Archive for August, 2013


Three French posters for The Family or Malavita (translates loosely to bad life or bad way) as the land that je’ adores Jerry Lewis likes to call it are here to grace your presence.  

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The flamingos on Diana Argon’s dress (above) are the perfect complement for the blood streak in the background.  Probably the funniest of the three released because it is the least self reflective. 

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 Michelle Pfeiffer eyes shoot bullets of pissed off attitude in her Malavita sheet.  If looks could kill we would all be dead by now.

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Robert  De Niro and the director Luc Beson are long time friends, and all around good guys.  They are practically family.  A three month all expenses paid vacation in the south of France is just too good an offer to refuse.   But when it comes to doing the job you got to roll up your and do the dirty work. 

rush_ver11The English to German translation of the original boring American sheet for Rush.

cinemanovelsCinemanovels is the story of   a woman whose life changes in strange and significant ways as she tries to finish a memorial film retrospective for her late estranged father.   The poster art screams clone sci-fi movie rather than a woman taking a deep and serious look  at herself. 

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The poster for Crackerjack makes sense, and is translated literally visual as possible once you read the IMDB synopsis:  A lovable loser must choose to either repeat his family history, change it or just go play softball.

It took five not so crackerjack writers and one of them (Bryan Coley) to get the nerve or be “volunteered” to direct it. Wes Murphy and Beth Ann Lind lead a cast of unknowns to either victory or defeat. 

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Beneath the Harvest Sky will get its premier at TIFF 2013. 

Two fiercely loyal  friends rooted and trying to break their roots (as shown in the evocative and touching poster) to their Maine hometown get involved in a drug deal gone bad that will test their friendship.  

Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly direct. Emory Cohen, Callan McAuliffe and Aidan Gillen star.  

 

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Rebecca’s Grave: Vexation of a Township gets a nice poster filled with sepia tinge grass, gnarled branches and a lurking evil presence coming in the clouds. 

Believe it or not this a documentary recreation of true events and not a horror film.   According to the film’s Facebook page it’s “The disturbing banned documentary based on unresolved crimes committed in New Brunswick since 1876.”

Garrett Pringle found footages the whole thing together.

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Never Alone gets a kind of soothing but still slightly creepy poster.  The red lettering in the title was probably added when the test posters displayed all the malice of a gentle fairy tale.   

The plot involves a popular Hollywood actress who has the wrong crew show up for her cast party in a remote cabin in the woods. 

Jonathan Mooch directs and Kate Barnett, Ian Pfister and John Lunsford star.  

 


hunger_games_catching_fire_ver30Oh, how I yearn for those days when The  Hunger Games: Catching Fire marketing people produced sheets  of Capitol Couture and reproduced some fine ads that featured Capitol Perfume and Sunshades.

  The latest Catching Fire Victory Banner shows all the previous winners of past Hunger Games preeming for their Capitol moment.

  The Teutonic references mixed with some Third Reich propaganda poster  lifts that echo Fatherland military motifs are pretty heavy here.  I am sure they are meant to be ironic, but they come off slightly offensive to any one with a WWII memory.

  For those just interested in just the cast facts, right to left are Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Cashmere (Stephanie Leigh Schlund), Gloss (Alan Ritchson), Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), Wiress (Amanda Plummer), Brutus (Bruno Gunn), Enobaria (Meta Golding), Johanna (Jena Malone), Mags (Lynn Cohen) and Finnick (Sam Claflin).  Expect these Quells to be killed off from lowest Starmeter rating to highest.

 

philomenaStephen Frears directs and Steeve Cogan (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Jeff Pope) and Judi Dench star in Philomenia

It is adapted from the book that tells everything you need to know about the plot:  The Lost Child of Philomenia Lee by Martin Sixsmith, a journalist who helps Philomenia search for her son. 

In the poster Steve Coogan, who plays Sixsmith, tries to keep an objective distance from a very happy and admiring Dench.  The aircraft doodle at the top of the poster that displays the icons traveled to in the search is a lovely touch.

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The Machine poster looks cooler than the actual movie will be. 

The plot synopsis according to IMD: Two computer programmers fall in love as they create the first ever piece of self-aware artificial intelligence, which is designed to help humanity. But things go wrong when the MoD steal their breakthrough and teach it to become a robotic weapon.  Toby Stephens and Amy Zeitz play the two geeky lovers who try to save the world and then have to re-save it again from their government. 

Caradog W. James directed and wrote the screenplay.

 

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 Cool poster. Can’t find too much on this film other that it was made in Australia.

mickey_virus_ver7The Wreck It Ralph t-shirt is the one detail that lifted this sheet above the ordinary Indian films being released State-side for the transplanted Indian market.

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 The elegant Asian calligraphy gives this International Diana sheet a little more elan.

barcelona_nit_destiuLooks like the Spanish version of Love, Actually.


secret_life_of_walter_mittyBen Stiller is obviously head in the clouds, soaring above it all, his own superhero who can leap tall buildings in a single bound in the first poster for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  All in all this looks like it is going to be one dreamy and delightful Christmas present for film-goers.  Stiller directs and stars in this version of the James Thurber classic story about a man whose daydreams provide all the adventure in his life that rescues him from his work-a-day job as a Life magazine picture editor– until the real adventure of his lifetime arrives.   The poster’s simple but evocative and surreal feel makes it work on lots of different levels.  Round out the cast is Kristen Wiig as the pined for and pining love interest, Sean Penn as the real imaginary hero in a Life photo that initiates Walter’s great adventure and Patton Oswalt as Mitty’s friend and coworker. 

gravity_ver5This George Clooney Gravity poster is a great mate for the one that featured a fully terrified Sandra Bullock.  The slight look of fear etched in Clooney’s eyes that also havean echo of wonder is balanced by the other features and emotions playing across his face:  a man trying to keep from going out of control, trying to keep his mind focused on finding a solution to the current dire problem.   The light shadows dancing across the visor emit the obligatory a 2001: A Space Odyssey homage.  The tag line “Don’t Let Go” works brilliantly with the poster image.  A great poster that truly makes one want to see Gravity in IMAX 3D.  The film  directed by Alfonso Cuaron will have its premiere at this year’s New York Film Festival. 

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 All Is Lost keeps on producing simple but greatly effective posters.   A terrified but determined Robert Redford sporting the look of heroism for the crop of September/October features being released (Gravity, Captain Phillips, Runner Runner) , steers his boat through the roughest water of his life.  The image says a lot without telling too much of the story, a story that you must see– which is the essential hallmarks of a great movie poster.   “Never Give Up” is the perfect caption for the image.   

milo_ver3This Bad Milo poster is screamingly, profanely hilarious.   Bad Milo is an annal demon that has comes to possess the number 2 orifice of poor star Ken Marino, making this bad seed a true pain in the ass.  Hey, some times “bad sh**t happens” as the tag line proudly proclaims.  When that  happens you just might as well cuddle up with it as seen in the film’s first poster (click here to see it) and let it explode.  See it on iTunes and VOD today or wait until October 4th for it to fart on the big screen.  

ass_backwardsAss Backwards features June Diane Raphael (Burning Love) and Casey Wilson (Happy Endings) in a story about two best friends who ditch the city and road trip back to their hometown to try to win the beauty pageant they lost as kids.  Raphael and Wilson wrote the script with Chris Nelson, a TV veteran,  directing the mayhem.   About the two ill-fitting slightly odd pageant dresses featured on the poster image Raphael told EW about the inspiration.  “We took to the streets — and by the streets we mean a downtown LA quinceanera shop — to procure the best dresses I have ever seen,” Raphael tells EW. “The look we were kind of going for is like crazy Toddlers and Tiaras-type little girl dresses, and you know, luckily for us those are also quinceanera dresses, they are one in the same.”  Opens November 8th. 

 

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 Around the Block stars Christina Ricci as an American teacher who takes a troubled inner-city Sydney youth under her wing.  Australian Sarah Spilliane directs from her own script.  

the investigator

 A veteran police detective becomes a criminal justice teacher and baseball coach at a local high school, leading him to the most important investigation of his life. Inspired by true events.

 

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mr_pipHugh Laurie of House fame is Mr Watts, but is known to the natives of the war-torn island of Bouganville as Mr Pip because of his love for Charles Dickens Great Expectations.  Watts is asked to build a school there and in the process he bonds and loves the children who become his students.  The movie is based on the Llloyd Jones novel.   Andrew Adamson of The Chronicles of Narnia fame directs.

HOW-I-LIVE-NOW-Poster-535x795Love may lead you home, but a good pair of earphones and a decent mp3 player will get you the rest of the way also.  

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 Ok, so I Declare War is going to turn into a Lord of the Flies kids vs kids movie.  At least, it’s trying to not look like a Hunger Games clone while still vaguely being a Hunger Games clone. Or is The Hunger Games really a Lord of the Flies clone?   The film is capture the flag with very serious intent and results.  The top poster is very nice in suggesting how the “Rules of War ” are going to get quickly out of hand.  The second poster with its weapons of wood arranged like an archeological dig hints at the deeper themes of I Declare War while still being funny.   Love the tagline: “Childhood Is a Battleground.”

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mr_nobody_ver6Mr. Nobody (Jared Leto) is the last living mortal in the year 2092.  How he got to be the last of his kind is all dependent on whether he boards or leaves the train that is about to depart.  And no, the train is not bound for Hogwarts.   The poster is great at depicting the decision/indecision and the paralysis of will and mind it has on the kid.   Jaco Van Dormael directs.  Also starring as the last remaining mortals in memory are Sarah Polley, Rhys Ifans, Juno Temple and Clare Stone.  

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This is the special edition Riddick IMAX poster that will be give away at certain early screenings of the film.  The sequel features Vin Diesel battling alien predators on a sun scorched planet where he was abandoned and left for dead. 

mortal_instruments_city_of_bones_ver14_xlgAnother blah banner for Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

sacrament“Mumblegore” director Ti West latest is filled with Jones Town massacre take the Kool-Aid and die echoes.   Three magazine journalists visit a relative at a religious commune, where the mysterious Father (Gene Jones) is the unchallenged leader. Like all infamous cult tales, it doesn’t end well.  Ti West in an interview with InsideMovie said, ” I wanted to depict a cult that wasn’t full of psychos. They are people that you’re like, ‘Well, I don’t want to live there, but I understand why they do. And let them do whatever they want.” The aging effect shown on the poster gives off a 1970’s era vibe.   The Sacrament will get a premier at both the Venice International and TIFF 2013 festivals.  

wasteland_ver2_xlgThe Rise or  its former title The Wasteland is a British crime thriller directed by Rowan Athale about a suspect in an armed robbery  who recalls the event that lead to the robbery and the attempted assassination of a prominent local business man.   

story_of_children_and_film_xlgThis compilation piece gets point for its simple but effective design that echoes the great kids classic The Red Balloon.  

one_chance_xlgThe poster for One Chance: The Incredible True Story of Paul Potts has that Mr Holand’s Opus feel to it.  Paul Potts was  a cell phone salesman who sang opera on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007.  The film follows him from his origins as a chubby child to awkward portly adult with a passion for opera, and the various mishaps along the way that kept his spectacular voice a secret until he unveiled it one night before most of the United Kingdom. He has gone on to become a global opera star who tours the world and has sold millions of albums.

The story follows Paul Potts, a cell phone salesman who sang opera on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, from his origins as a chubby child to awkward portly adult with a passion for opera, and the various mishaps along the way that kept his spectacular voice a secret until he unveiled it one night before most of the United Kingdom. He has gone on to become a global opera star who tours the world and has sold millions of albums. – See more at: http://www.film-releases.com/movies/film-information/movie-9224-one-chance#sthash.SlRg97F5.dpuf
The story follows Paul Potts, a cell phone salesman who sang opera on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, from his origins as a chubby child to awkward portly adult with a passion for opera, and the various mishaps along the way that kept his spectacular voice a secret until he unveiled it one night before most of the United Kingdom. He has gone on to become a global opera star who tours the world and has sold millions of albums. – See more at: http://www.film-releases.com/movies/film-information/movie-9224-one-chance#sthash.SlRg97F5.dpuf
The story follows Paul Potts, a cell phone salesman who sang opera on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, from his origins as a chubby child to awkward portly adult with a passion for opera, and the various mishaps along the way that kept his spectacular voice a secret until he unveiled it one night before most of the United Kingdom. He has gone on to become a global opera star who tours the world and has sold millions of albums. – See more at: http://www.film-releases.com/movies/film-information/movie-9224-one-chance#sthash.SlRg97F5.dpuf
The story follows Paul Potts, a cell phone salesman who sang opera on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007, from his origins as a chubby child to awkward portly adult with a passion for opera, and the various mishaps along the way that kept his spectacular voice a secret until he unveiled it one night before most of the United Kingdom. He has gone on to become a global opera star who tours the world and has sold millions of albums. – See more at: http://www.film-releases.com/movies/film-information/movie-9224-one-chance#sthash.SlRg97F5.dpuf

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These Birds Walks is an intimte portrait of the orphans of Pakistan seen through the eyes of one them, Oscar.   The poster has a sense of no boundaries, expectations or responsibilities, just a free soaring feeling that is typical for a child’s view.  

don_jon_ver3Apparently the translation for hearts on your sleeves is hearts on your collar. 

prisoners_ver5Nope, even in an Asian dialect Hugh Jackman doesn’t look any more pissed off than usual. 

I love showing Indian posters and their gleeful abuse of everything Photoshop has to offer. 

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And While We Were Here first trailer has Kate Bosworth while on  an extended sojourn with her perfectionists husband played by Iddo Goldberg (a bit actor in his first starring role) whose either a tormented conductor,  an anal violinist or both at the same time is interrupted when she meets and falls in love with a free spirited, free thinking American youth masquerading as an Italian played by Jamie Blackley (a Brit actor, also getting his first big part).

It looks like one of those romantic movies that will eventually become saccharine poured on with a very heavy syrup of nostalgic kitsch.  A chick flick that even the most lenient viewer will roll her eyes at.

The fun in these kinds of trailers is in dissecting the critical blurbs that pop up.   If you go to Rotten Tomatoes none of the reviews will show up.   They had to be tracked down.

“A gossamer tale of ruined love and liberation.” — Variety.  This story is so light weight and derivative that I might as well stick some neo-realist references in to make it seem more interesting than it is.   John Anderson, the critic cited here, also called it “an antipasto platter of film references.”   He also said the film was shot in black and white when every scene in the trailer is clearly in color.  So was this first version so bad that they filmed it again?  Or did the critic forget to remove his sunglasses?  The title at the time lost the “And” and was “While We Were Here”.  Anderson called it “anti-romantic”.

“Utterly Romantic”– Paste Magazine.  The rest of the quote goes “… and traditional.”  The critic, Michael Dunaway who wrote the review as a part of a page on Tribeca Film Capsules also said he was watching a black and white film.  The possibility of two critics viewing this film at different screenings with sunglasses on is astronomical, so this film was definitely reshot when it became obvious that  it was too recherche for the average romantic comedy audience.   Also the film was called “While We Here” at the time of the review.  And notice now it is an “utterly romantic” film.

“An Homage to the great Italian films”– Epoch Times.   Anderson of variety also saw homages to “… the French New Wave and the cinematic power of faces, as well as a lark of sorts for Coiro and Bosworth after their collaboration on “Life Happens,” this black-and-white, anti-romantic feature might also be seen as a retort to that earlier pic.”  Helena Chao, the reviewer for the Epoch Times, generally liked it, but also mentioned that is was a “…A homage to the great Italian black and white films, tweaked for the 21st century…” So this film see saw is not the same film the trailer wants us to see. 

Conclusion: the film went from being arty and bouncing homages to every cinema fad like a teenager changes fashion every fifteen minutes to a bland, romantic comedy with no style or reference point what so ever.

At the end,  the trailer reviews itself and promises four words and four things: Laugh, Cry, Love, Live.”  Oh, how utterly anti-romantic and yet utterly Italian non-neorealistic!


hunger_games_catching_fire_ver29_xlgThe Teutonic imagery in all the Catching Fire Victory Banners is getting a little out of hand.  The distance between Katniss and Peeta and the golden cloud, bestowing heavenly blessings on the two is just kitsch at its finest example of unawareness.  Particularly silly is mixing it with a smattering of Hebrew symbols lifted from Exodus.   The resemblance to the Burning Bush  with the smoke and golden blaze coming off the top of the water is particularly unfortunate. 

47 rONINThe intense stare of Keanu Reeves on the Asian sheet for 47 Ronin is probably the finest acting he has ever done in any of his films.  Not!!!  Reeves leads the cast as Kai, an outcast who joins Oishi (Hiroyuki Sanada), the leader of the 47 Ronin. Together they seek vengeance upon the treacherous overlord who killed their master and banished their kind.  Opens Christmas day.  

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 The creepy Shining twin sisters echoes adds extra macabre feeling to the poster for We are What We Are.  The film is about a family of cannibals from Mexico who move to the poorer part of the Catskill Mountains in New York State.  It is a remake of a Spanish film of the same title directed by Jorge Michael Grau.   Cast includes Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Michael Parks, Wyatt Russell and Kelly McGillis.  Jim Mickle directs.  

generation_iron_ver2_xlgGeneration Iron, directed by Vlad Yudin, takes a behind-the-scenes look at how bodybuilding’s top competitors prepared for the 2012 Mr. Olympia.  A kind of sequel to Pumping Iron which launched a young Arnold Schwarzenegger into stardom.  One of these four bodybuilders is the star of the poster art:  Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Branch Warren, and Dennis Wolf.   

huntedSo who is this fearsome shark of the woods that makes even bears not even number 2 there? It’s the Cullen Clan!  That’s right these vampires not only number 2 in the woods, they suck the living sap out of every living thing around.   And yes, it is one of those found footage horror thingies.  Joy o Joy!

gettysburg_address_xlgFour score and seven years ago today it was August 28th, 1926.   Not much happened on that day except that Indian pitcher Emil Levsen delivered a complete doubleheader victory against the Red Sox.  The Gettysburg Address is the definitive dissection on film of the Gettysburg Address, so expect a lot of talking head professors espousing on Lincoln and lots of actors like Matthew Broderick  and Tom Brokaw reciting dramatically the famous speech over and over again.


dallas_buyers_clubMatthew McConaughey takes the pill and dares to live in the first poster for The Dallas Buyers Club.  The film is based on the true story of Ron Woodroff, a Texas electrician who, after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1986, began to smuggle alternative and illegal treatments into the US and into the hands of other patients.  The blurry focus of McConaughey’s face  hints at both a drug side effect and the blur of his impending death.   Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner star as a HIV positive positive trans-woman and the sympathetic doctor who help Woodroof on his quest.   Both McConaughey and Leto both lost a considerable amount of weight for the roles.   The Dallas Buyers Club will have it premier at TIFF 2013.  

thanks_for_sharing_ver3Thanks for Sharing gets another routine poster.   The trailers for the film make it look like a complicated and adult romantic comedy.   The poster gives the opposite impression.  Actually it leaves no impression what so ever.  It’s all cast and no story.   Mark Ruffalo stars as a recovering sex addict whose complication to recovery is his budding love for Gwyneth Paltrow.

mccanick_xlgMcCanick, the last film of Glee star Corey Monteith  before his untimely death, gets an interesting sheet for its 2013 TIFF premier.   The mirror reflects co-star Davide Morse but the Man holding the other gun in the sheet is Monteith.  The incongruity between reflection and the other reality gives this poster some symbolic and thematic bite.   McCanick finds Morse as detective Eugene “Mack” McCanick, a narcotics cop who is consumed by paranoia when he learns that a seemingly harmless criminal (Monteith) is being released from the slammer.

We Gotta Get Out of This Place Movie Poster

First-time feature directors Simon and Zeke Hawkins tip their hat to pulp crime master Jim Thompson in this tight, twisty, Texas-set nouveau noir about three teenage friends who get in way over their head when they cross a down-home crime syndicate. The film will have its premier at TIFF 2013.  The We Gotta Get Out of This Place gorgeous hand painted poster was made by Eisner Award winning artist Sean Phillips.   

contractorAnother blah poster.  Danny Trejo of course is carrying a huge “Machete” knife.  It’s the only hint of parody.   The Contractor is a female horror thriller about a housewife (Christina Cox) who takes matter into her own hands when the contractor (Trejo) she hired to remodel her house starts displaying unprofessional behavior like stalking her and displaying murderous intent.  

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 After Tiller explores the highly controversial subject of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller. The poster gets its interest from the female perspective and abundance of critical blurbs.  A very difficult subject that deserves better than a second rate sheet.

justin_and_the_knights_of_valour_ver6_xlgThe two  Spanish character posters for the Antonio Banderas produced animated film Justin and The Knights of Valour have a certain whimsical charm that make them an engaging view.  The film’s simple plot has Justin seeking to become a Knight of Valour.  The voice cast includes Banderas, Freddie Highmore as Justin, Charles Dance, Alfred Molina, Saorise Ronan and Rupert Everett. 

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Four quickly produced posters for the Indian film Neelakasham Pacha Kadal Chuvanna Bhoomi have an overly Photoshopped glow to them that kind of sort goes and not goes with the story.  I include them here because YouTube has an interesting making of the posters documentary for them.

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The Korean poster for Ron Howard’s upcoming Grand Prix drama Rush gets a sheet that says it all without any stars to get in the way.  Just a great simple poster that says its one thing well. 

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