Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Poster-to-DVD Frustration

I am always a fan of a clever poster. And I sometime do not even mind floating heads. My walls are currently adorned with posters cut out from the New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure section for the following films: The Assassination of Jesse James, In the Valley of Elah, No Country for Old Men, Gone Baby Gone, Charlie Wilson's War, Sweeney Todd, American Gangster, I Am Legend, and The Golden Compass. Additionally, I have real posters for Bee Movie, Into the Wild, Across the Universe, Knocked Up, Kill Bill, The Darjeeling Limited, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and TV series "Dexter" and "24". Some of those will soon be replaced by NY Times ads for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I'm Not There, Atonement, and The Savages. As you can tell, I am not that selective with the posters I choose to put up.

But what really gets me is when a terrific poster is completely ruined when the transition to DVD is made. In cases like "Find Me Guilty", the poster is awful and somehow the DVD ends up being even worse by taking out the background elements. I would never have seen that movie anyway, but I am saddened about a film I did like which was butchered during the transition to DVD. First Snow, starring Guy Pearce, is a mysterious thriller which had the poster with Pearce walking through the snow below. Not terribly clever, but not bad at all. It made me want to see it. But the DVD cover destroys all that by having all the characters look dumb and brightening the whole thing so that there is no longer an air of mystery. I lament this unfortunate event but hope that people will still see this terrific but little-seen film (it grossed only $300,000 worldwide). Don't judge a book by its cover, especially not in the case of this DVD.

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