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Chow Down (2010)

Charles Venezia , John Oehrle , Julia Grayer , Gage Johnston  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Venezia, John Oehrle, Garnet Hall, Neal Bernard, MD
  • Directors: Julia Grayer, Gage Johnston
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 73 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,299 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Root for Charles, John and Garnet as they try to buck the system of pills and procedures and outfox their heart disease and diabetes. When their doctors inform them they can t get better, our intrepid trio tells the doctors to think again. Charles, John and Garnet decide to take on their diseases by drastically changing their diets. We all know making resolutions is easy; sticking to them is the hard part. With lighthearted animation, piercing expert interviews and a feisty attitude, CHOW DOWN is the moving story of the success you can achieve when you rewrite the recipe for a healthy life.

About the Director

Julia Grayer (Director/Producer):
Julia has been making films for the past six years, including Conversations with Flower (2005), which screened at the Cape May NJ State Film Festival and on Cinequest Online. In 2004 Julia was the Assistant to the Producers on Pigdog Films' award-winning Nail Polish and worked with 9.14 Pictures, creators of the critically acclaimed documentaries Rock School (2005) and The Art of the Steal (2009).

Gage Johnston (Director/Producer/Director of Photography):
Gage has been producing and directing films for the past 10 years including Edward, Stella And The Machine, which screened at Euro Underground and Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, and Something's Happening To Robin Stark. Stark premiered during the Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema and opened the Philadelphia Museum of Art films series in 2006. Gage is currently teaching writing and production at Philadelphia's University of the Arts. She has also worked on many local and national documentary films and commercials.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's time people were told about this January 2, 2011
Americans and other people in industrialized countries are dying from different diseases than people in the developing world. We suffer from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases - "diseases of affluence" that are almost unheard of in developing countries. This long overdue film explains a little of the work of Caldwell Esselstyn and Colin Campbell(as well as that of Dean Ornish, who is not in the film). Our dependence on meat, dairy, high-fat and high-sugar foods is behind our degenerative diseases, but the health agencies we count on to advise us, such as the the USDA, the American Cancer Society, and the American Heart Association, have bowed to pressure from agribusiness and have not been willing to incorporate this information in the dietary recommendations they make to the public. The film explains that it's really not that difficult for people to prevent or even reverse these diseases - they just need to switch to a low-fat, plant-based diet. Even the medical community does not bring this up with their patients. Last year my husband suffered a condition called obstructive uropathy after having BPH (non-cancerous swelling of the prostate) for a decade. For the entire decade he took medication for BPH, neither the internist nor the urologist who treated him ever mentioned that this disease is almost unheard of in countries where meat and dairy are not consumed in large quantities. We found this out on the internet. After a $30,000 surgery, we have changed our diet and likely would have done so years ago if we'd had this information. Now with more books coming out and films like this one beginning to educate people, the information is slowly leaking out to the public. People are going to become angry that they've been misled for years, and I believe the future of medicine will be different -- especially when health insurance companies decide to balk at paying for the care of preventable diseases.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked In Defense of Food July 29, 2010
I've been reading a lot about food this year: Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food and Food Rules, Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and Mark Bittman's Food Matters, among others. They all seem to be telling us the same thing: Eat real food, not too much, grown locally, mainly plant-based. Now here comes a film that not only re-emphasizes that this style of eating is good for us, it shows us that it can actually reverse the heart damage caused by all those years of scarfing triple cheeseburgers and mainlining mayo.

Chow Down follows three people: Charles, the lovable family man, John, the wry, witty professor and Garnet, the professional woman whose family loves pizza. Each one has decided to try an extremely low-fat, vegetarian diet (developed at the Cleveland Clinic) to reverse their heart disease; the film provides plenty of data to back up the claims. (And yes, there are the usual "talking heads," of course--it would not be a documentary without them, right?) The upbeat, lighthearted animation keeps the style informative, never preachy, and I really found myself rooting for the three as they "eat as if their lives depended on it."
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must See ! February 5, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you care about anything, care about what you eat! This was a true eye opener! A video worth sharing!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars little thought put into this movie March 3, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
I've read "The China Study", seen "Forks Over Knives," "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead," and "Super Size Me." I've read a couple of Joel Fuhrman's books and have fasted. Due primarily to "The China Study" and "Forks Over Knives," I have changed my own cooking to vegan, and have gone vegan for a full week at a time here and there. I like the food by and large, but it's difficult because I eat out a lot; due to my singleness it's just so convenient. And when I cook, I end up with a huge batch and have to eat the same thing for a while.

One thing I applaud this movie "Chow Down" for is that it doesn't pull any punches when it shows the difficulties of going vegan. It's not easy to do in our culture. But at the same time, I'm surprised at how black a picture they paint. There's a lot of great vegan food, but you have to be creative and it helps to be adventurous with cuisine from other cultures. You can get great vegan food at many ethnic restaurants. And by that I mean Indian, Thai, Chinese....The Olive Garden is not ethnic. :)

But overall this movie is not well done. There isn't much of a point to it, it is just a lot of rambling. It doesn't make any kind of cohesive arguments. The animations and the music are just hokey. And the message seems too pessimistic about veganism and curing disease by changing your diet. With the whining of the folks in the movie about how difficult it is, they virtually discourage you from trying it. The only ones who were successful were the ones who got dire medical news. Their prognosis was their motivation. None of their friends or family members were able to sustain the diet change. In other movies and books, they give good examples of people who -- like Campbell and Esselstyn, changed their diets pre-emptively to prevent disease.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life-changer, in a good way August 5, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie helped change how I think about food and modern medicine -- but it doesn't go down like medicine. "Chow Down" tells compelling and thought-provoking stories.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie March 3, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This movie was tremendous. It opened our eyes to so much about our eating habits. I suffer from one of the health problems mentioned in the movie. It has changed my life and I wish more people would watch it and change their own lives.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I really enjoyed this!
Published 1 month ago by ShoppingOasis
3.0 out of 5 stars it was alright
i thought it would be a little more interesting than it was. Would like to see more movies about the weight issues
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time
A very good movie full of information. I gave it 4 stars because there was so much material repeated that I've seen in other movies or books. ( same doctors, etc )
Published 7 months ago by Rebecca M. Maslanka
3.0 out of 5 stars Important info but lackluster presentation
Very basic info and cartoonish presentation. If you've read even one article on the positive medical/health effects of a vegan diet, you won't learn anything new here. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sunny in Miami
5.0 out of 5 stars Chow Down
A must-see for anyone who cares about their health. Extremely motivational if you are looking to make healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Published 14 months ago by Dream802
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it a lot!
I really liked this DVD and found it honest and truthful..particularly the part where the guy admits that its hard to eat this way sometimes.. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Kathie Butler
3.0 out of 5 stars Chow Down
We had to watch this movie for a Class Project for my 10th grade son, Health Class. He had to watch and take notes to form a couple paragraphs to explain the movie... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sookie
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
I enjoyed the film overall, but thought it had a bit more "fluff" than I'd have liked. Not as in depth as Forks Over Knives, but I would still recommend it.
Published 19 months ago by MW
5.0 out of 5 stars good
I liked this movie,what you should do to improve your health,eat good food and get well,change your lifestyle is what is needed
Published 19 months ago by lance
4.0 out of 5 stars It was informative, and . . .
While it was worth watching, I've seen better, and that's why I didn't give it a full five stars. I think it could have been fleshed out a little more in terms of maybe how the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by K. L. Sturgis
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