DVD Review: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold [M15]

Dir: Morgan Spurlock

The Documentary:
The entire premise for this film is to make a documentary about branding, advertising and product placement in film and fund said film by those very means. It is a strange concept and one that could work if done correctly. I don’t think Spurlock really reached the pull potential here, at the end of the film what possible message has he conveyed? Did we learn anything new? Well firstly there doesn’t seem to be a message other than yes branding, advertising and product placement happens all the time, and we already knew this. There is a feeling of how much is too much, but it isn’t really a message that gets across too well. In fact it wasn’t until I got to meet and talk to Morgan that we discussed this. He was very open to my issues with the film and he took those on board and responded to me with what he wanted to achieved and he was interested to hear my thoughts as well. He is a lovely guy, he comes off as egotistical in the film but in person he is honestly anything but. But I can only judge him on the merits of what I saw in the film unfortunately.

Spurlock is a charismatic person, he is a great speaker, witty at times and easy on the eyes for the most part. It is never made clear what his ultimate goal for this film is in regards to the subject matter. Instead I personally was left feeling like this was a way for him to get his face and his own product out there, and hiding that agenda by making this film. Advertising is everywhere, you’ll even find it on this site. We live in a world where the sky is the limit, there is so much more out there and we want to stand out from the crowd. It is no wonder that there is so much money put into it, and things do get funded from advertising, branding and product placing. It is really something beneficial to both parties, and when done right it can be tasteful.

No one wants their brand misrepresented and it is no surprise that Spurlock had trouble finding an in with getting the brands to be shown in the film. Super Size Me showed McDonald’s in the worst possible way and his stunt in that film was awfully stupid on his part for his health and misrepresenting a lot of issues. No one wants that for their company, and it was actually refreshing to see that the companies and brands were for the most part treated with respect and they weren’t shown in a bad light. I am sure there would have been some crazy clauses in their contracts with Spurlock but could you blame them? One of the nicer things done was to help give money back to a school by making a deal with them, they were struggling and seeing how much it meant to them to get a helping hand was good. In maybe my favourite part of the film we went to a place that had banned outside advertisements, and in turn the city looked clean. It was quite a sight to see, and something very rare when all we usually see are ads at every turn. We’ve become so accustomed to them, we almost don’t notice it anymore. The contrast there was very eye opening, but the scenes there didn’t last long and so much more could have been done.

In the end the film didn’t break any new ground, we didn’t really learn anything. Morgan Spurlock gets his name out even more for this huge stunt and in some way I think he opens our eyes to how much advertising is really out there. But there is nothing to go on with how we can bring change. He is in almost every frame of this film, we hear his voice telling us things through-out, he was the biggest product being sold. In a way I could say smart move, you’re getting you’re name out some more as it has been a few years since your break out hit. This isn’t a bad film, it isn’t an amazing film, it is funny and entertaining to be sure, but I just think it could have had more meat on it.

The Australian DVD 
Audio/Video: The video is a 1:85.1 widescreen presentation, the quality is top notch and the transfer is excellent. Audio is presented with Dolby Digital 5.1 the track is fantastic, crystal clear and nicely done.

Extras:
* Australian exclusive interview with director Morgan Spurlock
* Morgan Spurlock and Andrew Hansen (From ABC’s THE CHASER) discuss the film at MIFF 2011
* Trailer

The exclusive interview is a great watch as Morgan opens up about a lot of things and this definitely helps with feelings after you’ve watched the film. Morgan with Andrew from MIFF is an event I attended and you can actually see the back of my head throughout the feature as I was right at the front. I really enjoyed attending the event, I got a lot out of it and my opinion on Morgan the person certainly changed. He is very honest and upfront and does not hold back, this is a must watch after the film.

Overall Rating

Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.

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