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Disney's John Carter of Mars Epic Movie
Movie reviewers have been giving this movie anywhere from two-three stars. I agree with three stars.
The film cast $250 million to make, mostly for its excellent CGI effects, and should be reaping in at least $50-80 million a week, which it is not, averaging around $25-30 million. Part of the reason for its failure was its advertising. Most of its intended target audience is 13-30 yr. olds, mostly boys and men (although any girl\woman could easily like this film since there is a strong heroine). Most of these have never heard of John Carter of Mars or A Princess of Mars by the classic author Edgar Rice Burroughs written very long before any of the audience existed. I doubt if many even know this author. Older age groups will. The other problem was that initially Disney just advertised the movie as "John Carter" to attract men and women, yet, few knew anything about him. The week before it was relased, Disney added the "of Mars" part for genre identification-oh, a sci-fi movie.
The other problem were its stars, literally. The main actors in much of the film are Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins. Huh, who are they? I thought Taylor was from "Pretty Little Liars" TV show-not, he was in "Friday Night Lights"- okay, that REALLY helps. As to Lynn. ditto for her. She is hot for sure for a Martian princess (Mars= Barsoom), but an unknown. The only name most will recognize is Willem Dafoe. Yet, are you sure he is in it? Must have been the excellent make-up as I was shocked to see him in the credits. I will say, their is chemistry between the two main characters, that is important for movie flow.
As to the CGI, excellent and life-like. The grand vistas of the Martian landscape, the "avatar-like" cousins that live on Mars are A quality in life-like quality as are the bizarre Martian creatures they have. The aircraft are powered by wind and are very cool-they reminded me as mechanical butterflies of HG Wells origin. Their weapons are not laser but more like a rifle.
In brief, John Carter is a soldier in the later 1800's looking for gold and comes across the object that transports him in time and place to Barsoom (Mars) where he lands in the middle of a war between two cities. The people in both cities are human. It is the Tharks that require all of the avatar-like CGI. The warrior princess (Lynn Collins) must marry the enemy to avoid defeat, yet ends up with John Carter when her craft crashes. The adventure begins.
The movie runs 2.5 hrs and it seldom seems like it, very little dragging and plenty of action. The formula is Star Wars. It has it all-some very funny moments when Carter lands on Mars and is learning to jump by leaps and bounds, chemistry, at times, between Carter and the Princess, numerous battle scenes, four star CGI effects and dialog that just keeps going moving the story along. I liked how it began and how it ended because Carter does return to Earth, but many years have passed and while he is back, he travels the world to for another device so he can return to Mars. To do so, he must fake his death.
Movies are suppose to entertain and this certainly does in a visually beautiful way. Oh, the author, Edgar Rice Burroughs is more known for his most famous book that has been made into TV series and movies many times.