First of all, I wasn't that impressed by some of the posters: they were crowded, the color combinations weren't as impressive as I'd hoped they be, and I didn't seem to be as blown away as I should be given the comments about how fantastic the posters were. It was especially annoying to be told how much I should love them, when I didn't, really.
There were a couple posters where I felt that way, read the movie description/tidbits about the movie/poster on the bottom and took another look and changed my mind. (There was one line about a sword that looked both threatening and protective given how it was being held behind the woman's neck. I thought it was just going to be a yakuza vengeance/execution film, but the description of how he held the sword and the movie synopsis made me take another look and I enjoyed the poster much more after knowing that he was her guardian. Like I said, it happened one or two more times, but this one stood out in my mind most.)
In addition, it feels like this was written in English by people whose first language was Japanese. If so, the editing was poor. If it was, in fact, translated, it needed to be translated properly. I stumbled over sentences like: "The first Ninja movie that aimed at realist was The Ninja series." No. The series wasn't the first movie; the first movie in that series was the first movie. It's not a massive mistake, and from my experience, it's a mistake someone who knows English as a second language would make. It's also sprinkled throughout the book, in a really weird way. Let me explain: half, or slightly more, of the sentences are fine. The others aren't. So I'm on the fence about how this was screwed up: mistranslation? ESL speakers with little or no editing? I just don't know. I do know that the way I didn't really connect with the posters knocked down one star, and the amount of times I went 'huh?' due to funky grammar knocked down one more star. (Given that the two people who introduce each genre have Japanese names, I'm guessing they speak, and write, far better in Japanese. I wasn't going to say anything lest I be called racist, but at least one of them mentions being in a scene in one of the movies. Add to this the fact that the gentlemen who wrote the introduction is named Chuck Stephens and writes in perfect English, I'm guessing that the other two are natives of Japan given that they both have weird sentence structures at some point in their writing.)
And it's a shame. Because despite not really enjoying many of these posters, there are a lot of interesting factoids provided in two places: the genre introductions, and the synopsis/facts about the movie under the poster on each page where a poster is featured. There is also a two page introduction that had me captivated despite the briefness with which it went over a love affair with movie posters. Then there are genre introductions. For each one, two of the co-authors, Tetsuya Masuda and Kairakutei Black, write something about the genre in general and particular movies that are highlights in that genre. It lets the reader get a sense of time, of cultural impact - such as the differences between period pieces and horror pieces in Japan, other Asian countries, and the West - as well as why some of the movies were featured in this book due to their particular historical impact. The other pages feature the posters themselves. Below, or next to the posters, are more features: title of the movie, director, star, as well as taglines - which are translated, and tidbits about the movie/series/novel it was based on/stars. Most of the posters are full page with the information below, although a couple are longer, with less width, and have the information next to the posters.
Be warned: this goes over erotic fiction, and has nudity. Not appropriate for kids, even those who love Japanese movies.
In addition, it uses the term Japanamation, and when I first said this out loud to someone when I was speaking about anime, I got a lecture on how 'Jap' was a slur and it didn't matter if I added 'animation' to the back of it. I said I wasn't aware - I was much younger - and even now that I was, getting mad at me wouldn't do anything: it was a term that was used. They just got madder, yelled at me for real now, and told me never to use that term again. I went pale, and haven't used it again. (Anime is so much shorter anyway.) Although it is slightly gratifying to see that although I-can't-remember-who-know went on a shit-fit about me using the term, Japanamation is not something that should be laid on my shoulders.
I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!
I'd seen some other people reading and discussing Alternative Movie Posters here on Booklikes and it made me very curious. I really like clever movie posters, preferably with a lot of references you'll only get after watching the actual movie. Unfortunately, nowadays there are few of these posters left. A random photoshopped picture of the leading actor/actress just doesn't feel the same.
This book shows art from the 'underground' alternative movie front. Some of the covers featured were very clever, and were far superior to the ones actually used. Another nice aspect of this book was the artists talking about their favourite/first movies. It reminded me of a bunch of (mostly) '80s movies I still have to see.
It's not a book to read in one go, but I'd definitely recommend it.
I am a huge fan of art and movies so, when I came across this book, I just could not resist. I agree wholeheartedly with the author's intro - movie posters these days (except for a small few) are quite sad. They don't put the time and effort into them - into portraying the movie - like they once did. This book is full of absolutely amazing pieces of art - some simplistic, some elaborate - and the added artist bios were a lot of fun to read, especially the "behind the poster" sections. These artists really captured the movies in a truly beautiful way. This is the kind of movie art that I want in my home (and what's awesome is the author provides the websites where you can find these guys).
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves movies, whether you are old enough to remember the awesome movie posters from the 70s and 80s or not. I think that, once you see these, you will take a new look at the movies that are portrayed.
Note: I got this from NetGalley.
This is going to be a short and sweet review on an aspect of media that I think about more often than not in the scheme of things. Many of us take for granted the impact that movie posters have in advertising/displaying/showcasing the symbolic and meaningful quality of a film. Matthew Chojnacki tackles the subject of "Alternative Movie Posters", a compilation of posters from films as displayed in various locales and times from a wide variety of different artists. I was surprised to see how many individual contributions were showcased in this collection. While they vary in quality and personal appeal to me, I appreciated hearing the snippets of backstory behind the creation of each poster. Some of the designs in this were directly taken from aspects related to the films they showcase, and some were products of the time and place in which they were created surrounding the film. It made me crave a time when movie posters used to have more diversity to them, because I always appreciated the kind of thought, creativity and expansion that such posters had compared to the usually photoshopped graphics we see today in many posters (The one that's coming to mind is "Thor: The Dark World", though I'm laughing about it because I think of the photoshopped fan version that was showcased in China and that sold its point just as much.)
In any case, I think if you're a media/film buff who wants to partake in this lost collection of movie posters from a wide variety of films past and present, this is a worthwhile addition to your collection. I very much enjoyed the read for the time taken to peruse it.
Overall score: 4/5 stars
Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.