Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stevee's Best and Worst Posters of 2011...

Well, it's December (how, I do not know), so it's the time of the year when everyone rolls out their 'best of' lists for the year. While I might make a top ten films list (though it would be better if I did one at the end of next year), I'm going to look at all of the promotional stuff that I can see with the click of the fingers. Now, I'm quite the expert on movie posters, so I'll take a look at the five worst and ten best posters of 2011 films.

Here are the top five worst posters from 2011:

5. Main St - I already talked enough about this poster in this post. I still haven't seen this movie (I kinda plan to, just to see what went wrong), but here's some wishful thinking: it might be better than whoever photoshopped this hideous Coronation Street-esque poster.

4. The Darkest Hour - Sure, this isn't a horribly bad poster compared to some other ones. When it was one of the featured trailers on my IMDB app, the poster was so bad that I stopped using the app for a while until they changed it. Working at a DVD store, I see a whole lot of Z-grade straight-to-DVD disaster films, and this one - which is actually going to cinemas - looks exactly like one of those. I mean, just look at the lame lightning ripping through the city. And the awful colouring of the tagline. And that tagline being bigger than the title. It just makes it look really awful.

3. X-Men: First Class - The large majority of the X-Men: First Class posters were the victims of someone who got a bit too excited about photoshop. This one, showing all of the characters from the movie (and there are quite a few, hence the troubling one-dimensionality of some of them), is quite the eyesore. It all starts with the blueness, and then you wonder why half of these people are walking and the other half are just standing there looking menacing. James McAvoy probably came out worse off...I mean, look at how disproportionate his body is. Michael Fassbender looks like he is in pants that are miles too big to him and his turtleneck has made his neck disappear. And if you look really hard, you can see Lucas Till in the distance, all faded away. It's just such a silly poster.

2. I Don't Know How She Does It - Apart from having one of the most annoying titles of the year, this movie has an annoying poster to match. First of all, there is the colour. It makes me think of puke. Then there is Sarah Jessica Parker, who looks slightly uncomfortable and has a bizarre looking smile on her face. She's holding a teddy with her bag, just to show that no-one knows how she does it. On the right side of her she is a whole lot of things that she needs to do. I'm so glad that she has to make cookies. I don't know how she does that.

1. New Year's Eve - I don't know where to begin with this poster. It is just bloody awful. Just the way everyone looks. Some people look like they've been cut out of a tabloid magazine (ahem, Ashton Kutcher), some have been cut directly out of the official film stills, others just look purely idiotic. I'm talking about you,
Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges. I'm sorry, but you look like you're a prisoner applying to be Santa Claus, your smile is that un-genuine. There's just way too much gold. We get it, New Year's Eve is gold, but that doesn't mean it's the annual lottery holiday.

Best posters after the jump...

Now for the best posters for 2011...

10. One Day - Okay, I'm a sucker for romantic posters (unless they look like New Year's Eve), and this one is just so simple and stylish that it's great. I just like the colouring, and how there's nothing but Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. As the saying goes, less is more.

9. Melancholia - Using one of the film's most iconic images, which is a homage to a painting called 'Ophelia', this poster is almost as intriguingly beautiful as the film. Notice the clever reflection of Melancholia in the water? Notice how depressed Kirsten Dunst looks, even though her wedding is supposed to be the night of her life? Notice how beautiful it looks? It's a fair enough representation of the film, and it doesn't lead people into thinking that they're watching another Armageddon. This is a Lars von Trier movie we're talking about.

8. We Need to Talk About Kevin - I love mysterious posters like this. This one is pretty disturbing...just the way they're both staring at you. Like the One Day poster, the colouring is pretty interesting, but this one is just more disturbing. There's just something so unsettling about this poster, and I love it.

7. Meek's Cutoff - This alt-Western is definitely one of the most underrated films of the year. As is it's poster. From a Western, you could expect to see a few people in cowboy hats with the dry sandy desert as their backdrop. This one, however, chooses to only use a drawn Michelle Williams and her gun, with the title practically taking over the poster. I'm a huge fan of minimalistic posters, and I'm glad that someone chose to use one as their main promotional tool.

6. Carnage - I love this poster. It is just so different and out there, yet it is also rather simple. It's simple in the way that it charts the mood changes of it's four characters, but it's different in the way that it uses some truly hideous colours on their faces. But it all works, oddly enough. Looks like we'll be in for a treat.

5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Sure, there's the one with Rooney Mara without a top (which I also think is one of the best from this year), but there's is so much awesomeness in this poster.  I love all of the layering, from Rooney's spiky 'do, to Daniel Craig looking worried, to the pressed flowers which play quite a large role in the movie. Add in a pretty icy colour scheme (which I imagine Sweden is like) and a completely awesome tagline ('What is hidden in the snow, comes forth in the thaw'), and my butt is in the seat. That is if, of course, this movie is not an R18.

4. War Horse - If you follow my Tumblr or my Twitter, you may have noticed that I'm a bit excited about seeing War Horse. But this poster doesn't get a place just because it's Steven Spielberg and I want to see it. Sure, this poster may look a little clich├ęd, and the tagline doesn't really do anything to help that, but I think it is a beautiful poster (which I've been tempted to steal from the local cinema). Just the way that horse is shining in the sunlight, how the sky looks painted, and how nice Jeremy Irvine is just beautiful. As I imagine the film is.

3. Shame - Sometimes the simplest of posters speak the loudest. This poster has an unmade bed. And there is no trickery hiding in the folds of that unmade bed. It is just a dull, grey, unmade bed. But it really makes you wonder. When I saw this poster, I had to think of a way to put it on my wall. So I made up a display of the 2011 movies I want to see, specifically so I could have this poster on my wall. Because, y'know, I didn't want to look weird for having a singular poster of a movie that I haven't seen yet which just so happens to be about a sex addict.

2. Like Crazy - Some of you might think that this is a weird choice, and even I can't pinpoint the exact reason why I love this poster so much. But I think this is just beautiful. Just the way that Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin are looking at each other, while they're all lit up by the sun, walking through the sand looking as carefree as ever. And then come the words. Part of me thinks that I like this poster so much because for a while it defined my life a little bit, but the words are quite powerful without you ever knowing the reason behind them. The way that 'i miss you' just fades away is really intriguing, too. It's just a beautiful poster, which I can't wait to have a huge copy of whenever it comes out on DVD here.

1. The Tree of Life - This poster is bloody beautiful. Just like the movie. I mean, look at it. It has so many different pictures, that are all extremely beautiful and they all go together. Plus, it's really interesting to look at everything they've added here. And yet, it doesn't really tell you what type of a movie you're in just has lots of images. Probably one of the best posters from the past few years.

There are my picks. What are your favourite and least favourite posters from 2011?


  1. Interesting choices. Fucking hell, that NEW YEARS EVE poster is awful. Christ. My favorite would have to be the SHAME poster. It reminds me of a Criterion cover.

  2. Yaay for posters! Our number 1 is the same, duh.
    I like this Girl with Dragon Tattoo poster, but my brain fuzzes over with the other one... I mean seriously, the balls needed to make something so subversive.
    I love Shame and Carnage too.

  3. Hahahaha - ohhhhhhhh dear, the 'I Don't Know How She Does It' poster...that would have been my number one for worst posters! I'd not seen the One Day poster, it looks gorgeous! So does the poster for Shame :)

  4. I love your top 10, they are all wonderful, although I wouldn't put War Horse so up, but I understand you :) Tree of Life is magical, but you chose the wrong one(in my opinion)....there are two more versions(one with a foot and one with a tree) and they were amazing!

  5. Some Great Choices there. Carnage, One Day, Melancholia, Tree of Life and Girl with Dragon Tattoo are really amazing. But, I will probably have poster of Bellflower somewhere in here. Have you seen it?

  6. Great list. I definitely agree with the worst list. But I think Sleeping Beauty would be in my top 10.

  7. Great list. It's interesting that your top ten are all pictures that I've seen or want to see, while the only one on the worst list that I saw was X-Men (but for entirely different reasons.) I don't usually think of myself as someone who is influenced by the posters, but now I'm beginning to wonder whether it's just a coincidence that better movies have better posters, or whether I'm more influenced by them than I think!

    It's also interesting to see that Carnage and New Year's Eve are similar in structure (both feature boxes of faces), but with Carnage you get some real information about the (presumed) nature of the movie, where as NYE just starts to blur together like a casting director's work station or something.

    And I'm so happy to see the Shame poster on this list!

  8. For me the worst poster of the year was the first one of The Three Musketeers. There is like everyone on it. Terrible. Good call on The Darkest Hout. At first, I thought the tagline was the title and was surprised for I didn't get how it's possible that I haven't heard of the film. Also you made me laugh at those bad posters, even X-Men, nice write-up.

    As for good ones, awesome list. You made me look at some of them in a different way. I won't reveal my favorites because I'm oh so planning to do top 2011 lists. I better get started.

  9. Oh yes, X men posters were bloody awful. Love your selection of great psoters, especially One Day - which is actually better than the movie itself. Carnage poster is really interesting too. I also loved Sleeping Beauty poster, which you didn't include - it was very simple Emily naked on the bed. From Tol posters I love the one with baby foot in adult's hand.

  10. I agree with a lot of these picks. The TREE OF LIFE poster is fantastic yet the NEW YEAR'S EVE poster is terrible. X-MEN is awful as well.

    The new DARK KNIGHT RISES poster has recently been released but I think that's pretty bad as well.

  11. Tyler - That NEW YEAR'S EVE poster hurts my eyes. Worse than that, it murders my eyes. It is so horrible. SHAME is a lot like a Criterion cover!

    Nikhat - The other one is so awesome, too. That is up on my wall. I love Rooney Mara's explanation of it, too!

    Ruth - It is one of the ugliest things I've ever seen. Literally.

    Aziza - Haha, what can I say? I'm a sucker for Jeremy Irvine and horses. The one with the foot is so beautiful!

    SDG - I actually just saw it. That is a beautiful poster!

    Bonjour Tristesse - That is one beautiful poster!

    NeverTooEarlyMP - I think that better movies do have better posters. One Day is apparently quite bad, but it's poster is beautiful, so it is the exception.
    Exactly! New Year's Eve's poster is just says nothing. Carnage is awesome!

    Lesya - That was on my shortlist!
    I can't wait to see your lists!

    Sati - They were painful to look at. And I bet that the poster for One Day is better than the movie (from what I've heard, anyway). Sleeping Beauty had a great poster - it was on my shortlist!

    Leith - No love for The Dark Knight Rises? I loved that poster, but I think the teaser one was better. And the rain was a bit much.

  12. Great list! As much as I disliked Melancholia, I have to agree it has one of the most beautiful posters out there. As weird as it sounds I loved the Horrible Bosses poster, probably just because it had "psycho," "maneater" and "tool" written on it.

  13. I actually loved the Horrible Bosses one too! I thought it was so simple, yet so in-your-face. It was awesome!


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