha the movie was so good 4 stars
8/11/11 AAA Great Message 4 stars
2/28/10 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
4/02/09 Norma Salinas This movie realy change the way I think about eating I think that can help alot anyone 4 stars
1/19/09 arlin its a agreat movie to bad people never learn 5 stars
1/15/09 yo mama this film is jawdropping 5 stars
5/15/08 Ana Gabriela It's very useful for students. All the school should have it. 4 stars
2/18/08 Dan Ward Great 5 stars
6/29/07 Jasmine This movie it wonderful, to bad it didn't affect the fastfood industry. 5 stars
5/10/07 Mandee I love McDonalds so this movie sucked 1 stars
2/10/07 affiq fast food suck!!! 5 stars
1/17/07 Crimb Awesome! 5 stars
1/09/07 CJBlalock can't you just smell the pre-digested, vomit-like aroma of McDonalds? 5 stars
8/17/06 Mary Beth interesting medical results to experiment 4 stars
8/06/06 Agent Sands It's definitely an eye-opener. Sadly, it's to what you already knew. It's a reality check. 4 stars
8/01/06 David Cohen Too much fast food is bad for you, this is supposed to be news?!? 1 stars
5/24/06 Brian Roberts very good 4 stars
5/03/06 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
4/02/06 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
11/15/05 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
5/20/05 MyGreenBed Pathetic Michael Moore wannabe doc, also anti-vegetarian, anti-real, anti-useful. 1 stars
5/10/05 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
4/26/05 DM Morgan Spurlock could be Michael Moore's little brother (in a good way.) 4 stars
4/15/05 HL Fruit cup anyone! 5 stars
4/11/05 Paul Not really accurate but it is entertaining. 3 stars
3/31/05 hannaho Entertaining and educational! 3 stars
3/18/05 B. D. Cole very interesting and relavent twist on the documentary ... its you he's talking about 4 stars
3/17/05 Naughty Devil Man Fat people are abhorrent and need to be shunned from society. 1 stars
3/17/05 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
2/27/05 Charlene Javier The French fries were scary! 5 stars
2/26/05 Darlene Wright OK 3 stars
2/26/05 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
1/30/05 Carrie Hubbard Imagine that, if you eat McDonalds 3 times a day, you'll get fat. Pure Genius! 4 stars
1/24/05 Paul D I will keep an eye on what i'm eating!!! 5 stars
1/17/05 HL So Now It's No Mystery How People Get Unhealthy...Bravo! 5 stars
12/15/04 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
11/24/04 chris walker I think people are fat and lazy and pretty much fat 4 stars
11/15/04 Gabby Wow, what a suprise! America is the fattest country in the world! Great doco. Well done 4 stars
11/15/04 da hood' you fatasses need to quit scarfing down food. if not, then fuckin die! 5 stars
11/11/04 Jillian Rath A wicked movie 5 stars
10/25/04 KARIN GORDON AFTER SEEING SUPER SIZE ME...HE MADE A FAN FOR LIFE. EDUCATIONAL, FUNNY, AND INTELLIGENT. 5 stars
10/20/04 Kelly It really made you think about what you are eating 5 stars
10/15/04 Addy Wilson i'm a teen that needs to start making health decisions and this movie was a kick in the but 5 stars
10/12/04 Katie A very creative way to urge America into being a healthier country 5 stars
10/05/04 blakeh great film, informative and entertaining 5 stars
9/30/04 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
8/05/04 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
7/02/04 Nikolai Unfair bias on McShitlets even more so now since their CEO died from a heart attack 4 stars
7/02/04 jeffrey See this & You'll never eat again @ McD's 5 stars
6/29/04 four44@444.net This is what I call REALITY TV!! I consider Morgan Spurlock to be a modern day hero! 5 stars
6/18/04 Cindy Very eye-opening and well done. 5 stars
6/14/04 man you fat bastards should not need a movie to realize that your gonna die! eat shit! 5 stars
6/14/04 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
6/02/04 Miriah Engrossing, informative, and witty. Should be required viewing in all health classes. 5 stars
6/01/04 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
5/31/04 Laura Lydigsen We couldn't stop talking about this movie after leaving the theatre! 5 stars
5/31/04 reenum Excellent, thought-provoking film. I had no idea how deep the problem was. 5 stars
5/30/04 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
5/29/04 Flo An excellent film. Too bad the people who really need to see it won't go... 5 stars
5/26/04 Ana Excellent film 5 stars
5/22/04 Mitch You'd expect something stale and preachy, but its the total opposite. 5 stars
5/21/04 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
5/20/04 Proteus Go see this. Bring friends. Caution - don't buy the usual large popcorn. 5 stars
5/19/04 RICH C sequel idea:2 hrs of flogging Rnld McDnld,ending in crucifixion. "the passion of the clown" 5 stars
5/18/04 Julie Enertaining & interesting, but why would McD's ever let him?? I'm never eating there again! 5 stars
5/13/04 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
5/11/04 Christina Awesome. This is why I eat at SUBWAY 5 stars
5/11/04 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
5/07/04 JOE AMBROZY MUST SEE 5 stars
5/04/04 Matt McCaskey Fantastic Film. 5 stars
4/16/04 Antonia Hadley first rate film about critical subject 5 stars
4/16/04 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
3/26/04 Bingo was his name-o A reality movie that works! 4 stars
3/22/04 Elle Anee Totally fun, totally gross, totally shocking, totally amazing, totally educational, SEE IT! 5 stars
2/28/04 James Edwards This movie is fantastic. Just saw it and loved it! AMERICA: YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE! 5 stars
2/05/04 Michael McCallister An incredible movie - everyone in America should see this! 5 stars
2/01/04 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  07-May-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2010

UK
  N/A

Australia
  03-Jun-2004




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