Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Hate, Hate, HATE Morgan Spurlock


NOTE: I do not talk about thing I hate very much on FILMICABILITY.  I prefer to remain positive, as I find it does no one no good to hear about the bad things. Let's just ignore them, shall we? But this guy? This guy is all over the place, and finally I could not keep what follows inside any longer:

When Morgan Spurlock's desperate, I'm-dead-broke-and-this's-my-last-chance-to-succeed "documentary" Super Size Me erupted in 2004, it seemed to many as if the film was an homemade, impassioned outcry to the world. "This corporation called McDonald's," the movie appeared to say, "is exploiting the poor, the uneducated, the underfed. And I'm here to condemn it." That is, as long as you guys in the audience have paid your ten bucks to see this shit.

The unmitigated jerk-off who directed and egoistically starred in this "documentary"--all without proving outright his thesis--got an miraculous (and scandalous) Oscar nomination, not to mention a whole fattened godammned career out of this stuntifying project involving a gimmicky commitment to eat McDonald's foods for 30 days (in order to see whether or not his health would degenerate). The whole affair was disgusting (c'mon....like he didn't know what would happen? Gimme a fucking break). Relatively few people out there WANT to live on fast food alone, regardless of what Spurlock is trying to spectacularly portray in Super Size Me. Let's face it--McDonald's is out there as a "treat" (which is to say, an easy fix to absolute poverty-driven misery) and, though I do diminish their marketing to children (I've seen Mac and Me), in reality, the American health crisis can't be laid only at the chain's feet.

Please don't read this as being any sort of defense of McDonald's; my feelings about the company are, frankly, neutral. But this article IS an attack on a filmmaker who has, over and over again, used modern-day miseries as a high-powered railway car to his own specious success. In regards to Super Size Me, in particular, here are my problems with his reasoning: Poverty is the result of people having fewer choices in regards to (1) time and (2) money. These things have nothing to do, really, with the McDonald's corporation. This "national crisis of obesity" could have been as easily attributed to Burger King, Taco Bell, KFC, Baskin-Robbins, Popeye's, Steak and Shake, Chipotle's, or the grocery-buying power of the public at large.

I admit I have a problem with any filmmaker post-Michael Moore trying to insert themselves into their own films (Kurt and Courtney director Nick Broomfield, for instance, is another doc filmmaker I despise for many of the same reasons I dislike Spurlock). In Super Size Me, which was basically a reality-TV stunt massivized to movie proportions (Spurlock went on to also do a crappy stunt-filled reality series called 30 Days), the director/actor offered himself up as a guinea pig for a sucky science experiment for which he (and all of us) already knew the outcome. I don't believe one moment of Super Size Me. It's bald-faced, one-sided anti-corporate marketing backed by suspicious science. It became the kind of marketing that would make the most mercenary of the McDonald's team flush with envy (I think they'd now love to have Spurlock's fry-faced puss as a sign of their fries' undeniable deliciousness). That said, I'll go out on a limb and partially agree with what Spurlock maybe meant to say, but I disagree wholly with how he said it; ultimately, I think he put his money-minded mitts into the film business ONLY to feather the nest of his bride and his newborn baby--after all, this shit's he's concocted for the screen represents his try at THE AMERICAN DREAM!!

Again: no one--even the people that Spurlock interviewed--thinks that eating McDonald's for every meal, every day, is a good thing. But when you're hungry, and that's the only option, as it is in a lot of poor areas (when I was living in NYC, I noticed that there was a McDonald's next to every major subway stop), McDonald's becomes the de facto choice du jour (especially if you have kids). It's not a problem that has to do with choice. It has to do with necessity. This is something that Spurlock failed to approach in his first film. He thinks poor people incessantly feed on McDonald's because that's what they want (you can tell this by how he interviewed the chain's customers). But, regardless of his selective editing, this is just not the case. My main problem with Super Size Me? It never once addresses the limitations caused by poverty. It thinks poor people are stupid.


The resignation to McDonald's, for most people, has to do with they are PRESENTED with in moments of emergency, during 15-minute lunch breaks. One HAS to eat something if one is working, and McDonald's often fits the fast-making bill. In Super Size Me, he blamed the whole thing on McDonald's as a company. In reality, we can blame the obesity epidemic on the increasingly intense time constraints placed on workers who do not get an hour to wait on properly prepared, nutritional food. But the lazy Spurlock (who is, I hear from close friends who've tried to work with him, a complete shitwipe) couldn't bother with examining this more complex, troubling issue, and thus exploited the McDonald's angle for his own monetary gain. To do anything else would have required much more work and risk. And Spurlock is not about work or risk. Let's face it: He's the McDonald's of indie documentary filmmaking.

What could disgust you more than this image, concocted for his similarly hypocritical new "film" called Pom Wonderful Presents The Greatest Story Ever Sold, conveniently and lucratively about painfully obvious subject of product placement in media (which side do you think he falls on: pro or con?):


As someone else in the stratosphere has commented, he looks like a porn star trying to whore his pale white skin for profit. The fact that he's doing it "to prove a point" does not make it palatable (it's not even a point that needs proving or underlining; we all already KNOW we're being bombarded by advertising every day). Even the movie company backing this piece of shit hid the initial, sickening ad campaign with a phony Brooks Brothers-square replacement:


Just take a gander at this dickwad pointing to himself as if he's won the godammned lottery. It makes me wanna vomit. And, mind you, this is a ad-created image. This is what he WANTS us to see. And this newest movie of his completely cements my bottom-rung opinion of him. Spurlock is a guy that has no morals. He's so remarkably hungry to eat the heart of success that he limply exploited Osama Bin Laden's name to get even more movie tickets sold (see the abysmal Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, another of the worst documentaries ever filmed). Spurlock is the modern-day snake-oil hawker, replete with golden-arched facial hair, grinning while pawning off intellectual poison for profit. He has nothing to offer any of us. He stinks to even the highest heaven of anything we thought stank to high heaven ever before. But I think he likes this sort of attention. Anything to get his name out there...

Jesus, I even despise this dolt's very name. Fucking Morgan SPURlock. What says "jackass" more than that? With his proud disregard for the bottom-line values of truth, I sincerely hope he rots in obscurity. But, given how things are going nowadays, he's going to thought of as a modern-day Albert Maysles in a couple of years. And, given that most people don't even know who Albert Maysles is, that's looking on the bright side of things. The following image is the depressing visage of his ambition:


NOTE: Don't you just even hate LOOKING at this tool? He's a dead-faced, nuclear-flavored trout! Somebody just deep-fry him already.

17 comments:

MovieMan0283 said...

While I don't doubt many of the points you make against his journalistic integrity and aesthetic scruples are valid, I'm guessing "whom, I know, from personal experience, is a complete shitwipe asshole" has more to do with the vitriol on display here than any objections to his work. Any elaboration available on that aside?

Dean Treadway said...

Actually, that "whom" remark has to do with how he dealt with a fellow filmmaker, who'd been in the business way longer than he had. Spurlock had a giant ego, and whwn faced with a filmmaker who had better footage of a subject that he had interest in, he shut that lesser known filmmaker down, even though Spurlock himself had been such a "lesser" filmmaker before (the "irony" is that this filmmaker he bested is one of the greatest documentarians of all time). Really, without regaling you with much further details, let's just say that Spurlock spurned the work of other, way more experienced doc filmakers (not me) just because his name was Spurlock. In short, he's an asshole, and if you met and threatened him, you'd know what I'm talking about.

Adam Zanzie said...

Hmm. Since I've only seen half of Super Size Me I might not be in the best position to judge, but I was never aware of any disconcerting reputations which Spurlock may or may not have. I did manage to see the short documentary he filmed for AMC last fall -- in which he followed around John Sayles, Maggie Renzi and the late George Hickenlooper as they were promoting their films at Toronto -- and I recall enjoying it.

Tony Dayoub said...

While I don't like Spurlock much as a filmmaker, this seems like an a) ad hominem attack, and b) a weird sort of defense for McDonald's (which I like but doesn't really need any defenders).

Gotta say, this is the weirdest post I've ever read from you, Dean.

Dean Treadway said...

Perhaps so. It's passionate, though. I hate as strongly as I love. What can I say? I just can't stand even looking at the guy, and his movies absolutely stink. As for the piece being a defense of McDonald's, it's not so much that as a defense of reason. Again, no one with half a brain would ever think that you were going to feel great after eating only McDonald's food for a month. Don't you see? The whole movie is nothing but a self-aggrandizing stunt meant to make Spurlock famous. The worst aspect of it is that it worked. Now his mug is all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough that you write this article. However... In my opinion, it would've been a lot better article if you left your opinion out of it & let the readers decide for themselves.

It reads like you are jealous of this mans success...

Plenty of people out there do much much more horrible things to succeed and you pick a guy that wrote a documentary about health & Fast Food? Why not Paris Hilton,... or a no name Youtube Celebrity now a success from a fleeting embarrassing moment deliberately or not caught on camera.

I did watch 'Super Size Me', Honestly it bored me, Watching someone eat McDonalds for a month is not my ideal movie.
However, The documentary did have an extremely good point,... No other documentary has been made before or after attacking McDonalds in such a way.

I'm aware McDonalds is very few peoples sole diet. But it is disastrous to American's already growing obesity problem.

I don't know much about the author, But i know one thing - If you google Image 'Spurlock' 99% of his pictures are decent. 1% are the kind of ones you have put in your article.

Anyway,... I'm out of this hate blog. They read much better if the author can get past ranting and convince others that this person is to be hated rather than heading down the ladder to the the lowest form of hate even dissing the victims' name.

I hope you're not trouble at Grade School Mr Treadway. You could end up like Mr Spurlock One day. Writing documentaries and getting awarded an Oscar.. Oh the horrors...

Dean Treadway said...

First of all, Mr. Spurlock has not yet been awarded an Oscar, thank heavens.

Second of all, in the history of this "hate blog," I've written maybe five negative reviews of movies. Most of the stuff on this blog is extremely positive, because I prefer to ignore the things I don't care for, and trumpet the things I DO care for. So I think I'm entitled to express a negative opinion every once in a while.

Thirdly, I am not, again, defending McDonald's. I am merely decrying a filmmaker whom I think wants to be a Michael Moore movie star without possessing the intelligence and creativity of Mr. Moore. He does, however, possess the oversized ego necessary to become a success.

Dean Treadway said...

Oh and by the way...the images I used for this article are images that Spurlock himself used to promote his own films. I didn't go searching for the most embarassing images. These are the shots we see on his own movie posters.

Dean Treadway said...

By the way, I withhold from telling the reader anything about the people I know who have worked with him, in order to protect their anonymity, and their careers. But they found that he carried himself like an untouchable, and that he smashed his newfound power in their face like he was Mcdonald's itself. And the victim was a filmmaker who was infinitely finer than he was. And that is all I will say about that, MovieMan.

Anonymous said...

I cannot agree with you more. It doesn't take a genius....or even any research (and he has been debunked thoroughly) to perceive the incredible intellectual dishonesty of Spurlock. All one needs do is watch SupersizeME....disgusting rhetoric....aimed at...ironically...the mindless and thoughtless.

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading after he said Mcdonalds is a treat. Fucken idiot.

Dean Treadway said...

The word TREAT had quotes around it, idiot. It's not really a treat; it's what happens when you want something to eat, and you find it. And it's everywhere. And, yes, it shouldn't be. I agree.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100%. Can't stand Spurlock. A complete self-absorbed prick. How many other documentary filmmakers repeatedly put themselves on their own fucking movie posters?? What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Should be interesting to see how the new One Direction documentary does. Spurlock directed, but does not appear in the film.

Dean Treadway said...

It's perfect that he's doing that One Direction film. He really only cares about fame and adoration. Ugh, it makes me dislike him even more...

Anonymous said...

Check this Anti-Morgan Spurlock vid, I think you'll like

http://youtu.be/I0eRwzoOUaU

Anonymous said...

Years later, I despise this charlatan on CNN! I saw a promo, "dating in New York", his question was, " what do you want?" To a single man. The answer, " Not to be single.", they all chuckled endlessly, unreal.