"John Carter of Mars" Moving Ahead!

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Ptrope, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Ubik

    Ubik Commodore Commodore

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    The first book, "Princess of Mars," is a lot of fun. It's entirely brainless, of course, and racist, and misogynist, and Imperial, and all sorts of other things you would expect from this kind of book, from that period - but it's far better written, I think, than most other stuff of its type. What I mean by that is, it's not boring. The action is exciting, and the visuals are great fun. Don't expect the least bit of plot, characterization, or intelligence, though.

    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.
     
  2. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    BTW, A Princess of Mars among others are part of the Project Gutenberg public domain e-text library.

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rgs/pmars-table.html


    And it wasn't just Dejah that was naked but JC himself which would never ever happen in an American film I'd reckon.
     
  3. Shawnster

    Shawnster Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Racist? Really? You got that from the book/series? I found it to be quite opposite - more of a condemnation on racism. Red and Black men/Barsoomians are good guys and the White men/Barsoomians were evil. This written at the time when the Red and Black humans were still treated as second-class (or worse) citizens while the Whites were the top of the pecking order.
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I highly recommend the John Carter books. They're among the best Pulp adventures ever written.

    I believe "Skeleton Men" was the first third of a trilogy, which is why it seems anticlimactic; at least, I think I heard that somewhere.

    Depends on the initial budget; and think of what they'd save in wardrobe. :D

    Actually, I've always pictured John Carter movies in the early 30s B&W style. To be more specific, I like the idea of an alternate universe where all those Weismuller-O'Sullivan Tarzan movies were John Carter movies instead. :cool:
     
  5. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's the American way, is it not?

    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.

    If that's a fair indication of the quality of Chabon's work, then the script is in good hands.

    Colour me stoked. The Warlord of Mars, on the big screen at last. It's about time. :cool:
     
  6. aelius

    aelius Commander Red Shirt

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    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...
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    No, but it's the culture we're stuck with for now.

    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. :rommie:

    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. :)
     
  9. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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."
     
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    ^^ Great quote. :bolian: 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. :D
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  12. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    With naked princesses.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    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.)
     
  14. Goliath

    Goliath Vice Admiral Admiral

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    *Pouts*
     
  15. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  17. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ 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.
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    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!)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  19. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    That aside, I just hope they go for "exotic" with this movie, a pedestrian watered down interpretation will make me really sad.
     
  20. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Definitely. "Exotic" is exactly the right approach.