- Picture & Sound
- Bonus Features
Despite its lackluster showing at the box office (it only made about $72 million domestically) it really is a phenomenal movie and I’m glad I finally got the chance to see it.
Based on the 11 volume Barsoom series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs (mostly, “A Princess of Mars”) John Carter is a veritable feast for the senses. Taking place mostly on the alien planet of Barsoom (which we know as Mars) “Carter” has some great visuals (both sets and costumes) a good story and some wonderful actors to carry it out for us. The only real problem I had with this movie is that it seems like it takes a bit to build up steam and get us to a point where things actually seem to get moving. But, looking back on the whole movie now, it was absolutely necessary.
Taylor Kitsch (whom I’d only seen previously in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) does a pretty good job of playing the title character, though I’m not sure if it’s him or the character he plays but John Carter, much like the planet he finds himself on, seems a bit dry in his delivery.
Lynn Collins plays Princess Dejah Thoris (she was also in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and I think she does an amazing job with the character. Not to mention, she looks fantastic in those costumes and those blue contact lenses!
Willem Dafoe plays the Thark Jeddak (King) Tars Tarkas. Dafoe has had a long and successful career as an actor and is amazing as a character actor. Although his character is CG, all his facial movements were motion captured and he actually did all his own physical acting for the character, walking around on stilts to play the green tusked alien who stands about nine feet tall. Dafoe was an excellent choice for Tars who is much unlike the other Tharks in the amount of emotion and compassion he has.
This was Andrew Stanton’s first outing on a live-action movie and I think he did an incredible job. I can only hope that, given enough time, he has a chance to do a sequel. This was to be the first in a series of movies, but due to its low numbers at the box office, I doubt that’s gonna happen now. It’s sad really, because it’s a good movie, I just think that it was not marketed properly or as well as other Disney films (TRON: Legacy) that had a comparable budget of about $250 million.
Oh, one more thing (and this brought a smile to my face)…
Just before the end-credits roll and the picture fades to black, the title on the screen says “John Carter of Mars” (the original title for the movie) and then rolls to the original JCM logo that was on the first teaser posters. I’m not sure who was behind that, but I suspect that it might have been the film’s director, Andrew Stanton. Regardless of who it was, I tip my hat to them for doing that!
The extras on the Blu-ray I watched are pretty good too! There is an outtakes feature called “Barsoom Bloopers”, although it was pretty short. What I did enjoy most was the “360 Degrees of John Carter” feature. This feature covers an entire day in the production of the movie. It was a very lengthy and in-depth piece, and there’s even more to be had on the Disney Second Screen app for John Carter!
As a warrior lost on Earth, John Carter is magically transported to Mars, where the fate of the planet and its people ultimately rest in his hands. With surprising new powers, and epic battles, he rises to become the man he is meant to be and the hero he truly is.
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton (Best Animated Film, WALL•E, 2008) “John Carter” is a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). John Carter is a war-weary, former military captain who’s inexplicably transported to Mars and reluctantly becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. It’s a world on the brink of collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands. Stunning special effects, great characters and villains — and complete with extraordinary bonus features — “John Carter” is a heroic and inspirational adventure that will thrill audiences beyond imagination.
Blu-ray bonus features:
- Disney Second Screen – Explore John Carter’s journal with this innovative in-world experience and uncover a trove of fascinating details that extend the mythology of the movie.
- 360 Degrees of John Carter – Experience every aspect of the filmmaking process on one of the movie’s biggest production days.
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director, Andrew Stanton Barsoom Bloopers
- Plus all DVD features
DVD bonus features:
- 100 Years In The Making – Follow the journey of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story, from its origins as a pulp novel to its arrival onscreen.
- Audio Commentary with Filmmakers