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SBIFF: Quint has JOHN CARTER OF MARS info from Andrew Stanton! Plus words from writers McCarthy, Knott and Black!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a quick recap of the Writer’s Panel at this year’s Santa Barbara Film Festival. These have typically been my favorite things about this festival. Unfortunately, the sheer number of writer/directors out here this year negated the need for the director’s panel, which was the source of great entertainment and the origin of the word “Schnabelicious” last year (click here to read all about it!). The writer’s panel was smaller, but very fun.

Left to right: Wonder Woman of Variety and Moderator Ann Thompson Writer of APPALOOSA, Robert Knott Writer/Director of THE VISITOR, as well as actor in his own right, Tom McCarthy Writer/Director/Genius behind WALL-E, Andrew Stanton Young Writer of MILK, Dustin Lance Black Let me get the newsworthy stuff out of the way and then I’ll hit up some of the more entertaining tidbits gleaned from the panel. I was able to attend a luncheon before the panel and sat with Tom McCarthy and Andrew Stanton. Of course John Carter of Mars had to come up. He also elaborated on the panel, but here’s what’s going on with JOHN CARTER OF MARS: - It is live action. - “It is huge, it is exciting, it scares the crap out of me. It’s either going to make me or break me.” - It is NOT a Pixar movie, rather a Disney film. However Stanton’s creative team from Pixar are all still involved. - The style is going to be very real, not highly stylized. He said that 20 some years ago that version could have been made, but since Star Wars and a whole glut of science fiction and fantasy films have ripped off giant portions of JCOM over the years the only option he sees is doing a straight up, realistic version of the story. He described it as if it was a National Geographic crew that stumbled across a preserved civilization while exploring a cave. Very real, but awe-inspiring. - He is not planning nor wanting to shoot it 3-D (thank God… I love James Cameron, and I think AVATAR is going to be amazing, but I’m getting tired of every big event movie being 3-D), but thinks Disney might want to push him towards it. - Stanton has been a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs since he was a kid, so while he won’t have the same kind of development time on this one as he had on his animated movie he looks at it as him living with the story in his brain for 40 plus years instead of the 6-8 of his animated films. - He has his second draft done and will be casting soon. - John Carter WILL be a Civil War soldier. That’s about all I can remember about John Carter. Let’s move on to the rest of the panel.

Knott said that he is working with Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen now on trying to get started on another movie based on Robert Parker’s characters in APPALOOSA, that there are Parker books left following Cole and Hitch. There was a lot of talk about character vs. plot. What’s more important? Stanton said the his motto is plot is the way to get to your character, recalling coming in to save TOY STORY 2 a year before release. It took four years to write the first one, but because he knew the characters so well by the time he was called in to do a complete rehaul on TS2 a year from release that he was able to nail down what we all know was a great follow-up in under 3 months. On THE VISITOR and the casting of Richard Jenkins, Tom McCarthy said he talked to Richard and said he wrote the role for one of two people. It was either going to be Richard Jenkins or Young Gene Hackman… and Young Gene Hackman wasn’t available. The dreaded “advice for aspiring writers” question came up and there were actually two really good answers. One, from Stanton, was “Be wrong as fast as you can.” He obviously subscribes to the “nothing good is written, only rewritten” philosophy. Robert Knott had an equally great answer: “Drink a lot.” Dustin Lance Black, writer of MILK, was asked about Prop 8 and if he had any regrets on the movie coming out after that vote. Black said that both he and Gus were pushing for the movie to be released earlier, but it just realistically couldn’t happen with the post schedule.

He said his bigger regret was that they couldn’t have released the film this time last year. Black thinks that there wouldn’t have even been a vote if they had, that it only succeeded because the gay and lesbian community didn’t think it could happen. The response from people having watched the movie is nothing short of shock as they realize that as much as they think the times have changed, Harvey Milk in 1978 was able to do more in a time everybody assumes is radically more homophobic than today. And Stanton will close out this article as well, with some WALL-E trivia, which might be super known, but they were new to me (forgive me for not combing over every disc of the Blu-Ray). The reason for the humans in WALL-E came down to a simple decision for Stanton. He was dead-set on keeping HELLO DOLLY, having WALL-E watching the actual movie, which meant that it would not have made any sense for the president of that era to be CG. So the decision was made to have any human from the HELLO DOLLY, pre-launch, era. He acknowledges that it’s a divisive aspect to the movie, but that was his thought process. The original title was TRASH PLANET, but Steve Jobs really put pressure to change the title. Stanton stood his ground at first (McCarthy shot in: “Yeah, what does Steve Jobs know about marketing?”), but eventually realized that calling the movie WALL-E made much more sense since it was all based on one idea for a character to start with.

On the fat humans on the Axiom, Stanton said his original concept was more PLANET OF THE APES that the humans had evolved (or de-evolved in this case) into more gelatinous, green beings that didn’t remember they were humans. He acknowledged that wouldn’t work as well, so he kept them humans, wanting the ability they’ve forgotten was love. They’re all very childlike and innocent, which was the initial idea of the grown babies. He said you’ll see the small ears, peach fuzz, etc. All babies. That idea was solidified by the NASA expert consulting on the project who said that the main reason NASA isn’t gung-ho on sending a man to Mars is because the trip would greatly and permanently reduce bone density, literally resulting in the same effect as described in WALL-E. The NASA expert also said that Kubrick had it right, needing a constant spinning device that keeps the pressure of centrifugal force, but that would cost too much to actually execute and that NASA is currently working on a chemical short-cut that would trick the body into stopping the bone density loss. This wasn’t enough for Jeff Wells, apparently, who was first at the mic to ask why Stanton is keeping the political answer when it’s clear to anybody that the “big, fat Teletubbies in the third act” were a commentary on modern middle-American culture. Stanton seemed calm in his response, saying that he honestly never intended that, that he never regionalized it in his mind. He thought of it more as a representation of the human condition. It does imply a state of complacency if mankind forgot the point of living, but it was always universal. Stanton believes the only point in living is love and he was enamored with the poetry of a piece of metal, a machine, being the last thing in the Universe that was keeping that flame alive. He followed that up saying that the only conscious commentary was in how technology can be used, so easily and unconsciously, to distract people and disconnect people from simple human interaction. Stanton concluded saying that he didn’t have any agenda with the movie. People accuse the film of having a green agenda, but that aspect of the film was written almost 8 years ago when the country wasn’t on this kick, where the headlines were all concerned about global warming and obesity. He’s happy that these issues are being explored, but he was nervous when the headlines started aligning to the movie he wrote because he says he hates being preached to in movies and didn’t want anyone to think that’s what was happening with WALL-E. There was even a period of time where he thought about changing some of the movie, but he decided not to because he didn’t want to make any cuts out of fear. He got a huge round of applause. It was a really entertaining panel, yet again. Although I did miss Julian Schnabel, I have to be honest. Stanton was great, articulate and passionate, McCarthy was hilarious, Knott was gruff and funny and Black was very intelligent and a fresh voice being so young.

Hope you guys enjoyed the discussion! Be back soon with some reviews! -Quint

Readers Talkback
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  • Jan. 25, 2009, 4:07 a.m. CST


    by rhcp2sweet


  • Jan. 25, 2009, 4:58 a.m. CST

    He who is first shall be last...


    Oh man... I can't wait for more John Carter news. Civil war soldier...I wonder if they will keep him a 'johnny rebel'.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:02 a.m. CST

    fuck yeah

    by cineninja

    Ive been waiting for a big screen JCOM my entire life. The Barsoom series were some of the first books I ever read. considering the approach he wants to take I think it would be badass to do an extra for the DVD like 'Walking with Dinosaurs' where they do a Nature channel style look at the flora and fauna of Barsoom. cant fuckin wait to see some Thark and Warhoon going at it or the white apes.... Geekgasm

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:06 a.m. CST

    PIXAR sucks balls

    by ironic_name

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:12 a.m. CST

    I have faith in Andrew Stanton on John Carter


    and frankly... can't wait to see it.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:13 a.m. CST

    hugh jackman & rhona mitra [or actress that ain't boyish]

    by ironic_name

    rhona is willing to nude up, kate beckinsale or rachel weitz, not gonna happen. unless of course they nipple jewell her.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:15 a.m. CST


    by ironic_name

    I don't.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:18 a.m. CST


    by AdmiralNeck

    His answers address every concern I had about Wall*E, and make me feel bad for not loving the film as much as everyone else. I wish I'd been able to read this before rewatching it the other day. That second viewing didn't change my mind, that it's very good, not great. Maybe with this knowledge I would have been more forgiving.<p> That said, I still think the movie needed about 75% less falling over and having things drop on Wall*E's head. That shit got tired about twenty minutes in.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:18 a.m. CST

    Consult Frank Cho for Deja Thoris...


    when it comes to casting someone for Deja Thoris? Frank Cho's illustrations are dead on (at least to what was in my head for that glistening, black haired, naked red girl). But COME ON... DISNEY?! Ugh, that's why reading this book will always be superior to film.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:19 a.m. CST

    Oh, and...

    by AdmiralNeck

    More Appaloosa is okay by me. that movie was very pleasant to watch.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:20 a.m. CST

    I'd much rather jackson and weta on this

    by ironic_name

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:22 a.m. CST

    people have been looking for cho's brandy for a while

    by ironic_name

    veronica zemanova with some lynda carter.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:41 a.m. CST


    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    Just go fucking IMAX. Lets compare box office receits of Journey To The Center Of The Earth 3D and The Dark Knight. 3D is a shitty gimmick that should have stayed dead. Huge fucking screens getting huger on the other hand rules. Not a fan of Stantons work at all, but it's definately not "bad" and it's going to be really exciting and interesting to see a Pixar team approaching a live action flick. Plus its a giant budget creature filled space opera. I mean, jesus, aside from the lousy Star Wars prequals, what have we had? Starship Troopers? Battlefield Earth?

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:05 a.m. CST

    No Hyper Real CGI= No Frank Frazetta

    by ThePilgrim

    captured character designs that are as close as you can get with out painting the the entire film in oils. Fuck me that sucks... I don't want a live action JCOM. It will be like that He-man Movie. Oh yeah and No 3D sucks ass too. Do I own beowolf on bluray... Nope- you know why cause I don't care too I saw it in 3d and That's how I intend to remember it. I'll see it if it comes back to cinemas in 3d again. 3D makes going to the movies different and harder to bootleg. Fuck this news sucks ass. I wanted Hyper CGI characters that looked like theyre flesh is comprised of oil paint- Just like those covers Frank Frazetta made. Epic Fail! FUCK LIVE ACTION JOHN CARTER OF MARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! STAR WARS Didn't do it, no one has.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:15 a.m. CST

    Too many 3D films????

    by ThePilgrim

    Um what the "U2 Movie" "The Hanna Montana movie" "Beowolf" "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "The Polar Express" and "My Bloody Valentine". <P> Yeah thats like way too many Real D 3D films.... <P> Whatever man. Hoe can you hate it when it yet to really be used with the new technology. Fuck...

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:26 a.m. CST


    by sanzaru

    I have never been this hopeful for a movie to succeed...Sure sounds like they're headed in the right direction!

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Remember THE VISITOR starring John Huston?

    by Bob Cryptonight

    Real crappy OMEN type rip-off movie?

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Harry? When can you tell us about what happened to your John Car

    by CoursinLarry

    Are there rules or laws that make it unlawful for you to discuss exactly what occurred during the development of your movie? I know about the Robert Rodriguez DGA thing, but there's got to be more to it. Right? I don't know too much about that stuff, but I have a feeling an article about that would be pretty damn interesting. If it's possible.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 7:05 a.m. CST

    ...ter movie?

    by CoursinLarry

    (Sorry. I didn't realize my headline was cut short.)

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 7:29 a.m. CST

    Not enough 3-D...done right perhaps

    by Shub-Wankalot

    I'm hoping that Avatar will prove to be the watershed moment in the 3-D crusade. John Carter of Mars going live...much like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I hope that translates well to the big screen, seeing how folks may have become jaded by the unusual and fantastic.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 8:07 a.m. CST

    What happened to Harry Knowles' JCOM?

    by Laserhead

    Same thing that happened to Ghost Town?

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 9:19 a.m. CST

    paul blart of mars

    by ironic_name

    oh no he di'unt!

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    So was this panel about how...

    by strongbadmonkey

    this will never be made and stay in development hell? Why ruin a great thing by actually trying to do something with it.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    FUCK Jackson!

    by malificus

    Give me a fuckin' break already, a more over-blown, over-hyped and desperately-in-need-of-editing mess of a bore you are less likely to find. Ooo, here's the Hobbit staring blankly in a dream state and falling over..Oooo, here's stupid cg creature slithering his words and being annoying as hell...Oooo, big cg battle scene with lots of swords. There's your fucking Lord of the Rings right there, along with 79 unendurable hours of "who gives a frog's fat ass?" extras. Hand it to me quick, my drink is sweating and I need a coaster.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 11:41 a.m. CST

    malificus. Clerks 2 did it better

    by Talkbacker with no name

    Nice try though, you goof.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Never seen it.

    by malificus

    Please enlighten me.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST


    by Ray Gamma

    It will be disappointing. Here's why: ALL of the current Hollywood poster children are lightweights. All of the films that claim to be 'reminiscent of classic cult 60s & 70s films' (e.g. Silent Running or 2001) are in fact lightweight, forgettable politically-correct CGI-fests.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 11:46 a.m. CST

    And thanks for the 'goof'

    by malificus

    it's the nicest thing anyone's ever called me here.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Typical AICN talkback

    by Charlie_Allnut

    Movie hasn't even started production and everybody is already whining.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 11:52 a.m. CST

    I just You Tubed it

    by malificus

    Ha-ha! That was awesome. I'll step aside on that one, Randal rocked that one.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 12:11 p.m. CST

    I've got some info about it...


    ... Harry won't be producing it, he's too busy fawning over those terrible ScriptGirl vids. hehe

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Nice piece BTW, Quint


    I might be a critical fucker, but I do give credit when credit is due.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    I love these Sword and Sorcery guys...

    by WhoDis

    (which I guess I include myself among, but still...) who someone expect the female leads to be topless throughout the film just because that's how they were in the classic paintings and illustrations were. Heck even the great Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta chickened out in their FIRE & ICE movie, and she was animated! It's just not going to happen. And it's not going to ruin the movie.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Wells is such a tool

    by Bass Ackwards

    That is all.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    What the fuck is up with these awards popups?

    by Gozu

    I know that's how you make your $5.50 a month off this fucking site, but they are the most obnoxious things I've ever seen.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Dear Director and casting people

    by Xiphos_2

    Memo to the producers and director and of JCOM(CC:the Mouse House), please reject the impluse to hire Hugh Jackman as John Carter. I know this will be hard and on the surface he's tempting no doubt. I was on board briefly, but upon further review he's not a good choice. Jackman is a likeable fellow and a servicable actor but he lacks that sense of danger and death that John carter has. It's really what hamstrung him as Wolverine. So please consider somebody else in the role thanks. Sincerly,<p> Xiphos

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 1 p.m. CST

    I don't know...

    by wampa 1

    ...but it sure smells good!

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    So it should be similar to Pirates in scope and design

    by terry1978

    You won't be getting any nudity with a Disney John Carter, but they will got the mid-PG-13 route as far as they can stretch it as they did with the Pirates franchise, though.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 1:22 p.m. CST

    Billy Crudup IS John Carter!

    by DocPazuzu

    You know this makes perfect sense. <p> Barsoomian women? Zemanova or Baird-type women, please. Cast them in that pneumatic fashion and they won't even HAVE to be nude. Although it would be nice...

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Damn, I missed this?

    by DisneyFanatic

    I really should do my research about the SBIFF before it hits next year...

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST

    The pipedream continues.

    by thebearovingian

    May it never come to pass.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Marvel Comics vs. Disney

    by Hikaru Ichijo

    I've always enjoyed the look of those comics, and appreciated the measured tone when it came to the sex and violence, and Disney can't put something like that in theaters without ruin their family cred. This movie should have someone like a young Caroline Munroe running around in it, stirring up the prepubescent boys in the audience, and that's not going to happen with this company.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Read on IGN that they're going for a PG-13 on John Carter

    by Han Cholo

    Never read the books but if Deja Thoris walks around like she does then PG-13 ain't gonna cut it. Looks more like an R rating at least.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 2:30 p.m. CST

    DocP Billy Crudup is a good idea

    by Xiphos_2

    Do you think he would consider it after playing Dr. Bronx supernatural chiropracter in The Watchmen?

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 2:35 p.m. CST


    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    Sorry, like global warming, the debate is over.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 3:08 p.m. CST

    John Carpenter Of Mars?

    by IAmMrMonkey!

    Never heard of it but you have my interest AICN. I'm all up for seeing that crazy director guy battling martians. <p>Bring it, as they say, on.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Tars Tarkas will

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    be renamed Jars Jarkas<br> Speak with a slow retarted southern drawl<br> Have popeye forearms<br> Be skinny as hell except for his potbelly and fat ass<br> Be the ultimate butt-monkey

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST


    by jdb1972

    "he says he hates being preached to in movies and didn’t want anyone to think that’s what was happening with WALL-E" - Looks like he failed.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 3:39 p.m. CST

    I like Jackman...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...But he's got too much genre baggage. John Carter should be a star-making role, not a role for a star. <p> Crudup is a dead ringer for the John Carter as portrayed in the Michael Whelan paperback covers, he's physically in great shape, is not too well-known and has the acting ability. He's perfect for this.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST

    DIORA BAIRD must be in John Carter!!!

    by Kirbymanly

    Although they'll probably go with someone like Jolie. :(

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 3:56 p.m. CST

    What? No Will Smith?

    by Orionsangels

    Classic roles portrayed by whites were made to be remade with a black actor like Will Smith.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Billy Crudup is a good choice too...

    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    But Jackman looks like Frazetta who used himself as a model for his Barsoom paintings. If that's the case, then I could live without Jackman as JC and have him play Frazetta in a biopic. Now, that would be fucking awesome.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 4:27 p.m. CST

    No Jolie

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    tired of her hemroid lips and forehead veins.<p> Hey, heres an idea. Make a movie without jolie, smith, jackson, jackman, pitt, cruise, rogen, ferrell..<p> Oops, sorry, hollywood just went into convulsions

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:24 p.m. CST

    Dejah Thoris

    by Toonol

    Won't be topless. Geez, no way would that ever get filmed.<p> I'm assuming that all the women will get the metal bikini route, reminiscent of slave girl Princess Leia. They should look towards the Marvel Comics series, which is at most PG-13, for inspiration. Here is a sample of the comic artwork:

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    Yeah, you left off Captain EO too. New technology? You mean the shitty gimmick from the 50's thats already died a thousand deaths. You know why you don't care to see Beowoulf in anything but 3D? Because its a fucking shit film with crappy animation. The last thing we need is yet another CG cartoon. Especially when it comes to interesting material. By the way, PG-13 and Hugh Jackman will make this movie go from interesting to not worth getting out of bed for.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:38 p.m. CST

    I Have never read

    by nukethefridge

    John Carter. Where do I start? Thanks

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 5:42 p.m. CST

    This is a bummer...

    by fassbinder79

    They should have stuck to having it animated. I think doing it live action is a big mistake.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST


    by Chuck_Chuckwalla

    Start with A Princess On Mars.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry about Favreau and this movie

    by DougMcKenzie

    Do you think that if somehow Favreau would have been able to do both Iron Man and your version of JCOM, that you would have been successful? I imagine the studio would kill to have Favreau on this now after the ~600 mil BO on Iron Man. Too bad you had him after Zathura bombed.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:14 p.m. CST

    I too would rather it be animated.

    by eggart

    There's a real lack of animated pulp fiction. But if it's live action, cast Kurt Russel as something please.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:54 p.m. CST

    Dear Disney...

    by Automaton Overlord

    kaor Disney, please resist the urge to make Woola cute. calots are ugly! the end.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 6:59 p.m. CST

    I just don't get WALL-E...

    by jazzdownunder

    Beyond being a demo reel for some neat animation of a very simple character, it is utterl empty. The story is rank nonesense and why in Gods name did nobody pick up Mr "Genius" Stanton on the fact that these gelatinous humans evolved (there is no-"de-evolved") over hundreds of years suffering critical bone density loss to explain their gelatinous condition, then step out at the end of the movie onto Earth normal gravity without collapsing into quivering blobs on the dirt? Why huge devices are needed to collect and bundle trash simply for it to be blown into space through an airlock. Why not just open the frikkin airlock to the trash store every once in a while. What happened to the other ships? How is humanity going to eek out survival living on a single type of plant (which is a....?). Assuming those humans were able to withstand the gravity on Earth, there is nothing in the story or in the execution of the plot to convince the audience that they would do anything other than demand that they turn around and go back to their blissful existence on the Axiom - we the audience see how pitiful that is, but nothing has shown THEM. All of that might have been forgiven if they had had the balls to make something of Wall-E's sacrifice, but no, they didn't even have the gumption to follow through on that and had to have Wall-E impossibly regain his memory. Maybe they were going for "the soul is not a physical part of us/him", but sadly they confused "soul" with "memory". Wall-E should have "woken up" and been his old, fun, animated, characterful self, going "beyond his programming" if you like, but without any memory of Eve etc. Really, I don't understand the butt love that this movie gets, or it's creator.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Script Girl's Big Break!

    by zinc_chameleon

    Maybe not Dejah Thoris, but definitely a Bosomian...oops...Barsoomian. She's a natural. But casting is going to be a problem, since Hollywood likes its girls too skinny. Katie Sackoff could do it, with some CGI.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 7:17 p.m. CST


    by Clavius

    Put away the textbook and get a soul.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST

    Get 'yer John Carter he'yeeeaaahhh!

    by malificus

    Some John Carter stuff is available at, merely do a Edgar Rice Burroughs search and a wealth of stuff comes up. If you need hard copy go to any used book store in the land and they'll have a huge selection if they are worth their salt. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND the John Carter series to anyone who digs an action packed story of far away worlds and sword and sorcery. The John Carter books are amoung my favorite of all time, they deserve every bit of praise they get and you notice every big director/writer of sci fi always gives them props. Hope that gutenberg link doesn't get me in dutch, it's non-profit and should be supported. I read a lot of the classics there, a ton of Burroughs and some awesome H.G. Wells, free for the taking.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 8:48 p.m. CST

    Jon Hamm is John Carter, assholes! You cannot deny...

    by Leafar the Lost, and Hugh Jackman costs too much. You can get Hamm cheap, he can act, and that's pretty much it.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 8:54 p.m. CST

    Amen Clavius

    by half vader

    For a bunch of folks who pupport to love genre and fantastic cinema, literal-minded AICN goons like Jazz wouldn't know metaphor and analogy if it slapped them in the fucking face. <p> Really Jazz, hopefully you'll look back and be embarrassed. The "first steps" wobbling of the people at the end escaped you (with the toddlers in the same damn shot)? Really?! And in a movie that's already established that robots can fall in love (and like to play around the jets of a spaceship)? Ever heard of internal and emotional logic? Visual analogies? Do I need to bring up the AT-AT Empire example yet again? Jesus!

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST


    by Dollar Bird

    As I recall, everyone in the Barsoom books is nude all the time aside from jewelry and the "weapons harnesses." So, if y'all demand a topless Dejah Thoris because it's canon, then you'll also be seeing her coochie-la-la and John Carter's ding-ding. So all you dudes who balked at the pudendum in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" better get ready to avert your eyes.<p>I liked "Wall-E" and "Nemo" so I have faith in Stanton. I think he can craft a good story. (Clearly some people here don't like fables and demand logic for every second of film. Those people must like non-fiction exclusively. Which is their right, but kind of sad.) Hopefully Stanton can gear the film up to the adventurous/fantastic tone it needs. Less whimsy and more thrills.<p>Man, I used to devour those books in 8th grade. My father and his father read ERB, so I inherited their motley collection of books. Old editions, Frazetta covers, a few odd paperbacks from Ace and Ballentine. Frazetta's images were always my favorite, but I'm curious to see how this film will look. I'm half-envisioning something with the gorgeous look of "Kingdom of Heaven" (though I hope it's nowhere near as boring and soul-less as that film).

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Actually, sorry Jazz... & the future of stereo 3d

    by half vader

    I was a bit harsh Jazz, considering I should save the venom for Whiny Negative Bitches who can't see beyond their own myopia (geddit?). The problem with 3d is not the format itself. The problem is that everyone, even Zemeckis, keeps using the same old novelty approach rather than the unique cinematic language the technique requires. There are a couple of exceptions in bits of the Disney stuff, but unfortunately completely torpedoed by the films themselves being utter shite (haven't seen Bolt, even though it does sound like Buzz Lightyear remixed). <p> Stereo 3d makes cuts between long shots and closeups really disconcerting as the rapid jump in depth takes time to recover from and can be very distracting (and like after a big laugh, you need to take a beat or the next bit is lost). There's a lot more visual info for the brain to readjust to. So basically 3d needs to ironically incorporate more lateral than z-depth movement, soften the edits and lengthen the individual cuts. However it IS more immersive, the application for stop-motion is obvious, and even if the pace is slower you can do things in a single cut that would otherwise take multiple lenses and shots to achieve in 2d. <p> So yep it's going to take years to develop its own language (and that's where the whole B&W to Colour thing IS a good analogy) beyond ludicrous "comin' atcha" goofiness. But all this cutting-off-the-nose-to-spite-the-face fanboy garbage is just embarrassing.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 9:33 p.m. CST

    All nude! All the time!

    by half vader

    They could just do the Rebecca Romijn trick and stick those scaley pasties over the bits couldn't they? What were all the X-Men films rated (someone stole mine - off a film set!) anyway? PG13 right?

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 10:30 p.m. CST

    Breasts on mars

    by Toonol

    Are actually kind of small, perky, if you go by the book. They were purely ornamental; martian women don't breastfeed, that's been genetically bred out of them. On the plus side, that means they don't sag, and since lifespans are up to a thousand years, that's very important.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 10:38 p.m. CST

    Jeff Goldblum as Tars Tarkas!

    by Uncle Stan

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 10:39 p.m. CST

    The problem with cinematic 3D

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    Is that it looks like shit. Even the new stuff. I went to see Beowulf, and guess what, its just an eye irritating sense of further depth, which doesn't really do anything other than make the screen look messy. It's not "immersive" becaus the minute you turn your head you aren't look at the screen. Surround sound is more beneficial to an immersive cinematic experience than wht looks at best like a pop up book. Imax on the other hand just looks fucking big. And big = awesome. Then again, I'm addressing Half Vader, a guy who somehow managed to see depth and deep analogies in a heavy handed, straight off the pixar manufacturing line moral lecture aimed at the under tens. Of course, that cute robot does make for a good McHappy meal accessory.

  • Jan. 25, 2009, 10:42 p.m. CST

    By the way I actually liked Wall E...

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    ...Taking into account its shitty pedigree.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 1:52 a.m. CST

    Jeff Wells reminds me of...

    by Dasinfogod

    ...a puppy dog with a useless torn & slobbered towel who just won't let go of it and growls when it's taken away from him. I've long suspected he's a former fatty who got picked on alot as a kid (hence his puppy-like obsession with Axiom slobs in WALL-E). No matter how much Stanton tries to put this plot element to rest, Wells won't let up; doesn't surprise me to hear he was first at the SBIFF mic. It's sad to see an otherwise pretty good writer overcompensate with the "too hip for the room" 'tude, coming across as a bit of an aging blow-hard poseur.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 1:59 a.m. CST

    So WALL-E was basically a confused mess to begin with...

    by TheGhostWhoLurks

    That ended up being a confused mess when it hit the big screen. That explains why the movie stunk and made me fall asleep in the theatre while watching it.<p>Humans as gelatinous green blobs??? And excuse me for missing the "peach fuzz"... a little TOO subtle, I guess. Next time, I'll just rent THE LORAX. At least that was entertaining and had a coherent message.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 3:09 a.m. CST

    A Disney nudie!

    by CuervoJones


  • Jan. 26, 2009, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Speaking as a huge John Carter nerd...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...and someone who loved what PJ did with LOTR, I think a John Carter movie, no matter how "gritty" or "fanciful" they decide make it, should be played completely straight. There's not an ounce of tongue-in-cheek or post-modernism in the original stories and that's what makes them work. As soon as you stop and start reflecting on what's going on ("Hey, what's with the S&M gear? And the big green dudes? And swords? WTF?") the stories cease to function properly. If you're thinking of entering the world of Barsoom, you either go all the way or just stay home. None of that winking at the reader/viewer bullshit. <p> This also goes for Conan, but that's another matter.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Just get

    by Melvin_Pelvis

    some emo tool like Pete Wentz<br> After all it's their world now<p> Here's the guy for the part: <p> Underneath those shades is layer upon layer of mascara.<br> It's all the rave on Barsoom I hear.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 7:56 a.m. CST


    by malificus

    Speaking briefly of Conan, have you checked out the Savage Sword of Conan collections that Dark Horse are putting out? 500 pages of awesomeness, always a luke-warm Conan guy myself, dug Barry Smith's lighter thief, but man-o-man am I a convert of the Roy Thomas/ John Buscema Savage's, unbelievably great stuff.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Wow Whiny, read it again, moron.

    by half vader

    I haven't seen Bolt you fool. And I wasn't defending Zemeckis or Beowulf, twit. Or do you treat other posts with the same myopia as everything else? Obviously judging by your embarrassing start there you just skim and let the mud fly. Good luck with that in your life to come mate!

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    Yep, I used to read Savage Sword when I was a kid and have been meaning to buy the collected editions. As much as I like the old Marvel stuff, I'm even more impressed with the new Dark Horse Conan comics, which are amazing. <p> I don't hold out much hope for Ratner's new movie.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 9:12 a.m. CST

    I never said you saw Bolt.

    by WhinyNegativeBitch

    What the fuck are you talking about? I also never said you saw Beowulf either. Did YOU bother to read who the post was addressed to, retard? Again, I guess not, since I'm now talking to a dude who actually thinks 3D is cool and trys to defend the merits of toy commercials disguised as cartoons as legitimate science fiction.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 12:01 p.m. CST

    You're too funny, Bitch.

    by half vader

    "Tries to defend"?! Sorry mate, but because it keeps whizzing by you I'll say it again. Just because they're making shite now in 3d that's nothing more than it was in the fifties doesn't mean the technique itself is inherently shit and that filmmakers won't take advantage of the tech for legitimate storytelling reasons. I'm NOT defending the stereo stuff that's around at the moment. I AM saying it's not the 3d itself that's the problem. You're the tail wagging the fucking dog with your line of argument that because it's been/being used badly it should never be used again. And the dude whose mouth you're conveniently shovelling words into is not me. <p> On that note, if you're not addressing me then don't fucking begin your post replying to/arguing with a statement I'd made ("The problem with 3d") and then halfway through reiterate "then again, I'm addressing Half Vader", you grammatically-challenged little man. "Depth and deep analogies" eh? You obviously learned to write from Harry, who shares the wisdom he wishes to share (I'm paraphrasing). Then again, you did make the all-encompassing statement "big = awesome" and follows the cooler-than-thou "Pixar sucks" kneejerk mantra/philosophy so... Funnier still is when you try to argue semantics when it comes to "immersive" and then back it up with the four-year-old literalism you displayed earlier <p> It's also hilarious that all your shilling for IMAX conflicts neatly with them being the biggest producer of stereo 3d SINCE the fifties. But I'd better stop now, because I can't compete with a mind that can summon the almighty insult "retard". That, and the uneasy feeling I may be feeding the former Animal Structure or whatever the thing's name was. Bye.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 6:07 p.m. CST

    John Carter will never get made...

    by Kid Z

    ... it just won't. Too obscure a property for any studio to risk money on it. Well, actually, I take that back, it 'might' get made... with Will Smith in the lead... and who the f**k wants that?!!?

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 6:37 p.m. CST

    John Carter will definitely get made...

    by Orbots Commander

    ...if it's retitled John Carter vs. Paul Blart. Because apparently, the public loooooves them some fat mall cop. Maybe, Paul Blart: Mall Cop of Mars.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 6:56 p.m. CST

    Matthew MCConaghy as John Carter

    by mojoman69

    He has the build, he has a Southern accent and he is the right age. Megan Fox as Dejah Thoris! Andy Serkis voicing Tars Tarkis.

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 7:01 p.m. CST

    I'd be a lot more excited about John Carter if...

    by SnootyBoots

    they'd use the title of the book it's based on, A Princess Of Mars. Being afraid to put the word "Princess" in the title betrays a lack of balls and makes me wonder what other compromises they'll make in adapting that book to the screen

  • Jan. 26, 2009, 9:27 p.m. CST

    To save money

    by Toonol

    The should go the Pirates/LOTR route but even more so: Film all eleven books at once, and parcel them out over the next two decades. What a goldmine!

  • Jan. 27, 2009, 8:21 p.m. CST

    The problem with WALL-E is...

    by jazzdownunder

    ...not that it has problems with internal logic and consistency but that those things matter because it has nothing of substance to justify the conceits and literary licenses it takes. If the bone density issue is a non-issue, then why the heck bring it up? It just confuses things. It reeks of left over subplot material (unless you want to suggest that it's there to explain the appearance of the humans... why? And when we look at the fact that NASA are thrown at us as a consultant on the story then we'd have to assume that the story writers were going for gritty realism in their story points, not creative interpretation and whimsical allegory). All kids know that if you are bone-idle lazy you get fat. Nothing more needed to be said. I love Toy Story and Toy Story 2 even though I actually know that toys don't come alive when everyone leaves the room. I love Bugs Life even though I know that Flea Circuses aren't actually miniature circuses run by honest to goodness fleas. But in those cases I don't care. In Wall-E, I noticed the inconsistencies - they aren't the problem in themselves, it's the fact that they matter that is indicative of deeper problems. But don't ask me, ask my kids. Again, they love Pixar movies as a whole, but they love the stories told in those movies more than the characters for their own animation sake. Not so with Wall-E. Sure, they loved the "cute robots" but as a movie "it's kind of OK, but it doesn't really make sense Dad - I thought they couldn't go back to Earth because they didn't have any bones anymore? And they wont be happy on Earth, I think they'd be cross that they can't live on the spaceship anymore cos they had it much easier there - Earths not a nice place for them". Not MY words, but the words of 8 and 11 year olds.

  • Feb. 12, 2010, 7:23 a.m. CST


    by orcus