Sound Off: Andrew Stanton's 'John Carter' - So What Did You Think?

March 9, 2012

John Carter Sound Off

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Lost in Our World. Found in Another. Disney finally put enough faith, and money, into Pixar director Andrew Stanton to adapt the iconic, legendary sci-fi series from Edgar Rice Burroughs that has already influenced Hollywood in many ways. And after exactly 100 years since first introducing the character in a magazine, he's finally in a movie, in theaters everywhere now. So how is this long-awaited, live-action adaptation of John Carter of Mars? How is Taylor Kitsch as the Barsoomian hero? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on Disney's John Carter.

To fuel the fire, I've watched John Carter a couple of times already (in 3D which isn't really worth it), and I honestly think it's a damn good movie. It's very entertaining, an epic look another world entirely, with some great CGI and great characters. There are some amazing scenes, like the one where he fights all the Tharks after going down the River Iss, and almost anything involving Woola (my favorite!). It is not a perfect movie, it has some issues, and it's much more fun than it is brilliant, but it's good, and Andrew Stanton is responsible for at least making it as good as it is. He's a great storyteller and it shows, it shows with the way he lets the story unravel, and in those moments like that Thark fight. It's an enjoyable epic sci-fi adventure.

What did you think of John Carter? An excellent adaptation of a sci-fi classic, or CG disaster? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!

Find more posts in Discuss, Sci-Fi, Sound Off

Discover more around the web:

  • I loved it. Hadn't been taken away to another place like that in quite some time. JC was the first movie in what seems like forever that invoked a sense of WONDER in the viewer. I had a hell of a good time and will definitely be seeing it again.
  • He doesn't fight Tharks in the scene you're talking about, he's fighting Warhoons, I see several making this mistake, Sola is even showing them and saying "Warhoons!", Warhoons are not Tharks.
    • Wait what? Really? To be honest, I don't even know what Warhoons are? I don't even remember them being mention. That's a big problem then, if I didn't even recognize that after 2 viewings. It was weird, cause they look exactly like Tharks, but they just show up at Iss randomly, without explanation or introduction, with the Matai Shang guy. Also, I think what's confusing about it, is that they never explain what exactly these tall green martians are. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Thark refers to what they call themselves as a tribe (like "American" as opposed to a human). So Warhoons are just another tribe of those kind of martians, right?
      • littleup
        Alex, this is why I didn't like the movie at all. So little was explained that I found myself not caring. John and Dejah were well-profiled, but the indigenous peoples and characters were very mixed up. The scene you mention here was just one of many confusing moments for me. Can somebody explain to me what the hell was going on on Barsoom? The Tharks were theoretically our good guys, but they hab a brutal society that was portrayed very negatively when they were introduced. And the Therms were the bad guys, but kept going on about how they were just instruments of fate ("we only manage the destruction of worlds"). It was all so random and not coherent. The movie would have been much better with an abridged script by half.  I understood Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy perfectly well last week, just so you know that I'm capable of coping with being thrown into the middle of a story without too much explanation. I don't think you can compare the way TTSS' script was tightly woven into a masterpiece with how JC puked epicness all over the place.
        • MauriceMarz
          John Carter has too much to explain in it's story complexities just like DUNE. It's works on paper but it's a hard translate on film
        • HandOffBarry
           OK I disagree with everything you said except the part about the Therms.  I do not really understand what (who?) they are.  Are they just all powerful and love manipulating societies?  Or do they need some negative energy to survive?  I felt a little bit like I had missed a huge chunk of the plot.  I just kinda accepted their role in the movie and enjoyed it anyway.  I thought it was great... 
          • Ok I worked on this film briefly and read the books but sadly have not caught a screening of it yet. So I'm hoping Stanton did only a tad of explanation regarding the different clans of Mars. Just as with JC's "powers" you are meant to think and understand the reasons behind why he can do these incredible feats...if theres one thing I hate its filmmakers having to spoon-feed description and background to an audience not willing to engage. Warhoons and Tharks are meant to look almost the same. The Warhoons are the more primal and primitive cousins of the Tharks, thats all.    And you arnt supposed to know the anything of the Therns yet. Im fine with one appearing in this film only because, I think it might be difficult for viewers unaware of the story to suddenly have to accept and learn about a brand new race at the start of the second film.  They are major plot catalyst in the second book "Gods of Mars"...(basically the anti-narnia "god is fake" book). Theyre the ones that rule over the area of Mars where you go and dont return (heaven). Long story short, they are the top of the food chain and they answer and pray to this goddess. SPOILER!When infact this goddess is actually one of the Black Pirates (the real head honchos) that have created an elaborate religion that keeps them secretly on the top of the pyramid while allowing the Therns to believe themselves the rulers. Very sweet story. 
          • Darren
            Alex, the Warhoons and Tharks are both tribes of the Green Men of Mars. Their distinction isn't really described much in the first two books that I read. It just mentions them both as green men of Barsoom. Same species different tribe
        • Rb
          Shang brings the Warhoons to deal with Carter and this act is foreshadowed previously when he specifically tells someone that he's going to take care of Carter/Dejah.  They do have Sola announce for the viewer that they are Warhoons, which had previously been referred to as enemies of the Tharks by Tars Tarkis earlier in the film. In terms of the "good guys" the only people on Mars who are actually framed as "keeping Mars safe" are the people of Helium, which you learn in the first minute or so of the movie in the introduction which outlines the fight between Zodanga and Helium.  The Tharks simple are who they are and are, take 'em as you will. 
  • MauriceMarz
    The green martians are like Native American Indians, just like they have Comanche and Apache on earth, Barsoom has Tharks, Warhoon and other tribes. And just like Dejah Thoris is a Red martian. And in the books their are yellow one and black ones etc. ERB did create a very diverse world of Barsoom. But the problem with this film is simple. It's ORIGINAL ideas and concepts have been hacked (inspired) by others for 100 years. This film is 30 years TOO late to seem ORIGINAL in concept or film technology. We have seen this all before in OTHER films. This is the sad part of all this.
    • Scopedog
       "It's ORIGINAL ideas and concepts have been hacked (inspired) by others for 100 years." Agreed.  However....I'd rather see a film based on the original novel(s) than see yet another movie that cribs from it.  And sadly, you can say that the film is "30 years too late" but honestly, I do not believe that it could have been made 30 years ago, not with the film technology back then.  Just my 2-cents.
    • Nolan34
      I think its rather funny that you said this movie should of been made 30 years ago. People would have been painted green. and the white apes would be in monkey suits like in Planet of the Apes. So for one second rethink what you said. How about next time you think before you comment. 
      • Alfonso
        What if you, (yes, you) think before you comment?  I mean, exactly 30 years ago, we just had seen Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Solyaris, Star Trek, Logan's Run, Planet of the Apes, Blade Runner, Alien, and we were on the road for Terminator, Aliens, Brazil, and other sci-fi films that improved in the special effects area...  Just saying, 30 (or 20, for better effects) years ago, John Carter of Mars could've been a classic. Thing that, actually, this year's adaptation can not accomplish, laking innovation (because of being a creative fountain for the sci fi that we have actually seen), or a leap, a new step in the genre. You have to think before disqualifying other people in that presumptuous tone. Greetings, and good afternoon. 
        • Scopedog
          Hmmmm...I don't know, Alfonso.  Even though the films you mentioned showcased an major jump in makeup and visual effects--STAR WARS especially--I'm not sure if the technology of that time would be up to this.  Perhaps you could have gotten something, but... That said, there WAS an effort in the 1970s to do a John Carter film (after all, there had been film adaptations of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT and AT THE EARTH'S CORE).  You can see the design sketches for that were done for that attempt here:
          • Alfonso
            That could've been one interesting perspective of John Carter. I think that when we all say: 30 years ago, we think of the 70's. But 30 years ago, we were at 80's. On the other hand, that could've been one interesting perspective of John Carter, and a more trascendental one. But as it's said over here, it's not a matter of special effects, or a matter of merchandising, but a matter of quality. Having a whole entire universe to explore and to approach, Stanton fails at making a solid movie. Solid as in strong, as in clear. That's the fail of the movie. It's entertaining, but it feels so long, when with less material, and longer runs, we have seen better movies. Sci-fi movies. (You express yourself with respect, and also, you respect opinions, things that some people here seems to lack, and that was my major point in my previous comment).  Greetings! 
          • Nolan34
            I just don't think people would have gone to see it. All the movies you mentioned had a certain twist to it. I DO NOT THINK THIS MOVIE WOULD HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL! Even in the 80's. 
  • HandOffBarry
    I had never heard of John Carter until I saw the terribly deceiving trailer and must say I was floored.  I can't remember the last time I felt this great coming out of a movie.  I'm shocked that I had never heard this story before, or rather that I had heard it so many times and never knew it's origin.  Thank you to Andrew Stanton for bringing this movie to life.  I hope it does well, and if it doesn't it's a real shame.
    • Scopedog
       The trailers and the marketing really did the film a disservice.  It was darned good, even with its flaws.  The good thing is that the pros outweighed the cons, at least in my view. "I'm shocked that I had never heard this story before, or rather that I had heard it so many times and never knew it's origin." Don't be.  To be honest, that's what could work against the movie, the fact that even though this story has been around for 100 years, and even though many films, books, comics and such have cribbed from it (and yep, even AVATAR, but Cameron himself said so), it's still "unknown" to many. Best thing to do is to get the books and read them, as well as check out sites dedicated to ERB and his works.
  • Ryan
    Loved it. Tim Riggins rocks!!!!!
  • Shaddowspawn
    great sci fi movie, deserves a sequel.
  • Scopedog
    Loved the film.  It isn't perfect (hell, no movie ever is), but it gets a lot right, especially the sense of wonder.  The look of the film was well done. Lynn Collins is hot with a capital H.  'Nuff said. Kitsch and the cast are a solid fit for their characters.  And Dafoe, Morton and the cast playing the Tharks bring, well, a humanity to alien characters that were created using CGI.  And Woola was awesome! In regards to the CGI...I've read complaints about how this film is a "CGI-fest".  Okay the hell else could you bring 10-foot tall, four-armed green aliens to life?  I guess there must be a few 10-foot tall people out there you can hire and fit with fake arms and tusks, yes? The movie definitely captures the spirit of Burroughs' A PRINCESS OF MARS.  What I see in the reviews of critics who slammed the film is that they either took it too seriously or they had no clue about the history of the story the film is based on.  Or they complain about the budget...and I have to wonder why anyone gives a hang how much this movie cost to make.  It's not our money, right?  Do we see movies for the films themselves, or because of how much they cost? This movie is a planetary romance, not a hard-SF tech showcase.  It's pretty much the story that started that whole genre of SF, and sadly, we don't see it much today (AVATAR being an exception, although that did crib from Burroughs).  My suggestion?  Forget the critics, both positive and negative, and see it with an open mind. It's sad that this film was subjected to a poor marketing campaign and negative press before it was even released.  I wonder if that will have an effect on how it will do.  Again, I loved the film, and after close to seventy years there's finally a true film based on A PRINCESS OF MARS in the theaters. (Yep, I know of the DVD film from a few years back, but to me, that one don't count.  Plus, it wasn't that good.  This one is much, much better.)
  • Carr25
    I thought it was total fun and Ms. Collins, liked it better than Avatar and Ms. Collins is good.
  • jah p
    I thought the film was okay, but it felt like one of those sci-fi movies from the 80's! I kept thinking about Flash Gordon while watching this. I felt the script and continuity of the film lacked substance. The ending was all to predictable, with John marrying Deja and the big battle that led up to that.The effects were nice, but the story was just  lacking something....VIRGINIA!!!!!!!lol! Jump!!!
    • Nolan34
      would you rather not have a battle at all? of course there was going to be a battle! DUH! 
      • jah p
        Shut up!
        • Nolan34
          Just saying. If there wasn't a battle you would have said this movie sucked. 
          • jah p
            And your point is?I didn't think the movie sucked, it just reminded me alot of Flash Gordon and some parts(like the script) I thought had problems, other than that, it was a solid movie..feel better now fanboy?
          • Scopedog
            Well, at least you liked JC, but you are right--it isn't flawless, but the pluses far outweigh the minuses.  You thought it was a solid movie, and that's a definite "like" in my book. And hell, I love FLASH GORDON myself--even met Melody Anderson (who played Dale) a few years ago at a comic convention.
    • Rb
       The ending was right out of the book.  If it felt predictable, blame it on a trope in Western literature/media over the last century.
      • Scopedog
        "If it felt predictable, blame it on a trope in Western literature/media over the last century." Exactly!
  • THIS MOVIE WAS AMAZING.........................Screw Rottentomatoes rating.....and all those youtube critics and MOVIEBOB. I almost made the decition of not watching this movie. THANK GOD, i decide it to see it, and it was AMAZING......Dont miss it
    • Scopedog
       I don't even bother with RT.  Hell, I also do not trust many critics when it comes to SF, fantasy, or horror movies.  Frankly, a lot of films from yesteryear that we like today would have been rated very low at RT if the internet was around decades ago.
  • Revhdm
    i saw it!!! i loved it soooooooooooo much. i feel like a lot of people forget that going to the movies is to get lost in another world. To get away from any troubles or worries, even if it is for just two hours. Don't get me wrong, yeah there were things i would of changed in the movie. Like the first five minutes, but once i just let go of all the technical stuff and just watched the movie... I enjoyed myself so much. So i give it an A++
    • Scopedog
      " i feel like a lot of people forget that going to the movies is to get lost in another world." You think?  Agreed--it sure as hell seems that way.  Ultimately, one has to remember that Burroughs wrote stories to entertain--and that's what this film does (at least it did for me), and it took me to another time and place.  Somehow, the ability to suspend disbelief has become atrophied in many film goers--it sure as hell has shriveled to nothing in some film critics.
      • littleup
        Our ability to suspend disbelief is being challenged more than ever nowadays. Watching John Carter in 3D was ridiculous. It had all the usual problems - dim, fuzzy, some shots looked like tilt/shift. And to quote Roger Ebert:  When superior technology is at hand, it seems absurd for heroes to limit themselves to swords. (...) When it is possible to teleport yourself from Earth to Mars, why are you considered extraordinary because you can jump really high? Such questions are never asked in the world of "John Carter," and as a result, the movie is more Western than science fiction. Even if we completely suspend our disbelief and accept the entire story at face value, isn't it underwhelming to spend so much time looking at hand-to-hand combat when there are so many neat toys and gadgets to play with?
        • Scopedog
           I saw it in 2D--I was thinking of going the 3D route (and there is an IMAX theater near me...), but I ended up going 2D.  Sorry that you didn't enjoy the 3D, though... Ebert's remarks....are one reason why I think that many film critics are truly out to lunch when it comes to SF.  If he's got a problem with these issues in the film, then he should have been aware of the fact that these problems existed in the original story! Ebert should have remembered--better to let a story be a story.  Over-analyzing elements doesn't do anyone any favors.
  • SV7
    I saw it last night - mainly because of Andrew Stanton and growing up loving Frank Frazetta's artwork. I really wanted to like it, but it's a mess. Despite all the brilliant CG, it's pretty bland and unexciting. The dialogue is often clunky and the editing is often patchy. It felt like there were important scenes missing. The flashbacks were clumsily inserted. The tone was uneven. It was frequently confusing and not just because of the alien terms, but because character's motivations were unclear. I often didn't know why someone was acting the way they were. The villains were piss weak and the ending was rushed. The best thing about it was Lynn Collins who gave the best performance in the film AND looked super hot. Taylor was adequate but rarely rose above that. Yes, most of the fx were amazing, but that just isn't enough. Plus, every now and then there'd be a bad green screen close up of Carter in there. I really wanted to like it. Please stop making these big fx films with scripts that have big problems and too many chefs.
    • Scopedog
      "Too many chefs"?  Only three screenwriters are listed! Sorry that you didn't like the film, but it seems others did.  To each his own, and at least you SAW the film before giving your opinion on it.
      • littleup
        "Only three screenwriters are listed" - Why are screenwriters the only chefs? Don't editing, directing, production aspects and so on count as the chefs/creators of a movie?
        • Scopedog
          True.  It is a team effort, after all. However....I do get his point.  The screenplay, after all, is the foundation of any film/TV show/comic/animated series.
      • SV7
        To each their own for sure - and if you loved it, as many have, that's great.  As for too many chefs - if good screenwriters were left to write a good script, that would be great. But the many chefs are the umpteen studio/dev execs, etc that always seem to have input. Many of these guys don't even end up with an official credit on the film. With literally 10 or 20 chefs these movies turn into a mess real quickly. We've seen it happen many times before. Also John Carter's been in development hell for years and years with many writers previously taking a crack at it. With so much baggage it's hard sometimes to break free and with, clear eyes, remember what the film should be.
        • Scopedog
           What you said triggered a memory of an essay by Terry Rossio (co-writer of the PIRATES films) about the process that happened in bringing Heinlein's THE PUPPET MASTERS to the big screen.  You can read it here: Funnily enough, Rossio did work on a screenplay for A PRINCESS OF MARS years ago.  You are right--it's been a 70-year odyssey to bring this to the big screen.
    • littleup
      I had the same experience. I was excited and dragged three friends to see it along with me ("It's gonna be great!"). Huge disappointment. I was simply bored. It's as simple as that. I was bored because I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters (except maybe Dejah), what they were fighting for and why.
  • Cherryfei92
    This movie is amazing.... Truly remarkable.... I have seen Star Wars, I have seen Lord of the Rings... I have seen every fantasy movie possible and I can tell you with my experience that it is just incredible... I was left speechless and at the same time with so much to say..
  • Tyban
    The story was rushed for a movie that was over 2 hours long. I loved it though. Sort of like a Western Star Wars mixed with Indiana Jones and Avatar. Here is my review:
  • Roccoco
    The screenplay for this film was amazing. I haven't seen the entire movie yet (don't know if I want to) but judging by a lot of the comments I'm reading everywhere, it seems as though they may have butchered it too much in the editing room. So I just want to go on record saying that the script was never at fault. Chabon (and Stanton) did a brilliant job with the script. NOW, on the marketing side of things... I BELONG TO THAT CAMP SITE and although our agency didn't stick with the film all the way through, I really don't like hearing all this negative press of how the marketers are to blame. It's always the marketers' fault, right. All of the hundreds of people and their respective agencies who had been working so hard on how to best market this film since late 2009/early 2010 have tried every single different kind of creative angle and approach to a campaign structure, merchandise tie-ins, convention events, film prop exhibitions, promotional partnerships , etc, and every SINGLE one of those efforts would constantly get rejected by Stanton and the Producers--thus making it harder and harder to find a solution. Everyone at Disney loved the potential of this film from the start but got more and more tired of it due to the frustration of dealing with the "stubbornness" of Stanton (who by the way hated the art direction of the teaser poster). Personally I was not in favor of changing the name to just John Carter, but I do support the rationale behind it. They wanted to make sure that there is no association with corny movies like 'Mission to Mars", "Invaders from Mars", "They Came From Mars", "Mars Attacks", "Ghosts of Mars", "Red Planet", Etc, etc...  Was it the best thing to do? I don't know. But all I do know is that the marketing campaign turned out the crappy way it did because of the filmmakers.
    • The name of the FILM is perfect............JOHN CARTER. Withouth SPOILING IT, they film will tell you why is not called John carter of mars. And the answer is AWESOME
      • Dkom7
        Frank, he actually worked on the film if you read his post man. He was talking about the marketing of the film so I think he has some qualification to put his two cents in dont you think?
    • Scopedog
      Thanks for telling us this.  I too have been critical of the marketing of the film, but then again....I honestly do not know how I would have done it.  I wasn't too upset over the name change--after all, was anyone upset when the film for DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP? was titled BLADE RUNNER?--but it is good to hear "the other side of the story" when it came to the marketing of the film. Again, thanks.
    • littleup
      I don't think marketing was to blame. In fact, marketing made a tight, concise, exciting trailer out of a mess of a movie. Sounds like some great premises got butchered by crew conflicts here?
  • Littleochee
    I first read the series in 1959 and have been waiting over 50 years for someone to make this movie.  Taylor K is perfect as John Carter.  Dejah Thoris is not quite how I imagine her but the actress does a great job  creating a 21st century Dejah.  Thank you, Andrew Stanton, for remaining true to the spirit of the Barsoom series.  I only wish my dad could have lived to see the film.  He was the one who introduced me to Edgar Rice Burroughs when I was five yers old.  We had a sign - "Kaor" as an entrance to our cottage.
    • Scopedog
      Wow...well, glad to see that your wait is over and that you enjoyed it!  I'm a newcomer to reading the Barsoom novels--although I first heard of APOM years ago, I only read the book around ten years ago.  Didn't matter--I still loved it, and I'm glad that the movie captured the soul of the novel (at least in my opinion). Sorry that your Dad wasn't able to see this...
  • RGD
    I couldn't make heads or tails of this movie. What the hell happened? Who were these people and why were they? I keep reading "in the books..."...sorry this is a movie. I should not have to "read the books" to understand everything or even the basics. It was like "Dune" meets "Cowboys and Aliens". I didn't get it. At times I thought I was watching "Clash of the Titans". I was in a movie theater in NYC half full opening night and many people were snoring during it! I wanted to like this, but it failed for me. IMHO...
    • Rb
       It's comments like these which drive me crazy.  I saw Carter last night and the only way I can figure anyone was lost as to who the individuals are was because they were too busy playing on their phone or doing something other than watching the movie.  It's all pretty dang straight forward.  If you don't catch it, I don't think it's the movie's fault.
      • littleup
        Someone who texted throughout the movie wouldn't be interested enough to come here and comment about it. If comments that don't share your own opinion make you crazy, find a good mental health institution. You're going to have a long stay there 😉 I caught the lines of the plot, but because they were so mixed up, I couldn't connect to it emotionally. So I was bored throughout, too. Everyone brings their own mindset and experience to a movie. That needs to be respected.
      • Erroll
         i agree RB. I think people are so used to movies with no plot (Transformers,star wars prequels) that they don't have to pay attention. John Carter was an excellent brilliant script, with the best ending since the original planet of the apes.
  • moveemannn
    $250 million to make a movie, not including $$$ for marketing?  If you can't make (buy) a $100 million opening weekend with that budget, something is terribly wrong.
  • Yash
    I am really looking forward to a sequel now. At the time movie ended I wanted it to continue the most!  I haven't read much of Carter but this is probably where book and movie differ--Stanton's Carter is copied from Earth to Mars unlike the book.Of course, the copy doesn't create another copy and is eliminated when transporting back. If it isn't so then there would be three Carters: two on earth, one left in mars!So, whenever he's transported to a new place a copy is created and his soul travels with it..and when he goes back to original body his soul simply leaves the copy and enters the original apart from Mars he can co-exist in Venus, Pluto etc but original will remain on earth.This concept also agrees with 'law of something', "soul is one and like energy can't be destroyed, it only transforms from one form to another"Maybe, for transporting, that locket thing uses a worm hole or there is some time warp..or like that movie 'Timeline' there are portals at specific locations which can be used to travel in time or universe..No wonders a lot of us are perplexed! Not because it is too difficult to understand but some things haven't been explained at all. Stanton has probably left these for sequel. Both the scenarios are possible in sequel: copy eliminated, copy simply inactivated.My review:
    • Erroll
       totally agree 1000% I just want to spend more time with the characters
  • Chris Amaya
    Did you go see it in IMAX Alex?  If you did would you say it's worth it?  And did you get the midnight showing IMAX poster?
  • Rb
    I also loved it, and left the movie feeling exhilarated from the experience of seeing the movie.  I had read the source material prior to seeing the movie, but I never felt I had to rely upon it to understand what was going on in the film.  As I implied in another response in this comment section, pretty much everyone is identified in the movie and things that happen do so logically extending from earlier scenes in the movie. 
  • I adore John Carter! I've seen it twice and going again tomorrow. I find people's confusing kinda interesting since it all was so clear to me. Of course I am a big fan of the books and I realize the difference between the tribes of green men and who the Therns are, but I really watched it with a clear, open mind the second time, pretending I was unfamiliar with it and looking for those things to be mentioned or explained, and they all were explained. The thing about this film is it's very smart, not dumbed down like audiences are used to, so you have to really pay attention to every detail. If you're distracted of drift off, likely you'll miss something important. Well, and I found seeing it the second time that my initial rating of 9/10 had to be raised to 10/10. I love how it was paced, the way the story was told (not typical and refreshing) and all the details! I think Stanton and the gang did a bang up job on this! Go Barsoom!!!
    • That should read "confusion" Darn auto correct!
    • littleup
      Khanada, I think you'll find that people understand movies on a very emotional level. If someone finds the plot moving on without his emotional involvement, then yes, he will drift off and miss details, and very likely think they weren't explained later on. It's really emotional involvement that makes or breaks a story. And there is no way to connect with 100% of your audience, ever. So that, to me, explains why some people feel confused by JC even though it is objectively true that nothing was left unexplained. 
      • Scopedog
         "I think you'll find that people understand movies on a very emotional level." MOST people do.  The best thing to do would be to go in with a clear head, but....not everyone does.  That's just the way things are. That said, I didn't have a problem with JC, but if others did (and it wasn't because of playing with cell phones or making out with their significant others), then...ah, I dunno.  I would suggest a second viewing, but I can understand if some don't get it.  I'm not going to like it, to be honest, but if they saw it, then at least I know they're giving an informed opinion.
    • I haven't read the books yet, but I really loved this movie! What you said about it being 'not dumbed down' is so true, and I appreciate that someone else sees that! That was exactly what I told my husband when I read some of the opinions here and heard about some comments from the media. I'm saddened by the reactions of some people and hope that others will not take their word for it and instead just go see the movie for themselves. I've told everyone I can how much we enjoyed it, and I've posted on my Facebook and my Anime Fantasy book project website Blog to support this movie. I think Stanton and the gang did a bang up job too, so "Go Barsoom!"
  • My husband and I saw the movie last night with another couple. THIS MOVIE WAS AWESOME! Neither of us have read the books, but we plan to now, and since we didn't read them before and still understood it and enjoyed it, that points to the fact that the movie was well done with an intriguing screenplay and intuitive actors/actresses. WAY TO GO ANDREW STANTON! We didn't know that he did this film before we saw it, but finding out at the credits made me so completely happy and helped me understand why it was SO GOOD! We are planning to go see it again, and we will buy it when it comes our on DVD. When something is this good, it will find a way to reach its audience without endless marketing, endless explanations, and endless compromise. GO JOHN CARTER!
    • Scopedog
       Glad to see that you liked it and that you plan to read the books!  Lucky for you, you can find them.  I would also suggest Burroughs' Pellucidar series, which takes place at the Earth's core. (Yeah, I know...not scientifically accurate.  But Burroughs wrote to _entertain_, not give a science lesson.)
      • Thank you for suggesting the other series! I'm really disappointed in some of the other people who are giving such critical feedback since I'm truly beginning to wonder if they even understood the simple theories expressed in this movie, such as lesser gravity being responsible for John's new abilities. A verbal explanation, even in dialogue, would have brought the pace down too much, and people really need to use things called imagination and suspension of belief that most intelligent fans of sci-fi or fantasy were able to do at one time in the past without complaining about any little 'hole' they'd see in the story. I don't know Andrew Stanton personally, but I've seen enough of his work to know that he put his heart into this film just as much as he always does, especially since he told a reporter that he'd always hoped it would get turned into a movie. Since he helped with the screenplay, I have more respect for the movie period. For those who can't understand the story, the concepts, or the pace, they should realize that just because they don't, it doesn't mean that others can't truly believe this movie is honestly imaginative, intelligently funny, emotionally exhilarating and challenging in turns, and filled with well-acted characters that can touch the hearts of viewers if they just let go of their preconceived ideas and open their minds to something that doesn't have to make perfect sense to be perfectly understood. I haven't read the books yet, but nobody had to explain to me how John was able to jump and be stronger once on Mars, or how he was on Mars but his real body wasn't, or how the medallions even worked. That is the true ability of a good story... to take you beyond the questions and let you accept what you are seeing and hearing in a way that helps you to get involved with the characters without making it be something that fits completely in your own world. My heartfelt thanks to Andrew Stanton for giving me that with John Carter! Thanks to you too, Scopedog, for replying ^___^
    •  When it comes "out" on DVD *grumbles* I hate it when I miss the small words in proofing!
  • jah p
    Okay, I have a question for anyone who has read the books... Where did the other human race come from?I'm talking about princess Deja and her people and the other human race, and why did they speak english?Unlike when JC was given that juice to drink from the Tharks so he could understand their language..can someone please offer some explanation?
    • Scopedog
       Jah, I'll try to give you the short version...the "Red Men" (Dejah's people) were descended from two earlier races on Mars.  There are actually the Red Men, the Green Men (Tars and the Tharks), the Black Pirates, the "Yellow Men", and the Therns.  In the first book, it's only the Red and Green men that are mentioned--but for the film, elements of the second and third books were brought in--hence the Therns and Matai Shang. As for the English and how JC learns the language in the the book, telepathy plays a big part in it.  It works in the book--not sure if it would work in the film (without some viewers tearing their hair out in confusion).  I would recommend that you read the first three books--they are still in print.  Start with A PRINCESS OF MARS and move on to the rest. Hope this helps.
      • jah p
        Thanks alot Scope, I'll get the asap!
  • Zeus
    I really wanted to like John Carter, but was greatly disappointed. At best, I would say the film was okay. I was pretty entertained and optimistic until about 20 minutes in... after which pretty much everything became bland and cliché (the romance was the worst). I felt no connection to any of the characters. Nothing in the storyline surprised me. The action and visuals kept my attention... but just barely. Aside from those who have an affinity for the original stories, I can't fathom the reactions of people who had their 'minds blown'. In fact, I'm insulted to see comparisons to other far better epic sci-fi films... On a side note, I found it funny that you can splatter as much blood around and decapitate your foes in a PG-13/Disney film as long as it's not red.
  • NoyNoy Aquino
    I slept all through out the movie. Waste of time. Waste of money.
    •  Not so much of a waste as coming here afterwards to troll. Go take a nap.
  • Aus P
    I read the books as a boy 50 years ago! The movie did NOT disappoint. It managed to preserve the basics of the original and adapted it for the screen, the characters were especially well cast. Originally published in a magazine in, I think 1910, with many editions in its own right since, the story is remarkable for the time it was conceived (Burroughs also created Tarzan of The Apes!) . The only thing which might limit critical enthusiasm for the movie is, perhaps, a need to know what the original storyline was all about. My wife, who is not a Science Fantasy fan thoroughly enjoyed the movie - but - I'd outlined the story beforehand. Disney don't seem to be doing their usual merchandising efforts - a pity, this might mean that a sequel won't happen.
    • Scopedog
      I think that the lack of knowledge of the film's literary origins certainly might hurt it.  I mean...Harry Potter is a recent series, as are The Hunger Games...and there didn't seem to be a large effort to point out JC's literary roots.  Which is bizarre, considering that we have the ability to get all the info we need at our fingertips (or just find the damn books and read them!!). Certainly some of the harsh critics showed--I'll be blunt--an intellectual laziness when it came to the film's literary roots.  It almost seemed, at least to me, that they didn't give a fig about actually looking up information about the Barsoom novels; they only gave a skimpy writeup about the novels and their influence on modern SF. But that's just my 2-cents.
      • Solo_Calrissian
        I definately would have appreciated the movie more if I had known the literary history before-hand. 
        • Scopedog
          Solo, you can still check out the books--the first one you can find both in print or as an e-Book/PDF.  Just keep in mind that they were written in a different time. And I'm more upset at the movie critics who simply slagged off the film's literary history or downplayed the influence it's had on modern SF.  Most of them flung the "pulp" label around and couldn't seem to be bothered. Check this article over at IGN, which details John Carter's influence on modern SF, including some familiar films/TV shows...
  • Mark
    The film was a mess. All its biggest problems came straight from the script.
    • RobotProphet
      The film was FINE and there was nothing wrong with the script, they stayed VERY close to what was said in the books and that's hard to do in the film business. I am a hardcore book fan and I was very satisfied with this movie. Yes, Disney switched a few things around but, come one! I haven't an adaptation that close to the book since Jim Carrey's animated Christmas Carol.
  • Brian
    decent popcorn flick, don't understand why the director was not given final cut? sorry it bombed at the box office. 
    •  It did very well overseas, expect sequels...
      • RGD
         Really? SEQUELS??? Yes it did better over seas, but it has to go way beyond the reported 350 million mark to even make a buck (250m budget plus 100m marketing). Disney had originally guessed it would do in the 60-ish mill range! This is barely keeping up with  what "Prince of Persia" did, and that was barely profitable. It may end up making a a few bucks but a sequel, highly unlikely at this rate. Domestic:  $30,603,000    30.2% + Foreign:  $70,600,000    69.8% = Worldwide:  $101,203,000  
        •  Yes in 3 days, & hasnt even opened every where yet, plus judging by the comments here, it has very good word of mouth, which equals bofo a 300+ final world wide gross is very much in reach...
          • Scopedog
             Good point about the foreign BO--the film is doing much better overseas, and hell--if GREEN LANTERN is getting a sequel (or there's the possibility of one) even though some have called it a "flop", then JC could get one too. People forget that the foreign BO take is a major factor--after all, AVATAR didn't earn its huge haul only in the US....
  • Buzzfunk
    Just got back from seeing it in 3D.  Overall, I thought the entire movie felt pointless. However, i did enjoy Kitsch and he did a great job considering he was looking at people in green suits most of the time. I also loved the first 20 mins a lot. Then the middle happened and everything went downhill. Then last 10 mins were awesome again. Problem is, most people do not know about the books or Comics. To throw that much money into this film, was careless imo. I read in the NYT, $350 million incl. Marketing. That is crazy and Disney can only blame themselves.  I thought the CG was flawless most of the time. Well done.  I dont regret seeing it but its really at its best a 5/10 for me. 
  • tony
    I thoroughly enjoyed the film.  Those that object to the complexity are eager to be fed pap.  It was a wonderful and the lack of long exposition telling the viewer who everybody is only supports the idea of a man on a new world.
  • darthwhitey
    Yeah, I thought it was incoherent as well.  The red chick was hot but pretty laughable really.  You don't really care about anybody. There was no sense of doom.  I'm so sick of Mark Strong as the bad guy in EVERY movie.  I guess they were trying to portray the humanoid society with an ancient Roman vibe. So why not hire two of the main actors from HBO's "Rome" mini-series. BAD.I think a good movie lives in there somewhere. I just wish it was a little more gritty and not so "Disney-fied."
  • darthwhitey
    Oh, yeah... And the dude from THE WIRE is the other main bad guy? Really? Horrible casting!!!
  • Loved it.  Super bummed that it tanked in the US Box office.  This movie is WAY better than a measly 30 mil opening! :(
  • Solo_Calrissian
    I liked it.  Definately had flaws, but was a good popcorn flick.  The movie did bring about thoughts of flash gordon and early sci-fi (not realizing that this was from the same author as tarzan & the land that time forgot), but IMO i thought it was adapted well enough into screenplay.  That said, I dont see how this could have been made in the 80's with the jumping and green aliens without it looking the original clash of the titans.   I hope it makes enough for adaptations of the other books/ serials.  It was a good fantasy world.     
    • Scopedog
      Solo, nice comments.  I also hope to see adaptations of the other books, and I also agree--they could not have made this without CGI.  It just wouldn't have worked.  It's telling that 100 years after the first story, technology caught up with Burroughs' imagination.  Perhaps they could have made an animated version years ago, but...
  • Luticrisis
    If a book is so amazing that it withstands the tests of time for a hundred years, so much so that they make a movie from it, why presume to change the story?  Why make a movie off the book if you are not going to take the time to do it right. 2+ hours is a good length of time to do the book justice.  They wrote a hacked up cliff notes version of the book, then took characters and inserted them whenever and wherever it was convenient to the director.  Just sayings all
  • Loved the Tharks
    I wanted to love this, but I felt very lost as to the motivation between the human groups.  Who was the villain?  What did he want?  I don't know. The biggest flaw cam from a design issue.  The two fighting human groups looked exactly the same!  Except for red and blue capes!  Their ships were the same, I couldn't tell one from another.  That was really sloppy and amateurish.  Those two factions really should have had some very different designs so that they could be read quickly. Loved all of the stuff with the Tharks.  Any time the redmen, or baldy blue flying guys showed up, it was a mess.
  • D Avidas7
  • Here's my review -
  • 1KyGuy
    KUDOS Mr. Stanton.  While I was familiar with the subject matter, I had never read the books.  Learned my lesson when the turned "The Shining" into a movie. The first movie of 2012 I have been waiting for to go out to see.  AND I WAS NOT DISAPPOINTED.  That said, I will now go read the books. I truly hope we see the continuation of the trilogy.... As far as critics go: Those who can, Do, those who can't, Teach, those who can't Teach, Write.  Those who can't Write...just bitch....
    • Scopedog
      "As far as critics go: Those who can, Do, those who can't, Teach, those who can't Teach, Write.  Those who can't Write...just bitch..." A statement that fits most of the people commenting on an AICN Talkback forum.... That said, the film has been getting high marks from actual science fiction and fantasy writers who read the original Burroughs novels (and you SHOULD read them--they are amazing!).  Peter David loved it: Michael Moorcock, one of the best SF/Fantasy writers around, also liked the film a lot, and he's seen it twice now: He also made a point about the critical pasting the film received, mentioning that CITIZEN KANE and THE WIZARD OF OZ, f'r instance, were critically panned when they were first released.  Today, of course, a modern film critic wouldn't be caught dead bad-mouthing these movies.  Also, back in the 1960's Moorcock wrote the "Kane of Old Mars" trilogy,which was an homage to Burroughs' Martian tales Glad you enjoyed the movie...but if you read the books now, you are going to be begging for a sequel.  I guarantee it.
  • OBCT
    I'm a little late on the review, but I thought I'd provide my two cents since I worked on this film for 9 months.  I think this is Stanton's worst film, but that's not necessarily saying something incredibly negative coming off his track record of Finding Nemo and Wall-E.   The film has a lot of positives, but perhaps hangs in the balance with a lot of negatives also.  It breaks Stanton's philosophy of 'not entertaining people the same way.'  I felt that this was just another sci-fi flick that could be lost amongst the heavy traffic of epics that this modern age brings.  At the heart of film entertainment lies one true value. Meaning. Our deepest hope as cinema-goers, often subconsciously, is that a film will grip us and mean something to us. Even in popcorn entertainment, we don't care about the action or romance unless we're given a reason to; that they mean something to us. That we can empathise and draw similarities with them from our own experience. As story, filmed, read or acted out on stage is a metaphor for life.  I'll try not to get too philosophical about it, but bear with me, I'm going somewhere.  My main issue with 'John Carter' is that it carried too many metaphors, and therefore drowned out a bold 'meaning' that we could derive from it. To compare with Wall-E, it was clear that that film had a strong theme of unconditional love and relationship, and we could portray such meaning from our lives as it contrasted itself against both robotic and human programming, so prevalent in todays fast-paced society. Whilst Wall-E may not be perfect either, I was at least moved to another place, and sure of how I felt afterwards.  Carter gets diluted by it's many themes, that I left feeling unsure of it's truth.  I took a lot more away from it's novel- A Princess of Mars. Mars was a metaphor for his character. Mars = God of War. Carter even says that he looked up at the sky and saw Mars, the red planet, 'The God of my Profession.' This was, like a controlling image is to film, a controlling sentence in the book. A man ruled by his love of war until he finds use for his savagery on Mars when he finds the Princess worth fighting for.  Stanton, Chabon and Andrews are free to interpret the books from their perspective and perhaps draw something out of the text that really appeals to them, but then that must be the theme, and the focus of the film. It felt like there were three or four different themes that convoluted the plot and took the story away from our protagonist. In the end, not really speaking anything bold, or in other words, giving the story heart. Something that Stanton has been so great at doing in all the Pixar films that he's played a part in. I can only think that this medium of live-action and it's unforgiving scheduling, has robbed Stanton the time to make all the changes he desired- A greater luxury in animation.  I think he fashioned a nice ending, and when I read the script, it was the last pages that spun a twist so neatly, that it may be this film's saving grace, leaving a nice enough taste in audiences mouths.  I could go into problems with the acting, editing, CGI and art direction but I won't. Not because they're not important, (heck I laboured hard on the CGI!) But because story is the king and context of them all. I've seen movies with questionable elements of these, that didn't affect my review of the film, because the story speaks the loudest. Perhaps something Hollywood blockbusters have forgotten.  Working with Andrew Stanton, I still have the upmost respect for him as a director and storyteller and can only testify to him as a brilliant, brilliant artist.  I hope you will see this film for yourself.  Over and out!  
    • Scopedog
      "(heck I laboured hard on the CGI!)" showed.  The CGI was very, very impressive.  I don't know any other way the creatures could have been brought to "life". From someone who liked the film a lot (and plans to see it again), a heartfelt thank-you.  It's sad that so many of the critics who savaged this film didn't give a rat's rear end about all the hard work put into it (especially the CGI artists--you truly are modern magicians).  It was an incredible experience to see a story that, for the past 100 years, had only been on the printed page come to life and play out so well.  The film did have it's flaws, but to me, they were minor and did not spoil the overall movie. Nice insights about the film, especially from someone who worked on it.
  • Max.
    Splendid, it in very way, a good old fashioned rip roaring yarn. Nothing wrong with it. Though it's old school method model may not suit everyone, me and my father, who used to work in the film industry really enjoyed it and he's damm oppinionated.
  • Drummerboyjac
    I really enjoyed this film. Was it perfect? No. But I just went in with an open mind and purposely didn't read any reviews or anything about the overall story before I went to the theater. The only thing I knew beforehand was that the original books was the inspiration for many of the sci-fi films we regard as classics today. And with only that in mind and going in to see what the film had to offer....I loved it. I hope they do make a sequel. I mean, were there predictable aspects to the film? Sure. Anymore, I don't think there's much originality left in this particular genre since EVERYTHING'S been done time and time again. But the ending was what solidified it for me...I figured that there would be a predictable twist, but the way it unfolded left me with unanswered questions and excitement, as it did for many...all the more reason for a sequel to see what happens next. I really don't know why the critics bashed it. If you go in and not take it TOO seriously and enjoy the historical aspect of its literary importace on other sci-fi films...then you may appreciate the movie and love it for what it is...I know I did. I haven't read the books, but from what I've read on this sound off, they seemed to have nailed it perfectly, which is VERY difficult to do with a story that's over 100 years old. So kudos to them.
    • Scopedog
      Damned fine review.  Glad you liked the film--and if you can check out the original Burroughs novels, do so.  "I really don't know why the critics bashed it." Some laid into the film because of the cost.  Others laid into it because they found it derivative of other films....which makes no darned sense since the source novel _inspired_ those movies.  The majority of the critics already had the long knives out weeks ago and went in with the review already written--the film was an overpriced, bloated mess. Audiences have been far kinder to the film, and SF/Fantasy writers who were fans of the books have praised the film.  That's a relief. I'm also glad you went in with an open mind.  Having read the original novel A PRINCESS OF MARS, you could say my thumb was on the scale...but I really enjoyed the film, and in my view they really captured the heart and soul of the novel. JOHN CARTER, to me, was a great movie that did not deserve the critical venom that's been sent its way.
  • disapointed
    I saw the movie tonight and was disappointed. It didn't follow the same story as the book. I've read these books my whole life and wish they would at least stick to the original story. The books develope the characters more as well. Wish it better.
  • clydeD
    I am not a qualified film critic, so it was great reading the article above and a few of the comments. My thoughts are on the stereoscopic 3d aspect of the film, on that subject, here's my review:  Regards
  • For
    loved woola! can't wait to have a stuffed toy like him!
  • Pacific707
    One word...actually, just one simple sound "ppppppffffffftttttpppppp!"
    • Pacific707
      It's called a "raspberry."
  • NoSnow
    Oh Brother. Just let this thing die and don't give Stanton a budget of a bazillion dollars to make his next film. I'm sure he's learned his lesson with this bloated, over CG'd, darkened 3D flop. He could have got it right, but he missed. Just like Peter Berg and his stupid "Battleship," these people can't make a movie to save their lives (though they're laughing all the way to the bank). Fine. Let's hope it makes them enough money that they won't/and don't get to direct any more films. Good riddance. "It was a fine idea, at the time. Now it's a brilliant mistake....."
  • Gigi45
    The movie was retarded and weak...perfect for the brain dead American audience.  However, some critics were wise enough to tear this piece of shit to shreds.  Phony action and a wanna be epic story with old themes doesn't work anymore.
  • Ted Beede
    I've seen the movie, over half a dozen times, both 3D and 2D. And I love it, sure it has some errors from the books, and some of the acting, like John Carter saluting, which a southern officer would never have been so sloppy with it. But all in all, I loved it, and already have it ordered on Amazon in Blu-Ray 3D, which I'll have to go out and buy a big screen 3d TV, and player. But what really is sad, is that they won't make a JCM 2. Would loved to see what happen When John Carter got back to Mars.




Alex's Top 10 - 2016
1. La La Land
2. Paterson
3. Arrival
4. Captain Fantastic
5. 20th Cent. Women
6. Pete's Dragon
7. Jackie
8. Kubo & Two Strings
9. Everybody Wants
10. Wilderpeople
Click Here for Thoughts

Jeremy's Top 10 - 2016
1. Moonlight
2. The Handmaiden
3. High-Rise
4. Elle
5. Arrival
6. Kubo & Two Strings
7. 13th
8. Jackie
9. Toni Erdmann
10. The Witch
Click Here for Thoughts


Subscribe to our feed or daily newsletter:
Follow Alex's main profile on twitter:
For the news posts only, follow this acct:
Add our feed to your Feedly: follow us in feedly