Wednesday, June 18, 2008

FUN WITH PROMO ART: Warner Bros. Runs Out of Ideas

Every now and then, the inherent lack of originality amongst mainstream entertainment is enough to make your head spin. We have grown largely apathetic when it comes to things like this. Yes, this shit doesn't even begin to phase us anymore - AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM. We have grown so accustomed to this stuff that we don't blink an eye even when the most unoriginal stuff rears its ugly head. But sometimes, they just get too damn lazy.

This week, a new straight-to-DVD film was released on DVD. It's called CHAOS THEORY and it stars Ryan Reynolds, thus insuring I won't be seeing it. Now, when this came out I got a truly depressing case of deja vu. See, I didn't just wake up from a year-long blackout. Therefore, I was present two weeks before when the new John Heder film (again, no chance in hell I'll be catching this one) came out. Let's just look at these two covers side by side.

Huh. Let's check out the stark similarities. Each of them has a red background, and no having a slightly different shade doesn't give you any points for being unique. Each of them has their title written on the left mid-upper field with the tagline written underneath. While we're at it, the above-title star billing is written much the same as well. Each cover has the main character standing uncomfortably at the right. Again, no it doesn't give you much to hoot about just because you Photoshopped Anna Faris over Napoleon Dynamite's shoulder. Each person in the pic is even holding a sign - Ryan is holding a really lame sub-Fortune cookie bullshit written on an oversized piece of paper while John is holding "I love my mommy" on a paper bag which I assume holds the last shred of his dignity which has now been consumed, passed and held captive by other Mormons.

Now, this would typically be unfortunate. But we could always chalk it up to coincidence. Or maybe we could even point out how competing companies are ripping each other off. If it was the Asylum, it would even be a little bit adorable at this point. But therein lies the problem. These two films did not come out of competing companies. They did not even come out of one of our beloved low budget companies. These two films were released by WARNER BROS. and even then only TWO WEEKS APART!

Hell, it doesn't even matter which film came out first (MAMA'S BOY did, just to remind you), since each was in production at the same time. This can only be chalked up to "Man, do we really need to rev up Photoshop to devote another two hours to this shitty film we've already spent $10 million on? Naaah, just reshape the MAMA'S BOY cover for 15 minutes. Voila! New Ryan Reynolds shitfest. The sheep will rent it anyway."

Is it any wonder that the sum total of creative output these days is looking at what expensive properties they've paid for, after which they try to eek out the most profitable margin possible after hiring countless writers? Is it any wonder that when one of said properties turns out to be good (i.e. Chris Nolan's recent BATMAN outings as opposed to say Schumacher's), we all breathe a collective sigh of relief?

Again, originality doesn't happen because of Hollywood, it happens in spite of it.

Case in point, lazy cover art now devolving into self-plagiarizing lazy cover art. Never let them get away with this stuff. Unless - and this is very important - they manage to be incredibly charming.

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