By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 31, 2011 at 1:40AM
Almost alone among the marketing materials for a film, the poster is sometimes able to rise above its role as, well, advertising, and become an art form in and of itself. Let's face it, if you're reading this, you've probably got some kind of movie poster decorating your bedroom or apartment. Indeed, without naming any names, some movie websites now seem to dedicate three-quarters of their postings to whatever minimalist re-envisioning of "Return of the Jedi" some graphic design major has cooked up that day.
But generally speaking, the art of one-sheet design isn't in particularly great shape. While an occasional memorable bit of art slips through, most posters tend towards the generic -- floating heads, character posters, etc, etc. A big batch have arrived in the last few days for movies both giant, small, and even already released, and none are showing the highest example of the form, as such.
Likely to be the biggest grosser of the pack is "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2," which lands in July. We've already seen one teaser, which basically showed a castle on a rock (yeah, it's Hogwarts, we know), and while this one -- displaying a face-off between Daniel Radcliffe's Harry, and Ralph Fiennes noseless wizard Voldemort -- is something of an improvement, it's not going to reinvent the wheel. But then, Warner Bros could scrawl 'Fuck You, Muggles' on a napkin, stick it on the side of buses, and still make a billion dollars, so at least they're making some kind of effort. [Latino Review]
To be filed under the category of 'character posters focusing on characters no-one cares about' is the latest for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," which focuses on a trio of topless mermaids that seem to be causing Jack Sparrow & Co some trouble in the imminent fourth movie. We're almost certain the characters won't have names which must be a first, and the whole thing has the vibe of a Maxim shoot for fish-fetishists. Fun fact: these are actually printed directly on top of Disney's unused "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" posters featuring Toby Kebbell. [Coming Soon]
Much more satisfying, at least for the blind, and for those who enjoy seeing images that make them physically sick, is the latest poster for "The King's Speech." What's that, you say? "The King's Speech" has been in theaters for months? Well, quite, but Harvey Weinstein's controversial PG-13 edit, which sees the film's best, sweariest scene bleeped in order to beat a few last desperate pieces of candy out of the Oscar-winning costume drama pinata, hits theaters shortly, and The Weinstein Company are pushing it with a new one-sheet, which might be the very worst this film has produced, which is saying something. But that doesn't matter, because, "The Film That Won Best Picture Of The Year Is Now The Family Event Of The Year." Just as a warning, if you take your kids to see the new edit, we're going to break into your house and put David Cronenberg DVDs in Pixar cases. [Rope of Silicon]
On the indie side of the spectrum, Will Ferrell's dramedy "Everything Must Go" opens soon, and Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions have finally debuted the film's poster. Like the thoroughly decent film, it's walking the fine line between comedy (Ferrell, the fairly broad choice of font), and drama (Ferrell with a serious face, the tag-line 'Lost Is A Good Place To Find Yourself'). It's not dreadful, but we're not sure it's going to bring in the punters, particularly as the film's opening against "Thor" and "The Beaver." [Cinematical]
Finally, there's the poster for "Hesher," the Sundance graduate starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson. It's probably the best of the lot -- it's not exactly going on the wall of fame, but it does show signs of having been designed by someone for whom Saul Bass is more than their Jewish roommate's DJ moniker. We like the none-more-metal logo, at least. [Yahoo]