19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, fun adventure with a few screws loose
It's no secret that John Carter was a flop. Chalk it up to a bloated budget, a woefully ineffective marketing campaign, or the title. In a twist of irony, John Carter is actually a pretty damn good film if one stops to see it for the Star Wars-esque fluff that it is. Where does John Carter shine, though, and where does it stumble? Let's take a look.
Published 18 months ago by Derek Draven
3.0 out of 5 stars Special effects type of film
This was a film more for special effects than story. It left me hanging at the end and I probably would not watch it again. Some action scenes were very well done.
Published 5 months ago by Lucio Mendonca
Most Helpful First | Newest First
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid, fun adventure with a few screws loose,
This review is from: John Carter [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)It's no secret that John Carter was a flop. Chalk it up to a bloated budget, a woefully ineffective marketing campaign, or the title. In a twist of irony, John Carter is actually a pretty damn good film if one stops to see it for the Star Wars-esque fluff that it is. Where does John Carter shine, though, and where does it stumble? Let's take a look.
John Carter (played by Taylor Kitsch) is based on the first book in Edgar Rice Burrough's "Barsoom" series about a civil war captain who inadvertently finds himself transported to Mars. He soon gets caught in the middle of a war between the humanoid Red Martian cities of Zodanga and Helium, the former commanded by the villainous Sab Than (Dominic West) who is being aided by the mysterious Therns in an effort to control the planet. To further his agenda, he has offered a ceasefire in exchange for the hand of Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), the Princess of Helium. Dejah escapes Sab's clutches in an effort to work on the ninth ray, a source of infinite power that could turn the tide against Sab Than's forces. After being attacked by Than, the Princess is saved by John Carter, who possesses superhuman powers thanks to his Earth-based bone density and lighter Mars gravity. Carter soon becomes an unanticipated wild card in the war, and must decide whether to seek a way to return home to Earth, or stay on Mars and become its savior.
The film is all about visual effects. John Carter boasts a $250 million budget, and it's not hard to see why. Early trailers for the film seemed to indicate another Star Wars: Episode II, complete with poor and obvious compositing work. None of that here. John Carter is remarkably seamless, and is one of the first green-screened visual effects films to come along in quite some time that doesn't look unrealistic. There's no heavy oversaturation of colors, no fake suns and lens flare effects, and no sense that this was all filmed on a dingy sound stage on a production lot. Even the alien Tharks seem to animate with an almost Avatar-like level of believable. The film isn't visually flawless, however, and does show its seams in a few places, most notably Woola, the obese, yet insanely fast martian dog that bonds to John Carter. All in all, John Carter is a film designed to wow audiences of all ages, and in that regard, it succeeds. I originally judged the film based on the type of marketing material that Disney was pushing at the time of release, and in retrospect, I was wrong. Very wrong. John Carter is thoroughly enjoyable, even if doesn't have anything important to say. If you haven't seen it, now is the time.
On Blu-Ray, John Carter gets the ultimate treatment. The video is practically flawless, as can be expected. As mentioned before, oversaturation is traded for the right amounts of hue and warmth appropriate to a movie that takes place on a martian landscape. This helps push the appeal of the film, which feels more like a classic 1980s adventure flick instead of a studio-crafted green-screen mess. HD transfers tend to pull up the skirts of most CGI shots, but good luck finding that here. The animators did such a wonderful job integrating CGI into live action that only a few scenes (such as the aforementioned Woola) really suffer for it. The DTS HD 7.1 Master Audio track is the proper mate; a perfect example of meticulous film audio craftsmanship. Voices are properly balanced in relation to all the action, refusing to rob the viewer of dialog like so many other Blu-Ray transfers do. Low-end bass is utilized in all the right places, from the hum of ships to the galloping of creature's footsteps. The rear channel accentuates ambient support in the form of roaring crowds and subtle musical clues, immersing you in 360 degree sonic flora. The Blu-Ray is blessed with a nice selection of extras, including an entertaining gag reel, a Burrough's retrospect, deleted scenes a few other tidibts.
John Carter's failure is difficult to pinpoint, yet it overshadows a movie that deserves to be watched. Its source material was written at a time when scientific understanding of planets was in its relative infancy, further hurting the accessibility of the film for new generations who know a lot better. It can also be a little too violent for it's target audience, and runs aground on story a few times, never really going anywhere except towards a frenzied finale, but it's summer popcorn movie fun with some great laughs, a surprising amount of heart, and a distinct visual style that is sure to make families smile.
Give it a shot.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Carter 2D (blu ray)...top-notched audo/video transfer!,
This mega-flop movie arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.40:1 encode. The transfer is spot-on with inky deep black levels. Colour accuracy is perfectly in line with the movie's visual design. Colours are warm, sun-bleached and striking, with strangely earthy alien-desert browns and yellows, dazzling golds, blazing reds, brilliant blues and deep, cavernous blacks. Detail is extraordinary also. A typical wonderful Disney transfer. (5/5)
This DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is simply top-notched. Ships pass overhead, giant monsters smash their meaty fists on the ground, Tharks thunder across the Martian plains, arena spectators roar, energy weapons disintegrate aircraft, flying chariots whiz past... John Carter delivers a wealth of sonic wonders. Dialogue is distinct and perfectly intelligible. Balancing the thunderous rumble of battle with delicate, love-tinged dialogue sequences, this track has it all. Michael Giacchino's score has extraordinary fidelity to it, and surrounds never stop percolating. (5/5)
The movie's lead couple, Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins both starred in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Kitsch as Gambit and Collins as Kayla Silverfox.
The inscription over Carter's crypt - "Inter Mundos" - is Latin for "Between Worlds". Appropriate, since Carter uses the crypt to cross over to Mars and travel between worlds.
Carter advises his nephew Ned to go and write a book at the end. Ned's full name is Edgar Rice Burroughs, the same name as the writer of the entire Barsoom series.
I do not really understand why this movie should fail in the box office. It is an enjoyable movie with a story and lot of action, with fantastic CGI effects. Also, our fellow Canadian Taylor Kitsch reminds me a bit of Johnny Depp. I find that the 2.40:1 picture and the knock-out audio are truly outstanding. This 2D version is highly recommended. I hope the above review is helpful to you.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST see!,
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small step for Martians. A giant leap for Mankind,
As JC began I became swiftly swept up in it, forgetting the other movie entirely, being so transported.
If you're like me and like movies such Star Wars, I think you will love this movie. I'm not suggesting that it's better than Star Wars, but I certainly enjoyed it than some Star Wars movies.
Like many movies our hero John Carter starts out in the ordinary world, in this case, earth slightly after the civil war. Our hero, a former soldier now disillusioned, has lost his purpose. Now the army attempts to conscript him into service. Being resourceful he escapes custody, stealing the captains horse, survives a showdown with Indians, seeks shelter in a secret cave with walls of gold.
Something happens that transports him to a special world, Mars, with its own rules, where there is a power struggle, between two factions vying for control of the planet, which threatens the destruction of a group of giant indigenous green people, who ultimately become his allies.
Quickly, he is taken captive, but in this special world with its different gravity he has special abilities, which impresses his captors. Pretty soon he crosses paths with an extremely pretty princess, played by Lynn Collins, who has beauty, brains, and fighting skills. She definitely is not your typical damsel in distress. She also has an excellent suntan, sky blue eyes, and a most shapely figure.
Though worlds separate him from the princess, as he crosses the distance quickly, we come to understand the loss that fuels his reluctance, and when you watch you will discover the cause that fuels his purpose.
I have always loved the Tarzan stories by Edgar Rice Burroughs. As a child I would sit in a tree and stop traffic with my blood curdling Tarzan impersonation. I was unaware that he had also written the John Carter series.
This story follows the same mythological pattern set out by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero has a Thousand faces. George Lucas followed this template in creating the Star Wars series, and other movies that follow this pattern include The Matrix, Batman Begins, and Wanted. John Carter follows yet precedes the pattern, as the book series was written before Campbells book.
Stages of the story include a hero called to adventure, refuses the call, something happens to draw him into adventure, meeting the mentor, meeting the goddess, crossing the threshold, allies, trials and tests, the inmost cave, mastery of both worlds etc.
I loved the imagination and the creation of all these Martian characters.
Disney was disappointed with its opening weekend gross of $30 million, which tracked several million below expectation. Supposedly, the movie cost $250 million to make, but I always take these figures with a grain of salt. The more expensive the movie is, the more likely people are to watch, so figures can easily become inflated. I think word of mouth will help this movie enormously.
If one likes to be swayed by beauty, then one might enjoy the performance of Lynn Collins. I realised early in the movie, that she had a commanding presence, charisma, and acting talent. In fact she has a strong grounding as a Shakespearean actor, having appeared in Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino. I did not recognise her because she had different hair, and played a man for at least a portion of that movie.
So, it's nice to see the studio not cast a name but cast a great talent.
I loved this movie. I think most people will, and I hope this was helpful.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars John Carter,
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good actrion adventure,
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most fun you can have at the cinema...now for home viewing!,
There's no denying that Taylor Kitsch is THE action star of the year, what with three starring film roles in the first half of 2012. There's also no debate that "John Carter" has more heart, excitement, action and thrills than any other adventure film in many years. I've seen this film 38 times in the cinema (yep!) during the theatrical release and I couldn't wait to have it to watch any time I please. All of the performances are fabulous, from our world-weary yet bound-by-honor ex-Cavalryman (Kitsch) who is transported to the world of 1863 Mars (locals call it "Barsoom"), to the merciless plunderer, Sab Than (Dominic West), to the villainous mystic, Matai Shang (Mark Strong). There's also Lynn Collins as the most intelligent, valiant and lovely Disney princess of all, Dejah Thoris, a worthy Princess Of Mars, and the clever and dashing Kantos Kan, played by James Purefoy. Willem Dafoe is wonderfully warm as the Tharks' Jeddak (ruler) Tars Tarkas, played in perfect opposition to the cold and ruthless Tal Hajus (Thomas Haden-Church); this tandem is matched on the feminine side by the pure-hearted Sola (Samantha Morton) plagued by her evil nemesis Sarkoja (Polly Walker). And then there's everyone's favorite lizard-meets-dog, the playful Woola, who lavishes his protection (and slobbering) on his beloved John Carter.
The PG-13 rating is mainly for a brief scene of torture which might upset small children, but while it might be unsettling, it is handled quickly and is there solely to advance the subplot. There is a very minor amount of cursing (nothing by comparison to most films these days) and, for any squeamish boys in your home, very little of the mushy stuff. "John Carter" is truly a most perfect action/adventure film for the entire family, beautifully translated from the novel of 100 years ago. Here's hoping for a couple of sequels because viewers will want to travel back to Barsoom along with Captain John Carter again and again.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Carter - Favorite Film of The Decade!,
This review is from: John Carter [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)John Carter will "shine" on people once they have seen this film. John Carter was an exceptional film. It was a wonderful story that made you want to go back and see it time and time again. The characters were heartwarming and fantastic. The cast - incomparable (if you loved the HBO Rome series, you will love this cast!). The story was beautifully written and directed by Andrew Stanton. There are thousands and thousands of fans from all over the world who love John Carter and are fighting for a Sequel. The DVD was Number 1 in sales it's first week in the U.S. and I hope it will be too in Canada! I hear new fans say everyday that had they seen more advertising of this film by Disney, or had known what John Carter was all about, or had not listened to reviewers of this film, they would have seen it in the theater. Had Disney marketed this film even close to standards, had Disney politics not played a part in the mishandling of this film, John Carter would have been a box-office success. So take a chance, buy the DVD and watch this film for yourself. Then join the thousands and thousands of fans who want Disney to take them Back To Barsoom!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ignored, Sadly Neglected, Instant Classic Of Science Fiction Cinema,
This review is from: John Carter [Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)"John Carter" should have been among this year's highest grossing films. It is a cinematic homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars" series of novels, based primarily on the first, "A Princess of Mars", and one that remains true in spirit to Edgar Rice Burroughs, written by screenwriters, especially noted American fiction writer Michael Chabon, who are long-time admirers of Burroughs' classic space opera science fiction series. Much to its credit, the film is not only true to Burroughs's spirit, but it also remains quite faithful to the original source material itself. Director Andrew Stanton (who co-wrote the screenplay with Chabon and Mark Andrews) has wrought a most compelling film, filled with excellent special effects and great cinematography, but made especially noteworthy with the presence of an excellent cast. Canadian actor Taylor Kitsch is a credible, heroic John Carter, American actress Lynn Collins is a ravishingly beautiful and compelling Princess of Mars Dejah Thoris, and legendary American actor Willem Dafoe is an admirable Tars Tarkas (even if he is kept "under wraps" as Carter's faithful Barsoom (Mars) sidekick and friend). Don't believe any of the negative reviews which "John Carter" earned from skeptical film critics. It definitely ranks alongside Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy as among the most successful cinematic translations of fantasy and science fiction ever created; a far more enjoyable and memorable film than either the "Star Wars" prequels or "Avatar". Eventually I predict that "John Carter" will be recognized as the most neglected science fiction cinematic classic of our time.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Carter: A Great Movie!,
This review is from: John Carter (DVD)I went to John Carter knowing I would like it but not expecting more than that. I was pleasantly surprised.
I had read only one review before watching it and had only skimmed it to make sure that there was nothing offensive. I did however watch the previews and that is what made me doubtful. The previews and promotional images seemed to focus on the aliens in my thought and don't really like alien movies however, I love most action movies so I still went. Thankfully, this was not the case in the movie. The aliens (Tharks) were portrayed very well so that it did not take long for me to think of them as humans (except the fact they are green, very tall, and have more than one set of arms). Also one should take into consideration that most of the characters are in fact humans.
After I went to the movie I looked up more reviews online several had complaints about the story line saying it was too complicated. I went to this movie with my twelve-year-old brother. If you know any twelve-year-old boys that are anything like the ones, I know they do not listen! They can watch the simplest movie and have stupid questions because they did not pay attention. My brother is no exception yet he got this movie fine. No he did not catch all the little details but neither did I, which hopefully should make the second time watching it just as enjoyable.
There are some warnings that come with the movie. The action is intense and is probably not family appropriate (the movie is PG-13 American). Also some may take offence from a few of the outfits the leading woman wears.
I found the storyline very good, I loved that it was not just fighting; there was meaning to the fighting. John Carter is a excellent hero, although he starts out selfish in the end he is fighting for a cause: the woman he loves and the country he has come to call home. Sadly, I cannot say all the heroes in the popular action heroes have such noble causes.
The movie had amazing scenery and looked absolutely incredible in 3D. It had, what I thought, was a great mix of action and romance also with a touch of humour. I would recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good action movie. For the girls I loved the movie the romance is great, its got its funny parts and if you can stand some violence and blue blood, you should enjoy the movie! (Yes it's literally blue blood! Carter kills a white ape and gets himself covered in it. That was the one and only time I was a little grossed out.) Also the the main female character is an great actress and has amazing presence.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
John Carter [Blu-ray + DVD] by Taylor Kitsch (Blu-ray - 2012)
CDN$ 20.00 CDN$ 14.93