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Friday, March 9, 2012


JOHN CARTER Movie Review

What did RAMA this of film based on is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

From technical perspective or the VFX, there’s nothing necessarily catastrophic about JOHN CARTER, it’s the technology caught up to the story type situation but I’m just not that impressed, the marketing brags about the fact that STAR WARS and AVATAR took their inspiration from this Edgar Rice Burrough’s martian series, be that as it may, Star Wars and Avatar hit our theaters first and so there’s hardly much left for JOHN CARTER to use and blow our minds with…

From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”—a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). “John Carter” is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

I’ve never read the books, but I understand that Stanton had to alter some of the original material and took in elements from Burrough’s other books in the same series and compiled them into this one origin story but the result is a film that doesn’t engage you, frequent lackluster battle scenes, and even the romance seems forced.
I think Taylor Kitsch is not a charismatic leading man and Hollywood’s wanting him to be the new lead star when he’s clearly not ready for the role, is just sad.

I suppose it being the first live action movie by Finding Nemo and Wall-E director, Andrew Stanton could give him some excuse pass, after all you don’t always get it right the first time, right?! But if this is the start of a potential trilogy, if this is the quality and style of storytelling they’re going to keep for this franchise, then I’d hate to see what the 2nd and 3rd film would have to offer.

I’m not even kidding, the last 10 minutes of the movie was way more exciting than the 2 hours prior, because in the end, you’re treated with some mystery, piecing the clues, and hints of impending heartfelt reunion, if only the rest of the film could grab my attention that same way.

Stanton came from Pixar family and what I’ve always loved about Pixar films is that even if their films have environmental message or some other undertone that’s not always obvious from the looks and feel of the movie, they always managed to convey it in a way that’s not redundant, Stanton himself said that Pixar is emotionally driven, so I don’t understand why he couldn’t inject that same quality into JOHN CARTER because instead, the film kept preaching to us about taking up a cause, Lynn Collins’ character Dejah Thoris is pretty much the one sounding it like a broken record. I think audiences should collect penny for every time she verbally and loudly invites John Carter to join their fight, maybe then the economy can finally be stimulated.

I went to the screening where beforehand they gave us a pamphlet of information about the characters and their relation to one another. It helped to a certain point but I can only imagine the challenges that audiences would experience in theaters that don’t provide such accommodation, so to speak.
I enjoy the comedy built around the nickname Virginia and Carter’s superjump thanks to low gravity, the arena scene with the giant white apes suggests signs of epic, but after seeing the animated arena in How To Train Your Dragon, everything else seems unable to reach that same bar.

Apparently the villain Matai Shang is also some kind of shapeshifter, he can present himself in a different form, which is one of my favorite superpowers.

Perhaps for the sequel, what Stanton or whichever director that Disney’s going to hire, should do is don’t waste time reintroducing the already established characters and the previous plot and just go straight for the win, just jump in both feet with a continuation and just run with it and never look back, so we the audiences won’t have be bored out of our minds listening to explanations and long winded dialogue by two lead actors that are sight for sore eyes, but that’s about it.
Mars should’ve stayed airless.

GRADE: 2 out of 5

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