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John Carter (of Mars)
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TOPIC: John Carter (of Mars)

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TheShadowlord
John Carter (of Mars)

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Wednesday March 21, 2012 2:33 AM
Saw it today and loved it. The big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic adventure novels is a worthy addition to the ranks of high-CGI content action. I've only read the first book "A princess of Mars", which this movie purports to be based on. There were indeed many plot points they took from it, but many things were added from later novels, or invented for the movie.

It's a truly gorgeous looking flick, with wonderful Barsoomian landscapes, detailed monsters, great costume design and fantastic looking cities. They've kept ERB's role as the nephew who has the tales told to him by 'uncle' John, a point which they could easily have ignored but I'm glad they didn't. Many times, especially when the action or the camera sweeps got me involved, I thought 'it's (almost) like watching Star Wars'. The detail and the design really are that good. It occurred to me later that watching Star Wars is probably more like reading ERB (via Flash Gordon).

Certain differences from the books are to be expected. People don't run around naked, for one. This is an excusable alteration, since it would probably distract many people from the story. They made a good compromise, though. Carter's outfit looks like a slightly less gay He-man, and Deja Thoris' wedding dress gives Leia's slave-girl outfit a run for her money.

Less easily excusable changes are Dejah Thoris' character. In the first book she's hard, spirited and absolutely useless for most things. In the movie she's intelligent, a competant swordswoman, gifted scientist and kinda soft. I can understand that in these days people want woman who are more than a prize, and I fully support that. But when it comes to movie adaptations of things, I generally like it to cleave as close to the source material as possible, regardless of what the uninitiated may think. Whatever, DJ was definitely a looker, as she should be.

In short, An excellent movie, one I shall get on DVD when the opportunioty presents itself, and one that the later releases this year, like the Avengers, the new Batman and Iron Sky, will have a hard time equalling.
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I feel happy...I feel happy!

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
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 Message #340799
Avenging_Angel
RE: John Carter (of Mars)


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Wednesday March 21, 2012 2:41 AM
Thank you! I thought I was alone in nerd circles for loving it. They really kept that sense of wonder and adventure that's always made the Barsoom books for me (been reading them since I was 10), and I think that was more important than hewing completely close to the books.

I had a few minor quibbles with details, mostly how they changed Sola's character and made the Tharks comic relief instead of the stone-cold warriors they're supposed to be, but I understand why they did it and since the overall product was so well done, I'm okay with it. The Tharks were some of the best CGI I've seen, particularly the detailed facial expressions while still looking completely inhuman.

QUOTED  Less easily excusable changes are Dejah Thoris' character. In the first book she's hard, spirited and absolutely useless for most things. In the movie she's intelligent, a competant swordswoman, gifted scientist and kinda soft. I can understand that in these days people want woman who are more than a prize, and I fully support that. But when it comes to movie adaptations of things, I generally like it to cleave as close to the source material as possible, regardless of what the uninitiated may think.


I really think they did it entirely because they know what was acceptable for a female character in scifi about 100 years ago won't really fly with the modern audience, and I supported most of the changes - though they did make her character kind of soft. Overall, I think it was good to have a more positive female role for her - though I find it hilarious that Disney of all things tried to make a more feminist character.

Also,
QUOTED  Whatever, DJ was definitely a looker, as she should be.


Oh my dear lord yes. That wedding outfit was something else.

And I think this movie almost makes me forgive Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) for what he did to Gambit in that god-awful Wolverine Origins movie.
Almost.

Sucks that this has been such a bomb, though - I could really go for more blockbusters like this.
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TheShadowlord
RE: John Carter (of Mars)

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Wednesday March 21, 2012 2:25 PM
Seems I forgot to add my opinions on JC and the Tharks.
Like you said, the Tharks were ignored and mostly humorous, and many things, like Sola and Tars Tarkas' relationship was thrown in there, probably confusing people who hadn't read APoM and the rather more detailed account of Thark culture and the history of Tars Tarkas.

JC was ok, but I never got the feeling of a gentleman officer of Virginia. My gf couldn't understand why he was being accosted by bluecoats because he didn't sound Southern. I had a hard time reconciling the opening paragraphs of APoM with what we saw onscreen.

He seemed always to be laughing; and he entered into the sports of the children with the same hearty good fellowship he displayed toward those pastimes in which the men and women of his own age indulged; or he would sit for an hour at a time entertaining my old grandmother with stories of his strange, wild life in all parts of the world. We all loved him, and our slaves fairly worshipped the ground he trod.

He was a splendid specimen of manhood, standing a good two inches over six feet, broad of shoulder and narrow of hip, with the carriage of the trained fighting man. His features were regular and clear cut, his hair black and closely cropped, while his eyes were of a steel gray, reflecting a strong and loyal character, filled with fire and initiative. His manners were perfect, and his courtliness was that of a typical southern gentleman of the highest type.


Ah, well. I'm very picky about things. Don't let my bitching deter anyone else from seeing this movie.
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I feel happy...I feel happy!

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen Roberts
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