So far, director Andrew Stanton has pulled off what many others couldn't, and that is to finally bring a version of Edgar Rice Burrough's John Carter (OF MARS, dammit) to the screen. It's been a long, strange trip, as crazy and tumultuous in itself, as the titular characters journey to the Red Planet. So that is one battle won for Stanton. Even with hits like WALL-E, and Finding Nemo in his filmography, this is his first outing with live action, and to boot it's a mega-classic character and a tale previously thought unfilmable.
No pressure Andrew. Nah. None at all!
No expectations at all from people like me, who as Famous Monsters/fantasy kids raised on Disney live action adventure matinees, and Creature Features, spent hours upon hours staring at the Frazetta paintings on the covers of those Bantam paperbacks, dreaming of an actual film someday.
All sarcasm aside, to my great relief, Stanton also seems to have pulled off what others couldn't (cough George Lucas cough) and paid proper homage to the great mega-classics of Ray Harryhausen. In this clip tell me I am not picking up glorious nods to Bernard Herrmann's glorious and ornate 7'th Voyage Of Sinbad music cues, as well as a heavy visual nod to the unforgettable and terrifyingly massive Talos scene, from Jason And The Argonauts. And oh my how they work.
This movie looks like all kinds of Barsoomian bad-assness, full of kick ass heroic adventure and eye-popping, scantily clad goodness. I am actually starting to warm to Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, and Lynn Collins as the beautiful warrior princess Deja Thoris. As has been written and worried over before, the relationship and romance between these two characters, and getting it right, is paramount to the story succeeding.
Everything seems a go here though. Tars Tarkas looks like all kinds of win, and the White Apes, which I thought I'd never see on-screen as a kid are pretty wow-inducing.
I think the one huge misstep with the film is the title. Leaving off the descriptive ...OF MARS might not confuse those like me, who are familiar with the character and can immediately recall all the wonderful tales. Kids these days, and the average movie goer looking for a fantasy/action/romance film to hang their hearts on though? Sorry but the very average sounding name of sans any mention of The Big red One, is going to evoke thoughts of Tom Hanks or Kevin Costner in a story about some widow finding love again, or something equally as maudlin and smarmy.
It should be John Carter OF MARS dammit! Screw that, I'm making the call. It IS! Click below the Frazetta painting and watch John Carter OF MARS and his alien warrior cohort kick some White Ape ass, followed by a new montage.
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