Category Archives: Sci-Fi

Two Posters for the Remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still Poster

Just the other day I found myself taking a long hard look at the classic poster for The Day the Earth Stood Still, which you can see below. A truly great fifties poster.

Because of that I had the images of that earlier poster in my mind when I went over to ComingSoon to look at the posters for the new version of TDESS , especially the image of the alien. And I was very pleased to find that my pal one eye was also featured in the new posters.

The Day the Earth Stood Still Poster

Of course, despite his reappearance the two posters are very different, as they have to be. The original poster had a style that was very much of its era. The new poster is more modern, has almost none of the cheese of the original and chooses to show very little and to be mysterious. It fits our own movie making time. And in part because of that it fails to be as good as the original.

But that is not exactly scathing criticism, and I actually really like the poster.

I don’t quite like the other poster released today as much, even tough I think it might be more effective with the general public.

The Day the Earth Stood Still Poster

This is in many ways a typical amazing and scary thing happens bringing the world to a stop poster. Which seems like a very specific thing but is a recurrent movie and poster theme. It is very well executed, but I do wish it showed a larger area being paralyzed, in other to make the movie feel more epic in scope.

But still, I complain too much. two solid posters for the remake.


International Posters for The Happening

The Happening Poster (Germany)

The marketing pitch for The Happenning has been pretty clear from the get go. Creepy horror movie in which everybody dies mysteriously, leaving only a few people to deal with the aftermath. It’s not an exactly an unique premise, but it is one that has given us some strong stories, and it’s good hook to sell a film with.

Today we have two posters for The Happening that reinforce that sell. The one above comes from Germany and it’s tightly connected to the imagery in the trailer. It’s also rather bloody, even tough no blood is actually shown. Instead of conveying the widespread plague by showing us empty streets it actually shows the bodies. That is a little unusual, and I think it makes for an upsetting image that manages to stand out.

I do think, however, that the tight focus of the image, covering just a small portion of a park, takes away from some of the epic scope we have seen in other materials. From what we can see this could have easily been a minor disaster and not a world annihilating cataclysm.

Then we have a polish poster that is at the same time more and less usual.

The Happening Poster (Poland)

The usual part is, of course, showing the barren streets of a big city, with just our heroes in the middle of it. Not that different from what we have seen in the marketing for I Am legend, although Smith was considerably more at ease in the posters for that film.

The unusual part is the distortion of the image and all the paper flying around. So unusual that I’m wondering if it has some hidden meaning that is related to the story.

The unusual side of this poster makes it stand out, but not in a good way. Catching people’s attention by being weird is not conductive to convincing them to see your movie.

One interesting aspect of the poster is that it is the first one to focus clearly on there being a family at the center of the nightmare. It’s also the first to show Wahlberg. I have to say that the absence of these two aspects so far has been surprising, but not particularly bothersome.

(Thanks to Casty the Clown for these)

Polish X-Files Poster

Polish X-Files Poster

And yet another poster with a weird looking head. Seems there are a lot of those this days.

As for the rest of the poster, I think like the spirit of it. It seems like it tries to move on from relying solely on brand recognition and tries to turn X-Files 2 into something that can stand on its own as an exciting event. But it doesn’t abandon the brand. It’s there. It’s obvious. It’s just not overwhelming.

But I also think that the spirit is a lot better than the actual design and execution. Snow, some helicopters in the back, something that seems like a small army. The point is to say that something big is happening, but the way those things are arranged doesn’t make it feel big. And we still have no idea of what is happening exactly, which just might be okay for right now, but is something that I think is going to have to change in the forthcoming posters.

So, again, why should I be excited about another X-Files, so many years after the last one? Hopefully the next poster will make a better attempt of answering that.

(Via, Thanks to Casty for pointing it out to me)

First X-Files 2 Poster

X-Files 2 Poster

How strong is the X-Files brand right now? That is the question I find myself asking as I look at this poster.

It’s a fine teaser in many ways. We have Mulder and Scully, we have the big X and we have a sense of possible danger and of mysterious things being revealed. It’s simple, but it gets the point across.

The thing is, it only really works if you consider that the whole X-Files thing still resonates with people, and I’m guessing that nowadays most moviegoers think “X-Men” when they see a huge X.

I think that the marketing for this film has to act as if this is not a pre-sold concept. Sure, there are some big fans left. And there is still some awareness of the series that should make selling the movie easier. But I think the marketing still has to make the case that this film is worth seeing by itself. Simply relying in warm memories of the series won’t do.

Which is not to say that there is anything wrong with releasing this poster. It’s early in the campaign and the engines are just getting started. No harm in getting the word that the movie is coming out there and getting the fans a little excited. But they will have to go much further in the future.

(Thanks to Casty the Clown for passing this along)

Unused Alternative Ideas for the Jumper Posters

Jumper Alternative Concept 1

Artist Chuck Anderson has posted to his site several images for possible Jumper posters that he made on commission from Concept Arts. In the end Concept went with something different, but it’s still enlightening to look at these other possibilities.

I’m stricken by how much these diverge from the concept they ultimately used. All these images focus on the jumping itself, showing the characters in an empty space in the middle of the teleportation, which is represented by all kinds of bright lights. On the other hand the actual posters focused much more on the possibilities that the teleportation offered by showing different parts of the world where the character could be in an instant. The tagline “Anywhere is Possible” also matched that focus.

I think these images offer very cool visuals, more so than the final poster, but I understand the change in approach. Although the actual jump is interesting, in the end the ability of being anywhere you want is just more fascinating.

Also I think that the image below might have posed some problems due to the character’s pose and due to the accumulation of light around, hmmm, the crotch area. That might have proven to be distracting, especially since teenage boys were a target audience for the film.

Jumper Alternative Concept 3

(Via Slashfilm. Thanks to John Allison for pointing them out to me.)

Jumper Alternative Concept 2

International Jumper Poster

Jumper International Poster (Big)

I really liked the previous Jumper poster because it made me realize, for the first time, how cool the concept behind the movie (a guy that can teleport himself) could be. Considering how unusual the premise is that was a tricky thing to accomplish.

This new international poster, on the other hand, doesn’t even try to sell the premise. Instead, it settles for trying to make the movie’s lead (Hayden Christensen) look cool. In fact this poster reminds me a lot of the posters for the Matrix trilogy, especially the ones for Reloaded. I loved those posters, but they were better than this one for several reasons:

  • They were much more successful at the “looking cool” thing.
  • In the case of Reloaded we already knew the characters, and were pumped to see them again.
  • The unique visual style of the Matrix movies was always one of their strongest selling points, and the posters used that effectively. Jumper doesn’t seem to have it’s own unique visual style, and the poster ends up looking like a cheap knock-off in comparison.

I hope they keep using the previous poster to promote the film. Much, much stronger.

And as an aside, doesn’t Christensen look a lot like Justin Timberlake in that image?

(Via IESB)

Matrix Reloaded Poster

Jumper Poster

Jumper Poster

I actually still don’t know exactly what Jumper is about. I know there was a trailer, but I never got around to watching that. And every time I read something about the movie I tend to space out as I get to the plot description.

But thanks to this poster I know have an inkling of what the film’s premise is. And, more importantly, the image, coupled with the tagline, made me interested in it for the first time. “Anywhere is possible.” Yeah, I get the idea of why that might be cool.

Selling a movie that has a strange or unusual premise can be really hard. It’s often not enough to just convey what that premise is, which in itself can be tricky. You also have to convey to people why that premise is going to make for an interesting movie. Everyone understands the appeal of an whodunit movie. We have seen those. But with something like this? You have to show people.

In this case an image really is worth a thousand words, even tough the tagline is essential for the whole thing to work.

(Via JoBlo)