Something always felt a bit out of place for me in Martin Scorsese’s brilliant “The King of Comedy”, just released on Blu-ray for the first time. I couldn’t put my finger on it but chalked it up to it being thematically ahead of its time in its investigation of the cult of personality that defines modern entertainment.
Blu-Ray Review: ‘POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold’
CHICAGO – On the menu screen for “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” director Morgan Spurlock promises that the movie you’re about to watch will “impregnate your brain with awesome.” That’s quite a promise and the movie doesn’t exactly live up to it. Once again, it’s a decent documentary made by a very-smart man that still has frustrating flaws — like all of Spurlock’s work.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Morgan Spurlock is incredibly entertaining and incredibly smart. I’ve met the man. He’s clever and quick on his feet. But I’m still not yet convinced that he’s a great filmmaker. His short-lived TV series, “30 Days,” actually features the best work he’s done to date because it distills his ideas down to a more-manageable form. The fact is that the length of a feature-length film seems to always be working against him, never more so than with this feature that would have worked great at 45-50 minutes but feels stretched thin at 87.
The idea of “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” is a clever, simple one — pull back the curtain on product placement in entertainment by making a film funded entirely by corporations. So, between segments about how much power corporations are taking over creative entities, Spurlock goes to board rooms and tries to sell his film. He is often turned away but a number of name brands — Ban, Hyatt, JetBlue, Merrell, of course, POM Wonderful — recognize that this is good publicity and play along.
POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 23rd, 2011
Photo credit: Sony
The key filmmaking question with “POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” is where to go after the first half hour, at which point Morgan has gotten all of his sponsors. There are bits about the contracts (he’s not allowed to disparage the entire country of Germany), some more commentary about placement, and even full-blown commercials for the companies that opened their wallets. But the fact is that “PWPTGMES” wanders a bit after its opening act. And kind of limps to its finale. How do you end a movie about something growing every year? Ultimately, this is far from an eye-opener (who doesn’t know about product placement?) and isn’t enough of a story to maintain a running time. It would have made a GREAT TV special. It made an OK movie.
o At The Sundance Film Festival
o Shooting For Perfection: Hyatt & JetBlue Behind-the-Scenes
o Over 15 Minutes Of Additional Footage
o Deleted Scenes and Commercials
o Workin’ Nine to Five (AM): Pom Behind The Scenes Commentary with Director Morgan Spurlock, Producer Jeremy Chilnick, Cinematographer Daniel Marracino & Editor Thomas M. Vogt
o BD Live Enabled