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This Week In Movie Posters: ‘Arrival’ Is Everywhere, And The Return Of Steven Seagal

This week in This Week In Movie Posters, we open with As I Open My Eyes, from Kino Lorber. Indiewire promises that it’s going to be the “best fictional film about the Arab Spring yet.” Putting it ahead of such notable as… Uhhh… and Hmmmm… Doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of competition in that category. Nonetheless, this Baya Medhaffar seems like a delight.

And here we have the first of a huge new batch of posters for Arrival, Denis Villenueve’s new alien movie starring Amy Adams. They all feature this giant steak fry-looking thingy, which I gather is the aliens’ ship?

It’s very smooth. This is sort of how I imagine a caveman dildo. Just a vaguely dick-shaped river rock. You take it out of the stream, do your thing with it, put it right back where you found it for the next time. That’s a self-cleaning caveman dildo right there.

Are those the favelas? I wonder what their methodology for where to picture the alien ship was.

And here it is above a city that’s too small for me to recognize. Am I supposed to recognize it? Also, this just occurred to me: what if it’s not a ship at all, but a portal? Oh God, what if Denis Villeneuve made an alien movie that was ALL PORTALS? I wasn’t afraid before, but now I am. The best part of Suicide Squad was they put a big portal in there that they didn’t bother explaining at all, and it felt sort of like a big f*ck you to the audience. I appreciate being told to f*ck off because I am bad.

Now it looks sort of tongue-like. The Rolling Stones could probably parody this with their logo for their next tour. Anyway, there are like 10 more of these Arrival posters, but I’m not going to include them all, because I think we all get the idea by now. Maybe there’s some kind of code where they combine to give us a secret message. But if so, hey, find someone else to figure it out. That’s where viral marketing always fails for me, the “interactive” part. Interactive? No thanks, man, I’m gonna keep sitting here on my ass while you tell me what to buy. If I’m making my own decisions and legwork, what do I need you for?

That’s a very subtle gun Idris Elba is holding here. And oh hey look, is that Robb Stark? Fun. My only question is whether this is a spiritual sequel to White House Down/London Has Fallen or the bleak finale to Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve/Valentine’s Day/Mother’s Day holiday series.

Good thing they put the Eiffel Tower in the background there, otherwise we Americans would never know it was set in Paris.

“Bas-tilly day? What the heck’s that?”

“Shucks, I dunno. Probably some kinda pasta, I reckon.”

Wow. Oh boy. What a poster this is. Ashlee Simpson and Alicia Silverstone? No wonder they had so much money left over to blow on Hollywood’s most sought-after poster designer to create this surely-had-to-have-been-expensive masterpiece. You think this is a sequel to Space Chimps?

Okay, I’m back from checking IMDb. Looks like Space Dogs: Adventure to the Moon is actually a sequel to the 2010 Russian movie Space Dogs, in which Belka and Strelka were voiced by Anna Bolshova and Elena Yakovleva, respectively. Interesting that there’s a sequel. I would’ve assumed the dogs died at the end.

Interesting poster here for Do Not Resist, which pairs a not-especially-scary image with some pull quotes promising something disturbing. It’s weirdly compelling, like the visual version of the old children’s-choir-singing-a-song-used-in-eerie-context horror movie trope, only not as played out.

Yes, please. And it definitely didn’t need all those pull quotes or film festival laurels. All I needed to know was that someone is hunting using large birds of prey. If you’ve got falconry, you’ve got my ticket money, I always say. “A spellbinding journey about a 13-year-old whose best friend is a GIANT F*CKING EAGLE THAT RAINS DEATH FROM THE SKY WITH RAZOR SHARP TALONS.”

There, I fixed your tagline for you. Seriously, I saw a hawk catch a mouse right near me on the golf course once and I almost orgasmed.

I don’t know what’s going on with the badly Photoshopped rope down by his foot there, but if this is about a gruff old Scandinavian with a cat friend, I’m very interested. Wait, does he have a coil of rope and pictures of women? Jesus, this poster just got a lot creepier.

Is End Of A Gun: Where Justice Prevails the most Steven Seagal title of all time? That’s great. Actually, it’s two Seagal titles in one. End Of A Gun and Where Justice Prevails. Pace yourselves, guys, you could’ve doubled your money making both of those separately. They also did both the inexplicably diagonal horizon line and the canted gun angle thing from Non-Stop and Blood Father. In most cases, that angle is an artistic choice. With Seagal, that’s just the angle where he’s most comfortable shooting a gun. You can’t see it here, but I imagine him leaning back on his massive recliner trying to flip channels with his 9 mm between bites of a hoagie.

Factual Note: It appears End of a Gun is the title and the second part is just the tagline. This still leaves an opening for some prequels, Beginning of a Gun, Middle of a Gun

Now, regular readers of this column know how much I like it when posters line up the names at the top with the corresponding faces. Here’s an important caveat to that: If you line up the faces and names in the poster, but then leave one of the faces out, it just looks like a weird, deliberate omission. Where’d Barkhad Abdi go? Maybe Aaron Paul is talking to Barkhad Abdi in that headset? Yeah, let’s go with that.

I’ve said this before, but sometimes it feels like indie film producers are trying to make their film look like a big secret before anyone cares. Interest first, then secrets. I’m sick of found footage and even sicker of 3D, so if this is a twist or a parody of some kind (which I assume it is) you might want to give us a hint. The 3D glasses are sort of already implied when it’s called 3D.

“Redefining success,” eh? Don’t you mean disrupting success? Hard pass. I’m not watching a documentary about the start-up “generation” unless Clint Eastwood is directing.

Oh hey look, it’s Bill Cosby’s favorite movie.

Sorry, that was too easy. On a serious note, is this pretty, put-together girl with nice hair supposed to be awkward to the point of unreal? That’s a low bar for awkward.

Are Ben Foster and Chris Pine wearing matching outfits? That’s so cute. They’re like a boy band. “Flannels N’ Guns,” Texas’s hottest new pop-country duo, featuring Vine stars Connor Tucker Tyler and Jaxxyn Caleb Hunter.

Man, that plaid dress is badass. Though with the firing rocket imagery shoot through the perspective of a tunnel makes it seems vaguely sexual. I’m sorry, watching Naked Gun 100 times has conditioned me this way. I’m not sure we needed both the firing rocket and the NASA logo. Maybe choose just one next time.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to buy the boy wizard as a skinhead, but making a Confederate flag that’s also an American flag and SS bolts is an impressive design feat.

“Never Go Back,” and yet there they are, going back to back. With matching sexy motorcycle jackets, no less. Anyway, it’s pretty cool that Jack Reacher’s heart is an exploding fireball.

This is a solid poster, but “Landfillharmonic?” Sometimes a title just does all the work.

Oh hey look, a Magnificent 7 poster that isn’t a stupid diagonal. Notice how much better this one is? It’s almost like you don’t need the pointless diagonal horizon line at all.

If you need to put their credits underneath the actors’ names, maybe they aren’t important enough to include.

Hmm, so we have “Never,” a piano logo, and an image that looks like… an urban rom-com/dramedy sorta thing? I’m not sure how those fit together. This feels like a Chopped challenge.

The Queen of Katwe, she’s walking towards the queen piece down there so you know she’s the queen! Actually now that I think about it, this is probably actually about chess.

I don’t know what all those words up there mean, but I’m sick of all these dorky punks eyeballin’ me. Go back to your own neighborhood, punks! And get a damned haircut!

Catherine Keener up there has a Diane Arbus dust bowl look on her face, but that’s actually a pretty nice looking hat/jacket/scarf combo. Did the costume designer know what kind of movie they were making? I don’t want to watch an movie where the homeless people are more put-together than me.

Well this is about the most Terrence Malick-looking poster I’ve ever seen. Water, beautiful sunlight, gentle breeze, lens flare, so profound I don’t even really know what it’s about — yep, this ticks all the boxes. Every Terrence Malick movie these days reminds me of the scene in Adaptation where Charlie Kaufman is having a manic episode, thinking the movie should begin with the Big Bang up until now and there’s a time-lapse sequence with the dinosaurs dying and a fox corpse decomposing. I feel like Terrence Malick saw that and thought “Yes! That’s exactly the movie I’ve been trying to make!”

This looks like they tried to make Alison Pill look like Kristen Bell. I assume this is a hip rom-com take on the “Take On Me” video?

A multi-dimensional interface between a comic book artist, a novelist, and a film director. Each lives in a separate reality but authors a story about one of the others. [IMDb]

Dang, I was close. Anyway, I’m just happy Kid Koala is doing the music. He’s the cuddliest DJ. Word on the street is, he’s only awake a few hours a day, but he spends them all making SICK BEATS.

Vince Mancini is a writer, comedian, and podcaster. 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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