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Our favorite movie posters of 2011

Our favorite movie posters of 2011 (photo)

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Tis the season to be judgmental. With December inching closer and closer to January, my inbox and Twitter feed keep filling up with all kinds of movie-ranking lists. Last night someone sent me this one from Cinema Enthusiast, The Top 20 Film Posters of 2011.

It’s a strong list, with a lot of really good picks: I’d never seen the poster for Magnet’s “Black Death” before, but man that is an awesome image. And their pick for the #1 Poster of 2011, “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” is certainly a very memorable one-sheet. But, to my surprise, none of my own personal favorite movie posters of 2011 made the cut. You know what that means: counter-list time!

Here, now, in ascending order, are my five favorite posters of 2011, most of which can be found and examined in much larger detail at IMPAwards.com. I’m sure you have your own favorites too; you have all the space you want to tell me about them below. First, though, it’s my turn. Starting with…

5. “Conan the Barbarian”
Directed by Marcus Nispel
Poster Designed by Ignition Print

Normally I would be opposed to the heresy of a Schwarzenegger-less Arnold Schwarzenegger remake on moral grounds. But by Crom this poster alone made me curious about the 2011 reboot of “Conan the Barbarian,” essentially by suggesting with one striking image that the movie had less to do with The Governator flicks than the original Robert E. Howard novels and their iconic Frank Frazetta covers. Whether that wound up being true of the finished film or not is up for debate. What isn’t up for debate is that this is one badass poster.

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4. “Undocumented”
Directed by Chris Peckover
Poster Designed by Laz Marquez

Back in the good old days, Uncle Sam wanted YOU! for the U.S. Army, and you meant pretty much anybody. Today, the U.S. isn’t always such a warm and inclusive place, which is what the horror film “Undocumented” is all about. A documentary crew records the journey of some illegal Mexican immigrants across the border into the United States. They’re stopped and kidnapped by a bunch of ultra-conservative militia men and from there things go, let’s say, south of the border. Sadly, this very clever poster by Laz Marquez feels like it represents a lot more than just one horror film.

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3. “Midnight in Paris”
Directed by Woody Allen
Poster Designed by Cardinal Communications USA

Technically, this poster, which puts Owen Wilson into Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting “The Starry Night,” isn’t particularly representative of the movie it’s advertising. Owen Wilson’s character meets famous authors not painters, and he’s time travelling in Paris, not Saint-Rémy. But while it fudges some of the details, this poster gets the big picture exactly right. Woody Allen’s latest is a romantic jaunt through the charms and perils of nostalgia, a mood that is captured perfectly by this inventive collage.

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2. “Silver Bullets”
Directed by Joe Swanberg
Poster Designed by Yann Legendre

What’s great about this poster is it essentially acts as its own plot synopsis: women and werewolves, got it. Admittedly, Joe Swanberg’s “Silver Bullets” is a bit more complicated than that — it’s actually about a couple, the female half of which has just been cast as the lead in a film about werewolves — but you look at this gorgeously minimalistic black-on-white image and you feel like you understand everything about the film in a single instant.

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1. “The Ides of March”
Directed by George Clooney
Poster Designed by Ignition Print

We live in a time of many, many badly Photoshopped movie posters; here is one that shows how Photoshop can be used as a tool of communication. It’s an image that tells an entire story; the way Ryan Gosling and George Clooney’s faces are seamlessly melded together suggests the close, complicated relationship between the two men; the fact that it’s Clooney’s face on the magazine and Gosling’s face behind it suggests he’s the secret power behind the public facade. Even the tagline is ingenious; it’s hiding in plain sight as the copy on the cover of Time (“Is This Man Our Next President?”). Clearly a huge amount of thought went into this poster. It’s got my vote as the best of 2011.

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Read more IFC lists:

The dozen funniest death scenes in otherwise serious movies (with video)
The 15 best movie interrogation scenes of all time (with video)
The 12 most evil movie laughs of all time (with video)
The top 10 badass line deliveries by movie ladies


What’s your favorite poster of 2011? Tell us in the comments below or write to us on Facebook and Twitter.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.