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Nordling Raves (And Rants A Little) About JOHN CARTER!


Nordling here.

The Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom novels’ DNA is in practically every heroic science fiction adventure movie ever made.  So when the trailers for JOHN CARTER came out, many audiences saw them and expressed apathy towards the movie.   It didn’t look like anything they hadn’t seen before in movies like STAR WARS, or AVATAR, or even something like KRULL.  That’s not the story’s fault – John Carter had been leaping and fighting aliens long before James Cameron or George Lucas were even born – but it did mean that the movie looked like, to those unfamiliar with the source material, it was “ripping off” those other movies.  This presents a big hill to climb for the movie, and it’s not deserved.  JOHN CARTER is a fun, entertaining film, a visual feast and while it’s not perfect it gets enough right with the property and with Andrew Stanton’s visual abilities that it’s worth seeing in the theaters.

Young Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara) is called to his Uncle John Carter’s estate after his unexpected passing.  Left all of his uncles riches, and a journal, Burroughs reads of the adventures from beyond the planet Earth itself, and of the mighty deeds of his uncle.  John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is a man haunted by his past.  He was a Confederate cavalryman for Virginia during the Civil War, but when he returned home he found his wife and son slaughtered. Alone and wanting nothing more than to get rich and get the hell away from people, Carter searches the countryside for a cave of gold.  But he is forcibly enlisted by the United States cavalry, headed by Colonel Powell (Bryan Cranston) to go Apache hunting.  Once in the frontier, the cavalry is attacked and Carter and Powell take refuge in a strange cave. 

Suddenly an attacker appears out of nowhere - Carter dispatches him, but before he can whistle Dixie, Carter is transported to Mars, or as the people who live there call it, Barsoom.  Carter discovers that on Mars, he has the ability to jump high, across far distances, and has increased strength, due to his dense bone structure and Mars’ low gravity.  But the planet is in the throes of another civil war, this time between city-state Helium, led by Jeddak Tardos Mors (Ciaran Hinds) and his scientist daughter, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), and the forces of Sab Than (Dominic West), who is advised by the mysterious Thern, Matai Shang (Mark Strong).  Shang offers unlimited power to Sab Than, and if only he conquers Helium and their people, he will rule all of Barsoom. 

A third force, the Tharks, led by Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe), wants nothing to do with these humans.  But Carter, who is taken into the Thark camp, only wants to get back home.  But he finds himself drawn to Dejah, and forms a bond of friendship with Tars Tarkas and his daughter Sola (Samantha Morton).  Soon it becomes apparent that only John Carter can save Barsoom from itself, and he must rise to become the hero he was always meant to be.

Director Andrew Stanton, drawing from years of artwork and aborted attempts to bringing John Carter to the screen, has created a rich world, and you can see where the reputed $250 million was spent.  This is a big movie when it comes to scale, and there is a sense of wonder in the visuals.  One particular action sequence, as Carter goes up against an alien horde, looks like a Frank Frazetta painting come to life, and it’s my favorite sequence from the film.  Attention is paid to every detail and the effects teams, as well as Stanton’s visual sense, makes you really believe that this world is as real as our own.

Unfortunately, that attention to detail comes at a price: with so many characters, locations, and plot threads, a convoluted movie was bound to happen.  Often, it feels like trying to shove it all through the eye of a needle.  I still couldn’t tell you what the Therns’ real motive in all of this is – it seems like they are destined to cause strife on civilized worlds, but there’s no reason behind it that is readily apparent.  John Carter is a reluctant hero, and much of the film takes too much time playing up that reluctance.  Ther’s also a fat chunk of exposition in the middle of the film that sometimes stops the movie dead in its tracks, as when Carter, Sola, and Thoris travel to the remote source of the River Iss.   Too much time passes as the movie spins its wheels in the midsection.

Taylor Kitsch plays Carter with a sense of earnestness and civility, and he’s believable for the most part, though he doesn’t play the character as quite so tortured that the script wants us to believe.  Lynn Collins, on the other hand, is pretty great as Dejah Thoris.  You can believe that kingdoms would go to war for her, but she backs all that up with intelligence and a strong will.  Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas is funny, sincere, and makes a goof partner with Kitsch (even in mo-cap).  You’d think Mark Strong would have looked for a nice romantic comedy by now, so often is he the villain in movies like this.  Ciaran Hinds and Dominic West play their parts well.

Both times I saw JOHN CARTER the projector bulb was so dim that it was like looking through dirty water.  The 3D is used fairly well the best I can determine, especially with the alien dog Woola, but I’d recommend 2D for this one if the screen is going to be dimmed substantially.  Much of the film takes place in sunlight, so theoretically it should be easy to see what’s going on, but I’ve had bad luck with my 3D screenings lately, and some of the battles were difficult to follow due to that.

But there are many wonderful moments in JOHN CARTER – the dog Woola always steals whatever scene he’s in, the Arena sequence is top notch, as are the battle sequences.  Visually, JOHN CARTER is often stunning, and if you’ve ever flipped through the fantasy book racks, the movie looks like many of those covers come to life.  I think, if a sequel does happen, that this film establishes the characters and the world well enough that I’d be happy to return to Barsoom.  It’s a movie that hearkens back to those swashbuckling movies of yesteryear, but fresh enough so that the whole family will be entertained.

Nordling, out.  Follow me on Twitter!

Readers Talkback
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  • March 8, 2012, 10:37 p.m. CST

    the title pisses me off

    by Stifler's Mom

    Disney gets cold feet just because that stupid MARS NEEDS MOM pic bombed a year ago

  • March 8, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST

    As a fan of the series, Stanton has got my money

    by Terrence

    I remember having to read Princess of Mars for a class back in the day, and wasn't all that interested at first, but after hearing that it was the same author of Tarzan, it piqued the curiosity level. Don't know if Stanton made the transition to live action as well as Bird did, but we'll see.

  • March 8, 2012, 10:41 p.m. CST Nope. Wait, I....nah. No.

    by 3774

    Can't get past the stupidity of the title change, and the glaringly-obvious cgi in the commercials. No thanks.

  • March 8, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    oh, and fuck 3D

    by Stifler's Mom

    A bomb is a bomb in any dimension.

  • March 8, 2012, 10:45 p.m. CST

    "or even something like KRULL"

    by LarryTheCableGuy

    what's that supposed to mean? Krull is king.

  • March 8, 2012, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Seeing it because of this reviews Franzetta comparison

    by Saen

    Live action Franzetta, IM SOLD!

  • mark my words.

  • March 8, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST


    by LarryTheCableGuy

  • March 8, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    $30 million opening weekend, I think.

    by Stifler's Mom

    not exactly AVATAR.

  • March 8, 2012, 10:56 p.m. CST

    You know there's some guy out there named John Carter living it up right now.

    by LarryTheCableGuy

  • March 8, 2012, 10:58 p.m. CST

    This will flop horribly

    by darthvedder81

    Audiences seem "Meh" on it and the critics don't like it. I love this kind of stuff and even I have no interest in seeing it. This will tank on the level of "Waterworld".

  • March 8, 2012, 11 p.m. CST

    the bet is on. $30 mill ? or a total flop of waterworld proportions?

    by LarryTheCableGuy

    i'm leaning more toward a hit.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST

    and it'll make back all it's money, especially worldwide.

    by LarryTheCableGuy

  • March 8, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST

    I like hamsters.

    by highfunctioningsociopath

    Do you like hamsters? I do.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:03 p.m. CST

    I like them just fine.

    by LarryTheCableGuy

  • March 8, 2012, 11:13 p.m. CST

    A Flop of Ishtar Proportions

    by wrath 4771

    Four things working against this movie. First, no one outside of the geek community knows what John Carter of Mars is. Second, the trailer does nothing to make the world interesting (as mentioned in the review, we've seen it all before). Three - Disney is behind this. Last, Taylor Kitsch was good in Friday Night Lights, but since no one watched the show, no one knows who he is.

  • ...yet more excuses are being made for it.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Moar liek John Farter, amirite?

    by Anime_is_Dumb

    This is what Disney gets for listening to the nerds.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Jesus Christ can this John Carter guy JUMP!!!!!!

    by Simpsonian

  • March 8, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST

    I can't wait

    by dukeroberts

    I'm going tomorrow night after work.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:27 p.m. CST

    I enjoyed it

    by Jarek

    Considering I went in expecting a Phantom Menace redux, I was pleasantly surprised. It's refreshingly far removed from that - and nicely violent (the aliens bleed blue so they get away with a lot of 'blood'-letting). It's also pretty funny. Worth seeing on the big screen.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:28 p.m. CST

    He sucked ass as Gambit

    by james glaus

    And isn't that dumb chick from Wolverine in this too??? I'll pass.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:29 p.m. CST

    A $30 million opening weekend MAY AS WELL BE a flop...

    by FluffyUnbound

    ...of Waterworld proportions. Man, if you work at Disney you gotta call in sick next Monday. Or maybe not - maybe whoever calls in sick ends up being the guy who gets blamed at Monday's meeting to decide who fucked this thing up. Maybe you want to get in SUPER EARLY, like at 5 AM on Monday, to make sure you can greet everyone else as they arrive and quickly whisper to them that the reason they lost $250 million is because of that guy you always hated.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Please rediscover the words "death" and "died"...

    by MisterManReturns

    This constant use of "passing" and "passed" is idiotic. People DIE. When did we become so delicate?

  • March 8, 2012, 11:42 p.m. CST

    There it is, folks...

    by TopHat

    The movie cost $350 million to make and market, it rehashes pretty much every other movie you've ever seen, isn't great, and doesn't even look good, but, you should still not only see it yourself, but bring the entire family which will cost you just under $100 dollars just to get in. Happy Recession!

  • March 8, 2012, 11:47 p.m. CST

    One Star review in the Guardian

    by DonRivella I tend to believe that over Nordling's often shameless PR any day after seeing the trailer.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:48 p.m. CST


    by TopHat

    Disney will make sure to crunch the numbers so it appears that JOHN CARTER did at least modest business. Internet film geek apologists will do the rest to build it up as a success. Studios control all of the box office numbers released to the public. Everything is done in house. You can't just make your film number one, you have to at least keep the supposed earnings realistic and not get greedy. But, you can change the figures just enough so it doesn't appear that you put out a total flop. Of course, not all studios can do this. Only the very big and powerful ones can... Disney.

  • March 8, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    they should crunch those numbers on the taquter

    by DarthBlart

  • March 8, 2012, 11:58 p.m. CST

    No sequel

    by quentintarantado

    Middlin' to positive reviews. Little excitement and anticipation (compared to Hunger Games). Looks like the Box Office is mediocre, which is like the kiss of death for a $250 million film. No sequel. Perhaps revamp or reboot after another 100 years?

  • March 9, 2012, 12:10 a.m. CST


    by KilliK

  • March 9, 2012, 12:22 a.m. CST

    !!!Fuck John Carter!!!

    by nobbythehappyelf

    And pwesents too...

  • March 9, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Also Part 2...

    by TopHat

    The evil Zodangans are supposed to represent the "evil" Northerners, and the brave Heliumites are supposed to represent the "brave" Confederates. See, when this book was written the Confederacy was still thought of as the poor Americans being picked on by the rich North who was taking away their biggest money maker: Slaves. Many movies, not just BIRTH OF THE NATION, depicted the Confederates as the unspoken heroes of the Civil War, even Buster Keaton's THE GENERAL, and the Northerners as Government lovin' elitists taking the good Southern man's land. It continues today, because the South in America is still a huge money maker for the Entertainment Industry. I'm not saying Disney is trying to capitalize on the polarization of America right now like movie studios have obviously been doing for decades. I'm just pointing out the intentions of the source material.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:24 a.m. CST

    You pay extra for 3D

    by Mace Tofu

    and they still turn down the projector bulb to save money. Then theater owners have the nerve to wonder why we stay home.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:25 a.m. CST

    WOW! John Carter down to 49% on the tomatometer!

    by Jaster Mareel

    It's official folks, it's a fuckin' stinker! Funny how all the early reviews were pretty positive. Guess that's The Pwesent Effect.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:28 a.m. CST

    They should have just done Carson of Venus

    by Green

    Because, y'know, it's on Venus instead of Mars. And they could have kept the title instead of just calling it "CARSON" because Venus doesn't carry the same baggage as "Mars" because of "Mars Needs Moms" which is why Disney changed the title to just "John Carter" which maybe people confuse with "Jimmy Carter" and think it's about peanuts...and giant blind apes...and stuff.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:32 a.m. CST

    (spoilers) Nordling, The Tharn's motive...

    by MrH

    Matai Shang in the scene where he is escorting John Carter for transportation explains to him that the Tharn's thrive off of the conflict caused on worlds, that they feed off of the energy caused by it. That as the worlds grow weaker they grow stronger and that as that world is forgotten and whithers away, they have already moved onto the next world and set it to destroying itself.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Krull Rules, Nadling, And So Does John Carter

    by THX1968

    What a shitty review, Nadling! It's like you're saying, I just stepped in this shit - but it smells kinda good! And Krull rules, Nads. Krull Rules! As for Kitsch, I'm sick of my fucking action/adventure movies starring whiny/morose/tortured heroes. Kitsch plays it great - close to the vest, and erupting during a pivotal moment. His relationship with Dejah Thoris is well thought out and feels real. The down time, as when they go up the river, was an essential device to give the film a fucking rest. There used to be a time when movies didn't bash you over the fucking head every other minute. God, you AICN d-bags get on my nerves!!! Convoluted? Are you fucking kidding me? My 10 year old niece followed this flick easily. Any moron could. As for the Therns, my niece nailed it when she said - "We'll be seeing more of them." No shit - we didn't need their whole damn story. I hate 3D, but the presentation I saw was well staged and the 3D was excellent. The audience loved it, and was actually weeping near the end, as well as the end itself. Fuck it, here's my review I posted on Rotten Tomatos again: I saw "John Carter" at an Imax 3D screening in Minneapolis held by Disney on the evening of March 1st. It is an awesome movie; here's why. So many sci-fi movies fall into the trap of over explaining to the erstwhile audience where they are and what is happening or about to happen before the primary character is even introduced. "Green Lantern" did this terribly, opening with a full exposition leaving nothing for the viewer to discover along with the main character; we already knew what Hal Jordan was in for because the disembodied voice told us everything we "needed" to know. David Lynch's "Dune" did this famously and most horrendously with that film's opening, but he also made the drastic mistake of attempting to make a direct translation of Frank Herbert's novel, despite the introduction of the "Weirding Module" instead of going with the kung fu of the "Weirding Way". Brilliant director Andrew Stanton does not make either of these mistakes in his fantastic adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter". I left the theatre beaming. "John Carter" is a film that I have long wanted to see, and it really wasn't until Stanton signed on that I knew it would be amazing. I believed this because Andrew Stanton is a Pixar guy, and not only is he a Pixar guy, he's the Pixar guy that directed "Wall-E", and I firmly believe that "Wall-E" is one of the best movies ever made. With all due respect to those with previous involvement with the property, none of those guys could say they made "Wall-E". "John Carter" was important to me as a kid. Sure, I read many books in the series, but it was the Marvel Comic that thrilled me most. Marv Wolfman wrote the series and the likes of Kane, Infantino, Andru, and many other greats drew it. I loved those comics. They are burned into my brain and they were very faithful to the works of Burroughs without being strict translations. That's where I felt Stanton would really excel; making the story work for the movies, and he has done that in a rousing, crowd pleasing fashion. After a bit of a clunky opening, we soon find ourselves on Barsoom (Mars) with John Carter, a veteran of the Civil War. First, and I won't give it away, Stanton defines Carter's transportation to Mars with a stroke of genius and in a far more satisfying way than Burroughs was able to conjure. As I said, making the thing of it work for film. Second, I have a serious man-crush on Taylor Kitsch. Perfectly cast, and I knew so little of him. Yes, I'd seen Wolverine: Origins, but the Hugh Jackman vanity piece sucked the cheese off my balls. Entirely forgettable, and that's fortunate for Kitsch. He has several seriously bad-ass moments in this flick and he does it without overbearing machismo. It comes from a place of rage in John Carter, the kind of rage that comes from serious loss in the face of warfare. By the time he gets to Mars, Carter is long done fighting for anyone but himself. Surrounded by the indigenous race, the Tharks, his first heroic moment comes when he thinks he is saving one of his own kind, and it's a great moment as he throws himself into another war. Carter's better half, Dejah Thoris, is played by Lynn Collins, and she too is awesome after a clunky introduction. Collins is a total babe and does well with some pulpy dialogue that seems requisite of sci-fi, but she's really great doing the physical stuff and you don't see that too often from the girls. One could point to Gina Carano in "Haywire", but Collins is different. Women fighting can be somewhat brutish, outside of the ballet of kung fu, but Collins' sword play here is deadly and sexy. Certainly not your average damsel in distress. Great stuff, but most importantly, there is real chemistry between Kitsch and Collins, and it is a lot of fun seeing them fall for each other. You get really involved with these people, and that too is a rarity in today's genre pictures. Absolutely fantastic. The four armed Tharks are a wonder to behold, and I don't mean only in a visual way. Their culture unfolds before you in a way that you aren't beaten over the head with, and like the exposition of a "Dune" or "Green Lantern" movie, the details of the lives of these incredible creatures it isn't spoon fed to you and defined. You bear witness to it all along with Carter and learn from it. It really is simplicity, but any other filmmaker would have had 5 pages of dialogue where Stanton uses the fantastic economy of a few images and makes a point succinctly. Only film can do it, and no one knows that better than Stanton. As a result, the events throughout the film are relatable to any audience. The best sci-fi is the least wordy, and though there is a few made-up words for things like "Leader", we don't get too much of that other pitfall of sci-fi - stupid made-up titles and words. The design of the film is fantastic. Nathan Crowley (production design) and Mayes C. Rubeo (costuming) somehow managed to make everything look as though it was designed with the sensibilities of someone from the early 1900's. For instance in contrast, the Buck Rogers TV show is decidedly marked as a show from the early 80's, forgoing the original look of the character. I watched in awe, right along with Carter, at the spectacle before me. I've had the Marvel Comics look stuck in my head, and some of the insanely cool Frank Frazetta stuff (actually always thought Frazetta himself to look like John Carter), and while there is plenty of that here to absorb, it really is it's own thing. As for the ships, they are what I always pictured Ornithopters from Dune to look like. Watching these things move and being piloted is also a feast for the eyes, especially during the aforementioned first heroic act of John Carter. So cool, I'm chuckling with glee as I type this! I expected the Tharks to be a bit beefier, but obviously I've known for awhile now that they are quite lean, but they're still very tall and it plays beautifully. Willem Dafoe plays John Carters (and our) chaperon to this new world, in Carter's case wether he likes it or not. There is a bit of melodramatic sub-plot here with the Tharks that works fantastically as a device to get us around Barsoom, and we do care for these involved creatures as well. Of course, the Tharks are computer generated matched to motion captured performances and these artists are to be commended. Woola is just the coolest companion a guy could have. The animation isn't overdone and the textures are very sound. Excellent work. Stanton and his writers Michael Chabon and Mark Andrews, deliver a script with some real heart and moments of fine humor. There's several nods to Burroughs that are fun for fans of the books. Stanton uses perspective extraordinarily well, as with Carter leaping about the airships high above the Martian landscape. The source of John Carter's rage is definitely a cliche (think Outlaw Josey Wales), but director Stanton underplays the thing - it is literally never spoken of, not once - but when we do witness the event that marks Carter's life, it is juxtaposed with a ferocious act of self sacrifice by Carter that was truly amazing to see. That is what makes Stanton so damn good. He makes amazing decisions on how best to present the information we need as an audience. The action and the effects are totally dazzling, but there's some quiet moments where the film is able to breathe and our heroes get to know each other as we get to know them. So good. Daniel Mindel's camera isn't constantly flying all over the place, delivering solid cinematography. Everything looks great. At 132 minutes, Stanton keeps this thing moving right along nicely. And that clunky opening I mentioned? Well, that turns out to be a great opening by way of a finish that had me getting a little choked up. Seriously, I got misty, and I am one grizzled cuss, people. I saw "John Carter" in a gigantic Imax Theatre up here at the Minnesota Zoo. This isn't your AMC Imax screen, this sucker is much bigger and there is a lot of seats in this barn and the house was packed, which I was very pleased to see that level of interest in this flick. It doesn't matter if you've been a fan of John Carter for life or never heard of him before, this movie is gripping and a lot of fun. I took my sister and neice, two girls not prone to sci-fi, and they loved it. I am not a fan of 3D, but that said, I was so into it that it didn't bother me. The image was bright and it looked great, I seriously just don't like 3D. I can't wait to see this again, I mean the day it opens, in 2D! Disney really porked the marketing on this, but it's so damn good that I think it'll be pretty big. I sure hope so, because I want to see a lot more from Andrew Stanton and company regarding the citizens of Barsoom.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Rather than spy to see John Carter - I'm going to buy a Blu Ray

    by nobbythehappyelf

  • March 9, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Jaded Punks, Carter Is Gonna Be Huge

    by THX1968

    You know, for professed movie lovers, there sure is a lot of bile spewing punks around here. When I was a fuckin' kid, my friends and I would be going apeshit for a movie like John Carter. All I hear is how much it blows by people who haven't even seen it. I feel like @nerdrage defending "The Amazing Spider-Man", but no one has seen that fucking thing yet. Nadling mentioned Krull. Perfect example of a so-so movie that I couldn't wait to see, and still love. Outland with Sean Connery comes to mind. Fuck, I was peeing my pants to see Jaws 2! What the fuck do you goons want? First, I think the majority of you aren't kids, but tweeny boppers. Junior High Schoolers - The lowest lifeform on the planet. Second, I don't think many of you even like movies. Your standards are obscene. When a movie like John Carter comes along, made by enormously talented people like Andrew Stanton, you really need to see it. For God's sake, we don't get too many movies like this anymore because they're shoving super heroes up our asses every summer! I'm gonna say that this movie will be huge, and the opener will be huge. This site is far from being the final say on the matter of movies. It's just a fucking fan site full of clowns who don't seem to know shit about movies. A minority of film goers. A ghetto.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Rather than pay to see John Carter I'm

    by nobbythehappyelf

  • March 9, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Well, I enjoyed it more than "Avatar."

    by h. habilis

    This movie keeps getting unfavorably compared to "Avatar." It's a fair comparison to make, because of the story, but honestly, if someone said to me "you can only watch one movie for the next year, Avatar or John Carter" I'd go with the latter. "Avatar" was a glittering glorious magic pile of crap. Maybe "Avatar" is the better-LOOKING movie , but "John Carter" has interesting and sympathetic characters and doesn't always telegraph its punches plot-wise. I have been a long-time AICN reader but I have never posted before--the response to this film is irritating the hell out of me. Is it as good "The Empire Strikes Back?" No. Is it better than "The Phantom Menace?" Yes. It has some pretty big flaws but it's genuinely a lot of fun.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:55 a.m. CST

    Fucking iPhone - it's clearly been bought by Disney too!!

    by nobbythehappyelf

    The Mouse has hacked my phone!!

  • March 9, 2012, 1 a.m. CST

    Nobby's demise...

    by nobbythehappyelf

    I'll be found dead in a cheap motel wardrobe with a piece of orange in my mouth, a rope around my neck and cock and a small statue of Goofy lodged in my anus... The press will describe it as a "terrible accident" we will know the truth - the House of Mouse Hitmen did it!!! Oh and as ever... !!!Fuck John Carter!!!

  • March 9, 2012, 1 a.m. CST

    Ahhhhhhhhh "Waterworld!"

    by notcher

    I got nothin.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:02 a.m. CST

    A lot of ass clowns on here...

    by Andrew Coleman

    "It looks like other movies we've seen"... No shit moron the book was the inspiration for all those movies. Fucking idiots. Also why do you people root for good movies to bomb? We barely get good sci-fi or adventure films, once we do you guys try and drag it down because you're depressed and hate your life. Another thing I hate on here is how people claim they know how the industry works. Look just because you wrote half a script where you're the lead fucking robot chicks doesn't mean you know the industry dip shit.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:11 a.m. CST

    I seriously wonder sometimes...

    by zer05um

    ... What the critics want. Most of the negative reviews I've seen seem to be complaining that the film isn't a taut character drama featuring worthy socialites in New York or something. Whilst it isn't flawless I'd have to say it's a hell of a romp and well worth seeing. The 3D I saw was very nicely handled, the effects well done. I'd give it a 4 star rating, especially when you consider how badly key scenes have been lifted by other movies - Attack of the Clones, I'm talking to you... Go see it. It's worth it.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:15 a.m. CST

    Great and honest review as far as I'm concerned!

    by BEHEM Pascal

    It's a rare occurrence when a review reflects 100% of my impressions, but here it is. Congratulations, Nordling summed up my frustrating viewing experience in a nutshell. One tiny thing I don't agree with is that the look of the movie could have been distinctive: Barsoom of the movie looks nothing like the novels' Barsoom, which in turn has never been seen elsewhere in any movie. So the familiarity with prior properties is really a filmmaker choice, and not a happy one.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:20 a.m. CST

    Critics are divided 50/50

    by Nerd Rage

    I wonder which side is full of shit.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:22 a.m. CST

    Who writes these headlines?

    by ChickenDelicious

    What part of this review was a rave? It was tepid, at best. I'm curious about the music. Giacchino is pretty overrated, and typically forgettable. A movie like this needs something epic.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:27 a.m. CST


    by BiggusDickus

    I wouldn't believe anything I read in that lickspittle Lefty rag if I were you...

  • March 9, 2012, 1:30 a.m. CST

    So basically, the AICN John Carter love-in has gone from...

    by BiggusDickus

    'Can't wait to be blown away by this AWESOME movie' to 'Well, it's not ALL bad'. Nah. Think I'll pass...

  • March 9, 2012, 1:35 a.m. CST


    by JonJonB9

    Don't have a clue about this film's quality, but that review is one of the worst I've ever read. There's nothing worse than a critic who tries so hard, and fails so spectacularly, to be funny when he should be more concerned with ACTUALLY FUCKING REVIEWING. Worthless article.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:39 a.m. CST

    Enthusiasm does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    Nordling Raves And Rants About JOHN CARTER and then settles for a *meh*. The arena sequence is the highlight?? Fuck me, i've already seen that scene and thought it was weak. That's the best bit?!!

  • March 9, 2012, 1:39 a.m. CST


    by MrH

    You'd believe a UK tabloid piece of shit? And I lived in the UK for a while and know what a piece of shit the fucking Guardian is.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:40 a.m. CST

    Nobody wants to see more DESERT BUGS movies.

    by jimbojones123

    Seriously, they are the laziest and ugliest of aliens to make. District 9 only worked because we have a preconditioned dislike of them. They were the worst aliens in the Star Wars universe too. Really, if I had to do a rough sketch of a Geonosis Bug Thing, I couldn't. Bug aliens are too nondescript. Heck, they were hated in MIB too. Movie goers are also disgusted by a $250 million dollar movie that looks worse than District 9 as well. We could get 8 much more appealing movies for that cost.

  • March 9, 2012, 1:49 a.m. CST

    Here a view from New Zealand....

    by Brett Peacock

    The movie opened here about 36 hours ago. Today is friday and I saw it Thursday nite at a normal 3d Screening session. (that was on wednesday to you North Americans) this is my review, written today...(friday). I will admit up front that I had heard a lot about this film over the past 18 months, and little of it seemed positive. Disney were spending in excess of $200 Million on this and the production was rumoured to be behind schedule & over budget. Andrew Stanton was a Pixar animation Alumnus (Finding Nemo & Wall-E) and this was a live action film, his first. Pundits were predicting utter doom and damnation, a colossal turkey. Hollywood had been trying since 1936 to make a John Carter movie the first was Bob Clampett (of the original Looney Tunes) and he wanted to animate it (the ONLY way it could have been done then) Harryhausen looked at it in the late fifties then did Sinbad & Jason instead. In the seventies, in the wake of Star Wars , studios ran around buying up properties, John Carter among them. After CGI happened there were at least 5 attempts begun and abandoned, attached were names like Kerry Conran (Sky Captain), Jon Favreau and Robert Rodriguez & others, but all had foundered. So this sniping looked a bit like industry-wide sour grapes when Disney re-purchased the rights (Previously having let them lapse when they instead made Tarzan, also an Edgar Rice Burroughs story) and put John Carter of Mars into production with a targeted release date of the 100th anniversary of first publication of the Original novel 1912 to 2012. (It was first published as a magazine serial in Colliers, with the title Under the Moons of Mars in 1911) But I started to see little snippets on the web, and a number of sources close to the production were going on record about the film being 'better than just good' and some of the snippets showed a very nice line in design and artistry, So I dared to think, wait and see after all, I had been somewhat underwhelmed by Avatar (which in turn was largely inspired by Burroughs anyway.) And that, at last brings me back to the actual film, which I saw in 3D on the opening night. Well the movie. Ummm. Lets get the bad news out of the way first. Its not perfect. And its not exactly what you expect either. Thats the bad news. Let me explain. First off, I have to speak heresy. Star Wars was not perfect either. We tend now to look back at the original movie and heap praise on it, even the more so since Lucasfilm inflicted the Prequels on us. But I can clearly recall, sitting in the Cinerama theatre in 1977 (age 20) watching the first public session of Star Wars in NZ, and noticing, that despite all the things it did right, it did a number of things rather poorly. The Empire Strikes Back was a far better film than Star Wars. It was not perfect either, but it did fewer things poorly and the things it did right, it did BETTER. So, applying this to John Carter you can be assured that the things done right (and they are Legion!) are done not just Right, but are done BETTER than Right! And the few things done poorly are not really deal breakers for the film overall. The pace of the movie is mostly right, with the odd down beat or sudden lurch, but there you may have to blame Mr Burroughs. He wrote the novel as a series of episodes (a magazine serial, remember?) so there are a number of cliffhangers and to-and fro moments. This structure remains in the story, or the story would not work as well. Stanton & co already deviate significantly from the novel, but like Peter Jackson, borrow most of their needs from other books in the Mars series (there are 11 of them) Its not a get out of jail card but it does show respect and affection for the source, something that we should applaud. Some of the dialogue is Stanton and modern writers, but some remains, if not exactly from Burroughs, then a close approximation of it. It may sound archaic and 19th century, but that is exactly BECAUSE IT IS set in the 19th Century! The end result is a curious mix of the story being a bit all over the show yet engrossing and entertaining all the same. In fact I feel that the best description for it is an archaic one. Its a ripping yarn!! And that is, or rather was, one of Edgar Rice Burroughs major selling points. The man could write a Ripping Yarn in his sleep! Stanton and his two co writers were wise enough to streamline and update the tale, but not to mess with it overly much, retaining the qualities that made it a ripping yarn, but clearly arcing it towards connecting up the first 3 books more closely a true trilogy arc. Out-Ripping Standing! Second point is the casting. A number of reviewers have panned Taylor Kitsch as being not up to the job. He is not another Harrison Ford, or Bruce Willis, or Ahnuld. But then again, all three of them would have been Dead Wrong for this role. Kitsch can act, and carries the role more than adequately. I do not have any issue with him except he looks more like a scraggly hippie in the old west than a Nineteenth century Virginia gentleman in straightened circumstances. (Think of Val Kilmer (Doc Holliday) in "Tombstone". ) Once he arrives on Barsoom however, the situation improves and that issue vanishes. Others have panned Lynn Collins as the Princess Dejah Thoris. I swear I will NEVER EVER take whatever drugs they are on. Their judgement has turned to homogenized Shite. This movie is a Star making turn for her. She NAILS the part to the mast and hoists the mainbrace afterwards!) She carries a significant chunk of the movie with what seems little effort. After establishing early how smart and proactive she is, Collins ups the ante significantly by then making the tough, smart warrior princess/scientist reveal her vulnerable side, when she is placed in a situation where none of those skills can aid her. Probably for the first time she is paralysed by uncertainty and real fear, unable to find any solution, and that is when she learns to trust John Carter. So that was all the bad news. The good news? Well, I already want to see it again, on the big screen. I had to think long and hard to the last first release film I wanted to see again, immediately. Its been a while since Ive wanted to do that - I think it was The Incredibles. Things I really liked; first the production design. The west was very well realised and it only got better from there. The Barsoom designs were astounding. The ships had a beautiful rococo lines, crossed with very steampunk like technology. The cities (Helium & Zodanga) were distinctively different and yet related to each other. Costume design however.. well, Its Disney. The armour and weapons were nice, but there was simply too much costume for it to be the Barsoom Burroughs wrote of. Another score for the Disney style. At least many costumes were skimpy or somewhat revealing. But they were still... just too much of them (just look at Avatar- Cameron got away with a lot). But thats me being a purist for the words of ERB. If I could accept the movies plot modifications I'll give them this too, Gratis. The green martian (Tharks and Warhoons) design was absolutely spot on to Burroughs words except for the height difference. Burroughs saw them as being between 14 and 16 feet high. Stanton and co have made them between 8 and 10 feet high. The reason is simple any taller and they loom over the humans so much they are drowned out in the frame and look very odd otherwise. Its now a good and logical height difference and it works in spades. (Kudos here to Willem Dafoe and Samantha Morton they are both superb, never asking the audience for their sympathy, but getting it anyhow. You may have noticed by now Im not giving too much away about the plot. Well, its been sprayed around a lot on the web and in papers, so many will be at least passingly familiar with it, especially those who have actually read ERB. I do not need to recap it, and feel it would only serve to spoil some of the surprise you will get from watching the movie. (on a side note: I am ASTOUNDED by some reviewers suggesting that the plot is too complex for the audience to readily assimilate. Perhaps they were expecting a tale like Care Bears! Maybe they simply did not expect to have to pay attention and were resentful that they had to. Or perhaps the reviewers who wrote that crud, are simply dull unimaginative Morons. I think I'm leaning to the latter. I had NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER following the story. NONE, ZIP, NADA. The movie does pass out a lot of plot information for free... The first sequence is little more than an Introduction to Barsoom, pt 1 and smacks for the Disney execs being worried that Americans and other kiddies might not get it. It is not necessary and you get the same information in the plot, spread over four or five other scenes. Great job of overestimating the Audience, House of Mouse!!) There is so much to like in the film that I really do not want to go any further into it, except to say, loudly: I Wanna WOOLA! Everyone will want a Woola after they see him. Woola is a Calot, a martian Dog. (Think of a pony sized Cane Toad with 8 legs, & faster than a Porsche. Plus he is MEAN in a Fight.) Damn if he isnt the UGLIEST Cutey you will EVER SEE. And he was written that way by Burroughs! Stanton and his team do him absolute justice. Woola will be the next Artoo! John Carter was in 3D and If the 3D WAS post-processed, as a number of reviews state, then they did a very good job of it, (unlike Clash of the Titans) and it accentuates rather than dominates the film. But I cannot say that it is a game changer, it will look very, very nice in straight 2D. In Summary: Its not the greatest Film ever made. And the source novel, despite its influence on 20th Century SF and Fantasy, is not great Literature either. It was ER Burroughs first novel and it shows in the rather clunky plotting and laboured dialogue and heavy reliance on Coincidence, most of which Stanton has ejected from the movie, wisely. But what the movie is, that is up to what you see in it. Its a great adventure, a fun movie par excellence and it will, like Star Wars & Lord of the Rings be a Big Influence on young minds who see it. I went to it with heavily dampened expectations, but willing to give it a shot, trusting in Andrew Stanton, after all, I loved Wall-E and while I was less entranced by Finding Nemo, I also liked his work in Toy Story and A Bugs life. I'm Glad to state that John Carter managed to well and truly exceed my expectations by being that most wondrous of things, a great, big, Ripping Yarn. I More than liked it, it reminded me most of that day in 1977 when first I saw Star Wars. There have been a lot of movies I have liked (for example ; Captain America, Iron Man, wall-E, Despicable Me, Immortals, True Grit, Hugo, Conan, ) but none of them made me want to spend another $20 to see them again. John Carter did. Im writing this on a Friday. Ill be seeing it again Saturday night. You should too. **** (4/5)

  • March 9, 2012, 1:50 a.m. CST

    It'll tank in the US and do gangbusters everywhere else...

    by Somerichs

    that's my prediction, and that's what matters most these days, anyway...

  • March 9, 2012, 2:13 a.m. CST

    I just got back from seeing a midnight screening...

    by D.Vader

    And I loved it! The theater was about a third full and everyone in the house seemed to enjoy it. No snickers, no rude comments, no one talking during the screening. A very pleasant experience in that regard, and the guys I saw it with really enjoyed it too. There's real heart and soul to this movie. The CGI is great; you forget you're looking at CGI after awhile and start seeing the Tharks as characters, not an effect to marvel at. I could see kids loving this. It'd be a great movie to take the family to on a sunday afternoon.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Oh and by the way ...

    by Brett Peacock

    That Guardian reviewer has NEVER liked any American Movie ever made, ever. (as for it being Disney, that gets minus ratings from him...) My suspicion is that he thinks that unless a movies addresses REAL Issues... you know, Momentous issues like Indigenous Land Rights for Gay and Lesbian Blind Deaf-Mute Blue Whales.. its is not a movie worthy of his esteem..... That's to say he's a heartless, unimaginative pretentious pseudo-intellectual twat. The next (first) time he has any ACTUAL fun he'll probably kill himself for THE shame of it..

  • March 9, 2012, 2:23 a.m. CST

    "The stupidity of the title change"

    by D.Vader

    Jeebus Christo people, I have three words for you. GET. OVER. IT.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:27 a.m. CST

    RE the title change...

    by goodhorse

    *potential spoiler* the film itself has a nice little surprise at the end

  • March 9, 2012, 2:28 a.m. CST

    If my midnight screening was any indication...

    by D.Vader

    I think this will do better than expected for opening weekend.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:31 a.m. CST

    Wait, I thought Avatar ripped off Dances with Wolves

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    Costner was in Dances with Wolves. Costner was in Waterworld. John Carter will do Waterwold numbers. John Carter was a character on ER played by Noah Wiley. Noah Wiley is in Falling Skies. Falling Skies symbolizes everything that has gone wrong with Spielberg. Kate Capshaw married Steven Spielberg. Capshaw represents everything wrong with Indiana Jones Temple of Doom. They ate monkey brains in Temple of Doom. Don't eat monkey brains.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:32 a.m. CST

    For Nordling...

    by Brett Peacock

    1. they are not 'Tharns', they are 'Therns' and why they go around playing both God & Satan to the other races is revealed in the next book, The Gods of Mars' This is part of the material Stanton and co bought in to support the trilogy arc background I mention in my review above. And it works.... very well.

  • Its the scene you see in the trailers where he leaps into the army, a sword in each hand and a bloodthirsty Wolverine-like look on his face. Fantastic sequence and wonderfully edited. It gets positively ZULU-like there toward the end. If you know what I mean by that, I think you'll enjoy it.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Saw it on Sunday

    by kwisatzhaderach

    It's a bomb.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Hope this does well

    by D.Vader

    I'd love to see sequels and revisit Barsoom for some more adventures.

  • When did you guys become so jaded and cynical and pessimistic?

  • March 9, 2012, 2:40 a.m. CST

    The SW Prequels, Alien 3/4, Terminator 3/4, and Avatar made us cynical

    by Domi'sInnerChild

    The Matrix sequels sucked too.

  • No they don't. Only strange "film geeks" who care more about budgets than story do.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:44 a.m. CST

    It's an Old Style Adventure Movie

    by SEVGN

    First, it is amazing how much Attack of the Clones and Avatar rip off from this source material. It's public domain, but I honestly thought you could just replay the arena sequence from AotC, add wings on the green dudes and it's identical. That being said, if you go in with low expectations, you'll get a 7/10 movie experience. All the beats are old fashioned, predictable but done with complete earnestness and heart. There's no sly wink to the audience or skipping through emotional moments just to get to the next set piece. This film takes itself seriously, doesn't try to cut corners and that has to be worth something in this day and age. I guess the greatest compliment is that I never once rolled my eyes at something stupid. Even when something was stupid, I knew it wasn't for a lack of trying.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:48 a.m. CST

    Well dommi'sinnerchild

    by D.Vader

    If you have an inner child, LET IT LOOSE! Also, those movies were made by A) a man in love with his story but too close to it to see what was good and bad about it B) THE FUCKING STUDIO C) THE FUCKING STUDIO D) Wait, AVATAR really? That made you cynical? Mmmkay. Point being, this is made by someone with a real love for the material. Not fake love like some directors will say. "Oh I love Alien! I love Terminator! We brought some of that magic to this new one!" No, they don't. No, they didn't. They were hired to make a product. Sure, Stanton was hired to make a product with this too, but this is something he pursued out of love. And that should go a long way. So again, I say, LET THAT INNER CHILD LOOSE! He'll have a good time =).

  • March 9, 2012, 2:51 a.m. CST

    Good call sevgn. Like I said, there's real heart to this movie.

    by D.Vader

    Real earnestness. It doesn't feel superficial or calculating and manipulative like so many other Hollywood blockbusters do.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:52 a.m. CST

    Raiders of the Lost Ark is an 'old style adventure movie'...

    by Fortunesfool

    This is just a tepid, utterly forgettable adventure movie.

  • You know, someone who comes out as confused as they went in, wondering what the fuss is about.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:54 a.m. CST

    And this feels as earnest as Raiders of the Lost Ark

    by D.Vader

    Not made with the same sure hand, but made from that same love of good story and good adventure yarns.

  • March 9, 2012, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Did Nordling say he's read the books?

    by D.Vader

    Not clear?

  • March 9, 2012, 2:55 a.m. CST

    No Mondo posters for midnight screenings

    by Ye Not Guilty

    Did anybody get a Mondo poster? I just saw it in IMAX 3D and nobody got one. Now to sleep.

  • March 9, 2012, 3 a.m. CST

    dang it! i did it again.

    by David

    i am trying to fnd but i keep ending up on WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!

  • March 9, 2012, 3:11 a.m. CST


    by KilliK

  • March 9, 2012, 3:19 a.m. CST

    Regardless of how it's described in the source,

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    this needed to look like a Frazetta or a Freas come to life.

  • The movie is called JOHN CARTER, but by the end they add OF MARS. So, technically, the movie's real title is JOHN CARTER OF MARS, but for some weird ass marketing reasons they decided to short it to just JOHN CARTER for the sake of a pun. Silly thing, if you ask me.

  • March 9, 2012, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Just saw it at a midnight showing

    by PhxMonsterGuy

    Just got home from seeing it in IMAX 3D. And not the fake IMAX but the six story holy shit Taylor Kitsch's nipples are the size of fucking hubcaps IMAX. I have never read the source material. Tried several times over several years but just can't get into Burrough's style of writing. That being said I really liked the film. Big, sprawling, epic. Loved the effects, the look of the world. The Utah locations looked great. Loved Woola. Really loved the last 5 minutes of the film. They did seem to try to cram a lot of story into the film but at no point was I bored or did I lose track of who or what the hell was going on. I believe that any true fantasy/science fiction fan should see the film as a statement of support to the studios that we want more epic science fiction films of this size and scope. Any haters need to shut the fuck up and stop bitching when the best science fiction films we get are Transformers movies. For only $15 I got to experience a great $250M piece of entertainment and got to escape to Barsoom for 2 hours. DEFINITELY worth my goddamn $15 and it will be worth yours too.

  • March 9, 2012, 3:54 a.m. CST

    by Johnny Wishbone

    Do you not think the problem with this film stems from the fact that we now know that Mars is incapable of supporting the life portrayed in the film? Maybe they should have set it on another unknown planet instead of Mars thus legitimizing the dropping of "Mars" from the title. Also, I'm not confident that this movie will perform particularly well outside of the U.S as continental audiences will be more familiar with the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. I might be proved wrong, though.

  • March 9, 2012, 3:55 a.m. CST


    by THX1968

    It isn't a pun, you dipshit. Put the tweezers down, for God's sake! You're gonna ruin your vision. The pubes will come in someday, lil' dude. Someday.

  • In fact it made quite a bit of a profit. It's the difference between silly myths and reality.

  • March 9, 2012, 4:57 a.m. CST

    No Mondo Poster Here, Either

    by tomandshell

    My IMAX was on the list, but the manager had absolutely no idea what I was talking about when I asked for the free poster they advertised for the midnight shows.

  • March 9, 2012, 4:58 a.m. CST

    Really hope it is great.

    by I AM ROCKO

    Let me put aside my thoughts on the marketing and potential box office (who cares anyway- it is the final film that matters) and hope the movie does the source material justice. I am still amazed that it has taken so long for the John Carter series to make it to the big screen- what with the advent of sci fi movie series and fantasy really taking off with Lord of the Rings. Hey ho I love the books, I hope I love the film.

  • March 9, 2012, 5:07 a.m. CST

    Re: The Title Change

    by Schadenfreude

    Andrew Stanton was interviewed by Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo on BBC Radio last week and he said the reason they changed the title was because there are a lot of people out there who don't like Sci-Fi and if they put 'of Mars' in the title they wouldn't go and see it. When this was met with incredulity he said that he wasn't joking and it was all focus-tested. So basically they removed 'of Mars' to con idiots into seeing a sci-fi movie they otherwise wouldn't have wanted to see.

  • From what i get, even from the positive reviews, in the movie John Carter is a self-centered quiter, a person motivated by personal selfish motives and little more. And they excuse that with the tired "dead murdered wife and child" cliché. It really is rubbing me the wrong way. I'm reading the book A PRINCESS OF MARS, and the character from the book is far more original then what kind of heroes we have in movies today, all with their pseudo-anti-hero bullshit and their personal selfish motives and whatnot. In the book, John Carter is a hero through and through. He jumps at the call at the smallest oportunity. The only thing that might haunt John Carter in the book is that he's, quite literally, a man without a past. He's an amnesiac who has no recollection of a time when he was a child or a teen. He always know himself as an adult. No imediate family except some distant cousins who only knew him as an adult. In fact, Carter also seems to be a bit ageless, as that he looks like a 30 years old man, but has done so for a few decades already. Carter himself has no idea how really old he is. And then there's the fact that even before he fought for the confederacy in the civil war, he already had lived a lot of adventures in Africa and Asia. So, in the book, John Carter is, quite literally, an international man of mystery. A man perpectually in the present, here and now. It's only in his adventures in Mars that he finally gains a sense of belonging and home. The John Carter in the movie, as it seems to be given what's been shown in the ten minutes review and reviews, is the complete opposite. And also a type of character i have seen in movies before, to the point of nausea. I hope the movie has far better strenghs then this, in my view, mishandling of the character. As he was in the book, John Carter was a far more interesting character, precisely because of the aura of mystery he had.

  • And yet, when Attack of the Clones came out I don´t recall anybody saying the arena scene was a John Carter rip off, LMAO You gotta love geeks.

  • March 9, 2012, 5:26 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Lay off the drugs and talk like a person capable of reason. Then i'll take whatever you have to say into consideration. And try to live up to your nick. Anybody whose nick is a referenc eto the excelent THX-1138 cannot affort to talk like an ass. Step up your game.

  • I think we as geeks should stay out of such fights. Specialyl since this is a big studio we are talking about, and part of a large corporation. I'd find it a far more noble gesture if this was in suport of some smaller independent low budget SF genre movie which truly needs all the support it can gets. But this is Disney, it's a corporation. It's big business. They are the big boys, let them fight their own fights. If commerce is their game, then let the laws of market operate. Corporations cannot expect to have free lunches, nor should we the fans and genre geeks give them free lunches.

  • March 9, 2012, 5:33 a.m. CST


    by BEHEM Pascal

    You're absolutely right. One thing they did was trying to humanize everything. I guess it's inevitable in a live action movie. John Carter is still to me more adapted to animation for this reason. But Carter is just the tip of the iceberg in that regard. SPOILERS AHEAD - There is no way the book's Dejah Thoris would flee from her duty the way she does in the movie. - There is no way Sola would have survived among the book's Tharks by showing herself that openly emotional. - Tardos Mors from the book would have preferred to see Helium burned to the ground than imposing an unhappy marriage to Dejah. Yet the humanity of the characters seem to appeal to the viewers in a strong way. I'm re-reading Warlord of Mars at the moment, and the image I had in my mind of John Carter and Dejah hasn't been modified by seeing them impersonated by actors. Only the movie's Woola is now superimposed on his novel's couterpart! The "real", "iconic" John Carter and Dejah Thoris, as the "real" Barsoom, are still exclusives to the novels.

  • Contrary to what studios like to think, audiences are not that stupid. Audiences are quite quick to accept the premises and the world presented by a movie, and go along with it as long the story is appealing enough to allow them to be entertained. The popularity of action genre is proof of that, wherre imposisble shit happens every 5 minutes and still audiences accept it all as a rule of cool. So, no, if the movie has difficulty in connecting with audiences, it has nothing to do with the fantasy version of Mars it presents. The problem will lay elsewhere.

  • March 9, 2012, 5:40 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I seriously doubt that PROMETHEUS is a 100 millon dollars movie. Count it as a 200 million dollars movie as well.

  • March 9, 2012, 5:40 a.m. CST


    by Flutchy

    *mutter* be with you *whisper*

  • March 9, 2012, 5:41 a.m. CST

    Ohhhh paying AICN to heavily promote this really pays off, eh?

    by Ricardo

    I can see HORDES of people FIGHTING to get into the movie theaters to watch this crap.

  • Notice how many movies have been made of ZORRO, for instance. Or if we are to stay in the planetary romance genre, all those Flash Gordon movies and serials. It's strange that Holywood never picked on the Barsoon tales before. By all logic, we should had already had versions of A PRINCESS OF MARS and other Barsoon stories made in the 1930s, 1950s, 1970s, 1980s... In fact, it would be very cool to know what kind of movie adaptations would had been made in those different decades. What a missed oportunity.

  • March 9, 2012, 5:54 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    My brazilian friend, you can come up with the most wicked deadpan stuff imaginable. That last one made me laugh. Hilariante! Continua.

  • March 9, 2012, 5:56 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Actually, many peope, did comented on that, specially among the geekry. The ones least in savvy claimed it was a repeat of GLADIATOR, but those more in the know imediatly noticed the references. Even i got that, and i hadn't read the book yet.

  • - Lynn Collins. - The Woola. - It's a beautiful movie to behold. Well, it's good things.

  • March 9, 2012, 6:16 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    The probkem is not that this movies try to humanize the characters. That's a good thing, even desirable. The problem is that they humanize the characters by using the same old cliches again and again and again, time and time again. To the point one feels is just watching the same story all over again, with the names and the settings changed. It's anoying. There is so many ways to humanize a character without going to route of the "guy has his wife and sprog killed, becomes an quiter asshole". It's so fucking easy! Easy and over-played! That stuff can work beautifully in stories that merit it. Usually that kind of stories have a very dark vibe to them. John Carter adventures are light entertaiment. Indiana Jones mixed with Zorro adventures on a fantasy version of Mars. That is not to say that a Barsoon movie shouldn't have danger, and depictions of wantom evilry. But the darkness shouldn't habit the protagonists hearts. Not John Carter, anyway.

  • March 9, 2012, 6:29 a.m. CST


    by Robert Evans

  • It already sounds too different from the book. But, I'm still seeing it. Been looking forward to this all year (i.e. the past two months).

  • I've never seen a dark 3D movie. If I were a movie reviewer I could tell you what this movie looked like in a real IMAX theater with perfect projection.

  • March 9, 2012, 6:54 a.m. CST

    by sevgn: "if you go in with low expectations"

    by AsimovLives

    And why should i do that? As a paying costumer, it's the movies that should kiss my ass, not i theirs.

  • March 9, 2012, 6:56 a.m. CST

    How about a comparison to '300'?

    by zinc_chameleon

    which was only a Frank Miller graphic novel of the old-fashioned ,paper kind? Supposedly only the comic geek (a subset) community knew about the property until Comic Con, and then went nuts. My impression is that the trouble with John Carter started there.

  • And that includes even the more elderly of his cousins. John Carter is a veritable man of mystery. Who has lived a full life of adventure even before the civil war happened to him. A man who had ano attatchments, which is why he was so ready to go on adventure. Even the civil war to him was an adventure, in which he aquited himself admirably, becoming a famous captain of the confederacy. John Carter turns to a gold prospector for the same reason he had done everything in his life before: for the adventure of it. Gold digging is his new adventure, now that the civil war played out. John Carter doesn't become a gold prospector because he wants to be the 19th century version of Howard Hugues. What are they thinking? John Carter should be an easy character to bring onscreen, why did they felt the need to complicate things?

  • March 9, 2012, 7:02 a.m. CST


    by BEHEM Pascal

    I agree with you, it's over-played, and it doesn't match the novel's John Carter, like many other things in the movie. But it's like every cliché, all depends on how it is done. All I can say is that it seemed to work for the audience in the context of the movie. Many refer to it as the highlight of the movie, for a reason. I really think you will understand if/when you see it.

  • March 9, 2012, 7:04 a.m. CST

    Someone mentioned that the matrix sequels sucked. I'm just curious

    by UltraTron

    as to what actually sucked about them. I saw the matrix trilogy and it was this complete story that even tied in with the ps2 game at the time. There were no holes in the story and it was a neat sci-fi saga with perhaps the best effects of any trilogy ever done besides rings. It was rated R instead of pg-13 and had boobies and really satisfying violence and the biggest superhero battles ever seen and Monica Bellucci cleavage and it was a lot better than superman returns. I'm just weird that I think all these things about the matrix trilogy I guess because I'm supposed to think it sucks. Oh and it had the best car chase done since T2 and really cool fights with characters that evolve and grow more powerful over the course of the 3 films. It's probably my favorite superhero series of films. The arc that Neo undergoes on his way to becoming a superhero is the best since Robocop. Oh well. All alone here in my tower of indecipherable Matrix speech.

  • March 9, 2012, 7:10 a.m. CST

    I really like that program that liked getting his

    by UltraTron

    dick sucked. He was such a cool program. He liked to program matrix code that would give women orgasms. With such deviant programs one could assume there were machines in the real world with vices or quirks that would be interesting to see visually. A machine that cant stop masturbating or has a proclivity for rubbing a certain spot till the metal wears off. I dunno. You think of something.

  • March 9, 2012, 7:20 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I don't need to watch the movie to understand. There's nothing terribly complicated ablout it. It's just that i donp't need that type of melodrama crap to engage me to a story and a character. It works fne if that's a fundamental part of the story. But in JOHN CARTER, you could play the movie without the dead wife and sprog and still the story wouldn't change much. If at all. It's cheap melodrama in lieu of actual storytelling. I wonder how much screentime and budget they could had saved in the movie if they had jstpresented John Carter as who he is: a man who's ready for the call of adventure. So many men of the 19th century were like that, and none is a better example then an american president of the time: Theodore Rosevelt. If somebody asked him why would he go to the Amazon and explore it, his reply would be "because it's there". He wouldn't need no dead wife, dead baby and cod misantropy to go to the Amazons. I'll continue my thoughs in a later post.

  • March 9, 2012, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Saw it with 3 friends

    by sapno_krei

    Two thought it was awesome. The other two said it was decent. Only one of us (guess who) had a desire to see it in the first place.

  • March 9, 2012, 7:37 a.m. CST

    Screw the critics

    by RG

  • March 9, 2012, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Alright seeing the noon 3D IMAX. Never read it.

    by UltraTron

    Was too busy reading Morcock.

  • March 9, 2012, 7:44 a.m. CST

    Title Change..

    by Robert_Rodriguezs_Fluffer

    Carter is transported to Mars, or as the people who live there call it, Barsoom.

  • March 9, 2012, 7:49 a.m. CST

    At least I got a free mini poster...

    by StatelyWayneManor

    at the midnight screening. Don't waste dime one on seeing it in 3D. I'd be surprised if it makes $17 million. Its drab.

  • March 9, 2012, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Agreed with the review Nord...

    by 77AD

  • March 9, 2012, 7:57 a.m. CST

    pascalahad2 (cont.)

    by AsimovLives

    I'm going to make my point come across through two paralels. They are: 1- The movie CAPTAIN AMERICA: FIRST AVENGER. It's beside the point if you liked it or not, that's not my point. My point is look at how the character of Captain America was presented. We learn that he tried to get himself enlisted by using every trick in the book and then some. He wants to serve because he wants to fight evil, because evil has to be fought. That's what ticks him. That's his most important personality trait that informs everything he does, even before he became a superhero. Notice that in the movie they never used the fact he used to be bullied as the reason why he wants to fight evil. The bullying is used to show that no matter how much the odds were against him, he wouldn't relent, he wouldn't back down. It shows his relentless tenacity, even when he was a weakling prior to his transformation into a superhero. A John Carter movie version of Captain America would be him gaining a motivation to fight evil because the nazis had killed his wife, baby and burned his house. It wouldn't be the same character, it wouldn't be Captain America but a parody of it. 2- Imagine, if you will, a movie whre the protagonist is a prisioner. The movie would be him trying to get out of prision and get himself free. Now, is it too hard to understand why anybody who is imprisioned wants to be free? Everybody want to be free, so how hard it is to understand why this guy wants to be break free? The interesting thing is not why he wants to be free (D'UHH), but how he will do it. A John Carter movie version of this would be for him to want to be free because he has a wife and baby outside. Which gives rise to the question: if he hadn't a wife and baby, would he then never want to be free? Because that's the logical implication. If a character is only motivated to action for a specific reason (wife nd baby outside), ther absense would mean he wouldn't had the drive to get himselffree. The desire for freedom is a natural thing in us which does not need to be explained. What woud be weird and peculiar would be if the prisioner didn't wanted to be free, and then the movie would had to provide explanation and justifiations for his odd behavior. So, if a character needs to have external motivations to be free (wife and bady outside), that means he has none by himself. He would be a weird strange fellow acting agaisnt human nature. This is the problem to all characters in which Holywood movies give specific motivations for their actions or inactions. Which could occur naturally. Holywood is so hung up with certain narrative clichés they forget to realise not everything works for everything. And this mvoie JOHN CARTER seems to be another one following this needlessly.

  • March 9, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST

    "Top Critics" on RT have it at only 33%

    by Simpsonian

  • March 9, 2012, 8:15 a.m. CST


    by Ditko

    Alright then, I´ll take your word for that!

  • March 9, 2012, 8:21 a.m. CST

    I too profess my love for the matrix sequels and trilogy as a whole.

    by knowthyself

    Eat it haters.

  • March 9, 2012, 8:26 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    I don't profess to love the sequels of THE MATRIX sas much as the first movie, but i did quite enjoyed them. But then again i might be one of the few who actually understood what the Architect was talking about. Which, frankly, didn't seemed all that complicated at all.

  • Destroy the AT-AT battle on hoth in terms of production design, execution, staging, creature design.. It holds it's own with the best we have seen from sci-fi and fantasy films. The next generation of video game consoles will be destroying what is left of popcorn cinema. Already LA Noir has me coming back night after night to experience actual actors captured in a game. The people feel real in that game. Every facial tick or expression is fully realized. The LA Noir facial tech should be adopted industry wide immediately. I'm already missing it in Mass Effect 3.

  • March 9, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    If you want to use an example of a blockbuster wannabe that failed miserably at the box office, then you should bring up movies like CUTTHROATH ISLAND or DAYS OF THUNDER. The first effectively bankrupted Carolco, and the second was such a disaster for Paramount that heads rolled left right and center, they changed the higher aeschelons at the top, and it ended the provilegded relationship they had with Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Productions. Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer become such pariahs that for next 5-6 years they couldn't produce a studio movie because nobody wanted to work with them.

  • human centipede barb wire fucking deviant who just bashed his mom's head to pieces and then propped her up to finish your cereal.

  • ... are now saying "fuck the critics" when the critic approval has lowered to 60% or so. How quait. How it's going to be, fellas? Are critics' opinions important or not? And why the change of tune?

  • March 9, 2012, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Videogames are for children

    by gruntybear

    If I hear one more comment about the mega-awesomeness of "Mass Effect 3," I'm going to puke. No one other than children has the time to spend 40-70 hours sitting in front of the television playing a videogame.

  • March 9, 2012, 8:44 a.m. CST

    Saw it at the Wednesday preview in Chicago

    by ChicagoRonin

    Watched it with two friends, one in their 40s (big literary SF fan) and another near 50 (definite movie buff). I myself am a literary, movie and TV SF fan. All of us really enjoyed ourselves. I thought the film felt wonderfully old-fashioned, making me feel the way I did when I saw old Harryhausen movies like "Mysterious Island" or "Jason and the Argonauts." The film is dead earnest, but I also thought it had some marvelous virtues: characters I cared about, a simple (but not dumb) story and a complete lack of crude or cheap humor. It felt like perfect family viewing (despite the action, the violence is never graphic). In fact, it pretty much satisfied every craving the "Star Wars" prequels should have and more. I thought the CGI was marvelous and never took me out of the story. In fact, I really do think this film (even if it bombs) should be remembered for its rich visual design. Are there faults? Sure: The opening exposition is clunky, the lead actor is a bit one-note (though frankly, no worse than the square-jawed types in 50s Westerns of SF adventures).

  • March 9, 2012, 8:47 a.m. CST


    by Ditko

    I wasn´t talking about box office bombs. I was trying to make fun of those geeks (maybe not ALL of them, as you wisely pointed out) that jump on whatever they think it´s cool at the moment. I´m willing to bet this month's salary that at least 70% of people posting here have never read the book and yet they pretend otherwise. Well, maybe only half of the paycheck.

  • March 9, 2012, 8:47 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    The opening of MASS EFFECT 3 is amazing! Best then most stuff i have seen in movies recently. How can games do that so effectively but so many movies can't?

  • March 9, 2012, 8:54 a.m. CST

    Hey Asi, just see the movie already!

    by D.Vader

    Before you decide what kind of characterization for JC works onscreen or not.

  • heroin needles stick sticking from dead junkies' arms. Dead rape victims galore. Why it's the best example to stuff down your shirt and send you on your way I can think of off-hand. Maybe you should keep up with the advances happening in entertainment. Games are always evolving. Film does to but only technically. The story can only be told in the same old way it was when film was invented.

  • March 9, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Well, i'm still reading the book. A PRINCESS OF MARS, that is. I have started reading it at least twice before i interrupted. I intend to finish it until next weekend, when the movie will be released in my country. Funny, i know the existence of this book since i first saw the COSMO episode about Mars, back in 1980, and been curious about it ever since. But only now i have mannaged to read it with intent to completion. Funny how things turn out.

  • And for all it got wrong (well, almost everything), Antonio Sabato jr was in my opinion a surprisingly good rendition of John Carter (fool modern language notwithstanding), and indeed with no angst or reluctant character arc. So the character could have worked as written. And the arena scene is in my opinion superior in its idea to the one in the movie (though not in execution, obviously), since John Carter and Tars Tarkas had to fight each other! Finally, I loved the ships design more than the ones featured in the movie. That's about it.

  • The first time this guy named Bakshi or something came out with this cartoon that wasn't even finished. The cartoon just suddenly stopped and this text came up on screen that told me what was supposed to have happened. I was reading the book but then this cartoon which was much easier to digest came on the screen and ruined it. Then the next time I attempted to read rings this guy named Jackson I think it was- well he made this whole trilogy of movies based on the books. Well when that happened I just gave up tryin to read the thing.

  • Yeah...WE ALL KNOW THAT DIPFUCK! The problem is that nothing was done to make JC STAND APART from those other films. THAT'S THE DIFFERENCE!

  • March 9, 2012, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Only thing that matters is that I will see it...

    by K-Gin

    then decide if it was worth it for me. There are shots in the previews that look pretty cool to me where they show off the world. If its not that good, the 10 bucks I am out is not the end of the world. And if it is fun, then I probably will get more than my 10 bucks worth of entertainment. That is all that is at stake here. It seems like a lot of people have a personal stake in this movies success or failure. Why? I can kind of understand wanting the movie to succeed, but not the latter at all.

  • March 9, 2012, 9:15 a.m. CST

    A question for Harry Re: Favs

    by Big_Daddy_Nero

    Let me get this out of the way first: This movie is an 8.5/10 It is EXCELLENT. It is as much of a pleasant surprise as coming out of Pirates of the Caribbean, thinking that I was about to see a stupid movie based on a ride at Disneyland, and exiting thinking I had just seen something very well done across the board. Like PotC, this movie has great attention to detail, great world building, great care taken by the director to put real heart into it. Also like PotC, it feels a bit long, and yes it can drag a bit in spots. But that is what an EPIC does, and this movie is an actual honest-to-goodness EPIC. And it contains absolutely the funniest head-slap you will ever see. You will know it when you see it. Screw the haters who don't like anything, screw the too-cool-for-school dipshits who talk negatively about something they have never even seen. Make up your own mind. However, do not waste your money seeing this in 3D. It adds NOTHING. This movie will be perfectly satisfying in the regular number of D's. In fact, even though the screening I saw was in 3D, I think I would have liked it better without it. Go see it, because there needs to be a couple more John Carter movies in the future, or I am going to be very disappointed. And I do confess, I was worried a bit from the previews, which did a TERRIBLE job of marketing this film. And no, this is not 'Attack of the Clones'. This movie proves that Stanton can make the leap just like Bird did, and further highlights Lucas' utter lack of any ability at all to make a good movie. The film I was more worried that it would 'be like' was Prince of Persia, and trust me, John Carter is 20 times better than Prince of Persia. Now, with that all out of the way, I have a question for Harry: How much of this production is still in place from the time Favs was involved? There are a LOT of similarities with Cowboys and Aliens, in regards to the look and feel of the production itself. So much so in fact, I got a very strong sensation that Favs may have said something like 'Screw it, I have put in all this work, I have all these designs, all these aliens concepts, and I really like the wild-west mixed with science fiction, I will go ahead and make a movie of my own in this genre!' It REALLY looks like that to me, and I was wondering if you had noticed the same thing. I mean, there are a LOT of similarities, almost to the point of being copies.

  • March 9, 2012, 9:35 a.m. CST

    BoxOffixceMojo's prediction is a $38M weekend.

    by Jaster Mareel

    And they are pretty spot-on generally. That would be a MEGA-FUCKING-BOMB!

  • March 9, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    You do realize Waterworld didn't flop right?

    by tailhook

    Not that it did gangbusters. $264 mil gross on a $175 mil budget. Toss in video sales and it made money. They then let Kevin Costner make another movie based on those results and we got The Postman. Now *THAT* movie flopped.

  • Fucking wife and kids won't leave me alone for 5 fucking minutes.

  • March 9, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    the characterization worked brillantly in the book and i see no good reason why it wouldn't in the movie. they went to such trouble needlessly, when they might had spent that time on other more pressing matters.

  • That's why Arkham Asylum/City gave us the definitive vision of Batman and Gotham City that Hollywood never will! On that note, I'm severely jonesing for some Mass Effect 3.

  • The Hobbit trailer had like 13.5 million hits on YouTube in its first week, alone. I'd say that Joe Public is genuinely excited to see that movie. Now, Prometheus, on the other hand...

  • March 9, 2012, 9:50 a.m. CST

    I saw this and Phantom Menace 3D back to back

    by StatelyWayneManor

    Kill me now.

  • March 9, 2012, 9:51 a.m. CST

    I see your reasoning Asi

    by D.Vader

    I'm just telling you it works in the movie. Its not bad as you are assuming it to be, and your Captain America comparison is a good one, but you did leave out the subtext. Yes, Cap is a good man and doesn't like to see people bullied (that goes for countries too), but the subtext is with him being so small and short, he's been bullied all his life. Yes he's a good person, but the subtext tells us that comes from a life of being on the other end of a bunch of assholes. Anyway, all that is to say, its fun to speculate, but you really should see the movie before you decide what works and what doesn't. The movie's John Carter was positively more complex in my opinion than the simpler one you describe from the book (which I'm reading now). Just my opinion.

  • March 9, 2012, 9:58 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Give PROMETHEUS a chance. I think it will break through to the mainstream. The thing about the gaming industry is that it seems that everybody involved with it, from the programmers to the executives who run the firms, truly love the stuff they make, and truly love games, and truly know them. The same cannot be said about Holywood, can it?

  • March 9, 2012, 10:22 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    From what i saw in the movie CAPTAIN AMERICA, he doens't side with the forces of good agaisnt evil because he was bullied. I don't think the movie ever makes the connection. The movie tell us that no matter how much he was bullied, he would never back down. He could go on all day long. I think it's quite a brilant piece of smart characterization. The bulling episode sjust show his tenacity and natural fearlessness, not a motivation for doing good. And as far i'm concern, this is the same with John Carter. He voluntarly goes to adventure because he's like that. He's young Theodore Rosevelt on Mars. No need to bring up cheap cod freudean excuses.

  • March 9, 2012, 10:24 a.m. CST

    and another thing, d.vader...

    by AsimovLives

    ... simple doesn't mean simplistic. And complicated doesn't mean complex.

  • March 9, 2012, 10:24 a.m. CST

    That's what I'm saying, Asi

    by D.Vader

    " I don't think the movie ever makes the connection." It doesn't have to, its in the subtext. You see Steve Rogers getting bullied. Later, you hear him tell the girl "I just don't like bullies." You make the connection yourself. He doesn't like bullies, bullies are evil, he'll fight for people who get bullied by evil, just like he was.

  • March 9, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Walter Kerr once said, the hard part of being a critic....

    by cookylamoo

    Is not writing clever pans of things you hate, but rather not being able to get people into things you think are fantastic. (sic)

  • March 9, 2012, 10:29 a.m. CST


    by Darth Scourge

    Saw the movie this morning in IMAX 3D. Spectacular. Sure, it takes a few liberties with ERB's original stories, but the essence is more than intact and the adaptation is worthy. There are some truly amazing action set pieces, and the FX are stunning. Highly recommended.

  • March 9, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Hum, no, i don't see it as subtext either. CAPTAIN AMERICA is a movie gloriously mfree of subtext... and the better for it. The brillant thing about CAPTAIN AMERICA anf which end up making me a fan of it is that it's pratically a text book example of keeping it simple but fun. The people who made the movie knew exactly what kind of movie they were making and what movie needed to be made. they don't even need subtext, and i don't think there is either. The bully line seems more like an exercise in figure of speech style, becoming to both the style of speech comon in New York during the 1940s and also how characters spoke in movies made back then set in NYC, then as some show of some hidden subtext. As i see it.

  • the last third wasn't bad just pretty standard action wrap up fare. The retro feel and heart was perfect...I never cared much for cap'n before, but Chris pulled it off and I like the character now. shame he looks to get the short end of the stick in Avengers, costume and importance-wise.

  • March 9, 2012, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Dude, the subtext is right there!

    by D.Vader

    He gets bullied. He says "I don't like bullies." Ding ding! That's his *entire* explanation for why he does what he does when he's asked by the girl ("Do you want to kill Nazis?")! He says "I don't want to kill people. I just don't like bullies."

  • Besides I liked Sucker Punch (even though I fell asleep at the midnight show, too much booze) and all of you hated it. I hate the shameless selling of this by AICN and I hate that this meh movie costed 250 million. But I love the genre so I'll give it a chance.

  • March 9, 2012, 10:59 a.m. CST

    Not going cause I don't like the name John Carter as the movie title

    by donkingkong


  • March 9, 2012, 11:01 a.m. CST


    by TheMachinist

    You know as well as I do that Sucker Punch had no idea where it wanted it's plot to go. Visuals were fantastic, though.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Last 1/6th of CAPTAIN AMERICA sucked ass...

    by BurnHollywood

    ...First 1/2 of CA establishes how Red Skull doesn't just have an army of Nazis, but mother-fucking scary-ass SUPER Nazis. Movie ends with an old man (as in NO COUNTRY FOR) and CA's girlfriend PWNing them. WTF. Left the theater muttering, didn't bother to rent the DVD. Fucking hacks, man.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:17 a.m. CST

    Where exactly did Captain America's plane crash?

    by StatelyWayneManor

    I assume they were in Europe on the way to America...what frozen tundra was between them?

  • March 9, 2012, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Where's Quint? He's our only hope for a legit review

    by Mel

  • March 9, 2012, 11:26 a.m. CST

    There were only ten good minutes in CAPTAIN AMERICA, and you all know it.

    by Subtitles_Off

    The USO piece where they were making total joke of the character. The rest of it was as bland as JOHN CARTER probably is.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:28 a.m. CST

    burnhollywood - drugs r bad mmkay

    by Big_Daddy_Nero

    What? There were no 'super nazis' - the only 'super nazi was Red Skull himself. The only advantage Hydra soldiers had was slightly-advanced technology. But the allies had superior numbers and planning. You talk like TLJ and the girl somehow 'beat up' a bunch of super-soldiers, which bears no resemblance to what occurred in the film. Conclusion: don't watch movies while high - it messes with your perception and memories.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    *Visuals were fantastic*

    by Subtitles_Off

    When are we going to admit that's the LEAST we should expect, not the best?

  • March 9, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    Least we should expect

    by TheMachinist

    How so? Movies, more than anything, are a VISUAL medium.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Sure Subby

    by D.Vader

    If you were already planning on hating Captain America, I guess you would only like the part that makes a joke of the character.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    The best parts of Captain America...

    by StatelyWayneManor

  • March 9, 2012, 11:34 a.m. CST

    ...were when he was just Steve Rogers.

    by StatelyWayneManor

  • March 9, 2012, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Nordling, your hand was stayed...

    by DocOpticus

    I feel it...

  • March 9, 2012, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Sure, Vader.

    by Subtitles_Off

    That's what I do. I go into a theater expecting to hate it. I've seen over three thousand movies, and I hate every single one of them. I wouldn't know good from bad, because I'm not even swayed by *spectacular* visuals. I have developed a certain taste, and it is hopelessly flawed. Wow, I've finally seen the light. Generic Marvel Comics glowy crap and ass science for me, from now on! Thanks, Vader. What would we do without you?

  • Red Skull didn't simply pump a luger bullet into Hitler's emissaries when they came by with their complaints...he DISINTEGRATED them. Some "slightly advanced" technology. But by movies end, a geriatric and a a girl were picking his forces off from a jeep with standard issue armaments. Some fucking "superior planning". Sounds like shitty fucking writing to me, but make whatever fanboy excuses you need to justify blatant screenwriter hackery...wouldn't be the first time.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:44 a.m. CST


    by Big_Daddy_Nero

    I was at the screening Nordling hosted, he was very enthusiastic beforehand, he had already seen it once, he had genuine enthusiasm for the film as he addressed the audience before it started, he was effusive with his praise of the books by Burroughs as well as for the movie we were about to see. So no, you don't feel that his 'hand was stayed', because it wasn't. He liked it. For realsies. Why don't you just watch it for yourself and make up your mind AFTER you have seen it instead of before? What OTHER movies fill your slate this weekend anyway?

  • March 9, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Happy Fudgepack Friday!

    by Robert Evans

    Today's subject ... former wrestler and current Clooney arm adornment STACY KEIBLER! Well, does she or doesn't she?

  • March 9, 2012, 11:48 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    if the subtext is right there, then it's not subtext, is it? No, ol' Capt america wants to do good because doing good is the thing to do, and fight evil is the thing to do. The bulling stuff is not there for freudean excuse reasons, it's there to show he was already a brave heart even before he became a superhero. You risk cheappen the character by going to such banal route with characterization which, i truly think, was not the filmmakers intentions. and i saw the movie twice.

  • And it wasn't those that turned me into an evil motherfucker.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Subby, your attitude towards many movies...

    by D.Vader

    ... Is negative before you've seen them. I'm pretty sure you weren't looking forward to Cap before you saw it, and that's what I'm speaking to specifically. And when that's the case, then of course the only part you'd like is the part that agrees with your opinion of the costumed super-hero to begin with- he's a joke. This has nothing to do with how many movies you've seen, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't put words in my mouth and tried to twist this discussion into an utterly unrelated topic.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST


    by Robert Evans

    But by assuming JOHN CARTER is i quote as bland as Captain America, you have shown yourself to be an filmgoer who YES goes into the film expecting the worst and at best, you'll be mildly entertained by the pretty light sin the aisle. Own your issues broseph.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    it looked like the northern part of the Quebecquian peninsula to me, going by the onboard navigational electronic map shown .

  • March 9, 2012, 11:56 a.m. CST


    by Robert Evans

    It's not that you hate EVERY movie. It's that you hate the kinds of movies that generally interest or please *geeks.* In fact, you hate *geeks.* So, why are you here again? You're not changing anyone's mind, and you offer nothing but scorn and derision, which is returned, in kind to you. It makes no sense that you keep coming back here. Unless, of course, you can't get a boner without feeling intense rage. That's the case, isn't it? You sit at your keyboard, AICN taking up the entire screen, with a sneer on your face and a throbbing torpedo of lust in your long johns.

  • Sure, the advertizement and trailers did a good woek on me, but i have been jadded by good trailers for bad movies before. And as you might recall, when CAPTAIN AMERICA was anounced and up until it's release, i was one of it's most ferocious critical voices against it. i was rothweiller mad at it. And now? Damn fine movie that is, had loads of fun watching it, can watch it again in an heartbeat any day of the week. In a perfect world, JOHN CARTER would do that to me too. but we do not live in one such. Here's to hoping, however.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Asi, I'm looking forward to your take on JOHN CARTER.

    by Robert Evans

    Be sure to post away when you get back from the cinema.

  • March 9, 2012, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Asimov, you just don't want to admit its there

    by D.Vader

    I said it was subtext because I forgot the explicit line in which he says he doesn't like bullies... AFTER we've seen him bullied! It doesn't take a genius to figure out that most likely the reason he fights for good is because he's seen what evil can do, and he's been at the bad end of lesser evil before. To say him being bullied is inconsequential to the character is just missing the forest for the trees.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Here, Asi

    by D.Vader

    I believe Steve Rogers is a good person, regardless of him being bullied. But I also believe that him being bullied is what makes him a good person, and he knows what its like to be oppressed.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:03 p.m. CST

    OK, Vader.

    by Subtitles_Off

    That's fair. Yes, when I go into the types of films you tend to enjoy, I expect to find them lacking in all qualities that I find satisfying. Sometimes, however, to disprove your jack-ass theory, I am surprised, and, when I am, I will admit it. Oh, I dunno...IRON MAN or RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, for example. There are exceptions to every *rule*, and THAT'S what I am looking for in a movie experience. Something that impresses me. One could just as easily say, if you go into a theater expecting to love a movie, you will love it. Gheesh. That's bound to be a really informed opinion about a movie's subjective quality. By that standard, we are certainly not able to trust your opinion on any movie, either, and you should be insulted by trolls every time you type something. Now run along and gather all your Choppahs and get back to me.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST

    Thanks for the plane info. That was bugging me...

    by StatelyWayneManor I just have to figure out why Cap's Avengers costume is so lame.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Fudgepack Friday. What a fucking idiot(s).

    by Subtitles_Off

  • The notion of a little guy with a heart of gold being turned into a superhero is such a cornball metaphor, it's hard to resist. Too bad the screenplay's consistency wasn't on par with the concept. Happens a lot these days.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:10 p.m. CST

    Every fucking talkback is the same now.

    by Playkins

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people on here gripe openly about the quality of a movie without even seeing it first. If someone has an actual formulated and educated opinion, I always respect that. If not, I think you should shut your damn pie-hole about how much something sucks until you bother to know what you're talking about.<p> Between haters and elitists who think their opinion is move valid than someone else's, this place is falling into geekdom parody.<P> I'll go see this one Sunday morning when the people in the audience are the ones that actually want to see it and not bitch about whether or not John Carter could've gotten a chain off a loop.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:12 p.m. CST

    My "jack-ass theory"?

    by D.Vader

    What on earth are you talking about Subby? As for your theory on movie-goers, yes its true with everyone. People who expect to like a movie usually do, and people who expect to not like a movie usually don't. What I don't get are the people who watch movies they expect to hate right out of the gate. I enjoy watching bad movies every now and then, and sometimes I'm punished for it (like the Nu-Conan the Barbarian). Everyone gets disappointed by a movie every now and then, and everyone gets pleasantly surprised. Nothing new there. I was just pointing out that yeah, if you expected Cap to be a bad movie to begin with, then yes you would think the best part is the scene that agrees with your sentiments. And with you, unless I'm wrong, you tend to look down on all costumed super-heroes to begin with, right? So... was I wrong? But please, go on and insult me some more.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:13 p.m. CST

    I'm glad you enjoyed Captain America, Asi

    by D.Vader

    Especially being a foreigner. I hope you enjoy John Carter as much.

  • If anyone can appreciate a tight ass, it's you.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:16 p.m. CST

    The thing that I find interesting...

    by Blue_Demon

    ...and a bit dissapointing, is that some on here seem to want the movie to fail. I really don't understand this. You don't like it? Move along. Don't say FAILURE and put a smiley emoticon up there. You're like every one of those dorks who hate Justin Bieber simply for existing. Do I enjoy Justin Bieber? No. I heard a couple of songs (my niece has him on her iPod) and didn't think it was anything to write home about. Just another pop singer. But do I hate the guy? No. I just ignore him. Some people seem to spit up blood when something they don't care for tries to make it. You must be fun to hang out with. Going to see it tonight, I hope it's good. Dejah Thoris is a honey.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:18 p.m. CST


    by Robert Evans


  • March 9, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST

    blue_demon: Amen, brother.

    by Playkins

  • March 9, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST


    by StatelyWayneManor

    ...which is German for "I'm pretentious". Kidding. Hope you like the film bettter than I did.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST

    You guys is so funny!!!GIGGLE!!!

    by Joe Plumber

    This discussion amuses me.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Video games suffer all kinds of publisher interference

    by NotEnoughBiehn

    Sure, the production values are great, but the game play depth is completely watered down to be "accessible" to every idiot that can push buttons to a story. It's also the reason you get all these franchise revivals in the form of FPS games instead of better versions of whatever genre they were in. Publishers have no faith in any thing besides action games. The big budget game industry is just the same as the film industry. People think it's not because they don't know they history of video games like they do film. Both industries have their fair share of "Reboots," dumbing down, bloated spectacle, etc.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST

    Re: As Much As I Wanted This One To Win ...

    by ArmageddonProductions

    ... between the bad reviews (like any AICN-endorsed product, assume that a carefully-worded lukewarm review like this one translates to a really shitty review anywhere else) and Nikki Finke reporting a $500,000 midnight opening last night (Deadline Hollywood estimates a 30 mil opening weekend and at least a 50 percent dropoff next weekend, and after that, HUNGER GAMES comes out), it really looks like the naysayers are right this time. At 250 million dollars, they were gonna have to do AVATAR business, anyway, just to break even. At this rate, they probably should have just given Harry and Rober Rodriguez 30 million and let them make whatever the fuck they wanted, or, better still, paid James Cameron whatever kind of money it would have taken to get him to do it. This is just depressing.

  • March 9, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    this review is a TITANIC spoiler

    by kaijuturtle

    2/3 of the fun of this film is figuring out what is going on and how it fits together, you've basically laid it all out

  • March 9, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST

    my post vanished?

    by fat_rancor_keeper


  • March 9, 2012, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Duh-harrrr!!! Duh, Nordwing hee-huh!!!!

    by He Hate Me

    Wanta know wuh dye tink 'bout da moovees? *drools* I haz opinions! Duh-harrrr!!

  • March 9, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    I've got something you can ban, Turdling--swingin' between my legs!

    by He Hate Me

  • March 9, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST

    As expected, the idiots have emerged

    by shran

    No real surprise. They were going to come out and complain about "obvious CG". As if for John Carter the studio was going to go against current film-making practices and do all of the FX with puppets, men in suits, miniatures, and stop motion. And even if Disney and Stanton et al had gone in that direction the very same people would have complained that the FX were too "old fashioned" and "cheesy" looking. And then they'll come out and say that it's getting bad reviews when all the evidence thusfar is the opposite. I have yet to read a bad review and I have read about 10 today. Also the ever popular "It's going to bomb" faction rears it's ridiculously pessimistic head in spite of the fact that the movie will easily make it's money back on it's domestic release and turn a profit world wide. Whatever idiots. Go ahead and wait in your basement for the perfect moment in cinema that will never happen. Really awesome movies are going to be released and great bunches of us genre fans are going to go see them. You, on the other hand, will remain in front of your monitor complaining about the glut of movies the rest of us are enjoying.

  • liberal_warrior not enough for ya, bubbeh?

  • March 9, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST

    --I have yet to read a bad review and I have read about 10 today.---

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    lol seriously? I've seen mixed reviews all over but over on rottentomatoes alone there are a ton of negative reviews.

  • March 9, 2012, 4:37 p.m. CST

    Yeah, seriously

    by shran

    #1 I don't care sweet fuck-all about Rotten Tomatoes. Hardly the measure of accuracy, much like AICN. Consider the sources of bad reviews, much like the quality of posters in a TB. #2 Maybe you and I define a bad review differently. I have read many reviews and most of them point to the flaws in the movie. But they all have stated that the movie was fun none-the-less. I can't call that a bad review. Incidentally, I would estimate (conservatively) that there are/will be about 10,000 reviews for this movie. I have read 10, so I admit that I am not providing an accurate sampling of all reviews. But I admit my bias readily. I want this movie to succeed for the sake of future sci-fi films and because I have loved the source material since I was a kid.

  • It really does seem like the big-time media critics are piling on because it's fun to kick movies like this when they're down.

  • March 9, 2012, 6:11 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    will do. the movie will be released here next wenesday, and either friday or the weekend i'll watch it. and then i'll write my thoughs about it. i just hope there's still a talkback going on dedicated to the movie JOHN CARTER so i can post it.

  • see ya guys tomorrow. have a better one.

  • BINGO.

  • There's no reason why critics would want to go on avendetta against Straton. You could say it's agaisnt Disney, but then again, this doesn't seem to be the case. I just think the critics are not liking JOHN CARTER because they don't like it. Fans can take refuse and consolation in the fact that back in the day movies like BLADE RUNNER and THE THING were also pretty much disliked by the majority of the critics and public alike. The great amount of negative reviews on JOHN CARTER is not syntomathic of a hype backlash. It would be if this against in regard to a movie like, say, ABRAMS TREK 2. If that movie gets the type of critic and public reaction as JOHN CARTER is getting, then you could be certain that would be a case of hype backlash. On JOHN CARTER, not so much.

  • March 10, 2012, 9:08 a.m. CST

    ASI the movie praised the Shit Trek but they are bashing

    by KilliK

    a movie which is no way worse than Shit yeah they are prejudiced against this particular movie and one of the main reasons for that is because they take joy on ripping apart an already doomed movie. Or think about it in the opposite way: would a movie critic want to praise a movie which is a big budget event movie but it will probably turn into one of the biggest flops in the movie history? if anything else,it would have hurt the critic's reputation and credibility.So these critics they do the obvious: they adopt the negative hype and the indiffrence of the movie audience that surrounds this movie and they trash it in order to satisfy the already prejudiced movie goers who have decided not to watch this "crap" movie.

  • March 10, 2012, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Nordling, your comment on the slow part.

    by Ringwearer9

    I liked that part. I liked the sense of ancient history, and wonder, and the spiritual aspect of the River Iss (or whatever it was called). I hate it when reviewer's only critical comment is to remove meditative aspects to a movie. I think many modern movie reviewers would say "Star Wars" was too slow, cos who needed all the boring shit on Tatooine.

  • March 10, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    the movie critics

    by KilliK

  • March 10, 2012, 11:16 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    i have seen critics praising movies that ha ve flopped (and even writing public laments for it's poor commercial fate), and i have seen critics bashing movies which proved commercially sucessful. no better example of the later can be found then the critical reeption met with the Michael Bay's TRANSFORMERS movies, specially the second and 3rd. Those were almost universally despised by the critic comunity, and still they made bank. If the critics had wanted to be hip, they would had joined the bandwagon of the movie public and praise them... which they didn't. Movie critics are not this monolith thing. _they are people. sometimes they go with the flow, sometimes they don't, and more often, each just gives their own opinion and the end result is different responses. In that regard, they aren't that different from the geekry.

  • If modern spectacle movies today have a common problem is that they are too fast paced all the time. Fast facing a movie all thought it actually causes boredom in me. It's when movies change pacing gears depending of the turn of the story that actually makesme hold interest. Movies don't need to be fast paced all the time. If anything, movies should get slower paced. It's a funny thing that as the editing techniques have evolved and become technically more efficient, the pacing in movies have gotten worst. I guess the editing technology of today can cover up bad editing ability much better then in the past.

  • March 10, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST

    =i have seen critics praising movies that ha ve flopped=

    by KilliK

    which ones? names please.

  • March 10, 2012, 12:43 p.m. CST

    Asi i am talking about a very specific situation:

    by KilliK

    big-budget movies which are made by A-listers but are surrounded with troubles and conflicts during their production,they cause negative hype and end up being mediocrie films and BO failures. A lot of high profile movie critics tend to trash these specific movies,because they find pleasure in it,they want to satisfy the sadistic needs of their dedicated audience and also because they want to protect their credibility.sometimes they even think that they are the guardians of Hollywood's well being and it is their mission to protect it from such "failures". Movie critics are people,and like people,they love to see succesful people and ambitious things sinking into the sea of failure.

  • March 10, 2012, 2:25 p.m. CST

    I agree with Killik

    by D.Vader

    Sometimes critics seem to feed off the negativity that one another espouses in a review. This project has had negativity surrounding it for weeks thanks to all the articles discussing the subpar ad campaign and speculation as to whether its going to flop or not, so it would be easy for critics to feed off that and go with the flow.