Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Horror... The Horror...

Today Warner Bros. released this new poster for their upcoming Kong: Skull Island movie.

In an unusual twist, it appears to be an illustration rather than the typical Photoshopped collage posters that litter the cineplex these days. So kudos for that.

It's a nicely done poster, but I dunno... something about it seems familiar somehow. I get the nagging feeling I've seen it somewhere before. But where could I have seen it?

Oh yeah. NOW I remember. Get it? "NOW?"

Surely the Kong poster is an homage to Apocalypse Now, right? It has to be, as there's no way in hell any jury in the land would believe this happened accidentally.

So, can you really do this? Can anyone just decide to copy the exact layout of an existing design and call it their own, and get away with it? I thought we had copyright and trademark laws in this country? Apparently not. I guess these days if you copy someone's design and they call you on it, all you have to do is say, "Oh, this isn't theft, it's an homage," and everything's cool.

Legalities aside, I'm honestly not sure why the Kong producers decided to ape the Apocalypse poster (see what I did there?). I don't quite get what one has to do with the other.

Both movies are set during the Vietnam War, so maybe that's the connection. Apocalypse Now is about a group of soldiers who journey up a river to confront a gigantic Marlon Brando, an army officer who's gone nuts and set himself up as a god in a local village. Not much is known yet about the plot of Kong: Skull Island, but I think it's about a group of soldiers who journey up a river to confront a gigantic ape who's worshiped as a god by the locals. Giant Marlon Brando, giant gorilla it's all the same.

Seems to me the Kong producers are just asking for trouble by stealing the Apocalypse poster design. Apocalypse Now is widely considered to be one of the greatest movies of all time. It seems unlikely that a film about a giant ape who swats helicopters out of the sky could top it. It's never a good idea to remind the audience of a much better movie while they're watching yours.

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