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Copernicus Exalts JOHN CARTER!!


As a fantasy fan, you might describe me as a supremely casual one -- I certainly don’t register as a geek.  I’m not into CONAN.  Couldn’t stand the HERCULES or XENA TV shows.  Even the LORD OF THE RINGS books weren’t my thing -- I liked the films, but I think I’ve only seen each one twice.  I did watch the original CLASH OF THE TITANS about a million times and read THOR comics as a kid though.  And I’ve played the occasional fantasy-based video game.  


So even though STAR WARS is my favorite movie, I was never into JOHN CARTER -- it seemed to tilt way too much toward fantasy for my tastes.  I’m less of a sword and sandal kind of guy, and more of a laser sword and boot kind of guy.   Still, I’ve been at least intellectually interested in the film, because I know the original books are one of Harry’s favorite things, and he’s been both dreaming about, and trying to get them made into films for years.  


In the afterword of the book THE GREATEST SCI-FI MOVES NEVER MADE, Harry called JOHN CARTER OF MARS *the* greatest sci-fi movie never made.  He then wrote about it in his own book.  Fortunately, movie producer Jim Jacks was paying attention, and after Harry’s words rekindled his own interest in the source material, convinced Paramount to secure the rights.  He brought on Harry (who ultimately became a producer), and they lined up Robert Rodriguez to direct, who shares a big love of fantasy with Harry.  Over the years, Harry would keep me updated on the film’s development, showing me test reels or production art, even as the director changed to Kerry Conran, and ultimately to Jon Favreau.  Sadly, Paramount ultimately got cold feet, and let the rights revert.  Disney snapped them up, and word got around that Pixar was making the film as their first live-action feature.  It turned out to be some key people from Pixar, and would ultimately be a Disney, not a Pixar feature.  [More on the flip side of this story from Andrew Stanton’s perspective later].  While I felt the film was probably in good hands, I was heartbroken for my friend Harry.  After being the catalyst for, and a player in, the modern-day rebirth of the film, he would ultimately become yet another frustrated filmmaker in the century long history of the property.  That history stretched back to at least 1931, when Bob Clampett, of Looney Tunes fame, tried to get the film made as what would have been the first animated feature for MGM.  Some of that test footage, done a few years later, still survives:





If you are interested in the history, much of it is recounted in a new chapter of the revised edition of THE GREATEST SCI-FI MOVES NEVER MADE.  It is a very entertaining and fascinating book if you haven’t read it.


Back in the present day, I was not enthused with what I was seeing about JOHN CARTER OF MARS.  First, they hired Taylor Kitch, who I was not impressed with as Gambit in the woeful WOLVERINE.  Then they excised Mars from the title of the film, which I still find both wrong-headed and, as an astronomer, offensive.  Others were grumbling about the redness of the “red men” or the size of the Tharks, but I could care less about that.  What I found troubling was that none of the ads made me interested in the film at all -- it seemed like some of the worst parts of STAR WARS, EPISODE 2 in man-panties.   I didn’t care for that soulless CG supposed-love story, so why would I want to see this?  And worse, outside of some hardcore geeks, the film was not registering *at all.*  Astronomers are usually pretty seriously into science fiction, and I’ve probably asked about a dozen people around the office if they are going to see the movie, and I don’t think a single one has had any idea what I’m talking about.


All this is a long way of saying that I was curious enough about JOHN CARTER to ask Geoff Boucher of the LA Times Hero Complex blog to get me into his 3D IMAX

 screening last night, with Andrew Stanton in attendance, because I figured it would be at least intellectually interesting to see what decisions they made about Mars and about adapting the material.   But as for the quality of the film, I was expecting something between diverting, but forgettable, and train wreck.  You know, KRULL.


Boy was I wrong.  JOHN CARTER was amazing!  I have not felt so genuinely surprised in a movie theater since seeing the original MATRIX.   I saw STAR WARS through JEDI  in their original runs at their formative ages of 4-10, and I lost my damn fool mind.  Kids today will be doing the same thing for JOHN CARTER.  This is their STAR WARS.        Twelve year olds will lose their shit.  That isn’t to say that this film is only for kids.  But kids are hardwired for the spirit of wonder and adventure.  We’ve all got it deep down, even if we’ve become jaded and cynical adults.  I didn’t know I still had an inner 12 year old in me, but there he was at the JOHN CARTER screening, hepped up on crack.  At most screenings these days the knowledge I have as an adult gets in the way of that pure sense of glee and discovery:  I’ve seen the plot before, I’m unconvinced by the actors or the effects, or I’ve followed the development of the film so closely on the internet, or it is so spoiled in the trailer, that I know what’s coming.  All that melted away in JOHN CARTER, and I was just right there on Mars discovering aliens, leaping around another planet, and getting into adventures. 


Even though the basic story is 100 years old, and so many films have borrowed from the John Carter books (e.g. the plot of AVATAR, various aspects of the STAR WARS films), JOHN CARTER the film still felt fresh to me.  That’s a testament to the writing team, Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, and Michael Chabon, who weren’t afraid of sticking to the source material, even when some would have said it is needlessly complex (there are a ton of characters, several villains, and multiple warring races).  But at the same time they updated things that had to be changed for a modern audience, fully fleshed out thin characters, and wove together details from several books.  


Now, there can never be another STAR WARS, or EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, at least not for me.   But JOHN CARTER is a hell of a lot better than the STAR WARS prequels.  I kept thinking during the screening, *this* is what the prequels should have been!  Everything that was wrong with them:  thin characters, bad dialog, wooden acting, and obtrusive CG, is fixed here.  Even though the Tharks are CG, Andrew Stanton had the actors on set, on stilts, just to give the other actors the correct eye line, and something to act off of.  It makes all the difference.  And even though he was starting with pretty thin characters from the source material, they have a lot more substance here. 


I really liked AVATAR, because it was really the only movie since the STAR WARS series to capitalize on the promise of film in conveying space adventure.   But I did have problems with the bad dialog and predictable plot.  I like JOHN CARTER even better than AVATAR.  It doesn’t have the depth of the biological environment, or quite the same commitment to scientific realism that AVATAR does [here’s my article on it], but the characters and their interactions seem more real, or at least I was more emotionally invested in them.  And what JOHN CARTER lacks in biological complexity, it makes up for in terms of the mythology of the whole world and the societies inhabiting it.  


Going in, I was worried about the acting.  But I have to say, Taylor Kitch was a pretty damn good John Carter.  He never achieves Harrison Ford-level absolute metaphysical embodiment of the character, but that’s probably too high of a bar.  I can’t really think of anyone else I’d rather see in the role.  When he’s on Earth, he’s a total badass, but when he shifts to Mars he seems a bit lost.   But that’s exactly what the role called for.  And I was pleasantly surprised by Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris.  She’s sexy and tough, but not one-dimensionally so.  She succeeds at letting the vulnerability of her character come though, which humanizes her, without becoming anything like a damsel in distress.  Even the CG/motion capture acting is great -- Willem Dafoe is a third pillar of the movie as Tars Tarkas, and Thomas Haden Church is equally convincing as Tal Hajus.  Some of the humanoid supporting characters aren’t as fleshed out, but they have great actors to pull them off:  Dominic West, Ciaran Hinds, Bryan Cranston, and Mark Strong.


This isn’t to say that JOHN CARTER is perfect -- a few things about it are only good to very good, but not quite amazing, and they keep the film it from becoming truly transcendent.  First, there are a series of villains, and all are compelling, but none quite rise to the level of science fiction icon like Darth Vader or Khan.  The same goes for the score, by Michael Giacchino.  It is very well done and really serves the story, but doesn’t move the soul like Williams at his peak (I feel like a bastard even mentioning such a thing).  The design of the Tharks was another case where I get what they were going for, but I would have gone for something a little bulkier, harder-edged, and more threatening.  And finally, I just wanted a whole lot more of the cities, technology, and culture of Barsoom, and a bit more of the fantasy element.


Having said that, I do love how strangely realistic the film feels.  I thought I’d hate the idea of making Barsoom so much like present-day Mars.  But with a story so fantastic (in the sense of fantasy), grounding the film really allows you to more readily suspend your disbelief.  I suspect the same is true of making the red men only sort-of tanned with red tattoos.  


Now the flip-side of Harry’s story, as told to us by Andrew Stanton at the screening Monday night.  He’d gotten into the books after reading the Marvel Comic at age 12.  He was a huge fan, and had been hoping his whole life to see a big-screen adaptation.  It was as a fan that he was following the news when the film was in development at Paramount, desperately hoping it would get made because he couldn’t wait to see it.  Just after it fell through, and at this point only two years into what would be a 4-year process on WALL-E, Dick Cook, chairman of Disney Studios, called Stanton just to see how things were going (something he never does).  At the end of their conversation, Stanton said that Disney should acquire the rights to John Carter, because it would be perfect for the studio.  They actually had them at one time, but failed to make the film.  He just wanted someone to make it, because he wanted to see it get done, but thought there was no way he’d get to do it because he still had two years to go on WALL-E.  As it turns out, Disney did get the rights, and ultimately asked Stanton to make the film. 


So as sad as I am for Harry, the story does have a happy ending.  Another true fan got to bring his vision to the screen, and he pulled off what has defeated dozens of the biggest names in Hollywood over the past century.  And even better than that, it is a bad-ass space adventure!




- Copernicus


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Readers Talkback
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  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:26 p.m. CST


    by Dustin Geisler


  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST

    "This is their STAR WARS". ROFLOL!

    by Rupee88

    C'mon are trying WAY too hard.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST


    by monorail77

    Had to be said. :-)

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:27 p.m. CST

    That's great

    by ilovemichealbay

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    And I can't wait to see the Rotten Tomatoes scores on this

    by Rupee88

    going to be very interesting..

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST

    The Prequels had actors on-set

    by shane peterson

    copernicus. Please do your homework.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:28 p.m. CST


    by SingingHatchet

    I took time to read the article.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST

    Ahmend Best(Jar Jar), Brian Blessed(Boss Nass), Andy Secombe(Watto),

    by shane peterson

    all on-set during filming.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST


    by Righteous Brother

    I hope its good - I'm still a little weary of it though.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:31 p.m. CST


    by terrence horan


  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:31 p.m. CST


    by scooterbuch

    I wasn't expecting this type of a review at all. Now i'm more curios than excited to see this film.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:31 p.m. CST

    Still not convinced at all, but......

    by notcher

    If more reviews come in like this one once it comes out, I may have to actually see it. But if it opens and Rotten Tomatoes has it at 15%, forget that shit.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    The difference is the writing

    by shane peterson

    not having the actors on-set. They were for the prequels. The difference was a better script and better direction for the actors.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST


    by monorail77

    Could Cop have referenced STAR WARS! more? Well, maybe, but it'd be hard. Way to get us geeks to feel PUMPED!! about John Carter!! Reference the ol' STAR WARS! touchstone!! Yep, that'll do it!! It's been done, and I ain't buyin' it. Now, If John Carter is good n' fun then that's great. but don't HYPE me all out with the STAR WARS!!, mmkay?

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Whenever someone says "this generations Star Wars"

    by shane peterson

    I run for the hills. Times have changed. There will never be another SW. There may be a John Carter though. And that's as it should be.

  • So apparently Serenity didn't sit well with you?

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    for the record, Star Wars is fantasy

    by Erotic Oven

    set in space.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Box office geeks, what are your predictions?

    by Pvt. Duke

    I think it follows a Time Machine trajectory... opens relatively weak in the mid 20's, then collapses and winds up in the 50's. Total gross: $55 mil. But what the fuck do I know.

  • I realize there have been better movies made but what the Matrix did was introduce me to something completely new and body numbing. You know that feeling at the end of a movie when your sitting in the seat and your body is numb?? Well the Matrix made me feel that way for some reason and nothing since. Not even TDK. I hope Carter does it for me cuz i know the Avengers wont (yes it looks cool) but i expect to be numb, not smile and say that was cool.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Hope it succeeds. Why not hope for the best rather than the worst?

    by borisdoris

    I don' want to see Disney take a hit on this. They took a huge gamble and I hope it pays off. Think they may struggle with the female audience though. That may be the diwnfall.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    See it tonight

    by MrDexter

    in Seattle

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:42 p.m. CST

    "I’m not into CONAN." = Turn in your Fucking Man Card Brainiac

    by conspiracy

    One phrase has never said so much, nor been so damning.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:42 p.m. CST

    rotten tomatoes?

    by Cimarrian77

    who actually goes by those ratings? teenagers?

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:44 p.m. CST

    Avatar beat them to the punch

    by thelordofhell

    They should have let Cameron make A Princess Of Mars instead of Avatar.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:46 p.m. CST

    This isn’t to say that JOHN CARTER is perfect

    by loafroaster

    Oh heaven forbid!

  • if for no other reason than to see how Disney put $250,000,000 to work.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST


    by KilliK


  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    I actually liked Krull...

    by Flutchy

    ...and this John Carter thing looks just as boring as... what? Zombie Jesus and his followers? But I haven't prepared anything!

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:51 p.m. CST


    by JaredP

    very sad day

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:52 p.m. CST

    I wish more people cared about how good or bad the movie is...

    by D.Vader

    Rather than how much or how little money the movie will make.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Great, Great, Great Review, Andy! I'm 100% Sold!

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    It was hard for me to read or even wrap my head around Harry's review, knowing how many years he spent trying to get the project made. After all, just three years ago I was present with Harry when we visited the the Edgar Rice Burroughs Memorial Collection at the University of Louisville. As we viewed rare art, books, posters and even Johnny Weissmuller's Oylmpic swimming trunks, curator George T. McWhorter bonded with Harry over John Carter war stories. As Harry and McWhorter sat in his curator's office, which I can only describe as Commander McBragg's personal gentlemen's club, George and Harry traded stories of failed attempts to bring Burrough's Mars tales to the big screen. I'm so pleased that the Great Copernicus is also able to fully endorse Disney's "John Carter" to sci-fi/fantasy fans of all ages. My opening weekend ticket is sold.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    @boldaslove1987 you got that right!

    by Anthony Torchia

    Behold the greatest fighter on two world as he puts his tail between his legs and says: Yes, ma'am. This film will suck. I have spoken.

  • Even despite the positive opinions of the people who've seen it.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:01 p.m. CST


    by hspahr

    Agree with your comment. Always looking for that movie that comes along rarely but moves you big time to show what film is capable of. Happened four times in my lifetime (all in a theatre - can't imagine having the same experience at home in front of a television). 1. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 2. first Star Wars 3. Matrix (only the first) 4. Inception This is why I go to movie after movie after movie - always hoping to find the next.

  • It's fucking ridiculous, as in worthy of ridicule.

  • Even if Disney fucked the dog on marketing, enough people will go see this in the first weekend and then tell their friends how much they liked it, thus creating a word-of-mouth hit.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST

    This is their Star Wars

    by treatment

    how about- this is their John Carter

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    And fuck Rotten Tomatoes, anyway. It's ALL numbers with you fuckers.

    by Robert Evans

    While stats and box office returns are valuable details, they're not the whole story. Are you geeks, or are you actuaries?

  • I'm not usually a sci fi fan, so I'm no good when it comes to predicting how people will respond to these types of movies.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Please be good

    by bobjustbob

    (I've been waiting a very long time for a John Carter movie.) This is the first review I've read where I feel I can trust the aesthetics of the reviewer. Thanks Copernicus!

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    When is the LA Screening Harry was talking about?

    by conspiracy

    Conspiracy wants to see this with the appropriate audience in a decent theater...Central California has SHIT for theaters.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST

    I'm hoping this will grow in popularity after release

    by melonman

    Atrocious marketing may make for a low-keyish opening but strong word-of-mouth could keep it running longer than expected. My own anticipation has grown from a shocking disappointment at the initial trailer to now child-like excitement. I can't believe I'm in the minority for wanting this to succeed (presuming it does meet my expectations).

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    This site is shameless when it comes to this movie.

    by UMAGA

    No one cares. No one wants to see it. Give up.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Is the fake 3-D any good?

    by frankenstone

    Or should I wait for 2-D?

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:30 p.m. CST

    How can this movie not suck?

    by hallmitchell

    With the lame CGI and terrible trailers? I will be shocked if this movie doesn't flop.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:31 p.m. CST

    I could see this being my son's STAR WARS.

    by tomandshell

    It has that level of discovery and adventure and fun and imagination needed to enthrall kids. The world feels big as it is, but it leaves you wanting to explore and see the rest of this universe that didn't make the cut this time around.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Another blow to Joe AICN Six sided die.

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    These acid spitting kids are getting desperate with their insistence that this film will suck. Man, this is fun. Let the fanhater squirming commence and continue!

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:35 p.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    If you seriously think Copernicus is in any way unethical, you haven't been around these parts for long. Or you're simply a fucking asshole.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:36 p.m. CST

    It was great

    by slone13

    I can't wait to see it again.

  • I'm sure it's a decent flick, but I doubt I will ever see JOHN CARTER. Whereas I'm pretty sure WRATH OF THE TITANS will be mediocre at best, I will definitely see it.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:40 p.m. CST

    This is FAR from the first rave review/reaction BTW.

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Check them out: And--no--these aren't cherry picked reactions either. Do your google/twitter searching yourself. Marketing has blown -- but word of mouth will make this film soar imo.

  • If this sucks it sucks but I ain't seen it yet and neither have you all so we really don't know, huh?

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:42 p.m. CST

    this generation's little miss star wars!

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    john carter! yeaaaaaaaaaahhhh

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:43 p.m. CST

    ...except slone13, apparently. Sorry, man.

    by ClayMatthews

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:44 p.m. CST

    @spandau belly

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    So... You'd rather see a crass, Hollywood bastardization of a Greek myth bastardization than a 250 million dollar space adventure based on the most influential sci-fi fantasy ever written (a story, btw, which has inspired millions of writers, thinkers and scientists over the past century)? Wow. Do some research. Better yet, read a couple of ERB books.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    A snippet from another recent rave review...

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Whereas Cameron in Avatar was content to extract the simple essence of the Burroughsian pulp narrative and just “go with it”, Stanton retains enough of the pulp heritage to keep the material recognizable but constructs characters that, in deft and certain strokes, emerge as fully realized beings who engage us and draw us in to their stories in ways that exceed what his predecessors Lucas, and Cameron, and yes, Burroughs, were able to do. The result is a richer, character driven experience that transcends the dear sweet old pulpy fiber on which it is based and becomes something grander, richer, and more satisfying. It is as if Stanton has taken Burroughs’ extraordinarily vivid imaginative landscape and injected a dose of Tolkien and a smidgen of the poignancy of Wall-E to produce a unique and emotionally engaging world filled with characters you want to get to know better, and see again.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Well, I guess the embargo is over...

    by Jay Jay

    I saw this last week and's a mess. Take Avatar, Stargate, Prince of Persia, Gladiator, Flash Gordon and the last half an hour of Attack of the Clones and put them in a giant blender. The result is this movie. I'm not going to bore you with the plot details but suffice to say that a guy from earth named John Carter ends up on Mars fighting some war on behalf of some tribe against an evil blah, blah, magic powers, yadda, yadda. In the end the whole thing just comes across as a bit silly. On the plus side - great cast (albeit wasted) and great visual effects but overall just a bit meh. It just feels like we've seen all of this before...but done better. I think the studio have a huge awareness problem on their hands. Most people simply have never heard of this property before. And dropping the "of Mars" from the title smacks of major panic on the studio's behalf to me. It's going to have to rely on strong word of mouth which I just don't see it getting. I think this is going to tank...big.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Another snippet from the same review

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    “The promotion promises spectacle and action and there is plenty of that; but the promotion also manages to give the impression that the film will be a kind of childishly simple, woodenly executed mashup of questionable seriousness featuring frequently awkward performances and possibly cartoonish characterization. But the film itself is almost the inverse of that–a thoughtful, finely tuned spectacle that is a feast of imaginative transport, is playfully humorous but emotionally engaging in a satisfyingly adult way, and whose few flaws flow from the fact that it’s a three hour epic (and the first installment of a planned trilogy) that plays in only two hours and twelve minutes.” Read that paragraph carefully, kiddos. What you've seen in the trailers is NOT what you will get.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:53 p.m. CST

    @jay jay

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Why don't you write up a full review and submit it to AICN? I'm serious. You're like a lone voice in a wilderness of positive reviews and reactions at this point. If you don't mind me asking, when and where did you see the film? Tell us more. I'm not being a dick here. Please elucidate.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST

    copernicus no

    by CT1

    oh come on man really? Are you REALLY saying you like this movie and endorse it? I mean Harry even got YOU to shill for this fucking movie, and you're a SCIENTIST for christs sake. YOU, the one who stands up to the douchebag self-righteous "celebrities" of the world while everybody else piddles themselves and kiss ass? YOU were the one making the STAND, YOU and we get some wierd review about like some wierd obscure italian indie film nobody will ever see, and then this where it's fairly obvious in your writing you're rationalizing and making excuses, the SAME fucking thing you did with that Christopher-Nolan-hating boborci even though YOU were right and what YOU felt was justified, you ended up censoring yourself and making excuses for that Christopher-Nolan-despising boborci. '"Harry chose ME!" *bad ass growl* '"Because you were the BEST of us... *pant* He wanted to prove... *pant* that even someone.. as good as you.. could fall." '"And he was right."

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    oh and jay jay

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Just so I can get some context, what are some of your favorite films? I do believe you saw the film screened, and I'm sincerely curious as to why you weren't happy with what you saw.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:56 p.m. CST

    Dejah Thoris is still the ultimate scifi Babe!

    by zinc_chameleon

    A Regent of Science (think Department Head) who wears only jewellery (and that not always strategically placed) who can hold her own in a sword fight if she needs to. Still the tops.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:58 p.m. CST

    Nice try, jay jay.

    by Robert Evans

    *I'm not going to bore you with the plot details* That phrase, combined with the rest of your *insights,* which are nothing more than slapped-together fanboy proclamations repeated ad absurdum on these boards, are strong indications that you haven't seen the movie, and that you're possibly a plant from a rival studio.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    @ct1 - go here

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Man, look at the reviews and reactions to date. They are *overwhelmingly* positive -- many of them raves. Why are you so sure that there is no way this film will be good?

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST


    by Jay Jay

    I saw it in Dublin, Ireland with about 20 other people (mostly critics). The reaction was pretty unanimous. I enjoyed it in parts but found it instantly forgettable. I'm not trying to torpedo this film - just saying what I thought, that's all. It's nothing special and I genuinely think this movie will have trouble finding an audience.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Actually this generation's Star Wars is in the video game universe

    by downflow311

    It's called Mass Effect

  • I'd be happy to be proved wrong, though. Come on, jay jay. Let's see what you got. (jay jay scours Internet for plot details)

  • I hate folk who operate under two sets of rules.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST


    by Jay Jay

    The majority of my favorite films came out of America in the 70s. I'm a huge Scorsese, Spielberg and Cameron nut. I adore Star Wars too (prequels and all) but detest Michael Bay and his ilk. Big sci-fi fan in general. Enjoyed John Carter but found it ultimately very silly and forgettable.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:01 p.m. CST

    HEY! Do some *easy* research, dickheads!

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Marketing for this film = bad Reactions/reviews to date = overwhelmingly positive Christ, some of you guys are stubborn, myopic fucks.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Copernicus!!!!

    by c. stone

    Just before I heard JCM was being made, I'd gone back and re-read the entire JC of Mars series. (Took a while to Amazon/BN/indy's my way to getting all the books/ebooks - ERB Foundation re-release, please!) And it was the same pure joy reading experience as it was when I was a kid. Now, we have a movie (not counting Antonio Sabato, Jr.'s POS - gah!) and, thank the gods, a great review! I've been living in terror of this thing being bad. Or worse, CHANGED to unrecognizable. (Harry gets it - and bless you Big Guy for starting the process!) So, thanks, Copernicus! HUGE hugs for giving me hope! And, yes, it's THAT important. Who doesn't forget their first Sci-Fi adventure? What dreams are made of....

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:03 p.m. CST


    by Jay Jay

    *sigh* I knew this would happen. I DID see it. Ask me anything about it if you must. I respected the embargo (which I signed going in) but I guess that's over now.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Absolutely right, leviciousfishus!!

    by c. stone

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    leviciousfishus - WHAT reviews? there are none.

    by Mel

    The only people that have "reviewed" this are nerds. Lets see what happens when real critics review the awful dialogue, acting, and Geonosis arena battle.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST

    Burden of proof is on you, jay jay.

    by Robert Evans

    Besides, I haven't seen the film yet, so I wouldn't be able to ask you specifics. Although someone on these boards is bound to have seen it.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:05 p.m. CST


    by Jay Jay

    My "review" had the line about not boring you with plot details as it was copied and pasted from a short reaction email I sent to a few friends after seeing the movie last week...I am reviewing it in full on Irish radio next week and the segment is being recorded this Friday. I will gladly post a link to it when it had been broadcast.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST

    I believe you, jay jay

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    I'm just not too worried about it, because you're in the less than 10% (so far) that didn't like the film. Now who knows what all the "cream of the crop" reviewers will think, but I'm satisfied that JC is much better and much different than the awful marketing has indicated.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:07 p.m. CST


    by Jay Jay

    Okay, what proof CAN I give you then? Can you not just believe that a person saw it and didn't like it that much? (agreed, it is difficult in the internet age)

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:08 p.m. CST


    by Jay Jay

    Hey, not every film is universally liked or disliked! Have a look through the Talkback under Harry's Indy 4 review - some people LOVED it. Go figure...

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Holy fuck, you give every indication of being a complete moron -- from your inane handle to every inane post I've ever read by you. Please. PLEASE tell me it's all an act.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    jay jay - oh, to be sure...

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    I respect your dislike for the film -- I just know that there's a greater chance (at this point) that I'll at least enjoy it since the vast majority of existing reviews and reactions I've read have been positive ones.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    The Arena Scene is relatively brief.

    by tomandshell

    It serves a plot purpose and doesn't go on too long. The marketing makes it looks like the whole movie, but that's definitely not true.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST


    by UMAGA

    And you're sucking Mickey Mouse's cock as you typed that.

  • The undeniable legacy "film geeks" have etched into cinema: Hyperbolizing every single new Sci-Fi franchise as being "the next STAR WARS". NEW RULE: If someone says a movie is "this generation's STAR WARS" or something similar - It automatically means it isn't. Same goes for the " made me feel like I did when I first saw STAR WARS" excuse. This movie cost $250 million to make and has a $100 million marketing campaign. Stop treating it like its some independent art film in desperate need of attention. If you liked it, good for you. Stop trying to directly and indirectly GUILT people into going to see it. Especially if YOU didn't have to pay the huge iMAX 3-D ticket price.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Sure, cause there's no way anyone could possibly like this film without sucking mouse-cock. Fucking tool.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST


    by Jay Jay

    Yes, it IS better than the marketing has indicated, absolutely. Here are a few things I did like - - It looks incredible. All the money is up on on the screen. The 3D is good but as with most 3D movies you don't really see it any more after about 30 minutes. - Giacchino's score is great (as always) although there is not a very memorable central theme. - Lynn Collins is HOT and she does a somersault-flip through a hatch on her ship and you see her (great) ass pretty clearly. - The action is good and not cut so fast that you can't follow it. - Carter's "dog" on Mars is a fun character. What I didn't like - - The villains (in particular Mark Strong) are very weak. - The first 20 minutes are VERY slow and I think the kids will be bored by the pacing. - In the intro we are meet the various inhabitants of Mars and this is quite confusingly done. All the humans look very alike and even fly the same type ships. The only difference is that one group have some red on their costumes and other have blue. It takes a while to figure out who is who. James Purefoy and Dominic West look so similar that they are almost indistinguishable. - A lot of the dialogue is laughably bad and I'm amazed the actors could keep a straight face souting so much exposition and mumbo jumbo. - We are introduced to a weapon at the beginning which holds amazing power yet it is barely used throughout the film and seems to be forgotten about by the end. - Carter seems very unimpressed by the fact that he's on Mars, much like Flash Gordon in the campy 1980 movie. He just accepts it and moves on. - I found Taylor Kitsch lacking in the charisma department. He seemed like a weak leading man to me. Incidentally, the moment the film ends we saw a title card that had the full title over a shot of Mars. I don't know if this will change or not.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:21 p.m. CST

    annoying font and size

    by cheekerpot

    but I'm still excited to see this even if it has Disney plastered over it :(. I just have the feeling it'll play like Pirates for me. Excited about the material but taking the younger audience too much into consideration for it.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST

    I'm starting to think...

    by Andrew Coleman

    This will open pretty weak but have really strong legs. Word of mouth might be the key for this film. I'm pumped to see this movie I really am. I know these days it's the cool thing to be bitter but I just can't wait to see this in the theater.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Damn, this guy mentions Harry almost...

    by eustisclay much as Harry does(almost).

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Same pricks back here to piss on it...

    by NzYme

    You keep commenting the movie is going suck but you dumb asses keep coming back to read or watch something about the movie...

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:26 p.m. CST

    @jay jay - thanks, man

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    That WAS elucidating. I have a feeling that I'll like JC in spite of your criticisms (based on the other things I've read), but it's good to keep a level head just in case. How did it look from a directing perspective (i.e., did Stanton do his job well or poorly)?

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Again, lots of reactions not associated with AICN here -

    by Le Vicious Fishus

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:27 p.m. CST

    Too many comments for me to read through, but...

    by Sw0rdfish

    This is the kind of review that works on me. I did read some of the "plant" comments; I choose to believe that isn't true. So assuming that this portrays an honest reaction, I'm there in the seat. I've been quite iffy about this for all the same reasons--the trailers certainly haven't excited me, the excision of "From Mars" from the title, etc. But I did always like the source material; recently read Warlord of Mars, which I'd purchased 30+ years ago, and kept on my "to be read" shelf all that time. Was it stupid? Yes. Was it believable? No. And yet--did I truly enjoy it? Absolutely! So yes, this review made me feel, at least potentially, optimistic that there's a real treat in store.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    leviciousfishus - Stanton

    by Jay Jay

    Stanton did a good job but it's a tough movie to put your stamp on, if you know what I mean. Like I said the action scenes are followable and the performances are good in the main (half the cast of Rome seems to be here, wearing similar costumes!) Listen, I'm not bashing this movie for the sake of it. I'm just posting my honest reaction. I enjoyed it - but it wasn't AMAZING. It's just a big, dumb, action-adventure summer flick. Nothing more, nothing less. And I would like to see it do well, if only so that the studios won't shy away from funding similar films in the future.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Father/Daughter relationships give the film a bit of heart.

    by tomandshell

    That will be the emotional "foot in the door" for a lot of people, particularly parents. The romance didn't really grab me, but I did find myself invested in one or two of the father/daughter relationships throughout the story, which surprised me. Give the audience a reason to care about the characters, and it won't matter if they are green or on Mars, we will be invested in their story. Stanton seems to understand that.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:32 p.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    I can vouch for Copernicus. He's ethical and fair-minded.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:34 p.m. CST

    @jay jay - Ah!

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Well, a lot of people would characterize the source material as a "big, dumb, action-adventure," so that is actually reassuring in a paradoxical way!

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Okay, jay jay, you've convinced me.

    by Robert Evans

    Thank you for stepping up. Waiter, I'll have a plate of crow!

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST

    @tomandshell - tell us more!

    by Le Vicious Fishus

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    by Jay Jay

    leviciousfishus - I hope you like it, I really do. choppah - Thanks.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST

    @jay jay - thanks, man

    by Le Vicious Fishus

    I suspect from everything I've read that I will enjoy the film. I just don't know yet how *much* I will enjoy it.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Free Princess of Mars e-book here...

    by c. stone

    Thanks, Fishous for tinyurl that led me to it. Gorgeous copy. MUCH better than my current copy. Legal and free.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 2:58 p.m. CST


    by a boy and his blog

    for me though, the numbers are very important just to ensure sequels get made to the geek movies i love.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:02 p.m. CST


    by Robert Evans

    Agreed in that sense. I'm just tired of the fuckholes who cite box office numbers as a sign of quality.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:03 p.m. CST

    Lousy CG

    by shran

    WTF? What lousy CG? I SEE people say that the CG is lousy in these TB's but I don't SEE them giving me an example of what is lousy about it. So, I don't believe them. I think it looks great. I'm no pro but it's supposed to make me believe what I'm seeing, even if the subject matter is unbelievable. And I hate to point this out, but have any of you "CG shitfest" commenters actually looked at the FX from Star Wars or Empire or Return (movies I adore, BTW)? Huge matte lines, choppy stop motion, obvious shaky puppetry, improperly lit model work, facial make-up that doesn't move at all, and stilted dialogue (OK, that last one isn't an effect per se but you know what I'm getting at). So hate all you want. I'm going to go into this movie with such anticipation that I can hardly contain. And I will root for it at the box office because I am a greedy geek and want LOTS of geeky movies to be made. And I won't give one damn thought to all of you Statler and Waldorfs who sit back and hate for hates sake.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:15 p.m. CST

    Spell check makes people spell Dialogue as Dialog - yech.

    by venvariants

    It just looks wrong. Same meaning - but it looks awful without the ue.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:17 p.m. CST


    by shran

    And I did it without spell-check. And with a public education no less.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    I am going to go.

    by Gus

    I took my daughter to see Arietty and saw the JOHN CARTER cardboard displays in the theater and thought, "Soon...soon." I am hoping this is good. I am curious to see more of Woola.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:33 p.m. CST

    I'm still holding out for...

    by buggerbugger

    ...the 'John Carter' review from AICN's "Yes, I Am An Actual Ninja" contributor.

  • And the closer we got to opening day, the less hate first, then a sudden "I told you this movie would do well!" from the same people who loathed it days before. Well, all proportions aside, I am having the same feeling about JC, something interesting might happen on opening ain't over until the fat lady sings, and she may have a stronger voice than the latest TB's would suggest. Let's see..

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    The story on this will be Disney's failed promotion/marketing

    by kevred

    Disney is fun, they know how to market fun, and the source material is fun. But they still managed to drain all the joy and imagination from their marketing, resulting in a dry, uptight, apologetic, hackneyed mess. It's pretty amazing that they could mess up something like this. People want to have fun and see imaginative movies. Why the fun factor - whch includes romance and family stuff - wasn't moved right up front from the start, giving people something to latch onto emotionally, is beyond me. This is an *adventure*, right? Sell it that way, Disney! Don't try so hard to be cool, just give people something to be excited about. If this is as good as the review indicates, it'll be up to word of mouth to save this film. Oh, and by the way, I liked Krull, too. Its flaws were charming, un-self-conscious flaws, which is refreshing.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST

    @scratchmonkey - jesus, whatever happened to that fucking guy?

    by Le Vicious Fishus


  • Feb. 29, 2012, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Well..thanks for not over hyping it..fucking wars? matrix?

    by knowthyself it can do nothing BUT disappoint.

  • Ok, if that comment holds true, then i REALLY want to see this now! I went into the Matrix cold. Had only seen the tv commercials. Avoided anything on the internet. If this can blow my mind just as well, then I'll be happy.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST


    by buggerbugger

    He could be here right now, expertly lurking around, always on alert, awaiting the perfect moment to strike. Or write articles for AICN in the blink of a deadly eye.

  • I know there's no way my wife would take our 5-year-old to this without a lot of convincing. On the other hand, I assure you she will be worn down over Avengers.

  • Came out ten years ago, with the same type of mismanaged marketing that confused the potential audience. You think disney would have learned their lesson.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 4:17 p.m. CST

    Bryan Cranston is in this?

    by goodhorse

    John Carter (of Mars) just got a lot cooler in my mind!

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 4:33 p.m. CST

    I like the cut of Corpernicus's jib

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    The last set of trailers have looked excellent, so along with this review, and Kim Newman's, I feel excited for this. Optimism chip engage.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 5:34 p.m. CST

    Word of mouth + long box-office = $$$DOUGH$$$

    by NivekJ

    This movie is going to have legs. I was at the Hero Complex screening, and it was astounding. I'm just going to say it: it was LOTR good. Modern classic good. It never made my eyes roll like Avatar did, and it never played into irritating mega-blockbuster politics, like Avatar (insert end credits song here). The marketing is head-scratchingly awful. If I had to guess, someone had it in for Stanton. Someone high up in Disney; perhaps someone new. The team is trying to make up for it now, as in no longer hiding what the movie is. But too little, too late. Any want-to-see is going to be from word-of-mouth (anyone not into movies would very confused from that sentence). There is imagery, singular images in this movie, that have been etched into my mind in a way I haven't felt since, dammit, Jurassic Park. That's how good JOHN CARTER is. And yes, I did expect more from Giacchino; he proved what he could do with UP. Still, you'll see how the film does. Just watch.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST

    I've been burned before...

    by bubcus

    Titan AE, Fifth Element, and so many others have been called the modern-day STAR WARS and they are far from (regardless of whether or not they were good). I am going into the theater to watch John Carter... not Star Wars. Thanks for the review, I am still going in cautiously.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Hey Talkbackers!

    by RRL

    I didn't know where to post this... Sorry. Wired has recently published an excerpt form a book called *Tales from Development Hell*. It's an awesome excerpt, and I'm sure all you great guys/gals will be clamoring for this book. Once again, sorry to bust up this thread- but I didn't know how else to spread this news. Cheers, friends!

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Whats the 3D like ?

    by barnaby jones

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 6:27 p.m. CST

    This was well written in attitude.

    by ufoclub1977

    This guy should write more.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 6:34 p.m. CST


    by sapno_krei

    I will accept no review as true unless it trashes this film. /end sarcasm

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 6:36 p.m. CST

    all in all- killik is right (as he quite often is)

    by RRL

    With all the disposable crap that they dump millions of dollars into- we kinda need this to be high-quality AND crowd-pleasing, just so we can get back on the road to memorable blockbusters (and head-turning experiments) like the 70s-80s-90s.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Jay jay

    by Dave Fraggle

    Or should i call you Mr Lucas you seem slightly peeved that this might do well, infact you sound like a kiddy throwing his toys out his pram. Despite the fact you will probably pay your money and go and see the finished film just so you can spout your envy...

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Lies lies and more lies

    by Dave Fraggle

    How can you say that our friend Jayjay lucas hasnt seen the film despite the fact he uses youtube quotes about the previous 70's porno set loosley around the same name......

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 7:03 p.m. CST

    Haters gotta hate

    by copernicus

    People shouting "plant" or "propaganda": oh man I'm so busted -- you guys are crack reporters. I've been posing as an occasional writer for this site for 15 years, just biding my time to plant this review. Same goes for my front as a professional astronomer and occasional TV host: All to build credibility so that the Disney marketing people would pay me a million dollars to like their movie. Also, to the haters who haven't seen the film yet. That would make an interesting movie review site. Why let the contents of a movie get in the way of your opinion of it? Anyway, for someone who has clearly seen the film and has valid criticisms, see the post by jay jay above. I get where he's coming from, I just had a different opinion. Some people will love the movie, and some won't. I was pleasantly surprised.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 7:40 p.m. CST


    by Quackfu

    You may have changed my mind. I was not enthused or even interested in seeing this film until I read your review. I felt it was going to be a prepackaged formulaic bag of tripe, you know the usual Hollywood fare. I think you may have won me over. Someone at disney may want to hire you because their entire ad department failed to do that.

  • End of discussion.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Re : rupee88

    by Real Deal

    Yes Rotten Tomatoes will be interesting! If it gets a good score will you admit you've been wrong and go sit in the corner for awhile?

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 8:06 p.m. CST

    might be good

    by JaredP

    who knows? don't think it will be better than the avengers. how in the world could you not like xena copernicus? best fucking fantasy show of the 90's

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 8:08 p.m. CST

    You Know What's Extra Funny?

    by Real Deal

    The haters read a good review and they don't like that as well. That's very telling.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 8:32 p.m. CST

    Ok, he likes movies but doesn't read....

    by Clio

    like the Hollywood starlet who didn't want a book for Christmas because she already had one. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And it was a pretty good article about John Carter, even though I won't be seeing the movie.

  • A sci-fi film can be like A.I. by Steven Speilberg, despite it's fantasy fairy tale aspects, is sci-fi because the story is shaped by the workings of speculative technology (robots etc) and the world is shaped by speculative future technology also. Star Wars A New Hope is the most sci-fi out of all of those films but from then on, their main Genre is really equally fantasy & sci-fi for first 3, & Fantasy first & foremost prequels. Everyone knows what an action film is, the emphasis of the story is on big fight scenes, hot women sometimes who hang out while stuff is being blown up like Transformers or just combat centric like the mythical clothes of CGI Wrath of the Titens, diff Genre settings but the main thing is the action. Fantasy films may have diff. technology but it's more just the rules of that serious reality in general, it's techonology is mythic, intuitive, not so run by science, and the stories are not filled with how the technology works in a mechanistic sense or are the story narratives secondary to the action nature of the films in any sense. John Cater is a straight Fantasy Film! Given the marketing bewilderment over JC, it is quite a feat that it's plot has been able to emerge relatively unscathed - as it seems it has - from it's marketing aspects.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 9:47 p.m. CST

    by garagons

    Star Wars is over-rated. It's only relevant to America; not for quality but nostalgia The rest of the world couldn't care less Now, INDIANA JONES; the best adventure movies ever.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Robert Rodriguez? Seriously?

    by garagons

    None of his movies have aged well one bit. Can anyone watch "desperado" without rolling their eyes at most of it? Sin city was ok... But Robert Rodriguez only REAL contribution to cinema is Salma Hayek's and Jessica Alba's dance at a strip club And the opening scene of Machete

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 10:03 p.m. CST


    by GrendelGrendelGrendel

    You're not a plant. But I've seen the film, and it's lousy. You apparently are very forgiving, or have extremely low standards.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 10:11 p.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    Spill with some real details or no one -- including me -- will believe you.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 10:17 p.m. CST

    John Carter 'like' other films - oh the irony

    by micbenxyy

    This character and story predates all of the films Jay Jay mentions. Only the creator of the fan trailer had the good sense to refer to ERB's creation and it's impact on all science fiction since. Fuck all people who claim to like Science Fiction and Fantasy, but can't be bothered to learn its history.

  • *Pixar veteran Andrew Stanton’s debut live action effort is polished, occasionally spectacular and painted on a large canvas, but is ultimately found lacking when it comes to human drama.*

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Whitney Houston has died


  • Something that will never happen with: -Metropolis -Indiana Jones -Die Hard FACT

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 11:02 p.m. CST

    AICN = The Official Site...

    by Mako

    OF THE JOHN CARTER DRINKING GAME!!! Yes everyone!! John Carter has been mentioned so much on this site that we should all start up a drinking game - every time a new post is slammed in your face by Harry And His Advertising Employees. I guarantee you'll have a hoot... and get very drunk considering the plethora of advertisements (cough cough) posts on JOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHNNNNNN CAAAAAAARRRRRRRTTTTTEEEEERRRRRRRR!!!!!!! ** special note ** Disney condones drinking in the work place - so please drink responsibly and never drink and drive. We thank you for your support and believe by drinking lots of booze - your JJJJJJJOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHNNNN CAAAAAAAAARRRRRTTTTTTEEEEERRRRRR experience will be 12.5 times better when you see the movie.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 11:08 p.m. CST


    by Mako

    I saw the movie too - and I agree with Jay Jay. The movie is a mess. I agree the source material for it's time was amazing. And I can understand why it was so difficult to get this movie off the ground. Stanton is a good director. And I think he has a really good future ahead of him. I just think this movie does not measure up to what many of it's defenders want it to be. And it's not a movie that most people are dying to go see. If word of mouth is the one thing that will get people to go into the theaters... I'm not sure that's gonna happen. Most people I know are waiting for THE HUNGER GAMES.

  • Feb. 29, 2012, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Don't buy it.

    by daggor

    I saw the extended white ape scene, and the "Give me a hand, you have four" joke is mangled by the actor and the editing. Harrison Ford or Bruce Willis would have nailed it back in the day, but it's a throwaway line muddled in the action. The scene is too busy having the apes WAVE THEIR ARMS and EXPOSE STRINGS OF DROOL with their WIDE OPEN JAWS while John Carter JUMPS and SWINGS in THREE DEE! Not goin' for it.

  • Are you fucking kidding me? I hate this movie because it's... (insert your cock into a blender here, you fucks.) the Prequels. Without even seeing it no doubt. You've now suddenly mind melded with Professor X and have jaunted off to the astral plane of Fuckery Doo thanks to bad marketing. No shit, you think it's like the Prequels. It can't be that Lucas didn't fucking rip off Flash Gordon to bloody Felix the Cat to make you hate Ewoks by your sad morbid puberty, nah, can't be that. "A Princess of Mars" was being ripped off by every hack Sci-fi douchebag writer/artist who successfully managed to suck the cocks of the editors of Analog, Amazing Stories, and far into the Heavy Metal Magazines long before Lucas got him some... and long after the fact. So far everyone who's seen this movie all say the same thing. It's fucking great. Oh, but it's got CGI and this makes it suck and... fucking WAHHHH. Go back to your THX 1138 private screenings you assholes if you can't wait for Rotten Tomatoes to tell you what to think.

  • So, the John Carter books have been "inspirations" for many of the films that have been made over the years, yet it took THIS long for an actual adaptation of John Carter to hit the screen? Here's the problem: Making the film now, after all these years of other sci fi\fantasy films being made and using ideas from the John Carter books, is just giving us something that we have all seen, before! Especially, in this CG\digital age. I'm not saying the film is going to be bad (I'm going to see it), but aside from the TERRIBLE marketing of this film, the other problem this movie has is that it doesn't appear to be anything new. If they made this kind of film, back in the 80's and 90's, maybe it wouldve been more exciting to people and have a better chance. This film looks to be way past it's date to be made. The film adaptation, of a book that inspired so many films, has come out far too late. Now, on the other hand, John Carter may turn out to be another AVATAR case...getting a lot of negative expectations and then banking dough at the B.O. As I've said, i will see this film. I doubt it will get horrible reviews, but I'm not expecting it to be another AVATAR case.

  • SPOILER: Since he's a fucking Confederate slaving asshole from Virginia who can suddenly jump over 9000 feet, speak martian, and fart psychic powers in under two days after landing on Mars, while gleefully stating that his six legged nightmare pet, who saves his ass is now his slave and he it's master after whacking the beast that tries to kill him, while scratching fido's belly. You bastard you could at least give it a scooby snack. But hey, he's the hero who fought for slavery on earth, go Disney keep hoping no one reads the source material!

  • March 1, 2012, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Hey dr-fraggle

    by Jay Jay

    I would actually like to see this film do well as its failure could jeopardize similar projects in the future. I'm just saying that I didn't think it was that great. And no, I won't be paying to see it as I already did and once was enough. It's only a movie and I'm entitled to my opinion just as much as anyone else. I hope it finds an audience but I think it's a tough sell and Disney have done a crap job so far. And micbenxyy, I am perfectly aware of the character's history and origin. I was merely saying that like it or not, we have seen all this stuff done before on our cinema screens...and done better.

  • March 1, 2012, 3:43 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    The Matrix and Inception are two of the greatest films ever made? LOL.

  • Kaor! Just got back from DC premiere. I am a ERB purist, but the changes did not detract from the experience, as Stanton was able to inject into the story a resonance that arguably lacked in first person serialized chapters. No spoilers now. Everyone, just go see it. We really need a few trilogies of this world. I will be counting the days til Gods is announced...Stanton understandably wants to meter out all the fantastic features of Mars and the Cult of Issus, for it will build going into Warlord... I am so satisfyingly drained. And will be there to see it again the 12:01a the 9th to get my stack of posters! ... Kaor! (RT score 95+)

  • March 1, 2012, 4:51 a.m. CST


    by Todd1700

    .....if this movie is actually any good then the marketing people involved with it should be dragged in front a firing squad, because every ad I have seen for this just looked like absolute shit.

  • March 1, 2012, 4:54 a.m. CST

    So Harry was mega involved...

    by Gezoes

    ... I've been visiting this site for a loooooong time, but maybe, just maybe, you should have revealed this... oh I don't know... BEFORE the rather shameless plugging began. Now I understand why. It's still going to bomb though. It's a flimsy story, derived from much, much better sci-fi in the days.

  • March 1, 2012, 7:17 a.m. CST

    Folks @ Pixar have never dissapoint

    by garagons

  • March 1, 2012, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Then again, I refused to watch Cars 2.

    by garagons

  • March 1, 2012, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Too many haters on here

    by RG

    ive read all the books and I am really looking forward to seeing this on film finally.

  • March 1, 2012, 9:09 a.m. CST

    It took them a YEAR to do THAT!?

    by Jaster Mareel

    Jesus christ! It looks like a month's work TOPS! I mean, a couple of run cycles and about 2 seconds of a scene. Perhaps there was more and it's just not shown here? Although since there's so little I don't know why they wouldn't put in more if they had it.

  • March 1, 2012, 9:20 a.m. CST

    heaven forbid the mods actually like things on their site.

    by Robert Evans

    What are the odds of a manchild and his cohorts actually liking the same things and then wanting to y'know actually write about them?!?! Think about what brought them here--a love of All Things Geek--and their desire to write ad naseum about it to whiny bitches on a daily basis. They awake every day to DO JUST THAT. On the contrary, your average talkbacker awakes to find hisself (or in LisaB's case-itself) locked in a meaningless existence and feeling they are only a small cog in the Machine. So they bitch. and they moan. about Every Fucking Thing. big or small. No detail is too moot to criticize and scrutinize by the most judging of ignorant eyes. This year is looking like an excellent (and entertaining) year at the cinema and i plan to fucking enjoy myself but this overwhelming assumption that because the ever-rare alignment of a film actually being good and the mods writing positive reviews about it, regardless of the expectations for the last year (or more depending on the source material), means they are bought or they have sold out is just sour grapes. Watchmen, John Carter, Avengers, The Hobbit...these are exquisite properties that many have waited a lifetime to see on the big why the fuck not get hyped about them?!? And when they turn out to be--WAIT FOR IT--good films, we blast the messenger because they got more enjoyment out of the films than you or I did? How can they like a film that I was indifferent about? All films should be made solely for MY enjoyment.. So the mods liked John Carter after waiting anxiously for it... Its not statistically possible. And it is in the humble opinion of the Choppah that this is not just 'Something That Happened.' This cannot be 'One of Those Things... ' This, please, cannot be that. And for what I would like to say, I can't. This Was Not Just A Matter Of Chance. Ohhhh. These strange things happen all the time.

  • March 1, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Choppah, for the record

    by Jay Jay

    I never came in here to bash a film for the sake of it. I too am greatly looking forward to The Hobbit, The Avengers and other such properties to make it to the big screen. This is indeed looking like a great years for movies and I for one will be there as often as I can to support the industry I love (and work in, as it happens). But I find it hilarious that most of the people hating on the film in this Talkback haven't actually SEEN it yet. I have. So I thought I'd share my thoughts about it. That's all. Is that not what these forums are for? I even went as far as respecting the embargo. And like I said - I liked it, but it had its problems (what movie doesn't?). And I still feel it's a really tough sell. But I'll leave it up to the rest of you to check out the movie and make up your own minds about it. And yes, I loved Magnolia too...

  • March 1, 2012, 10:03 a.m. CST

    I may actually...

    by HughHoyland

    wind up seeing this movie. I purchased a paperback copy of the first book last year but never bothered reading it. But this is another example of going with the flow instead of making up my own mind (never a good idea IMO). I'll give the book a read and most likely check it out at the theater.

  • March 1, 2012, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Definitly a huge Plant

    by chien_sale

  • March 1, 2012, 10:54 a.m. CST

    Well, the review embargo ends tomorrow, right?

    by Orbots Commander

    I'm curious to see what the major press reviews have to say about JOHN CARTER, you know, from the likes of the NY Times/ Wall Street Journal/ Washington Post/ LA Times.

  • March 1, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST

    The reason we all doubt the AICN gushing....

    by Orbots Commander of JOHN CARTER, is that everybody remembers THE GREEN HORNET. You know, the movie which was gushed over here as a seminal crime fighter film, a great time at the movies and so on and so forth? And then everybody actually got to see TGH, and promptly vomited. That flick was the biggest piece of dogshit just short of Snyder's SUCKER PUNCH that I've seen in years.

  • March 1, 2012, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Running time?

    by MJAYACE

    How long is this film? RT says running time is 1hr and 34 min.. If that is the case then there is simply no way it will earn the kind of longevity or BO of one of the all time greats. The only exceptions are the kids movies (Shrek 2, Toy Story 3 and Lion King) but this movie is definitely not trying to be one of those. Its trying to be a Star Wars, Avatar, Lord of the Rings, or even Harry Potter and none of them that epic are under 2 hours. I hate to use something as simple as running time, but epic movies that try to squeeze it in to 90 minutes almost always fail. I think recent trailer looks stellar though.

  • March 1, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Wiki says 132 min....

    by MJAYACE

    Guess will find out what it really is when I see it.

  • March 1, 2012, 12:09 p.m. CST

    I sure hope is not 1:34

    by Todaysfate

    You're right mjayace .... you can't cram epic into an hour and a have.

  • March 1, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    I mean ...if The Girl ...

    by Todaysfate

    ... With The Dragon Tattoo can be 2 hrs and 38 minutes. Carter better be. And also The Avengers for that matter.

  • March 1, 2012, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Once again, Choppah

    by shran

    I find myself on the same page as you. And killik is right. Perhaps for better or worse, fans of genre movies need to support them if we want to see the form evolve and grow. It seems that there is a division in Hollywood: Those that like sci-fi, fantasy, monster, genre type stuff and those that just don't get it. Some of the people in charge of the money like them but I believe that a majority of studio heads look at genre movies as only a means to get a cash grab out of kids, instead of a viable artistic form of storytelling. Science fiction writing in particular has elevated itself to be regarded in this manner. I really dig these kinds of movies. I believe that by and large for the most part they are made with the best of intentions, and not to crap on everybody's pre-conceived notions of how things should look or be played. And I want more of these movies produced so that I can go to the theater and spend two hours in another place or time or reality. Particularly in the world we all currently inhabit. Escapism in the theater is vital for the soul.

  • March 1, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST


    by DocOpticus

    Say one were to write a screenplay or novel having read a scant few sci-fi and fantasy book. Would that make said person an original story writer or is it safe to say all the big ideas have been done?

  • March 1, 2012, 11:50 p.m. CST

    taylor kitcsh

    by jsfithaca

    was so good in friday night lights. shame on you for not watching that copernicous

  • Personally I feel it's much more of a fantasy film than a Sci-Fi film even