Poster Salad: Foreign Films, American Posters

Movie posters are one of my very favorite art forms – they comprise about 99% of my interior decoration – but my love for them goes beyond aesthetics.

In essence, what I love about them is that they establish a reality for a film outside of itself. They stand as proof that a film was not just made, but was sold, possibly to those who had no knowledge of it or its makers, with the fundamental concept of “Come in. Spend your money. Make this film your evening’s entertainment.” And once upon a time, they exhibited a handcraftsmanship which the current era of Photoshopped portrait-salads too often lacks.

Most fascinating of all to me are the posters for foreign films being given American release. While foreign film has been fairly consistently embraced by the intelligentsia, fairly few films have crossed over to become a true popular success in addition to their critical embrace; only six non-Anglophone films have made more than $25 million at the U.S. box-office, and just 27 have made more than $10 million. The world of foreign film promotion is therefore a rather unique one.

I’ve chosen to highlight 50 separate entries (two of which contain two films) covering a spectrum of foreign cinema as advertised for the American market. The majority of these images I found at MoviePosterShop, which has high quality scans of nearly all the posters they sell. Images found elsewhere will be noted as they come up.

I do not own any of these images.

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BATMAN v. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Review – **

BvS poster

A bucket of piss that tells you it’s Granny’s peach tea. (Source)

I’ll start with a confession: I am a Zack Snyder defender.

I consider Watchmen one of the most underrated films of the last decade, had good things to say about Sucker Punch (at the time, at least), and actively liked Man of Steel (while acknowledging its issues).

So I went into Batman v. Superman, not unimpressed by the fragments I had seen, bombarded by condemnations from most and staunch defenses from a few, prepared to take up the cause of advocating for a truly skilled director, if a less consistently able storyteller.

But I cannot defend this film beyond pointing out the handful of things it does fairly right, in light of the many, many things it does aggressively wrong.

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DEADPOOL Review – ***

Deadpool IMAX poster.jpg

Too bad the best artistry in modern posters is so often confined to exclusives like these. (Source)

Deadpool may ultimately be more a triumph of context than of merit. I personally appreciate the huge bird it’s flipped the MPAA (and the fact that the film-going public, for once to their credit, seconded that salute), and the dedication on the part of its producers, and especially its star, to get such a gleefully graphic and subversive film made as part of a blockbuster franchise, more than I do its own dramatic strengths.

Don’t get me wrong: when Deadpool works, it does work, thanks in large part to Reynolds, who throws himself wholly into the role, never missing a step as he spouts off quip after quip. Even if you find Deadpool’s humor a mite tiresome at times, especially since the film around him provides only fleeting relief, it’s hard to deny that Reynolds is the primary factor in its success.

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Fest Satsuma Mint Review


After a superior experience with their Bourbon Cream Soda, I opted to seek out more sodas from Fest, and decided I would go for their oddest flavor next: Satsuma Mint.

The satsuma is a citrus fruit, closely related to the mandarin orange and tangerine, and extremely popular in the South–making it a reasonable choice for the New Orleans-based Fest.

As for the inclusion of mint, well, we’ll just have to see how it tastes.

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Wrapping Up the 88th Academy Awards

Spotlight team meeting

Everyday people, simply doing their jobs…and winning the big one to boot.

I don’t even know where to begin with this night.

Actually, I do.

Can we all agree the hosting was on fucking point tonight? Chris Rock has been one of my favorite stand-ups for a long while, and damned if he wasn’t firing on all cylinders, tackling the thorny issue of #OscarsSoWhite without ever becoming preachy. I won’t say there weren’t some lulls–I don’t know if Jared Leto entirely knew where he was–and the omission of Abe Vigoda from the In Memoriam segment was pretty inexcusable; also, much as I enjoy Zoolander, I really wish they’d used The Man Who Fell to Earth for Bowie’s clip.

Those issues aside, this was one of the better telecasts I’ve seen in quite some time. It felt like a certain layer of bullshit had been stripped away, and if it ultimately became a showcase for Hollywood liberalism, I’d honestly rather see that than another pointless montage or asinine skit.

But there’s also the awards to consider. And my God, did we have some upsets. It was a precedent massacre out there, and I’ll just do my best to note all of the breaches.

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Final Oscar Predictions: 2015

It’s almost time. Let’s review the evidence.

Best Picture:

One of the most wide-open Best Picture categories I can remember. Three strong contenders to win and a possible spoiler. And had Carol not been fucked over, it might be even worse. Ditto Ridley Scott.

  • The Big Short (#2) – I’m really torn as to how I feel about its chances. It won the PGA, and since the expansion of the Best Picture category the PGA winner has always won Best Picture. It also won at the WGA and the ACE, but it lost the SAG Ensemble award, the DGA, the Globe, and the BAFTA. So let’s not pretend it isn’t in a precarious spot right now. I want to predict it to win in good faith. But I can’t. I think at the very least it’s a very close second, but if you want to call it the front-runner, accept that its status as such is not secure.
  • Bridge of Spies (#7) – It’s a great film and I’m glad it was nominated. But it missed out on Director and Editing, rendering its chances virtually nil. So it’s just happy to be here.
  • Brooklyn (#14) – It got three nominations. I’m a little shocked it got on at all (especially over Carol). It’s a sweet film and hardly a bad choice for a nomination…but it might actually be the least likely film to win. Its other two nominations are a different matter, but Picture is completely out of the question.
  • Mad Max: Fury Road (#1) – Sadly, I think its best hope is that the three front-runners cancel each other out and it rises to the top. But it hasn’t done that all season, and since the NBR has mostly won Picture only from local critics’ groups. As much as I love it, I knew going in that I’d be happy if it just got nominated. Once it was, I was all right with it not winning. And I still am.
  • The Martian (#12) – I’m just glad this was good enough to deserve the nomination. It’s a shame Ridley Scott got snubbed, though, since without a nomination for him, there’s no way in hell this would ever win. Not that it was likely to, since it had already peaked some time ago. But it tightens up what may be the most open Best Picture race I can recall.
  • The Revenant (#8) – It won the Globe, BAFTA, and DGA. It’s come a long way in a short time. That it didn’t get SAG Ensemble or Screenplay nominations, or win the PGA, makes me hesitant to predict it to win (and if Iñárritu pulls it off he’ll be the first director ever to win Best Picture in consecutive years), but…it’s really hard for me not to. It’s this or The Big Short.
  • Room (#16) – Someone on IndieWire was saying this might be a surprise winner (probably given the surprise Director nomination), but I don’t see it. It has no traction for a Picture win. It’s just happy to be here. There’s a very definite split the possible winners and the happy-to-be-heres this year.
  • Spotlight (#40) – For a while it looked like this had Best Picture in the bag. And then it started losing. It lost BAFTA and DGA to The Revenant, and the PGA to The Big Short. It did win the SAG Ensemble award, but that doesn’t mean as much as you might think. American Hustle won SAG Ensemble and went 0-10 at the Oscars. So I’d put this as third-likeliest to win. Normally, that’d be pretty damning, but given how weird this particular year is, it means it still has a shot.

So…is it The Big Short, The Revenant, or Spotlight?

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