POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
- Director:Morgan Spurlock
- Cast:Morgan Spurlock
- Release Date:August 11, 2011
- Running time:90 minutes
- Film Worth:$16.00
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Without stirring up undue concern, this is an entertaining and often eye-opening look at what goes into product placement.
With his 2004 breakout documentary, Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock established his ability to deal with real problems without heavy-handed moralising. His refreshing, disarming and irreverent style was the perfect fit for discussing the evils of the fast food industry. While this same tone didn't go down as well when tackling the topic of terrorism in Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?, it's again a perfect fit for his latest work, which delves into the world of corporate advertising.
The doco kicks off with a slightly fuzzy but undeniably genius premise: Spurlock proposes to fund a film about product placement solely funded with product placements. Thus, we follow Spurlock as he attends hilarious pitch meetings. Once he secures funds, the film spurts off into various directions - some more developed than others, but all entertaining. He reveals what his sponsors expect in return for their investments (some demand final cut of the film); talks to a handful of directors about product placement, including Quentin Tarantino and Brett Ratner, the latter of whom almost seems to scoff at the notion of "artistic integrity"; and even canvasses opinions from the likes of Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky.
Sure, it's all a little unfocused, but it's a lively and often eye-opening look at what goes into product placement. And like Spurlock's other works, among all the laughs and gimmicks, he occasionally scores a moment that floors you. One such instant is when Spurlock pays a visit to Sao Paulo in Brazil - where there's a ban on outdoor advertising - and his cameras capture a city startlingly naked of billboards and corporate branding. Spurlock's not saying that a world free of product placement would be ideal, but he does compel us to consider what life would be like with a little less advertising and a little more space to think for ourselves.