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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old June 13 2009, 09:27 PM   #46
aelius
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Read the books when I was around fifteen. Enjoyed the first five or six, then they went downhill fast for me. The funny thing is I can't even remember why.
Oh well, long long ago...
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Old June 14 2009, 12:54 AM   #47
Nerys Myk
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

aelius wrote: View Post
Read the books when I was around fifteen. Enjoyed the first five or six, then they went downhill fast for me. The funny thing is I can't even remember why.
Oh well, long long ago...
Burroughs tended to get repetitive. The Tarzan books are great example of this. Same plot different day. Every once in a while he'd break out of the rut.
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Old June 14 2009, 10:28 AM   #48
RJDiogenes
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Camelopard wrote: View Post
It's the American way, is it not?
No, but it's the culture we're stuck with for now.

I've read Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union, and I thought it was one of the best genre novels I've read in years. It's both an outstanding alternate-history novel, and an outstanding detective novel. It's Nebula award was well-deserved.
I may look up some of his stuff just based on the strength of his philosophy. Up until the early-to-mid 20th Century, literature was literature; then began the Balkanization, and ultimately the ghettoization, of creative writing by second-rate academics who couldn't keep up. They don't even get the irony of higher education leading to lower cultural standards.

aelius wrote: View Post
Read the books when I was around fifteen. Enjoyed the first five or six, then they went downhill fast for me. The funny thing is I can't even remember why.
Oh well, long long ago...
I agree that the later ones aren't quite as good, but they're not the sort of thing you want to read all in a row; it's something to dip into once in a while.
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Old June 14 2009, 11:24 AM   #49
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I may look up some of his stuff just based on the strength of his philosophy. Up until the early-to-mid 20th Century, literature was literature; then began the Balkanization, and ultimately the ghettoization, of creative writing by second-rate academics who couldn't keep up. They don't even get the irony of higher education leading to lower cultural standards.
Sounds like Chabon and I would get along quite well. Critical theory is a plague on our culture, and reminds me of something Gibbon wrote in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: "A cloud of critics, of compilers, of commentators, darkened the face of learning, and the decline of genius was soon followed by the corruption of taste."
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Old June 14 2009, 05:38 PM   #50
RJDiogenes
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

^^ Great quote. Yeah, it's nice to see a writer who seems to agree with me in that regard. Of course, the critics don't like it, but that's just part of the fun.
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Old June 14 2009, 07:23 PM   #51
Greg Cox
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Ubik wrote: View Post

Interesting that everyone is hoping the movie is aimed at adults - why? The book is a kid's book. People read it when they're 12. Yes, it has lots of violence and nudity, but in that giggly non-realistic sort of way you get from comic books aimed at 12 year-olds. This isn't an adult book, and it shouldn't be an adult movie - it should be exactly what the book is: comically violent, over-the-top nonsense.

Agreed. Burroughs wasn't Robert E. Howard. Aside from the nudity, which isn't nearly as salacious as it sounds, the books are old-fashioned swashbucklers--and about as "adult" and "hardcore" as an old Errol Flynn or Ray Harryhausen movie. There are swordfights and monsters and scantily-clad princesses and such, but it's all very G-rated.

A R-rated Barsoom movie would miss the point, and probably shock Burroughs to his core.

Think STAR WARS or THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD. Swashbuckling adventure for the whole family.
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Old June 14 2009, 08:44 PM   #52
Goliath
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Think STAR WARS or THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD. Swashbuckling adventure for the whole family.
With naked princesses.
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Old June 14 2009, 08:48 PM   #53
Greg Cox
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Camelopard wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Think STAR WARS or THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD. Swashbuckling adventure for the whole family.
With naked princesses.

I'll settle for semi-naked princesses.


(Seriously, like Ubik said, Burroughs is for twelve-year-olds. I would have been seriously pissed off in sixth grade if someone had made an "adult" John Carter movie that I wouldn't have been able to see in the theaters.)
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Old June 14 2009, 08:51 PM   #54
Goliath
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Camelopard wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Think STAR WARS or THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD. Swashbuckling adventure for the whole family.
With naked princesses.

I'll settle for semi-naked princesses.
*Pouts*
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Old June 14 2009, 09:20 PM   #55
Mr. Adventure
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Camelopard wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Think STAR WARS or THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD. Swashbuckling adventure for the whole family.
With naked princesses.

I'll settle for semi-naked princesses.


(Seriously, like Ubik said, Burroughs is for twelve-year-olds. I would have been seriously pissed off in sixth grade if someone had made an "adult" John Carter movie that I wouldn't have been able to see in the theaters.)
I see what your saying but it sounds like capitulating. Now we're even suggesting that's what Burroughs would have wanted. I do know he enjoyed the success that Tarzan had in the media so it's true he'd probably be OK with it but it still sounds like being slaves to the status quo.
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Old June 14 2009, 09:44 PM   #56
Greg Cox
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Capitulating to what? The reality that you can't have full-frontal nudity in a PG-rated sci-fi adventure? I'd consider that a surrender if it violated the spirit of the books, but my point is that it doesn't. The Barsoom books were never graphic or explicit. Despite the titilating nudity (which is one thing to allude to in prose; another thing to project onto the screen in 70mm), the books were not intended to be scandalous and reflect an almost Victorian sense of decorum. John Carter remains chivalrous and a perfect gentlemen throughout, even when exploring Mars in the company of a naked princess or slave girl. By modern standards, the books are remarkably tame.

(Heck, my grandfather gave me my first Burroughs books when I was just a kid. Which says something about how controversial they weren't.)

This isn't CONAN or WATCHMEN. John Carter was never meant to be "for mature readers only." A PG-rated Barsoom movie isn't a surrender. It fits the subject matter.

IMHO.
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Old June 14 2009, 10:44 PM   #57
Mr. Adventure
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

^^ I understand the reality of the situation, I guess I'm just not sure that it's necessarily a good thing just because that's how it is. I'm probably not really expressing myself well.
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Old June 14 2009, 11:03 PM   #58
Greg Cox
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

I'm not even sure it's a bad thing. To put it bluntly, the Barsoom books are about high adventure, not nipples and pubic hair (two terms which I'm pretty sure never appeared in any of the books). They were old-fashioned swashbucklers from a more innocent era. I don't think you're watering them down any by giving Dejah Thoris a gilded bikini . . . .

Again, the feel of the books were more akin to FLASH GORDON or STAR WARS than HEAVY METAL. And it's the spirit of the books that really matters.

As long as the movie's a thrilling adventure story set on an exotic alien world inhabited by fearsome beasts and beautiful women, you've got A PRINCESS OF MARS.

Mostly, I'm just agreeing with Ubik's original point: JOHN CARTER OF MARS was always a kid-friendly series, so I'm not sure why anyone would worry about it not being "adult" enough?


(It's like worrying whether Zorro or Tom Swift are edgy enough!)
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Old June 15 2009, 12:54 AM   #59
Mr. Adventure
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

That aside, I just hope they go for "exotic" with this movie, a pedestrian watered down interpretation will make me really sad.
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Old June 15 2009, 01:06 AM   #60
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Re: "John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Definitely. "Exotic" is exactly the right approach.
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