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Capone talks JOHN CARTER, THE PHANTOM MENACE, The Wire, and more with Dominic West!!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

Dominic West is a fun guy. And I could literally stop this intro right there, because above all of his acting accomplishments, West is a great guy to sit down with even for 10-15 minutes and shoot the shit. He's quick to laugh or tell a joke; he seems to genuinely love meeting new people; and it's clear he had a helluva time playing the villainous puppet dictator Sab Than in JOHN CARTER.

But I certainly wasn't going to ignore the fact that I was sitting across from one of Baltimore's Finest Jimmy McNulty. I actually grew up in Maryland, not far from Baltimore, so my fear of that city runs deep. West's career has run the gamut from Ian McKellen's RICHARD III (West's first movie) to SURVIVING PICASSO, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, 28 DAYS, ROCK STAR, 300, SPICE WORLD, CHICAGO, MONA LISA SMILE, HANNIBAL RISING, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE, CENTURION, JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN, and the recent TV series "The Hour" and "Appropriate Adult."

And if you caught the current reissue of STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE, you maybe have noticed West as a palace guard; he has one line. As a matter of fact, when I sat down with West, I has just seen THE PHANTOM MENACE less than a week before, a fact I rib him about at the beginning of our jovial chat. Please enjoy Dominic West…

Dominic West: Hi, Steve.

Capone: Hi. It’s great to meet you.

DW: Nice to see you.

Capone: Do you want to stay sitting outside?

DW: Yeah, is that alright? Is it warm enough?

Capone: I'm from Chicago, and it was snowing there when I left, so this is perfect.

DW: I'm from London, and I'm suffering from vitamin D deficiency, so I never say no to some sun. Capone: I actually live in Chicago, but I'm from Maryland.

DW: Oh, really? Where abouts?

Capone: Closer to D.C., but I had a lot of family in Pennsylvania, so we had to drive through Baltimore regularly when I was a kid.

DW: You used to get your drugs in Baltimore, then. [laughs]

Capone: Yeah, if the school bus would stop there. It usually would. But shows like "The Wire," "Homicide," "The Corner," I watched them all because they shot right there.

DW: That's right.

Capone: I’m just excited to be sitting here with the star of THE PHANTOM MENACE.

[Both Laugh]

DW: I’m not the only star…

Capone: They ran a little piece in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY about all of the famous faces that were in there that weren’t so famous then, like Keira Knightley.

DW: Is she in it as well?

Capone: Yeah. She plays one of her decoys.

DW: Keira Knightley does? Damn.

Capone: It’s in the reveal when Natalie [Portman] steps out finally and says, “I’m actually…” Keira is the one who is actually pretending to be her. Sofia Coppola is one of the handmaidens.

DW: Oh my God.

Capone: There’s a whole bunch of people, yeah. A lot of people you didn’t realize you got to work with.

DW: No, unfortunately not. I just worked with the little kid [Jake Lloyd].

Capone: I don’t want to get too sidetracked here, but you said you took the role because you wanted to meet George Lucas. Why did you want to meet him?

DW: He’s such a huge figure in my childhood. I was nine or ten when STAR WARS came out I think, and everyone was obsessed with it, except me actually, but everyone was nuts about it and everyone had the digital watch. Then I got very interested in Zoetrope and reading about Coppola and the San Francisco films that they made, and so I was just really keen to meet them and meet someone who knew so much about the new technology of film and about storytelling. It’s the same thing I felt about Andrew [Stanton] really, although I think Andrew is probably a much more personable guy.

Capone: He also knows how to tell a story. No offense to Mr. Lucas.

DW: Well, he did. He was a brilliant storyteller really with the first ones and I suppose that was [American mythologist and philosopher] Joseph Campbell probably more than George, but I think George became less interested in the humans and more into the technology maybe.

Capone: You mentioned earlier that you were wearing in CENTURIAN similar gear to what you are wearing in JOHN CARTER. Do you have it in your contract that you have to have at least your arms exposed for a good part of every movie that you’re in?

DW: [laughs] I’ve always managed to, and I certainly did in this whereas Taylor [Kitsch] is completely naked and having to look really good. I did a film called 300 where everyone was ripped in that except for me, and I remember they showed me the drawings and they said, “This is what you’re going to be looking like” and it was a pair of Speedos and a blanket, and I said, “Well I could wear that, but I don’t have that body. I’ve got a beer belly.” So I’m usually in all of these things, including JOHN CARTER, I’m usually nicely covered up here. But this was the best. This was an amazing costume; you should have seen the horror that was underneath it.

[Both Laugh]

Capone: When you first read the script did and then eventually read the book, what was it about your character that grabbed you?

DW: I don’t know if it’s in the book and I’m not even sure if Andrew wrote it in the script, but what I like about him is that he’s, like a lot of antagonists, he wants to take over the world and he’s an ego-driven maniac and despot. But what was great was that he was under the control of these Therns, who were really annoying and cramping his style, and that sort of gave an instant flaw or endearing quality to this despot. I think that’s what I enjoyed playing most of all, his irritation with Mark Strong and not being able to fire his gun. It only occurred to me today, but I must have got a lot of my behaviors from my sons. I’ve got sons, two and three, who must inform everything I do, but they certainly I think informed that in terms of he’s essentially a kid.

Capone: A toy you can’t play with yet?

DW: Yeah, a toy you can’t play, or "You can't hit your brother over the head with this wonderful new weapon."

Capone: But he is the evil dictator that’s controlled like a puppet. I mean that’s basically what he is, and there are certainly some examples of that in the current world. I mean that’s what he is, he’s a puppet.

DW: Well until recently most dictators were puppets of the United States, weren’t they? [Laughs]

Capone: I guess that's my point.

DW: And before that, the Brits, and now China.

Capone: Of course, bad guys don’t ever think they're bad. Is that how you approached him?

DW: Absolutely. Yeah, I think the moment you think like that you start [overdoing it] and people go “I don’t believe you.” So I think you always tend to sympathize with your character, and it’s really part of the director’s job--a difficult part of the director’s job--is to stop people from getting too insistent that “My character wouldn’t do this!” “But your character is an evil bastard!” “No, he’s not! I can see where he’s coming from when he tries to destroy the world.” [laughs] So yes, that’s really my process in acting, you do look for the sympathy.

Capone: I’m a huge fan of Mark Strong, but he’s such a chameleon that I think for the first five years that I started noticing him I could never recognize him from role to role.

DW: He’s in everything!

Capone: He's in every third movie that I see.

DW: It’s all because he’s bald, and so he gets to wear a myriad of wigs, which completely transforms him. He’s also, as you say, a chameleon and a good actor, but it’s mainly because of his wigs. [Laughs]

Capone: A lot of your scenes are with him. Tell me about that. I’ve never met him, so I’m actually kind of bummed he’s not here this weekend. He was supposed to be.

DW: He films about four films at a time. I just saw THE GUARD. Have you seen THE GUARD? It’s a little Irish film.

Capone: Yeah, sure with Brendon Gleeson. Yeah, I love that movie.

DW: He’s in that!

Capone: Yes he is.

DW: He’s in everything.

Capone: He’s in TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY with a great role.

DW: GREEN LANTERN…everything. It’s funny, because he looks or can look, and I think does in this, look fairly forbidding and quite frightening and he just isn’t at all. I mean, he’s an absolute pussycat and funny and great. We hung out together when we were here actually in Utah and we went on a boat trip down the Colorado, which will be forever etched in my mind as being high comedy, seeing this great Thern in a knotted handkerchief worrying about the sun. [laughs] He’s just cool, because he knows what he is doing and he’s a total pro and therefore able to be light and funny while delivering the goods, and that’s always good to work with. We also had a good, hopefully it comes across, a bit of a rapport… not a rapport, but quite the opposite…and antagonism.

Capone: But it’s funny.

DW: It is. I can see them going on the road and doing a good standup routine. [Laughs]

Capone: The entire time "The Wire" was shooting, I never got to meet or interview any of the actors, but since then I’ve had the really great fortune to have met quite a few of you. At what point in the process of those five seasons did you really understand that it was something special, and people were really examining these and watching them over and over again. I typically watched each episode twice just to make sure I got everything.

DW: Did you? Oh God, have you seen the whole thing?

Capone: Oh yeah, of course.

DW: Twice?

Capone: I would literally watch it, go back to the beginning, and watch it again just to make sure I got everything. When did you realize that there was this base of people that still to this day are discovering it and consider it one of the finest pieces of television ever made?

DW: I can’t remember, but the difficulty was that it was all so complicated in that I was living in England, and there was a delay, and really it didn’t catch on in England until the last year we were shooting it. When we were shooting, it was always clear that it meant a lot to people in Baltimore, whether they were gangsters or law enforcement or lawyers or worked for the government. We would get stopped in the street from quite early on by those sort of people, but you sort of thought it wouldn’t go beyond that, but my first experience of that was then in England when I was in a road rage incident where I was shouting at this guy in his car “What the fuck are you doing?” He went like “Fuck, it’s McNulty!” [laughs] So I had to watch what I did from then on.

Capone: You are part of the zeitgeist, sir. Thank you so much, Dominic.

DW: Thank you. Good to meet you.

-- Steve Prokopy
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Readers Talkback
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  • March 6, 2012, 1:50 p.m. CST

    His Fred West was great

    by UGG

    I like this this guy a lot he's not nearly in enough movies as he should be.

  • March 6, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST

    This shilling of "John Carter" is just shameful

    by tritium

    Enough said!

  • March 6, 2012, 1:52 p.m. CST


    by Robert Evans


  • March 6, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST

    Comes across as a genuine bloke

    by alan_poon

    Great actor too. I'd like to see a role for him in Game of Thrones.

  • March 6, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    SHIT was that fucking boring!

    by Jaster Mareel

    They never even talked about JOHN CARTER!

  • March 6, 2012, 2:04 p.m. CST

    It's McKellen, not McKellan

    by The Llama

    What the hell--is every AICN writer too lazy to make sure they spell his name correctly, or is AICN secretly under contract to get it wrong. I've been a site regular for over thirteen years, and I've never seen the site get this right.

  • March 6, 2012, 2:09 p.m. CST

    RE: tritium

    by Capone

    Yes, we are the only site on the internet running JOHN CARTER interviews this week. You caught us. You're the winner.

  • March 6, 2012, 2:12 p.m. CST

    I'd rather look for him in Episode One than John Carter.

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • March 6, 2012, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Ummm, Robert Sherman? Scorekeeper? Anyone?

    by imagin78

  • March 6, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST


    by Rob

    Of course you guys aren't, but take a look at the amount of JOHN CARTER stories over the past 2 weeks. You're averaging about 2 a day! Compare that to say, 21 Jump Street, that opens next week. Haven't heard a damn thing about it. Even WRATH OF THE TITANS. At this point, there's no comparison to the discussion on this site as there was 3 weeks ago for JOHN CARTER. Why? Because Disney is buttering the whole damn staff for this movie.

  • March 6, 2012, 2:16 p.m. CST

    So when are you going to interview the Key Grip?

    by Jaster Mareel

    The Best Boy? Kraft Services?

  • March 6, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST

    His performance in Punisher:War Zone was so over-the-top that it was

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    hilarious. I'm not sure thats what the filmmakers had in mind.

  • March 6, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Capone, you're my homie...sorta...

    by Jaster Mareel

    I live in Madison. But you interviewed a guy to promote John Carter.....then talked about everything BUT JOHN CARTER! Just sayin'!

  • March 6, 2012, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Just curious...when is the embargo over?

    by Logan_1973

    Please don't tell me after Friday...

  • March 6, 2012, 2:22 p.m. CST


    by darkgrafix

    It would be nice to include a pic of the guy you are talking about and with. I had no idea who he is. I thought it was the bald guy who is a bad guy in every movie...Marc Strong, who is also in Carter of Mars. Just FYI

  • March 6, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    Ditto on including a picture

    by Jaster Mareel

    I mean come on Capone, you know better than that. I shouldn't have to google the guy to figure out who the fuck he is.

  • March 6, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Ain't It Carter News...

    by nobbythehappyelf

    Fuck John Carter... I have decided NEVER to see it as a knee jerk reaction to the shameful, bung paid, force-feeding of it to the readers of this sight. This is a reminder of the worst of Harry's "pwesent gathering era," I'll say it again - Fuck John Carter. That said I'm looking forward to the in depth interview with the on location junior catering assistant, that we doubtless be subjected to by Harry or one o his hatchetmen...

  • March 6, 2012, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Yet another unnecessary Lucas slam.

    by Wormie1

    So fucking pathetic.

  • March 6, 2012, 2:32 p.m. CST

    McNutty! I remember him in Surviving Picasso

    by Monolith_Jones

    I believe he played Picasso's son. He does seem like a really cool guy. There's a great commentary he does with Michael Williams on a season two episode of The Wire where they just laugh and joke and marvel at one of the actresses breasts during a nude scene.

  • March 6, 2012, 2:44 p.m. CST


    by nobbythehappyelf

    Apologies - site not "sight." And it should be "of" not "o" !!! So angry I'm making spazzy typos. Why isn't there an edit button? Oh, and Fuck John Carter!!!!!!!

  • March 6, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST

    This is ridiculous.

    by john

  • March 6, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    God, was he bad in Punisher 3.

    by cookylamoo

    He overacted so much they should have taken away his sag card.

  • March 6, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST

    But he was wonderful in "The News"

    by cookylamoo

  • March 6, 2012, 3 p.m. CST

    John Carter of PWESENTS

    by Fritzlorrerains

  • March 6, 2012, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Fuck, every 4 articles is A John carter story...

    by Fritzlorrerains

    The name John Carter makes me want to puke.

  • March 6, 2012, 3:09 p.m. CST

    His Fred West was just chilling to watch.

    by Gabba-UK

    Really gave one the creeps.

  • March 6, 2012, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Where is this EW article about the the not-so-famous actors of TPM?

    by bigbaldpapa

  • March 6, 2012, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Best Review Of JOHN CARTER thus far

    by Mako

    And by "best" I mean telling the truth about how it's not a good movie...

  • March 6, 2012, 3:52 p.m. CST

    I really really WANT to WANT to see John Carter..

    by TommyGavinsEgo

    ... It's a space opera - we need a new sprawling, heroic, swashbuckling otherworldy saga. We haven't had one since Star Wars. We NEED a new kick-ass action-adventure hero - we haven't had one since Indiana Jones. The kids as old as we were in the '80s have neither. Nothing to fire their imagination, as far as I'm concerned. ... I WANT to WANT to see John Carter. I want to want to see it succeed, spawn a franchise, a million shitty rip-offs, a whole new run of pulp-style romps. ... But this site is making me actively avoid it, because of the relentless shilling. It reminds of when every third article was about Scott FUCKING Pilgrim, which was a shallow, gimmicky, half-hour sketch dragged out to two hours, populated by irritating, unlikeable, cardboard characters who I never wanted to root for. I know John Carter will be no Scott Pilgrim. But for fucks sake, tone it down. You're doing this film more harm than good.

  • March 6, 2012, 3:54 p.m. CST

    HARK! Your precious Tomato-Meter falls!

    by victor laszlo

    I'm almost embarrassed for giving into that, but you guys who cling to that thing had it coming. Still hope it's better than everything I've seen suggests.

  • March 6, 2012, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Fucking shitty talkback...

    by TommyGavinsEgo

    I was going to finish by saying that, once again, the Curse of AICN is hitting. By relentlessly pushing a flick, they're turning off it's core audience.

  • March 6, 2012, 4 p.m. CST

    Most of these interviews are by phone

    by D.Vader

    Yes but by all means, keep complaining about a lack of pictures.

  • March 6, 2012, 4:02 p.m. CST

    A more balanced review from Empire...

    by DocPazuzu counter Variety's:

  • March 6, 2012, 4:02 p.m. CST


    by D.Vader

    I guess Capone was actually sitting down with the dude for once.

  • March 6, 2012, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Why dont you guys just fucking

    by shane peterson

    admit you're schills for Dsiney and be honest about it? Fuck, this is pathetic.

  • March 6, 2012, 4:14 p.m. CST

    Should be Logan.

    by Shermdawg

  • March 6, 2012, 4:52 p.m. CST

    RE: enricobalazar

    by Capone

    I have a very regular system when it comes to interview and reviews: I put up the interviews the week leading up to release (I still have 2 more for JOHN CARTER, but I also have two other interview for different movies going up this week); and I publish my review the day the film opens. So you will see some very cool interviews I did for 21 JUMP STREET next week, as well as JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME. My schedule has nothing to do with what the studio may or may not be doing with their marketing; it just makes the most sense to me from a time-management perspective. And yes, we're schills, and plants, and get schwag and blah, blah, blah. I invite any of you to come to my home and point out the rooms of presents I've gotten from studios. On 2nd thought… Stay tuned for more JOHN CARTER coverage!

  • March 6, 2012, 4:59 p.m. CST

    even if aicn wasn't whores

    by animas

    this movie looks like complete dog shit by the trailer alone

  • March 6, 2012, 5:06 p.m. CST

    The Phantom Menace

    by kwisatzhaderach

    is like Lawrence of Arabia compared to John Carter. So West and Capone shitting on Lucas is kind of hilarious in this instance.

  • March 6, 2012, 5:24 p.m. CST


    by Kill List Hammertime

    Just fuck this fucking film. I don't care how good or bad it is, I just fucking hate it.

  • March 6, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Capone I've been coming to this site forever and think your a good contributor...

    by Kill List Hammertime nothing personal, but even if none of you are getting a kickback, if every talkback related to John Carter is filled with people moaning about it maybe it's time to STOP GOING FUCKING ON ABOUT IT. Just a thought.

  • March 6, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST

    I don't care how good or bad it is, I just fucking hate it.

    by DocPazuzu

    And there you have the mentality of the average AICN talkbacker laid bare. It's never about the movie itself. It's only venting about whatever wild bug they've got lodged in their anus at the time. And you call yourself movie fans.

  • March 6, 2012, 5:58 p.m. CST

    It's called being over saturated with something.

    by Kill List Hammertime

    I don't mean I hate the flick, I,ll watch it and form an opinion. But if something is jammed down your throat constantly, your gonna gag.

  • March 6, 2012, 6:25 p.m. CST

    He was pretty good on what I saw of "The Hour"

    by StarWarsRedux

    On the other hand, I think that "The Wire" is hot, overrated garbage, so I could care less if he's in "The Phantom Menace", even if it's my favorite SW movie. Sort of like I doubt very many ESB die-hards really give that much of a shit that the mailman from "Cheers" is one of the Rebel soldiers (although, come to think of it, that is pretty neat).

  • March 6, 2012, 7:24 p.m. CST

    I had no idea he was in The Phantom Menace!

    by Rebel Scumb

    Cool, gives me an excuse to watch that again and try and spot him I knew about Knightley and Coppola and Rose Byrne in AotC though.

  • March 6, 2012, 7:58 p.m. CST

    Oh Look! It's Mako's Pick Of A Good Interview!

    by Real Deal

    Geez! I've read plenty of good reviews for John Carter. Why would we want to focus on one that you think is a good review? According to that logic ( and what you've said previously I might read and disagree with it. Let's I thought a negative review. One of the few I've read so far because if you look there are far more positive than negative.

  • March 6, 2012, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Here's One For You Mako.......

    by Real Deal

    'John Carter': A Welcome Sight for Fan Boys

  • March 6, 2012, 8:06 p.m. CST


    by Real Deal

    Someone with a real understanding of AICN talkback mentality. I'm tired of the mindless hate as well. It's like they pick a movie from throwing a dart at a board and then pile on. Really stupid and childish.

  • March 6, 2012, 9:19 p.m. CST

    Oh, Rose Byrne is wonderful in AOTC

    by StarWarsRedux

    I know people can probably get snippy about her just being a bit part in the film and not one of the major players, but she really nailed her handmaiden role. I love the look she gives when Padme leaves Coruscant, trying to put a brave face on everything while danger is about. I do at times wish she had a bigger role in the films. She'd have made a perfect Padme, herself.

  • March 6, 2012, 9:23 p.m. CST

    Mako grabs hold of

    by iluvsyfy

    The only negative review by a established critic and embraces it, while ignoring all the positive reviews from established critics. Mako must have been getting worried, then finally found his mesiah. Why would someone soooo want a movie to fail, is beyond me. Instead of just being happy that critics were enjoying it.

  • March 6, 2012, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Variety critic loved Twilight films

    by iluvsyfy

    Nuff Said,

  • March 6, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    Gotta say, talkbackers are right

    by Denty420

    There's been far too much John Carter dicksucking on this site for longer than I care to remember. C'mon, AICN. There are many more films than John Carter to talk about - why are you giving this particular film so much attention? I don't believe all that bullshit about perks and money, but there must be a reason for all the John Carter love.

  • March 6, 2012, 11:07 p.m. CST


    by Keith

    'so I could care less if he's in "The Phantom Menace" ' It's 'couldn't care less'. 'Could care less' means the exact opposite of what you want to say. It means your current level of caring is certainly above the minimum...possibly medium or high. If you couldn't care less, on the other hand, you're already at zero (or at least minimum possible) caring.

  • March 6, 2012, 11:36 p.m. CST

    Ain't It John Carter Overkill

    by BiggusDickus

    Seriously boys, you're gonna feel awfully silly six months from now when you look back at your hysterical geekgasm for this oh-so-obviously-a-turkey...

  • March 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Critics aren't "loving" JC. They're saying it's okay.

    by happybunni

    That's what the majority of reviews I'm seeing are saying at least.

  • March 7, 2012, 3:36 a.m. CST

    If people are tired of reading about JC...

    by Billy_D_Williams

    then why keep clicking on JC stories??? You guys are like my next door neighbor who can't shut up about the stuff she claims to "hate".

  • March 7, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    ^^ What misterdarcy said ^^

    by Denty420

    ... is actually right. Pet peeve of mine too. That, and assholes who spell lose with two o's.

  • March 7, 2012, 9:37 a.m. CST

    The Lucas slams are bordering on obsession.

    by ZodNotGod

    It's quite sickening and very self-serving. Internet critics/"journalists" all think alike on this issue because it generates hits for their articles, whether they believe the bilge they post or not, they won't stray from attack mode; it's all about the hits, baby...just like any good whore....all about the hits. Screw Integrity and fairness and ethics.

  • March 7, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    To take the guy's experience of meeting a childhood hero....

    by ZodNotGod

    And splicing it with a cutting remark....classless all the way around. Show some respect and perspective, for fuck's sake, not everyone hates the prequels like the doucher internet sheepeople critics.

  • March 7, 2012, 11:16 a.m. CST

    starwarsredux: yep, I'd like to shag ROSE BYRNE too

    by melonman

    You kind of have to be dead not to want to. Acting has nothing to do with it.

  • March 7, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    misterdarcy-- technically, you're right

    by StarWarsRedux

    But colloquially, it's a hopeless thing. People use both phrases equally to convey the same idea. It's like "flammable" and "inflammable". Absurd, but absurd to fight it, too. <p> <p>Oh, and melonman-- that isn't even remotely what I said. Whatever.

  • March 7, 2012, 11:24 a.m. CST

    All this does....

    by Uridium make me want to watch The Wire again.

  • March 7, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST

    I saw JC today, I'm sad to report it is indeed average

    by BEHEM Pascal

    They complicated the plot too much (ninth ray nonsense, even if you have read the book there's no way you can relate to that crap), too much time devoted to said convoluted plot instead of the romance... And the Thern temple scene just stops the movie completely dead, and it has a hard time recovering (a guy pretended to snore at that moment and I can't blame him). The villains are not villains enough (how is Zodanga a threat to the whole planet, in what way are the Therns evil, how are the Tharks so differents that Sola and Tars Tarkas are exceptions, how is the planet dying exactly?). Too many moments that reference other movies and that ARE NOT from the books (Discovery of the corpses from Star Wars, arena scene from Clones, Speeder-bikes and barges from Jedi, Thern powers jedi-like). The powers of John Carter are over-exagerrated (think almost Superman-level), the Tharks are too humanized (and really there are just four of them, and a thousand lifeless extras), and James Purefoy proves in every scene he appears that HE should have been cast as John Carter. And of course you can add every "desert" movie to the mix (all the filmmaker had to do to avoid this was to represent Barsoom as described in the novels). Is it a complete waste of time? No, the beginning seemed good to me (I would want to hang out in Carter's office), and the ending is a blast. The slaughter of the Warhoon tribe was surprisingly violent, but in quick cuts (Disney movie, folks). Woola is awesome. I didn't appreciate Giacchino's score as much as I thought I would, especially in some huge-landscapes journey scenes where it could have soared to quite a level. Artistically, the movie is quite impressive, even is the setting is very different from the novels' Barsoom. Zodanga being a moving city adds absolutely nothing to the plot. So this is it. I don't think the movie will be succesfull enough to warrant a sequel, it's simply not good enough. It would have gained to keep the original novel's simplicity and originality. I'm willing to believe that Stanton loved the original novel, but from where I stand, it's a big "fuck you" to Burroughs, in a "you weren't a good enough author, I'll fix it for you" attitude. And failing.

  • March 7, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST

    ...I think I'm back to bein' a JC hater after that review

    by Jaster Mareel

    Thank you Pascalahad, your review rings of authenticity. Rottentomatoes has it as just barely fresh and they usually go gaga for epic fantasy films. Hmmmmmm.....

  • March 7, 2012, 12:34 p.m. CST

    On some level, long ago...

    by gotilk

    talkback became a parody of itself.

  • March 7, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    John Carter? John Avatar?

    by havehope

    From the trailers...that's what it looks to me

  • March 7, 2012, 3:07 p.m. CST

    Bushy Top was in Episode 1?

    by GravyAkira

    News to me! Great work Capone!

  • March 7, 2012, 5:22 p.m. CST


    by achapin14

    Been searching for days for Robert Shermans obit!!! It's dad they recognize drug addict Whitney Houston who barely contributed anything to the motion picture business and meanwhile the legend Robert B Sherman passes and we hear nothing. Very sad.