Posts tagged "John Carter"

John Carter (Review)

John Carter

aka John Carter of Mars

2012
Written by Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, and Michael Chabon
Directed by Andrew Stanton

John Carter of Mars
As you might expect, I’m a rather big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and his Barsoom stories. I have the whole series in old out of print volumes culled from bookstores across the country. I have many other Burroughs books and other pulp novels. I have the Guide to Barsoom and some other books where Martians show up, and some of the old Marvel comics. You might say I like this crazy fantasy stuff. So, yes, I was excited that we were finally getting our big screen Barsoom film. Then it got renamed John Carter.
John Carter of Mars
After 100 years, A Princess of Mars is finally coming to the big screen (if you ignore Asylum’s DTV Princess of Mars…) as John Carter. John Carter. No “Of Mars”, no “A Princess of Mars”, no nothing. Add to that all the other abysmal marketing Disney did for the film, and suddenly the rumors that this will be the biggest box office bomb in the history of the planet and the red planet as well started to spring up. “Whatever,” I said, because I’ll let the movie speak for itself. And the movie has finally spoken. And it’s good. Not excellent, but good. Good enough that John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) should be doing better at the box office than it is tracking. Good enough that the naysayers were wrong, even if John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) does lose a lot of money, it is not because John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) failed.

That is not to say there isn’t any problems. There are. Some are pretty big. But I’ll get to most of them. But a simple review like this right after watching on opening night doesn’t do John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) justice, so rest assured there will be another, longer, super detailed, mega-ultra-hyper-giga-supreme-double-secret-comprehensive review once John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) is on DVD and I can screencap and watch a bajillion times to my heart’s content.
John Carter of Mars

John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) – The fighting man of Mars with the super jumping powers and the getting into everyone’s business powers. I will say making John Carter a reluctant hero is boring, that’s been overplayed since the 90s. And capitalizing it with him having a dead wife and kid just makes it even more boring. None of that junk is in the book, John Carter is just a dude who fights. No one needs a giant backstory. I didn’t start this website because a movie killed my family, sometimes things just are.
Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) – Now, I did not like what they did with John Carter, but I did like what they did with Dejah Thoris, making her a much stronger female character who still has the poise and confidence of a princess, even if she does human things from time to time. She’s also not afraid to fight for her country, the Dejah Thoris of the books does not fight at all and is more of a proud trophy that half the planet is trying to kidnap and marry.
Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) – Jeddak of the Tharks and the guy who finds John Carter after he gets his ass to Mars. Helps Carter in order to help his secret daughter, Sola.
Sola (Samantha Morton) – Thark female assigned to care for John Carter, is treated as a screw up by the evil woman Sarjoka. Is unaware that Tars Tarkas is her father.
Woola (CGI) – Martian dog assigned to keep watch on John Carter, instead becoming his loyal companion. Woola’s best scene (and one of the more charming scenes in the film) is when he’s first introduced, as it both gives us a look at his character and is entertaining as well.
Matai Shang (Mark Strong) – The leader of the Holy Therns aka White Martians aka the bad guys. While not originally in the original book (Matai and his buddies show up in books 2 and 3) he’s here causing trouble to make a bigger, more cohesive arc between a planned trilogy. Matai Shang and his ilk are more technologically advanced than in the books and have a far more sinister origin and goal.

John Carter of Mars
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 10, 2012 at 2:50 am

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Princess of Mars (Review)

Princess of Mars


2009
Directed and written by Mark Atkins

The Asylum are the masters of the Mockbusters, the films released on DVD the same day that films with similar titles open in the theater. We got Transmorphers, The Terminators, and Dragon. Thanks to the magic of the public domain, the first couple of Barsoom books are copyright free in the USA, thus allowing Asylum to get away with this cash in. Surprisingly, this is not a mockbuster of John Carter of Mars, the upcoming Pixar film due out in 2012, but is a mockbuster for Avatar, complete with mentioning Avatar on the DVD cover.

Now, a few of you will not be that familiar with the story of the Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter books. A brief explaination: John Carter is a Virginian and former Confederate soldier who is wandering around the West and goes in a cave, and ends up on Mars, called Barsoom by the natives. He’s captured by Green Martians, who are 14 foot tall green Martians with tusks and four arms, who admire his great strength and hopping ability (a gift from his Earth muscles on the lighter gravity of Mars) and train him up to be a warrior. They also capture some Red Martians, who are human-like except for their red skin. Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, is the main captive, and Carter falls for her and soon they are escaping and lots of fights happen. And everyone on Mars is naked all the time. Guess which part is not in the film! Most of it, actually.

Barsoom – planet of substandard emissions standards

So here at TarsTarkas.NET we have a vested interest in Princess of Mars because there is a dude named Tars Tarkas in it. He’s played by Matt Lasky, who has also left comments on the blog, so we got that going for us.

But the question is…is Princess of Mars a good film? Ha! It’s not the worst thing Asylum has churned out, but it is far from a masterpiece. It isn’t awful, but parts make absolutely no sense. I would have much preferred that they just went with an original story, but, whatever. I can say it is the best Barsoom movie ever, because it is the only Barsoom movie! Yet. I will not rag on some of the CGI or costumes (except when they get really bad…) because at TarsTarkas.NET, we forgive small budgets. We don’t forgive bad writing, so expect that to get pointed out.

Enough jibber-jabber, let’s do this thing, Martian style!

John Carter (Antonio Sabato Jr.) – John Carter is a Marine sniper who originally was from Virginia but gets sent to Mars 216 thanks to the military doing….something….for some reason….never explained. So, yeah, he’s on Mars 216, hopping around, and kicking butt and naming names.
Dejah Thoris (Traci Lords) – Dejah Thoris is the Princess of Mars and Princess of Helium. But since the natives call Mars 216 Barsoom, shouldn’t she be the Princess of Barsoom? Or the Princess of Mars 216? Questions, questions. Traci Lords is not the raven-haired, red skinned Dejah Thoris of the novels, nor does she have the tough, proud warrior independent spirit, instead protraying Dejah Thoris as a more somber, introspective princess.
Tars Tarkas (Matt Lasky) – Tars Tarkas is a Green Martian warrior (Green Martians are Tharks) and befriends John Carter of Mars. Tars Tarkas eventually takes over the Thark clan, because Tars Tarkas rules. The Tars Tarkas costume starts deteriorating as the film progresses, so keep an eye out for that. The Green Martian heads look like artichokes or asparagus spears or something.
Sarka (Chacko Vadaketh) – Sarka betrays John Carter in Afghanistan and is partially responsible for Carter being sent to Mars 216.
Sab Than (It is a mystery!) – Who is the mysterious warrior Sab Than, who is sort of the Princess’s bodyguard, but not really?
Tal Hajus (Mitchell Gordon) – The fat Jabba mofo who runs the Tharks and is totally evil. He also hates women with eyes. Yeah. He gets sliced and diced.
Sola (Noelle Perris) – Sola in this film is just a random Green Martian lady who is friends with Tars Tarkas. She does some pivotal rescuing.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - January 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,