Tag Archives: Eastern Promises

Favorite Posters of 2007

I love me some movie posters.  Especially when they’re either a) beautiful enough to stand as art in their own right or b) depict the film they advertise in a particularly apt or innovative way.  Thanks to the Internet Movie Poster Awards site (which is a wonderful resource for posters, award-worthy or no), I’ve been able to look closely at last year’s posters (and previous years, but let’s not push this Year’s Best thing too far–we’re already three months into a new year) and chosen several that I think ought to be recognized.

While narrowing down the choices, I did discover several biases I have–things that generally make me like or dislike a poster.  Floating heads of the stars = bad. Selling the film based only on the stars = bad. Lots of negative space = good. Characters depicted facing away from us or in long shot = good. Hand-drawn, cartoony, or stylized quality = usually good.  Anyway, here are my favorite posters from last year. (And regarding the order, I’ve changed it many many times even since I started writing this post, so I don’t even know if it’s at all accurate to my thoughts anymore.)

#10: Eastern Promises

hr_Eastern_Promises_10

 

Eastern Promises is about people who make their living with their hands – fighting and killing, surviving in the Russian mafia.  Highlighting the hands — and the numerous tattoos that identify relationships with specific underworld factions — is perfect, because ultimately what matters in the film is what the characters choose to do with the information they gain.  Plus, focusing on body parts other than the face makes for a much more interesting poster than most.  The only thing that would’ve improved the poster is to have left off the strip of faces on the bottom, which really adds nothing.

 

#9: 3:10 to Yuma

310toYumaPoster

 

Biases alert: character facing away from us, stylized look, focus on story (gunslinger waiting for train, seen between his legs).  This was one of my very favorite posters when it came out last year, but I’ve started to cool on it a little bit because I think ultimately, it’s a little too busy.  The grunge styling is cool, but there’s too much of it in too many places, too many flourishes, and the director blurb on the right side is indulgent.  Still, the monochrome coloring and unusual layout make it heaps better than most posters.

 

 

#8: Spider-Man 3

spider_man_three

 

Another tendency I have: a strong preference for teaser posters over the final one-sheets.  Regardless of how good Spider-Man 3 turned to be (or not be), this teaser is near perfection.  It’s simple, it’s iconic, and he’s wearing a black suit.  Which I know, I know, is evil, but it’s SO HOT.  The later posters made the conflict between good/red Spider-Man and bad/black Spider-Man more clear, but for pure visual impact, none of them match this one.

 

 

 

The rest after the jump.

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September 2007 Reading/Watching Recap

And I have a new record for most movies seen in a month. Since I’ve been keeping track, that is. But no more, for school, television, and Xbox360 have stolen my movie-watching time, and October’s recap is going to be fairly thin. Which is good, because then I can get caught up on writing and posting them. After the jump, reactions to Death at a Funeral, Celine and Julie Go Boating, 3:10 to Yuma, Butterfield 8, Breakfast on Pluto, The Double Life of Veronique, Starter for 10, Alphaville, The Color Purple (book and film), The Brave One, Knocked Up, Talladega Nights, Eastern Promises, Two for the Road, A Mighty Wind, The Optimist’s Daughter, Atonement, and more.

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Theatrical Pick for 9/14/07 – Eastern Promises

Eastern PromisesOkay, now, both sources I’m using for movie release information (IMDb and FirstShowing.net) say that David Cronenberg‘s Eastern Promises is opening in wide release this week. I don’t know how wide “wide” is, though, since it isn’t playing in Austin or St. Louis, and is only in one theatre in Dallas. Still. The other openings this week don’t appeal to me, so I’m going to highlight it anyway. Eastern Promises concerns a midwife (Naomi Watts), who is drawn into the underbelly of the Russian mafia when she tries to discover the background of a teenage mother who died in labor. It’s also got Viggo Mortensen as one of the Russians she encounters. The last Cronenberg-Mortensen outing was A History of Violence, which I didn’t really understand when I watched it because I kept being distracted, but is pretty close to the top of my rewatch list. Based on the buzz I’ve read out of the Toronto Film Festival, Eastern Promises more than delivers. Speaking of TIFF, is now a good time to point out how much I want to be a professional film critic and hang out at film festivals? I thought it was. I’ve been salivating over the TIFF dispatches. Anyway, here’s the trailer for Eastern Promises, for whenever it ends up coming out near you. (And here’s a good review from the New York Times–I’m so glad A.O. Scott is back; I missed him when he was on vacation a month or so ago).

Also coming out this week in wide release:

And in limited release:

  • Across the Universe – I’ve mentioned Julie Taymor‘s 1960s Beatles-inflected musical drama before, and the mixed reviews coming out of TIFF are pretty much what I expected. I’m still hoping to like the film, though.

  • In the Valley of Elah – I severely disliked director Paul Haggis‘ last film Crash (yes, the one that won the Oscar; don’t care, I hated it), but his new one, about a man (Tommy Lee Jones) investigating the disappearance of his just-back-from-Iraq son, looks rather good (trailer)
  • King of California – I’m not always a huge Michael Douglas fan, but this trailer cracked me up. Hadn’t heard of the movie until I watched it, so I have no idea what the buzz is like. (trailer)
  • Silk – This Keira Knightley picture snuck up on me! Also has Michael Pitt, in a 19th century story about a young man going to Japan for the silk trade. (trailer)
  • Fierce People – Rather than join his anthropologist father in his work with indigenous peoples, a young man ends up going to live among a group of super-rich people and decides to study them instead. Looks amusing enough. (trailer)
  • December BoysDaniel Radcliffe plays an orphan who ISN’T Harry Potter. (trailer)
  • Moving McAllister – Straight-laced company man gets tasked with taking care of the boss’s niece and ends up with more than he bargained for, like a whacked out Jon Heder along for the ride. I’m torn between quirky indie and dumb roadtrip film, but leaning toward the latter at the moment. (trailer)
  • Ira and Abby – Indie romcom about two strangers who decide to get married; I really liked Jennifer Westfeldt in Kissing Jessica Stein–might be fun to see her play not a lesbian (she also wrote both films). But the reviews have been mediocre at best. (trailer)

Whew, that’s a lot of stuff coming out. If I really were a professional movie critic, I’d be busy, wouldn’t I?

Trailer Watch – Highly Anticipated by Me (as of 3/20/07)

Here are some of the films I’m looking forward to in the next…year. I haven’t kept up on trailer watching, so these are mostly big releases and many of them are duhs. Oh well.

Embedded trailers and my reactions after the jump. Warning: VERY LONG.

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