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This Week In Posters: The Chipmunks Channel John Singleton

Welcome back to This Week In Posters! This week, we’re starting with Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip. That’s just how this game is played.

First, the facts. For instance, did you know this is the fourth CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks movie? That’s Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007), Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakuel (2009), Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011), and now Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, if you’re keeping score at home.

As for the poster, do you think this “boys on the hood” play on words is a reference to Eazy E and NWA’s 1987 song about jockin’ bitches and slappin’ hos, or to the 1991 John Singleton film about blighted neighborhoods, teen pregnancy, and violent gangs? Either way, I can think of no better to way get our children thinking about poverty and disenfranchisement than by referencing seminal expressions of black discontent in a poster about singing chipmunks who wear sunglasses. Who knew this franchise was so subversive? ALLLVIIIN! Did you steal my copy of Soul on Ice?!

Fellow adults: Do you get an uncanny valley vibe from the chipmunks, or is it just me? Like, they move and dance and jiggle the way the 2D chipmunks never did, but they still have these giant, glassy, robot eyes. It’s like they’re staring into the abyss. I wonder if our parents (grandparents?) thought the same thing about the original chipmunks. “Sped-up tape singing voices are tools of the devil!”

“Your legacy is more than just a name.”

That’s right. It’s also a band! Hey, why did you name your movie a name that was already a platinum-selling pseudo-Christian rock act?

New tagline: “Sometimes a legacy is more than just a name. Sometimes it can become… your own prison. And so you hold your head up high. Hiding hate that burns inside. Which only fuels their selfish priiiide.”

The name aside, Michael B. Jordan’s triceps look great, and I appreciate that they put the names over the corresponding people.

I saw a preview for Zootopia at D23, and it’s not just about animals who talk and wear clothes, they imagined an entire universe where animals would talk and wear clothes (“Zootopia”). The poster focuses on this town, and all the little clever touches (lululemmings, Just Zoo It, Preyda). I also saw a clip where the DMV was run by sloths. That’s all well and good, but why not start with “This movie is about talking animals who wear clothes!”

No need to complicate a hook that strong, if you ask me. But hey, I’m just a guy who really likes talking about animals who wear clothes.

I’ll admit I don’t know much about Troy: The Resurrection of Aeneas, whose web presence is limited to an in-development IMDb page and an official site that just has a graphic and a link to the in-development IMDb page. But the poster has me full of questions. Is this a sequel to Troy? Why would someone want to make a sequel to Troy? Is this not a sequel to Troy? Why would someone making a not sequel to Troy want to remind people of Troy?

Of special note is the fact that the director’s first name is Aeneas. Thus I’m not sure if this is a Troy spinoff starring the Aeneas character, who was played by Frankie Fitzgerald, or some kind of fan-fiction vanity project from a director who has envisioned a scenario starring himself as the hero of Troy. Possibly both? Needless to say I’m intrigued. I’ll keep you updated.

“(T)ERROR.”

Oh, I see what you did there, clever parentheticals. It seems someone was inspired by me and Burnsy’s favorite song, Nelson’s “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection.”

As an added benefit, those parentheticals — (T)error is the official title, not just a clever poster design — make it a lot easier to Google.

There was a profile of this case on NPR a few weeks back, about a put-upon FBI informant named Saeed who was trying to build a terrorism case against a Muslim convert who ran an Islamic school. That was great, definitely worth a listen, so the movie sounds intriguing. Also, I’m a sucker for a desaturated mystery man.

The new Peanuts movie is an interesting contrast with Alvin and the Chipmunks. Instead of trying to make the characters fully lifelike, they just gave the original animation depth and texture, and kept all the old line-drawn eyes and mouths. I have to say, this method creeps me out a lot less. But the Chipmunks movie also spawned three sequels already so what do I know.

As someone who preferred Baby Mama to Bridesmaids, you had me at “Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.” It looks like they’re consciously emulating some of the Stepbrothers marketing (and why wouldn’t you?). Does that mean Tina Fey is going to put her labia on Amy Poehler’s clarinet? Why does her box of memories include a bra? Will they be drinking wine in the tub? I hope the film answers all of these questions and more.

Cool poster, and never in a million years did I expect to see Noam Chomsky’s name on the same poster as Ted Nugent’s. (On the other hand, Tom Morello’s on the same poster as Serj Tankian’s makes a lot of sense).

The journey of a group of renowned Rock musicians, led by George Lynch (Dokken/Lynch Mob) on a journey of discovery through music; exposing the injustices done to native Americans. [IMDb]

This sounds interesting, but if I have to hear Ted Nugent tell us how him running around in a loincloth onstage and killing animals with his bow and arrow is actually his loving, respectful tribute to Native American culture, I’m going to put a pistol in my mouth.

I know exactly what we’re getting based on this poster, so A+ for lucid design. And what we’re getting is, of course, a Hollywood-financed, faith-based film about the manhunt for Jesus. Oh man. I cannot wait for this.

Clavius [Joseph Fiennes], a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem. [IMDb]

CLAVIUS: “Okay, listen up, people. Our fugitive has been resurrected for three days. Average foot speed over uneven ground and/or water barring injuries or miracles is 4 miles per hour. That gives us a radius of six miles, and he has wine and fish sandwiches enough to hide out forever. What I want from each and every one of you is a hard-target search of every manger, leper colony, religious woman’s shower scum, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area. Checkpoints go up at 15 miles. Your fugitive’s name is Messiah Jesus H. Christ, aka the father, aka the son, aka the holy ghost, aka the trinity. Go get him.”

(*Clavius pointing spear at Christ*)

CHRIST: “I wasn’t born from sin!”

CLAVIUS: “I don’t care!”

(*Christ swan dives off aqueduct*)

I like the artwork on this poster, though I have zero clue what it’s about. There’s… a man? And he’s red? But also a DJ? Who’s being controlled? By the devil? Wasn’t this the plot of the movie Vinny Chase directed in the Entourage movie?

A successful DJ living in a trendy apartment building learns his psychiatrist and new neighbor may be involved in a secret society plot drugging and killing fellow celebrity tenants. [IMDb]

Well that sounds kind of cool, why didn’t you just say that? Though Redman doesn’t seem to be in it, which feels like a bait and switch.

Oh wow, an animated animal is coming to New York. Has this plot ever been tried before? This story may be too different for people… to bear.

The font and faded poster feel like a horror movie, but then the tagline makes it sound like a mumblecore Annie Hall (which is probably a horror movie for a lot of people, but not something you’d want to advertise). Anyway, I really hope these two people whose faces I can’t really see become friends. That would make my day.

I still haven’t seen Dogtooth or Yorgos Lanthimos’ other movies, but this poster for The Lobster is easily my favorite poster of the week. You had me at Colin Farrell awkwardly standing over a corpse (?) but then you throw in a rain suit, an ominous looking door that says “transformation room” above it (shades of Calvin & Hobbes?), and dare I say a lovely patterned carpet, and I’m all in. The symmetrical quality and air of whimsy make it look like dark Wes Anderson. So many rectangles.

Vin Diesel’s beard goes to eleven. There’s nothing about this that doesn’t look amazing.

“Your darkest fears start in your mind.”

Hmm, don’t they also end there? Isn’t that the nature of emotions, that they exist in your mind? Anyway, the official title is Haunted: 333, and it stars Corin Nemec, aka Parker Lewis, so you know it can’t lose. (I apologize).

333 is half of 666. Lotta people forget that.

All The Good Dinosaur posters that don’t make it look like an emo indie dramedy look terrific. The most obvious aspect of The Good Dinosaur is that the landscapes look hyper real and the main characters look sort of primitive and cartoony. But I’m loving the design on the T-rex. He’s got small eyes, like a carnivorous Josh Hartnett.

Honest question: Does anyone have any idea what the hell this is supposed to be about based on the poster? I’m getting checkers, wood, Latinos, true events, and the kid from Modern Family, which seems like a terrible Mad Lib. There are times a floating head design isn’t the best choice. This is probably one of them.

From IMDb:

Since he was 5 yrs old, Jose’s abuelita taught him to play chess like his grandfather who was a champion in Mexico. Now as part of the Brownsville school team, Jose has the chance to use his skills and for once in his life, finds himself in the spotlight, as he tries to help his team make it to the Texas state finals. As their coach, Mr. Alvarado, teaches his students the meaning of perseverance and team effort in the face of adversity, Jose discovers his own strengths and uses them to bring his broken family together.

Ah, so the smiling lady is Jose’s abuelita, now it all makes sense.

This is the first Paz de la Huerta movie I’ve seen in awhile that didn’t advertise Paz in some state of suggestive undress, but it’s called “Bare,” so I guess that’s implied. Also, there’s a snake there, because symbolism (possibly Jesus?). I hope it’s about a couple sexy chicks who are really into Whitesnake.

Anyone know what that thing in the middle is supposed to be? It looks like somebody’s sleeve tat, with a bunch of esoteric symbols you can’t quite make out. But as long as Caroline Lagerfelt is in it, what else do you need to know?

I know I like to make fun of studios always using Peter Travers’ not-especially-descriptive pull quotes, but I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a poster quote a critic’s summary graf. Could this be a new poster trend?

“Robert Redford plays CBS news anchor Dan Rather!” raves Peter Travers.

“It’s set in 2004!” declares Pete Hammond.

“The film will be released in theaters October 16th, 2015!” gushes Shawn Edwards.

Vince Mancini is a writer and comedian living in San Francisco. A graduate of Columbia’s non-fiction MFA program, his work has appeared on FilmDrunk, the UPROXX network, the Portland Mercury, the East Bay Express, and all over his mom’s refrigerator. Fan FilmDrunk on Facebook, find the latest movie reviews here.

 

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