Don’t Judge a Film by Its Poster

IdentityPosters for the upcoming film “Identity” can be seen all over town these days. And though the trailer doesn’t look too promising, this poster is brilliant, easily the best I’ve seen yet this year. It’s the kind of conceptually dense illustration that used to feature more prominently in commercial graphics, and I think Columbia Pictures deserves a pat on the back for approving such an unorthodox approach.

IdentitySpeaking of film posters, there’s a theater that I pass every morning on 19th Street that has posters for the upcoming sequels “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” and “The Matrix: Reloaded.” They have a single “Charlie’s” poster flanked by two “Matrix” posters, and when I first saw this I had to do a double-take. At first glance, it would appear that these all promote the same film. Come to think of it, I’d gladly pay to go see “Charlie’s Angels” fight the tech-heads from “The Matrix.”

They’re both teaser campaigns for sequels, which probably explains their similar approach to, er, teasing: white backgrounds that omit context, obscuring or cropping the face (traditionally the central focus of any movie poster), and a heavy reliance on the idea that you already know something of the franchise.

Charli’s Angels: Full ThrottleThe Matrix: Reloaded

It’s a bit unfair to characterize these as knock-offs of a similar idea, because I think the &#8220Reloaded” posters are actually quite well-designed. I just hope the movie, which frighteningly looks like it succumbs to the idea that more characters are better than fewer, lives up to all the expectations.

The Matrix: ReloadedThe Matrix: Reloaded