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Review: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
05.12.2011
7 10

PLOT: Morgan Spurlock investigates product placement in mass-media, with him deciding to fund a documentary on the subject solely through product placement with corporate partners.

REVIEW: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD is just as much of an eye-opener as his last film, SUPER SIZE ME. Like that film, it doesn’t really tell us anything new. We knew McDonalds was bad going in to SUPER SIZE ME, but did we realize how bad it was really? Like that, we know product placement is rampant in films, but Spurlock proves that it’s getting so bad that commercials aren’t even necessary anymore, as the TV show of movie we’re watching is already one long commercial.


Remember IRON MAN? Remember when Tony Stark, after escaping his captors in Afghanistan, makes his first stop after returning home a Burger King, at which point we actually see him wolf down a Whooper, while saying how good it is? Most of us probably didn’t even realize we were being advertised to, but we were, and that’s just the tip of the tentacle. How about Matthew Weiner having to include product placement in his new season of MAD MEN in order to get the budget he needs? It’s everywhere- and something that won’t (and can’t) go away anytime soon.

Through clips and interviews, Spurlock shows that not only is it rampant, but it’s actually necessary to generate budgets for blockbusters such as IRON MAN. He doesn’t really say that it’s all that bad, but rather, it’s the sneakiness of the advertising that’s a problem. He goes to a few directors and asks for their opinions. Peter Berg, who used a lot of it in HANCOCK, isn’t a fan of it, but admits it’s inevitable. Brett Ratner thinks it’s fantastic, while Quentin Tarantino doesn’t really care as, as long as it’s not too obvious (although he notes that he never uses it- not by choice, but do to the fact that no one seems to want to advertise in his films).


As Spurlock tries to get his film sponsored, he lets us see the extent to which companies try to use films to control their image, with one potential sponsor even insisting on final cut. At what part does artistic integrity suffer? Yet, it’s still a necessary evil in many cases, with it even being a good thing in certain cases. To that end, Spurlock shows how many schools, after having their budgets slashed, are able to pump more money into the classrooms by selling advertising on school buses or in arenas. Who does it it?

Unlike SUPER SIZE ME, where it was clear McDonalds was very bad for you, GREATEST MOVIE isn’t so straightforward, and the film asks more questions than it answers, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I agree with Tarantino. It’s fine as long as it’s not too obvious (i.e- any show on NBC or The CW). One thing’s for sure- I’ll never watch IRON MAN the same way again.

Source: JoBlo.com

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