A Poster Review

Movie posters that made an impression
September 12, 2011
Movie posters. Be it one simple image, or a combination of many, movie posters have an amazing power to catch your eye. Whether it's a teaser or the full thing, even if you're already pumped for the movie in question, the poster can pump you up even more with profound, often dazzling artwork. A lot of posters of today are great, but they just don't have the same charm or thrill that they once did. I'd guess that's just me getting older. Oh well.

Anyhow, I thought I'd put my movie poster memories in word and images here. Some of them are from times before I was even alive, but I'm not going to let that stop me. So, in no particular order, these are some posters that impressed me the most as a viewer...

In 1995, documentaries on the Apollo 13 mission were everywhere. All leading up to the release of this hit from director Ron Howard. I had been a little familiar with the "successful failure" as it was called, as a kid. But this movie really activated my interest. Sixteen years after its release, I still find Apollo 13 to be a well acted, well executed and effective movie. The same goes for this poster. The shot of the spacecraft, oxygen gas leaking, far from home really gives you a feel of the isolation, peril, and intensity of the events of April, 1970. An excellent film, and an excellent poster.

Witness is already a fantastic film, and the darkness of this poster adds to it. Ford in the top, Lukas Haas surrounded by shadow, and three figures lurking behind...Scary. There is another poster featuring the tagline "A big city cop who knows too much. His evidence: a small boy who's seen too much." I like that line better than the one on this image, but this is the better overall poster.

Okay, so The Perfect Storm isn't all that retro, at only ten years old. But the events are nearly twenty years old, and I do recall seeing updates on local news when this unique storm occurred in the fall of '91. The "perfect storm" as it was called, was the result of two weather fronts joining up with Hurricane Grace, and causing damage along the east coast, and especially in the New England region. The film features a great cast, and is largely pretty enjoyable, but this poster really struck me. As you can see, it's just a creepy, cool image of a fishing boat riding up on a 50 foot wave.

Give me this film before you give me any of the computer animated stuff of today. Charm, adventure, and teamwork are the cornerstones of this Don Bluth classic. I remember it well. The theatrical release, it's VHS release, and those awesome puppets you could get at Pizza Hut. These days, the memory of The Land Before Time is somewhat tainted because of the endless sequels that were spit out, none of which involved Bluth. But I say forget those and admire this film. And it's poster.

As a teaser, this is all you need. One gleaming Bat-logo, and a release date. In 1989, Bat fever swept the nation. From TV spots, magazine write ups, and all kinds of merchandise, the Dark Knight was ready to make his big screen debut. Seeing this poster only meant one thing; be in the theater on June 23. Batman went on to become the biggest hit of that year, picked up an Oscar for art direction, and even today remains a favorite among fans. And it all started with this simple image.

Star Trek: First Contact was one the most anticipated movies of my teen years. Not only because it was the first movie to solely feature the crew of The Next Generation, it also gave us an all new starship Enterprise, and the big screen debut of the Borg. It has a much darker tone than any other Trek film, and is one of Patrick Stewart's finest performances. The poster's tagline of "Resistance Is Futile", combined with the massive Borg ship was scary but energizing. Good poster, and still a good film.

In the summer of 1998, Hollywood gave us two films that were basically about the same thing: A space object on a collision course with Earth. I recently watched them both again, and I still prefer Deep Impact over Armageddon. I saw this poster one day upon leaving a theater. It was before I had Internet, so at the time I didn't stay very informed on coming attractions. But this poster showed me that something was hitting the planet, and that was all I needed to know. And hey, how can you go wrong with a movie that has Morgan Freeman as the president of the United States?

The essential western. A top notch cast, a memorable line spoken by Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday, and a poster that says there is going to be a butt kicking. Gotta love it.

In my mind, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is the most essential sequel of any film series. In fact, I've come to call most any sequel where the bad guys get the upper hand as having "Empire Strikes Back syndrome". It was also one of the first poster I saw with this particular setup...multiple characters, molded together with something bigger in the background. Neat. Even today, George Lucas continues to edit, re-edit, and edit some more in regard to these films. I liked the 1997 re-release, but ever since then he just can't leave these things the freak alone! Oh well. In any case, the original film, and the original poster are still favorites.

Some movies just don't get any more fun than The Blues Brothers. Car chases, rousing musical numbers, an incredible cast of characters, and some of the most quotable lines in film. Check out this poster, it has Jake and Elwood looking cool, and their mission statement above. How could they fail?

The Jetsons movie poster sticks with me for a few reasons. One, growing up watching the reruns and such, then knowing they were coming to the big screen was a thrill. Two, I dig the colorful style of this image, and all of the back up characters on the bottom. Three, I remember being sad at the time when I heard that George O'Hanlon and Mel Blanc had both died during production. Though they were able to finish a great deal of their voice work, Jeff Bergman replaced them in a few scenes. The film is actually dedicated to the two greats. Just a few things that make me remember this particular poster.

Try as I might, I just could not choose one Back To The Future poster. I love all three movies, and all three posters. They're all similar, checking the watch with one foot in the DeLorean, but yet they're all different in their own way. My favorite trilogy of movies is also my favorite trilogy of posters. Pretty heavy, right?

This poster is a must. I count Jaws as one of my all time favorite movies, and this poster says it all. It's about a shark that attacks and eats people. The effects of the shark have aged, but overall I find the film to still be effective. As a film, and as a poster, Jaws remains an icon.

Speaking of icons. The no-ghost logo has become a permanent fixture in our culture. I think it prooves the justice of said culture, but that's another discussion. I don't think people will ever stop liking Ghostbusters, it's just one of those films that has that kind of impact. The cast, the quotes, and this famous logo will always stand.

This one's tagline says it all. Nothing else needs to be said.

Speaking of nothing else to say, that's all I have to say on this subject. Thank you for reading.

~ TheOutlaw
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