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

August 23, 2011

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold – A Sony Pictures’ Release

http://www.sonyclassics.com/pomwonderfulpresents

DVD Release Date: August 23rd, 2011

Rated PG for language may offend, not recommended for young children

Running time: 87 minutes

Morgan Spurlock (dir.)

Morgan Spurlock (writer)

Jeremy Chilnick (writer)

Jon Spurney (music)

Morgan Spurlock as Himself

Our reviews below:

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POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold DVD Review By John C.

***1/2 (out of 4)

Presented by POM Wonderful, Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was funded entirely by product placement and advertising.  This is also the basis of the documentary, as we watch him try to secure enough money to get the movie off the ground.  The loopy premise may not sound like the workings of the “docbuster” he set out to make, but his trips to corporate offices and pitches for the project provide solid and thought-provoking entertainment.

Although some have argued that a greater truth is never reached, the fact that Spurlock even got the film made proves his point brilliantly.  Chosen as the opening night selection for Toronto’s recent Hot Docs Film Festival, this is one of those rare documentaries that plays well as pop entertainment.  POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a solidly entertaining film, as well as a largely fascinating and equally hilarious look at the inside world of advertising and moviemaking.  And we can all drink a bottle of bittersweet 100% pomegranate juice to that.

The Blu-ray includes audio commentary with Spurlock, deleted scenes, commercials as well as a ‘behind the scenes’ featurette.

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POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold DVD Review by Erin V.  

*** (out of 4)

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is director Morgan Spurlock’s documentary look at the crazy world of advertising.  And what’s the best way to do that?  By filming the journey of trying to get that very documentary sponsored by advertisers.  The fact that this film got made and was seen, tells us all something in itself, doesn’t it?

We are bombarded by it day in day out ad nauseum, but you know what?  For good or for bad, the truth is that advertising works – I tried POM Wonderful, just because of seeing it as the title sponsor to this movie.  Now, did this movie reach ‘docbuster’ status because of its product placement?  No – its box office returns did not even come close to the blockbusters it tried to emulate, despite its advertising.

Still, now that it’s on DVD, I think this is one that should be watched by all those studying the world of advertising, and the rest of us as well.  The finished product of this film makes interesting points while being witty and letting us ultimately make our own decisions on how much is too much.  Thanks for reading ‘The Greatest Review Ever Written’!

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POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold DVD Review By Nicole

***1/2 (out of 4)

How much advertising is there actually in movies?  More than you would think, according to documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock as he sets off on a hilarious journey to find sponsors for his film on advertising.  He discovers that advertisers are very protective of their brands, to the point of censoring screenplays if they depict a brand in a bad light.  Some ad agencies even consult psychologists and neuroscientists on how to best sell a product.  Spurlock even gets an MRI “photo shoot” of his brain on commercials.

It seems like everywhere, including grade schools, are falling into the ad trap.  Compare that with the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the first city in the world to ban all outdoor advertising.  No one misses the cluttered look of billboards and signs, of which are described as visual pollution.  In the end, Spurlock points out that today only the natural world is truly free of advertising.

I found it interesting to see a film that, while so critical of the marketing world, still relies on advertising in order to run.  POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a funny and entertaining documentary that everyone, including those interested in marketing, should see.

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POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold DVD Review By Maureen

***1/2 (out of 4)

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a thoroughly entertaining tongue-in-cheek documentary all about and totally sponsored by obvious and not so obvious product placement in the film industry.

The film follows director Morgan Spurlock as he shamelessly visits corporations and film industry PR types as he goes around securing funding for the entire film.  Spurlock manages to convince juice maker POM Wonderful to be the main sponsor with other organizations and products such as Hyatt hotels, Blue Sky airlines, Sheetz gas & restaurants, Mini cars, Ban deoderant, Merrell shoes and others sponsoring to various degrees.  Of course each of these sponsorships comes with conditions so Spurlock has to wrestle with the artistic dilemma, does he become an all-out sell-out and relinquish all control or does he maintain artistic license and figure out how to incorporate all these products in his film in a way that works for him.

The truth is, it all works out, mainly because Spurlock is so darn funny and clearly sees the irony in all of this.  What we the viewers get is an entertaining look at the business side of filmmaking and an eye-opening look at how badly corporations and advertisers want our eyeballs and brains.  If you have any interest in the business side of filmmaking or marketing in general, this documentary is a must-see.  Grab yourself one of those funny shaped POM Wonderful juice bottles, sit back and get sold on the fun.

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POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold DVD Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

POM Wonderful®Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is the latest documentary by Morgan Spurlock, covering branding, advertising and product placement in films by applying them, with typical Spurlock irony, to his own film’s budget of $1.5 million. He first seeks legal advice and consults market research firms using MRI and psychological tests to determine his own personal brand profile (mindful/playful) and suggested sponsors compatible with it. He also meets with agents, advertising executives, film directors and product placers, as well as consumer advocate Ralph Nader and academics such as Noam Chomsky for a balanced view of the subject. The pros and cons of sponsored TV programs in cash-strapped classrooms and other promotions in schools are also addressed in a visit to a Florida school district.

The bulk of the film follows Spurlock as he pitches the project to prospective sponsors for fees of $25000 up to a million dollars (from Pom) for above the title naming rights and a commercial spot within the film. Other shamelessly plugged firms include Mini [cars], JetBlue [airline], Hyatt [hotels], Sheetz [restaurant/gas bar chain], and Merrell [shoes]. Mane & Tail [human/horse shampoo] is a sentimental favourite.

Morgan Spurlock has a breezy style that keeps the tone light as he covers a lot of ground that could be dreadfully dull in different hands. I think most people will agree that the informative value of The Greatest Movie Ever Sold justifies its commercial tie-ins, or in the words of the film is more of a buy-in than a sellout.

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Consensus: A documentary on product placement and advertising that was funded entirely by corporate sponsors, director Morgan Spurlock’s POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold offers a thought-provoking and often hilarious look at the inside world of filmmaking and marketing.  ***1/4 (Out of 4)

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