Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poster Critiques - Athlete, Courier, The Expendables Banner, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

I haven't done a poster critique in a while so let's do a whirlwind to make up for it. First up: Athlete, which I know nearly nothing about, but it comes out on DVD March 9. There are several different posters floating around but a couple of them are pretty striking but a bit vague about what the doc is actually about. My favorite is the version above and there's a couple of things I really love about it. The text is your usual inspirational stuff and written in a gritty handwritten way, but I like the fact that the socks are pulled up; it's not a stylish look and that's gives a sense that the film is less about posturing and machismo and more of the heart of what it means to be an athlete. I kinda hope that whoever this photo is of, that he or she is a character in the doc.

The next poster I'm looking at is Courier. Sure it's in development, but from the poster maybe they should just label it as "sucking." There's a lot of things wrong with this one upon closer inspection. A lot of the space feels either unused or useless; the numbers scrolling over the background map feels really cliched.

What's really bad is the copy; writers of Wanted is ok but who gives a shit about any of the Resident Evil movies, much less their director(s)? Adrien Brody is a lot of things but he's not an action guy, which is what the film is saying to me with the gun and the suit and the macguffin. It already feels miscast, maybe they leave his name out of it. He looks like he has a weak frame and those Diet Coke commercials ("HAY BRODY") tried to make him look cool but he just doesn't look cool. The tag line for the poster, "He Delivers", is just stupid. I think I've seen this movie before, it's called Transporter, Transporter 2, and Transporter 3. I'm sure this is a mock up but even at that it's pretty bad.

Next up is banner artwork for Expendables. I'm not totally into the poster with the back tattoo, just because it just kind of looks silly, trying too hard, etc. This though, is pretty awesome: Winged shiny skull? Fuck yeah. Blood text extension of 'Semper Fi' to 'Semper Fight'? Jizz. Weird combo of aforementioned Transporter actor, Sylvester Stallone (extraordinary director? Nope), and Jet Li. And he doesn't play an evil Asian dictator.

The last one for now, and what I think is the most interesting is Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to the Academy Award winning (a weak year perhaps?) Wall Street. Oliver Stone still seems like a scary asshole who would be a horrible father but I like the two initial posters that have surfaced for this.

There are some differences between the two, namely the presentation of Michael Douglas's more powerful father figure type character in the first one and an aging mentor type in the second one. Alternately, you can say Shia LaBeouf's character is two shades of young upstart. If you look closely, the rendition of the posters is what makes it cool and very old school, almost 70s. Throw in the simple font and you have a throwback poster style. It gives the characters weight and a timeless quality, as if what they are about is something important and elite. I also like the accessories shown, LaBeouf's pocket handkerchief and Douglas's pocket watch chain in the first poster. I also like that in the second poster especially, LaBeouf's profile is in a light background and Douglas is in the dark. Of course the trailer is kind of meh but these posters do this business film justice. I'm not a huge fan of the subtitle, but it's not a huge deal.

A necessary sequel? Probably not; but an old school look is one of the best decisions.

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