[fruitful_ibox column=”ffs-two-one” title=”Fed Up”]
By Jenna Beresheim
Looking for a non-shaming, obesity-epidemic-blasting documentary? Look no further than “Fed Up” by Stephanie Soechtig.
Narrated by Katie Couric and averaging a rating of 4 out of 5 stars, this documentary is well-made and definitely worth the watch. Plus it is free on Netflix.
Popcorn and soda pop not included, but at only an hour and a half, snackage will not be required.
Unlike some other marathon movies that require pre-apocalyptic hoarding to survive to credits, this documentary will be over in a blink. And may even make you re-consider those sugary snacks.
“The message that’s been pushed on us: it’s your fault you’re fat,” Dr. Mark Hyman, the chairman for the Institute for Functional Medicine said, in regards to the obesity epidemic in America:
“Forget about it.”
Top scientists and board members across the country in all forms of public health take a stand to break long-standing problems in the way we view health, debunking myths such as calories are calories, regardless of what form they are in, as well as what it really means to balance diet and exercise.
Instead, the focus is on sugar and how exactly it works in the body — even going so far as to compare junk food companies to tobacco companies.
Following the lives of several children suffering from zobesity, the viewer gets a more personal view of the daily struggles of those who are overweight and cannot seem to break away from it.
No matter how hard these children try, what they do is not working. Until they begin making the “right” changes to their daily life.
Unlike some documentaries, this film does not force the facts upon the viewer or demand a strict allegiance to their cause be made. Instead, “Fed Up” focuses on the facts and providing information, encouraging the public to reduce sugar intake, backing it up with all the right reasons. For those who wish to make the change to their lifestyle, this documentary offers a 10 day sugar-free challenge to break the habit.
FOUR OUT OF FOUR PAWS
[fruitful_ibox column=”ffs-two-one” title=”Avengers: Age of Ultron” last=”true”]By Declan Hertel
In the first 10 minutes of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Captain America (Chris Evans) does a high-speed endo on a motorcycle, launches into a front-flip, and throws the motorcycle into a Hydra troop truck that spectacularly explodes upon impact. This is utterly ridiculous; it is also TOTALLY AWESOME.
Those two words are the core of “Age of Ultron,” Joss Whedon’s final foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I saw this movie at a midnight showing during its opening weekend, and throughout the entire movie the audience was laughing and cheering as the punches flew, the lasers pew-pewed, and the Hulk smashed everything.
The fight choreography is without flaw and everyone gets their chance to be the butt-kicking action hero. And oh boy, do butts get kicked: “Age of Ultron” takes the over-the-top stylized violence of the first “Avengers” film and ratchets it up to 11, and then says “nah, man, we can go higher.”
The film starts out at “Nuts” with the fight in a European forest that includes the aforementioned motorcycle stunt and keeps pushing until it hits “Completely Freaking Bonkers” in the third act. I won’t spoil any other fight scenes; you’ll thank me.
Joss Whedon is well known for the one-liners and rapier wit he brings to his scripts, and he is on top of his game here. Every character packs as many quips as they can into the 141 minute runtime; they are almost all hilarious, and the ones that aren’t are worth a chuckle.
Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye delivers my favorite of the film right in the middle of the climactic battle, which ought to be a pleasant surprise to anyone who saw the first “Avengers,” where Hawkeye was pretty boring.
To be honest, Hawkeye steals the show. Ultron (a masterful voice performance by James Spader) may have his name in the title, but Hawkeye’s subplot and improved characterization really lend the film its emotional heart.
The addition of a romantic subplot involving Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) made me skeptical at first, but Whedon’s writing and the performances of Ruffalo and Johansson sealed the deal, and I was on board. Well done, Mr. Whedon. Well done.
My only real complaint about the movie is that when you’re driving a behemoth of a story at maximum overdrive as this movie does, bits are bound to fall off. There are a number of small happenings in the movie that are never explained and come off as useless. Whether they actually are or they’re foreshadowing the next phase of the MCU, it’s irritating.
That said, this only mattered to me after the movie was over, and I wiped the doofy smile from my face.
In all honesty, if you’ve liked the MCU so far, you’ll love “Age of Ultron.” If you hate the MCU, you’ll likely hate this too. But if you’re just looking for two hours of plain old escapism, you can’t do much better than this.
THREE AND A HALF OUT OF FOUR PAWS[/fruitful_ibox][/fruitful_ibox_row]