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The Greatest Movie Ever SoldI 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.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

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:

Attainable Sustainable * Frugal Kiwi

1 COMMENT

  1. Sheetz, one of my favorite road trip convience stores, has a big part in this movie, apparently (yes, i have a favorite convenience store – it’s big in western PA). So yeah, I’ll definitely be watching this!

  2. He’s found a groove and has a way, at least in Super Size me, of making the concept interesting and entertaining, although I wonder if with this new flick it might bring the whole concept of product placement so over the top we conciously start to really really notice it everywhere. And once that happens, well, then doesn’t the opportunity cost go way down? This might be exactly what Spurlock is hoping to convey.

  3. This is very timely for me — I just watched SUPERSIZE ME last night. I have to confess, as much as I love and adore you, I can’t understand how anyone could eat at MacD’s after watching that movie. Then again, I’ve never been one to eat fast food. It just makes me feel so sick. On the subject of those shakes, they contain Red Dye No 40 in them (or one of the red dyes anyway). But ONLY in America. Because of pressure in Europe, MacD’s serves shakes with JUST strawberries in Europe but refuses to take the known-to-be-harmful ingredients out of the American shakes. A company that would do that is not one that I would ever want to support.

    SUPERSIZE ME was a very clever way to SHOW a huge problem. It sounds like this movie will be equally as clever. I can’t wait to watch it.

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