Decent half-hour intro to Posters and then little more than a fan film
The first half hour or so of 24x36 is a fair enough, if cursory, overview of the history of movie posters. The Documentary focuses mainly on the 50s to the 80s and such artists as John Alvin, Bob Peak, Reynold Brown, Richard Amsel and Drew Struzan and includes some interviews with an about them (including some vintage footage). Movie poster collectors and dealers are also interviewed. But when the movie turns to towards the late-80s and 90s and the era where photo-shopping photos rather than original painted artwork started to dominate, it takes a sharp turn.
Director Kevin Burke becomes enamored with Mondo, an offshoot of the Alamo Drafthouse and turns over his movie into a veritable infomercial. Mondo specializes in producing original pieces of art geared towards cult and fanboy movie favorites - Star Wars, Lord Of the Rings, Tarantino, Carpenter etc.. Some of the posters are no doubt striking, but, when you see collector after collector talk about how you can 'flip' a limited edition $60 poster into thousands of dollars in a matter of hours it kind of shows how misplaced the priorities are (for both these so-called 'fans' -- and this Doc itself). If the Mondo section was a little side diversion that would be one thing, but, instead the bulk of the rest of the movie mainly revolves around all the knock-off and cash-in artists who were 'inspired' by the Alamo company. The gold rush in Nostalgia posters is breathlessly detailed -- setting aside the fact that almost none of these works ever actually end up being used to promote actual films.
At the very end, we see how a few of these Nostalgia posters have been used to sell mainly re-issue DVDs and Blu Rays, and in rare cases, an actual movie or two (usually tiny indies). 24x36 certainly has some eye-catching art to view, but, it's a messy Doc about a subject that is worthy of a proper Documentary.
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