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John Carter earns more respect!!!!
jcvdfan8315 July 2012
John Carter did not get the attention that it needed! This movie should of been more successful and despite what most of the critics and viewers are saying about this movie, "that its a lot like Star Wars and Avatar", that is not true. I have found John Carter to be an amazing movie visually, and the story was actually great. Don't get me wrong, Star Wars and Avatar were great movies, but I believe that John Carter was far much different and slightly better. I saw John Carter in the theaters the week that it came out and I had a lot of fun watching this movie!. So the hell with the critics, in my opinion, John Carter kicked ass!!!!.
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Mars never looked so good...
flickchick19092 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I have so much to say about this movie but I guess I should start with what or who is John Carter.

John Carter (Kitsch) is an American Civil War soldier who is transported to Mars. He first encounters the green skinned warlike nomads known as the Tharks and, due to his superhuman powers (Mars gravity and all that), quickly becomes embroiled in not only the political issues of the Tharks, but those of the red skinned, humanoid Martians as well. The humanoids control Mars through a series of city states with Zodanga annihilating everything in it's path. Helium is the last free state. Helium also has a beautiful and feisty Princess (Collins) and a political marriage to save all has been arranged. Then she meets our handsome hero….yep you guessed it. The two fall in love and are now fighting for not just what they love and believe in but who they love and believe in.

This movie is based on the book Princess of Mars, the first in a series of 11 novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs 100 years ago. They are also known as The Barsoom or John Carter of Mars series. A lot of what you have seen in these types of movies up until now has drawn, in some way, on this series of novels. Star Wars, Avatar, Babylon 5, Flash Gordon and even some Indiana Jones. I am sure the list is endless but Sci Fi is not my genre. When you watch John Carter, you will be able to pick the similarities immediately.

If you are aware of this movie's existence, then you are probably aware of the negative attention it has garnered. I saw this movie over 2 weeks ago and have had to watch as people all over the internet trash it. They have laughed at Disney for spending $250 million on an obvious dud. They have said Disney has distanced itself from the movie before it's release. They have criticised everything from the trailers to the posters to the casting of 2 unknowns as the leads. Oh and they have done all this without having seen the movie! These people are best ignored and sent back to their mother's basements!!

Now, I will say that Disney has done itself NO favours whatsoever with the posters and trailers for John Carter. This I will concede. But I have found the best trailer on You Tube and it was made by serious fans of the books thejohncarterfiles.

Please, if you are going to watch a trailer for this movie, make it this one. It just gives you a much better idea of what the movie looks like.

So what did I think? I LOVED it. I really, truly did. I wanted to see it because I had read so much about it over the last few years. Sci Fi may not be my thing but that doesn't mean I don't know what's going on in the land of movie making.

This movie has all the blockbuster action we have come to expect from this genre. The CGI is spectacular. The Martian characters are fantastic. The stand out Martian is without a doubt Woola, a pet that adopts John Carter and is as ugly as he is adorable. An ugly slug like animal that will melt your heart. Trust me :) There is good vs evil. There is Martian vs Martain. There is human vs human. There is serious stuff. There is fun stuff. A stand out scene I just cannot resist mentioning….

When Carter does arrive on Mars, his introduction to Tars Tarkas is absolutely hilarious. The mistake with his name becomes an ongoing gag throughout the movie and to great affect. Even our hero gives up, smiles and just shakes his head. Oh and yes, there is a very easy and believable reason why they all speak English.

This movie is for everyone who likes Star Wars or Avatar. It's for everyone who ever wished they could go to Mars. It's for everyone who likes a love story between a handsome hero and beautiful, spirited Princess. It's for everyone who wants to see a great movie and escape, literally, to another world for 2 hours. It's for everyone who likes a simple Sci Fi story. It's for everyone who likes a layered story they can think on a little later. It's for little kids (although at over 2 hours running length it may just be a tad too long for our littlest movie goers) and it's for big kids.

Ignore the critics and go see this movie. I think you will enjoy it. I saw it in 3D and I usually think 3D is a waste of money (sorry studios) but for this movie, fork out the extra $5 and see it in 3D.

Mars never looked so good.
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Really enjoyed it
neil_tipping3 March 2012
I did only have modest expectations of this film as the trailer reminded me a bit to much of Dune. Really surprised to find a film which had a good plot line (albeit cynics will liken it to Avatar-lite), well acted, reasonable characterisations, brilliant visuals and a surprisingly good hero figure in Taylor Kitsch. I saw the preview screening this morning - don't really care how much it cost to make - what I found was a big budget film that I really enjoyed from start to finish. My advice - don't follow the cynics and naysayers - see it for yourself. I will normally not go see 3D films (they give me a headache) but the 3D wasn't too intrusive on this one.
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Se-quel, se-quel, se-quel...
Metacognizant13 January 2013
John Carter is an unjustly dismissed sci-fi masterpiece...grossly unjustified. What was wrong with it? Specifically, what was wrong? Pacing? It was intense!!! Coming from someone who uses this word sparingly, this movie was "EPIC". I am almost certain that time will enable objectivity, and objectivity will redeem it from the stinging taint slapped on it due to a predictably simplistic aversion to what is "mainstream" by film critics. If a studio other than Disney could have created the same film with half the budget it would have been heralded as a cinematic achievement within the sci-fi genre, but its budget was viewed as ostentatious and its production studio as childish, so it became "cool" to hate on it before anyone had even seen it.

Who makes something and how much they pay to have it made has nothing to due with the quality of what is actually produced, it may be indicative of quality or lack thereof, but the final product speaks for itself. Reviews of John Carter tell us more about film critics than the critics told us about the film. It was practically perfect. "Incomprehensible plotting"??? They laid the groundwork for the presumed sequels by deliberately leaving a few questions unanswered, which I hope they still make and answer because I loved this first one! Mars was epic, and then in the end we are reminded that the story began on Earth and the film ends stronger than I could have hoped for! An excellent story masterfully told on screen.
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I had low expectations
s-Rachel22 July 2012
I put off watching this movie because I read an awful review of it. So my expectations were low. But let me tell you, i LOVED this movie! What fun! Just a super fun movie.

I'm not going to spoil it for you, the less you know the better. I will tell you that John Carter was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the man who wrote Tarzan. But unlike Tarzan this is science fiction. If you liked Star Wars, if you liked Willow, if you like adventure and action movies then check this one out. I might even buy it, which I almost never do any more. This was SUCH a pleasant surprise.

I just wish I had a 3D TV, because it comes in 3D also.
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John Carter: A surprising gem that shines bright and true
sellers-michael28 February 2012
Star Wars, Avatar, and John Carter. That's the cinema progression although by now everyone knows that the John Carter books came first and inspired both Lucas and Cameron. As a devotee of the books -- I appreciated Star Wars and Avatar, but neither produced the level of excitement and reader/viewer loyalty that Edgar Rice Burroughs did with his vivid and unforgettable tales of John Carter, Dejah Thoris, and Barsoom.

So what has Andrew Stanton given us?

Anwer: A gem that shines bright and true with a light all its own. Stanton has taken the grandmaster's story but he's made it his own and it's fresh and emotionally stirring in ways that are unexpected and make you want to see it a second time, and soon. The gem is not without a few rough edges -- but the core brilliance is unmistakable and undeniable.

Stanton is a subtle and sophisticated storyteller with a Pixarian's understanding of how to build characters that stay with you. Whereas Cameron in Avatar was content to extract the simple essence of the Burroughsian pulp narrative and just "go with it", Stanton keeps enough of that to keep the material recognizable but constructs characters that, in deft and certain strokes, emerge as fully realized beings who engage us and draw us in to their stories in ways that exceed what his predecessors Burroughs, Lucas, and Cameron were able to do. The result is a richer, character driven experience that transcends the dear sweet old pulpy fiber on which it is based and becomes something grander, richer, and more satisfying.

A word about how the film differs from what you're seeing in trailers: The promotion promises spectacle and action and there is plenty of that; but the promotion also suggests that the film will be a kind of childishly simple, woodenly executed mashup of questionable seriousness featuring awkward performances and cartoonish characterization while the film itself is almost the inverse of that--a thoughtful, finely tune spectacle that is a feast of imaginative transport and whose few flaws flow from the fact that it's a three hour epic that plays in two hours and twelve minutes.

Taylor Kitsch is convincing and natural and I never thought I'd be saying that, based on the promotion. Lynn Collins is luminous and elevates fully to the level of the "incomparable" Princess of Helium -- genuinely beautiful and strong of will and heart. Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas and Samantha Morton as Sola; Mark Strong as the delicious villain Matai Shang -- the cast is without exception strong. The special effects are state o the art and seamless -- and the music by Michael Giachinno deserves special mention: haunting, unique, and uniquely suited to the material, and the editing by Eric Zumbrunnen seamlessly supports the narrative.

The "flaws" amount to quibbles: The film feels lean and compact at 2 hours and 12 minutes and feels as if it could benefit greatly from 10 additional minutes which could have been used profitably to better set up the moment when John Carter and Dejah Thoris "close the deal" on their love, and clarify some story points that are there -- but could be highlighted more. Another beat of John Carter's life among the Tharks, implying a passage of time, would cause John Carter's later knowledge of the Tharks and their culture to make more sense (as it is now he seems to pick it up in a matter of days and as audience we never see where that knowledge comes from ). Another beat of John Carter absorbing the new world he finds himself in, and implicitly comparing it to what he left behind, would be welcome and would strengthen the impact we would feel when he makes that choice. But these minor points should not distract for the overall brilliance with which Stanton has executed a challenging assignment.

This is a film that bears watching more than once, and is complex and nuanced enough that subsequent viewings will no doubt reveal new treasures and clarify the minor rough edges -- yet it is also compelling and moving on an immersive first viewing in the theater. Perhaps the best indication of that is the fact that, in spite of my supposed knowledge of and sensitivity to film structure -- I was taken by surprise when it ended and was in no way ready for it to end. Could the full two hours have gone by that fast? How? And as I sit here writing about it the next morning, if there were an opportunity to go back and see it again tonight, I would do so without hesitation and, quibbles aside, that's a simple but ultimately profound recommendation.

A final thought: Like everyone, I've got plenty of things going on in my life and my world, distracting things, things that makes me worry, things that drag my mind out of a movie when I'm watching it and back into my world. Not one little tiny bit of that intruded into this movie. I was transported and when it was over I couldn't believe that was it -- I thought there was at least another 45 minutes owed to the audience. On a visceral level, without trying to overthink it -- that says a lot about what Andrew Stanton has accomplished, building on the foundation of the grandmaster Edgar Rice Burroughs.
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Cheesy, ludicrous plot but highly enjoyable blockbuster Sci-fi fantasy adventure
theycallmemrglass3 March 2012
I saw this at a preview screening in London.

I never read any of the books so only had a vague synopsis of the story just from trailers which didn't really impress me much.

Well, this turned out to be quite a blast. Its an enjoyable if very cheesy Sci-fi fantasy blockbuster. It has the spirit and energy of Flash Gordon including its own outrageously nonsensical but fun premise. It isn't as cheesy as that film but there is a definite lean towards it. The story is quite a novel mix of Planet of the Apes, Conan, Red Sonja, Avatar, Star Wars and Superman (yep this is a superhero movie too). We even have a western thrown in the mix at the beginning. I was going to say there isn't anything original here but how can I? This story was published in the 19th century so from that perspective, I can now see a lot of plot influences deriving from this in later SF/fantasy films.

A lot of money was spent on this movie and it shows. The special effects here are pretty awesome. Not necessarily ground breaking, everything on screen has been done before but its all smoothly done at a grand scale though not quite to the scale of the Star Wars prequels. Effects that stood out for me were John Carters "Hulk" like jumps, Martian sky ship battles, green martians (as good as Avatar), and a cute monster dog sidekick that almost steels the show.

Another major feature of the film was the cinematography. Its quite spectacular and for a barren dead desert planet, its surprisingly stunning.

One of the biggest surprise for me was the 3D. Its post conversion which most often results in poorer quality than films which are filmed in 3D from the start. But an exception can be made here. This is hands down the best 3d conversion film I have seen. The 3d depth was outstanding and really shows its power in numerous landscape and action scenes. This is probably the second best 3d live action film I've seen overall (either filmed in 3d or post converted) and I am normally anti-3d when it comes to live action films.

Taylor Kitsch who plays John Carter has just about enough screen presence portraying a likable anti hero with a punchy attitude and a sense of past history haunting him. Its a Han Solo type role but he plays it more brooding. There is even a Princess Leia and the age old storyline of helping a Princess to fight a war but each with their own agendas. Its all very clichéd, yet still enjoyable.

As much fun as I had with this, there is no denying that there is a lot wrong with it too. I could pick on flaws and lack of logic all day long with this film some of which are smack on the head stupid and some elements I desperately wished more or better development on. The dialogue while often funny, also often dive bombs into cringe-worthiness (much like a Lucas script), the developing romance was very disjointed and sometimes embarrassing (think Anakin and Padme levels of embarrassment). The 3 way war politics was not very clear, major characters not fleshed out enough and there's a whole lot of story loopholes. Yet there is still a lot more fun to be had to override those flaws.

I have a feeling that book lovers will be disappointed because I can detect a lot of back story is missing here and key characters seem very short changed on their development and motives (particularly with the green martians) which I am sure would have been fully fleshed out in the book. However, I reckon if you enjoy films like Thor and GI Joe, you'll have a great time with this. This wont be a classic or even a cult movie but it is a satisfying piece of cinema escapism. And its enough for me to want to read the books!
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John Carter: Stunningly Effective
valen0609 March 2012
Hearing about this Disney film's story sparked my interest in seeing this right away! I finally did and overall, the characters, the setting, and the plot flowed seamlessly well together! It's like Disney's formula of "Star Wars" and "Avatar" meets "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time."

So, the plot revolves around a Civil War veteran who is somehow transported to Barsoom (aka Mars), where he must help a princess and a colony succeed in a heated battle against another feuding colony.

Director Andrew Stanton delivered well in this epic take of John Carter. Sure, star Taylor Kitsch seems like he's trying a little too hard as the lead guy, but it looks like he's heading toward the same path left behind by Jake Gyllenhaal for "Prince of Persia": serious character figure, yet sometimes able to show unintentional humor usually without noticing. Though not bad on either one's part!

Since John Carter was conceived as a story back in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs (of Tarzan fame), I have to say that this movie is certainly NOT a rip-off. A film like this deserves more credit than initially given! Epic action/adventure films like "Star Wars" and "Avatar" wouldn't exist today without these early roots! It pretty much sparked an influence on the sci-fi, action, adventure genre films that most audiences came to know decades later.

It looks like Stanton's following exactly what his fellow Pixar colleague Brad Bird had done with Tom Cruise in "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol," stepping up as director for once in live-action! Not bad for their first time.
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Becoming John Carter of Mars...
Chalice_Of_Evil7 March 2012
Not a movie about Noah Wyle's character from the show ER, but rather one based on a book I've never read titled A Princess of Mars. Originally going to be titled John Carter of Mars, the movie apparently dropped the 'of Mars' to "make it more appealing to a broader audience" and this film is supposed to be the origin story "about a guy *becoming* John Carter of Mars" - this probably explains why we finally get the originally-intended title of 'John Carter of Mars' at the very end.

The man in question is John Carter from Virginia, ex-Civil War soldier who lost his family and is now gold prospecting. Proceedings are rather slow-going in the beginning of the film, although it's necessary set-up for what's to come. Things don't really get interesting until Carter's transported to Mars, which is known as Barsoom by the inhabitants there, who are 9 to 15 foot tall four-armed green aliens with tusks called Tharks. Thanks to the lower gravity of Mars, Carter has enhanced strength and can leap great distances. We even get a montage devoted to him discovering as much. Some Tharks discover him, the least hostile of which is one named Tars Tarkas (voiced by Willem Dafoe), who winds up thinking Carter's name is Virigina due to miscommunication. Subtitles are used up until Carter is eventually able to understand the Tharks and we hear them speaking in English. At one point he comes to the rescue of an alien dog named Woola, who is extremely loyal/fast and becomes his constant companion. Carter also finds an ally in Sola (Samantha Morton). Eventually he meets the Princess of Mars herself, Dejah Thoris, after having rescued her (it's what he does). And this is where the real story begins.

As John Carter and Dejah Thoris, Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins reunite (after the rather ho-hum affair that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine). Kitsch fits the role of the long-haired hero well (although he is saddled with some rather dodgy dialogue at times). His reactions to the bizarre situations, customs, etc that he finds himself having to deal with are pretty good. He is well-paired with Lynn Collins, who manages to make Dejah actually very human (like when she's nervous about the presentation she's about to give when we first meet her in the city-state of Helium...though, oddly enough, nobody there speaks with funny high-pitched voices like you'd expect). She's certainly the prettiest thing on Mars, but she's also very smart, as well as able to handle herself in a fight. She's equal parts scientist and action heroine. Kitsch and Collins play off each other very well, sharing both humorous and touching moments between them. Also good is James Purefoy as Kantos Kan. Although it's not a big role, he manages to make the most of it and is easily likable, as well as amusing at times. Mark Strong, meanwhile, continues to be the go-to guy for playing a villain.

The story is not exactly easy to follow if you aren't paying attention. There's a lot of names of things to keep track of, as well as some twists and turns here and there. The film feels like it kind of rushes things a bit towards the end, as it has to wrap up stuff. Given the running time, you wouldn't think things would need to be like this, but it seems the makers realised their movie was reaching the limit of its runtime and there was still some stuff left to address at the last minute.

The effects on display are as dazzling as Dejah's blue eyes. The thought and effort that has gone into designing/creating the creatures, the ships, the costumes, etc is fully on display on the screen. The music helps too. While this movie might not be everyone's cup of tea, it does offer something a bit different in place of what could have been a rather paint-by-the-numbers affair. Yes, some parts are predictable, but there are also some parts that you might not expect. Don't let the trailers fool you, it's not just all mindless action. There is some actual real story going on here (provided, of course, that you can keep track of/follow it). Recommended for anyone who's looking for a slightly off-kilter sci-fi film.
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I have been to Barsoom!
Jack_LesCamela28 February 2012
I am a man of obsessions. For months, a movie I hadn't seen was the thing. Not Peter Jackson's THE HOBBIT, not Joss Whedon's THE AVENGERS, not even the upcoming Sam Mendes directed James Bond movie SKYFALL (which I'm excited about but it hasn't really sunk its hooks into me yet)...

No, it was Andrew Stanton's JOHN CARTER.

My excitement was not the universal feeling. Disney advertising had dropped the ball and the trailers seemed lackluster to most. Yet something within directed me toward it like a compass points to True North. There was something special about it, something just out of view in the trailers that wouldn't let me go. I trust my obsessions, always, but at some point I got to feeling a bit exhausted and just wanted to know if I was right or maybe a total loon.

I've now been to two advance screenings of JOHN CARTER.

And? Holy Living Thark! The bar on science fiction and fantasy movies has Officially Been Raised.

JOHN CARTER is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars --a novel first published a century ago. I expected to come out of the movie with my head full of comparisons to all the things Burroughs' imagination inspired: STAR WARS, AVATAR, FLASH GORDON, etc. Understandably so, as I'm much more familiar with all of them. That didn't happen. Put simply, if STAR WARS is a kids' science fiction movie franchise that adults enjoy (and it is), then JOHN CARTER is an adult science fiction movie that kids will enjoy.

CARTER is such an immersing experience. Every moment reveals something new about Mars; about the exotic alien races and cultures that call it home, or about their individual characters. James Cameron's AVATAR showed us a world we've never seen before and it was wondrous to behold, but Andrew Stanton's JOHN CARTER is a movie so rich with detail that it left me feeling like I had been somewhere. JOHN CARTER feels like nothing so much than as if David Lean had made a science fiction epic of love and war set on Mars.

This movie has a confidence to it you won't be expecting. It's unafraid to linger over the characters, and give them time to breathe and reveal themselves. My favorite decade for movies is the 1960s, and JOHN CARTER has some of the epic adventure movies of that time running through it like a seam of gold. There's a bit of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in there as I alluded to before, and perhaps a touch of ZULU and SPARTACUS is mixed in with the Martian airships and predator cities. Old fashioned storytelling magic and 21st century movie sorcery have combined into a film that's a pulp sci-fi masterpiece.

To the ERB faithful: please relax. Yes, there are changes from the novel; no, they are not the arbitrary changes made in inferior movie adaptations where the filmmaker just wants to do his/her own ideas. Every change is made to tell Burroughs' story or reveal some aspect of Burroughs' characters in a way more befitting a movie instead of a novel.

Going into this, I had absurdly high expectations. A friend of mine told me he was worried the movie wouldn't live up to them and that frankly I was starting to sound a little crazy. Well, the movie went and exceeded my expectations. I love it, and give it a 10/10. I'm definitely going to see it at least six times in the theater, and will finally buy a Blu-Ray player just to watch it at home.

I realize this review sounds over the top. That's just how excited I am about the movie. Perhaps in a previous life I was an ancient Greek by the name of Hyperboles? Anyway, see the movie. I guarantee that even if you don't like it as much as I did, you'll see where I was coming from with this gushing review.
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Captain_Roberts4 March 2012
We just saw a pre-release showing of this movie and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor a few times. The movie is simply stunning. While there may be small details to niggle at for the most die-hard Burroughs fans, this is "inspired by" a Princess of Mars, it isn't a straight adaptation. The movie is a whirlwind of amazing visuals, powerful dialog and soul-wrenching storytelling.

I'd had high hopes that this movie would live up to the hype surrounding it. It surpasses it, the hype doesn't even come close. From beginning to end, this movie focuses on story, and expands on a great story with stunning effects as opposed to just using great FX in place of solid storytelling.

It also has one of the strongest pieces of non-verbal storytelling outside of Up.

Do not miss this film. Do see it in the theaters. Do see it in 3D.

You will not be disappointed. I'm certainly chomping at the bit for release day so I can see it again and I'm already hoping for a sequel based on The Gods of Mars.
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Just a great movie
sourmanflint20 July 2012
This is not going to be a long review, there are some great reviews on here and I think they have said all I wanted and more. The thing to hold onto is that despite all the negative hype in the worldwide press, this is one heck of a great movie. I have no idea why any film studio would want to distance themselves from this film, it is fresh in a time when fresh is a very rare thing in the movies. Avatar managed it in heaps and so does John Carter. The story is grand and intriguing, the characters are solid and believable, and the CGI is so good you forget about it. This will become one of my favourite all time movies, it is up there amongst the very best of the genre.

Don't believe the hype.. this is a must see movie!!
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Spectacular -- Transporting -- Surprisingly Moving High Adventure Epic!
LeonardOsborneKael28 February 2012
By my standards, "must-see" films are getting to be rather rare. This one is by all means a MUST-SEE for everyone who loves science fiction and/or super heroes! Long before Superman, there was John Carter. Many have very likely forgotten what a resourceful and imaginative writer Edgar Rice Burroughs was. Most people only know he authored the original TARZAN. The movie JOHN CARTER is based on Burroughs' novel, A PRINCESS OF MARS, and his 1911 vision of an advanced civilization on Mars is truly astonishing. Upon seeing this, the first question you will likely ask is, "How is it no one has filmed this fantastic, mind-blowing, eye-popping, compelling sci-fi adventure saga before?" Well, there have been a few faint attempts but the true realization of John Carter's magnificent adventures waited patiently for the masterful CGI wizardry of director Andrew Stanton and the 2012 resources of Disney/Pixar. Amazingly, Mr. Stanton shot this heavily CGI-based epic on film! According to the director, he did so simply to see what it was like to make a movie like this on film before film is gone. The experience apparently has made him a fan of the classic motion picture medium and I imagine we will hear more from him on why. Of course I'm not going to give anything away. Suffice it to say that, thankfully, JOHN CARTER is a complete film experience: a suspenseful, dazzling story -- efficiently and superbly told -- with dramatic and unforgettable visuals -- and compelling, moving performances. Lynn Collins is particularly brilliant and beguiling as the exotic and dynamic Martian princess. Throughout the film the detail is extraordinary and the pacing is right on the mark, relentlessly drawing you forward into the wonder of this newly discovered, challenging, turbulent world. What a magnificent adventure saga! Let's put it this way: if you liked Sinbad, you will LOVE John Carter. Thanks to a sure-handed director, an inspired cast, and state of the art technical people, it's a fulfilling experience that I predict will remain with you always -- especially if you are among the young! JOHN CARTER is the ultimate exotic adventure; a masterpiece of cinematic action and pacing.
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An Epiphany!
andreas-schmidt-pabst9 March 2012
This was without exaggeration the most impressive movie I've ever seen. It's the stuff cinema and 3-D are made for. I experienced it as a partly breathtaking parade of impressive landscapes, panorama shots, aliens, costumes and sets connected by a complex story about power, resistance and of course love that culminates in a clever ending.

The only reason I give not all 10 stars is because I have to confess that I found the story sometimes a little too complex and therefore hard to follow.

But this feast for the eye is by any means the money for the ticket worth. I've never seen such a spectacular movie. My dream fulfilled: A new overwhelming sf- spectacular which isn't part of the Star Wars or Star Trek franchise but opens a new rich and fantastic world and which has- in opposite to the SW prequels- a logical and intricate story.

All my hopes that it won't bomb but allow new adventures with John Carter on the Mars to be filmed.
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'The best Star Wars since Avatar'
roystephen-8125210 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
In today's culture there's no place for fairy-tales. There's no place for simple but highly imaginative stories with a clear moral message. There's no respect for visionaries, no credit given to those who created fully-blown worlds out of nothing. Everything has to be 'dark', 'gritty', 'real' and morally ambiguous, even dubious. Or simply loud and dumb. There's no place for movies that embody the very thing cinema was invented for: the magical power of limitless imagination.

From George Lucas's wonderful creations to Avatar, from very original tales like The Golden Compass or Stardust to John Carter, movies that do not fit in today's bitter world are bashed endlessly, or outright bomb at the box office, as John Carter did. However, if you, like me, refuse to bow to this lack of imagination, and liked the aforementioned movies, then you'll probably fall in love with John Carter, too. It is truly amazing. As my friend put it, 'It's the best Star Wars since Avatar'.

(Note: I admit, I haven't read Edgar Rice Borroughs' Mars-series, but as far as I know, fans of the novels were pleased with the movie adaptation, as well.)
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One of the unexpected.....
idkak18 May 2012
To sum it up, I never had even heard of Edgar Rice Burroughs even though I read a lot of science fiction..., nor did I expect anything from this film before going to it... I hadn't even watched its trailer. I chose to go to it only because I had seen all the other films showing that they were showing on the day.

Result? I am very glad that I accidentally watched it! It's one of those films... though maybe not the best of the best of the best and it might lack some things / bells and whistles that some might want.. but it is still one of those films that come out once in a while, which one can watch over and over again..

It will almost certainly take its place in my film collection..
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One of the most underrated movies I've ever seen
heroes-anthem6 May 2012
There are few movies I walked out of the theater and wanted to go back in. John Carter was definitely one of those movies. It was an easy movie to quickly get in to. The characters felt real, John Carter was a great protagonist with an incredibly sad back-story, and the dog was surprisingly adorable. Also, I never thought I would feel human emotions for big green aliens. Everything; action, special effects, acting, writing, story, music; was seamed together seamlessly. I went in expecting a good movie and received a masterpiece. Definitely made it into my top ten movies of all time. Everyone should see this movie. This is not a film to pass up.
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Best Film in Years
andomaca24 May 2012
This film was so good that I joined IMDb just to say it is amazing!

As big budget films go this one takes the cake, great story line, great action, great heart melting moments!

I heard that this got bad reviews.... well in my opinion its better than the avengers and avatar combined! 10/10 best film to fail at the box office since Fight Club!!!

Need I say more? Well I plan on watching it at least 10 more times!!!

I now plan to read all the books this was based on, as i haven't felt this excited about a film since well I don't know.

I am still in shock at how kick ass this film was... Even the ending was great.

Now what else do I need to do to get you to go see this film....?
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A cult movie to be remembered
nicholashartman8 May 2012
John Carter of Mars was an epic. A detailed story, written in a time when pulp fiction was a cultural phenomenon like today's epic superhero movies. This is not a wham bam in your face Avengers movie, but a grand epic with a tribute to one of the greatest American writers of his time: Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Thank you Disney for your bold efforts. Sales might be the standard of today, but in the hearts of John Carter fans this was a great movie. Put to the screen with taste, class, and detail that will let this story live on. May your efforts be rewarded with continued sales as this movie finds its way toward cult status.
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A Worthwhile Adaptation
fung023 May 2012
Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars" just about created the last 50 years of Hollywood blockbusters. Star Wars is SO ripped off of that book... and, of course, practically everything else is ripped off of Star Wars. So it's great that someone finally tackled the one and only original.

And it's quite a good adaptation. I enjoyed seeing Burroughs' creations brought to life, and I enjoyed "John Carter" as a movie in its own right. It's not a great film... but it's just the sort of escapist adventure that Burroughs himself specialized in.

The same sort, but not the same one. The movie takes liberties with the original material... and rightly so. ERB's original story would be creaky by today's standards, so there's no use being too faithful. But some of the departures are needless and poorly chosen.

1. The first compromise is the title. "A Princess of Mars" is a great title. It tells you pretty much exactly what to expect: romance, adventure and a strange new world. "John Carter" is a lame title. It could refer to just about anything, from a hard-boiled detective story to a teen romance. It may seem like a small thing, but the title really did color audiences' reactions to the film. Yes, the original title would have seemed strange in today's culture, but that would have worked in its favor. The change of title was a weak decision, made by a committee.

2. Another compromise is the way the film starts. The whole introductory segment with the airborne battle on Mars is not only pointless, it drastically weakens the story. "John Carter" is a tale of one man, who suddenly finds himself in an unimaginably strange environment. We should have discovered that environment as Carter does, and not had a sneak-peek ahead of time. This weakens our sense of identification with Burroughs' interplanetary Odysseus, and shifts the emphasis to the story, which was never ERB's strong suit. This was another decision made by a gutless committee. Someone in a meeting said: the intro is too slow, we'll lose the audience. They were dead wrong. To make great movies you have to take chances, build at the pace dictated by the material, and trust your audience to come along.

3. The final, and most significant, compromise lay in attempting to modernize the story. I recently re-read the first several Mars books, for the first time in decades. They're surprisingly intimate, low-key affairs. There's a background of great events, but the real story takes place on a very human scale. There are conversations, confrontations. Meetings in darkened rooms. The action is there, but it's far from 'non-stop.'

What's more, one of the real charms of ERB's Barsoom is that it represents the future as seen through the naive eyes of 1912. It really makes sense only when seen in that historical context. And it then acquires an extra nostalgic dimension, giving us an insight into the mind and imagination of that far-gone era. Modernizing the story homogenizes it, and makes it seem like a me-too creation. Going for more of a retro, steampunk look would have emphasized that this is THE granddaddy of all interplanetary adventures. (A more explanatory marketing campaign would have helped too. Epic FAIL, Disney.)

Going for more of an old-fashioned feel would also have allowed the film to preserve some of ERB's marvelous literary quality. His plots may have been pure melodrama, but his language was amazingly poetic. Re-reading the Mars books, I found myself frequently pausing to marvel at a particular sentence, or a single phrase: words so perfectly chosen that they simply could not be improved upon. Some of that should have made it's way into the dialog of "John Carter." There's a marvelous exchange between Errol Flynn and an English judge at the beginning of the movie "Captain Blood." It sets up the sense of romance for the rest of the film. I'd have liked the air battle of "John Carter" to have been replaced with something like that.

Fortunately, the film does capture many other elements of ERB's vision. The green Tharks, for one. They simply could not be better... they're absolutely true to the weird descriptions in the books, yet manage to rise above their CG limitations and live as characters.

I also adored the choice of Lynn Collins to play Dejah Thoris. (Though, of course, she should have been wearing full red-skin makeup.) She's not exactly a powerhouse in the acting department, but she's got the perfect look; she's exactly the Princess of Mars that I wanted to see. I'd have loved to see her grow into the part through a long course of sequels...

All in all, despite its limitations, "John Carter" is a fine adventure film, that does manage to convey at least some of the magic of Edgar Rice Burroughs' writing. It does require a stronger-than-usual suspension of disbelief, but I'd recommend it highly to fans of classic swashbucklers.
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Tarzan on Planet Mars
zardoz-1320 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Oscar winning "Finding Nemo" director Andrew Stanton struggles to make Edgar Rice Burroughs' vintage cowboys and aliens epic "John Carter" into a spontaneous, larger-than-life, saga about tyranny and rebellion on the Red Planet. Mind you, Asylum Entertainment beat Disney Studios to the punch with its own abysmal adaptation of the Burroughs' novel "A Princess of Mars" that recycled just about every genre cliché. Essentially, Disney and Stanton have delivered what looks like a synthesis of "The Outlaw Josey Wales" and "Star Wars." This is one of those sci-fi actioneers with a universe populated by anthropomorphic animals and mythological "Clash of the Titans" intermediaries. Burroughs penned his colorful pulp escapism about a century ago in 1912 before stories like it became commonplace. Since Hollywood lacked the computer generated technology to make the world of fantasy appear believable on celluloid, the filmmakers preoccupied themselves with Burroughs' less challenging Tarzan novels. By the time Tinsel town conjured up the technology to produce movies about similar escapades on other worlds, the studios had gone off on their own tangents. In other words, the John Carter novels languished in obscurity, while later epics like "Star Wars," "Dune," and "Avatar" emerged and appropriated similar themes. What had been groundbreaking when Burroughs wrote it now looks hackneyed, even though Burroughs forged the formula that others imitated. The cinematic "John Carter" gives new meaning to the adage about the first being last. Sadly, too, despite its imaginative special effects, this yarn amounts to another cookie cutter, sci-fi/fantasy melodrama that suffers from a sense of déjà vu.

Disillusioned Confederate cavalry officer John Carter (Taylor Kitsch of "The Covenant") is prospecting for gold in Arizona when the U.S. Seventh Cavalry tries to recruit him to combat hostile Apaches. Carter refuses not only because this isn't his fight, but also because he has already the Civil War claimed the lives of his wife and daughter. Carter escapes from the guardhouse, purloins a horse, and absconds into wilds. Our hero doesn't get far before he finds himself caught between the Apaches and the trigger-happy cavalry. Gunfire erupts and Carter struggles to escape from the predatory redskins. Scrambling for the sanctuary of a cave that the superstitious savages refuse to enter, he surprises an ethereal alien with a supernatural medallion. Carter blasts this extraterrestrial, confiscates the pendant, and then suddenly finds himself sprawled on distant Mars. Mars resembles the rugged American southwest with its inhospitable terrain and inhabitants. He encounters tall, light-green warriors. These fellows boast an additional pair of arms, heads that resemble the Mutant Ninja Turtles, and large three-toed feet. These four-armed creatures with small tusks protruding from their jaws behave like barbarous African tribesmen and have domesticated animals to serve as their beasts of burden. When Carter isn't tangling with their garrulous giants, he contends with striking humanoid natives covered with tattoos who fly extraordinary mechanical airships which resemble Leonardo da Vinci's designs. The barbarians reside in the outlands, while the humanoids live in metropolitan cities of Helium and Zodanga.

Basically, a civil war has been raging for a thousand years between these rivals when John Carter arrives. The treacherous Sab Than (Dominic West), Jeddak of Zodanga wants to slaughter the citizens of Helium. A mysterious society of Therns, led by the villainous Matai Shang (Mark Strong), who serve the goddess Issus, intervenes and arms the Zodangans with a powerful weapon called the Ninth Ray. Helium has nothing to match this devastating blue laser technology. The Therns, however, refuse to let the Zodangans annihilate Helium. They advise Sab Than to marry the Princess of Helium, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), to create a stronger society. The defiant Princess flees, and Sab Than pursues her. He destroys her ship, buts she falls into John Carter's arms. On Mars, our eponymous protagonist isn't the same fellow as he was in Virginia. He can leap vast distances and packs a haymaker of a punch that drops his adversaries as if they were straw. Predictably, Carter falls in love with the princess, and she reciprocates. Stanton, "Samurai Jack" scenarist Mark Andrews, and "Spider-Man 2" scribe Michael Chabon do a fair to middling job with their adaptation. Happily, this franchise inducing nonsense isn't too Disneyesque, but they have taken considerable liberties with Burroughs' book. Anybody who has seen enough sci-fi fantasies will spot the elements that inspired those who came after Burroughs to use them in their movies. Essentially, "John Carter" constitutes a "Stranger in a Strange Land." Like the quintessential adventurer, our hero embarks on a long journey and blunders into a civil war of sorts between two antagonistic factions.

You don't need a Cliff Notes guide to distinguish the heroes from the villains on Mars. Incidentally, Mars isn't really Mars. Instead, the natives refer to it as Barsoom. One of the problems with any movie about an alien world is the environment as well as the natives. Everything might as well be happening on Earth for all of the difference that it makes. Since our hero is a foreigner on Mars, he learns rather painfully that his human powers enable him to do things in their atmosphere that he couldn't accomplish at home. The action often bogs down in complications, and it appears that some of the plot doesn't reach the screen. Further, the leads lack charisma. Taylor Kitsch supplies sufficient brawn, but he acts like a wooden Johnny Depp, while Lynn Collins looks like she has spent more time in the gym than a science laboratory. Dominic West fares best with his arrogant portrayal of an enemy bent on destruction, but you never really hate him with any passion. He is more of a pawn of the Therns. The enigmatic Therns are an irritating bunch of opportunists with a nasty habit of shape-shifting into other characters.

Altogether, despite it picturesque settings, "John Carter" emerges as a predictable yarn that delivers few revelations.
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Great Family Movie - Hoping for Multiple Parts to Come
dot_doctor14 July 2012
The previews looks good but the reviews came in shaky. Still the girls and I wanted to see John Carter. I am so very glad that we did. This was an excellent show! Engaging, moving, exciting, moral lesson and clean family enjoyment. What the movies have been missing for so long. As the scenes rolled by you were reminded of so many of your favorite shows (especially for SciFi fans like this family). You just can't get enough. I hope there are many more parts like Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potty. A Part 2 would not be enough. This is movie set up to live on for years to come. The story draws you in and is highly addictive. Just finished watching and already I want more.
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Originall Plot, Awesome Movie
billio_g17 September 2012
Guys, seriously I think it's time for me to jump to these groups of people reviewing a movie and rating it after it ends, cause people don't have taste or they are simple haters. I give a 10/10.

The movie is meant to surprise you the whole time. You just wonder what'll happen along the way. You get the feeling someone is reading you a fairy tail and you don't want to go to sleep until you get the story. Agony, Frustration, Despair, brilliant soundtrack, Very nice Visual Effects part from some CGI that looked a bit fake. I recommend to watch it in HD.

Originality in story progression is one of the things I would say this movie has. And I really can't say that for many movies of 2012 or older.

Watch it with Friends, or Family. It was a very enjoyable movie.
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Superb Film. Everyone should watch this.
m-booth-52810 September 2012
From start to finish it's a good action/comedy.. I watched this in cinema.. was a full house.. everyone was buzzing and laughing as they left.. didn't hear a single negative comment. Box office flop? Only the goofs will tell you that! For me, it's such a good movie, i've bought it on Blue Ray. It'll sit along side great films and collections ranging from Battlestar Galatica to Stargate to The new episodes of star wars and Dune..

Put aside the retentive "but the moons don't go right.." and some minor sexist attire and attitudes, it's laughable that anyone would object to whats there. It's a great film, that you can sit down and watch time and time again.
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Not Like the Novel, But Not Bad - By an Edgar RIce Burroughs purist
noetorres-111 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
In the large view, this film is passable entertainment, featuring lots of sword play, eerie landscapes, bizarre alien creatures, air combat, laser blasts -- the sort of stuff Hollywood loves to include in all SF blockbusters. Evoking memories of the Flash Gordon serials of yesteryear and the original Star Wars trilogy, the movie tries hard to be visually-appealing and action-filled, while remaining as faithful as possible to the source material, Edgar Rice Burroughs' (ERB) "A Princess of Mars."

As a huge fan of SF and ERB and as someone who has read most of ERB's books, I have to commend Disney for turning out an interesting film despite highly compressing the story to fit a two hour time frame. As is the case with most novels made into movies, "John Carter" takes story elements that the novelist carefully unfolded in 10 or 20 pages and gives it 30 seconds on screen. Other reviewers have said the story as told by the film feels "rushed," which is true.

John Carter's development from a "stranger in a strange land" to a mighty warrior respected and prized by the Tharks also felt rushed in the film. I am certain that viewers unfamiliar with the books do struggle to keep the story straight as it blitzes forward. I'm hoping the movie will revive interest in the original books.

A major non-ERB element added to the film is the elevation of the Holy Therns, who play a relatively minor role in the ERB books, to the status of alien masterminds who insidiously control all aspects of Barsoom's politics and culture. This, in my mind, significantly changes the complexion of the original novels. Obviously, the main purpose of the Therns in the film is to speed up the action and give the audience tangible "bad guys" to jeer at.

Despite these deviations from the original novel, "John Carter," I think succeeds in appealing to modern film goers while remaining relatively faithful to the source material. Going in, I was extremely fearful that Carter would suffer the same fate that Hollywood dealt to another one of my pulp heroes, Doc Savage, whose movie appeal was destroyed by the disastrous 1975 film. Thankfully, "John Carter" has not gone the way of "Doc Savage: Man of Bronze."
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