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The Greatest Movie Ever Sold [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Morgan Spurlock, JJ Abrams, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader
  • Directors: Morgan Spurlock
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Feb. 2012
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005XZQWZE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,766 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Morgan Spurlock, the man responsible for the 2004 documentary 'Super Size Me', here turns his satirical eye on another of society's most ubiquitous evils: advertising, and specifically the phenomenon of product placement within the film industry. Spurlock sheds light on the process of product placement by setting himself the goal of funding his own documentary through product placement deals with various well-known companies. Contributors include Quentin Tarantino, Noam Chomsky, J.J. Abrams and Donald Trump.

Review

Since the advent of recording devices and on-demand services, consumers have been bypassing commercials like never before, so advertising agencies have stepped up their use of product placement. In The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) renders the process transparent as he documents his attempts to get Madison Avenue to fund his film. After a flood of rejections, he takes a series of meetings with companies willing to align their brand with his--and make no mistake, Spurlock is as much a brand as Donald Trump or Outkast's Big Boi, who show up to talk about product endorsement. The director's entertaining and enlightening journey even leads him to a juice purveyor that opens its wallet for placement above the title--hence the name of the pomegranate beverage which appears on all promotional materials. As one observer puts it, "You're selling out, but not selling out." For perspective, Spurlock solicits commentary from progressive thinkers, like Ralph Nader and Noam Chomsky, and Hollywood types, like J.J. Abrams, who created Lost, and Quentin Tarantino, who admits that a certain all-night diner rejected his offer to appear in Reservoir Dogs. Spurlock even travels to São Paulo to take a look at their ban on outdoor ads: no billboards or messages on cabs and buses, rendering the city clean and downright dull for those accustomed to American-style marketing. The film as a whole resembles a full-length version of a Mad Men pitch meeting--but funnier. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sami on 3 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
This film has one of the most interesting concepts I've encountered for a while - a documentary about sponsorship and product placement, all funded by sponsorship and product placement, with the plot centring around the director Morgan Spurlock's attempts to secure the film's sponsorship and product placement. The first question that comes to mind is, how can a director such as Spurlock - who has infamously flirted with anti-corporate controversy in his breakthrough film, Super Size Me [DVD] [2004], a documentary in which he eats nothing but McDonald's food for 30 days - maintain his integrity as a documentary-maker, whilst earning 100% of the film's funding from corporate sponsors?

The idea sounds like it has the potential for complete disaster, but the finished product is nowhere near this. The result is surprisingly adept, handled with versatility and self-deprecation. He strikes a delicate balance between delivering his message and displeasing his sponsors. Whilst hardly a searing critique of mass-media and capitalism in the style of Naomi Klein's No Logo (which isn't surprising given the film's premise), it takes a teasing and self-reflexive glance at product placement. We see Spurlock setting up meetings with potential sponsors, pitching sometimes absurd ideas for product placement (his idea for highlighting the erection-inducing qualities of pomegranate juice is a delight), and as deals are made the products then weave themselves into the film's narrative. The product placements are so obvious and self-conscious that viewers can hardly take them seriously.
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Format: DVD
As the credits roll on this documentary I can't help but feel... unfulfilled. I expected so much more from the film, perhaps this is Spurlock's idea of artistic irony. With all the hype and all the potential I was waiting for the curtain to be yanked back on advertising, it shown bare for the offensive beast that it is. Like with previous documentaries of this genre, you indulge the setup but are really waiting for the one-two punch to come and deliver the knockout. However that's not the story that's being told. It starts as Morgan talks to these sponsors and pitches them his ideas, as one would imagine the smart ones back off because they're not looking to have their image roughed up, and pay for it in the process. Eventually some willing brands do join on but as you're anticipating the movie will progress into something more you slowly realize that's not what's going to happen. Once the backers for the film are secured, the branding process is explained and Morgan proceeds to become sold. Yes there are some points here or there where he talks about the damage advertising is doing, and how we could better get along without it, but that's maybe a total of fifteen minutes of the films entirety.

Perhaps I'm naive to think that he could get all this corporate backing and still beat them to death with the truth, but that's what I've come to expect from a Spurlock production. For him to lull the marks into a false sense of security only to be secretly be fighting "the man" the whole time. I came away with no real revelations of how the advertising companies worked, no great lessons were learned. He kept eluding to all these "inner workings" that he was being privy to, but the audience doesn't truly see any of that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dyspeptic Spirit on 4 Sept. 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Spurlock is a hugely likeable and charismatic chap and I get what he was trying to achieve here but it fails really to live up to expectation. The entertainment value is pretty much zero and what he has to say could have been stretched to five minutes... just.

I can only see his films moving in One Direction from now on.

Geddit?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Theo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 28 Oct. 2013
Format: DVD
This is, without doubt, an entertaining movie. For those who don't know already, it's film about product placement (to use the old terminology) or "brand integration" (as all the cool kids are now calling it). The twist is, this film is itself financed entirely by companies paying for the privilege of being "brand integrated" into it. So in a kind of logical Möbius loop, the documentary follows Spurlock's course as he solicits companies for contributions, with the target goal of raising $1.5 million. In fact, almost all of the film is simply the story of these efforts. The saga is only occasionally and briefly interrupted by short, mini-interviews with activists like Noam Chomsky, artists like Quintin Tarantino, and various less well known marketing types.

Unlike the film Spurlock is most famous for, Supersize Me, this work is for the most part morally neutral. Supersize Me was clear polemic. This film just lays out the facts, allows a few folks like Chomsky a soundbite or two, and in the end lets us form our own judgement.

It is, without doubt, an entertaining Odyssey. But since this is edutainment, the other question we need to ask is "is it informative"? How much will you learn by watching it?

The short answer is... That depends on how much you already know. If terms like "neuromarketing" are new to you, this film will undoubtedly be a revelation. If not, then maybe less so.

But even speaking as someone fairly knowledgeable about such things, I have to say I learned a trick or two. The main thing I personally gained from the film was an understanding of just how tough the negotiations are that go into brand integration.
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