John Carter 3D
Out Now On-Demand
Lost in Our World. Found in Another.
Disney 3D sci-fi action-adventure in which Civil War vet John Carter (Taylor Kitsch, Battleship) is transplanted to Mars and becomes embroiled in an epic battle amongst the planet's inhabitants.
Formerly an Earthlike world, Mars became less hospitable when the oceans evaporated, the atmosphere thinned and the planet devolved into barbarism with the inhabitants - 12-foot tall green thugs called Tharks - fighting one another to survive. After encountering Thark leaders Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) and Tars Tarkas (Willem Defoe), Carter takes it upon himself to bring the planet back from the brink of collapse and save its people.
Based on the classic Barsoom novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, this marks the live-action debut from director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E).
Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction, 3D
Rating: M contains violence
The first of the American blockbusters to hit this year sets a high standard for the (predominantly superhero-focused) event movies to follow.
Despite the ambivalent, surprisingly hype-free build up to the movie, it proves a winning mixture of grand adventure and otherworldly awesomeness, all presented within an impressively epic scope.
Although it's based on a legendary novel that Hollywood has been attempting to adapt for seventy years, John Carter feels fresher than most contemporary blockbusters. The lack of multimedia familiarity with the characters and story benefits the film to no end. The inspiration for successes like Star Wars and Avatar is not difficult to discern within John Carter, and it lent the film a classic quality I greatly appreciated.
The design of the film is awesome – from the giant albino apes, glittering cities and flying machines to the more or less flawless green-skinned, twelve-foot-tall Tharks – everything popped nicely for me on a visual level.
All too often, films of this scope feel like all their edges have been ground down in the name of reaching the broadest possible audience. I got a sense while watching John Carter that the vision of director Andrew Stanton (WALL-E) was being delivered without compromise. There is a tangible throughline that proves all too rare in films of this size.
The film skews a little young at times, but never so much as to put me off. If you can allow yourself to be carried along by this fantastical story, the rewards are rich.
A.V. Club (USA)
Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)
Los Angeles Times
New York Times
SFX Magazine (UK)
Total Film (UK)
Heads will roll
I adored Disney as a kid. I adore Disney as a grown up. When I saw the trailer I thought, "Yes! At last something decent to watch on the big screen" and had high expectations being Disney and all. Well sadly they left the best bits in the trailer. The rest is so predicatble. I've seen better acting performances in local school productions. I guess heads will roll at Disney for this one as the film will be remembered as one of the most expensive box office bombs of all time. (No stars rating)
John Carter 3D
I enjoyed the film. The use of colour and special effects complimented the story line. To those professional critics. Why do we go to the movies to point fingers at those that are making more money then we are...no!!!. We enjoy what they done by watching their trade and their artistry.
If you loved the boring, predictable hogwash that was 'Cowboys & Aliens;' if you love popcorn family inaction movies like 'Transyawners' 2 & 3 or the camp oldy sci-fi of 'Flash Gordon' - then 'John Carter' will gobble your socks off. However, if you find cardboard characters, bad acting and a script so excruciatingly terrible that it makes Michael Bay's 'Pear Harbor' read like a lost Shakespearean tragedy - then avoid. Certainly, in the hands of the Andrew Stanton (director of Disney / Pixar's 'Wall-E') this Disney sci-fi epic looks good. The art direction is superb - but for me never escaped the 2D look of old 50's pulp sci-fi cover illustrations. Whereas Cameron's 'Avatar' made up for a silly premise and lacklustre script with amazing effects, CGI, art direction and cutting-edge 3D - 'John Carter' suffers from "seen-it-all-before" syndrome. Maybe that's not fair? Apparently Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter appeared way back in 1912 in his book 'A Princess of Mars' and several sequels. Apparently Lucas was heavily influenced by 'Carter' in creating 'Star Wars'; as was Cameron in creating 'Avatar.' Well - tough. They got there first and is that 'John Carter' comes off as a hackneyed rip-off... of itself, yeah, but either way, we've been here before. Lovely to look at - but oh so tedious. Then again, maybe it's just me? Because if 'Cowboys & Aliens' is your idea of great sci-fi movie making or Cap'n Jack Sparrow is your idea of a great character, or if you honestly think 'Transtossers' 2 and 3 had great scripts - knock yourself out and go to Mars. Personally? My next sci-fi blockbuster is Ridley Scott's return to 'Alien' territory with 'Prometheus.' As for "John Carter of Earth"? He can take shove his ridiculous excuse for dialogue up his Barsoom...Mind you two stars for not being anywhere near as bad as John Travolta's Scientologist "epic" 'Battlefield Earth.' Now that was total Barsoom...
This is a sci-fi fantasy movie on a grand scale with a big budget and will suit a varied audience.
In the past when I have watched other 3D movies I have been disappointed with the effects but in this movie I found it worked well and it gave me a new insite into 3D.
The green skin "Tharks" were a little too cute for me but would appeal to the younger audience.
John Carter ROCKS! (or Dances With Banths)
I've just walked out of this film and was mildly surprised not to see two moons in the sky!
For over two hours I felt I was totally immersed in another world. I was excited to see this film and it did not disappoint. It made the last three Star Wars movies look like @#$%! and it served as a reminder as to where George Lucas got most of his ideas (along with Isaac Asimov, whom I'm surprised never sued him).
It's been decades since I read the stories so I won't even try to compare but for me the essence remained intact. The stories created a genre; the sci-fi fantasy adventure and Burroughs, despite some literary shortcomings, was the master who seemed able to churn them out effortlessly. Were he still alive, I'm sure he would be pleased with this effort.
I cannot remember if Burroughs gave Carter a back story, but I'm glad the movie did and the opening sequence was as good as any western. The flashbacks (always risky) worked well here and served to drive motivation.
But beyond the basic story is the creation of the Barsoomian world. Jaw-droppingly superb, utterly believable and the cgi never once overtook the story but was always in service to it. This film is a special effects master class on how to get it right.
There was only one Disneyesque intrusion - the big mouthed "dog" (I was reminded of Lockjaw in Marvel comics' Fantastic Four) but even this never got too out of bounds and for younger viewers probably added some comic relief to what was a fairly grim tale, though broadly painted.
I personally would have been happy to see this run to three hours just so I could immerse myself even deeper into the Martian/Barsoomian world.
This movie is what it is: a damn good adventure story. Not breaking new ground (does it have to?) but doing a solid job of going over familiar territory in a way that does not insult its audience.
Speaking of which: NO Jah Jah Binks!
A rollicking good "boy's own" adventure!
If you liked the FLASH GORDON directed by Mike Hodges, you're gonna love this. Very true to it's pulp fiction origin, well plotted, and executed with typical Pixar skill. This is classic Saturday-matinee-style cinema updated for the 21st century. Genuinely entertaining, sometimes funny, and always interesting to watch. Mark Strong is (yet again) a great villain. Whoever plays the warrior-maths-genius-Princess is older than girls in these kind of movies normally are, and much more interesting for it. The lead is played straight and honest and nothing about the actor gets in the way of the role - which is to be a hero, damaged by a rough past, who is saved by his own innate decent and the love of a good woman. Brilliant. Go knowing exactly what it is, and you'll really enjoy it. i certainly did. Highly recommended.
It had such potential and there were several really cool characters but I was obviously missing something having not read the book first!
Loved it, it was like I was on Mars for 2 hours
I saw John Carter in 3d on Imax, and totally enjoyed the film. I am surprised that most negative reviews go on about how much it cost to make, and how Disney won't make back their money... I don't care how much it cost because it looked stunning and I only paid $20 to see it. Both the earth scenes, and Mars scenes were totally stunning. Not once did I think blue screen (star wars) or CGI (avatar). The environments were immersive, and for two hours it was like I was on Mars. If you are hesistant about seeing, but like good sci fi, and understand what a pulp movie is, go and see. Personally, I liked the 3d, which added depth, but a 2d version would be just as good.
It's hard to believe, but it's that time again. Blockbuster season. The increasingly lengthy part of the year when Hollywood studios throw the vast majority of their budgets at a handful of tent-pole releases, competing for audience dollars in a barrage of explosive effects, unimportant and underdeveloped plots, and the ever present corporate sponsorship deals. It's a risky time for Hollywood; a successful blockbuster can develop into a cash-cow franchise for years to come, whereas a failure can dangerously cripple even the most powerful studios. In 2012, Disney gets us underway with JOHN CARTER, a project stuck in production limbo for decades, finally realised by Pixar director Andrew Stanton (WALL-E, FINDING NEMO) making his live-action debut. Getting out of the gate early to avoid any potential competition is a clever move by Disney, yet it's hard to imagine that JOHN CARTER will come close to the kind of box-office revenues needed to consider it a financial success. It's not a bad film; in fact there is much to be admired about Stanton's work on a difficult property, but it exists in an uncomfortable middle-ground of being perhaps too dense and metaphorical for mainstream audiences whilst probably too generic and cliched to impress hardcore sci-fi/fantasy fans.
What impresses most about JOHN CARTER is how, for the most part, Stanton is allowed to run free with the strangeness of the world in which the film is set. There are moments of pure brilliance, both visually and thematically, where the movie that Stanton so obviously wants to make are allowed to shine through, recalling the majesty of the opening act of his previous film WALL-E. The film doesn't hold your hand and get bogged down with excessive exposition, but rather trusts that audiences are familiar enough with the sci-fi genre that not everything needs to be spelled out. Disney have to be commended for taking an unexpected gamble and refusing to simplify much of the more complicated areas of the story, but unfortunately it's probably a gamble that will not pay dividends. There are moments where the plot is perhaps a little too obtuse, and the hard sci-fi conventions don't blend well with a dull, immaterial romantic sub-plot that sees the emotional core of the film come off as a little hollow. Another brave move was in the casting of an unproven, if not entirely unknown lead actor in Taylor Kitsch, who growls his way through the dialogue in a satisfactory but unfortunately uncharismatic manner.
Sadly, where JOHN CARTER is going to suffer most is in its familiar and unoriginal storyline. Edgar Rice Burroughs' BARSOOM series of novels are something of a Rosetta Stone to the sci-fi/fantasy genre, stretching back a century to A PRINCESS OF MARS, the novel on which Stanton's film takes the majority of its plot. Being such a beloved and influential series works against Disney however, as Burroughs' novels have been imitated, borrowed from, and essentially plucked clean by almost every other film in the genre. Now, when JOHN CARTER arguably should be respected for being a true original, instead what results is a stylistically and thematically dusty work. Had JOHN CARTER been made 40 years ago, before STAR WARS, AVATAR, and any number of similar films, it would have undoubtedly been a smash, but as it is today, it's difficult to view it as much more than the same hackneyed story we've seen before. It's a shame that Burroughs importance to the genre will be completely over the head of most audiences, but a little more outside-the-box thinking from Stanton and Disney may have been able to salvage the film and introduce a new generation to his work. JOHN CARTER is not going to break Disney, yet the almost inevitably disappointing box-office is certainly going to hurt. It's a fascinating start to the season, and for better or worse JOHN CARTER will almost certainly go down as the riskiest prospect on the blockbuster calendar.
John 'the man' Carter of Anyplanet
Of cos its Disney but man, its like the best Disney film ever!! Take a bit of 'Pocahontas', dash of 'Avatar', smigins of 'Dark Crystal' and some 'ET' mix it together with handfuls of 'Star Wars' and let it rest on the laurels of men that want war, that is this film! If you saw 'Cowboys and Aliens' and liked it, well this will BLOW YOU AWAY! and if you didnt, you'l love this picture. Want do you want, where do you want to go & what would you sacrifice to make it happen? Awesome epic adventure and hope they make another from the book series. and it wasnt filmed on a cam-corder!!
Genre : Sci-fi, adventure, war, fighting, fantasy, (& yet family)
4/5 : this film delivers in a perfect Disney way just what it says in the trailers, even if the books are better.