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Tag Archives: J. J. Abrams

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: A documentary about the end-to-end process of product placement (co-promotions) in films; entirely funded from and advertised through said co-promotion. It’s an interesting topic for documentary, particularly for cineastes. The biggest pitfall is that this ends up (rightly so) having too much focus on promoting the brands that paid to be featured, and not enough real-world examples from directors, producers, writers or industry stories, scenes and techniques that would help the viewer spot when they’re being advertised too. There are a few moments where Spurlock brings you behind the scenes to see sponsors influence the film, and his creative process. There’s also a load of random agencies, lawyers, friends and ‘moguls’ getting free publicity/exposure too – which surely goes against the central idea? Bottom line; I wish the film had been bigger in scope and had attracted larger – more serious – sponsors, just to see the full wrath of contracts, obligations and the influence of cash. It’s a very interesting premise, with a couple of eye openers, but the potential’s not maximised enough to keep you interested for the full 90 minutes.

Score: 5.5/10

Cloverfield: a digital tape retrieved in Manhattan after a monster attack, played back in it’s entirety; cue mish-mash of relevant footage and soppy backstory. Because it’s all in first-person it throws you right into the action. Only fault I had was that it’s pretty hard work on the eyes, given that the camera’s almost always shaking but the immense 5.1 audio track makes up for this, flexing all main speakers and giving the bass a good workout. The film’s also good at playing on all the big fears: darkness, silence, gore, unknown creatures, terrorism, viruses etc. The special effects – both NY in tatters and the monster itself – are also great, and believable enough in most parts. The performances are alright despite the unknown cast – shaky cam may have masked some of the guff! Overall, this exceeded my expectations, and it could easily compete for the title of ‘best monster movie’ ever. Solid creature feature!

Score: 8/10