As another reviewer has noted, 'The Sandwich Man' seemed to turn up with alarming regularity on Saturday afternoons on B.B.C.-2 in the '70's. It was made at a time when British film comedy was changing; the family-friendly Norman Wisdom and 'St.Trinians' knockabout farces were giving way to ruder, more adult-oriented fare. The director, Robert Hartford-Davis ( known mainly for exploitation pictures ) co-wrote the movie with its star, ex-Goon Michael Bentine. Anyone who went expecting this to be like 'Its A Square World' would have been disappointed. It basically consists of sketches, linked by Bentine ( in the role of pigeon fancier 'Horace Quilby' ) as he wanders around London wearing sandwich boards advertising a firm called Finkelbaum and O'Casey. Most of the time he is detached from the madness around him. He encounters, amongst others, Norman Wisdom as a boxing priest, Stanley Holloway as a park gardener, Harry H.Corbett as a theatre manager, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Fred Emney as a pair of drunken toffs, Terry-Thomas as a scout master, Ian Hendry as a motorcycle cop, Michael Medwin as a sewer man, Ronnie Stevens as a bowler-hatted drunk, Ron Moody as a rowing coach, and Bernard Cribbins as a camp photographer.There is a sub-plot involving a Sikh band called 'De Sikhers' trying to get to a jazz festival ( they arrive to find the venue has been closed down by the police ) and Suzy Kendall and David Buck play a couple of lovely young things who have fallen out because she refuses to give up her modelling career once they are married.A lot of the gags work, others do not. The style of humour shifts every few minutes; from slapstick ( an out-of-control lawn mower terrorises a park ) to surrealism ( Buck's car must have come from 'Q Branch' as it takes to the Thames at the end and passes under Tower Bridge ) and back again. At one point, Quilby encounters a man sitting on a magic carpet which rises into the air ( as magic carpets are wont to do ). It turns out said carpet is resting on the prongs of a fork-lift truck. And what about the scene in Billingsgate market where a pair of women ( Diana Dors and Anna Quayle ) discuss medical soap operas while we see fish being gutted? My favourite gag has David Lodge as a foreman in charge of a gang of workmen digging a hole. He asks for tea, but by the time the cup reaches him, the men have shaken it about so much it is empty.It is a family film, though undermined slightly by the bizarre closing credits which feature over-cranked footage of wrestlers and close-ups of girls' bottoms which look as though they belong in a different movie.What 'The Sandwich Man' does rather well, even when it is not particularly funny, is exploit the Swinging London phenomenon of the time. You feel that London in the year 1966 was the best time and place in human history to have existed. That alone is enough to earn it a place in my collection.
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2019 was indeed the year of the chicken sandwich. It was so popular that fast food companies like Popeyes nationally sold out their sandwiches within days after first introducing them due to high customer demand. Other companies that has them like Chick-Fila & KFC continues to sell well throughout the year. Even some restaurants where chicken sandwich is not a specialty are starting to get into the game. Why is that? Well filmmaker Morgan Spurlock believes that beef consumption like hamburgers is in the decline as consumers are becoming more health conscious and want to choose sandwiches with leaner meats. With this knowledge, he hopes to capitalize on the craze by building his own fast food joint while meanwhile exposing the truth about the chicken industry to the public and the health halo marketing that goes with it. For the most part he does, however don't count all your chickens before it hatches. The idea that contract growers are frequently lowballed and mistreated under big chicken corporation tournament system is not quite accurate. The majority of seasonal boiler chicken growers are given the same access to veterinary care and reduced the economic cost of feed as others. Because of that the majority of growers are quite satisfied with their relationship with the corporations. With 95% of them continue to retained their business year after year according to the records from the National Chicken Council (NCC). The chances of getting sick birds are very slim. If there were, field technicians are specifically employed to assist them in raising the healthiest chickens possible as its economic in both parties' interest to see that the chickens are healthy and treated with care. Nobody wants a dirty ill bird to be serve to them. If technicians find the facilities uncleaned or discover illegally dumping of untreated wastewater, it would lead to the termination of a grower's contract. The same goes to over cruel abuse of any kind to the animal past or present. All of this has been documented in the past, which sadly the film doesn't explore much. Along with the practice of growers hiring illegal immigrants. While the movie does show the cost of retaining houses with many of them being quite high to the point that the facilities are often small and crowded. Surprising compare to other segment of livestock the loan default rates of these owners are among the lowest. Such a track record speaks to the stability of the system, which has worked well for decades and kept tens of thousands of families working who otherwise would have had to get out of business altogether. As for the myth that the system makes it impossible for new growers to compete. It's a lie. According to the USDA, the grower market has increase by more than 67 % within the last four years. They are more than 220 regional food hubs in operation around the country more than the five big corporations that the film mentions. To add onto that, the idea that growers can be 'sued into bankruptcy' by chicken companies for discussing ranking along each other is bit exaggeration. There are federal regulations in place that require the grower be given a logically reason for breach of contract. Most companies wouldn't fire them over something silly like that or try to lowball them into bankruptcy. It's not good business. To add onto that the image of contract growers as impoverished serfs is not an accurate reflection. Those growers who invest in more advance bigger houses are indeed more likely to be rewarded for their effect. If not, the government will help enforced it. After all, federal oversight within the poultry industry is not as weak as the film makes it out to be. Chicken companies are highly regulated by USDA's Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA). Still I do agree with Spurlock that the current USDA labeling approval process is terribly misleading for consumers. Words like 'free range' and 'natural' don't really mean nothing as the film shows that due to extensive breeding selection of the boiler chicken rather than hormone injection or steroid usage for rapid early growth. They're very susceptible to the elements due to their skeletal malformation and congestive heart conditions. Thus, management of ventilation housing must be evaluated regularly to support a decent welfare of the flock until the slaughter. With the help of growers Jonathan and Zack Buttram, Spurlock somewhat does that. While most of the humor and heartening that goes along with those sequences can be seen as too morbid, depressing or disturbing. We can all agree that the cartoony colorful graphics & data are very informative. As for the climax of opening his own fast food restaurant. It didn't quite have the impact as it should had due to the filmmaker admitted to sexual harassment in a New York Times article in 2017; causing the movie to be shelf for two years by distributer YouTube Red until being picked up by Samuel Goldwyn Films. In the end, despite the film feeling like an odd mixer of 2004 'Super-Size Me' with 2011 'The Greatest Movie Ever Sold'. It's certainly still worth flying the coop for.
'Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (2017)' attempts to pull the curtain back on the new craze of so-called 'healthy' fast food, focusing specifically on chicken-based chains such as Chick-fil-A. It goes about doing this by showing host Morgan Spurlock (whose admission of sexual harassment kept the piece in purgatory for a couple of years) attempt to start his own fast food restaurant. For a while, it isn't clear exactly why he's doing the very thing he condemned in the movie's predecessor. The way in which he seeks to erroneously market his food as healthy, his chicken as humanely cared-for, his intentions as pure is all just a little too unironic for my liking. Plus, the picture is shot and edited in a bizarrely chaotic, almost amateurish fashion. Eventually, though, something clicks and the affair's true intention becomes crystal clear. Though it isn't the most outwardly scathing of exposés, it's certainly a condemnation of the thuggish culture surrounding 'big chicken' (five chicken-farming companies who provide birds for the entire United States) and the way in which they mislead the general public (which, to be fair, the fast food chains themselves also do), bully farmers and basically make their own rules. There are many eye-opening moments in the movie, especially as it moves into its second half, and its exploration of what goes on before the food arrives at our tables is often actually a little upsetting (thankfully, there's no footage of the killing floor itself). Spurlock is an engaging host (if not necessarily, by his own admission, a great guy) and, once it's clear that he intends to use the information he's gaining as activist ammunition, it's easy to want his experiment to succeed. When everything comes together, it's incredibly satisfying. The picture's pay-off is nearly ingenious; it's the sort of thing that makes you smile because it's so clever and it eliminates any remaining doubts that your host may have truly sold out to the dark side. In the end, though, will it make a difference? Its predecessor did seem to have some effect - after all, this 'new' health craze can't have come from nowhere (though it obviously didn't solely originate with a single documentary) and McDonald's did remove the 'super size' option suspiciously close to the thing's release. If anything, though, I think the movie just proves how willing people are to put their blinders on if it means they can have a clear consciousness. It's not like this stuff is a state-guarded secret; you can find out all sorts of stuff about the food you eat simply by going online. If you show most people a chicken, they'll consider it cute and wouldn't dream of killing it - much less eating it. If you walked into a kitchen with that same chicken and emerged with a fried chicken sandwich, those same people would wolf it down like an animal. Documentaries like this try to show us that we aren't free from blame, that our choices do have an impact whether we like it or not. At the very least, they're able to show us the companies that feed us aren't above lying to us; in fact, that's their very foundation. Ultimately, I think that the film is better than its predecessor, primarily because its central concept is resonant right the way through. It's enjoyable, yet informative and it's told from a very relatable perspective. I just kind of wish that the denouement delved a little deeper into Spurlock's post-'grand opening' plan. 7/10. 1e1e36bf2d