Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wasn't John Carter Like, You Know, A President?

Wet and saw John Carter this Monday. Thought it was rather good, but apparently most of the country doesn't feel that way: John Carter is on schedule to be a massive Ishtar class flop.

So what happened? I liked the movie, but I saw some standard Hollywood mishaps which are becoming more common these days.

  • It should have been a B movie. A very well done B movie, but a B movie nevertheless. You have to remember the pulp roots of the story and adjust accordingly.
  • And you do that by slashing the budget. One bad thing I've noticed about computer FX is the urge to cram every inch of the frame with something, usually people. The sea of green faces didn't match up with the idea of a barbarian species living in ruined cities on the edge of a wasteland. More is not better for battles; it just becomes detail-less dots rushing together devoid of excitement or emotion.
  • Give us Ah-nold. Say what you will about the 80's musclemen, but no one forgot their names or faces. These days, they all look alike. Jake Gyllenhaal in Prince of Persia, that Mimosa fellow in Conan or this guy: they are all interchangeable. Bad news for the star of a franchise.
  • Someone explain "John Carter". Why not call it A Princess of Mars so everyone knows what's going on form the start?
  • Might want to ask where all the marketing dollars went. I had no idea it was out until I stumbled upon reviews. Contrast that to The Hunger Games, which I didn't know existed until I saw it on three or four magazine covers in the weeks before release.
  • By the way, I don't think the plot is stale. Look how many times the 'future gladiators' story has been used. Hasn't hurt The Hunger Games any.
  • The only problem I have with the actual story are the villains. They are just too vague in their motivations. Make them evil!
  • Dump 3D. There is still no reason to make movies in 3D.
  • Lastly, Edgar Rice Burroughs isn't as widely read as he used to be. Tarzan is about all he is widely known for these days, and Tarzan is so much in the cultural psyche he doesn't need an introduction. John Carter is a little different. If you don't know the books, the movie may be a bit harder to get into.

1 comment:

  1. I liked it for what it was a 3D Sci Fi action adventure.

    John Carter was a Virginia fighting man. He was never conflicted about the use of Violence in defence of self and those he cared about.

    Oh, well it wasn't to bad. And it looks like it's doing poorly emought that we won't have to suffer a repeat.