Requiem for a Fanboy – A Poster Prelude

[Editor’s note: Stay tuned for Bryan’s complete Top 20 posters of 2010.]

One of my favorite things about movies, theater, concerts–any event that needs to be advertised–is the poster. They have to sell something, an entire 90-minute event summed-up with one picture. While the specific qualities and purposes for the posters are often very different, the goal is still the same: to catch someone’s eye and make them remember it. With movies, the process is in overdrive.

Some movies are such colossal events that teaser posters with simply a release date and one glimpse key image gets the audience pumped. And in a movie theater there are many posters of all sizes, all competing for your attention, all cleverly designed to target your movie-going pleasure center. Artwork in their own right, we decorate our homes with some of the best posters as a statement about who we are.

The posters for 2010 are a mixed bag in my opinion. Some truly great posters are for bad movies or movies I do not care for seeing. They look good, get their message across well, and are unique unto themselves. Some of the best movies of the year have AWFUL posters. Scott Pilgrim, for example, those unfamiliar with the material might not understand the separate posters for each of the seven evil-exes, and the main poster with Scott playing guitar just didn’t work. I blame some of the poor turnout for Scott Pilgrim directly at the bad ad-campaign.

So, here are my picks for the best posters of 2010. Like I said, they might not be for the greatest movies, but in my personal opinion they are the best examples of artful movie posters.

The Social Network – Easily shows along side this is “The Facebook Movie.” I like the fact that it is along side rather than on the top or bottom. It makes it instantly secondary to the tagline text over Jesse Eisenberg‘s face. Says everything about the movie right there. Guys who are barely drinking age making the biggest business maneuver of the decade, creating the mold for the century. After you get the main piece of the poster you sort of have to turn your head to get the title and facebook header. I really like that.

True Grit – What does this poster say? Western teaming Bridges, Damon and Brolin with the Coens. The Coen brothers always seem to put out deceptively simple posters, but damned if they aren’t always cool. They stay true to form right here. The names involved are what sell this movie. Flashy pics of the old west or Bridges with a revolver, I don’t think that’s what would help sell this to people who aren’t familiar with the original. The Western is a tough genre to entice people with these days. Leave it to the Coens to take something simple and add a little extra stank to it. The bullet hole and drip of blood trailing from Brolin’s name…

Guess he must be the bad guy, huh? Awesome.

I Love You Philip Morris – Obviously, Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor are incredibly talented and hilarious actors, this just puts them in that great and silly heart shape.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you know they nailed their dynamic with this image. The orange jumpsuits and barbed wire coupled with the expression on their faces look great together.

Toy Story 3 – The third and final Toy Story, coming out nearly 15 years after the original. By now, Woody and Buzz are as iconic as any animated character out there. The gang’s all back and there are even new toys. As a big fan of the previous movies, the poster exudes a warm and fuzzy feeling. I remember hearing some people were worried they wouldn’t push themselves technologically with their third foray with toys, but look at this poster, there is some seriously incredible work that has been done. The detail is really stunning, the textures of the different toys are very apparent and perfect, no less than what we’ve come to expect from Pixar. Oh yeah and look at Woody’s boot in the “3.” Boom.

I’m Still Here – I enjoy this poster. It reminds me of the poster for the Funny Games remake. It’s just got a really cool layout. The words are half gone, but you can still make them out. The fuzziness of the photo, the missing space on the text makes it look like he and his message might just fade way. Also, a lot of people are aware of Joaquin Pheonix, even if they weren’t aware of this shenanigans leading up to this movie. Having his name then a picture of him disheveled, looking like he’s in a pretty shitty state, really grabs people’s attention, especially if they had no idea what he was up to during the last year. We all knew him as a handsome leading man. Here he looks like shit. Wanna see why? Well, you should. And let me know how it is.

Buried – Nope, that’s not an Inception poster. Kinda looks like it could be one, huh? Hearing about it, the concept and it starring Ryan Reynolds, sounded like it could really go either way, but tipping toward it sounding like shit. Ok, a dude is buried alive. It’s been done a lot in movies. The movie got some good reviews, ended up with 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, all in all it was probably a solid movie. To get the word out they buried Ryan Reynolds in those critics’ reviews! Nice!


5 responses to “Requiem for a Fanboy – A Poster Prelude

  1. First of all…I’m gonna be a dick and point out that it is Jessie’s boot and not Woody.

    Second…soon you shall see how wrong you are. I like only some of your picks.

    And think you are dead wrong about Scott Pilgrim.

  2. I personally liked the poster for Scott Pilgrim– I would see it everyone on the subway to work this summer, and it just made me happy! I’m talking about the main one Scott holding the guitar.

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