Movie Review: Super Size Me (2004)

In 2019 I found some old Word documents with movie reviews I wrote back before I had a blog. I’m posting each review backdated to the day I wrote it.

Title: Super Size Me
Release Date: May 7, 2004
Director: Morgan Spurlock
Production Company: The Con

So everyone knows the premise: a documentary tracks the experiment of Morgan Spurlock who eats nothing but McDonald’s food – breakfast, lunch, & dinner – for one month, sampling every item on the menu at least once and supersizing whenever a McDonald’s employee asks him to. The problem is that once you’ve heard the premise, you know the whole movie.

I was really disapointed that with a few exceptions this documentary rarely veers away from watching its star eat Big Macs and getting sick. Maybe it had it’s effect in making some viewers evaluate their dining choices and for McDonald’s to introduce their healthy meals, but to the already converted like myself there wasn’t too much to learn from this movie. I really didn’t need to see Spurlock puking or a stomach surgery either.

Plus, Morgan Spurlock is funny but not funny enough to carry this movie. I do have a big old crush on his vegan chef girlfriend, Alexandra Jamieson, though. The DVD has a lot of extras that would have worked in the movie like all the trash he collected from buying at McDonald’s and an experiment where various foods are placed in jars to decompose over ten weeks, except the french fries which NEVER rot (scary!).

Rating: **1/2


Movie Review: Dazed and Confused (1993)

In 2019 I found some old Word documents with movie reviews I wrote back before I had a blog. I’m posting each review backdated to the day I wrote it.

Title: Dazed and Confused
Release Date: September 24, 1993
Director: Richard Linklater
Production Company: Alphaville

So this is one of those “cultural flashpoint” movies I never saw until last week. It was actually very different from what I expected. On the last day of school in Austin, TX in 1976 a bunch of high school and junior high school kids hang out, drink beer, smoke pot, drive around, make out and have inane conversations – not too unlike real teenagers. There is absolutely no plot to speak of, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing here.

As far as teen movies go, Dazed and Confused can be judged on what it’s not. No one gets the girl (not really anyway), no one gets in a car wreck, no one learns a valuable lesson, really it’s just a bunch of kids having fun with little parental supervision. All the teen movie archetypes are there – the jock, the stoner, the geek, the popular girls – or so you think, but none of the characters really hold to type.

The cast of this movie is huge and there’s no lead character, and its hard to keep track of who is who because they keep switching cars. But overall the cast puts in some heartfelt portrayals of typical teens. One major theme of the movie I didn’t get at first was a town-wide hazing of graduating junior high kids by the rising seniors. I’d never heard of such a thing happening, but it seemed to be the accepted thing in this fictionalized town. Maybe it’s because I never lived in a small town, I dunno. I found it interesting that the kids could go from being mercilessly cruel during the hazing to quite tender and affectionate later on, again another slice of reality.

Dazed and Confused is not one of the all-time greats but an interesting and funny movie, and I guess since I’m still thinking about it a week later, thought-provoking too.

Rating: ***