We only get a February 29th once every four years, but we get a ton of movie posters every single month.  Hope everyone had a fine Leap Day yesterday.  Mine was great, because I had a whole extra day to collect all the questionable movie posters I’m about to share with you.  Decided to go with a Van Halen theme for this month’s column, mainly because they’re playing the Garden this week, and also due to the very tenuous Leap Day/”Jump” connection.  And as long as we’re mixing movie talk with Van Halen, I might as well say that there’s always been something Raimi-esque about the Van Halen brothers to me.

Let’s do a quick little This Person Looks Like That Person to see if that statement has any merit.


Whaddya say?

Anyway, whether we can all agree on that or not, hopefully we can all share a chuckle over the misguided attempts of studio marketing departments to sell their product.  So sit back, relax, cue up this well-known tune, and let the madness begin.


Disclaimer:  This column is all in fun and is generally not meant to reflect on the quality of the films themselves.  Generally.


If “He only has 1000 words left to discover what matters most”, then why is he spending them on Clark Duke (upper left corner)?  I mean really.  Sweet Kerry Washington and the great Ruby Dee are in your life, and you’re starting with Clark Duke.  John Witherspoon has apparently gone blind, but Clark Duke is the first stop on your karma tour.  I get why you’re not beginning with Cliff Curtis in his underpants, but seriously Ed, get some priorities.


This movie features real-life Navy SEALS and as a result I will not be making fun of it one bit.  You go right ahead if you want to.  Not me!


There are three things about this poster I need to call your attention to:

1)  While an airplane shoots up Manhattan landmarks behind them, the Avengers are coolly striking poses.

2)  Sam Jackson is apparently doing the Dougie back there.

3)  Thor continues to resemble Chelsea Handler.

You tell me: Am I wrong?

Everybody knows what “kitsch” is, right?  Basically it’s a phenomenally appropriate word to describe a pandering jingo-istic Transformers-inspired (!) four-quadrant movie appropriating the name of a board game with nothing to do with Transformers upon which was spent the gross national product of an actual country.  “Kitsch.”  That’s so on the nose, from where I’m standing I can see boogers.


Now that we’ve squeezed as much out of teenage girls as we’re ever likely to get, can we get a Twilight aimed at older broads?  We’ll keep the pasty pouty dude and his smoldering glance from the Twilight posters, but let’s have him bewitch a thirty-something, a forty-something, and a fifty-something instead of that pasty pouty twenty-something.  Sound good? 


And now it’s time for an audience participation segment.  Help me out here…

Which is the more punchable face?  You have thirty seconds to decide.  Go!


The great Sigourney Weaver, heroically sacrificing coolness points in order to demonstrate for all poster designers of the future why YOU NEVER SHOW AN ACTOR WALKING IN MID-STRIDE.   Compare this to the badassness of the guys on the Act Of Valor poster, boots rooted to the ground in action poses that warn all comers that they’re unable to be knocked over easily… (Yup, still trying to get on those dudes’ good side.)


But… that’s kind of exactly all it takes to make a baby…


Bad news kids, if you were trying to show us your best “crazy eyes” face, you missed the mark.  But chin up: Lukas Haas, you have been selected as a front-runner in the competition for America’s Saddest Facial Hair.


Can’t shake the feeling there’s some kind of sexual innuendo going on in the Bermuda Triangle area there.


So on one thumb he’s got this blond bombshell and on the other he’s got the super-cool actress from Trainspotting and Boardwalk Empire.  What exactly is this motherfucker’s problem?

P.S.  Rhetorical; not asking because this image in any way inspires me to find out.


This poster is a case where the tagline is so distracting I can’t even judge the artwork.  The movie is called Delicacy and the tagline goes, “A new romantic comedy about Love, Fate, and other Delicacies.”  That’s like saying “Inception: An action movie about Dreams, Memory, and other Inceptions.”  Or “Drive: A badass art film about Violence, Loyalty, and other Drives.”  Or “The Big Lebowski: A comedy about Jeff, Jeffrey, and other Lebowskis.” 

Incidentally, have you ever read my review of Amelie?  It’s short so I’ll reprint it here in its entirety:

“It’s got whimsy coming out the ass. B/B+


While I’m inclined to make as much fun of this particular movie as possible, I’m normally loath to mock an entire language.  But I just can’t help myself — “Extreem luid en ongelooflijk dichtbij”?  Did the Swedish Chef take a white-out pen to this poster or what? 

And it’s in BIOSCOOP!


I’m the one with the dirty mind; that I’ll grant you.  But still, there’s something vaguely sexual about that tombstone, in a specifically H.R. Giger kind of way.


Every single piece of press for this movie relentlessly mentions how all these stars are friends behind the scenes, which is nice to know, but it also becomes ironic when you consider that no two of them sat in the same room together for this utter symphony of Photoshop.


Pardon me, but did you just put a steampunk sex-toy on your poster and entirely neglect to explain it?


Awesome, a spiritual descendant of Sucker Punch, The Spirit, and Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow. Just what everyone always wanted.

However, I’ll award them points for the following:

A) TV’s Blossom in the role of Sarah Palin;

B) Udo Kier; and

C) Someone on the crew is named Bliss McGillicuddy.


All this does is remind me that since I’ve already seen that Gears Of War commercial, there’s not a great reason to see this movie.


Every single time I look at this poster, the beginning of “Your Song” by Elton John starts playing in my head.  “It’s a little bit zombie… this feeling inside…”  First sign of insanity?  Naw. We passed by that sign years ago. 


Margin Call was one of the smartest, most-overlooked movies of 2011.  How can we get more people to check it out?  Maybe release a poster that makes it look like a cruddy mid-to-late-90s Steven Seagal thriller, right down to the tagline.  Sure that’s everything it isn’t, but hell, whatever gets butts in seats.


You always knew it could potentially happen one day: Welcome to Nathan Lane’s Dame Edna period. 


Real human beings with feelings and memories are still starving to death on American streets every day.  It’s a good thing to keep in mind while raising the bare minimum of a million dollars it takes to make a feature film.  If you really think the good can do with your movie, the happiness you can bring to the world with it, is the equivalent to clothing and feeding those who need the charity, well then go ahead.  Otherwise, you know, make something called Osombie, I guess.  Good luck explaining that one on Sunday.


This is as French as fuck.  You people brought this on yourselves, by making such a big deal over The Artist.


Anybody else getting a Huey Lewis & The News vibe all of the sudden?


It’s one thing to make a useless sequel.  It’s another thing to make a sequel to a useless poster.

Remember kids, Battle: Los Angeles is not a thing to emulate.


Oh hey, remember how good District 9 was?

Anybody interested in a re-envisioning not of that movie, but of the poster to District 9?

Don’t mind me, I’m just some dude messing around on the internet.  Pretend I’m not here.


Far be it from me to expect any common sense or obedience to the laws of physics from a Piranha poster, but this one bugs me out for a few different reasons:

A)  Unless the girl is looking straight down at the water, which we can fairly assume she isn’t (because where would the camera be), then there’s no way she could have all those fish reflected in the lenses of her sunglasses.  I may be the only person who vocalizes these things, but I think anyone notices screwy perspective, at least subconsciously.

B)  One of the lenses is cracked. But why?  Is it an involuntary physical response to the vision of oncoming destruction, as was the tear shed by Grima Wormtongue in The Two Towers when he witnessed the armies of Saruman? 

C)  This poster needs more tits.  I suggest this not because I am a pig, but because if you call a movie Piranha 3DD and promise “Double The Ds”, then you might as well go ahead and use it as a selling point.  When you’re Larry The Cable Guy, you can’t just mention Wal-Mart and drop it, you have to go all the way and talk about your grandma getting her hair done there, or else your target audience won’t get the joke.


Guess I’m missing the point if I suggest that the Starlet in question is an actress no one’s ever heard of ever.


Chris Rock looks more startled to be on this poster than I am to see him on it.


I like this one because the kid is farting out his dream of a party.


And with that parting fart joke, I will take my leave of this column for now.  See y’all in the spring!