The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (2011)

We’re sure you’ve noticed that Mr. Pibb soda can that your favorite actress is drinking from, or that car emblem that is so predominately displayed in that rom-com your lady drug you to last weekend.  That is the art of product placement, and almost every movie and tv show today has some form of it.  Truth be told, it generates a large income for the movie studios that partake in this consensual advertising scheme.  Director Morgan Spurlock dives deeper into this form of advertising that is becoming more prominent and more lucrative for those involved than ever before.  He has an idea to make a movie about product placement, financed exclusively by product placements.  Could that even work?

Yes. Yes it can, and it does.  We follow Morgan as he tries to learns how to even going about getting companies to talk to him about product placement, and when most of them hear what he is doing, they are less than interested.  After finding out the demographic that this movie will attract, he is able to finally get some companies to pitch in to make this $1,500,000.00 film.  Some companies are pretty small, such as a regional gas station and a frozen pizza company; but a few of the big boys jump on-board as well, like JetBlue and Hyatt.  In exchange for their dollars, some of the companies have some very specific things they want shown in the movie; but that is what this whole thing is about anyway.  Spurlock ends up getting the cash and the perks that he needs to make the film, but worries that he might be selling out; but upon interviewing high-profile directors like JJ Abrams and Bret Ratner, he learns that is just how Hollywood is run these days. They tell him that if you want to make a movie you are going to have to make some sacrifices; and that just might mean having the star of your action movie wear a Mr. Bubbles t-shirt or have the slasher in your horror movie tell you the health benefits of Sunny Delight before he pulls out your anus through your mouth.  He plays these companies’ games and teaches everyone out there a valuable lesson: you are going to bombarded with ads, so you might as well get on board and make a few bucks if you can.

Alex’s Thoughts:  While I am a fan or Morgan Spurlock, I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Supersize Me, or some of the episodes of 30 Days that I’d seen.  It was however much better than the movie he was in about a killer fast food mascot called Drive Thru… that was way shitty.  I’m not sure I gained any more knowledge about product placement that I had before I watched this.  Maybe I didn’t really understand what all of the professional advertising agents were saying.  I did learn that the more popular a movie is going to be, the more advertising want to be a part of it; and the more they are willing to pay, some even putting up enough money to have some creative control of the movie.  That is all I need, some 65 year-old guy who sells energy drinks telling  Joss Whedon how the direct The Avengers, and all of a sudden we get a new back story about how the Hulk was created with gamma ray infused Red Bull.   It’s really enough to make you sick, if you’re a fan if cinema.  There are also a few funny scenes involving Ralph Nader getting pissed off at the whole advertising industry as well as a scene where Donald Trump tried to defend all of the shitty commercials he has been in. If you like the world of modern cinema or documentaries or are involved in marketing, you might want to give this a watch.  Alex Rates This Movie 7/10 (it is more entertaining than it is good)

Tim’s Thoughts:I have never seen Supersize Me, but have been a fan of Spurlock’s other work. Unlike a Micheal Moore, Morgan seems less swarmy as tries to make his point. After seeing this, I can’t wait to see what Spurlock decides to do next, while this wasn’t the most amazing documentary I have ever seen, I will say that this is very entertaining. Also as a movie nut I love this behind the scenes stuff, and yes it’s pretty disgusting how commercialized movies have become, but let’s be honest, to some extent we all wear the blinders and put up with it because we just want to be entertained. So if Batman has to drive a Lexus and drink PBR to get that next Nolan movie funded, then so be it. Back to the movie, I thought it was fun, and great to see how much work goes into just getting a movie paid for. Tim Rates This Movie 9/10 (I laughed out loud, a lot.)

“This is life. This is Hollywood. Get on board or get left the fuck behind.”

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue