Saturday, March 10, 2012

Discuss: John Carter

Karen: We all know that should be "John Carter OF MARS" but regardless, who has seen the film? What did you think of it? Four thumbs up, or down?


Rip Jagger said...

I saw it yesterday and loved it. Is it perfect? Hardly. There are some structural problems early, but for what they had to accomplish in a first movie introducing a whole new complicated world and still tell a pretty neat love story along with some outstanding action sets, they did really well.

I've seen some negative reviews, but frankly, I cannot fathom what movie they saw. This one was as good as ERB fans can expect.

Rip Off

Fantastic Four Fan 4ever said...

Haven't seen the movie yet. However, I am sorry I sold my Marvel Adaptations of the saga. For a mere $61 you can get the John Carter Ominbus with all the Marvel Comics issues from the 1970's. I remember Gil Kane's art early on got me started on the title. Marv Wolfman worked on the title till the end of its run. It was a terrific book and I preferred reading it as opposed to Tarzan; another Edgar Rice Burroughs character. John Carter, for me at least, was far more interesting. As far as the movie is concerned, it looks great. I am going to buy the DVD on this one! It's too bad it wasn't made earlier. The computer technology used to make the armies of thousands of aliens are available today and could have never been done 20 years ago!

Anonymous said...

Saw it tonight in Imax 3-D. I loved it, too. It really captured the essence of Burroughs' novels. Quite a lot of characters, plot points and details from A Princess of Mars were there. It's not a literal adaptation. But the liberties taken make the story work both for a film, and for a modern, more sophisticated audience. Keep in mind, A Princess of Mars is a first novel written 100 years ago.

There is a very subtle vintage feel to John Carter (of Mars) that really works in evoking a sense of wonder. Makes sense, since the story takes place in the 1800's, and was originally written in 1912. Kind of similar in tone to the first Star Wars. Not surprising, since Star Wars shows some definite Barsoomian influences. The leaping really reminded me of Superman in the 30's. And all those Tharks were amazing.

I don't think it's necessary to see it in Imax, or 3-D to enjoy it. It certainly doesn't hurt, but it won't make of break this one.

My guess on the preponderance of negative reviews is that john Carter is this month's whipping boy, and every lazy, unimaginative critic is jumping on the bandwagon. Similar to the response to Green Lantern last year, which wasn't great like it should've been, but wasn't that bad. Also, anyone who hasn't read A Princess of Mars might find some parts confusing.

James Chatterton

Karen said...

We saw it and I thought it wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible either. There were some nice moments. I think it may have been a little too busy, but overall I enjoyed it. I have a little familiarity with the books; I read about three as a kid, and I re-read "A Princess of Mars" about 5 months ago. The film seemed pretty faithful to the books, although I did miss the plot about the giant atmosphere generator. And I wish they'd made it look less like Utah and more like Mars. Every time I saw the blue sky or those buttes, it took me out of the movie a bit. But all in all I enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

awful. bad casting. bad makeup on willem dafoe and crew. apparently made by folks who never bothered to read the source material. the syfy channel version wasn't as poor as this big-budget wannabe "blockbuster."

Fred W. Hill said...

Saw it with my friend Shane & his son & soon to be daughter-in-law. Despite being in his mid-50s, he's more into escapist cinematic fantasy fare than I am, although I usually know more about the source material when it comes to adaptations from comics or pulp fare such as this. In this case, my very limited knowledge of John Carter came from the few issues of the Marvel comics series I collected back in the late '70s. I actually liked it more than the Tarzan series (I just never got into Tarzan all that much, although one of my brothers was a big fan). As for the movie, it was about what I expected. Filled with the standard cliches for this sort of fare, an enjoyable romp if you didn't take it too seriously. Of those cliches, such as the American stranger in a strange land who saves the realm and marries the princess, as far as I know it was Burroughs who essentially set the template for space opera fare (it doesn't quite qualify as sci-fi), to be repeated with variations again and again in popular media. Even Star Wars is yet another variation, although without an Earthling hero, American or otherwise.

Chuck Wells said...

Standard cliches were established by franchise after franchise liberally borrowing much of their lore from the original John Carter stories (Star Wars anyone?), but this was an excellent realization of the ERB classic. There were a few elements from later Carter novellas tacked on, but at least they came from the source material. Karen, I could agree with you about the blues skies and buttes, but it didn't ruin my enjoyment enough to do so and it's looking like this is the only Carter that we will get, so I'll have to take it in stride. Loved the movie!

Edo Bosnar said...

Saw a link to this in the "You might also like" section of today's post, and thought I'd give it a read since I saw the movie in the meantime. Anyway, I have to say - I absolutely loved it. It was very true to the original material by Burroughs, and just an all-together fun space fantasy romp (I agree with Fred, it's not really sci-fi, and it's more enjoyable if you just think of it as fantasy along the lines of Lord of the Rings or something).

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