Supersize Me

Supersize Me (2000)
Cast: Morgan Spurlock
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Interviews, and more

Winner of Best Director at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Morgan Spurlock’s "Super Size Me" is a fascinating experiment on tackling the worlds largest fast food giant, McDonald’s. To try and breakdown why American’s have become the most obese society in the world, Morgan subjects himself to an entire diet consisting of nothing but McDonald’s. For 30 days straight his goal was to see what would happen if everyday, 3 meals a day, what negative effects would he endure during that time.

I can definitely say that I’m guilty of eating at McDonald’s more than I should. With my busy work schedule you’ll probably find myself and the work crew indulging at Mickey D’s every couple of weeks. Thankfully that’s not quite as serious as what is brought to the light in this film.

In the beginning Morgan is examined by 3 medical professionals and determined fit and in good health. To see that in the course of a month, Morgan Spurlock gains 30 pounds, his cholesterol goes up 65 points, he has symptoms of toxic shock to his liver, his skin begins to look unhealthy, his energy drops and he has chest pains, all from the "healthy" ingredients that inhabit what McDonald’s, as well as many other fast food establishments, serve us. Now some people would state that no one in their right mind would eat McDonald’s everyday, but that’s not the point of the film. The point is to show that America’s, as well as the rest of the world, nutritional values need to improve immediately.

Because this is a documentary, don’t expect to wow your friends with the video quality of this disc. It’s free of any type of noise but the overall image is very soft looking. Small details are inexistent and colors are quite a bit over saturated. The specifications of the disc state that the film is presented in a <$16x9,16x9 enhanced> for <$PS,widescreen> format. Unfortunately this has been mislabeled. The film is not <$16x9,anamorphic>. It is presented in a 1.78:1 ratio although. The video quality is satisfactory considering the subject manner.

Presented in <$DS,Dolby Surround> 2.0. The audio quality is again nothing special. Dialog is clear but not all that dynamic. Surround information and bass response does not exist. Imagine listening to most of the bonus documentaries on DVD and this is what the film sounds like. Again I really can’t complain.

Director Morgan Spurlock provides a really interesting <$commentary,audio commentary>. It’s very apparent that Morgan really enjoyed recording this audio track. Everything about the making of the film is discussed with little comments provided on the side from his wife. One funny comment referred to the rectal examine he was asked to take earlier in the film. Let’s just say I’m grateful that they changed the scene from what they showed at Sundance. Next up are four deleted scenes. They were deleted because of pacing but they’re worth watching. After watching those scenes, check out the Extra Interviews section. The six interviews in this section are great. And last is an experiment called The Smoking Fry. Morgan decides to place a number of McDonald’s products into jars for 10 weeks and monitor what happens to them over that period. Surprisingly nothing happens to the fries. Everything else rots but not the McDonald’s fries.

Oddly the extras are presented in <$16x9,enhanced for 16x9> televisions. And included inside the keepcase is a nutritional recipe book written by Morgan’s wife Alexandra Jamieson. Make sure to check her website out as well.

I was really looking forward to seeing this film and gladly I wasn’t disappointed at all. The subject manner that the film is based upon leaves plenty of room for discussion and hopefully its message is spread to as many people as possible. Supposedly this film was the reason why McDonald’s has stopped selling their "Super Size" option. If so I’m glad that it’s making some sort of impact.

"Super Size Me" is avialable on DVD now so make sure you rent it. It’s great!