I don’t know that Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Super Size Me’ was life-changing for me. It’s certainly eye-opening to see what happens if a person eats only at McDonald’s day after day, but, you know, most people don’t do that. And I know it took a while to get his health back after endangering himself in the name of filmmaking.
But we — as in my two kids, hubby and I — still eat at Burger King now and then, mainly because it’s right on the way home from town, it’s cheap, and if you order right, you can even get fairly healthy food there. The Tender Grill Garden Salad isn’t bad, though I admit I’ll often get the Spicy Chick’n Crisp sandwich for a buck off the value menu.
I also confess that after decades of avoiding McDonald’s, it’s now become a regular stop for me. No, I’m not quaffing down Big Macs left and right, but I love their strawberry-banana smoothies. I’ve avoided looking at the nutritional value — lest I’m forced to put a halt to my new habit — but I just checked, and it’s really not too bad: 210 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and 70% RDA of Vitamin C, among other things. Ok, it’s staying on my list of fast foods that aren’t horribly unhealthy.
So all of this brings me to ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold,’ Spurlock’s new film about product placement, marketing and advertising in movies. Or TV shows, for that matter. Who hasn’t been annoyed when ‘[amazon_link id=”B003L77G2Y” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Fringe[/amazon_link]’ gives us a close-up shot of a Sprint smartphone, the ‘American Idol’ judges drink from Coke cups, or all the new appliances in ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ are from Sears. They make sure we know it when the camera zooms in for a close-up during the “after” video.
Spurlock decided to take it a step further and make a movie that was fully financed through product placement. The tagline is “He’s not selling out, he’s buying in,” and you have to give him credit for running at top speed towards the product placement model. Most filmmakers try to hide it or sneak it in. Not Spurlock. It’s right out there for all to see. Sort of like that movie poster at the top of this story.
I haven’t seen ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold‘ yet, but I’m hoping it’s one of the selections at the Traverse City Film Festival in a few weeks. The movie came out in limited release on April 22, 2011, and it’s rated PG-13 for some language and sexual material.
Reviews of ‘The Greatest Movie Ever Sold’:
USA Today, Claudia Puig: “Spurlock comes off like a new and improved Everyman, familiar but smarter and funnier than the average Joe.”
Wall Street Journal, Joe Morgenstern: “Morgan Spurlock has come up with a terrific idea — a movie about product placements that depends completely on product placements for its financing.”
Entertainment Weekly, Lisa Schwarzbaum: “Always the smooth showman, Spurlock avoids answering his own question: Is he selling out or buying in?”
Austin Chronicle, Marjorie Baumgarten: “Worth imbibing, if for no reason other than the bellyache it generates.”
Christian Science Monitor, Peter Rainer: “Any highfalutin interpretations of his new film only serve to camouflage what is, in essence, a scam about a scam.”
This post is part of the Patchwork Living Blogging Bee Network. Check out these blogs on frugal/sustainable living: