Posterizing: ‘Total’ Recalling

In today’s edition of Posterizing, we take a look at some truly unique poster designs and wonder if the generic artwork on the ‘Total Recall’ poster is a bad omen for the movie.

‘The Weather Outside’

I don’t know much about this movie. Scratch that, I don’t know anything at all about this movie. All I can find on IMDb is a brief, ambiguous synopsis for the film and a scheduled release date in May. What I do know about this movie is that it has a gorgeous poster. There’s an old-school film noir vibe going on here. This is a perfect example of how great a movie poster can look, even with large character heads and taglines, when it’s done by a competent artist. This is already on my short list for one of the best movie posters of 2012.

‘Safety Not Guaranteed’

Not too many posters would go this route, especially when you have notable, recognizable actors in your movie like Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza. There aren’t even any names of actors here. It’s just a simple classified ad, the same one that is answered in the movie.

Even though this doesn’t feature any magnificent artwork, I like the originality of it. It’s a very subtle way of getting you excited for the movie: “A classified ad about time travel? Well, I just have to see this.”

Also, I saw this movie at Sundance, and you won’t want to miss it.


The new documentary about Bob Marley, directed by Kevin MacDonald, gets a simple poster. I’ve always liked the simplicity of smaller pictures that make up a larger picture. This poster puts the movie’s main subject, Marley himself, on full display in an artistic fashion. I rather enjoy this simple poster.

‘Total Recall’

As a matter of fact, I’m having a total recall of sorts. This ‘Total Recall’ poster looks almost identical to a poster that was produced for ‘Source Code’. Hopefully, the been-there-done-that feeling on the poster doesn’t transfer over to the movie itself. It is a remake, after all.

‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’

Finally, I must update everyone on my ongoing quest of disappointment. Recently, Mondo released this amazing piece of artwork for Disney’s ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’. I tried to buy it before it sold out. Alas, I got it in my cart, but when I was ready to check out, it had already sold out. I wanted it for my son’s room, which has an “Under the Ocean” theme. Too bad.


  1. JM

    Since I’ve never seen ‘Total Recall’ I’m highly anticipating ‘Total Recall 2.0.’

    It looks very ‘Deus Ex.’

    I’m a little concerned that it has a $200M budget, but is releasing in August?!?

    Of course, I would have cast Michael Fassbender and Eva Green instead of Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel, but I’m excited to see Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy, Bryan Cranston, and Ethan Hawke playing in this universe.

    I like the poster 10x more than the ‘Source Code’ one because of the background imagery, but it still looks like a generic video game box.

    However, with Paul Cameron as the cinematographer, shooting with Red Epic, despite the inevitable dumbness of the screenplay, we should be getting one of the most beautiful science fiction films ever filmed.

      • JM

        ‘Prometheus’s cinematographer, Dariusz Wolski, is not too shabby.

        I liked his work in ‘The Rum Diary,’ ‘Sweeney Todd,’ and ‘Dark City.’

        He’s shooting ‘Prometheus’ with the same Red Epic cameras, and gets to shoot a lot of H. R. Giger created/inspired art.

        On the other hand…

        ‘Total Recall’s editor is Christian Wagner, who did ‘Fast Five,’ ‘Battle LA,’ ‘The Island,’ ‘Man On Fire,’ ‘M:I2,’ ‘The Negotiator,’ ‘Face/Off,’ ‘Bad Boys,’ and ‘True Romance.’

        ‘Prometheus’s editor is Pietro Scalia, who did ‘Kick-Ass,’ ‘Black Hawk Down,’ ‘Hannibal,’ ‘Gladiator,’ ‘Stealing Beauty,’ and ‘JFK.’

        ‘Total Recall’s art director is Patrick Banister, who did ‘The Thing,’ ‘Sucker Punch,’ ‘Orphan,’ ‘Shoot Em Up,’ ‘Blade: Trinity,’ and ‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie.’

        ‘Prometheus’s art director is John King, who did ‘Robin Hood,’ ‘Troy,’ ‘Notting Hill,’ ‘The Phantom Menace,’ and Kenneth Branagh’s ‘Henry V.’

        ‘Total Recall’s production designer is Patrick Tatopoulos who did ‘Stargate,’ ‘Se7en,’ ‘Dark City,’ ‘I Robot,’ ‘Pitch Black,’ ‘Underworld,’ ‘I Am Legend,’ ‘Trick r Treat,’ ‘The Ruins,’ and ‘Solomon Kane.’

        ‘Prometheus’s production designer is Arthur Max, who did ‘Se7en,’ ‘GI Jane,’ ‘Panic Room,’ ‘Kingdom Of Heaven,’ and ‘Body Of Lies.’

        So if I had to pick a winner…

        ‘Prometheus’ will be twice as classy.
        ‘Total Recall’ will be twice as pulpy.

        And my personal sensibility will lean toward ‘Prometheus.’

        • Aaron Peck

          You’re like a walking IMDB.

          Judging purely from trailers I’d say that ‘Prometheus’ looks like it has a grander scale. Like there’s going to be a LOT more to look at in the futuristic exteriors. Whereas ‘Total Recall’ looks like it’s mostly futuristic interiors. They’ll both look good though I think. ‘Prometheus’ might just look a little better.

          This is all assuming that Ridley Scott will be able to hold his camera still enough to take in all the special effects and sets they created. Damn you Scott Shaky-Cam!

          • JM

            Ridley Scott shot ‘Prometheus’ in 3D, which means no shaky-cam.

            But we’ll have to see how much money ‘Total Recall’ invested in its flying car chases…

          • Aaron Peck

            There may be no shaky-cam, but what about split-second editing. With Pietro Scalia on the job I fear that it could end up looking like ‘Black Hawk Down.’

          • JM

            ‘Prometheus’ is real 3D, assisted by the ‘Transformers 3’ stereographers.

            Shaky-cam is a post-production process. The shots are shot normal, then fucked up in editing.

            And MTV editing doesn’t work in 3D, because the human eye needs long controlled shots in order for the 3D to work.

            So the editing should feel ‘Alien’-esque.

          • Shaky-cam can be accomplished either on set or in post production, depending on the practical needs of the scene. If you watch the behind-the-scenes stuff for the last Star Trek movie, you can see J.J. Abrams tapping furiously on the camera’s film magazine to make the camera shake.

  2. EM

    I very much like the Weather Outside and Safety Not Guaranteed posters. They make me want to find out more about those movies.

    The Marley poster drops the ball in that it makes One Love look like the title. But the image of Marley is nifty. I like that the picture elements are icons of significance to the subject: peace, music notes, hearts, etc. I’m not particularly interested in the movie, though, because I’m not particularly interested in the subject. But the art seems like a great way to draw in those who would be interested.

    I don’t care for the ho-hum Total Recall poster; but then, I don’t care for the ho-hum Source Code poster either.

    Too bad about the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea poster. Aaron, does the room have anything relating to Disney’s Little Mermaid? One of that movie’s more famous songs is “Under the Sea”; in the French dub, that song became “Sous l’océan”, which—as you may have guessed even if you don’t know French—is more precisely translated as “Under the Ocean”.

  3. I have faith in the Total Recall poster and despite not caring for Source Code like so many audiences, it’s poster looks pretty stellar in my opinion.

    Also, it’s not a remake, it’s a reimagining that takes just as many ideas from the short story that inspired the Schwarzenegger classic as well as the other movie itself.

    Prometheus has far more potential though while this new Total Recall will just be a fun distraction at best.