Film Review: Morgan Spurlock Hawks ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold’

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CHICAGO – In a remarkable idea for a film, director Morgan Spurlock (”Supersize Me”) funds his new documentary, “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,” by selling sponsorships for financing. However, the process is redundantly explored, and no new ground is broken. Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Spurlock likes to tell his stories through humor, and there are many funny parts to Greatest Movie, but essentially the thesis of the film can’t stretch to fit its 90 minute time frame. The same point is made over and over again, filled in with talking heads that again, make the same point.

The genesis of the idea is simple. To finance his new documentary, Spurlock will sell sponsorship shares in the film to as many products and companies as are interested. While in the process of financing the film, the nuts and bolts of it will become the documentary. As the plan unfolds, Spurlock is seen working the phones, making presentations to boardrooms and successfully convincing some of the companies to come on board.

At the same time, Spurlock seeks out some commentary from academics, advocates, film directors and entertainers. Famous folks like Ralph Nader, J.J. Abrams, Peter Berg, Noam Chomsky, Brett Ratner and Quentin Tarantino share stories of product placement and consumer woes, and other experts break down the marketing and advertising world through demonstrations of how the ad message infiltrates the system, including the use of “neuro-marketing” (the hooking up of a brain to a machine to determine pleasure reactions to ad images).

Our relationship to how stuff is hawked to us is excessively explored, down to the endgame of Spurlock donning a black suit decorated with the logos of the film’s sponsors. How the medium becomes the message is the lesson here, told through a meta-documentary form.

”The Greatest Story Ever Sold” has a limited release, including Chicago, on April 22th. See local listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Morgan Spurlock, and interviews with Ralph Nader, J.J. Abrams, Peter Berg, Big Boi, Noam Chomsky, Brett Ratner and Quentin Tarantino. Written by Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick, directed by Morgan Spurlock. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”

The Pitch: Morgan Spurlock Throws Down in ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold’
The Pitch: Morgan Spurlock Throws Down in ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold’
Photo credit: Darren Marracino for Sony Pictures Classics

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold”

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