POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 31, 2011
Another exhibition for Morgan Spurlock to shock and awe, this film does an impressive job of showing the groveling of getting sponsors for big budget blockbusters, and the reach of advertising within the film and television medium. The first section of the film is slow and meandering as it describes the entire plot to the rest of the film, which doesn't sound all too exciting either. His meetings with companies, relentless phone calls, and profiteering off of profiteering wasn't all too new or riveting. Spurlock is entertaining when it comes to fleshing out his ideas for his films and television shows,. Still, there is this smugness that comes off him in waves, and really he's the face of the documentary, though it just as easily could have been solely about the subject matter. The use of product placement and tie-ins, footage from commercials and interviews, and Spurlock selling himself while questioning his own motives was insightful and gave us the flawed perspective of the real artist minds behind the view of product placement and vertical integration within films. The best aspects of the film were when Spurlock directly interviews directors, bands, and shows just how far the outreach of commericalization has gotten to the masses in every kind of media. The humor in it was often underplayed compared to the trailer, but works well with Spurlock. It's his ease that sells the film, his huge hand in the direction and production evident from his ideas for commercials within the film, his performance a true salesman in action. Really it made me think about how often dialogue is forced and situations are faked for money. It also got me to see what POM was, and now I want to try it ever so badly.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2012
Ralph Nader: You can satirize and spoof yourself out of your objective. Out of this film may come a transformed, commercialized, corporatized Morgan Spurlock. And you'll never be able to shake that identity. That's your peril. That's your challenge.
Super Reviewer
November 13, 2011
Very interesting if you're interested in the subject, but it's more "calls attention to the issue" than "explores it in depth"
Super Reviewer
October 21, 2011
Morgan Spurlock: Where should I be able to go; where I don't see any bit of advertising?
Ralph Nader: To sleep.

"He's not selling out, he's buying in."

I'm a big fan of Morgan Spurlock. I have loved everything I've seen from him; from Super Size Me to his show 30 Days. He always has interesting ideas, which combined with his presence and personality, always make for a fun experience. POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold may be his most interesting and brilliant ideas. I love it. A movie about advertising and product placement, that is completely funded by advertising and product. 

There are a shit load of products used in the film. It uses commercials and clips from movies to show how product placement is done. Spurlock goes around presenting his ideas to different companies and when they say they're in; he makes a point to advertise their products. He goes as far as to put some commercials for the products in the film. Everything works and entertains. He shows the ins and outs of product placement incredibly well. 

Spurlock talks to filmmakers about their experiences with big companies. He speaks with musicians about their songs being used in advertisements. He gets Ok Go to create a song for the film. There's nothing he really leaves untouched. He gets an air line, a drink, a shampoo, a shoe company, a clothing company and a deodorant; all of which are advertised throughout the movie in cool little ways. Every piece of information the film gives is really interesting. 

He goes through the whole process from pitching the idea, to getting commercial spots on education television. He gets famous poster creators to design his posters. It's all just spot on.

And POM, I must say; your choice to back the film was a good one because now, I just really want to try POM.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2011
I've got to say, this is definitely the most interesting and entertaining Morgan Spurlock documentary that I've seen. A documentary about the making of a documentary about advertising and completely funded by advertising. It's not nearly as confusing as it sounds, which you'll see if you watch it. Which you should definitely do, if you're in the mood for an amusing doc.
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2011
Spurlock continues being a stunt-documentarian. He takes an important issue and boils it down to something easy to comprehend and entertaining. He is far more concerned with holding the audiences attention than educating or asking them to think. It's a one joke movie, but an entertaining one. Like always he touches on genuinely fascinating ideas but doesn't explore them. I was very interested in the city with no advertising, but the section was too short. The conversations with filmmakers are rather interesting, as are their stories, but again Spurlock seems scared to really offend anyone. It was funny to see companies more interested in slamming the competition than making something funny and informative. A good easy watch, but shouldn't be watched for educational purposes.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2011
A very clever documentary with the always entertaining Morgan Spurlock. The reality of brands constantly selling you something where ever you go is quite shocking. Having a documentary about advertising completely paid for by advertising is perhaps genius. I believe that Spurlock's creative integrity was not in fact ruined by the advertising, but well kept by the approach and insight he provides.
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2011
Clever concept, and a very entertaining documentary on the unabashed nature of product placement. Morgan Spurlock has always had a flair for invoking a lot of humor in his films, and I think that's what mainly separates him from the dull, gray and somber mass of lesser documentaries. Of course I appreciate the "serious" ones too, but when I want something that is a little more cheerful and fun, then Spurlock is the guy to go to. Among many things, it also includes some interesting (albeit very short) interviews with film-makers J.J Abrams, Quentin Tarantino, Peter Berg and Brett Ratner - the latter of whom actually admits that "the game now is how cheap you can make a movie and how much profit can be made". Coming from a hack director like himself though, I can't say I was very surprised. Anyhow, if you enjoyed Spurlock's other movies, then I dare promise that this holds a lot of fun for you as well. It's witty, it's zingy and strikes an essential blow to one of modern society's greatest annoyances. Score one to Morgan Spurlock!
Super Reviewer
August 21, 2011
Clever idea, interesting enough and Morgan Spurlock is always personable, but was a little disappointed in this as I expected something a little more. I guess because Supersize Me was a rare movie which actually did change my life (I have not bought fast food since I saw it!). This was okay, but nothing life changing, or even that I think I will remember a month from now. Still, Supersize Me was a hard one to beat, so perhaps being a little harsh! Will still be interested to see his next one.
Super Reviewer
August 18, 2011
"He's not selling out, he's buying in."

A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement that is financed and made possible by brands, advertising and product placement.

Having taken on the McDonald's diet in "Super Size Me", Morgan Spurlock now turns to advertising. "The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" is a look at product placement, completely funded by product placements. Much of the documentary features Spurlock asking people about how product placement works, as well as inquiring about the ethics of it. The big surprise to me is just how prevalent product placement is (you're going to be hard-pressed to find a Hollywood movie that doesn't feature it).

Since a lot of the documentary features talking heads -- among them Noam Chomsky and Quentin Tarantino -- it's a little repetitive at times, but it's mostly a good look at the extent to which commercialism saturates our lives. And very funny every step of the way! And remember: always drink POM!
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2011
Morgan Spurlock is probably my favorite documentary director. "Super Size Me" and his old FX show "30 Days" were both fantastic. So when I found out he made a new movie about product placement and advertising I knew I had to check it out. Comparing this to his other previous work isn't really fair, but he has done a lot better. He does a great job at showing how product placement works, how to get products in a movie, and how people are constantly being advertised to. But I think the concept of this movie is a lot better than the execution. It's honestly just not that entertaining. "Super Size Me" is very entertaining because you see him doing nothing but eating McDonalds for 30 days, and what effect it has. Here, you just see him in meetings trying to get advertisers and talking to executives about advertising. Some parts are funny(his built in commercials are great), but overall it's a one watch type of movie. I still think Spurlock is great at what he does, and he is the perfect host/director for documentaries, but I just think he has and will do better in the future.
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2011
Morgan Spurlock takes on commercial advertising and product placement in The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, a brilliant and hilarious documentary that's incredibly powerful. The film takes the audience on a journey with Spurlock as he attempts to get corporate sponsorship to fund his documentary about product placement and advertising in films. It also shows the effect that receiving sponsorship has on Spurlock, and how it alters the film's development. Additionally, a number of industry experts and filmmakers are interviewed about the effects that corporate advertising has had on the film industry. Entertaining and compelling, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is full of clever satire, humor, and an important message.
Super Reviewer
½ May 25, 2013
Stop me if you've heard this one before:

There is marketing and product placement in movies!

(Okay, you're right. I probably wouldn't be so glib if the inside of the TARDIS resembled the outside of a racing car.)

(And hey, I like trailers because I can get a sense of a movie's visual style that a review may not be able to convey.)

At least, it seems news to Morgan Spurlock, somehow unaware that the practice of product placement goes back as far as the early days of radio. He also thinks that because of how ubiquitous this may seem in movies these days, nobody who makes them currently has any artistic integrity at all, forgetting iconic filmmakers like David Fincher and John Sayles.(What I think Spurlock is getting at is the state of Hollywood, therefore accidentally making a great case for independent movies.) So, if nobody else has any, then it is apparently quite okay for him, in the name of transparency to show how marketing influences movies(ignoring the fact that anybody with something to protect will act differently when they know the camera is running), to prostitute himself to raise funds for this documentary(Jimmy Kimmel may be joking but I am not), even shaking the hand of Donald Trump, while overriding the warnings of those older and wiser than him.

While not as half as smart as he thinks he is, Spurlock is at least a genial host. Still, that does not, with the exception of the interlude in Sao Paolo where they have banned billboards, excuse his not offering any alternatives, as he does not have anything to say that Bill Hicks already did two decades previously with much more anger and humor. In the future, it will be interesting to see how effective Kickstarter will be at funding movies, whose emergence has also dated this documentary.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2011
Whatever your thoughts on Spurlock, you have to admit he's a great pitchman. With "Super-size Me" he practically invented the high-concept documentary and commercialised the docu genre just as much as the Hollywood machine he rails against here has with mainstream fare. Every one of his films can be summed up in one sentence which is exactly what a studio exec wants to hear from a film-maker. So, it's no surprise that he could pull off the concept of funding an entire movie purely by product placement. What is surprising is how many companies refused to participate; don't they know there's no such thing as bad publicity?
In a perfect world artists could rely on rich benefactors whose only interest lay in seeing the artists true vision rendered, no matter what the cost. The real world just doesn't work that way, nor has it ever. The originators of product placement were probably the Catholic Church. Without the need to sell their product the public would never have heard Mozart or seen the works of Michaelangelo. Whether Mozart or Michaelangelo believed in the product is up for debate. What's undeniable is that they wouldn't have found an audience without the Church. Maybe they sacrificed their integrity but do we care now? We can enjoy their work thanks to their "selling-out".
So is product placement killing cinema? I can't speak for everyone but I can't think of an example of product placement ruining a movie for me. Quite the opposite in fact. Ever seen a product that's been invented purely for the movie? That instantly takes you out of the film because it automatically reminds you that what you're seeing isn't real. It's like when a phone number starts with 555, it would be much less distracting to just use a real number.
This movie suffers from being a victim of it's own concept. Because he relies on product placement to make the movie Spurlock has to hold back from mocking it. I'm sure a witty biting satire could be made on this subject but this isn't it.
If anyone wishes to sponsor this review contact me and we'll work something out.
Super Reviewer
½ May 16, 2011
Here comes Morgan Spurlock at you again: all happy and kind of in your face, but not in a Michael Moore way. He's the kinder, gentler documentarian - he's not-quite-happy as heck and he's not gonna take it anymore. Your enjoyment here will depend completely on your enjoyment of him; I like 'im, but I know he annoys some folks. He's dealing with product placement in this film, and his tactic is fascinating and fun: use product placement to fund a movie about product placement. It's meta and goofy and allows him to be front and center, which is exactly where he likes to be. Will you learn a lot about the topic? Well, no... It's not INSIDE JOB... But it's diverting and informative and good with a tub of popcorn.
Super Reviewer
April 18, 2011
FULL DISCLOSURE: This review has been brought to you by Glenn Gaylord, Inc.

In the tradition of Michael Moore and Nick Broomfield, Morgan Spurlock inserts himself center stage into his own documentaries, virtually making them more comedy films than objective real-life studies. As such, this is a thrillingly entertaining, hilarious meta-movie in which we're sold everything from pomegranate juice to Mini-Coopers to luxury hotels, while at the same time being pummeled by the Morgan Spurlock "brand" as well.

While not the searing indictment of how product placement has taken over our lives, the film still packs a punch. Completely financed by the advertisers we see over and over again, Spurlock wants us to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all while questioning whether or not it's a sell-out. This is some creative, exhilarating, movie-making here. The pace is lightning fast throughout as we trace Spurlock's attempt to secure financing for the film and honor those product placement contracts.

There were two moments in the film, however, that really hit home and gave it that little bit of emotional heft. When Spurlock visits Sao Paulo, which enacted a "no outdoor advertising" rule in the city, I was amazed at how simple and serene the city looked without all that "noise pollution". Later, he visits a high school where he asked the students how they felt about advertisements even within their daily news updates. One young teen said, "High school is supposed to tell us how to think, not what to think". It gave me some hope for a generation raised on corporate high fructose b.s.

Spurlock is such a genial host through this potential minefield, that you end up not resenting his advertisers as much as you would on any given episode of [INSERT ANY TELEVISION SHOW HERE - but especially THE AMAZING RACE, you FORD FOCUS whores!]. These advertisers come across as shrewd, down-to-earth business people who are proud of their products. God help us all!
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2014
I think I am one of the few who didn't see Spurlock's film on McDonalds. The concept is interesting but the execution seems to be marred by the product placement which serves as the central premise of the film. A better approach would have been an arm's length discussion of this issue.
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2011
It didn't leave me with much new knowledge (the big message is that advertisements are everywhere in society), but The Greatest Movie Ever Sold has enough of Morgan Spurlock's humor and charm to make it an entertaining watch.
Super Reviewer
½ May 2, 2012
Morgan Spurlock has done some very insightful, informative, and entertaining documentaries. This isn't one of them. It's far to concerned with being gimmicky than having actual critical analysis of product placement. It's more content with a very surface level, almost cursory, examination of product placement. It just isn't focused with a coherent theme, it's all over the place, which in some respects may be part of the point, but ultimately keeps the film from being interesting, and therefore diminishes its entertainment value. Seeing the reactions of corporate executives works for a couple scenes, but what about the lasting effects on the youth, culture, etc. An interview with Ralph Nadar simply isn't enough; where was the trademark all-in Spurlock investigation style?

2.5/5 Stars
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2011
For Spurlock, it's surprisingly lightweight and subtle, but it's nice to see him flex his filmmaking muscles without getting overly opinionated.
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