Ep. 2 – Maleficent, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Fed Up, and the saga of Ant-Man.

June 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Podcast

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In this week’s episode of The CineSnob podcast, the guys review “Maleficent,” “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” and the documentary “Fed Up.” They also discuss the ongoing saga of who will direct Marvel’s “Ant-Man,” the new Pixar film “Inside Out” and whether Pixar is in a creative rut, and give a few picks for what to watch on Netflix instant streaming.

[0:00-1:40] Jerrod’s somber mea culpa
[1:40-11:00] The confusion of who will direct Ant-Man
[11:00-16:45] Pixar’s Inside Out plot details and disussing if Pixar is in a creative rut
[16:45-20:20] Maleficent
[20:20-30:32] Maleficent Spoiler Talk
[30:32-38:22] A Million Ways to Die in the West
[38:32-54:00] Fed Up
[54:00-1:09:14] Netflix picks
[1:09:14-1:11:32] Teases for next week and close

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Fed Up

May 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Kiko, Reviews

Starring: Katie Couric, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton
Directed by: Stephanie Soechtig (“Tapped”)
Written by: Mark Monroe (“The Cove”) and Stephanie Soechtig (“Tapped”)

The healthy eating food documentary isn’t something new in the film industry. Just scan through your Netflix menu and movie titles like “Vegucated” and “Farmageddon” are jockeying for a place in your queue to tell you basically the same story. Americans are getting fatter because of the food choices they are making.

The same tune is played in “Fed Up,” a statistic-heavy documentary that will probably have a little more traction in theaters because of executive producer and narrator Katie Couric’s influence, but also because of it’s slightly tougher stance against things the average person might think would help solve the jaw-dropping problems that lead to childhood obesity.

In “Fed Up,” director Stephanie Soechtig (“Tapped”) asks a lot of questions and delivers few answers, but only because nothing is really changing in this country to curtail the emerging epidemic. In fact, Soechtig and Couric argue that we’re actually making things worse by fighting obesity with an “eat less, exercise more” attitude.

Through conventional talking-head interviews with doctors, parents and overweight children, Soechtig covers some of the same ground other food docs have done in the past. It’s when “Fed Up” gets bold enough to go after people like First Lady Michelle Obama for not doing enough in her “Let’s Move” campaign when things start getting very interesting.

Still, until a documentary like this can actual get their villain to speak on camera for an in-depth talk about these topics, the argument will always be one sided and in favor of fresh green beans over the processed jelly kind. Pointing a finger at sugar and blaming a child’s weight gain on how much they consume it is easy enough, but the well-produced rhetoric only goes so far. Not everyone writes letters to their congressman as this film asks us to do during the credits. It’s unfortunate, but after you see the film, stopping at a drive thru is still a lot less time consuming than going home and cooking a healthy meal.

Yes, Coca-Cola and McDonalds are making kids fat, but we’re as close to solving the problem as we were three decades ago. If “Fed Up” teaches us anything, it’s that we’re still a few hundred thousand diabetes-stricken preschoolers away from doing anything about it.