Home
NEW TODAY
SCRIPT DEADLINES
TODAY'S POLL
WATCH FREE FILMS
MOVIE VIDEOS
ARTIST PROFILES
Movies by Year
Movies by Director
Movies by Actor
Movies by Actress
Movies by Alphabet
MOVIE CHARACTERS
MOVIE FRANCHISES
2012 MOVIES
2012 MOVIE LIST
2011 MOVIES
Book of Possibilities
The Writer's Way
Film making TIPS
Sex Articles
Best of SEXY
KISSING scenes
ROMANTIC scenes
SMOKING scenes
TEEN Movies
ACTION movies
HORROR movies
FAMILY movies
Box Office Results
TOP 100 STAR WARS
STEVEN SPIELBERG
THE AVENGERS
DARK KNIGHT RISES

Subscribe To This Site
XML RSS
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines
 

JOHN CARTER, 2012
Movie Reviews!

Search 1,000 of MOVIES
SCREENPLAY CONTESTSUBMIT your SCREENPLAY
Voted #1 screenplay contest in the world!
wildcardWATCH - Best of FILM INDUSTRY VIDEOS!TOP 100TOP 100 LISTS WEBSITE
Best of photos, movies, sex and everything else!
2011 MOVIES2011 MOVIES
See all of 2011 films!
 MOVIES YEAR BY YEAR

See and watch films 1900 to present!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!
SEE JOHN CARTER MOVIE PHOTOS!!
Abs
Action Figures
Actor
Actors
Actress
Aliens
and Dejah Thoris
and The Giant of Mars
and The Princess of Mars
Andrew Stanton
Ape
Art
Attack of the Clones
Author
Avatar
Banner
Black and White
Book Cover
Bryan Cranstan
Cartoon
Cast
CGI
Character
Ciaran Hinds
Cinematography
Coloring Pages
Comic Book
Concept Art
Creatures
Daryl Sabara
Dauwhe
Dejah Thoris
Disney Panel
Doctor
Dog
Doll
Dominic West
Drawings
DVD Cover
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Effects
Footage
Frank Frazetta
Game
Girl
Graphic Novel
James Purefoy
Kantos Kahn
Logo
Lynn Collins
Maquette
Mark Strong
Book Cover
Martians
Matai Shang
Monster
Movie Poster
Movie Stills
Polly Walker
Powell
Princess of Mars
Sab Than
Samantha Morton
Sarkoja
Sexy
Sola
Stars
Statue
Superhero
Sword
Symbol
Tal Hajus
Tardos Mors
Tars Tarkas
Tattoo
Taylor Kitsch
Thomas Haden Church
Toys
Wallpaper
Warlord of Wars
Weapons
Willem DaFoe
Woola
WATCH today's TOP SHORT FILMS
EXPLORE and WATCH the TOP PAGES on THE NET!!
wildcardWATCH the best of WILDCARD PICTURES! wildcardWATCH the best of SHORT FILMS on the NET!

  MOVIE POSTER JOHN CARTER, 2012
Movie Reviews

Director: Andrew Stanton

Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Bryan Cranston, Mark Strong, Dominic West, Ciarán Hinds, James Purefoy, Thomas Haden Church, Daryl Sabara, Polly Walker, Samantha Morton

Review by Joshua Starnes

JOHN CARTER MOVIE TRAILER WATCH

SYNOPSIS:

Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior

MOVIE REVIEW:

Everybody, whether they’re interested in him or not, recognizes the name of Edgar Rice Burroughs signature creation – Tarzan, Lord of the Apes. But except for a few hardcore fans the public at large is less well acquainted with his other great creation – John Carter of Mars.

And it’s easy to see why. Unlike Tarzan, which with its easily reproduced jungle setting was transformed into a mini-media empire over the decades, eventually becoming a pop culture icon. John Carter, with its four armed green aliens, red princesses, flying ships and leaping, super strong central character, had to spend those same decades gathering dust. There was simply too much imagination on the page for anything but the pen to convey and with the rise of film and television that just wasn’t enough.

Like the similarly seminal “Lord of the Rings” films, not until now has technology caught up to the point where you could actually make a John Carter film. Which is too bad, because it means modern pop culture has missed out on classic pulp adventure to make Flash Gordon blush and “Star Wars” fans say ‘oh, that’s where that came from.”

John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) himself was a soldier, a former Confederate spending his post-war years hunting for gold in Arizona. When he finally finds the cave he believes will lead to a horde of gold he gets far more than he expected, coming face to face with an alien attempting to kill him and then being transported millions of miles away to the planet Barsoom. Or as you and I know it – Mars.

It’s a sprawling start to a sprawling narrative, but one which director Andrew Stanton (“Wall-E”) never lets get out of hand. Paramount found success a few months ago letting one of the Pixar luminaries take control of one of its big budget tent pole films and Disney’s experiment with “John Carter” is nearly as successful. While Stanton hasn’t done much in the straight ahead action adventure “John Carter” slings around willy-nilly, he knows story and he knows character and he knows humor and those three together make certain the film never slows down even when the set pieces come to an end.

He also knows the core tenant of adaptation as well; stay true to the spirit but don’t be a slave to it. “John Carter” has all the pulp adventure you expect from the creator of Tarzan but purists will have more than a few bones to pick. Stanton and his co-writers Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon pick and choose elements from various ‘Barsoom’ novels into a plot that gets the job done but is easily the weakest part of the film.

After awakening on Mars, Carter quickly finds himself captured by a group of four-armed, green-skinned lizard men called Tharks and becoming the pet and comrade of their leader (Willem DaFoe). Before too long he has rescued a disguised princes, Deja Thoris (Lynn Collins), and is soon racing across Barsoom’s desert to help her rescue her people from the evil empire trying to enslave them.

If that sounds really familiar, it’s because it is but it’s also because you are in the rare presence of a seminal work, of the font from which much theft and homage sprang. That can be hard for audiences to accept some times, like those who may not realize rather than embodying many forms of romance film clichés “Casablanca” is actually starting them. That’s particularly true of something like “John Carter” which has been out of the public eye for a long time.

On the other hand no one ever lost money betting on a young movie going audiences desire to see the same sort of spectacle over and over again. “John Carter” then provides the best of both worlds, giving us sights and sequences that are well crafted but not novel any more, but doing so with an eye focused squarely on the story at hand.

Or, more specifically, the moments at hand. As entertainment “John Carter” is a film built out of moments. Like his co-hort Brad Bird, Stanton recognizes the need for, and has the ability the create, genuine humor without stretching the tone he is going for. He is helped by an able cast who, though often with little screen time, inhabit their roles perfectly. Willem DaFoe, though only a voice, conveys Tars Tarkas with humanity and emotion and Stanton has delivered in him an alien who is eminently relatable throughout. Stalwarts like Mark Strong and James Purefoy are equally well designed as each moment is given its thorough care, even the ones on Earth despite that not being what the film is really about.

It’s particularly noticeable in much of the work around Carter himself, a soldier who hates soldiering and hates being forced into it again and again, despite being so good at it. Stanton tells you everything you need to know about him without once delving into stodgy monologue.

And the world itself is about as beautifully crafted as modern motion picture technology can deliver, from walking cities and giant four armed apes to airships that shimmer like glass butterflies.

But it’s not perfect, not by the least degree. Though it is an excellent example of the modern blockbuster, told with skill and panache, it also has many of the modern blockbusters weaknesses.

As good as the supporting cast is, the leads aren’t quite up to following the example. Kitsch spends most of the film looking annoyed and he and Collins have little real chemistry. In fact his scenes with the computer generated Tarkas tend to be the best in the film, mainly because he doesn’t often get a word in edge wise.

The plot itself, cobbled together from bits and pieces of Burroughs writings, bounds from point to point with a difficult to discern through line and no villain strong enough to keep it on its feet. Strongman Sab Than (Dominic West) doesn’t have enough screen time to be effective and alien wizard Matai Shang (Strong) is so evasive its difficult to determine what his actual motives are, raising a question the film can’t answer – ‘what is everyone fighting for?’

And as all the strange alien names may have tipped you off, there is a deluge of trivia and nomenclature that, while true to the source material, will easily confuse the casual viewer who may easily lose track of what is being said and done as it stops relating to them in anyway. A little gibberish is good, but it’s easy to go too far and “John Carter” in its earnestness does just that.

Lastly and worse, the filmmakers have seen fit to add a bookend to the film it does not need as young Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara) reads the journals of his uncle John and learns about his fantastic adventures. Like the old saying goes, when the monster is dead the movie is over, but this wrap story-without-a-story keeps “John Carter” going long after it should have ended and takes the wind out of a stirring crescendo.

That said, what doesn’t work is dwarfed by what does. A modern pulp adventure in the classic Spielberg and Lucas vein, “John Carter” is exactly what pointless entertainment should be but often isn’t. And if, as the other saying goes, you have to make one of these kinds of films to learn how to make one of these films, the future is bright for “John Carter 2.”

ACTORAndrew Stanton
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORBryan Cranston
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORMark Strong
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORPolly Walker
Best of the ARTIST

ACTORWillem Dafoe
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORTaylor Kitsch
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORDominic West
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORCiarán Hinds
Best of the ARTIST

ACTORJames Purefoy
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORThomas Haden Church
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORLynn Collins
Best of the ARTIST
ACTORDaryl Sabara
Best of the ARTIST
TOP 100 SEXTOP 100 SEX SCENES of all-time
WATCH the revised 2011 list!
 TOP 100 NAKED MOVIE SCENES
WATCH the all! Best in cinema history!
TOP 100 TV SEX SCENESTOP 100 TV SEX SCENES
WATCH the best in television history!
wildcardWATCH - Best of ET Radio PODCASTS!
2012 mvoies2012 MOVIES
SEE all the films in genres from 2012 !
2012 mvoies2012 MOVIE LIST
SEE all 100s of films from 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 ACTION FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 COMEDY FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 DRAMA FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 ROMANCE FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 ADVENTURE FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 ANIMATION FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 FANTASY FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 FAMILY FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 COMIC BOOK FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 CRIME FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 SCI-FI FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 THRILLER FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
2012 mvoies2012 WAR FILMS
SEE the best of 2012!
CLICK and WATCH MOVIES ONLINE!
CLICK HERE read more life lessons COLUMNS!

JOHN CARTER, 2012