Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
seen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY
5.10.11

First of all, I should say that POM is expensive as hell. Yes, I actually went out and bought a bottle of POM after watching POM Wonderful Presents The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, just so I could fully experience this movie the way Morgan Spurlock intended (presumably). Seeing him chugging this stuff, it looked like it couldn't have been more than 12-16 ounces, so I figured it wouldn't be more than a couple of bucks. Wrong. $4.49 for a 16-ounce bottle at my local Key Food supermarket. So the price alone guarantees that I will never drink this stuff on a regular basis. Plus it didn't even have Spurlock's face on it.

I remember seeing ads for POM in the subway. Didn't think too much more of it than most of the other ads I see in the subway all the time. Pomegranates sounded like something out of the Bible, like something Adam and Eve ate in the Garden of Eden maybe. Dictionary.com defines it as "a chambered, many-seeded, globose fruit." Maybe that explains the bottle shape. It tastes alright; sweeter than I expected.


Living in New York, one can't help but be inundated with ads everywhere you look. I remember when the subways went from having a bunch of different ads on both sides of each car to one or two ads dominating the entire car. At first it was overwhelming, and a bit intimidating, as if they want you to buy this one product so badly they're willing to pummel you with ads everywhere you look within the subway car. If it's a creative ad, something that's funny, it's not so bad, but of course the downside is that once you've seen the entire ad, there's nothing else to look at but the other passengers (which is why I always carry a book with me). Now it seems like every square inch of the subway cars and stations are for sale - and given the fact that the city transit system is broke, it's hardly surprising.


Movie ads get me excited, as you might imagine. I missed seeing them when I lived in Columbus. Who can forget the
Godzilla ads from 1998: taking up huge billboards and entire sides of buildings, with legends such as "His foot is bigger than this sign," or something like that. And I have to admit, they got me so excited for the movie I went to a Tuesday night preview (it was due to officially open on a Wednesday). After enduring the suckitude of the movie, I felt like a total chump for falling for the hype.

Greatest Movie
, like Spurlock's previous film Super Size Me, ultimately felt like another excuse for Spurlock to pull one of his wacky stunts, but because h
e comes across as so likeable and down to earth, you're willing to follow along. I wish the focus of his movie had been on Sao Paolo, the city without outdoor advertising. He did spend a good amount of time on that, though.


Another thing he touched upon was how everyday people sell themselves as a brand, to a certain degree, to get what they want. Think of personals ads, or resumes, or portfolios. What are they but ad campaigns meant to sell the other person on you? Of course, most of us don't have to see these things everywhere we go. I'm reminded of the old Judy Holliday movie
It Should Happen to You, where her character tries to sell herself as a brand. In fact, that movie and this would make for an interesting double bill, to see how much - and how little - advertising has changed in fifty years.

Any thoughts on modern advertising?

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