Movie Poster Blog

5.27.2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

When all else fails and the creative bug just isn't biting, remaking original classics seems to be the safest bet for movie studios looking to lure crowds into theaters world wide. Not everyone had the privilege to see the original Ocean's 11, featuring the ultra cool Rat Pack, or saw the little Volkswagen beetle Herbie tear down the track in an impossible race, or witnessed a society of gorillas and orangutan living together, riding horses and enslaving humans in the 1968 release of Planet of the Apes. Remaking these classics have proven immediate success for Production companies opting to take the easy road like their partners over at the Music Studios who have found fulfillment in re-mixing classic songs from the 70's and 80's.

I remember sitting in class in the late 1980's and reading aloud a chapter from a novel written by Roald Dahl. I had no clue at the time, being a 9 year old child that there was a movie out there that coincided with the book. It wasn't until I started working here that I regained interest in the Wonka franchise and actually went out to rent the 1971 release of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. When I heard that there was a new Johnny Depp poster coming in I was pretty excited, after all he is my favorite actor. As Willy Wonka, the obsessive, neurotic candy factory owner, it will be interesting to see how Depp molds the character originally played by Gene Wilder.




I guess it's not such a big deal that Production companies take ideas from generations past and market them to us today. They are classics for a reason, and if we loved these movies when we were younger, why shouldn't the next generations of young creative minds have the same opportunities we did. It is becoming increasingly difficult to see movies made before the 80's and if remaking them into big budget productions with tones of special effects and wardrobe sets is going to be the only way the youth of today will get to see them, then I for one am willing to forgive the studios for taking a few years off of creating original work.



5.26.2005

War of the Worlds

If there is one director that needs no trickery to entice audiences it would be Steven Spielberg. This summers release of the War of the Worlds will make Independance Day look like Marry Poppins. Further advancements in digital technology, provided by long time friend and peer George Lucas's ILM industries, will shock and awe movie goers to new heights. Each trailer released brings us one exciting step closer until we can witness the 2005 adaptation of H. G. Wells original masterpiece. In 1938 Orson Wells successfully shocked the nation with an interruption radio broadcast a day before Halloween, claiming that "huge flaming objects" had landed on a farm. People believed that this innocent radio broadcast of a play was actually happening live and it's no surprise that a film was made almost a decade later. The George Pal produced film set the bar quite high for subsequent science fiction films to follow.

The original 1953 one sheet features an ominous hand not of this world venturing from beyond the heavens to terrorize the humans down below. Red flames shoot towards space giving the impression that all has been lost to an invading force. It is apparent that certain psychological methods were used to add to the already frightening image. I admire the subconscious tie between the issues that were affecting the nation and the imagery used in the print. The idea that someone was watching or spying on you, and the use of the red colored flames seemed to suggest a connection with the communist threat Americans felt. If you saw the poster for the first time and never heard of the play or radio broadcast you might not have known who the hand belonged to. Was it an alien? Was it the hand of god? The French and Italian one sheets portray the true nature of the film with images of space ships shooting rays into cities and crowds of people. Any piece would be a collectors dream to own.







If you're looking for a poster that spells "TEASER" in an image, look no further, the marketing teams at Paramount made sure add that element of anticipation when they designed the advanced style posters for the 2005 release. The first resembles the logo for the film Ben Hur, and then the second, which combined with the regular style foreshadows how the film will play out. The advertising staff was sure to remind viewers that this movie will indeed be a summer blockbuster by choosing the right visual effects to give the poster a 3-D feel. They've also used the 1953 poster as inspiration, with the gnarled alien hand very prominant on the poster.