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You wouldn't think there'd be many specific rules for movie posters beyond "make the star look cool" and "don't show any dong." But as we've mentioned before, certain actors seem to have amazingly specific and arbitrary elements that must be included at all costs, logic be damned. For instance ...

9
Colin Farrell Is Always Staring at the Corner of the Poster

Colin Farrell is a man of many faces, and all of them seem oddly fascinated by the corners of his posters. Seriously, he's covered all four corners by now, multiple times:


"Nothing soothes my troubled soul like a 90 degree angle."

It started innocently enough in the poster for 2001's American Outlaws, with an understated corner-spotting pose he'd later break out again in 2010's London Boulevard:


This was followed by a couple of romantic roles where he was clearly way more into the corners than his supposed love interests:


"They're just not pointy enough. Not like you, corners."

What is it that Colin Farrell finds so perplexing about corners? It's like his characters in these posters are becoming self-aware, peering into the edges of reality, unable to comprehend a world in three dimensions.


That or Farrell is constantly trying to remember where he left his keys.

Either way, after much deliberation, Farrell seems to have decided that the upper right corner was his favorite, and has spent much of his time staring dreamily into it (while continuing to neglect hot co-stars).


"Oh, corner. Why can't I quit you?"

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8
John Travolta Is Always Separated from His Co-Stars

You know how some people don't like the different foods on their plate touching? John Travolta is like that, only with the actors in his movies -- there's always something (a logo, a blank space or whatever) keeping him separated from everyone else. Sometimes he's on the top:


And sometimes he's on the bottom:


Denzel's superior facial hair threw him down there.

Sometimes he's on the left:


And sometimes he's on the right:


Hell, sometimes he even appears to be behind his co-stars:


Where he uses Thetans to shrink street gangs.

And other times he appears to be in front, with some type of gun in between:


"I'M NOT GAY. I have a large compensating gun as a barrier."

It's like he has some contract demand that he doesn't have to be in the same room with the other actors when publicity photos are taken. And then when somebody tries to show him a group shot they constructed out of Photoshop, he's all "WHAT IS THIS WITCHCRAFT! HURRY, DRAW A WALL BETWEEN ME AND JOAQUIN PHOENIX BEFORE HE TRIES TO STEAL MY SOUL!"

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7
Jim Carrey Has Really Flexible Arms

If his posters are to be believed, Jim Carrey movies are marketed exclusively on his ability to spread his arms. For example, all we know about Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is that Jim Carrey's arms are in it, and something scary is happening to children in the space between them.


Also, this image only makes sense if one arm is coming out of his head. Now you can't unsee it.

This tendency started with the poster for Dumb and Dumber, which called for a seemingly impossible shot where both titular characters grab each other's head from behind at the same time. Carrey's ability to rise to the challenge gained him superstar status and a role in Batman Forever.


"Damn it, Steve, don't you know people only pay to see my wacky arm action?"

After half-assing it for Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (which featured only one elevated arm), Carrey was back in full swing for Liar Liar -- in this poster, he's saying, "Look, America. Look how wide I can spread my arms."


"LOOK."

This was all leading up to Yes Man, which depending on the market featured Carrey stretching his arms in a field ...


... while bungee jumping ...


... or on the back of a motorcycle driven by Zooey Deschanel.


"Your arms are inferior, and the whole world shall know it!"

Of course, this was probably less "let's reference other posters" and more "they're frozen this way by now."

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6
Johnny Depp's Is Hiding the Top of His Head

Usually you can tell what type of movie Johnny Depp is starring in by the type of headgear he's wearing on the poster. For example, you can tell how fantastic his films are by how much shit he's put on his bandanna: ranging from "nothing" in realistic drama The Brave to "a complete dead bird" in the upcoming Lone Ranger movie.


We can expect Lone Ranger to have aliens and time travel in it.

Want to know how intoxicated he gets on a film? Just look at the color of his fedora. The brighter the tone, the more wasted he gets.


We'll admit there are a few other things to go by on the Fear and Loathing poster.

Meanwhile, his weirder films rely on a series of increasingly complicated top hats: The stranger the hat, the creepier the character.


It says something when we'd rather choose the guy with the gun to babysit than the other two.

Apparently Johnny is pretty self-conscious about the top of his head: Even when he doesn't have a hat on, he always makes sure to crop that part out of the poster.


... usually while looking to the left and/or standing by his female co-star.


In sum, Depp has gone through a lot of trouble to hide his hair over the past couple of decades ... but we remember what it looks like, Johnny. We remember.


Sweet Jesus.

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5
Jennifer Aniston Is Always With a Guy and Never Really Happy About It

Jennifer Aniston has been in a lot of romantic comedies; more specifically, romantic comedies where she's sitting or standing next to her co-star and looks at him like she could do a lot better. And that goes for everyone from Happy Gilmore to King Leonidas:


In the case of these films, she's probably just standing in for the audience.

The plot for all these movies calls for that type of reaction, but even when it doesn't, she still looks utterly disappointed. It's not really something she can control. It's like once you've dated Brad Pitt, every other male on the planet is sort of "meh."


But ... Paul Rudd!

However, the dissatisfied look can also be found in some earlier roles that predate her relationship with Pitt:


"Hands off my subpar boyfriend, bitch."

So who's she measuring these guys against? David Schwimmer? Or does it go back even earlier than that? What does it take to impress Jennifer Aniston?


"Oh, my."

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4
Anne Hathaway Has to Be in Front of Other People

Anne Hathaway has a habit of positioning herself in front of other people in her movie posters, getting to the point where sometimes her presence alone seems to make everyone around her magically turn blurry or invisible.


Usually it takes some side-boob to accomplish this effect in real life.

This makes sense now that she's a big star, but she's actually been doing this since her very first movie roles: In the Princess Diaries series, Hathaway consistently managed to plant herself in front of Julie Andrews, despite not being the one who was in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.


"Can we make the title go behind me, too? On the back of the poster?"

In fact, if you look at all her breakout roles, it's like she's literally pushing her way to prominence. In her first serious role, Nicholas Nickleby, she somehow ended up in front of everyone else (even the main character, technically).


In Becoming Jane, she appears to be pushing her co-star out of the poster, and then in Get Smart, her first action role, the entire theme of the marketing campaign was her and Steve Carrell competing to be on front.


The winner gets to play Catwoman.

And finally, she's the only distinguishable face in Rachel Getting Married, in which she plays a self-centered maid of honor who makes her sister's wedding all about her. So apparently the poster is just her in the process of ruining a wedding photo with her face.


"Toasty!"

The result? Her first Oscar nomination. There's still time for her to put herself in front of Batman in the next Dark Knight Rises poster and get a Lifetime Achievement Award.

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3
Steve Martin Has No Idea What the Hell Is Going On

Since the '70s, Steve Martin has been doing that thing where he's in some sort of outrageous situation and, judging by the look on his face, expects you to explain to him how he got there.


"Well? I'm waiting."

However, the Steve Martin quizzical stare is not as simple as it seems: There are many ingredients to it. For an optimal result, make sure to position yourself to the left of someone, preferably a woman, preferably named Goldie Hawn.


If you can't afford Goldie Hawn, wait a few more years on Kate Hudson.

Next, open your eyes wide and tilt to the left ...


... and finally, make sure that the person to your right is trying to touch you and looks way too excited to be there.


It's telling that he apparently considers Queen Latifah more repulsive than John Candy.

Congratulations! You are now a Steve Martin poster. Feel free to add brides/babies at your convenience.


And age backward, while you're at it.

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2
Kevin Bacon Stares into Your Soul

When Kevin Bacon started out in Hollywood, he was the typical teenage heartthrob who enchanted women and confused men, and as such he perfected the art of the intense stare:


"I've eyes only for you, half-naked Cheeto man."

The problem was, as time went by and Bacon got older and slightly creepier, he no longer got the same type of parts ... but he never stopped doing the stare.


For anyone but a movie star, that look means a one-way trip to the sex offender registry.

He just ...


... kept ...


... doing it.

Bacon doesn't even appear in that last film -- he just showed up in the picture, like the kid in Three Men and a Baby. The upside is that by now you can just take a picture of Kevin Bacon, add some weird shit around it and bam, you've got yourself a horror picture.


"How did it look? Was that sexy? Hey, this is a romantic comedy, right?" "Y-yes."

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1
Jack Nicholson Really Wants to Show You His Teeth

Jack Nicholson has arguably the most famous set of teeth on the planet. Think back to the most iconic roles in his career and you'll notice a pattern: They all grinned like complete maniacs.


And they were all that, but we're sure that's just a coincidence.

The problem is that Nicholson's teeth are such a big audience draw that his posters often show him smiling in situations where no one would ever be that thrilled, like when they're going to hang him in Goin' South ...


If we hadn't seen the movie, we'd assume it was about auto-erotic asphyxiation.

... or when he's literally living in the Great Depression in Ironweed ...


"No, this is my sad face."

... or when he's trapped in a nuthouse where they're going to fry his brains in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ...


Which has a lot of ...


... interesting posters.

... or, hell, when he's just straight up gonna die in The Bucket List.


Our bucket list just involves being in the same room as Morgan Freeman.

Of course, looking at As Good as It Gets and The Bucket List up there begs another question -- how long has it been since Nicholson changed his sunglasses? Or does he have to wear them all the time now because otherwise the white of his teeth would blind him?


Maybe he and Jet Li should trade.

Chris writes for his website and tweets. Follow Kier's mad ravings on Twitter. Gabriel is on Twitter, and hopes his friends in the band The Ranks can one day be as famous as everyone on this list.

For more reasons to shake your head slowly at celebrities, check out The 6 Most Misguided Causes Ever Made Famous by Celebrities and 5 Bizarre Outbursts By Celebrities You Thought Were Sane.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out The Baffling New Trend in Movie Poster Design

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