The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Morgan Spurlock investigates product placement in mass-media by funding a documentary on the subject solely through product placement with corporate partners.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I caught THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD a few months ago in theaters, and while I thought the premise of the doc was interesting, the film itself kinda petered out after the first half-hour. I still think the idea of examining product placement and corporate sponsors in film is a fascinating idea, and when the film focuses on that, itís fascinating stuff.
Remember the scene in IRON MAN when Tony Stark, having just survived his ordeal in Afghanistan, stops for a Big Mac at Burger King? According to Spurlock, Marvel got big bucks for including this in the film, and from there he examines the way a lot of other films make use of the practice, which has been going on for years. He interviews Brett Ratner, who sees no issue with including advertising in his films, and Peter Berg, who hates it, but admits itís a necessary evil. Quentin Tarantino also weighs in, saying that he never uses it, but wouldnít have a problem as long as it suited the film, and wasnít blatant.
This part of the doc is great, but it goes off the rails once Spurlock tries to raise financing for his own documentary from product partners. He never takes a clear stance on whether this practice is good or bad, and as a result the doc is tepid, and ultimately useless. He gets his promo partners, allowing him to complete his doc, which ultimately is little more than him meeting with various promo partners. Ho-hum.
This is a pretty loaded disc for a doc, with commentary by Spurlock and his crew, which is mostly technical, and could have used some input from the corporate sponsors, which would have been more interesting. Next, a fifteen minute At The Sundance Film Festival featurette, which was fun for me to watch, as I was actually at Sundance this year and saw him around town. There's also 2 featurettes that concentrate on the making of Spurlock's fake promos that he uses to hook advertisers, and also a hearty forty-five minutes of deleted scenes . The extras are rounded out by the trailer .
THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD would make a decent Netflix stream, but other than that, itís skippable. Itís OK, but thereís a better doc to be made about subliminal (and blatant) advertising in film.