Movies - Posters postsMonday December 03, 2012
New 'Man of Steel' Poster Shows Superman in Handcuffs
Most movies ask, “Does he get the girl?” I keep asking, vis a vis Zack Snyder's “Man of Steel,” “Does he get the curl?” I.e., the famous spit curl in his hair that Superman has sported since at least the 1940s. According to this latest poster, the Man of Steel in handcuffs and in the custody of (I imagine) the U.S. Army, the answer is no. The curl is gone. Bummer.
But it's a good poster. If offers intrigue. It suggests that when Superman shows up with his amazing powers and flies through the air to saves citizens falling from helicopters, most folks aren't going to just start applauding like they're watching a walk-off homerun in a pennant race in September. They're going to be freaked. And the U.S. government isn't going to have a non-response, as they did in “Superman: The Movie.” They'll have this response. (Psst, Republicans. He's also an illegal alien.)
I just hope the movie's smart. Snyder has given us some of the dumbest, darkest, most claustrophobic movies in recent years—“300,” “Watchmen” and the abyssmal “Sucker Punch”—and the legend of Superman deserves better.
Selling the Fright of Pretty Women
Last night, at Pacific Place in downtown Seattle, I came across this triumverate of fall movie posters and got depressed:
And I thought this was the year of the strong, independent woman. Whither Katniss Everdeen?
Ah, there she is, on the right. For a second I thought this Jennifer Lawrence vehicle was some remake of “Last House on the Left” but apparently it's just another ghost story. Its tagline: “Fear reaches out... for the girl next door.”
Last poster on the left? An evil spirit takes over a young girl. Tagline: “Fear The Demon That Doesn't Fear God.” Fear again. The only thing Hollywood has to fear is that fear doesn't sell.
The middle poster is the most disturbing of all for its shot of big-haired helplessness and implied gang rape, but it's basically the same story. Supernatural presence haunts couple after college experiment. Tagline: “Once you believe, you die.”
The dark is coming, Halloween's coming, and it's time to make money off the fright of pretty women. Katniss is for spring.
But they wouldn't sell if we wouldn't buy.
The Invention of Bad Posters
Take a gander at the U.S. poster for “The Invention of Lying” below.
Who came up with this concept? Gervais is an airbrushed afterthought in it—and after the likes of Rob Lowe and Jennifer Garner—while the overall design reminds me of, I don't know, semi-serious romantic-comedies with multiple actors involved. I can't quite place it. It's not “The Holiday,” it's not “Spanglish” but it's like something, and something not very good.
Plus only one of the three quotes they throw in there is actually in the film—the “baby rat” line. The other two are not only marketing inventions but not funny. Plus the light blue is all wrong. Plus it's too busy. Plus plus plus.
Now here's the version of the poster for Great Britain (below), where they don't have to worry about who knows Ricky Gervais because everyone does. Regardless of what I actually think of the film, this would make me want to see it. I crack up just looking at it: