The Greatest Story Ever Sold

If you enjoyed the documentary Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock, then you’ll like his latest DVD, POM Wonderful Presents the Greatest Movie Ever Sold. Since fewer people are watching commercials these days, advertisers have had to get more creative in advertising their products. One of common techniques used is product placement in movies and television.  In this entertaining DVD Spurlock attempts to make a movie about product placement funded solely by companies using product placement in his movie!. It is a humorous, yet informative look at how advertising affects movies and TV without us even being aware of it much of the time. Spurlock takes the viewer through the entire process of making his movie:  the initial steps of trying to get companies as sponsors, consulting lawyers, meeting with corporate executives, creating promotional materials for his movie, etc. Along the way, he interviews a number of different people in the business to get their opinions on how/if movie makers are selling themselves out to advertisers. I found myself chuckling at many different blatant and often ridiculous product placements in the movie .Plus, Spurlock gives a great picture of the contractual obligations movie makers enter into when they sign on for product placement. For instance, Spurlock must now agree to stay in a certain hotel chain, drink only his sponsor’s drink on camera, do an interview on a specific airline, wear sponsors’ clothing, and even take a bath with a pony. Although the viewer gets the feeling Spurlock does not agree with this type of advertising, he remains fairly objective throughout and respectful to those he interviews and with whom he meets.

 

The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest

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Wildest Dream tells the story of George Mallory and his quest to climb Mt. Everest. In the early 1900′s, Mallory took part in three expeditions to attempt to summit the highest mountain in the world. On his third attempt in 1924, Mallory and his climbing partner Sandy Irvine both disappeared, their last known location only a few hundred meters from the summit. In 1999, mountaineer Conrad Anker and his team of climbers discovered the body of Mallory, with his personal effects remaining intact in his pack. The body was located where Mallory appeared to suffer a fall, broke a leg and froze to death. Irvine’s body has never been located. The only item missing from Mallory’s effects is a photograph of his wife, which he promised to leave on the summit of the mountain. Anker’s life becomes entwined with the legend of Mallory as he tries to re-create Mallory’s climb in order to see if it was possible that Mallory could have reached the summit. He and his partner Leo Houlding go to the extreme of removing a ladder installed in the 1970′s at the second step to the summit and free-climbing that portion of the mountain on the route that Mallory would have taken. This DVD alternates between original footage of Mallory’s expedition and following Anker’s harrowing climb up to the summit of Everest.The story is enhanced by readings from letters sent between Mallory and his wife Ruth. Was Mallory the first to summit Everest? The mystery may never be resolved, but this exciting DVD offers many insights into the psyche of mountaineers as well as into man and the legend that is George Mallory.