Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by KL700, Mar 6, 2012.
Well i guess Pulitzer prize winners dont write good scripts...
I still don't undestand why this movie cost 250 million to make in the first place...
Stanton made John Carter in the same way that his Pixar movies were made. He's said that typically a scene was done four times for WALL-E. They would block it out, render and animate it, and see if it worked. If it didn't work, they'd figure out why. Maybe they needed to redo a "performance." Maybe they needed another shot. It's an intensive way of making a movie, but the results proved that the method worked. And Stanton used that same approach with John Carter, but reshoots with actors are different than reshoots with CGI. With CGI, you just redo everything in a computer and everything matches. With actors, you have schedules to deal with, sets to rebuild, that sort of thing. So reshoots aren't cheap in time or money.
The thing is, Disney accepted all of this. This was the plan. They greenlighted a movie, knowing that Andrew Stanton intended to make it this way. He ended up with better material, but it cost more.
I don't know if quite that much would have been necessary, but I do think that you can see all of that money up on screen. The sets are massive, much of the movie was shot on location in the desert, and the digital effects and animations are among the best that I've ever seen.
I'm surprised that Taylor Kitsch is getting panned; he was a real standout in Friday Night Lights, and I didn't know he was involved in this film or I'd have been more interested.
Temis had it correct:
IMO he's too soft and pretty boy looking to be credible as a war veteran.
Very much so. He's the wrong kind of good-looking. Or, to do my own cribbing form another review:
This is the kind of role that would benefit, IMO, from a more rugged and weathered masculinity, something like mid-career Harrison Ford or Tommy Lee Jones circa the first Men In Black. Carter's a pulp character, thinly drawn, and that needs an actor who can imbue the role with a dimension that's not on the page. I've seen nothing to indicate Taylor is that guy.
Most of the reviews – even the positive ones – portray the movie as being exactly what you'd expect from the trailers. And since I thought the trailers were dire, well... And too bad, too. I wanted another big space epic that I'd actually like.
I was impressed with Kitsch. I'd only seen him in Wolverine so my expectations were very low, but I enjoyed him in this.
The problem with this movie is nobody wanted to see it in the first place. It was marginally popular back in the day when the planet Mars still held some mystical unknown value to humanity. After the numerous Viking and other misions to the Red Planet, everyone found out its a boring planet either way. And the only reason Warlord of Mars is still popular nowadays is because how risque Dejah Thoris is in the minds of many fans. That's about it.
...From some points of view, this is a boring planet now. Mars is still pretty mysterious, though.
I would say that I wish the film had done more developing the relationship between John and Dejah. It expends a lot of exposition on the politics of the Martian factions, as well as Carter's past and not enough in their here and now on Mars. It is a good story that could have been made better by explaining less about all the sides (even removing some such as the Tharns) and showing more of the main characters John and Dejah and their attraction for each other. Also, Carter should have had more Rhett Butler Southern dash to him.
And I have to admit, I've never seen him in FNL, I was just commenting on his value as a draw as a name and image on a poster or in a trailer. But whether or not he can make it as an action star has less to do with acting ability than having a certain type of outsized screen presence. Someone who is great in a close-up, personal TV drama is not necessarily going to be effective in a big screen action movie.
I suspect he was cast in the role on the assumption that he would attract a female audience, but if that was the idea, they did exactly the wrong thing. What they needed was Russell Crowe, circa Gladiator. A beat-up underdog given a new chance - his last chance - on an alien world. Make us sympathize with the guy immediately, so we have a reason to root for him and therefore go see the movie and make sure it all turns out okay for him.
The fundamental problem here is, I don't know why I should bother to see this movie. Just throwing a bunch of six-armed monsters at me isn't nearly enough.
That would have given him more personality and more importantly, it's crucial to establishing his sympathetic underdog status. I have no idea why they downplayed his status as an ex-Confederate who had travelled West because the life he'd known was over, which makes Mars a second chance for him. That's fundamental to the psychology of the character and it's really the only thing that rescues him from being a generic pulp action hero.
This movie is not at all about the real Mars. It's an exotic fantasy world derived from the popular image of Mars from about a century ago.
(PS, I personally find Mars far from "boring," but that Mars, the one being explored by NASA, has about as much to do with Barsoom as the real Earth has to do with Middle Earth.)
Is it popular nowadays? I was under the impression that other than Tarzan, all of ERB's works have vanished from popular culture. (Otherwise, "John Carter" wouldn't have been a bad title.)
I think this movie was a blank slate, waiting to be made either good or bad in story and character content, and in marketing. They definitely blew the marketing, sounds like they largely blew the movie, too.
No, they haven't vanished. They've been around for years, mostly in comic book form. The book series that features John Carter are reprinted every few years or so it seems.
I just saw the movie with my 50 year old mother this morning (my feelings are posted in the other JC thread) and she really enjoyed it too. The only reason she came was because I kept talking about how good the reviews I'd read for it were, and she told me afterward she was glad she came along.
Well, they're wrong if they are saying it sucked. Very fun to watch.
Blatr has a collection of both good and bad review quotes.
As someone who loved the movie, I'd go with these quotes to best sum up my feelings:
Ty Burr From the Boston Globe
Dan Jolin from Empre
Temis, that's pretty much exactly how the movie plays out.
The first five books are readily available because they're in the public domain, most often in omnibus editions. Barnes & Noble has a very nice hardcover edition of the first three that's illustrated by, I think, Thomas Yeates in a Hal Foster style.
Disney has reprinted all eleven Barsoom novels in three massive trade paperbacks, but they're incomplete versions that lack the Edgar Rice Burroughs framing sequences.
Good to know... I was tempted to get them... even though I already have the Barnes and Noble Princess of Mars volume.
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