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Morgan Spurlock: The Greatest Sellout Ever Sold

Lisa Rau |
April 19, 2011 | 5:09 p.m. PDT


The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Sony Pictures Classics)

Selling-out generally refers to those who sacrifice integrity for financial gain, like artists who compromise their image to promote a brand sponsor in their music and films.

But what if that's how you foot the bill for a film about this very issue?

Enter POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

In an über-meta display of self awareness, documentary provocateur Morgan Spurlock takes viewers on a journey from big-brand marketing pitch meetings to tongue-in-cheek promos in the film itself.

He eagerly swipes on Ban deodorant and devours POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice.

Stripping away the air of casualness that surrounds most brand placements in blockbuster movies, Spurlock is blatant about why he wears Merrell shoes or fuels his car from a Sheetz gas station.

Although he's charmingly blasé while taking a bath with a pony for a Mane 'n Tail shampoo commercial.

Spurlock plays multiple roles: investigator, solicitor, spokesperson, guinea pig.

For the latter, he visits a neuroscience researcher who hooks him up to brain sensors while he watches carefully crafted visuals.

The sensors measure the images' effects on the most visceral parts of the human brain: fear, hunger, lust. Spurlock was duly creeped-out by how badly he wanted to devour an ice-cold Coca-Cola after the session.

While brand bombardment and a lack of transparency from marketers seem to irk Spurlock the most, he presents the forward-looking conclusion that audiences deserve more credit.

Viewers of his film can walk out of the theater knowing exactly why they suddenly crave a fresh swig of POM Wonderful 100% real pomegranate juice. And perhaps a wider viewpoint when watching blockbuster films and popular TV shows.

"POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" is now playing in theaters, so take this review as a penniless endorsement to go watch it.

With appearances from the likes of renowned linguist Noam Chomsky, edgy filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and even the plush and powerful Donald Trump, it's got something new around every turn to keep you on your toes.

And if you're lucky, you might walk out with some free pizza coupons, deodorant or socks, courtesy of Merrell, the company behind the greatest shoes ever worn.


Reach Lisa here.

Follow her on Twitter: @LisaRau



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