Despite the enormous amount of money Hollywood spends to promote blockbuster films, it apparently only allocates about $100, an afternoon, and a scared intern to the creation of movie posters.
A good poster can be every bit as important as a good trailer, but we are routinely bombarded with badly Photoshopped images that make absolutely no sense. It's almost as if Hollywood is challenging us with its childlike grasp of theme and logic and daring us to come see the movie anyway.
#6. X-Men: Days of Future Past -- Charles Xavier in a Rocket Wheelchair
20th Century Fox
The wizards responsible for the print marketing arm of X-Men: Days of Future Past decided that the best way to promote their movie was to Photoshop a constipated Patrick Stewart directly into the foreground wearing a laser tag battle suit and a hovering wheelchair. Apparently the flames from Patrick Stewart's rocket boosters destroy Washington at some point in this film. Either that or Wolverine has a weirdly elaborate full-body tattoo.
#5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier -- Falcon Has Impossibly Small Legs
In one poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we see Anthony Mackie as Falcon proudly displaying his carnival-mirror anatomy for all to see.
Marvel Studios, Reddit
"You don't want to see what it's like under the pants. Trust me."
Now, if you are anyone except for the Marvel Studios marketing department, your first question was probably something like "What the hell is wrong with his legs? They are ludicrously tiny compared to his torso." This is because, for some inexplicable reason, Falcon has Hulk chest and Dinklage feet. It's like some Marvel executive sat the design team down and told them to make Falcon appear to have the anatomical dimensions of a cartoon strongman.
"I'm still failing to see the problem here." -Rob Liefeld
#4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 -- Spider-Man Forgot How to Climb on Buildings
Spider-Man's entire cinematic marketing strategy has revolved around the fact that he can climb on buildings like a shape-shifting contortionist:
He's caused a 25 percent increase in window washer jobs because of all his dick prints.
However, because there's apparently a finite number of ways a man with the proportionate strength of a spider can pose on the side of a building while still looking cool, the poster for the latest Spider-Man movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, has him hanging upside down with his crotch spread into the wind as if he's trying to dry out the inevitable puddle of sweat that has collected in his grundle:
Now look at it right side up:
"Oh God, breakfast tacos were a terrible idea."
What the fuck is he doing? The only excuse for him to be hanging like that is if he is crawling laterally along the building, looking for an open window. That's less "superheroic infiltration mission" and more "I locked myself out of my apartment."
#3. Brick Mansions -- Paul Walker Can Fly
The upcoming Paul Walker parkour-fest Brick Mansions has made the freewalking stunts way easier by simply giving all of the actors anti-gravity sneakers that allow them to fly through the air at any angle they choose:
Wait, are they taking turns?
As we can see in the film's other posters, these two gentlemen aren't skating down the western slope of the Luxor, but are actually sliding down the side of a completely vertical building. So the true perspective would be something like this:
"Don't worry. All these soft shards of glass will cushion our landing."
So, they just exploded headfirst through the reinforced glass siding of a 40-story office tower and are sticking their arms out behind them to slow their descent. Or maybe they're hoverpeople escaping through the skylight of a shopping mall:
"Fuck you, Orange Julius!"
#2. Non-Stop -- Liam Neeson Is a Gravity-Bending Wizard
Liam Neeson seems to have the same disdain for gravity in the poster for his latest film, Non-Stop:
In the movie, Issac Newton has kidnapped his teenage daughter.
Literally the only way for the scene depicted in that poster to occur would be for the plane to go completely vertical at 600 miles per hour. No amount of bullets or Irish scowling can correct that situation -- the plane would plunge into the Earth like an oil derrick in about 10 seconds. The alternative is that the force of Liam's handgun is propelling him backward through coach:
Or better yet ...
Universal Studios, Relativity Media
Yep, that explains it -- Paul Walker is on the outside of the plane.
#1. The Expendables 3 -- Nobody Involved With The Expendables 3 Gives a Shit Anymore
The Expendables is an action series about a bunch of really old men collecting a paycheck for as little work as possible. The third installment, due this summer, just unveiled a brand new series of posters that prove this thesis beyond a shadow of a doubt:
The collective age of this cast is older than the Earth.
Never before has a gallery of images meant to entice movie-going audiences so truly worn its heart on its sleeve. It is retina-scorchingly clear that neither The Expendables 3's marketing strategist nor the stars of the film itself give one hammered cheetah shit about what the posters look like. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren seem to be laughing at how many pounds of fatigues they had to toss on Arnold to disguise the fact that his muscles have crumbled into geriatric dust:
There's a pie hidden in his gun's magazine.
Here's Kelsey Grammer, lazily posing for a poster meant to appeal to a demographic of action movie fans that cannot possibly exist:
"Frasier Crane in a Panama hat? I'll take two tickets!"
The Expendables is a hyper-violent series of action films, yet some of the posters for part three don't just seem like they're for an entirely different movie -- they seem like they're for an entirely different genre. These look like publicity stills from a feel-good buddy flick:
It took three weeks of Photoshop work to make Harrison Ford's smile.
Most of them are downright flirty in the right context:
"I've been in prison for three years. Everyone looks good."
It's like they hired the person responsible for every romantic comedy poster from the past 10 years to take pictures in a Gap studio for an afternoon: