10 May, 2011

POSTERS Unwanted

Just like every action has an equal and opposite reaction, there is a bad poster out there for every good movie poster that comes out.

My last blog entry POSTers, which was about how movie posters deserve more appreciation, received a comment from Chris who said that he would like a post about the "bad ones". So, since this was probably the first blog request I have had, here I am with a little about movie posters we can do without.

I am going to start with one that is not really that "bad" so to speak, but taking into account the hugeness of the movie Avatar, the poster was pretty ordinary. The fact that the characters were blue skinned was known to the audience. The poster doesn't really mystify the viewer or even fascinates them. It's simply a closeup of two characters' faces. The fluorescent white dots being the only saving grace. There is no mention of the movie being 3D, which was the primary point of the movie. Yeah! didn't do much to encourage me to watch the movie.

When is information too much information? All you have to do is look at this poster of Faster and you shall have the answer. We have the two main leads mentioned, the title of the movie, the cheesy tag line, but then the remainder of the poster is small printed, almost unreadable information that only a few diehard enthusiasts would be interested in knowing. Add to that the fact that it takes over most of the poster, I found this to be a big NO NO!!

It's very important to introduce your characters to the movie going public. It is all the more important that you introduce them when you plan on having a movie franchise, rather than a one off film. What is not required is a poster for the fourth installment of a blockbuster franchise like Pirates of the Caribbean featuring only the most famous and known character. Seriously, doesn't all of the movie going public already know about Jack Sparrow or who plays him. Is this seriously the best an otherwise talented team could come up with? At least a witty tag line of sorts would have helped, but even that is missing. The only thing that saves this poster a little bit is the fact that they did not mention the name of the star or the character, because that shows the makers are at least aware of the popularity of the franchise.

Right then... who in their right mind would take a picture of Natalie Portman and write all over it? Seriously though, this new trend in poster art of writing on the face of the characters is something that needs to be looked at. Since this is the first Thor movie, I can understand the character introduction posters. I can understand the tags ("The God of Thunder" & "The Woman of Science") as well. What I do not understand is the need to put those tags on the face of the stars/characters.

When is a movie poster not a movie poster? When it is the cover of a Mills & Boon book. Okay, i'm aware of the target audience, but even then I think a little bit more ingenuity could have helped make the posters more appealing to everyone. With characters comprising of vampires and werewolves I am sure a lot more edgy posters could have been developed.

Since I looked at an Indian movie poster in my original post, I figured that I should take one here as well. Now, the title of the movie Game is barely understandable. The tag line is way too cheesy. Other than that there is nothing much that is not too generic. We have an island and a plane in the background and they might be interesting adds, but then the sun shining brightly takes away focus from everything else. This poster is definitely one I would not run after.

The poster of The Box is as generic as posters get. The serious looking female lead. The mysterious man thankfully holding a box. The little dash of red color which i'm guessing depicts murder or mystery. The only slightly good thing is the tag line. It is a tag line that would make you feel interested in the movie. The moment you read "you are the experiment" there is automatically an understanding that things are not what they are made out to look. But, but then why would you take the best part of the poster and put it in small print under the title. I would put the tag on the top rather than writing Cameron Diaz, a name most people will be aware of.

And as I take your leave here is another example of the "writing on the face poster" that seems to be the "in" thing right now. The only place where anyone would like something written on top of their face is their high school picture, so please lets just stop this before it gets out of hand.


  1. Hi Raghav, there are lots of bad posters out there, totally agree. I don't mind the Avatar one actually, it's not spectacular but it shows the Na'vi for the first time which was cool. I agree with your other choices, Twilight ones are all terrible, and man that one from THOR is just bad with a capital B! It'd fail even in a 5th grade art class!

  2. Hi Ruth, thanks for the comment. With regards to Avatar, I agree that it was important to introduce the characters. My dislike, so to speak, with Avatar poster was that compared to the hype and the whole revolutionising the film industry stuff that went along before the release, the posters were pretty ordinary. For example Nolan and his Batman posters have always impressed me. He teases initially and then will do character posters with a slight twist and darkness (The Joker posters). Thanks for commenting :-)