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RE: DK's top 15: No. 2. John Carter (3D)

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RE: DK's top 15: No. 2. John Carter (3D) - 27/6/2013 7:24:36 PM   

Posts: 8472
Joined: 6/10/2005
Only one movie left now people, oh what could it be! Will it be Dark Knight Rises, or Lincoln or....


Pack your bags, we're going on a guilt trip!

(in reply to DONOVAN KURTWOOD)
Post #: 241
RE: DK's top 15: No. 2. John Carter (3D) - 27/6/2013 8:02:29 PM   


Posts: 4259
Joined: 5/2/2012
John Carter (of Mars) not first!
This thread is dead to me now.Dead!.


Only one movie left now people, oh what could it be! Will it be Dark Knight Rises, or Lincoln or....

..or Wreck it Ralph

(in reply to DONOVAN KURTWOOD)
Post #: 242
RE: DK's top 15: No. 2. John Carter (3D) - 27/6/2013 9:46:37 PM   
Cool Breeze

Posts: 2197
Joined: 9/11/2011
From: The Internet



2. John Carter (3D)

Where to start? John Carter is one of the best space opera science fiction epics ever made! There is said it, so it must be fact (in my head at least). For me John Carter will always be tinged with sadness. Sadness that Disney didn't get behind it nearly as much as they could/ should have and sadness that (at least in this permutation) it will never go on to become a big franchise, like it deserves. I am also sad that it took 100+ years to bring JC to the screen and the result was one of the biggest money losers in the history of cinema!

Now whenever I talk to anyone about John Carter it quickly becomes a frustrating experience. OK I know it's not their fault really, it's Disneys, but how is it that no one has heard of this movie? Literally any time I mention it people look at me with a blank face. Then I have to go through the whole rigmarole of explaining the history of the books, how they inspired Star Wars etc. how they were trying for years to get a movie made out of it and how it was marketed really badly so it flopped. I have to put special emphasis on the fact that it flopped due to the marketing, and not the quality of the finished product! Now I know that out of those who did see it, not everyone was impressed and a lot of movie fans turned their noses up at it, but it does exactly what it sets out to do, deliver a fantastic old fashioned adventure story without overstaying its welcome (credits roll before the 2hr 10min mark).

2012 was not a great year for Taylor Kitsch. Prior to 'the year that will go down in infamy' in the Kitsch household, I had only seen him in The Covenant (love Renny Harlin movies, but this one kind of sucked) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (hilariously terrible movie, Kitsch tries his best) so I had no real expectations. What he brings to the character is a world weary gruffness that fits the jaded Carter very well. Perhaps his failing might be in not injecting a degree more humour into the character, just a tad would have made a difference and perhaps helped the character connect with audiences better. For the record, I love the way he plays Carter, but a lot of people seemed to cite him as one of the problems with the film, so I try my best to understand that. Lynn Collins is just fabulous as the Princess (I almost said titular, but we all know what happened there) and gives a really wonderful, rounded performance. Not only is she staggeringly beautiful (also evidenced in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) but she is believable and tough, with plenty of energy. I think it's safe to say she is as good as anyone could be playing a Princess from (of?) Mars. The rest of the supporting cast delivers the goods, Mark Strong Dominic West, Ciaran Hinds and Willem Dafoe all do good work here, with other supporting players also being good. It's a shame that James Purefoy has such a miniscule role, as he is much more suited to a leading man type role, but he's always a welcome face.

The direction is good from Andrew Stanton. Only recently have I gotten into animation, so I haven't seen any of his previous work (for which he seems to receive plenty of praise) but I think in terms of his skills, he made a very successful transition into live action filmmaking. Box office receipts may beg to differ, but like Brad Bird, he can direct a large scale picture with aplomb. The only thing John Carter really lacks (apart from a more epic title) is perhaps one or two more extended action set pieces. The key action scenes are all over very quickly, and for someone like me, this stuff is the highlight of the movie, so I would have perhaps preferred maybe just a little bit more. There are plenty of great sequences though. With an early battle in the skies where Carter first reveals/ discovers his powers being memorable, along with the (very Attack of the Clones esque) tournament scene with the white apes.

The real highlight in terms of action, and the scene where I think Stanton really gets to show his chops is in the middle of the movie. John Carter is being chased down by a tribe of Warhoons and rather than run, he opts to stay and fight. His loyal companion Woolah (the coolest dog ever, seriously why was Woolah not featured in the marketing more? He's amazing!) stays by his side, despite Carter trying to make him leave. So Carter and Woolah take on this angry hoard. What makes the scene so amazing is that it is intercut with footage of Cavalryman carter returning home to find his house burnt down and his wife and child dead. The sequences cut back and forth between the chaos of the alien battle on Mars and carter burying his family. It's so brilliantly done I can't praise it enough and it really blows me away every time I see it. This is one of those scenes that only exists because of the Director and it is very unique and memorable. I'd go so far as to say that it's one of the best scenes of 2012.

It is also worth mentioning that John Carter offers a fantastic 3D presentation at home. Post converted, rather than native, it's a very pleasing and effective conversion. The 3D version is my version of choice, when deciding how to watch the movie. I know there are plenty of 3D haters out there, so fortunately, John Carter looks staggering in 2D also, with amazing FX, great locations and some of the best set and production design of last year. The movie has a very cool ending, setting things up nicely for the franchise that will never come to be.

I could go on for ages about the title of the movie, and how (pretty much literally) anything would have been better than just 'John Carter'. I mean 'John Carter of Mars' or 'A Princess of Mars' are such wonderfully evocative titles and really get the imagination going. Also they also, y'know, actually give people an insight into what kind of movie it is! Disney made some very foolish mistakes with the marketing and promotion of this movie.

I recommend John Carter to any and everyone I can (after I've done my spiel about the history of it all!). To me, it is the perfect space adventure and I get something from it every time I watch it. It is far better than any of the Star Wars prequels and deserves to be held high as a modern example of the Space adventure/ opera done right. I just wish it had been more successful so we could all be enjoying sequels for years to come, as this is a very rich universe with a lot of cinematic potential.

Best Scene: John Carter vs. Warhoons/ burying his family

A film that didnt really deserve to become the biggest flop in history, nevertheless i have to strongly disagree with your write up of the film DK.

Its a very average movie really.One of the films biggest flaws is its leading man.Taylor Kitsch just isnt leading man material.Quite simply hes doesnt have the charisma to carry a big fx laden film like this.Isnt Carter supposed to be a bad ass warrior by the way? Kitsch just looks like he went on a no food diet! I cant help but think that i would have enjoyed this film more if someone like say Josh Holloway had played Carter.

The action in this movie honestly isnt very good.They are very few and far between and as you said, are over far too quickly.The scene that you mention where Carter takes on all those beasts by himself was actually quite laughable and so melodramatic ( Kitschs acting is a lot to blame here ).

The plot.Its only been just over a year since iv seen the film and i cant really remember what Mark Strongs character was all about and what his people were after.The script is just pure gobbledygook.

Finally, i have to disagree with the popular opinion that this flopped due to bad marketing.While it certainly didnt help, i believe this film didnt connect with audiences because quite simply....IT WASNT VERY GOOD.


'' Iv played Oskar Schindler, Michael Collins, Rob Roy Mcgregor, even ZEUS for gods sake! No one is going to believe me to be a green grocer! ''

(in reply to DONOVAN KURTWOOD)
Post #: 243
RE: DK's top 15: No. 2. John Carter (3D) - 29/6/2013 6:01:26 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf

Posts: 77072
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
I wouldn't have it higher than The Hobbit (obviously ) but I loved John Carter. I'd love to see about a dozen sequels and it saddens me that there won't be any


So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Cool Breeze)
Post #: 244
RE: DK's top 15: No. 2. John Carter (3D) - 1/7/2013 12:11:12 PM   
Dr Lenera


Posts: 3826
Joined: 19/10/2005
John Carter was a lot of fun and certainly didn't deserve to tank. I actually preferred it to The Hobbit!


check out more of my reviews on

(in reply to Gimli The Dwarf)
Post #: 245
RE: DK's top 15: No. 2. John Carter (3D) - 3/7/2013 1:59:15 PM   

Posts: 8472
Joined: 6/10/2005



John Carter was a lot of fun and certainly didn't deserve to tank. I actually preferred it to The Hobbit!

We are in agreement then! JC was a fantastic film and it needs more of a following.


Pack your bags, we're going on a guilt trip!

(in reply to Dr Lenera)
Post #: 246
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