Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Cool Oscar and movie billboards gracing the skies of L.A. in February 2014...

You can tell it's almost time for the 86th annual Academy Awards as the heavens are about to open here in L.A. for some much needed rain, and you can bet Hollywood stylists and starlets alike are hoping not to get drenched on the red carpet this year. The Oscars are the grand finale of a stretched out awards season and there've been more than a few movies campaigning around the skies of L.A. this month to secure those all-important votes. Here's a selection of Oscar consideration ad creatives, plus more new movie billboards from around the city streets in February 2014.

Movie billboards
Ellen Degeneres 86th Oscars billboard
This year lesbian comedienne and daytime talk-show host (and voice of 'Dory' in Finding Nemo), Ellen Degeneres, returns to preside over the prestigious award ceremony (the last time was in 2007), which can often be hit or miss depending on who's hosting. Fingers crossed she does a good job as this year promises to be an interesting night, as the Oscar winners are by no means sure things this year.
Disney Frozen Oscar nomination special billboard
Disney is obviously hoping that its phenomenally successful animated musical Frozen will win a few Oscars, both for Best Animated Feature Film and for Best Original Song. I loved the movie and can't stop playing the soundtrack, so I cheered with delight when I saw this 'Elsa' special extension billboard for the movie garnering Oscar voting consideration in the skies of L.A. this month.
American Hustle Oscar nomination billboard
Another movie in the running for multiple Academy Awards is David O. Russell's American Hustle. I loved the 70's setting and costumes in this film, but did think it was filled with caricatures and there was lots of overacting involved compared to other films nominated for Best Picture and acting awards.

I did love this striking Amy Adams ad creative though, and if you like this, be sure to check out these other Oscar consideration billboards for American Hustle I spied this month too.
Because its awesome Wolf of Wall Street Oscar billboard
Speaking of Oscar campaigning, the creatures that The Wolf of Wall Street employed took a whole other approach this year, which made for a refreshing change. If you also thought Martin Scorsese's latest film was awesome, be sure to check out these Oscar billboards for The Wolf of Wall Street, and more besides.
Bad Grandpa Oscar nomination billboard
Maybe a surprising Academy Award nominee amongst these other dramatic offerings, is Jackass presents Bad Grandpa, which has been recognised for its makeup in transforming Johnny Knoxville into a cantankerous 80-year-old.
Philomena Oscar nomination billboard
Speaking of older characters and actors, I'm delighted that Philomena received several nominations this year (and a billboard along the Sunset Strip to celebrate), including Dame Judi Dench for Best Actress for her performance as the Irish Catholic woman forced to give up her baby when she became pregnant as a teenager, and her hunt to find her grown-up son in America years later with the help of a British writer.
Nebraska Oscar nomination billboard
Another film receiving an Oscar nomination billboard was Nebraska. Both of the films obviously had lower marketing budgets which meant no pre-release out-of-home advertising support, but following their award success they've at least received these billboards to help promote them amongst Academy voters and encourage some pre-Oscar viewing at the cinema.

If you like these ads, be sure to also check out more movie awards billboards from last month's round-up.
RoboCop 2014 remake billboard
From highbrow dramas to more blockbuster fare, and this month has seen its share of big screen remakes. RoboCop got a darker, sleeker makeover for 2014 which took the character and his origins win a slightly different direction.

The billboard campaign was great as you can see, but ultimately I found the film totally unnecessary, and had some truly dodgy CGI which totally spoiled the believability factor of our central hero character.
Vampire Academy movie billboard
Meanwhile Hollywood studios are still desperately searching for the next young-adult movie phenomenon to follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter, The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games. Percy Jackson, Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and The Host have all proven less than stellar at the box office, and now Vampire Academy is the latest cinematic flop (and may suggest it's time to give those supernatural bloodsuckers a well deserved rest too).

Maybe studios should actually concentrate on making great films and stop trying to make franchises happen. Next up though is Divergent, so let's see how that fares.
Pompeii movie billboard
Pompeii may have had some great optical illusion ad creatives with this erupting Mount Vesuvius mock-destroying the billboard hoarding, but the historical fantasy was easily buried at the box office, not by volcanic rocks and ash, but by lego bricks, and the unstoppable Lego Movie.
300 Rise of an Empire movie billboard
Another movie set around Roman times is the sequel to 2006's bloody 300, which was a stylistic triumph and also championed the use of spray-painted six-packs on its scantily-clad Spartan warriors. Let's hope 300: Rise of an Empire is not a bloody mess.
Non-Stop movie billboard
More forthcoming action movies filling the skies of L.A. with billboards this month included Liam Neeson's new in-flight thriller, Non-Stop. Obviously no one told his air marshal character about what happens when you fire a gun inside an airplane's cabin.
Need For Speed movie billboard
Aaron Paul follows up the end of the hit TV series Breaking Bad with the big screen adaptation of the video game franchise, Need For Speed, obviously hoping for a new Fast & Furious type film franchise.
Mr Peabody Sherman special movie billboard
On a lighter note the latest computer-animated movie on the way is Mr. Peabody & Sherman based on the world's smartest bow tie-wearing dog and his time-traveling adventures with his adopted human friend.
Winters Tale movie billboard
February was also a month for all those couples in love, with several movies trying to cash in on Valentine's Day. I think this romantic Winter's Tale got lost amidst America's polar vortex this month though.
About Last Night 2014 movie remake billboard
Whilst the all-black cast remake of the 80's About Last Night had strong date-night appeal, but ultimately lost out to funnier animated antics in The Lego Movie at the box office.
Tyler Perry Single Moms Club movie billboard
Tyler Perry continues to churn out movie after movie and his latest offering is The Single Moms Club, supported by this celebratory ad creative.
Gabby Douglas Lifetime movie billboard
And finally for movies, at the start of February Lifetime brought us The Gabby Douglas Story, about the African-American gold medal winning gymnast, just in time to get audiences in the mood for the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Personally I boycotted the Winter Olympics because of where they were held and Russia's treatment of its LGBT community, which sadly will probably continue and get even worse now that the spotlight is no longer on the country's horrific crimes against its gay citizens, and celebrities and politicians can conveniently forget about their plight again.

Theme Park billboards
Universal Studios Hollywood Despicable Me ride billboard
Universal Studios Hollywood is getting a new Despicable Me-themed ride this Spring, so these Minion billboards started popping up this month to advertise the new attraction.

Music billboards
The Beatles 50 music billboard
In music, this 50th anniversary billboard for The Beatles invasion of the U.S. could be seen along L.A.'s infamous rock 'n' roll destination, the Sunset Strip.
Giant Ingrosso Light nightclub Las Vegas billboard Sunset Strip
And even though I'm not a huge fan of ads for Las Vegas nightclubs, as they tend to be very basic in their design, this super-sized wall wrap for Ingrosso playing at the Light club certainly made a splash along the Sunset Strip, especially now that they've started demolishing the old buildings that used to obscure this giant billboard site, to make way for a new hotel and accommodation development.
Beck Morning Phase album billboard
And finally here's a billboard for Beck's twelfth studio album, Morning Phase, snapped along Melrose Avenue.

As you can see there've been lots of eye-catching billboards this month and there's still the TV billboard round-up yet to come, so be sure to stay tuned to check those out too.

Now I'd better go get my best frock ready for that Oscar red carpet on Sunday...

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