What I am about to say, is meant as a compliment, Andrew Stanton‘s John Carter, is this generations David Lynch‘s DUNE. An imperfect adaption of a classic science fiction book finally realized for the cinema.
Like David Lynch’s DUNE, John Carter in its process began with another intended opening scene, as opposed to what we ended seeing on the big screen. Check this out, its good!
Now, in DUNE‘s case, the alternate opening was a long storyboard sequence which had been meant to help none Frank Herbert readers get to know the DUNE ‘Verse, that opening was replaced by the Princess Irulan filmbook narration, that many of us are familiar with. In the case of John Carter, the above opening with Princess Dejah Thoris simply got cut down, reshot, and I think reordered in the final film. It looks to me, this call was made so as to jump right into an action sequence…
I would have kept this as the opening, it provides a more solid sense of Barsoom. I think. I’d love for it to be completed, or perhaps sliced down a bit and restored to a new cut of the film. Will that take place? Not bloody likely, because Disney screwed up. I happen to think that John Carter has an honored place among such films as David Lynch’s DUNE, and Mike Hodge’s Flash Gordon – that is, not nearly as bad as their reputations claim, nor as deserving of the scorn some heap upon them.
John Carter is highly re-watchable! Certainly more so for me, than any of the Star Wars movies (old, or new…) or AVATAR – which has many, many story problems, yet it made tones of money, and will get sequels.
- Putting the Kitsch in John Carter (lilywight.com)
- Sean Young’s video diaries take you behind-the-scenes on David Lynch’s Dune [Video] (io9.com)
- John Carter: An Epic Blast from the Past (bookblob.wordpress.com)
- John Carter (2012) (divxhunt.wordpress.com)
- ‘John Carter’: See the original opening scene criticized by Pixar’s brain trust – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO (insidemovies.ew.com)
The striking thing about APoM is, it’s not so much a plotted story as it is a series of events which get in the way of John Carter winning Dejah Thoris‘s hand in marriage, there’s no over arching threat, or bad guy. Even the Zodonga threat against Helium is simply intended to be one last roadblock between Carter & Dejah Thoris. The affair at the atmosphere factory is just a means to jump into the next adventure…
Having now finished reading the first Barsoom book I now understand why Andrew Stanton made the kind of changes he did in the film adaption. For example, Dejah Thoris, though incomparable, to be sure, is very much a damsel in need of constant saving. Lynn Collins portrayal of the Princess of Helium offers the character a weight she lacks in the book. She is in fact one of the high points of the film. Also the lack of a singular threat was doubtless the reason the Therns were brought into this adaption, as well as a way to set up for “The Gods of Mars” where they are the primary foe.
All in all, a good read, Any science fiction geek should read ”A Princess of Mars”.
- Lynn Collins on Female Roles, Dejah Thoris & “John Carter” (spinoff.comicbookresources.com)
- John Carter: An Epic in the Old Style (misternizz.wordpress.com)
- Carter of The Red Planet – Part 1 (May, 1929) (modernmechanix.com)
This IS NOT a movie review. I watched “John Carter” here are a few thoughts. It’s not a horrible film by any means, it’s actually kind of fun. The issues its having I place right on Disney for, you know not marketing it as “A Princess of Mars”. Disney of all corporations should have had the brains to properly market a film with “princess” in the title… or even have the smarts to go with the source materials more fitting title for their studio.
As it was the phrases “John Carter of Mars” and “A Princess of Mars” both ended up in the dialogue, on at least two occasions.
I think they were shooting for the male action angle, when they should have been shooting for the Romance/action angle, and not fear pulling in female movie goers. The Mars books are planetary romance which is a bit like swords with rayguns, along with damsels in distress. Pulp to be sure, and really large-scale romance books with a hint of science fiction thrown in.
Also, die-hard Edgar Rice Burroughs fans/purists might complain that it’s not a straight adaption of “A Princess of Mars” . The film borrows material from other Barsoom books. Hey, I feel your pain being a giant DUNE fan, no one has yet done the exact adaption of Frank Herbert‘s epic novel. The nearest that came to it was the Scifi Channel miniseries – but they could have used a better costumer…
I came across a remark that someone did not understand why John Carter spent half the movie trying to get back to Earth, but suddenly changed his mind to stay and help Dejah Thoris. The answer is plainly there – right at the half way mark, when the film begins its upswing toward resolution, its made evident that John Carter and Dejah Thoris are in love. I should think love would be sufficient motivation to keep John Carter on Barsoom. Which dovetails also with the films ending. In fact, their romance has more of an arc in this movie than in “A Princess of Mars” where they’re ogling one another almost from the start.
Once more, this movie needed to be marketed like an action/romance, in the mold of “Romancing The Stone“, and not the straight on science fiction and actioner which Disney chose to sell it as.
Oh wait the title of this blog. Dejah Thoris has a really awesome British accent in the movie which helped provide her with a presence. Just saying.
- ‘John Carter’ Brings Thrilling Adventure Back to Mars [Review] (comicsalliance.com)
- “John Carter” Producer Jim Morris Embraces “Pulp Shakespeare” (spinoff.comicbookresources.com)
- Lynn Collins Talks Taylor Kitsch and Playing the Sexy Princess of Mars (5min.com)
- PSA Sunday: JOHN CARTER Reminds Us That Books Still Exist (collider.com)
- An Authentic Vision Of Barsoom (eoghann.com)
- Lynn Collins Talks Taylor Kitsch and Playing the Sexy Princess of Mars (popsugar.com)
- ‘John Carter’ of Where? Disney’s Bad Marketing Mars Launch of a Fun Sci-Fi Romance (dailyfinance.com)
This is looking pretty awesome. CLASSIC science fiction coming soon to a big screen near you. I don’t even mind that its Disney, or that Dejah Thoris has to wear a top. The visuals all look stunning. I hope the story is just as breathtaking in the final product as it would be a shame if all that visual art was for naught.
Though this is the type of Sci-Fi I like: Bigger than life heroes, gorgeous space-princesses, and a planet in dire need of saving!
- New John Carter clips are chock full of Indiana Jones-style action! (io9.com)
- JOHN CARTER First Full Scene (geektyrant.com)
- John Carter – Clip No. 1 (5min.com)
- New Featurette Introduces and Explains ‘John Carter’s’ Cultural Influences (slashfilm.com)
- An introductory featurette for the John Carter [Video] (inquisitr.com)