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10. 300: Rise of an Empire
A perfect study in how not to sell a sequel, this long-promised and little-desired spinoff conjured up an image that looks taken directly out of the original 300. It barely hints at the key new development in the film, which is mostly set amid sea battles and which partially follows a warrior woman played by Eva Green. Feels like yesterday's news.
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9. Don Jon
How do you sell a complicated contemporary romantic comedy, which explores the complex ways that the Internet has affected human sexuality? Here's how you don't do that: Slap your stars onto three grinning rectangles and make it look like you're selling a long-lost '90s romantic comedy. Like, this could be a remake of Three to Tango for all we know. The only thing smirking more than Gordon-Levitt is that tagline. Get it? Get it? Huh huh, ''ending.''
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Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds both look confused. Seriously, they are modeling a mirror image Confused Face. On the bottom half of the poster, two mysterious hands seem to come out of a parallel universe, holding...I dunno, I guess guns? Although they could also be, like, miniature pipe organs. Horrible.
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So, like, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman are kings or whatever, and there's a guy running through TRONworld, and there's Liam Hemsworth and what's-her-face, you know who I'm talking about. It's all tilted just enough to resemble a printing malfunction on the cover of a videotape you found in the Blockbuster bargain bin in, like, 2001. Everyone seems to be going for a different emotion. (Clockwise from top left: Wry amusement, stern terror, cheekboned fury, sensual vamping.) What a mess.
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6. The Identical Posters for Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World
Marvel Studio has been good about differentiating the tone of their disparate superhero films, but they defaulted to bland Star Wars retreads for their 2013 films. Seriously, what are Gwyneth Paltrow and Natalie Portman looking at?
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5. Every Poster With a Tiny Person Staring Towards a Boringly Epic Background
This year's second-most-tropiest trope placed a tiny figure against a large desolate backdrop, and the cumulative effect felt simply small and empty. The eerily similar Tom Cruise/Will Smith dead-earth duet Oblivion and After Earth got their first and worst, respectively. The poster for the latest Hobbit movie isn't much better. Can't he just get to that damn mountain, already?
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4. Every Poster With a Much Larger Person Staring at a Vaguely Apocalyptic Background
The year's most tropiest trope, however, zoomed in much closer on the central figure, therefore giving the viewer the thrilling opportunity to explore the backs of Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe, Captain America, and Generic Space Suit #57. Noah's probably the best of this bunch...at least it would be, if it didn't have the absolute worst tagline of the year: ''The End Of The World? Is Just The Beginning.'' TWIST! (And keep in mind: This was the same year Paranoia taught us all a valuable lesson about kings and pawns or whatever.)
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3. Special Complimentary Bonus Terrible Prize: The Final Ender's Game Poster
Oh look, now the figure in the generic space suit has turned toward the camera, so we can see just how generic he is! The sci-fi adaptation always had an uphill battle, what with author Orson Scott Card's controversial opinions about like everything really. But bland shots like this didn't help, burying the impressive cast in tiny boxes. Also, roll this around in your head: ''This is not a game. ENDER'S GAME.'' Gotcha, makes totes sense guys.
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2. Vince Vaughn's Duet of Horror
Neither The Internship nor Delivery Man come close to the Photoshop-of-Terror waxwork Dilemma poster. But they both reduce Vaughn to goofy-faced self-parody. That Delivery Man shrug speaks volumes, and all those volumes are terrible.
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1. Grudge Match
It's a fun concept. Raging Bull vs. Rocky! Heck, Rocky Balboa was fun. And heck, De Niro was great last year in Silver Linings Playbook. Maybe I'll enjoy Grudge Match. Maybe it'll be the perfect Christmas movie. Maybe I...[sees poster] OH HOLY DEAR GOD! Why didn't anyone tell me this was a movie about Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro surgically planting their heads on top of bodies that clearly don't belong to them? If Photoshop were your cute pet puppy, this would pretty much be the moment that it gets rabies and you have to take it behind the barn. Dear god, their heads.