Monday, May 4, 2020

"Super Size Me: Holy Chicken"! (film)

Morgan Spurlock (YouTube Movies, 2/27/20); Seth Auberon, CC Liu (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

In the 13 years since Super Size Me, the fast-food industry has undergone a makeover.

Today, chain restaurants mislabel and tout food that's "healthy," "organic," and "natural." Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock explores this new reality with an approach even more immersive and subversive than that used for his first film:

He sets out to open his own cooked dead chicken franchise. Follow him every step of the way, from raising baby chickens (depersonalized by calling them "poultry") and conjuring recipes once they're slaughtered and beheaded, to designing the brand and scouting a location.

Spurlock brings his disarming humor to uncover the truths and lies behind this multibillion-dollar industry.

Navigating a world of cynics and opportunists, Spurlock comes across like a hillbilly Jimmy Stewart type with refreshing optimism. He confronts one challenge after another inn his mission to live up to his ideals.

The film feels especially timely when the U.S. has a junkfood-loving president and an epidemic of false claims in advertising. Spurlock pays close attention to the Orwellian (Newspeak) buzzwords that marketers use to bring a "health halo" to toxic industrial food.

While the original Super Size Me made a specific example of McDonald's, this compelling sequel focuses on new targets and doesn't hold back on naming names. (We're looking at you, KFC).

The film builds momentum towards the day when Spurlock puts his reputation on the line by serving his first customers.

Provider: Samuel Goldwyn. Rating: PG-13. Release date: 2019. Running time: 1:42:58. Actors: Morgan Spurlock, Jonathan Buttram. Director: Morgan Spurlock. Producers: Keith Calder, Jess Wu Calder, Spencer Silna, Nicole Barton, Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin, Morgan Spurlock. Writers: Jeremy Chilnick, Morgan Spurlock. Genre: Independent documentary.

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