Classic Movies, Modern Posters

So here is the story: as part of the promotion for it’s “Summer Under the Stars” marathon of films TCM created a bunch of new, modern posters for some of the movies that will be showcased. And the posters are really good.

You can see two of my favorites in this post, but be sure to check them all out over at RopeOfSillicon or at the official site. Worthy of your time.

I think comparing this sort of tribute posters to posters for new movies is unfair for two reasons. First, these are classic movies that have left strong images and ideas in our culture. Images and ideas that can be used in the composition of the poster. Second, since everybody knows about the movies there is no need to introduce them to the public, or even much need to really sell them. This allows a level of freedom to come up with interesting and creative concepts that is never afforded to the people coming up with poster for new movies.

But still, the set is a nice reminder of how beautiful and evocative good movie posters can be.

(thanks go to James for calling my attention to these)

Zombieland Poster

This poster for Zombieland has an abundance of land, but a clear lack of Zombies.

I mean, it does a pretty good job of setting a carnival ride feel, of setting the worldwide scope of the threat and it’s a nice teaser image to boot. But it still feels more like Disasterland or Fireland. It needs some dead walking bodies ASAP!

Also of interest, prominent use of the Twitter page instead of an url to the official film page. Trend? Fad? Neither?

(Via Bloody Disgusting)

Jennifer’s Body Poster

The first poster for Jennifer’s body suffered from a certain lack of originality. Still, it was a crisp display of the sex + danger = fun equation.

Well, here we have the second poster and, although it works well on the sex front, the danger is almost totally gone. In its place we have some humor. Which makes sense, since from what I’ve read the movie is as much a comedy as it is a horror movie.

But boy, do I miss the fear. It seems too far gone, especially when you consider that the trailers still showcase that aspect of the movie prominently. And the particular comedy in this poster strikes me as hitting the wrong tone for the movie. Too broad, not clever enough. Considering the people involved I don’t think that is the kind of thing we will find in the film itself. The tagline, for example, closely resembles a line we see in the trailer, but robs it of all of its charm.

Than again maybe they don’t want to sell the film itself.

(Via ShockTillYouDrop and IMPAwards)

Inglorious (But Very Good Looking!) Killers of Nazis

Brad Pitt as Nazi killing machine, and some vaguely humorous text. This is the most crystal clear case for why you might want to see this film I have seen so far. It’s not necessarily my favorite design, as I’m quite fond of the character posters with the white and red background that have cropped up. But as a sales pitch it is better than anything that came before.

(Via Yahoo! and FirstShowing)

I Love You Phillip Morris

The thing that really caught my attention about this poster is the little Cannes logo. It’s sort of jarring to see a film starring Jim Carrey associated with the symbol that screams “art-house” and “indie”. Especially because it otherwise seems like a pretty typical “Jim Carrey making a goofy face” poster. Although one with an unusually high amount of yellow.

And I guess that is the main problem facing the marketing of this movie. It’s a Jim Carrey movie with slightly loftier pretensions that is apparently not quite in the award winning flick level. So, what do you sell? Do you sell Jim Carrey and hope people aren’t mad when they find out how the movie really is? Do you try to sell it like a more offbeat but smart comedy and hope the usual public isn’t turned off by Jim? Do you sell the gay angle and hope against hope that will be enough to get people intrigued (in the film Carrey’s character falls in love with his cellmate, the titular Philip Morris)? Or do you sell this as a fun con man adventure, like Catch Me if You Can?

Every choice has it’s downsides, and obviously a lot depends on how high a gross they hope (or need) from this movie. But I think you have to make a clear choice. What this poster does, putting Carrey’s face front and center but using an offbeat background and a Cannes logo to make it seem different from the typical Carrey fare, is obviously not working.

(Via IMPAwards)

Couple’s Retereat Poster

So, here we have a film starring Vince Vaughn, with a side of Jon Favreau. As the trailer makes it clear, this is a comedy. Based on that, shouldn’t the poster be more fun? A bunch of people sulking inside a body of water doesn’t really spell barrel of laughs to me. At least not this execution of it anyway.

As a matter of fact, if you changed all the actors, putting in their place a bunch of 20-year-olds, this could be the poster for the newest angst ridden teen TV series. From the makers of Dawson’s Creek, it’s Vince’s Lake.

I have to admit I didn’t find the trailer all that funny either, but it was much more clearly trying to make me laugh.

(Via IMPAwards)