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Movie Reviews

John Carter

Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins and Willem Dafoe

Release Date: Fri, Mar 9, 2012

MPAA Rating: PG-13

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  1. Randall Moore  •  Dec 27, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I quite liked John Carter more than you did. I ended up reading all the John Carter of Mars books Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote. I found it to be a wonderful, old fashioned, story-driven film, not unlike Thief of Baghdad or Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The film makers obviously read the entire series. I have been in mourning the loss of sequels due to the film’s failure to garner enough dollars to justify more movies. When Disney purchased Star Wars from Lucasfilms, the final nail in the coffin was driven in. John Carter of Mars has a richer and more diverse range of concepts than the Star Wars universe has offered. While I enjoyed the accomplishment the trilogy achieved, I have always been disappointed that Return of the Jedi featured the construction of another Death Star. It’s as though Lucas ran out of ideas and chose to repeat the past.

    The John Carter of Mars books have a shockingly fresh vision of things both achieved in the future by science and things yet discovered.

    Andrew Stanton assembled a wonderful cast and made a wonderful realization of the world Edgar Rice Burroughs envisioned. I loved the movie and wish that I had the chance to see Burroughs vision played out to the max. It would have been a wonderful ride!

  2. Jeff Kindrick  •  Mar 16, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    I disagree as to the faithfulness of the movie to Edgar Rice Burroughs books, which I have read many times since discovering them in the early 1960's. John Carter as portrayed by Taylor Kitsch is a drunken brawler apparently suffering from PTSD; this is worlds apart (pun intended) from ERB's Captain John Carter, Virginia gentleman and eternal warrior. Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris is a Wonder Womanesque warrior wielding a sword shoulder to shoulder with her man. The Princess of Helium in the books is a lady, undoubtedly strong, courageous and capable of defending herself with the dagger she carries but who would use it to take her own life rather than be raped. Both leading characters live by a code of honor as understood a century ago, and judging by the success of movies such as the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, it can play well with contemporary audiences.

    Burrough's Martian technology was prescient for 1912, including such items as camera based security systems and remote controls using encoded light beams to activate locks. His aircraft, however, were described more as airborne warships ranging from one man pursuit and scouting craft to huge battleships, nothing like the flying crystal fairy palaces of the movie. And I'll not even get started on the walking city!

    I was looking forward to this movie after reading that the director was a fan of the books and went to great pains in finding the proper locale for filming. It would have been as easy to make the movie in the style of Burrough's fanciful novels. I can envision Alexander Skarsgard as John Carter in the style he portrayed Tarzan, a cultured gentleman with a dangerous side. Instead the choice was made to produce their own "arrangement" as do many modern singers with our National Anthem and with the same disastrous result often obtained in those cases.

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