Top List Thursday – 10 Horribly misleading movie posters

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As much as we might occasionally view them as pieces of pop art, movie posters are really nothing but advertising. And as we unfortunately know, ads lie. And movie posters are no exception as studios have produced some utterly misleading promo materials in order to sell their movie. Here are 10 of them.

  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

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You know why we were initially all so excited for Terminator: Salvation (before we eventually watched it)? It’s because the McG directed flick was finally going to give us that full on future war between the armies of man and machine that we had been promised for decades. Except, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines already beat Salvation to the robot army punch. Well, at least this poster did, which seemingly showed that Arnie would be facing off against a whole whack of cybernetic baddies, instead of – you know – one.

  • District 9

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C’mon, Thailand poster for Neill Blomkamp’s District 9! What did we just say about promising scenes with hordes of robots when there was really just one in the movie?! And it’s only in the movie for one scene!

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

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Although I don’t recall it happening, I must have fallen asleep during the scene where a red dress wearing Hermione has to take a walk of shame through the streets of New York City after having a rough night at wild party.

  • My Sister’s Keeper

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Aw, just look how happy Abigail Breslin and Cameron Diaz looks on this poster. Surely this will be a fluffy, heartwarming film all about sisterly love and the bubble-blowing innocence of childhood, right? Try a 11-year old girl who was born in vitro purely to have her organs harvested for her sickly older sister, who then decides to sue her parents when she realizes that she would never have a normal life as a human organ buffet.

  • Kramer vs Kramer

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Hands up everybody who thinks this is just a light comedy all about a loving family with Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep as the happy-go-lucky mum and dad… What? No hands? Oh, that’s because you know that this hard-hitting 5-time Oscar-winning drama is actually all about a couple’s messy divorce that tears apart the life of their son.

  • Kung Fu Master aka Looking For Jackie

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Looking at that poster you would probably assume that this is another martial arts period piece where Jackie Chan introduces some unlucky S.O.B.’s to his crazy monkey kung fu. Sure, Chan looks to be uncharacteristically stern, but other than that it’s par for the course, right? Wrong.

This is actually a painfully bad modern day family adventure film about a teenage Indonesian boy who travels to Beijing to try and meet his idol, the real life Jackie Chan, to learn kung fu. Instead he gets lost in China, gets robbed, has to sleep in a temple, blah blah blah. It really is a pretty horrible movie, and Jackie Chan literally only appears in the final few minutes of the whole tortuous ordeal and then does almost no kung fu.

  • The Aviator

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Oh wow, Martin Scorsese made what appears to be some kind of war movie about a downed fighter pilot who has to drag his friend out the wreckage of their plane. I’m sure the movie is going to be about the epic rescue attempt to get them back. So sure… Oh. It’s actually just Leonardo DiCaprio as a neurotic Howard Hughes spending two hours flipping out at people and washing his hands raw with soap. Yeah, that’s totally not what this poster is selling.

  • A Bronx Tale

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“One man lives in the neighbourhood. Another man owns it… A devoted father battles the local crime boss for the life of his son!”. Oh hell, that sounds good. I mean it’s Robert De Niro as a desperate dad taking on Chazz Palminteri’s scumbag gangster who is seemingly trying to kill De Niro’s kids with bombs or something. Actually, it’s more of the “or something” part.

De Niro is a minor character, Palminteri’s mobster is actually the anti-hero of the piece who’s trying to turn his old friend’s kid away from a life of crime. Oh and nobody ever actually runs away from an explosion.

  • The Secret of NIMH

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Gather around, children! Today we’re watching this charming all-ages cartoon, where lovable Mamma Mouse, with some help from friendly neighbour Mr Crow, takes her kids on a little adventure in Farmer Nimh’s corn field to find a magical amulet and… wait… what’s going on here? Genetic experiments? NIMH is actually the National Institute of Mental Health? Why’s everybody dying? WHY CAN’T I STOP CRYING?!

  • Rambo: First Blood

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Except for the fact that yes, that is indeed Sylvester Stallone you’re looking at, everything single other thing on this Japanese poster for Rambo is a lie. A big fat stinking lie.

Last Updated: October 8, 2015

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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