Saturday, July 31, 2010
Supergraphics appear to have made their triumphant return to Los Angeles.
Well, at least to an area just south of Los Angeles, which is probably technically Manchester, Inglewood or El Segundo, hence avoiding the LA ban on this giant form of advertising.
Not since Will Smith's prepubescent-looking mug came down after Seven Pounds closed has a face graced the side of this building, which faces northbound traffic on the 405, right around LAX. For reasons I can't quite fathom, Zac Efron has broken the 18-month drought with Charlie St. Cloud, which opens today.
Maybe it's the fact that this super man looks like Superman on the poster.
I only just became aware of Charlie St. Cloud a couple weeks ago, by seeing this poster elsewhere around town. Not knowing anything else about it, I immediately became interested simply because of the ferocity of Efron's blue-eyed stare, one that makes him look almost extraterrestrial or super-heroic. I have since discovered that it seems to be a weepie in the Nicholas Sparks tradition, but I still consider it an incredibly effective poster in terms of raising audience awareness/interest.
And so did Universal, apparently, as the distributors pasted a 10-story-tall image on the side of this building.
Here, why don't I offer a version where you can see it better:
Supergraphics have been a bit of a topic in Los Angeles over the last two years. As I've written about here and here, they've drawn complaints both from businesses housed in the buildings (a decrease in natural light) and motorists down on the street (a hazardous distraction), leading to a temporary moratorium that's on the road to becoming a permanent ban in places like Hollywood.
Well, there could be an increase in accidents among females and gay men driving northbound on the 405, as they stare up at Efron's larger-than-life dreamy visage -- Charlie St. Cloud among the clouds, as it were, even though those clouds are probably more appropriately described as smog.
Me, I'm okay with it. Just as I was kind of mesmerized looking at Smith, I feel similarly mesmerized looking at Efron. Yeah, they are both handsome men, but I think the real issue is that anything that fills your field of vision so boldly and so dramatically is interesting to look at. That's why these advertisements are worth posting in the first place.
What I don't really know is why a modest little movie like Charlie St. Cloud would be the one to return to this spot on the 405, which I assumed had been placed off limits when the furor over supergraphics really erupted last year. Seven Pounds I understood, as Will Smith is one of our biggest box office stars -- probably one of the biggest box office stars of all time. But Efron has yet to prove himself out of High School Musical movies, the first two of which actually premiered on TV.
If anyone does see Charlie St. Cloud, let me know if it's any good.