May 27, 2011 by  

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold


The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock journeys throught the store aisles in search of advertisers for his doc "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold."

Starring: Morgan Spurlock, Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky
Directed by: Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”)
Written by: Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) and Jeremy Chilnick (“Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?”)

If anything, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock knows how to make his documentaries entertaining. He may point out the obvious sometimes (getting fat in his Oscar-nominated doc “Super Size Me” wasn’t as groundbreaking as it was gimmicky), but the man sure does know how to package together some great interviews, information, personal flavor and humor to deliver lighthearted and fun lessons about the subjects at hand.

In the film, Spurlock pulls back the curtain to reveal what really goes on behind the scenes between the entertainment industry and big companies who are using it as a platform to peddle their products. Following an ingenious premise, Spurlock decides to make a documentary about branding, product placement and advertising by getting his movie funded by incorporating branding, product placement and advertising into the actual film. This means “Greatest Movie” is up for grabs in every conceivable way just as long as a company’s check clears at the end of the day. Want Spurlock to wear your brand-name shoes while he is interviewing advertising professionals about how their business works? Drop $50K and he’ll do it in a second. He’ll even throw in a couple of 30-second commercials right in the middle of the movie to sweeten the deal.

At times, “Greatest Movie” might feel like a thesis project a communication arts student would submit to graduate at the end of his or her college career, but it’s a project that would pass with ease. It’s extremely well researched and balanced. More importantly, the ironic tone never lessens as Spurlock delves deeper into the topic. It might not be a vast ocean of controversy by any means and Spurlock doesn’t necessarily answer any pressing questions, but “Greatest Movie” does what it sets out to do. It reminds us just how persuasive and intrusive advertising is in our daily lives. We’re suckers for it and no one call point that out as well and with as much wit as Spurlock can.

Grade: B+

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