Saturday, March 10, 2012

JOhn Carter,I saw the movie last night

It was opening night in Littleton, and I got my brother and my sister-in-law to come along for the fun. There was a good crowd at the Jax Jr. The movie is pretty good. On a scale of 1 to 10, where the original Star Wars is a 10, and the Jar-Jar Binks movie is a 1, John Carter is a solid 6, maybe a 7.
I've been waiting for this movie ever since I read the book as a boy. A Princess of Mars was Edgar Rice Burroughs first published novel, coming out as a magazine serial in 1911. Burroughs went on to write a lot more Martian stories. He didn't invent Tarzan until later. I always thought Burroughs Mars stories were cooler than his Tarzan stories, although I read most of the Tarzan books too.
Tarzan, requiring less special effects, made it into the movies early on, and had a long and successful run, both movies and TV. There was an effort to do a Princess of Mars movie in the 1930's (animated) but it didn't pan out. If it had, it would have been the first feature length animated film, instead of Snow White.
Anyhow, John Carter, the movie, is better than the Tarzan movies out there. So call it a success. Forbes magazine thinks John Carter will make a bundle of money and lead to profitable sequels. The movie is "live action" in that the hero and heroine are real actors, photographed in costume. The background is full of CGI Martians, exotic riding animals, ferocious monsters, fantastic aircraft, Martian cities, and marvelous terrain features such as the River Iss.
The movie takes substantial liberties with Burrough's original text, but that is nothing new. Movies never follow the book very closely. True believer fans will whine about this, but it doesn't bother me much. Had I been directing it there are a lot of things I would have done differently, but I wasn't directing, and so things are as they are.
If you are a Burroughs fan, this is a must see. It's a good action adventure story, lots of action, lots of strange places and creatures, it moves fast enough that you don't notice the two hour length.

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