The Greatest Movie Ever SoldAdvertisement has become such a big part of our everyday life that we have become oblivious to just how often companies are selling us things. In his latest documentary, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, director Morgan Spurlock specifically looks at how advertisers are using movies to sell their products. Spurlock has really mastered the art of making his documentaries both informative and amusing. He offers good insight into the negotiation process that occurs between advertisers and the film industry. While it was eye opening to see many of the conditions companies place on studios when their product is featured in a film, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold really reaches its height when Spurlock is interviewing those who specialize in product placement. The problem with the film is that following Spurlock as he attempts to get advertisers on board with his film, is not as interesting as the moments when he is talking to people about advertising in general. Although entertaining overall, it would have been better had it been a straight film about advertising instead of a film about Spurlock attempting to make a film about advertising. Spurlock being front and center worked well for Super Size Me, but a little less Spurlock would have worked better for this film.
In TimeThe career of Andrew Niccol can best be summed up as one filled with fascinating concepts, but misguide execution. Of his directorial efforts, which include S1m0ne and The Lord of War, only Gattaca worked well from beginning to end. It was good, but not a film I have ever felt the need to revisit. The frustrating thing about In Time is that it has all the makings of a great science fiction film, but continually gets tripped up by its own logic. The idea of time as currency, especially as an allegory to the modern day class structure is brilliant, but the film never seems to figure out how to keep the story moving forward without breaking all the rules it establishes. There is a point, just past the halfway mark, where Will (Justin Timberlake) and Sylvia (Amanada Seyfried) are beginning to embrace their Robin Hood-esque Bonnie and Clyde lifestyle and their own personal time no longer has any value from a plot standpoint. One would assume if they have stolen so much time they should give themselves enough to achieve, or at least attempt to achieve, their goal. However Niccol’s tries to reintroduce the fact that time is running out in order to create tension which is no longer there. The inclusion of Fortis (Alex Pettyfer), the mobster boss of the Minutemen, seemed rather pointless as he does not really impact the plot. It felt like Niccol needed a villain but was not sure who in fact the real enemy is. If anything, Forist takes away much needed screen time between Will and Timekeeper cop Raymond (Cillian Murphy). Their dynamics, which is emphasizes the battle between blindly maintain the status quo and trying to make change, is actually the most interesting aspect to In Time. Unfortunately, Niccol tries to throw too many unnecessary ingredients, such as Fortis and silly plot turn, into the pot and ultimately ends up destroying what could have been a great watch.