Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Bad Blu-ray Covers Catch Up to Hitchcock

A couple of years ago, Cinema Enthusiast wrote a great post about bad Blu-ray cover art. I'm sorry to say that this epidemic seems to have caught up with one of my favorite directors, Alfred Hitchcock, and his films. 

Universal seems committed to releasing some really bad covers for many of the individual Hitchcock films in the Alfred Hitchcock Masterpiece Series. The first of these really isn't that bad, but I still don't like it because the image (which looks like one of those old colorized stills) from the 1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much actually shows too much and is misleading. From this image it looks like James Stewart has just killed the poor guy on the ground, maybe because the guy knew too much? No, that's not the case. The image has also been taken out of it's context and setting and isn't even a direct image from the film. (But when has that ever stopped the marketing folks?)   

The old cover at least gives you a sense of the desperation in the faces of Stewart and Doris Day. You don't know what's going on, but you're pretty sure she isn't ordering a pizza. Of course, you've got Hitchcock's jowls to contend with, but I still prefer this to the other cover. 

Then there's Rope, a Hitchcock film that's something of a hard-sell anyway. Oh, here's a picture of Stewart with a strand of rope dangling from the letter E. How exciting....

At least with the old cover, you get a sense of conflict. There's clearly a struggle going on, even if we're not sure what it's about, which is way more exciting than the Blu-ray cover (unless you're a big fan of the letter E and things hanging from it...). 

And then there's the Blu-ray cover of Strangers on a Train. The image itself isn't bad but these aren't the strangers on the train! This cover leads you to believe that this man and woman meet on a speeding train, have some torrid affair, and perhaps some type of dangerous adventure. The film is exciting, dangerous and filled with unbearable tension, but the cover is completely misleading. It's dangerously close to false advertising. 

It might be old-school, but the old cover is not only more artistic, but more representative of the film as a whole. Sure, you've got the couple in the upper right hand corner, but they're not the focus of attention. 

It just baffles me that we have the most incredible format ever for home video releases with Blu-ray and some of the worst covers to match. Wow....   

No comments: