Monday, April 25, 2011

'The Greatest Movie Ever Sold' Movie Review

Title: POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

Director: Morgan Spurlock (‘Super Size Me’)

Starring: Morgan Spurlock

Review Written by: Karen Benardello

Movies have always been an original outlet for filmmakers to tell their stories, but what happens when the lure of money and distribution deals become more tempting than creative control? Director Morgan Spurlock strives to tell the world what really happens in the deals between the entertainment and advertising businesses in his new documentary, ‘POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.’ Not afraid to break down barriers to prove how product placement has become so transparent in movies, Spurlock was successful in showing how consumers make subconscious decisions on what to buy based on what they see in films, even though his documentary was paid for entirely through sponsorships.

‘POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold’ follows Spurlock as he examines the phenomenon of product placement, marketing and advertising in the world, particularly in movies. The documentary focuses solely on Spurlock reaching out to advertising agencies, product placement companies and brands, asking if they would finance the movie through pitch meetings and marketing presentations. The movie’s marketing process features the filmmaker in the center of the advertisements for the brands that ultimately agreed to sponsor the film. While most brand officials refused to be even interviewed on camera, let alone be associated with the movie for fear of how the publicity would harm their companies, there were several that agreed to take part, including Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Jet Blue, and Merrell Shoes. POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice ultimately became the lead sponsor, paying $1 million to have its name before the ‘Greatest Movie Ever Sold’ title.

When first hearing about the concept of ‘POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,’ the plotline, or apparent lack there-of, of the film isn’t very appealing; sitting through an hour-and-a-half of Spurlock just asking companies if they want to sponsor his film about product placement in movies seems redundant. It seems as though it wouldn’t show audiences how product placement affects Americans’ lives. Even Spurlock has said that he and his fellow producers didn’t even know if this type of movie was possible when they first began filming, as they didn’t know if any brands would be interested in working with them.

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