Review: John Carter

I saw John Carter tonite and I really enjoyed it. I can’t understand why some critics have been so hard on the film except it shows how much George Lucas swiped from Burroughs, who wrote the Mars books 100 years ago. Way before Lucas was even born. And perhaps some people who grew up on Star Wars might feel this film is too familiar, but it’s faithful to the spirit of Burroughs and has some really great action scenes.

Is it perfect? No. It has some slow spots. In some ways it’s kind of old fashioned but that’s why I liked it. It may be chock-a-block with CGI, which it had to be, in truth (unlike Lucas Star Wars prequels), but it has more heart than any of the aforementioned Star Wars films combined. And I did care enough to want to see it again. In 2D. I saw it in 3D and it wasn’t necessary. But I did get to see the new Avengers trailer in 3D. (win)

So, while the haters want to carp on this being a “megabomb” even before it made one thin dime, I have to say I thought it was well done and not at all corny or even campy, even though it could have easily gone that way. And Taylor Kitsch won me over as the film progressed. One of the cool things about the film is hero is a old school male prota. And that may be part of the reason some critics hate it. Well, who cares what critics think anymore anyway?

UPDATE: Thanks to Instapundit for the link. I hope you Instareaders check out my two posts on my friend Andrew Breitbart below this one. Thanks.

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  1. Saw it yesterday — thought it was pretty good and have recommended it to others.  Agree that Lucas borrowed quite a lot from these books — the princess, strong old fashion hero/anti-hero [Han Solo] .. and the Mars dog is way better than JarJar.

    •  John Carter had a couple problems before the title changed and before the film even went into production!
      a) They are never gonna show Deja Thoris ta-ta’s in a film aimed at the masses.  You’re only ever going to see those in an adult rated comic or one of the pin-ups done at a comic con!  (  <=== Salacious joke, but let's be honest about how things get scaled down for the emotionally retarded and numbskulls in the audience!)
      b) Many of the major features of those novels have already been picked over and used in previous movies, TV shows, and comic books… What's left that's really going to wow people unless it's done spectacularly well and with nice finish? 
      c) Can anybody here really say that they trust the current bottom-line-oriented-to-hell-in-hand-basket show biz with all its agendas of doing much of anything with respect for and reverence to source material???  Aside from that, how many films today are really made with a respect and awe for the film form such that they'll hold up and be hailed as classics years from now?  Not too many judging by aside from how lousy casting and scripts are in general by the fact that so many of us bitch (justifiably I might add) about how poorly crafted the effects are and how low overall production values seem despite the immense costs!  I've seen plenty of $100+ million films that look like they were lousy made for TV movies!
      d) There's a huge difference between making an animated film versus live-action.  It's all in the attitude and corporate interference of executive surf dudes who have no business telling anyone else how to do their jobs!  When a film has a lower budget (like most animated films made outside the US do) OR you have a colossal egotistical jerk in charge who has clout (think J. Cameron), then you have a fighting chance a film might get done well because the execududes will actually bug off and leave you alone!  John Carter was NEITHER animated NOR helmed by somebody with that kind of clout so of course there's gonna be tons of interference the higher the budget on the film is!
      e) The other problem is science… Unless you can suspend your disbelief completely for 2 hours, isn't it kind of silly to base a humanoid civilization on a known dead world like Mars unless there's a reasonable explanation for why the planet ISN'T as hostile as the space probes for the last 50 years have shown it obviously is????

      Yeah, yeah…  I usually check my disbelief badge at the ticket counter when watching sci-fi because of all the noises in space, the shock waves travelling through vacuums(!) and VISIBLE laser beams but still I wonder why this wasn't pointed out much as a stumbling before the film got made????

      P.S. — Predict the film will eventually make back its budget…. barely….  but only after it's been on video for a while.  Somebody's gotta hope some other network pays way too much for cable/TV rights!

  2. I think in the long run they are going to regret the title.   John Carter of Mars would have worked much better.

  3. Saw it this morning in 2-D, and I thought it was fine.   Not gush-worthy, but hardly a mega-bomb.    Funny, too… everyone calling him Virginia.  

    • I recommend the books if you like fantasy. I was really in love with them as a teenager. They are some of Americas first pulp fiction. And in case you didnt know, Burroughs also created Tarzan. 

  4. “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a
    position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We
    thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. ” – Anton Ego, Ratatouillle

  5. Came here from the instapundit- why do you have that looked floating menu on the LHS obscuring a lot of the text?

  6. First up, I admit I haven’t seen it. But that is because I already decided to wait for the DVD, if that.
    Reason, Not to reveal my age, but I grew up just as TV was coming out. It was on for four hours a day.
    So I read, and I read all the Burroughs books, all his characters; John Carter of Mars, Carson of Venus, the Mucker, Tarzan, David Innes at the Earths Core. And more. They were adventures, with rough men and strong women. To appeal to the teenage boys that formed his main audience even then, those strong, exciting women didn’t wear much. Dejah Thoris wore a harness of straps, thin straps. She also laid a egg, but thats besides the point.
    So when I see “John Carter” by Disney. (Disney, no half nude D.T.) The director (of Wall-e and other animated PC derck) has no experience with action or adventure movies so I’m not impressed with the quarter billion spent making it.
    Quentin Tarantino, maybe?
    So I’m skipping this one.

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