Friday, August 31, 2012

Flags and Muscle Car Poster for 'Killing Them Softly'

Certainly better than the last effort but so unsubtle it's, well, laughable. This poster has devolved from a remarkable conceptual graphic to a literal-minded reminder to, now, a patriotic all-American (or anti-American), shotgun toting one sheet for what looks like a TV series debut.

And, "In America you're on your own?" I know that's a quote from Cogan that's in the movie. "I'm living in America. And, in America, you're on your own." But, so? What's that mean? Kill the next guy with a shotgun or he'll kill you? If you want someone dead you have to do it yourself? What? The only thing missing from that tagline is "Hell yeah, dammit! 'Merica! Pass me a Budweiser." Not that it would help clarify the tagline but, yes, it would fit. It's silly enough to fit.

And, a flag and muscle car? What's this movie about, a street racer that runs for president?

And, what does one thing have to do with the other? How is killing small time thugs who ripoff a poker game an all-American pursuit? What American virtue does this reflect? Maybe I'm not getting it. Maybe it's an anti-American, anti-Capitalist pursuit. Okay, how?

The movie has a political agenda. We've all heard that. However, is the average guy who wants to see a shoot-'em-up gangster flick starring Brad Pitt really going to get the Occupy vibe (or whatever vibe it is) from the poster and think 'Hell yeah. That's what I'm in the mood for. An anti-Capitalist, anti-America (or pro-America depending on how you look at it), Occupy-Everything-Now (or don't) movie'?

But, what about the more politically aware, you say? Won't they get it? You mean the politically aware, the politically active, who are headed to the multiplex to see a gangster movie? Those people? The people who are politically plugged in, who vote in every election, read the paper every day and want to see a crime flick with Brad Pitt shooting up the place. Those people. They're going to see this poster and get all excited about its anti-(fill in the blank) subtext then run every light in their Prius (a Japanese car, thank you very much) in their mad rush to the theater?

'Killing Them Softly' is a gangster movie. That's it. Few will notice the injections of political subtext and those that do will chuckle and forget it.

Dear Hollywood Suits: Please stop with the anti-America (yet nonetheless flag-waving) anti-money anti-whateverthefuck posters. You had us with the first poster. It was great. Remember that one? It had an American flag, yes, but it was a reflection in sunglasses so that was cool (especially considering the guy wearing the sunglasses was also pointing a revolver at us). We cool? Yeah, we're cool.

Given a choice between the new poster that bashes us over the head with...something, and the last one, I'll have to go with the last one. It was dumb but it was uncluttered. No silly subtext that no one cares about. It had Brad Pitt pointing a shotgun and that's really all we need to know.


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