Thursday, December 1, 2011

DVD Review: Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

At some point in the last few years Morgan Spurlock (director of Super Size Me, if you didn't know) looked up from having created one of the most important documentaries of the last decade, behind Bowling for Columbine and realized that he'd been unable to replicate that success. Oh not that his other films were necessarily bad, but they just didn't have anywhere near the impact of his first film. So, he did what anyone would do in that situation: He went back to formula.

Yes, Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold has Morgan Spurlock back in the weird position of simultaneously pointing out the absurdities and weirdness of a situations while simultaneously doing it so we can see it ourselves. In this case the situation in question is the getting money for product placement in a movie. Is it as good as Super Size Me or even Tabloid? No. But it's still quite good and it reminded me why Super Size Me was good and important.

The vast majority of the narrative, such as it is, is devoted to Spurlock going around to different companies and offering them ad space in his movie in exchange for funding. Of course the nature of the documentary, as well as memories of Super Size Me, mean that most companies aren't going to want to have anything to do with him. But when he actually gets behind the scenes and we see what arranging for sponsors and putting product placement in movies actually looks like it gets a little strange. Interspersed with this are interviews with consumer advocates and directors (though he seemed to have trouble getting people who are actually talented...Brett Ratner, really?) And it must be said, the sequence where Spurlock and Ralph Nader (remember him?) discuss the merits of a shoe would make the documentary worth watching alone.

History will tell if Morgan Spurlock has another Super Size Me in him, but The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is quite good when taken on it's own merits. Well worth watching, especially if you're a fan of consume advocacy.

Elessar is a 21 year old Alaskan born cinephile and he will eventually do a DVD Review that isn't a documentary.

No comments:

Post a Comment