Observe and Then Observe Some More

Fact: Knocked Up’s main poster was a big close-up of Rogen’s head. That movie earned over $148 million dollars domestically.

Fact: Pineapple Express had a poster that was a big close-up of Rogen’s head, but also had several other equally important posters including many featuring James Franco. That movie earned over $87 million dollars domestically.

Fact: Observe and Report already has TWO posters with big close-ups of Rogen’s head. That movie will earn a gazillion dollars domestic.

It’s just science, you can’t argue with it.

(Via IMPAwards)

Higher Still

Over the years I’ve become sort of a Pixar fanboy, so you should take it with a grain of salt when I say that these characters are adorable, especially the old guy. So grouchy.

These two posters don’t show us much more than we have already seen, altough the dog is new, which seems to confirm my impressions of where this campaign was going. I actually like that they are keeping most of the film from us. I like finding out about things in the cinema. It’s fun.

I have to say though, these pale when compared to what we saw for Wall-E and are not among the most inspired posters for a Pixar film. And yet, even the least inspired poster for a Pixar film is very good. Sure pays to have great source material.

(Via SlashFilm, AICN, ComingSoon and IMPAwards)

Inglorious Posters

So, this film is actually coming out? This year even? After all this time? I can hardly believe it. And yet, we have posters, so it must be true.

And what do the posters tell us about the movie? Mostly that it will be bloody. Very bloody. Very, very bloody. So bloody in fact that I’m wondering if Quentin is quite over his grindhouse obsession.

The posters also sort of make a reference to “spaghetti westerns” with the tagline. Which jibes with Quentin’s past statements about the nature of the film.

As for the posters taken by themselves, they are way too clean and sharp for my tastes. I think it makes them look uncomfortably similar to posters for some modern slicked out and dull horror remake.

Sometimes a little dirt or a little grain makes all the difference between something soulless and something that feels real and works like a punch to the stomach. There is no need to go for full blown grindhouse cheapo, of course, just to add a little bit of imperfection.

And yet, despite that problem I still kind of like them. The touch of having the title scribbled on the third poster is very nice, for example. And there are several other good ideas on the posters.

They could have easily received a better execution tough.

(Via IMPAwards)

Oscar Week: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

When the first posters were released for Benjamin Button I struggled with what to say about them. That was months ago, but I’m still struggling.

I’m basically mesmerized by what are, on the surface, very simple posters. Just the actors faces against a pitch black background.

And yet, there is something more in there. The expression isn’t quite right. It’s neither happy, nor sad, nor anything easily comprehensible. There is a weird hint of timelessness in them. And there is something else, something I can’t quite put my finger on, but that makes looking at them endlessly fascinating for me.

And if the above paragraph didn’t make much sense for you, all I can say is that it didn’t make much sense for me either. Like I said, struggling.

There were a series of other posters released later which hinted at the larger story of the movie and its somewhat epic scope. It was nice to have posters that actually told us something about the film instead of just showing the stars faces. And yet, I found then almost completely forgetful. Meanwhile Pitt’s face haunts me.

If I had to choose one poster to add to that big list of posters of Oscar winners, one of the early posters for Ben Button would be my choice. This has, of course, a lot to do with the fact that the other options are rather weak this year. Not bad exactly, just uninspired.

And just to reiterate what I said last year: I’m very glad the academy isn’t basing its choices on the posters.

Oscar Week: The Reader

The Reader has had quite a few different posters, but most focus on some variation of Ralph and Kate sharing something. The above variation is my favorite because of the way it combines the most interesting elements of the other posters into one nice package.

It is basically a classic “very serious movie” poster. The white background, the polished photos of the stars, the carefully crafted borders and lines, they all scream serious grown up drama. Which is what the marketing campaign was ultimately trying to sell, both to the public in general and to the Academy, or at least that is what it seems.

There is also, it’s true, a soft touch in there, a hint of romance. But that is very compatible with the serious drama sell, or at least with this particular iteration of it. After all true love, and that means not the adolescent type, is one of the weightier, more essential subjects grown-ups have to deal with.

It’s not a bold poster. It’s not a widely creative poster. But I appreciate its solid execution.

Oscar Week: Slumdog Millionaire

When I first saw this poster for Slumdog I knew close to nothing about the film, and my reaction was basically “this is very ugly”. I hated the shining, colorful lights, the floating semi-transparent head, and, worst of all, the cheesy “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” inspired substitute for a tagline.

As I learned more about the movie I started to understand the choices in the poster. How the millionaire thing was actually directly related to the story. How the style fit with some of the movie, and so on. No longer I was flabbergasted by the the elements of the poster. It all made sense.

And it still looked very ugly.

But at least it’s sort of an unique design.

Oscar Week: The Milk Posters

The first time I saw the above poster I thought the background was a photo of actual milk being poured. Seemed like a lovely literal interpretation of something one wouldn’t expect to be interpreted literally.

Well, it’s not milk. But I imagine the designer was conscious of the resemblance and got a kick out of it.

Outside of that the poster is all about Sean Penn as Milk. It’s a safe sell, since this is probably the main appeal of the film to the broader audience and is not likely to turn anybody off. It works because Penn is great, even in this still image. But it’s too safe to really be an outstanding poster.

The other poster is basically the same, but loses the lovely white background and substitutes it for some blue and photos of the rest of the cast. I like the white better myself.