Top 20 Film Posters of 2010


Here are the 20 film posters of 2010 that represent my personal favorites. The rule was only 1 poster per film. I do not claim these to be the best,  but the ones that caught my eye the most and that I personally find myself drawn to. Some of these films I’ve seen and some I haven’t. There is a shortage of great film posters these days so I hope you enjoy the ones I picked!

20. Best Worst Movie
All the green reminds me of Nickelodeon Slime; always a good thing. If you’ve seen Troll 2 or this documentary based on the making of it, it’s very fun to examine all the activity going on in it. The illustrations and the crowded composition make this a stand out.


19. Buried
This poster, which clearly evokes Saul Bass and his legendary poster art, is simple and engaging.

18. Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench
Fall is my favorite season, so the leaves and the use of color in both the bottom illustration and the title of the film make this a charming piece.


17. Date Night
This is a very smart poster. It uses simplicity and its star power to make its point with a spark of creativity, without relying on common tacky cliches. No tagline. No background. No credits. Just an image to spark your interest in the  Carell/Fey pairing and the film’s title. It’s refreshing and a tease.


16. Enter the Void
Gasper Noe’s latest work has, not surprisingly, split audiences. I haven’t seen the film, but I have seen the trailer. The reason this poster made it is, not only is it eye-popping, but it perfectly represents in poster form, what I saw in the trailer. The neon and the odd angle are representative of the feeling one gets from seeing the trailer.


15. I Am Love
The film’s main poster could have just as easily been used. The reason I chose this particular one is the way it links Tilda Swinton’s character with the film’s title. It’s use of color is fairly reminiscent to the way lime green its used in the film.The simple font in addition to me being a sucker for posters involving actors facing the viewer are also reasons for this poster’s placement.


14. Athlete
Besides not being a big fan of the text, everything else about this works for me. There was an entire series of posters for this documentary that all used stark black and white to create simple but effective image.


13. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Remember how I said I’m a sucker for posters with actors facing the viewer? Exhibit B. Like Date Night, it’s the simplicity I’m drawn to. It calls back strongly to the original Wall Street but manages to create a new image that feels familiar in a good way. I found myself unexpectedly coming back to this poster again and again while compiling this list.


12. Biutiful
Exhibit C! Again with the simple background. It’s wonderful and goes perfectly with the font and colors used. The bottom half of Bardem’s face is not in focus and its really subtle and effective.


11. Let Me In
The poster campaign for Let Me In was consistently excellent. This is one of two versions of this image. This is by far the superior of the two nearly identical posters. The use of red is astonishing. The placement of Chloe Grace Moretz is entrancing.

10. A Prophet
A more subtle use of Saul Bass inspired poster art. I’m getting to the point where I feel like I’m repeating myself! The color and the composition. Exciting reasons, I know.


9. Wild Grass
This impressionist inspired poster is classic and sophisticated. This poster puts a smile on my face.


8. The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond
This is a brilliant recreation of an 70’s or 80’s VHS B-horror film cover. It transcends homage and becomes exactly what it sets out to be.


7. Blue Valentine
I love the positioning of the actors here. All the elements come together beautifully. The font and the black on the top and bottom balance out the main image perfectly.


6. Art of the Steal
Do I even have to explain why this is so great? It uses the image to give plot information within the newspapers. The image itself is more than memorable.


5. For Colored Girls
An example of a film I have no interest in seeing that has mutiple posters that are beautiful and exploit the potential of poster art. There are a lot of great posters that go with this film. This one of Akina Noni Rose is a stunning watercolor like image using a wide array of colors.

4. Centurion
Recalling smut like Barbarian Queen and Sorceress as well as male action flicks like Conan the Barbarian, this is an homage that never hides that it has violence on its mind. I love everything about this.

3. Dogtooth
I was very close to choosing another poster from this film like I love equally. I can’t shake the minimalist image here though. It shows up at the beginning of the film. I’m not really huge on this level of abstract but this struck me the moment I saw it.

2. The Social Network
This is an abrasive poster. It has an iconic feeling to it already and the film has plenty of cold and blunt moments that parallel the confrontational poster. This is a brilliant marketing piece that works both artistically and as an advertisement. It will certainly stand the test of time. It’s probably the best poster from this year if I had to choose one.


1. Black Swan
I wasn’t all that impressed with either of the widely released posters for Aronofsky’s latest. A series of 4 posters that have little distribution were released. This is one of them. Any of them could have been in this place. Only using red, white and black, these posters are exactly the kind of creativity and artistic ambition that poster art needs. I only wish these were the posters that got the wide distribution they deserve.

Advertisements

Leonardo DiCaprio Poll Results:


Here are the results for both Leonardo DiCaprio polls!!! Thanks to all who participated!!

Favorite Leonardo DiCaprio Performance:
Votes: 38

8 votes – Catch Me If You Can
5 votes – The Departed
5 votes – Revolutionary Road
5 votes – Inception
4 votes – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
4 votes – The Aviator
4 votes – Shutter Island
2 votes – Basketball Diaries
1 vote – Celebrity

Best Leonardo DiCaprio Performance:
Votes: 41
10 votes – The Aviator
9 votes – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?
7 votes – Catch Me if You Can
5 votes – The Departed
4 votes – Revolutionary Road
3 votes – Shutter Island
3 votes – Inception

Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
8.3/10

Summary: As Harry races against time and evil to destroy the Horcruxes, he uncovers the existence of three most powerful objects in the wizarding world: the Deathly Hallows.

*SPOILERS*

It is easy to take for granted how consistent and dignified the Harry Potter film series has become. From the talent involved to its mature evolution, not many franchise’s make it to this point in such admirable condition. Having been a fan of these films and the books they come from over half my life, it is surreal to have gotten to this point. With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, director David Yates continues to prove that he knows how to handle and even enhance the source material. While the result is certainly not perfect, overall it is a haunting film that carries a considerable emotional impact led by Yates’ refreshingly original filmmaking.

People going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 can be split into two groups; those who approved of splitting the film in two and those who do not. I count myself as one who whole-heartedly agreed with the choice. Yes, this allows the franchise to make even more money. However, why disagree with this particular decision when most decisions being made about big studio films are monetarily motivated? At least there is, in part, a desire to cater to the book’s fans. This brings along the next point of discussion.

One of the reasons this is not the best film of the bunch is because it is unable, more than any other Potter film, to stand alone for the casual viewer. Granted, this is not an issue I personally had, but the critic part of me could not ignore it when trying to picture those unfamiliar with the source material watching. As a film, it cannot be denied that if you do not know the story, a lot of this first part is going to feel empty. There are so many scenes that are set-up for later revelations and plot developments. Going to the house of Bathilda Bagshot, Elphias Doge’s conversation with Harry, the story of the Deathly Hallows and more illustrate entire sequences that as of yet have zero payoff for the casual moviegoer. This cannot be helped and Part 1 will most likely be enhanced by many once they have the second half to go with it. The fans are this film’s priority and, honestly, they should be. Seven films in, the majority of people watching have read the books and it’s hard to make a case for why this film should have kept newcomers in mind over the devoted.

While splitting the film in two and not paying off moments that are meant to come later are issues others have, here are the problems I did have. First, about 15 minutes should and could have been shaved off the film without losing the deliberate and effectively slow pace. The pacing problems of the book transfer over. Not much actually happens in the first two thirds of the novel. This means it would have been easy to shave off fifteen minutes and maintain the hopeless monotony that Harry, Ron and Hermione feel on their mission. Also, it was a mistake to keep the emotional manipulation that the locket Horcrux carries. It is too similar to Lord of the Rings and it also makes the raw quality of these scenes carry an artificiality that slightly diminishes the very real conflicts the locket brings out. It was a problem in the book and it would have been effortless to change it to having it naturally come from them. Lastly, using Dobby’s death as the emotional climax of the film falls a bit under its own weight. It is definitely an important moment for them but it is forced to represent itself as bigger more tragic than it really is as a precursor to Part 2.

If this is sounding like a negative review, fear not; I loved this film and just wanted to get the negatives out of the way first. First off, David Yates is the only director to improve on the books. He is able to execute the big sequences with precision and creativity as well as filling the screen with special moments that enhance character and feel genuine. The scene where Harry tries to cheer Hermione up by leading her in a dance to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ “O Children” is a delicate moment led by wonderfully broken up editing by Mark Day. It’s a scene that shows Yates’ ability and desire to try new things by adding a subtle art house sensibility to the film, which can be seen throughout. There are certain scenes, like the Death Eater attack at the café and the Snatcher chase through the woods that have no score where in another blockbuster, they would. Yates uses a lot of handheld camera that builds on his techniques from Half-Blood Prince which fit this gritty road film even better than it did at Hogwarts. Eduardo Serra picks up where Bruno Delbonnel left off with beautifully vast and evocative cinematography that evokes the emptiness of the characters and the bleakness of the wizarding world.

Most of Deathly Hallows: Part 1 features Harry, Ron and Hermione. More than ever, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are critical to the film’s success, especially when its majority is the three on the run. All three actors turn in their best performances in the franchise and add the gravity needed to be emotionally resonant. Each are asked to do things they haven’t done before and they pass with flying colors.

Screenwriter Steve Kloves and Yates also make the film as dark, bleak and haunting as it was meant to be. The Bathilda Bagshot sequence is unsettling and creepy. The Hermione torture sequence is more graphic than expected. The sexual tension is jacked to the brim. The film lingers on the particularly dark material as well as the emptiness facing these characters. These are all compliments. There is no reason, this late in the game, to downplay the severity of events. It is exciting to see how far the film is able to push the intensity.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 may disappoint those who were upset by the split. It is also the most inaccessible of the films for the casual moviegoer and is almost to faithful to the original novel, which accounts for the transference of pacing problems. Mostly though, this is an exciting and bleak prelude to the finale, which is sure to be riveting. It uses inventive editing, framing and cinematography that go beyond the necessities of a mainstream fantasy film. Most of all, it shows how far this franchise has come. It has become a dark, mature story about growing up infused with a procession of moments both epic and intimate. Some people may not approve of the execution of this final tale, but it shows that money is not the only motivating factor at work here. This one’s for the fans and that’s how it should be.

The 10 Worst Film Posters of 2010


I’m sure someone else could find 10 other film posters just as bad as these. Fact of the matter is, poster art is not what it used to be. Mostly, it is yet another way for the industry to put their films in a predictable and precise box that tells the viewer exactly what to expect if they choose to go see their film. Casual moviegoers want to know what they are going into and the poster art woefully reflects the main goal of these advertisements instead of piquing interest. Here are the posters that were the worst of the many offenders to choose from.

10. The Truth

Haven’t we had enough posters with fragmented composition populated with awkward photos of actors? John Heard and Daniel Baldwin look like they don’t even know where they are. Then we have the tagline The Truth..is always complicated. Rough stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

9. Sex and the City 2

I have never been a “Sex and the City” fan. It has always been an obnoxious representation of the modern woman even if it might have been somewhat progressive for TV at the time. The campaign for the likely unnecessary sequel was through and through atrocious. Believe me, there were other posters from this film worthy of the number 9 spot. This teaser took the cake with its terrible tagline “There are other ways to score” and that Carrie’s shoe is the only thing on this poster that has anything to do with the film. This has nothing to do with soccer!!

 

 

 

 

8. The King’s Speech

Yes, there are probably other posters that could have been here. However, for a film that is one of the FRONTRUNNERS for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, there is no excuse for this to not only be dull as dirt, but horribly executed with unconvincing photoshop work. Even director Tom Hooper is ashamed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

The main reason this was picked over similarly painful animal movie posters like Marmaduke and Yogi Bear is because the dog and cat pictured on this poster freak me out. What is with those faces?!

 

 

 

 

 

6. I Spit on Your Grave

A lazy rehash of the original poster; just as vulgar and twice as dull. As if we need the knife placed near her ass to look at it. It also starts its offensive as the opening day being the “Day of the Woman”. Keep going with that desperate attempt at faux feminist empowerment bullshit that nobody buys in relation to this schlock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Grown Ups

This is such a fake poster; where to begin? Everything is so poorly cropped and photoshopped. Everyone has weird faces. The sky in the background as well as the top of the slide look amateurish at best.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Accidents Happen

I see what this was going for. It could have been serviceable. What we have though, is a confused and awkwardly ineffective poster. Look at Geena Davis’ face. Does that make you want to watch Accidents Happen? I didn’t think so.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Shrek Forever After 3D

This represents the type of pop culture humor of Shrek at its worst. Taking a sexist and outdated phrase, changing one letter and pretending that this children’s franchise is on top of what’s hip. Yeah Shrek; you’ve still got it.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Killers

I almost admire this poster; however did they manage to cram everything I dislike about these two actors into one picture as well as reinforcing age old stereotypes that simply aren’t funny nor relevant? Katherine Heigl doesn’t like holding a gun; I’m guessing it’s because she’s a girl and not because she has any actual moral conviction. Look! She can barely touch it! Then there’s Kutcher sporting his “Come on!” face most commonly seen on “Punk’D” or..anything else he has ever been involved in.

 

 

 

1. Saw 3D

I would love if someone could explain what I’m looking at. For the record, I’ve always enjoyed the Saw poster campaigns. What is happening here? Machines are building a huge Jigsaw structure? Are there no people? Was there an apocalypse on Saw VI? Smokestacks? What am I looking at? What’s the concept? Big Jigsaw structure representing the release of the film being a big event? I cannot wrap my head around the logic going into this ad.

Poll: Best Leonardo DiCaprio Performance?


I’m doing a two part poll regarding Leonardo DiCaprio performances. Having acted since childhood, DiCaprio has given a wide variety of performances over the years. There also seems to be a wide variety of opinions regarding what people see as his best work. Are there certain DiCaprio performances that fans think of as their personal favorites even if they think his work in another film represents his best work? One poll asks for your favorite DiCaprio performance. The other asks for what you think is his best. Will the answers be different? We shall see.

Poll: Favorite Leonardo DiCaprio Performance?


I’m doing a two-part poll regarding Leonardo DiCaprio performances. Having acted since childhood, DiCaprio has given a wide variety of performances over the years. There also seems to be a wide variety of opinions regarding what people see as his best work. Are there certain DiCaprio performances that fans think of as their personal favorites even if they think his work in another film represents his best work? One poll asks for your favorite DiCaprio performance. The other asks for what you think is his best. Will the answers be different? We shall see.

Review: L’Enfant (2006, Dardenne Brothers)


L’Enfant (2006, Dardenne Brothers)
8.5/10

Note: This review was originally written May 6th, 2010

L’Enfant, directed by the Belgian Dardenne brothers, is a disturbing and engaging film told in a moderately neorealist fashion. It observes the relationship between Bruno and Sonia, a young couple who clearly care deeply for one another. Once the film establishes their relationship and their current state of poverty, it primarily deals with the consequences following a devastating decision made by Bruno. Bruno’s emotional journey, or rather, the journey to the start of an emotional journey, is what makes L’Enfant such an engaging and powerful film.

Bruno and Sonia are both very young and very poor. She has just given birth to Jimmy and the couple has to figure out how to support the child in the midst of continual poverty. Bruno leads a gang of child thieves who bring him goods which he sells, giving the children a piece of the profits. Sonia is very happy about Jimmy despite their financial situation. Bruno however, seems unwilling to acknowledge the child as if he is incapable of comprehending that he is a father. Sonia is so excited that she hardly notices Bruno’s indifference. Despite Bruno’s lack of self involvement as a father, it is clear that he and Sonia care very much about each other. There are scenes that establish the way they interact and the playfulness that they inhabit as a couple. Once Bruno makes a startling decision, the film focuses mainly on him.

The Dardenne brothers observation of Bruno and Jeremie Renier‘s beautifully underplayed performance is the main reason this film is such a success. Bruno is uniformly frustrating throughout. He is immature and irresponsible. He refuses to get a job, saying “Only fuckers work”. The lengths that he is willing to go to and the state he will continue to live in as long as he does not have to get a job are disturbing. Following his decision, the most interesting thing about the film is observing Bruno and trying to figure out what is going on in his head. When is he going to truly understand what he has done? While the events of the film all relate and are critical to Bruno’s arc in the film, his thoughts and reactions and decisions are the most engaging part. The film spends most of its time simply observing Bruno. The Dardenne’s use of moderate ambiguity in relation to our view of the main character is the strength of the film. The directors and Renier give us enough to keep us involved without making it clear what he is going through. The events of the film are secondary in that they serve the films main focus which is to observe how Bruno handles each situation.
As was stated before, The Dardenne brothers pace the film out with a very observational tone. Moments are lingered on in almost entirely handheld shots. They know how to represent Bruno and Sonja as a couple and give everything a very realistic feel. They also know how to build tension especially towards the end when Bruno and one of the kids who work for him run into trouble. Most importantly though, they know how to shoot Bruno; with distant shots, whether it be long or medium and rarely with a close up. The camera always keeps tight on Bruno though without invading his space, thus making it observational.

While Bruno is frustrating, you root for him; not to get out of the situation he is in but to make that emotional first step. We want him to be a better person. The entire film works towards this idea and once it ends it becomes clear that the point of this film is to depict the moments and events leading up to that first step towards a long term transformation into hopeful maturation. This is a heartbreaking but wonderful film that ends on an optimistic note in a perfect final scene. It must be said once again that Renier is incredible here, giving one of the best performances in the past 10 years. L’Enfant is one of the most actively engaging film experiences to come along in a while. It is emotional and frustrating but with a dose of optimism in its belief in humanities’ ability to live and learn.