...or the amazing chronicles of everything that I like and stuff.
I came into this movie with some baggage. I love the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the pulpy romance aspect of it and I was hoping that would remain intact in the film version. The books are very romantic. They have a bunch of epic adventures and daring-do and bravery and stuff, but John Carter is a guy who falls in love with a princess and that’s what I like about it. I wanted John Carter to be my chick flick.
So is it any good?
The short answer is yes. It’s not perfect (I hate it when people say that! What’s perfect? Why should a movie be perfect?) but what works works so damn well that I’m willing to forgive the shortcomings.
First: The action and adventure aspect of the film is extra great! There is a battle about halfway through the film that is fucking insane. It gave me chills and made me want to cheer. John Carter is a warrior, a hero (albeit a reluctant one) and any time his heart tells him he needs to fight, sparks fly off the screen. But that’s just one scene of many, and all the adventure works incredibly well.
I really liked John Carter as a character too, he isn’t overly complex or layered and that’s fine. He’s a quiet, herioc soldier thrust into an impossible situation and I was more than willing to follow him through it. He’s funny at times but mostly a serious man, just trying to keep up with the unbelievable events unfolding around him.
The princess, Dejah Thoris, is also great! More than just John Carter's equal, she is a thrilling character, full of sacrifice, bravery and dillemas. I hope my nieces end up seeing this film and fall in awe of her. She kicks ass but she is also a great moral compass for John Carter, and a fine role model for young girls. In any case I had no trouble believing John Carter was falling in love with her, and her with him.
Even when the movie starts to, at times, drag a little (which is the only negative criticism I have) it is always absolutely stunning to look at and the effects and scenery are awe-inspiring. I LOVE that, for example, the space ships are mechanical and stirred much like vessels instead of like, say, the Millenium Falcon. It gives the whole world it’s own unique history. They haven’t gotten to computers yet, but they’ve figured out how to sail on light waves. That’s really awesome.
This movie also gives us another magnificent score from the always great Michael Giacchino. This guy is really becoming my absolute favorite Hollywood composer and here he takes the world of Barsoom (Mars, in the Burroughs universe) and gives it even more emotional depth and grandeur with his sweeping melodies and epic score.
I will buy John Carter when it comes out on bluray and I will watch it again several times, pouring over every detail of the world and wishing I too could go have adventures on Mars and court a lovely and brave princess and win her heart.
As far as ass-kicking, rip-roaring sci-fi pulp adventures go, this one’s a winner. I hope they make Gods Of Mars and Warlord of Mars too, and we get an amazing John Carter trilogy! After the terrible Starwars prequels, I think we more than deserve it.
So, yeah, long story short, this will be my new chick flick for a while. There’s a hot princess in it, so it counts.
This is the IMAX poster for super anticipated (by me) John Carter, based on the pulp series written by Edgar Rice Burrows pretty much a hundred years ago. I like it, it’s suitably badass, but I’m kind of disapointed that we aren’t seeing painted poster for this movie. There has been so much John Carter artwork over the years and so much of it is super awesome. Click on the poster above to see an example of what I’m talking about. See? That’s from legendary illustrator Frank Frazetta. The final official John Carter poster would be so perfect if it was done as a send up to Frazetta’s paintings!
A bunch of peeps I know saw it last Summer at the Fantasia film fest and they all loved it. It’s one of the few I missed out on and it’s coming out in February. There’s a trailer out there that I refuse to see. I’m going in this one clean.
Andrew Stanton follows in the footsteps of fellow Pixar wizard (yes, they are wizards, be silent) Brad Bird and makes the jump to live action. He’s adapting pulp classic The Princess of Mars, the first John Carter adventure, published around 1917 or something. People will inevitably accuse it of ripping off Avatar and Starwars and stuff. These people will have the whole thing ass over tits. John Carter was seducing otherwordly princesses before it got cool.
-The Cabin in the woods
When Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard team up to take horror genre conventions for a spin, you stop whatever you’re doing and you bask in their collective genius like the puny lesser human that you are. Or at least I will.
-Marvel’s The Avengers
Joss Whedon is given amazing toys and ressources to pit Iron Man and Hulk and all their buddies against something probably mean and rude. I’m there.
Ridley Scott returns to the world his Alien franchise takes place in. I think this movies happens before all that stuff though. In any event it’ll look great. Also it has Michael Fassbender in it and I’m at least 5% gay for him.
It’s Pixar doing a movie not involving cars, so I’m in.
-The Dark Knight Rises
Um. You really need a description?
Ryan Johnson did an amazing film called BRICK, then he followed that up with a fantastic and completely different film called THE BROTHERS BLOOM. LOOPER is his third film, that’s enough for me. But hey, when it’s about future Bruce Willis being time machined back to the present to be assassinated by his younger self (played by regular joe Joseph Gordon Levitt) it seriously garantees my ass in the seat.
-The motherlovin’ Hobbit
(that’s not an official poster, there isn’t one yet)
I just like their hairy feet.
(that’s not an official poster, there isn’t one yet)
Quentin Tarantino is doing a cowboy movie about an escaped slave seeking vengeance or justice or something equally badass. Look, it’s Tarantino and he’s in my top five. I’m going.
That’s it for now. I’m sure I’m forgetting a thousand movies but it’s 6 AM and I really should find my keys.
Later, film lovers
You can catch it in all it’s sublime Edgar Rice Burrows-ness right HERE.
New John Carter trailer shows a great deal of potential!
(hopefully we get an HD Quicktime version soon…)