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;'John Carter'

A film directed by Andrew Stanton Loosely based on the character by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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John Carter

  • Mar 8, 2012
  • by
Without the Jeddack’s would there be a Jedi, what would Charlton Heston have worn when crashing on The Planet of the Apes, would Kirk have gotten so much inter-galctic tail if it hadn’t been for this hero created 100 years ago. John Carter is thought to be the inspiration for that and so much more in the science fiction world, so it is understood that fans of the genre have been crying out for the movie to be made. And with the technology to create other worlds, nothing is holding the studios back from making this movie. The execution and hype surrounding Disney’s blockbuster John Carter may be too over powering to create a movie living up the expectation.

Disney gave every advantage it could to the movie, a huge budget a talented cast and a proven director but none of it seemed together as there was a lot of fizzle to the movie, but very little pop. Andrew Stanton made his live action debut, but he has already had so much success having previously worked for Pixar and directing Finding Nemo and Wall-E. He has proven that he knows how to create a compelling story and with so much CGI necessary with a movie like this you would figure he would be right at home with this project. He seems too bogged down in making sure everything fits that he pays less attention to making the characters compelling, so whether John Carter succeeds or not becomes inconsequential.

I wanted to like Taylor Kitsch, I really did. I loved him in "Friday Night Lights", so much like I was rooting for the Panther’s success I was rooting for him to do well in this lead role that could make or break the young star’s film career. He just doesn’t bring anything to the table. Come to think of it none of the live action actors stood out Dominic West from "The Wire" was plenty bland. Mark Strong as the shape shifting puppeteer on Mars and go to villain was only noteworthy when he wasn’t Mark Strong. The only actor who could keep my attention was Lynn Collins as the princess of Mars, but it wasn’t for any of her acting skill.

The most interesting characters were the Tharks and with a 250 million dollar budget and a mostly CGI created movie at least they have that going for them. William Defoe was the stand out character and leader of the alien species which made the movie watchable. They were the only characters which seemed to understand how the movie was supposed to turn out. While every other character played their role stiffly a combination of voice animation and computer generation helped at least one species play into the goofy tone that everyone should have been aiming for.

That should have been the tone to the movie, with production being done by Disney you would think they would be trying to appeal to a younger audience looking for a hero. But with a PG-13 rating I don’t know how many young kids will be able to see this movie. It seemed more important to those behind the camera to pay respect to the source material which inspired so many in the science fiction world from Star Wars to Indiana Jones to Avatar. So instead of getting either by trying to create this balance they get neither.

Maybe the problem is just how brilliant the source material is. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote this story 100 years ago, and right before he wrote arguably his most notable success Tarzan. This story though may have been the more important as it led to countless warriors chasing after princesses, fights in galaxies far away, and outlaw heroes fighting to save the world. But having seen these elements before they hardly feel as innovative as once before.

Perhaps the biggest problem to the story though is the pacing. The movie moves at a snail’s pace, and with so many different elements thrown into the mix there is a lot that needs to be wrapped up before we get to the climax of the film. The story continues to build upon itself with various villains and conflicts all needing resolved. It seems endless and draining and not all that entertaining.

I’m sure Disney would love to make this movie into a franchise. It seems like there is very little else to tell in the story and I don’t know how many out there would be crawling back for more. Fanboys who have been crying out for this movie to be made for eons may be better off watching the movies that were inspired by John Carter instead. D+

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April 02, 2012
What in the world made you think that everyone should have been aiming for a goofy tone? Really? That's why this movie failed in your view, because it wasn't goofy enough? 

I have to disagree with nearly everything you said.  I liked this movie.  I liked it a lot.  And I think now it's just trendy for people to dump on it.  It's a shame, too, because a fantastic franchise could have been launched. 
March 10, 2012
agreed. We have similar things to say about this one albeit I thought it should've been a little more balanced and had some cheese. It was fun for me, but as @ had mentioned to me, soulless. It's predictability was just so shameful and the changes from the source material dumbed it down--plot development was sacrificed for energy. I also had issues with the last act. I liked it more than you did since I didn't look at my watch at least. Nice review as always. The more I read about other folks' opinion, the more I learn....
More John Carter reviews
review by . March 10, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Coming of
Perhaps I should have revisited Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “A Princess of Mars”, the first novel that featured his character John Carter before I saw this film. 2012‘s “John Carter“ is very loosely based on that first novel and the first live action film by Andrew Stanton who made his directorial debut with Pixar‘s “Finding Nemo“. Burroughs’ creations are indeed a great work of pulp; and his greatest creation may indeed be “John Carter” …
review by . July 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I know what you're thinking: John Carter was a freaking nuclear bomb. You know that, and so, like most people you're automatically associating the movie's puny monetary takeback with an especially rotten stench. Frankly, that's being pretty harsh, for one thing; between production, advertising, and every other expense filmmaking tends to incur, some financial whizzes got together and concluded that John Carter wouldn't have broken even without an intake of around $700 million. It's Disney's fault …
review by . September 28, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I bought a ticket to another movie, but had to wait an hour, so I thought I would pass time watching John Carter.    As JC began I became swiftly swept up in it, forgetting the other movie entirely, as I was so transported.    If you're like me and like movies such Star Wars, I think you will love this movie. I'm not suggesting that it's better than Star Wars, but I certainly enjoyed it than some Star Wars movies.    Like many movies our …
review by . March 07, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Different planet, same contrived plot points
JOHN CARTER Written by Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon Directed by Andrew Stanton Starring Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe and Mark Strong   Introduction: Mars - So you name it and think you know it.   In all honesty, there are only two reasons I wanted to see JOHN CARTER. The first was to see the live-action debut from Andrew Stanton, a director who has given me two of my favorite films, FINDING NEMO and WALL-E, and who has established …
review by . March 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
George Lucas in his creation of STAR WARS, James Cameron in his creation of AVATAR, the creators of Buck Rogers, the creators of Flash Gordon, and countless other writers and film directors for almost a century owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Barsoom Chronicles (beginning with A PRINCESS OF MARS, first published as a short story under a different title in 1912). Burroughs is best known for creating Tarzan. However, Burroughs dabbled in several different genres, …
review by . March 08, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
'John Carter' 'Two Jews On Film' Are World's Apart On This SciFi 3D Adventure (Video)
            By Joan Alperin Schwartz   Okay, so first I have to say that I loved 'John Carter', the Disney 3D SciFi adventure film directed by Andrew Stanton (WALL-E)...      The plot can seem slightly more complicated than it is...so I'll just give you the main points.       First, there's John Carter (the very handsome, Taylor Kitsch) a post Civil War Veteran who's absolutely …
review by . March 09, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Like all good space operas, John Carter relinquishes virtually all restraint on common sense and plunges headfirst into pure intergalactic melodrama. In spite of the obvious narrative anchors to reality – feuding tribes, political corruption, romance, advancements in technology – we’re immersed in a world and a time that exists solely in the imagination. Yes, this is in part due to the film’s 3D presentation (which is admittedly …
review by . May 09, 2012
JOHN CARTER: Great Film, But Horribly Mismanaged Property
As one of the internet’s resident scribes on all things movie, I’ll not be the first – nor certainly the last – to lambast the treatment JOHN CARTER received at the box office.  The short version of this sad history is that JOHN CARTER was the perfect popcorn flick that deserved better – better from fans, better from the studio who made the film, and (far, far) better from the critical community that mostly drubbed it a ‘disaster’ for all the wrong …
Quick Tip by . March 12, 2012
   Saw it theatrically over the weekend, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  I'll probably wait for the DVD release to pen a full review, but, if you're a sci-fi junkie like I am, this is definitely one to see on the big screen.  I know it's getting a lot of press due to the fact that Disney sank $250M into it as a property; while it looks good, it certainly doesn't look to me like a $250M flick (I'm going by the STAR WARS prequel trilogy as a comparison).  …
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Last Login: Dec 11, 2012 10:01 PM UTC
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About this movie


John Carter is an upcoming 2012 action film featuring John Carter, the heroic protagonist of Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-volume Barsoom series.[5] The film marks the centennial of the character's first appearance in 1912.

Former Confederate captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is mysteriously transported to Mars ("Barsoom") where he becomes part of a conflict between the various nations of the planet, whose leaders include Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). Carter takes it upon himself to save Barsoom and its people from a growing threat.[5][6]

The film is the live-action debut of director/writer Andrew Stanton and is co-written by Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon. It is produced by Jim Morris, Colin Wilson, and Lindsey Collins, and scored by Michael Giacchino.[1][7][8]

Walt Disney Pictures is distributing the film; it will be released in the United States on March 9, 2012.[9][10][11] Filming began in November 2009 and principal photography spanned from January 2010 to July 2010.[12][13] This project marks the first time that Andrew Stanton has worked on a live-action film; his previous work includes the Pixar animated films Finding Nemo and WALL-E.[7][14] The film will be released in the Digital 3D and IMAX 3D formats.

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Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Studio: Walt Disney Studios

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