(click for a large version)
Well, I guess the streak of me liking the posters for Tyler Perry’s movies had to end at some point.
This new poster for Meet the Browns takes the very subtle first teaser poster and adds a bunch of things. A big title treatment. Tyler Perry (I’m guessing) in a fat suit. And for good measure a photo of Madea, so people can be absolutely sure that this movie includes that famous character. The humor is obvious and in your face. The subtly is completely gone.
I guess the marketing team thought they were risking too much with the sparse first poster and felt they would do better with something more obviously jokey. I can understand that. But they have had so much success by using much smarter posters for the Tyler Perry movies in the past that I’m forced to wonder why they thought that now was the time to stop that approach. I mean, look at this poster for the previous Madea movie, Madea’s Family Reunion.
This was not the best poster for that film, by far. However, It does have a clean and pleasant design, and it still manages to pack a strong emotional punch AND to make it clear that this is a Madea movie, with all the kind of humor that that entails. And that, I think, has been a key to the appeal of Tyler Perry: the combination of a broad humor with a strong and frank emotional appeal.
Now, I’m very much not the audience for the Perry’s movies, so perhaps my distaste at this poster means nothing. Perhaps the people who are actually like to come out for this movie as soon as it opens will love it. But I do think that it is a clear step in a different direction when that seems unnecessary, and I think it’s a bigger risk than simply sticking with the winning formula of previous posters. Not a big risk because this is a movie that will have a big audience no matter what, but still a risk.
Kamikaze Kamel has a post on his blog about the poster campaigns for the Madea films that basically shows that they always start off well with very beautiful and smart posters, but always end with much more uninteresting choices. Now, I still think that the last poster for Madea’s Family Reunion is miles better than this second one for Meet the Browns, but he is right that it is a lot worst than the teaser posters. So I’m revising my belief that there has been a change in the marketing strategy. Perhaps it’s the same strategy they have been using all along, just very poorly executed in this case.
I really liked the first poster for In Bruges, which opted for a postcard look which I thought was quite creative and fun. So I’m a little disappointed to see that the new posters go for a much more traditional. Just the main characters in the traditional v-formation. That doesn’t make it necessarily bad, but it’s just very obvious and unexciting.
When compared to the earlier effort, the new posters don’t make a very good use of the city of Bruges. The contrast between the almost toy like architecture of the city and the violent hitmen was a big part of the charm and humor of the first poster. In here the city is reduced to a very non-prominent background which is made even more inconsequential by the use of some very bleak color tones.
The colors, by the way, are a weird thing about the posters. They are very bleak and dark for a movie that is a comedy. The exception is a couple of splashes of pink, most obviously in the title but also in the ice-cream that Colin Farrell is holding for some reason. These colors remind me a lot more of London then they do of a cheery tourism oriented city in Belgium.
And that is problem. The two posters seem to indicate different tones. Cheerful X Moody, which makes me a little confused about what the actual movie will be like. But perhaps the two sets of posters will be used in different regions, making this particular problem less important.
I still don’t think these are awful posters or anything like that. They are perfectly serviceable. And perhaps the thinking was that the previous poster was too different and thus likely to alienate part of the audience, so they went with something safer. This explain some of the choices made here, but not all.
So here we have the second poster for Prince Caspian, and it’s very consistent with the first poster. We have essentially the same colors and they are similarly distributed in the poster in a way that by itself would make the connection to the first poster obvious. Quite a strong unique visual identity they achieve just with that. We also have Caspian front and center once again.
What is different about this poster is that it packs a lot more in the background and around the edges, and as a whole is a lot more action oriented. Instead of Caspian with his arms crossed we have Caspian pointing his sword towards us. Instead of an army calmly marching in a corner we have a few soldiers trapped in a bridge that is being destroyed by ferocious and apparently magically controlled waves. Instead of Aslan quietly looking towards infinity we have …. well, Aslan quietly looking towards infinity. Man, nothing fazes that dude.
I like this poster for many of the same reasons that I liked the first poster. It reminds people of the first movie but also make this seem like a progression from that, especially by making it look like the action will be more intense and satisfying. And that is exactly what this film, which will already have a pretty huge built-in audience, needs. But I also feel that this poster is similar to the first to the point of making the earlier one pointless. This is not so much a different poster as it is a better version of that one.
(Via Ain’t It Cool News)
After the dreadful first poster there really wasn’t much way to go but up. But even considering that I’m still positively surprised by these posters for The Forbidden Kingdom. They give us a really good look at the main characters in the movie, and as it turns out each of them does have a very unique and memorable look. The use of a different bright color in each image helps to further differentiate between the characters. And all posters also include a very short textual description like “The Drunken Immortal” and “The Silent Monk.” These descriptions are in very small type, but the people that play close attention to the posters and notice them will get a better feel for what each character is about, so I think it’s a nice touch.
The posters also give us a a little taste of the hopefully amazing visuals and action we will see in the movie, mainly through the use of backgrounds and clothing, but also through the way the characters themselves are positioned. The poster featuring Li Bingbing in particular seems exciting to me as it does a good job of putting us in the middle of the action.
The posters are still missing some cool depictions of Jet Li and Jackie Chan together. But they are a huge improvement compared to what the campaign had been like so far.
(Via Yahoo! Movies)
The first three character posters for Hellboy II were all about getting reacquainted with old friends. They didn’t show us anything different from what we had seen in the first Hellboy, but they were a nice way of reminding people that those characters are coming back to the big screen.
This new poster, on the other hand, starts a new phase in the poster campaign. It introduces a new character called Johann Krauss, which is described by Empire thus:
Krauss, an ally of big red, is entirely composed of psychic ectoplasmic spirit, but maintains some kind of form by remaining trapped in a suit.
Intriguing. And the character design seem to be pretty cool.
Now, this is obviously not a poster meant to broaden the audience for the film. The poster is not likely to make much sense or be very interesting to people who aren’t already following the news about Hellboy II. But the poster is a form of maintaining the excitement among people who are already interested in the movie, and perhaps a way to show them that there will be indeed incredible new things in the film that will make it worth seeing.
This happens every one in a while. A poster comes out for a film and I don’t like it, so I do a post criticizing the poster, often harshly. Then another poster for the movie comes out that is so awful, I’m forced to go back on my word and say that the first poster wasn’t so bad after all. So, although I believe that the first poster for Get Smart had some pretty obvious flaws, I still have to admit that it is miles better than these new international posters.
There is much to hate about these new posters. The weird light blue background for one. The fake metallic, fake 3d letters for another. But the biggest offender has to be the awful photoshop job they did with Steve Carell’s head. It look tiny compared to the rest of him, and even if you overlook that it still seems like it was pasted into a body it didn’t belong to. Which is likely true, and happens a lot in posters, but it’s not supposed to look this obvious.
And they didn’t even get Carell’s expression right. Steve has a very distinctive “trying very hard to look serious” face which is actually impossible to take seriously. It’s a trademark, and it’s constantly hilarious. And this is not it. This is just some bizarre actually serious, not funny at all face.
And the body, oh how strange the body position looks.
The Hathaway poster is a little better, but she still looks odd floating around in the blue tube, holding her gun, with her hair flowing to the left because apparently the tube is windy. This is also the same picture of Anne they used in the previous poster, but that is a very minor problem, all things considered.
Just very, very bad.
I ended up never writing about the first My Blueberry Nights poster. I can’t quite remember why. I certainly meant too.
Anyway, the film, which was first shown last years at Cannes, is finally going to open on the U.K. in February, and that means we get a nice Quad poster for it. It maintains essentially the same style of the previous poster, which you can see below, but it makes good use of its different proportions in order to showcase all the main actors in the stellar cast.
I like seeing all the actors up there, and I like that it makes clear that this is a big ensemble piece. But I also miss the kiss, and the connection between these characters that it represents. The previous poster was, because of that interaction, more romantic, and more luscious.
So each poster has it’s strengths. The good thing is, you don’t have to choose one. Both posters can coexist, and in this case I think they complement each other.
And the elements that they both share, such as the neon lights, are good. They give the images an unreal, almost dream like look which is very recognizable, and consistent with what we see in the trailer.