The Case for John Carter

It’s no surprise that Hollywood is about profit. It’s also nothing new for publications to lambast any movie that doesn’t financially perform well. Often movies I love don’t do well. I loved Hollywood Homicide and continue encourage people to watch it to this day because it is so funny even though it didn’t bring in much mass appeal and money. In recent time, Taylor Kitsch has been criticized for the monetary failure of two of his latest films John Carter and Battleship.

It’s odd the way the press sees these failures. I happen to know that Entertainment Weekly gave Battleship a good review but constantly makes fun of the movie for its failure to a draw in a crowd. And the jokes on John Carter? Don’t get me started.

I was unable to see the movie in theaters, and, to be fair, I didn’t understand the plot. The marketing for the movie was not done well. If I didn’t understand the plot how could others? While supposedly marketed as a family film, I had no idea it was based on short stories by the beloved Edgar Rice Burrows, and I didn’t understand the complex emotions the main character goes through. Disney missed the mark drawing the audience in that it needed. And with the press devouring it whole, its good qualities were lost in confusion and criticism.

I really enjoyed the film and thought it was well done. It reminded me of The NeverEnding Story; fantastic places, a kingdom almost lost, unique creatures to thrill the imagination. As a child, I would have watched this movie over and over on loop. As an adult, I plan to purchase it on Blu-ray.

John Carter is a cowboy who is an amazing solider but after his wife and children die, he becomes apathetic about anything other than a cave full of gold. After escaping jail, Carter is accidently transported to Mars. Carter must learn to navigate this new planet and its inhabitants. Carter strives to get home to his gold, but the princess of Helium complicates the process. Carter must learn what love really is and how apathy is a curse on the world.

Like most things Disney does, the special affects and CGI were well done. The aliens looked realistic and the voice acting was terrific with Willem Dafoe and Thomas Haden Church.  I never watched Friday Night Lights, but Kitsch has been on my radar since Wolverine (now, because of Magic Mike, is the second sexiest movie in recent years). The majority of major roles are unknowns allowing the character to have unique faces and really seem like they are from another planet. James Purefoy was the only other one I recognized.

Not a perfect movie, but the tight writing, humor, less focus on violence, beautiful visuals and moral exploration makes John Carter a quality to movie that I wished to have more tales from. But with the measly amount it made, I will probably never see them.

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3 comments on “The Case for John Carter

  1. Pingback: John Carter Movie Review, Filed Under Movies the “Real” Critics Don’t Want us to Like. | Pop! News Online

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