Tag Archives: poster roaster

Poster Roaster: SMASH’s ‘Bombshell’

9 Feb

Well, ladies and gentlemen, Smash is back in all it’s we-love-to-hate-it-or-is-it-hate-to-love-it? glory. The details of the show have been discussed in great detail by many people, including me (seriously guys, I tweeted 49 times during the premiere. I think my brain is starting to process everything in 140 characters). But there’s one detail of the show that I don’t feel has been adequately discussed.

You see, the whole idea of Smash is that it’s a show about the making of the show. The driving plot through the troubled first season was who would be cast as Marilyn Monroe in the musical about Marilyn Monroe – would they go for Ivy, the seasoned Broadway actress with the brass pipes who actually looks like Marilyn Monroe, or Karen, the pop-singing waif with the dead eyes who performs every number looking like she’s in one of those dreams where you’re suddenly in the middle of a number and you don’t know what you’re doing but you have to pretend really fast because it’s all happening and everyone’s looking at you? Well, folks, we needn’t have worried. Because according to the poster for ‘Bombshell’, Smash’s show-within-a-show, they ended up casting…

Miss Trunchbull?
Maybe I missed a key bit of subtext in the recent premiere. There’s a scene in which Tom runs into Harvey Fierstein, who seems oddly awkward and a little bit cagey. Could it be that what he knows that Tom doesn’t is that HE’s going to be playing Marilyn? Because according to this weird silhouetted clip art, Marilyn Monroe was actually a stocky pointy-boobed man-lookin’ lady. Maybe they meant bombshell as in ‘shocking secret’ and not as in ‘one of the most beautiful women in the history of the world’, and the shocking secret is that in their show one of the greatest drag icons of all time is actually a drag queen? This could be an interesting plot development – god knows it would be better than sneaky evil Ellis. And I’d rather see Harvey Fierstein play Marilyn than boring Karen, to be honest.

I mean, if you’re going to be making a musical about an icon like Marilyn Monroe, you would think you would want said icon to be recognizable. Or at least have a recognizable neck instead of a head connection that is roughly as thick as her waist. But I get it. Pictures of Marilyn Monroe are definitely hard to find, especially ones that are instantly identifiable. That’s just what you get making a musical about a historical figure so obscure, producer Elaine.



Poster Roaster: Chaplin the Musical

22 Sep

The air is Autumnal, and this, to me, is delightful. Not only for the tweeds and the pumpkin-flavored everything, but also because it’s time for the new theater season, y’all! And this year, we are getting such cutting-edge pieces as this:

To be fair, I haven’t yet seen this show. So it could well be full of Robert Wilson gestures and techno-pop. But from this poster, I am guessing it most certainly is not.

First of all, let’s discuss the tagline, shall we? This has been popping up on facebook ads for quite some time now, which was the first source of my wonder. Realistically, how many of your average facebook users actually know who ‘the Little Tramp’ refers to? Let’s be honest, most people probably hear ‘The Little Tramp’ and think Snooki. And I’m not saying that we, as Americans, should be proud of this, but I am saying that if you’re marketing your musical on Facebook, you might want to go with a tagline that’s a little more ‘this is an important person in history you should be interested in’ and a little less ‘we already assume you know who we’re talking about.’

But everything about this poster already assumes you do know who they’re talking about. It also assumes that you are old enough that you probably have a significant number of years overlap with the life of the actual Charlie Chaplin. Because I I’ve looked at a lot of posters over the years, and I’ve seen many go with a retro look, but I’ve never seen one that seems so patently designed to look like it’s been hanging on the basement wall of your parents’ house since 1975. The font seems directly pulled from that era, and the simple two-color scheme and odd ‘spotlight’ effect in the center look like it might have been a simple black and white at one point and aged with some mildewing around the corners – this is the only poster in memory that I could say I know what it would smell like.

But let’s move past that for a while, and take a gander at the big main graphic. I’ll give them a pass on the fact that they have a big head of Chaplin, and then a full-body little Chaplin in their graphics; we get it, show, you’re about Charlie Chaplin, but given the aforementioned ‘Little Tramp’ issue, I don’t have a problem with driving the point home. What I do have a problem with is the big mess of stuff pouring out of poor big Chaplin’s head; it looks like he should immediately go to a doctor, or, give those wheels in there, a Steampunk costume party.

So what’s in there? We’ve got a whole lot of film, including cameras and all those film reels, which makes sense – after all, we are dealing with someone whose life is inextricably linked with the medium of film (although again, we get it, poster! We would probably get it with fewer than the seven film reels/canisters you’ve got there.) We’ve got a fancy lady with a big feather hat, who fingers crossed represents Maggie Smith in ‘Downton Abbey’, because I would go see any musical the Dowager Countess appears in, even if it isn’t about anything remotely related to Downton Abbey. We’ve got some making out, because you’ve got to have some love in there somewhere, even if I’m sure I’m not the only one who looks at that and thinks, ugh, mustache burn. And then, at the top, we’ve got a silhouetted woman and a little child.

I’m going to guess that this represents Chaplin and his mother somehow, and that she’s welcoming him in to… somewhere she would be but he would have to be welcomed into… okay, you know what, I’m going to stop trying to think about it. What I am going to say is AHHHHHH THERE ARE LITTLE PEOPLE WHO LIVE INSIDE CHARLIE CHAPLIN’S BRAIN. I mean, I’m all for metaphor, and I totally get the idea that those little side people are part of this person’s consciousness. But throw in that silhouette, and I start to worry that someone has bored a door into Charlie Chaplin’s parietal lobe – or worse, that this whole time Charlie Chaplin wore that famous bowler hat to hide the fact that under it, he had no head.

Also, between this and the ‘Bring It On’ poster, I’m beginning to wonder if there wasn’t some sort of summit of the world’s graphic designers to declare that this season, people inside of other people on posters is the thing. If so, then there’s really only one show that could feature that on their poster with completely legitimate reason. And that show is ‘The Performers’.

Poster Roaster: Rebecca

19 Jul

Good news, guys! Finally someone’s going to be doing a musical about dragons:

via theatermania.com

No? Rebecca is in fact about a shy woman who marries a man who lives in a big old house and then is weirdly traumatized by the housekeeper who idolized the man’s first wife? Oh. Well, forgive my confusion, because I just saw those red licks of flame on the big ‘R’ there and assumed that the only reason those would possibly be on a Broadway show poster was if it were going to be a musical about dragons, or possibly Corky St. Clair’s long-awaited transfer of ‘Backdraft: The Musical’ (with real flames!).

But no. Alas.

Now, in itself, a musical version of the classic movie ‘Rebecca’ isn’t a bad idea. There’s high drama, love and death and obsession and big houses in the British countryside. However, I don’t remember it being about the dangers of living on the British coast. But oddly enough, the main image (if we put aside that giant R for a moment) is of the tossing waves of a stormy sea (which are close enough to those red flames that one wonders if they couldn’t just handily put out that dragon fire), with a dark and foreboding house (presumably the famous Manderley) lurking in the background. Now as I recall, the ocean does play a small part in the unfolding of ‘Rebecca’s plot, but only a small one – perhaps this is all intended to be somehow metaphorical? The waves are the waves of high drama, crashing onto the rocks of emotional wrenching-ness? No?

Let’s move upwards a bit, past the turgid grey clouds of inevitable power ballads, and back to our friend the big flaming R. Clearly, this is the fancy part of the house, representing the majesty of Manderley. But it’s a bit too shiny, isn’t it? It looks like the logo of a tacky hotel chain that advertises itself as being classy but where all the flower arrangements are fake and slightly dusty. And combined with the background, there’s sort of an interesting wild/civilized juxtopposition that almost works, but mostly just makes the whole thing look like an ad for the new hotel, the Wuthering Hilton.  

And oh look, if the shinyness of the gold and the odd red flames (can gold burn, anyway?) didn’t seem like enough to burden this one letter with, they’ve also helfpully stuck a face inside the R (side note: between this and ‘Bring it On’, what is it with shoving people inside show logos? Is this a strange new trend?). And by ‘inside’, I don’t mean in the little picture window helpfully provided by the shape of the letter ‘R’ itself, I mean awkwardly stuck in the long side part. Because in case you’ve been looking at the poster and confused because, wait, is Rebecca the one with the crazy attic wife, or the one with Heathcliff? And did Daniel Radcliffe just star in a movie version of this?, the lady in the shiny R is here to remind you that, in fact, ‘Rebecca’ is about a woman. Three women, actually: Cathy, Jane Eyre, and Leona Helmsley. Just kidding! It’s the unnamed protagonist, crazy housekeeper Mrs. Danvers, and the titular Rebecca herself, perhaps the most complicated, magnetic, fascinating character ever to dominate a story in which she never technically appears. And lest we forget, the story that ‘Rebecca’ tells, about this strange triangle between these three, is a great story, one of the best psychological thrillers out there, and deservedly a classic. But according to this poster, the show about storms and fire and trapped faces and shiny gold splendor.

But hey, maybe the show won’t be so bad. Fingers crossed they did add a dragon.

Poster Roaster: Bring It On

9 Jul

When I was little, I used to think that there were little elves that lived inside you and made your body work. They had little green overalls and pointed hats, and probably were based somewhat on the Keebler elves (since, let’s be honest, my childhood body was probably a large percentage Keebler products), and I didn’t really think to much about how this would actually work, or what was inside the elves, because I was a fanciful impractical child and whatever, I’m getting off track here.

My point is, I was reminded of this today in the subway when I saw this poster for the upcoming cheerleader musical ‘Bring it On’:

This is actually a screen cap from bringitonmusical.com – the subway posters must be brand spankin’ new.

Because it turns out, my childhood self wasn’t too far off, but I was wrong about the elves: apparently, our bodies are full of cheerleaders.

Now before I go any further, I would like to state for the record that I am legitimately super-excited about ‘Bring it On’. I greatly enjoy the movie on which it’s based, I have a couch potato’s natural fascination with the hyper-energetic and gravity-defying sport of cheerleading, and, most of all, the creative team for this show is RIDICULOUS. Having Jeff Whitty, Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Amanda Green, David Korins, Jason Lyons and Andy Blankenbuehler all on one show is such an insane gathering of talent that I would like to request, on behalf of the Broadway community, that they never fly all in the same plane, à la the British royal family.

That being said, I was excited when I saw the first art for the show, which stuck to the simple, great title graphics with the floodlights behind. But then this new art appeared. And although my heart still herkies for the show, this poster wilts my pompoms.

First of all, ouch. That position just looks like it hurts. That might just mark me as an old creaky person, but something about that girl’s neck and back just makes me think she’s going to come down from that jump and be taped up like a mummy for the next month and a half. But to be fair, maybe she’s just in that position because she’s contorted in horror because she just realized that THERE ARE PEOPLE LIVING INSIDE HER.

From ‘Alien’, of course. Few know this, but in the original script the alien popped out and executed a perfect double hook/back handspring.

I mean, many ladies say ‘the girls’ when referring to their boobs, but in this poor girl’s case, there are actually girls where her boobs should be. And, perhaps worse, there’s a canoodling couple right over her crotchal region, whose silhouette leaves a dark triangle that, if you fuzz your eyes, looks rather pube-y. It makes you wonder if the entire artwork was maybe conceived as one of those old paintings where an entire person is made out of vegetables, except in this case the vegetables are teens.

Vertumnus, by Giuseppe Arcimboldo. I can only hope that when he painted this, Arcimboldo thought, “I hope some day this painting will be referenced in a blog post about singing dancing cheerleaders.”

Actually, now that I look at it, I’m wondering if there isn’t a deeper analysis to this whole image – perhaps, instead of merely being a fun way to illustrate that the show is both about high jumping bodies AND people who have faces, the makers of the image have chosen to represent the truth of the frail human teenage body via images of the cast members. Like breasts, the girls at the chest laugh as if to say “oh, I’m sorry, did you want us to be perfect spheroids? Like THAT’s going to happen.” The couple in the genital region represent the makeout-centric zone, oblivious to the rest of the world, and snide knee bizarro-Meredith-Patterson smirks as if to say, “oh yes, my ligaments work fine now, but just you wait.” The comedy couple in the leg exchanges a look as if to say “no sure, that Jewel poem you got tattooed on your calf will totally still mean something to you when you’re old,” and the girl in the feet, well, she just wants to dance in hip overalls.

Or maybe not. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, and it is just a poster that shows a high-energy cheerleader who is full of friendship and romance and dancing. And that’s no bad thing – after all, just because someone is full of other creatures doesn’t mean they aren’t also filled with some Broadway razzmatazz:

Poster Roaster: Ghost

12 Mar

This season, dudes, I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard out there for a poster roaster-writing blogger. I don’t know if Broadway marketing people are stepping up and away from those strange ‘everything that pleases focus groups in one image’ posters, or if my influence is such that posters are being catered to my personal taste (it’s obviously this), but there are a lot of really solid poster images this season. Like the poster for Once, which I love almost as much as I love the show:

Simple, low-key, and oddly romantic, just like the show. Or this poster, for Peter and the Starcatcher:

I can’t even put into words how much I love this poster, or the fact that Serino Coyne hired a Vermont woodworking artist to make it out of old barn wood (there’s a truly beautiful video about it here). It’s both warm and oddly childlike, and perfectly captures the inventive, homemade feeling of the show and of Alex Timbers’ style in general (if you want a reminder about a poster that most definitely did NOT capture this, go back in time to my strong feelings about the BBAJ poster art)

There are plenty of others I like too – the bold simplicity of Jesus Christ Superstar, the retro look of Evita. All good.

But then, there’s this:

Oh, Ghost the Musical.That is just so… weird. Let’s break it down a bit, shall we?

So, first of all, for those of you who don’t know, Ghost the Musical is a British import, and a musical based on the classic movie that made a generation of people think that ceramics were sexy instead of populated by people who don’t believe in deodorant or trimming split ends. And from this poster, it looks like the show has definitely made some changes from the movie.

For example, the movie was a heartbreaking romance between a woman and a man who is breaking the rules of life and death to protect her. According to the poster, the show is a heartbreaking romance between a woman and a frozen dead Smurf. Which is an interesting choice; I mean, generally, audiences are pretty smart. If a character dies and then continues to be present, constantly talking about how he is, in fact, dead, and must avenge said death, or how it’s frustrating that his loved ones can no longer see him, him being dead and all, usually the audiences will pick up on the idea that said person is in fact the titular ghost. If your show is based on a famous movie that most people know, and thus they know that your main character, the studly ghost in question, is no longer a healthy living person, you’d think that you’d also be in the clear. But I guess sometimes you just need to drive that point home by making him look like a cerulean Studsicle.

So, we’ve got the healthy normal-colored lady, and Icy Smurf. And they are locked together in a pose that proves their longing to touch, to kiss, if only they were on the same astral plane. Right? Well, not really. They both look a little pained, like two coworders who don’t really like each other having to be really close to each other on a really packed elevator. And because of their positioning, it looks a little like Icy Smurf is bitchily judging her roots, while she’s checking to see if there’s frost on the undead bits, if you know what I’m saying (he looks naked, after all. Did clothes not make it to the afterlife?).

But let’s look at the other stuff too. I very much like the fading graphics on the edges of the title – nicely ghostly, without being too on the nose. But did they have to pepper the image with those confetti light circles? It looks like the afterlife is lit entirely by disco balls. And while that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing (fun afterlife!), the fact that ‘believe’ is the tagline, and writ large over the whole thing, just makes me wonder if this moment isn’t going to be interrupted by Cher popping out of that white light in the back to sing her 1998 disco hit (the first line of which, by the by, is “do you believe in life after love?” which is so perfect for this show that I almost had to check to make sure that it wasn’t, in fact, a Cher jukebox musical).

I’m also not entirely sure why the tagline is ‘believe’. I mean, if I recall correctly from the movie, there’s not really a plot point about how people have to believe in ghosts. I don’t remember Patrick Swayze ever being like “oh, if only they would believe in ghosts!” It’s pretty established that whether anyone believes or not, that character is a ghost. The problem, if anything, is more one of communication. I guess ‘Listen for signs from your undead boyfriend’ really isn’t as catchy, and I suppose you could argue that ‘believe’ could be believing in love, or love surviving death, or the fierceness of Cher’s auto-tuning. So I guess I’ll give them that one. Although I can’t help but think that it’s also answering the question of so many when they gaze upon the poster – “wait, they made Ghost into a musical?!”

Yes, world, they did. Believe. And while we still have to wait a bit to actually see it, until then we have our imaginations, to dream of things like whether the pottery scene is as sexy on stage as it is on screen, or how they deal with the moment when the ghost takes over the medium’s body to touch his girlfriend one last time, or how Sam escapes again from wicked Gargamel.

Poster Roaster: Smash

17 Jan

We all know that NBC has a new series about Broadway coming up, don’t we? Of course we do. Both because yay! Series about Broadway!! And also because it seems like their advertising campaign has been ‘trickle out teasers for what feels like a year and a half’.

I am excited about Smash. They have hired some great people, and I deeply love my industry and would be thrilled if a series about all the drama inherent in making a musical was realistic and great. That being said, while I am crossing my fingers and holding my breath and all, I have a few slight apprehensions, including this:

via thetvaddict.com

Now, first of all, let’s discuss that bottom bit, shall we? ‘The Monday After Super Bowl XLVI’. That’s great, NBC. Way to target THE ONLY INDUSTRY IN THE WORLD THAT DOESN’T KNOW WHEN THAT IS. Seriously, I looked at that and thought, the Super Bowl, eh? What’s that, March-ish? I also appreciate that they added the roman numerals of which Super Bowl it is, as though that would be more helpful than a tagline saying ‘The Monday after the big game which is played in ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’. (Although to be fair, the image above is old – the newer versions of this ad, as featured in Playbills this month, say the date (February 6th) and ‘After The Voice’, which is a much better cross pollination.)

And now, let’s address the top bit. Specifically, ‘and introducing Katharine McPhee’. To whom, exactly, NBC? Katharine McPhee has been kicking around the theater world for a while, so we already know her, thanks. She’s also been in wide-released films such as ‘The House Bunny’, so there’s that, and oh, what’s that other thing she was on? Oh, right, that little obscure show that nobody watches called AMERICAN IDOL. So, way to discover her, NBC. I’m eating a sandwich right now on a delicious thing called Rye Bread – I’m considering introducing that to the world too.

Phew, got a little snarky there, sorry. That’s just been irking me since the very first preview, all those many long months ago, and I had to get it off my chest. I apologize.

But speaking of getting things off different body parts, let’s move on to the main image of this poster, shall we?

Clearly, NBC is aiming to make Katharine McPhee a big star. And their tagline, ‘stars aren’t born, they’re made’ has that nifty double meaning, both within the plot of the show and in NBC’s PR campaign. However, if you look closely at that picture of McPhee, they might also have meant making a star literally, as in ‘out of spare body parts’. Look closely – her head is at an odd angle, like it’s just recently been attached to this neck and is still a little delicate, and she looks like she’s had some neck removed. The arm on our right, while stick-skinny (sadly, that might not be photoshop’s fault), looks okay, but the left is less an arm and more a freakish elbow-less flipper:

Nor do the rest of the grabby folks in the photo fare much better. This is an attractive cast, but this poster makes them all look grim and slightly ill, like they’re in the first stages of a horrible plague that causes them to become mindless zombies whose only goal is to reach for Kat McPhee’s boobs, their last conscious thought being that they need to fire their agents.

As for the pile-up, when I first saw this, I thought, oh, this is obvious. It was released around the holidays, so they were capitalizing on this weird Christmas tree shape, with their star at the top, natch. But the more I looked at it, the more that didn’t seem quite right. Because everyone looks so darn grim, and with the red and the black and the murky background, plus the reaching and the grasping severed hands at the bottom, it looks less ‘Broadway!’ and more Hieronymus Bosch.

Just for comparison, let’s take a look at this hellscape image, called ‘Souls Burning In Hell’, as taken from a website called christian-myspace-layouts.com (by the way, Christian-who-uses-an-image-of-souls-burning-in-hell-as-your-background-of-a-social-networking-site: THIS IS WHY YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS):

I mean, let’s be honest – throw Angelica Houston in there and a few pairs of tap shoes, and that could be the next promo poster for ‘Smash’.

So look, NBC. I’ve worked on Broadway shows before, and I know that it can be brutal at times. But you know what it’s never been? So brutal that a group of vaguely ill, similarly-dressed* people must pile on top of each other and some grasping severed arms to grab at a tragically flippered lady. And you know what else working on Broadway it can be? Really, awesomely fun. And I really hope that your show is about that too.

Although technically, I would probably also watch a show about zombies going after Katharine McPhee’s boobs, so I guess it’s really up to you.





*On a separate note, can we just declare a moratorium for a while on black and red being the official ‘Broadway’ colors? It makes me think that those ladies in the red tights who hawk Chicago around the TKTS booth were just members of some alien race who have officially colonized.


Poster Roaster: Soul Surfer

18 Apr

I have been doing these poster roasters for a while now, and there have been quite a few posters that I don’t love, for various reasons. Rarely, though, has there been one that actually makes me angry. So congratulations, Soul Surfer poster, for being the first poster that makes me want to punch it in the face.

Here’s the poster:


Soul Surfer is the story of Bethany Hamilton, a champion surfer who was only 13 when she had her arm bitten off by a shark, but instead of sitting curled up in the fetal position gently whimpering for the rest of her life (my probable reaction), or even giving up surfing, she was back on her surfboard a month later as though it was nothing. It is without question a great story, and it’s impossible to hear that story and not think that this girl is amazing, so brave and awesome that I feel like even the sharks are like ‘dude, respect.’ But let’s just remember, here, what the amazing part of this story is, shall we? Is it that this girl, only 13 years old, experienced something so viscerally terrifying that many people are afraid of swimming in the ocean at all out of fear that it might happen to them, then displayed no fear in getting right back on that board and living her life like it wasn’t a big deal? Is it that she seemed to brush off the potential trauma and move on with a grace that makes you ashamed of every time you have freaked out over something tiny? Is it that she now is an even more champion sufer, despite the fact that surfing is all about balance and balancing with one arm is much harder than balancing with two? Is it that she now poses with exactly the same amount of confidence she did before, her stump proudly displayed?

Bethany Hamilton, posing at the Teen choice awards a year after her accident. Seriously, this girl is awesome. via exposay.com.

Nope. According to the poster, the only important part of Bethany Hamilton’s story is that she had her arm bitten off by a shark while she was surfing. Because just in case you didn’t know that part of the story, the helpful poster has put the surfboard front and center, with a giant shark bite so cartoonish I can only imagine that it is made by the kind of shark that comes with its own ‘dunh dunh, dunh dunh’ soundtrack. And in case that wasn’t clear enough, they have helpfully put the girl’s arm awkwardly akimbo across the bite, the hand not grasping the board at all, as though it already were a severed limb (also notable is that Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm and the arm on the poster is her right arm, so that’s not even the correct arm to feature – for gods sake, leave the girl an arm!! Not to mention that, thanks to the craptastic photosopped placement of the thigh, Bethany Hamilton apparently has only one leg which grows out of her vagina. So really, this girl overcame a lot).

 The ocean behind her is ominously choppy and gray, as if to emphasize that SHARKdanger SHARKlurks in the SHARKocean all the SHARK time. And instead of featuring the girl at the center of this story, not to mention the perpetual smile that Bethany Hamilton herself wears, the girl on the poster(the actress AnnaSophia Robb) has half her face hidden behind the surfboard, and stares out with a haunted intensity, no joy apparent at all. Nor does the color scheme help;  there are none of the bright happy colors of Hamilton’s native Hawaii, instead it’s all muted earth tones and grays (literally the only colors are the dusty purple of the title and a hint of turquoise at the shoulder) that are so bleak you would think she surfed the blustery north Atlantic and went home to a house from a Wyeth painting.

Now, just to compare, let’s take a look at the cover of the book ‘Soul Surfer’, the memoir on which the movie is based.


Different, eh?

That’s Hamilton herself, and far from the frightened girl hiding behind a surfboard that the movie poster features, here she stands tall, looking confidently forward, her missing arm obvious but not the lurid focus of the shot. She actually holds the surfboard like a normal human being instead of with the flat open palm of awkward photoshopping, and though the shark bite on the board is there (and wow, I guess maybe shark bites on boards  just look like that, who knew?), the photo looks more like she is about to use that same board to dive into the inviting waters of beautiful Hawaii right behind her, and not hide frightened behind it. The colors are bright, the water looks great, and it’s obvious this is not the story about the gruesome accident that befell this girl, but rather the awesome spirit she displayed in overcoming it.

So what happened? What caused the people marketing this movie to so abandon the ‘inspiring’ part of their very own tagline (‘the inspiring true story of Bethany Hamilton’) and decide to go with artwork that made it look like that word should instead be ‘terrifying’, ‘foreboding’, or ‘gruesome’? I haven’t seen this movie, but I sure hope that it’s not the torture porn about a frightened girl attacked by a shark that this poster hints at. Bethany Hamilton’s story is truly inspiring, but to focus so much on the shark attack and not on how this remarkable girl reacted to it would be not only a shame, but an insult to her and her spirit.

In short: I hate you, Soul Surfer movie poster.