|Super Size Me (2004)
Starring: Morgan Spurlock
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Rating: Not Rated
America is the largest (and fattest) of the fast-food nations, but no one seems to take notice as our country slowly becomes littered with millions of Big Mac chompers and Triple Thick Shake gulpers. With any luck, those numbers will change when American moviegoers see Morgan Spurlock’s hilarious and educational documentary about the fast-food addiction that has become a serious risk to our health. “Super Size Me” uncovers the truth behind the fast-food industry (led with inequitable force by McDonald’s) and confirms the irreversible damage that fast food has on one’s health.
In his film, Spurlock vows to eat only McDonald’s three meals a day for an entire month, only Super Sizing his meal when asked and trying everything on the menu at least once, all to the complete horror of his vegan girlfriend. After receiving check-ups from three separate specialists that indicate his good heath, he receives the advice to walk as little as possible, emulating the daily average lifestyle of an adult who drives to work and rides the elevator.
Along the way, Morgan’s dashing documentary also investigates the fast-food obsession in our country by examining the questionable meals served at schools, the attorneys and nutritionists who are fighting for changes on Capitol Hill, and the fanatical story of a McDonald’s enthusiast who has enjoyed more than 19,000 Big Macs in his lifetime. After his 30 days of burger bliss, Spurlock gains 25 pounds and starts to suffer intense headaches, depression, mood swings, heart pains, sexual decline, and a deadly increase in his blood pressure and cholesterol.
McDonald’s canned its Super Size option two months after the Sundance premiere of “Super Size Me,” claiming that the decision had nothing to do with the film’s message. They then released an Adult Happy Meal which features a variety of premium salads geared toward healthy eating but, as Spurlock reveals, these “safer” alternatives pack even more of a caloric punch than the greasy hamburgers. See “Super Size Me” just once, and you may reconsider your daily lunch routine. Insightful, funny and disgustingly informative, Spurlock’s documentary is nothing short of McBrilliance.
The DVD release of the super sized documentary isn't all that spectacular, but the few special features that are on the disc supplement the film quite nicely. The first thing you will notice is that the video quality hasn't changed much, but it's a documentary, so don't get your panties in a bunch. While the picture is a bit grainy from the crappy digital camera used to film the 30-day event, it still looks very professional.
The bonus material added to the DVD includes four deleted scenes and extra interviews that consist of a 25-minute sit-down with "Fast Food Nation" author Eric Schlosser and deleted bits with John Lennon look-a-like and world-renowned Big Mac enthusiast Don Gorske. Another interesting special feature, "The Smoking Fry," is a brand new experiment with director Morgan Spurlock that takes a scientific look at the decomposition of McDonald's food by placing various menu items (like a Big Mac and an order of fries) into individual glass jars. After seeing the effect this experiment has on the McDonald's fries after 10 weeks, you won't be disgusted, but rather very puzzled. Finally, Morgan joins girlfriend Alex Jamieson on a full-length audio commentary that explains the origin of the experiment and contains plenty of personal insider info about the 30-day journey. It's not the greatest commentary track out there, but it still serves to be very entertaining with the film running in the background.
The DVD release of "Super Size Me" hasn't really been given special treatment, but the filmmakers show they care about the audience by setting aside the time to document new interviews and create amusing bonus material that you shouldn’t come to expect from a documentary release. A great film on its own, "Super Size Me" is even better after the film-to-disc tune-up.