Friday, May 11, 2012

Poster Roundup: This is 40, Gangster Squad, The Possession, Sparkle and Lovelace

Some thoughts on some of the latest posters to come through the pipeline over the last week or so.

The Possession
"Based on a true story"

I find that hard to believe.

This is 40
You know what? No matter what the movie is, I just don't need to see Paul Rudd (or anybody else for that matter) sitting on the toilet reading an Apple iPad. I say "Apple iPad" because they certainly didn't go out of their way to make it look like he's reading a generic anybrand tablet reader, have they? He uses an Apple iPad. APPLE. APPLE!

Have I just not noticed that Leslie Mann looks like Elisabeth Shue, or does this poster just make it seem so? Because she does. I wonder what Apple products she uses? No doubt we'll find out in the movie. On a more positive note, I do like the tagline, although I think audiences are smart enough to know what a spin off is without having the skirt the issue with word play.

Gangster Squad
Not sure if this is a UK quad or what, but it's fantastic. I see so many people go on and on about wishing more modern day posters were done in the style of classic posters without realising that those very classic posters were just as repetitive and had their own cliches as modern day posters have with, say, stripes and giant floating heads.

Am loving the faded colours, especially the intriguing use of purple and baby blue when they could have easily gone with drab browns and beiges because, ya know, being a tough guy involves wearing nothing but neutral colours. The ultra sharp shadow and high levels of detail is the sort of aesthetic decision that makes navigating a poster for long than a few seconds possible. The wrinkled clothing and faces gives it such a rich texture that is hard to resist. Interesting to note that Sean Penn and Emma Stone aren't featured despite being a far bigger star than Anthony Mackie or Giovanni Ribisi (that is him to the far left, isn't it?), neither of whom appear in the credit list up top. I am assuming that the men featured are in fact the titular "gangster squad", but it could have been easy to shoehorn the big stars on there with some bad Photoshop and I'm kinda glad they didn't. Favourite sense and logic over shallowness.

The photo of star Amanda Seyfried is great and all, but what really made my eyes light up after seeing this poster for Deepthroat drama was the cast list. Just look at those names! Peter Sarsgaard - aside: does anybody still get confused as to where the double-a is in his name? No? Just me? Oh, okay then - has an absolutely perfect look for a 1970s pornographic actor, but how about Sharon Stone, Chloe Sevigny, James Franco, Adam Brody, Juno Temple and Bobby Cannavale? As a matter of fact, the performance of Sarah Jessica Parker as Gloria Steinham is one of my most anticipated of the year, especially since I just rewatched the entirety of Sex and the City (the TV years, of course) and was reminded that Parker was once a genuinely interesting actor who had wicked comic timing that she seems to have forgotten all about. Not that this performance is going to be full of the lulz, but if it's the first step in her getting her actorly groove back then I'm all for it.

"X Marks The Legend" is a great tagline, too.

I'm torn over this poster.

On one hand I think the central image of Jordin Sparks bathed in a rich red dress and shadows is divine. On the other hand, the giant S watermark is unnecessary and the box panels at the bottom scream of a compromise between the designers and the studios. "Yes, yes, have your arty shot, but OMG DEAD CELEBRITY AND THAT GUY FROM HIGH-RATING TALENT COMPETITION PROGRAM" Yeah? Yeah.

And that's that.


Liz said...

I'm in love with the Gangster Squad poster. IN LOVE. I generally only hang up posters for movies that I like, but even if this is the worst piece of crap in the history of humanity, that sheet is going on my wall.

That's a really interesting point that you made about classic posters. I've always been a little afraid to say it, but I find a lot of classic posters to be eyesores. They're unbelievably overstuffed and busy, frequently cramming as many people and shots on the poster as possible. It was like Photoshop before Photoshop.

Runs Like A Gay said...

The Gangster Squad poster does a really nice job of taking what should be a tired format and making it special.

Is it enough to make me want to see the movie? Probably not...

I hope The Possession is the true story of a sword swallowing act that went horribly wrong.