Feb 5, 2005

Androids, Gay Men and Obesity

West World is a 1973 Sci-Fi/Fantasy film starring James Brolin, Richard Benjamin, Yul Brenner, and Dick Van Patten. It's classic 1970's kitsch Sci-Fi. I saw this movie on T.V. when I was about 10 and there were parts of it that really freaked me out (the removal of Yul Brenner's human face, revealing his robot innards). I think films in the Sci-Fi genre are typically underrated. Like Logan's Run and Genesis II, West World is a little better than a B movie, but not quite an A, which leads me to believe there should be a classification for B+ or B and a half. The story is about a high tech, themed resort, which includes a Roman World, a Medieval World and a West World. The staff in the resorts is comprised of androids that look just like humans. They are built to serve the humans unquestionably and programmed to never hurt the humans. They are built for punishment and to serve at the pleasure of the humans, until something goes horribly awry and the robots revolt. Yul Brenner's character becomes rampage-bot He turns into a Hal 9000 on steroids, and the hunt is afoot.

Hush is a Japanese film about a gay couple and a troubled woman who want to become parents. The peripheral characters are interesting, and it occurred to me that any one of them would have made a good central character for a different movie. I think American’s have grown used to gay men being out of the closet, but the main character in this film is very much in the closet. Making matters worse, one of his female coworkers targets him as her love interest. The storyline is as odd as the characters in the film and the window into Japanese culture makes this an interesting film.

Super Size Me is a documentary about the fast food industry's impact on the health of America. It is an eye opening and more surprising that you would imagine, given that every adult in America is privy to the fact that fast food is bad for you. The documentarian, Morgan Spurlock, begins the film by certifying with three different physicians that he is not just in good health, but that he is in perfect health. The documentary follows him throughout America while he eats nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days straight. Spurlock's girlfriend is not just a cook, but she is a vegan chef, and his gastronomic experiment does not sit well with her. The film is a smart look at nutrition and the causes of obesity in America. He points out that our children are becoming obese because of their over consumption of fast food, and also because the cheap, nutritionally sub par food they are served in the school system. Super Size Me is a must see for anyone who is having difficulty starting a diet or for anyone who wants to know what they are really putting in their mouths when they eat fast food.

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