We open this week’s This Week in Posters with this street stencil-style poster for The Benefactor, starring Richard Gere. Until I Googled it, I thought this was the movie where Richard Gere pretended to be homeless for 45 minutes and it changed his life. Nope, different movie (trailer here). Though I couldn’t tell from the poster, so, maybe it’s a little vague? These indie movies, man. Your plot isn’t the nuclear launch codes, it’s okay to give us a hint.
The close-eyed headbutt returns! It never goes out of style. Nothing says romance like two people rubbing foreheads with their eyes closed (the old “Hungarian Kiss”).
And there’s the Brooklyn Bridge in the background to drive home the point that it’s set in Brooklyn. Noticing a strategy difference between this and the last poster? In any case, I loved this movie, and that quote sums it up pretty well.
Ha! She is the boss, get it? I’m not sure Melissa McCarthy needs to be made up like she’s in an SNL sketch in every single movie. It’s almost like a bait and switch at this point, judging by how good the reviews for Spy were. But Spy did make $235 million, so I guess there isn’t much incentive to change course.
Pack it in, everyone, you’re never going to do better than this headline. Do you think they cast these actors solely for the pun value, or was it just the world’s happiest accident? Discuss.
Now, you’ll notice in this poster that it’s not just about the incredible pun, they’re also using Kevin Hart as a visual stand in for The Rock’s penis. It’s genius. Not enough people have exploited the full penis pun potential of Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s name, or of Kevin Hart being penis sized.
I know I’m supposed to be focusing on Wahlberg/Ferrell here, but I can’t take my eyes of that strangely photoshopped dog.
Are his dead zombie eyes following you around the room or is it just me? Also, is Wahlberg wearing some kind of illuminati ring? Does he summon lizard people with that thing? This movie is scaring me.
Here’s a new poster for Deadpool, showing him as Santa Claus, even though it says right under the title that it doesn’t open until February. Does that work? Seems a little confusing. Like, is this a poster for the movie, or is Deadpool doing mall appearances? Also, I’m getting a strange Madea vibe.
Boy, Divergent looks thrilling, doesn’t it? A bland guy looking all blurry? I’ll be sure not to miss this one.
And now, Marlon Wayans stars in his Fifty Shades of Grey parody, Fifty Shades of Black. The tie was already a penis metaphor in the original Fifty Shades poster (below), so I guess this poster is saying that Marlon Wayans’ tie penis is… more erect? Because he’s black? Because black men have more erect penises? I dunno, man. I don’t think the joke is supposed to be this confusing.
I still like to imagine that the “5th Wave” in the title refers to fifth-wave feminism.
At first I thought all this Gods of Egypt marketing looked stupid – I mean how many more Clash of the Titans-type movies do we need? But then I saw the trailer, and it does look sort of charmingly ridiculous.
I think the posters could do a better job of selling the ridiculousness. Maybe just that shot of Gerard Butler trying to rip out Jaime Lannister’s eyes. That would do it for me.
Remember that thing I said about indie movies refusing to reveal what they’re actually about? Here’s a poster that doesn’t do that. How much better is the Indian-kid-doing-Saturday-Night-Fever design than some abstract paint blotch with his face in the middle?
Sub question: Are those abstract, vague designs poor marketing, or are they just reflective of those movies’ vague, obtuse plots? Discuss.
Something about that lantern makes it look out of place, but otherwise this poster is, as they say, “pretty boss.” They’ve made it look like Samuel L. Jackson is a sort of owl, who is going to swoop down on this sleepy Old West bed and breakfast with his gun talons and call everyone “motherf*cker.” That’s the way I imagine it, anyway. Yes, please.
I was going to complain about the mismatched faces/names, but this is so badly photoshopped that I actually can’t tell who’s who.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War trailer had basically everything you’d expect from a movie like this (spooky, overwrought voiceover; slowed-down, overwrought soundtrack), and the strangest thing about it is people treating it like the first Huntsman wasn’t a pile of shellacked turds. How did that happen? Is it because this one has Emily Blunt? I do like Emily Blunt.
And Jessica Chastain in a low-cut top with giant antler swords. Okay, I admit, I’m starting to see the appeal.
“From the producer of Maleficent,” Hahahaha.
“Snow White and the Huntsman? Never heard of it. All of those people have been fired and we threw that Twilight girl down a well.”
Even Charlize Theron is back! Judging by this poster, they could’ve just called it Stargate: Winter’s War. Thus avoiding that unfortunate association with Snow White and the Huntsman.
Refresh my memory: Wasn’t Snow White and the Huntsman essentially an origin story for Kristin Stewart’s character, who killed Charlize Theron at the end? How did they pull off bringing back Charlize Theron, but not Kristen Stewart?
Okay, I just checked Wikipedia, and I think what I found deserves block quoting here:
The dwarves infiltrate the castle through the sewers and open the gates, allowing the Duke’s army inside. Snow White confronts Queen Ravenna, but is overpowered. Queen Ravenna is about to kill Snow White and consume her heart, but Snow White uses a move the Huntsman taught her and kills Queen Ravenna, and Duke Hammond’s army is victorious. With Queen Ravenna defeated and dead, the kingdom once again enjoys peace and harmony as Snow White is crowned Queen.
So, how did they get around that?
Long before the evil Queen Ravenna was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya, suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young Ice Queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly Huntsmen – including Eric and warrior Sara – only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: forever harden your hearts to love. [Wiki]
The old prequel dodge, classic. I also enjoy that the huntsmen (huntspeople?) are named “Eric” and “Sara.” “Yes, hello, these are my children, Daenerys, Azrael, Candelabra, and Dave.”
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? And it’s not played for comedy? Yep, sounds like a February release to me.
Is that Downton Abbey in the background there? These dang British buildings all look the same to me. Is that racist?
Once again, I have no idea why the name order couldn’t have matched the actors.
“What’s your safe word?”
Pay attention, everyone, because this is how you do taglines. A one-word title and a four-word tagline, on a poster that’s just silhouettes, and I feel like I have a pretty strong grasp on what kind of movie this is. Succinctness, sometimes it really works.
Brian Posehn as a drunk uncle in a Christmas comedy? Yes, I can imagine that. At first I didn’t even realize that he was holding a lady’s shoe. Is he trying to pour the beer into the shoe? But he’s holding the shoe backwards, because he’s drunk? I like that they’ve built a fun little mystery into this.
And that’s when I noticed “Errol Morris presents” at the top. Jesus, talk about a twist. The director of The Fog of War and The Unknown Known is presenting a Christmas comedy starring Brian Posehn? How wonderfully strange. I’m expecting a cross between The Thin Blue Line and Christmas with the Kranks.
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.