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Author Topic: John Carter (2012)  (Read 3924 times)
dave jenkins
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« on: February 03, 2011, 02:17:52 PM »

Too early to tell, perhaps, but it sounds promising: http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2011/01/31/john-carter-of-mars-andrew-staton/

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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2011, 04:25:26 PM »

I read a couple of the novels and they are entertaining.

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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2011, 03:24:09 AM »

Might be interesting.

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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2011, 12:22:34 PM »

I'm pretty sure the new Conan is going to be a total loss, so I'm pinning my hopes on this. Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris I can buy. But Willem Dafoe as a 12-foot green-skinned Thark?

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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2012, 07:17:16 AM »

An early report (from a poster at the Criterion Forums):
Quote
Old fashioned high adventure - think Errol Flynn meets 'Lawrence of Arabia', is nowhere near as bad as one might be led to believe. If you like genre, this is superior to the 'Star Wars' prequels, 'Narnia' and other 'LOTR' clones. It lacks the overwhelming action scenes as seen in 'Avatar', yet fortunately it also lacks its videogame aesthetics. I prefer this dusty immersive classical look. In a sense it's a throwback to Disney movies like '20.000 Leagues...'

Too bad about the 3D conversion though, which only serves to fill the studio's pockets and darken the great cinematography. It's useless, catch it in 2D, if you can.
I can't find it in 2D so I'll have to settle for 3D. But I can also see it in IMAX, so maybe that will help. Anyway, I'm planning on a midnight screening tonight!

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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2012, 10:02:20 AM »

Given the absurd budget I wouldn't be surprised if this is a giant flop. I'll wait for some more reviews.

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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2012, 03:01:51 PM »

Quote
is nowhere near as bad as one might be led to believe.
I woudln't bet on that. It really really looks far worst than one might be led to believe.

http://www.allocine.fr/video/player_gen_cmedia=19310595&cfilm=137263.html

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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 08:32:46 AM »

No, it actually looks pretty good. I'm not one who likes CGI, but this film was never going to be possible without it, and having reconciled myself to its use, I saw nothing in the picture to complain about. In fact, among films that blend CGI and live action, I'd say only Avatar looks better. Of course, Avatar, with its stooopid plot, is unwatchable, while John Carter has a story that has garnered interest for a hundred years (Wikipedia reminds me that the tale first appeared, in serial form, in 1912).

SPOILERS FOLLOW
Drawn largely from A Princess of Mars, elements from later books in the series are interpolated into the film's storyline for added complexity (and, perhaps, to provide the basis for a continuing franchise?). The biggest change is that Barsoom's priestly class, the Thern (or is it the Thurn?), are shown from the very beginning stage-managing Martian politics. Why they want to do this is never adequately explained (the head Thern, played by Mark Strong, says something about "managing the decline" of worlds), but this isn't a bad thing necessarily, as it makes them more mysteriously evil. Indeed, another change from the books is that the Thern can travel between worlds, and in fact, have visited Earth. There is an implication (also not in Burroughs) that once Mars, a dying world, has expired, the Thern will rev up operations on Earth to "manage the decline" there. This is only touched on, a concern, perhaps, for a future film.

One happy by-product of making the Thern interplanetary is that they provide the mechanism for Carter himself to travel between the worlds. In Burroughs, as it is well known, Carter's method for moving between the Earth and Mars was never satisfactory (he just thought about it and it happened, or something). Now, with the Thern larking about, the filmmakers have provided them with magic amulets that Stargate their possessors on command. It is then a simple matter for Carter to come upon one of the amulets (in his famous cave of gold) to start him on his journey.

The amulet has many uses in the plot. At times it helps Carter employ Martian technology to his advantage, and may even help him ward off Thurn attacks. Most significantly, though, as it is the means by which he can return to his world (it is his Ruby Slippers), and as he has trouble hanging on to it, a significant amount of plot time is devoted to his attempt to get it back. By the time he has undisputed ownership of it, however, he no longer wants to leave Mars (he gets to be married to Deja Thoris, after all), and it's then that the Thern act to return the meddler to Earth. Back home, without the amulet, Carter is essentially in exile, but a very clever epilogue, well prepared for earlier in the story, enables him to reacquire one of the amulets. Anyway, the amulets are a deft stroke, and I would have liked to have been at the story conference when that device was hit upon.
SPOILERS END

Long story short: the CGI was better than average, the music was adequate, the plot was rock-and-roll, very pacy, never lagging. The (converted) 3D is completely worthless; the film was meant to be seen in 2D. The arid landscapes and the Machiavellian priests put me in mind of Dune (novel, film, and TV versions, all), but without the boring bits. I think I also spotted a couple nods to Leone, an early scene on Earth set in a dark trading post, and later a series of flashbacks that progressively revealed more details about Carter's earlier life and provided insight into what he was thinking. I had a great time watching this film; I might even say it, heh, transported me. I'd give it a 9/10.

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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 09:34:31 AM »

Now that's a surprise. I'm still trying to understand how this scene http://www.allocine.fr/video/player_gen_cmedia=19310595&cfilm=137263.html can belong to a 9/10esque flick, but I'm now considering to watch the movie (for free on TV).

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« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 10:00:25 AM »

No, it actually looks pretty good.

Mr. Nitpick Word Parser, I think he's using "look" in a different way than yourself.

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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2012, 01:23:41 PM »

Now that's a surprise. I'm still trying to understand how this scene http://www.allocine.fr/video/player_gen_cmedia=19310595&cfilm=137263.html can belong to a 9/10esque flick, but I'm now considering to watch the movie (for free on TV).
That clip won't play for me so I don't know what you're referring to. Can you give me a quick description?

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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2012, 11:02:49 AM »

That's what seems to be John Carter's first encounter with:

in the grotto.

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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2012, 11:52:19 AM »

That's Woola, a combination bodyguard and pet to John Carter. He's been a bit Disneyfied for the film, but he IS in Burroughs, so he probably had to be included. He doesn't hurt the story any (and he's so much better than sidekicks you get in George Lucas films).

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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2012, 12:13:55 PM »

Actually, in this clip, it's not the character (nor the CGI) that bothers me. It's the scene. The way it's shot, acted, art directed and written.
(aaaaaand the fact they chose this extract to promote the movie)

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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2012, 02:24:49 PM »

I think everyone agrees that the marketing for the film has been terrible.

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