John Carter (Review)

John Carter

aka John Carter of Mars

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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John Carter of Two More High-Res Images

Just when you thought it was safe to not have high-resolution images of John Carter (of Mars, dammit!), here are two more to make it not safe! If you base your safety on having high resolution images of John Carter, you are probably insane and need medication. Please get help after you are done reading more articles on TarsTarkas.NET! We’re almost as good as strong psychological drugs. Almost…

John Carter chat time

Tharks hold a conference to talk about this weird jumping guy

John Carter Matai Shang

Matain Shang (Mark Strong) and evil green martians plan evil things that are evil

John Carter of FULL Trailer!

We had the smaller version of the full trailer for John Carter (of Mars, dammit!) this morning on ABC (because the target demographic is obviously old women…), and now we get the full full trailer, which premiered on Jimmy Kimmel Live and IGN, because someone in marketing remembered John Carter should have many males in the audience.

This looks better than that tv clip, so at least it looks like it will be fun. It better be!!!

Also I’m loving the random comments saying this is an Avatar ripoff. Way to know nothing about nothing, buddy!
via IGN

Mark Strong talks John Carter of Mars

If you can’t wait for Asylum’s Princess of Mars to drop later this month, here is a quick interview of Mark Strong about his Matai Shang role in the upcoming Pixar John Carter of Mars film. CinemaBlend has him chatting about being a shapeshifting villain. I don’t remember Matai Shang shapeshifting (or even being in the first book, but, whatever) Mark Strong is also Lord Blackwood in the upcoming Sherlock Holmes film.

More John Carter of Mars casting

Three new names for John Carter of Mars!

Thomas Haden Church, rumored to be Tars Tarkas not long ago, has been confirmed in Pixar’s John Carter of Mars as Tal Hajus, one of the evil Green Martian Tharks. He was the Jeddak when John carter first came to Mars and is eventually killed by Tars Tarkas. But the synopsis for the character given says he is “an ambitious and vicious Thark warrior who is biding his time to be a ruler.” Does that mean a plot change?

Also joining the cast is Mark Strong as Matai Shang, leader of the Holy Therns (the White Martians) I believe they are only in the second and third books (I don’t remember them in the first, but I could be wrong) so there is either foreshadowing, or they are combining stories and making it way confusing.

The third new name is James Purefoy as Kantos Kan, the Red Martian John Carter befriends while stuck in a gladiator-like event, who is a captain in the Helium (a Red Martian city) army.