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John Carter of Mars

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

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A Movie 100 Years in the Making

  • Mar 17, 2012
Rating:
+4
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, including science fiction. The most popular of these were the Barsoom Chronicles which feature John Carter and his descendants. After discovering John Carter a few years ago, I had looked forward to a major motion picture based upon Burrough's story. A PRINCESS OF MARS was a novel I toyed with transcribing into a screenplay of my own. Then, in the fall of 2011, I discover the story was being developed into a big-budget picture that was being directed by Andrew Stanton (director of FINDING NEMO and WALL-E) and co-written by literary darling Michael Chabon (author of THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER AND CLAY). So, I put my own desires aside to see what kind of John Carter movie would be made. The final result is a great action movie and one of the best movies of 2012.

The movie begins on Earth in 1881. John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is being followed by an unknown tracker. He succeeds in getting to the telegraph office to send a telegraph to his nephew, Edgar Burroughs, who shows up only to discover that his uncle has passed away and has made him the sole heir of his estate. One of the items left behind is Carter's personal journal which Burroughs begins reading.

The book flashbacks thirteen years to 1868. John Carter is a former decorated Confederate calvaryman who just wants to work in his mine in the dessert and dig for gold. However, the U.S. government wants Carter to work for them. Carter ends up getting chased and finds himself in a cave filled with gold before being immediately transported to some strange place. Carter is discovered by a race of giant, green, four-armed aliens who are outsiders in a civil war between two separate races of people. During a skirmish in the sky, Carter saves a woman who turns out to be Princess Dejah (Lynn Collins). The Princess will do anything to save her people, but her father wants her to marry the leader of the opposing army. She would, but she believes the marriage will ultimately lead to the destruction of the entire planet. Like the green aliens that discovered him, she believes he is the key to turning the tide and saving Barsoom (Mars).

I was completely enthralled by JOHN CARTER. I loved the framing device at the beginning and ending of the movie. I loved the action sequences. I love the romance between Carter and Princess Dejah. I loved the bonding relationship that occurs between Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Sola (Samantha Morton) after she learns she is his daughter. I love the playfulness of the giant dog-like creature Woola and his devotion to Carter. This is an action movie, but the acting is solid and the script is well-written.

As far as flaws, the film doesn't have many. The movie does jump around here at the beginning and some filmgoers might have difficulty understanding exactly what is happening where. Also, I felt that the flashback sequences to Carter's wife and child were misplaced: they either should have been developed more or completely cut. Lastly, although most of the special effects in the movie are seamless, there is one scene that isn't. This scene occurs about two-thirds of the way through the movie where John Carter is driving beneath the moving city; some of the shots in this sequence look computer-generated and stand out.

JOHN CARTER is a welcome surprise. Disney completely dropped the ball in the marketing department (thanks in part to the failure in 2011 of MARS NEEDS MOMS) with this movie because the ad campaign for the picture is one of the worst I've ever seen for a major motion picture. Hopefully, word of mouth will cause the movie to succeed where marketing and advertising executives failed because JOHN CARTER is the best movie of the first three months of 2012.

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March 29, 2012
I agree.
 
March 17, 2012
enjoyed this review! thanks!
 
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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 . March 09, 2012
Edgar Rice Burroughs is famous for literary creations that have inspired countless generations and given birth to numerous film and television projects. You would be hard-pressed to find anybody not familiar with Tarzan, one of Burrough's great series. John Carter of Mars is another one, and at long last has finally made it to the big screen.     The film is based on the first book of eleven, a series that began in 1914 and ran through 1964 when the last book was published posthumously. …
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 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
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JOHN CARTER: Great Film, But Horribly Mismanaged Property
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review by . March 08, 2012
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 …
Quick Tip by . April 12, 2012
I finally saw "John Carter" last week and I have to admit that I really enjoyed it. I was excited to see it way back when Disney first started promoting last year. While it isn't necessarily a "great" film, it's definitely not a bad one. I'll review it soon enough.
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About this movie

Wiki


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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Details

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

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