Our visit to the multiplex last weekend went well enough for the most part; we liked The House Bunny just fine, and the Babylon A.D. trailer looked suitably career-ending for our tastes. It wasn't until we exited the theater that our nerves deadened and our hearts sank: There, in a lobby dotted with orphaned popcorn kernels and bereft souls, we had a closer look at a poster for the upcoming Al Pacino/Robert De Niro cop flick Righteous Kill. And while it might seem too easy to write the film off as a gimmicky genre exercise at first blush, it would hardly be fair to do so without seeing it. That said, we noticed five things off the bat that not only implied an alarming sloppiness, but seemed to actively discourage our viewership. After the jump, our essential wake-up call for studios, poster designers and casual fans alike.1. Shave your leading men. We've seen this before on offending posters, most recently when My Best Friend's Girl co-star Dane Cook compared his own mug to "Britney Spears's vagina." But that's Dane Cook, and this is Robert De Niro, and the best Bobby can hope for is maybe "bus driver at 5 o'clock." It's conspicuous and really kind of repellent.
2. Four producers, no more. And we don't care how you do it. It's ultimately Avi Lerner's baby to drop on its head, so there's one. The others — co-producers, executive producers, and six full-blown "producer" producers — can fight it out among themselves under Lerner's snowy-haired, bloodthirsty gaze until the credits look less like a 5K-cancer-walk pledge form.
3. Wake up Al Pacino. At least for Pacino's previous B-cop-snoozer 88 Minutes, his promotional likeness was goateed and actively in search of something, even if it was the nearest exit. This is a little more fraught — sort of a vortex of old-man eye-glaze and paycheck hypnosis from which our hero desperately needs rescuing. But how? Well... 4. Avnet/Pacino Redux. One collaboration this year — this lifetime, really — was enough, guys, seriously. Thanks.
5. It's been done. The movie and the poster. Like, a million times better, too, even despite Val Kilmer: