John Carter (2012)

Disney’s John Carter movie is a lot of things — a ripping action yarn, for one — but it is not a true adaptation of “A Princess of Mars,” nor is it the $350 million flop that many (including, shockingly, Disney itself) are accusing it of being. Call it an adaptation in spirit.

Based on the story “A Princess Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs (creator of Tarzan), the movie is the first foray into live action by director Andrew Stanton, the Oscar-winning mind behind Pixar’s Finding Nemo and WALL-E animated masterpieces. But the movie mostly just uses the characters from the tale serialized in All-Story pulp magazine from February to July 1912. The film’s plot is an original concoction by Stanton and two others, including Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon.
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John Carter Marketers: You’re Doing It Wrong!

Yesterday, Deadline.com’s Nikki Finke reported that early tracking numbers on John Carter are pointing toward a box-office flop of mammoth proportions. “The tracking for John Carter is shocking for a film that costs over $250 million,” Finke claims a rival studio executive wrote. “This could be the biggest writeoff of all time,” possibly as much as $100 million.

That’s bad news for those of us who have already tossed our swords at John Carter‘s feet, hoping for a film trilogy. Especially because the news gets worse: Finke further reports that studio exec claimed, “Women of all ages have flat-out rejected the film.”
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Dejah Thoris is My Cellar Door

Fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkein (Lord of the Rings) is among the literary heavyweights said to be particularly enamored of the words cellar door. The combination has often (and apocryphally) been called the most beautiful words in the English language; cited for their melodic quality and the way the musical sounds contrast with the ordinariness of the object they describe.

I happen to believe that Dejah Thoris is the most beautiful name for an SF/fantasy character ever. I remember hearing it and instantly being enamored long before I ever read the source material. Dejah Thoris is, of course, the title character in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ seminal novel A Princess of Mars, which introduced the Earth to swashbuckling hero John Carter — who would go on to become the Warlord of Mars.
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John Carter Trailer: “Good God, I’m on Mars!”

Another trailer for the movie adaptation of Edgar Rice Burrough‘s legendary A Princess of Mars is out, and I’m not going to mince words here: This is my favorite trailer so far for the movie, to be called John Carter. This trailer is just a brief one minute long, but it makes the story of Carter’s adventures on the red planet look like a ripping yarn! This should be epic.

What makes this trailer work so well? (BTW, I don’t mean to imply that any of the others don’t work; just that this one works best.) It sets up the premise, establishes the stakes and gives viewers a taste of the action to come. In other words, it’s a true tease that doesn’t spoil. Take a look:


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New Trailer Adds Elements to John Carter’s Story

I know clouds are not common on Barsoom, and I have praised John Carter teases before (like the TV spots and the long trailer), but my nervous disposition makes me think I now see some dark cumulonimbus on the distant horizon, thanks to the just-released Japanese trailer for the Disney adaptation. The teaser contains some scenes not yet seen in the USA, and they hint at mechanisms and motivation — but mechanisms and motivation that are not in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original texts!

SPOILER WARNING: If you want to avoid all information about the story beforehand, you should skip watching this trailer. For the rest of you, take a look:


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John Carter’s Two New TV Spots

Disney is finally starting to ramp up the publicity machine for the upcoming John Carter movie, and as part of that, we get to see two new TV spots that ramp up the action factor and show a little more of Barsoom and hint at the story.

This clip is called “He Arrives,” and looks at US Civil War veteran Capt. John Carter’s (Taylor Kitsch) arrival on a desolate Barsoom, then some good-looking action sequences.

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John Carter’s New, Barsoomian-size Trailer

I have been waiting – cautiously – for the full-length trailer for John Carter, the forthcoming Disney live-action adaptation of the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ second-greatest creation, John Carter of Mars, and it has finally been released. After watching it, I am a bit distressed to say that I am still only guardedly optimistic about the film.

If you haven’t checked out the 2-minute HD trailer, take a look now, and then we’ll have a word about it.

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John Carter: A trailer of (not) Mars

Anyone who knows me knows that one of the movies I am most looking forward to in 2012 is John Carter, an adaptation of a story written by Edgar Rice Burroughs (creator of Tarzan) almost 100 years ago. It bothers me a little that the adaptation is not being called “John Carter of Mars,” because the moniker “John Carter” is just so… blah. The flick has been flying mostly under the radar despite being released by Disney, which has not turned its marketing department loose on the property. Well, until recently, when the studio released a couple of teaser images, and finally an actual trailer. And now I can say the short clip was worth the wait!

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Teasing John Carter (possibly of) Mars

I have a relatively new passion: the Mars novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, who is most famous for creating Tarzan. Burroughs wrote 11 books in the Mars series dealing with American Civil War veteran Capt. John Carter, who finds himself mysteriously transported to the planet Mars, where he becomes embroiled in a number of armed conflicts and a sweeping romance that takes him (literally) from pole to pole of the red planet its denizens call “Barsoom.” I recently devoured the first three books in the series (A Princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars) and am now reading the fourth, Thuvia, Maid of Mars.
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