Monday, April 23, 2007

Best and Worst

Lists are always reliable sources of controversy and blogging, since everyone can have an opinion on the content of the list, the order of the list, whatever.

So, in the spirit of needing something to write about that doesn't devolve into complaints about work . . . I present to you two lists.

A while back Premiere website put together a list of the best movie poster images. You can go here to read their opinions on the pictures, or you can see the images here and read my own interpretations.

(I mean, who are you gonna trust?)

What can you say about #25, Gun Crazy? I don't really know, but I surely wouldn't mess with this gun totin' dame. If the gun didn't kill me, she'd strangle me with her insanely tight skirt, puncture my eyes with her torpedo bra, or crack my skull open with her big heeled shoes.

I like to eat Girl Scout "All Abouts" cookies, so I guess I can't say anything too negative about this poster for All About Eve. But I don't see why this image is all that special. I think Premiere is trying to educate us a bit more than necessary. This choice can't be all about pure image quality.

This poster for The Hitch-Hiker is undeniably dramatic. The red, the gun-carrier's POV. But, again, it's for a movie I've never heard of. So, it must be suspect.

Number 22, The Seven Year Itch is definitely iconographic. And so, that makes it noteworthy, certainly listworthy. But, other than almost seeing Marilyn's naughty bits, there's not much going on here is there? I do like the multi-colored title jumping off of the black background.

Yes! There is an image that is definitely interesting and thought provoking. Rosemary's Baby is a spooky movie (so I've been told) and I think the set up of this one is very effective.

Yellow Submarine comes in at #20. Here is a good example of the art of the time coming through in the movie and the movie poster. And talk about multi-colored.

Here is another movie that I've never seen, but I am familiar with Veronica Lake and there is no denying the fact that this poster captures her look with creativity and dramatic strokes. But, it doesn't say much about the movie . . . but I guess the idea is that you are going to the movie to see Veronica Lake, no matter the subject matter. (Kind of like Bruce Willis and the "Die Hard" movies!)

This poster for Breakfast at Tiffany's is certainly dramatic and eye-catching. Hepburn's exaggerated figure really makes you pay attention to her and then her glance to the right (and the extremely long cigarette holder point you to the smaller couple on the right. Nicely done.

Veronica Lake must have been big stuff back in the day, huh? (And I'm talking Will Smith big, since her presence in a movie apparently demanded that her big ole head and wave of hair must dominate any movie poster that she is in. But, does she play a dame with gams that just wouldn't quit?

I was introduced to this movie poster image when my sister was reading the book after the movie came out. While I certainly know that the images in this poster are quite relevant to the plot of a good (Oscar winning!) movie, I have always wanted to see someone else's take on this one . . . but NO Hannibal Lecter, please! There are so many interesting images in Silence of the Lambs, I just can't help but think something better might have been done.

Another example of Premiere trying to make us smarter rather than picking truly special movie art.

At #14, we've got The Man with the Golden Arm, a movie showing Frank Sinatra struggling with drug addiction. I like the cut paper style of this poster. It makes me think of Henri Matisse, who started making large paper collages in the late 1940s.

This looks more like a paperback book cover. But it's Chaplin and The Little Tramp, so I'm bound not to criticize.

Straw Dogs, #12 on the list is a good image. It does a good job of hinting at the plot, a man pushed to the limit by a series of unfortunate events that happened to him and his family. I remember watching this movie in college and I liked it okay. The picture doesn't really look like Dustin Hoffman, though.

I'm not a King Kong fan, either of this version or of the more recent Peter Jackson movie. So, I'm not really a fan of this poster either. It just looks juvenile.

Ahh, yes. 2001: A Space Odyssey. I first saw this movie at my neighbor's house. Either we didn't have a VCR yet, our VCR was broken, or I don't remember what I was doing there, but this movie WAS a trip, to be sure. This poster sort of conveys the plot--such as it was, right? But it also gets into the zeitgeist of the 1060s also. I wouldn't call 2001 "groovy," but someone probably got high while watching it and proclaimed it to be "a gas."

The only thing The Thief of Baghdad successfully stole was the #9 spot on this list from some other, more deserving movie.

Can't complain about #8--Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. An awesome image for an awesomely bad movie . . . or so I surmise, never having had the pleasure of inviting the 50 ft. Woman into my home. My personal memory of this movie has to do with it being a birthday gift to Paul Buchman, from Paul Buchman on an episode of Mad About You. The poster is about 50 ft. tall in that episode and Jamie (Helen Hunt) isn't too jazzed about it.

We're sticking with numbers, as #7 is 42nd Street. It is an arresting image, all legs and leather. Plus that angle!

Rita Hayworth as Gilda reminds me of the Veronica Lake images we saw earlier (waterfalls of hair and all that) plus the Audrey Hepburn image for "Breakfast at Tiffany's." (Cigarettes and such.)

That's all I've got to say about that.

Amazing? My own personal jury is out on that, but I have always found it odd that the sinister robot in Forbidden Planet reappeared (at least in form if not in personality programming) as the milquetoast Robot in "Lost in Space."

I actually like #4's imagery for Downhill Racer. The contours of the noses, lips, and chins suggest a mountainside for the minuscule skier (Robert Redford, is that you?) to slip on down.

Vertigo is a pretty successful image for the movie it represents. Successful for #3, I guess. The font style and the cut-out style remind me of "The Man With The Golden Arm."

It's pretty inexcusable that the #2 movie on this list is obviously a result of T & A preferences. I've never heard of The Sin of Nora Moran; I'll never watch it; but it's supposed to be represented by the second best movie poster of all time?

Well, #1 had better be awesome, right?


Color me underwhelmed.

It's okay, I suppose and it gives me the Matisse vibe yet again, but I just don't think it should be #1.


So, those were supposed to be the best movie posters of all time. But my post title promised the worst also, right? Well, maybe not worst, but I can give you "Strangest." And, as with the Premiere list, these are some else's opinions.

There isn't as much commentary to go with these, mostly because I'm tired. But I will provide you the link here. (I'll also provide the warning that some inappropriate language appears in the beginning. Just be forewarned, and avoid the text if you want. Seriously! After reading the whole three pages, I am warning you.)

I'll give you a visual taste, here, but then I'm done with this post.

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