Quantcast John Carter - Uh-Oh! - Page 2
  Articles | Disneyland | Walt Disney World | User Reviews | Travel
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 26 to 46 of 46

Thread: John Carter - Uh-Oh!

  1. #26
    Registered User ImDMous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Escondido, CA

    The Princess of Mars usually shows up on 100-Sci-Fi-books-you-should-read type lists. Of course, being 40 probably puts me well out of the target demographic.

    I actually really enjoyed the movie! It reminded my very much of the Mummy: romance, adventure, archeology, good looking characters, a little comedy (no annoying kids!). I don't think the 3-D did anything for it at all, I hardly noticed that. Really the only thing sci-fi about it is that it's on Mars, much more Fantasy than sci-fi to me. Do I think it's an epic Oscar worthy masterpiece? Of course not, but it was just FUN!

    But I don't want to go among mad people!

  2. # ADS

    Join Date
    Location
    Posts
     

  3. #27
    Registered User dban3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northern California (Sacramento Area)
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by ImDMous View Post
    Do I think it's an epic Oscar worthy masterpiece? Of course not, but it was just FUN!
    Which brings us the question at hand - At 250 million dollars, is a movie expected to provide just plain fun and be good enough or something more? I'm not sure of the answer. Avatar had a similar budget - it brought back over 2 billion dollars at the box office, several Academy Awards, spawned 2 upcoming sequels, and in Disney's pocket to build a new "land" in FLA. I have to believe that was the payoff Disney was fantasizing about with John Carter rather than potentially an enormous tax write-off.
    Writing about all things Disney, a couple of paragraphs at a time.

    http://disneylandtraveler.blogspot.com/

    105000 page views and counting

  4. #28
    MousePlanet Staff
    MousePlanet Staff

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Blog Entries
    8

    As a movie watcher the amount it cost to make, over some medium amount is completely irrelevant to me. It may be interesting to know but I don't say "dang, if they'd made the exact same movie for $70 million less I'd have liked it more." Now, at the low end of the indie spectrum I will cut a movie slack for obvious budget limitations.

    From a corporate perspective I don't imagine they much care about anything other than ROI (and not knowing how much of the movie is pre-sold and hedged I don't have a clue how big the I in that really is).


  5. #29

    I had never heard of John Carter before this thread, but I looked it up and see that there is a whole series of books about this character. Sounds interesting, I may see the movie and I may read the books soon, too. But I haven't seen any ads for the movie at all.


  6. #30

    For anyone who's interested, the books are Public Domain so you can read them online (or on an eBook reader) for free.


  7. #31

    Just got back from seeing "John Carter" at the IMAX. Hubby, the Tinkerteen and I all enjoyed it! Some of it was a little bit predictable, but we were all impressed with the special effects. It's not Wall-E, so if you go in expecting that kind of film, you'll be disappointed. But it's a good story with likeable characters and a lot to look at. I felt it was worth the extra expense for the IMAX experience.

    Just one question for anybody else who has seen it:

     
    How often did you suspect John Carter was trying to sound like John Wayne?


    To all who come to this happy place...quit stepping on the back of my shoes!

  8. #32

    Normally I post my reviews over in the movie thread, but I think this one is more appropriate here:

    I must admit, I'm doing this a bit differently than normal. Typically I will review a movie immediately after my first viewing, but when I saw John Carter at midnight Friday morning I was not able to put a rating on it, let alone elaborate on my opinions of the work. Now that I've seen it a second time I feel I have a clearer perspective from which I can accurately review the film.

    To bring you up to speed (because Disney's marketing department utterly failed in this area) John Carter is based on the novel A Princess of Mars, a book written in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs (author of Tarzan) about an American Civil War soldier named John Carter who is mysteriously transported to Mars (or Barsoom, as its Martian inhabitants refer to it) where he gets caught up in a war between two of Barsoom's cities. Due to the lower gravitational pull on Mars, Carter is granted superhuman strength which Deja Thoris, princess of Helium (one of the warring cities) hopes he'll use to help defend her city from the Zodongans (the other warring city).

    A Princess of Mars and the subsequent books in the Barsoom series went on to inspire, directly or indirectly, just about every single work of Science Fiction and Fantasy that has followed it. The movies that George Lucas borrowed from when making Star Wars borrowed heavily from these books, and John Carter is near the top of the laundry list of works James Cameron ripped off while making Avatar. For nearly 100 years people have been trying and failing to make a film based on these stories, then several years back Disney acquired the rights and gave the project to Pixar veteran and life-long John Carter fan Andrew Stanton.

    In John Carter, Andrew Stanton crafts a good old-fashioned sci-fi adventure film full of interesting creatures, a deep mythology, and a fascinating world to house it all. Barsoom and its inhabitants are beautifully realized and despite the novel having been ripped off hundreds of times it still manages to feel interesting and unique. Stanton said that his goal in creating Barsoom was to treat it the same way he would treat a movie based on historical fact, recreating something that actually existed as opposed to going crazy with the visual style and I think this method worked really well. Barsoom feels like a very real and grounded place and the effects work is seamlessly integrated in to the environments to the point where it's difficult to tell what elements are practical sets and which are CG enhancements, not to mention the excellent motion capture and animation work done on the Tharks and other alien inhabitants.

    There are several stand out action scenes in the film and Stanton proves himself as a more than competent action director, creating gripping and surprisingly brutal battles, and when the movie hits its stride it's a lot of fun. Unfortunately, there's a plot transition in the second act and during this time the film starts to feel a little bit bogged down by exposition, exposition that can be slightly hard to follow as it throws out terms like the Ninth Ray, Issus, Therns, etc. It almost feels as if Andrew Stanton tried to fit as much of the Barsoom mythology into one film as he could in case he did not get the opportunity to direct the two sequels he has planned for this film, and while it improves on a second viewing, the first time around it's a bit much to swallow.

    Overall, though, the movie is quite fun and there's not a whole lot I can complain about. The exposition dump in the middle of the film is a bit tough to chew on and Taylor Kitsch's performance is slightly flat, but with a great supporting cast, a terrific female lead in Lynn Collin's Deja Thoris, and a satisfying payoff the movie ends on a high note. I think the reason it took me a second time viewing the film to really appreciate it was that I had set my expectations unrealistically high. Stanton's work at Pixar has made him one of my favorite filmmakers and that first night I wasn't going to be satisfied with anything less than a masterpiece on the level of WALLE, but what I got was a very fun, if imperfect, sci-fi adventure film. I really do hope that he gets the opportunity to direct the sequels to this movie, because now that I've gotten a taste of it I would love to dive further into the world and mythology of Barsoom, and I don't want anyone else but Stanton as my guide for that journey.

    B+


  9. #33
    Registered User dban3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northern California (Sacramento Area)
    Blog Entries
    1

    I hadn't really thought about it but when discussing John Carter with someone here at work this morning, and he is a big-time science fiction and ERB fan, the movie he compared John Carter to was Dune, another epic scale movie that met with financial failure. His take on movies like Dune and John Carter, while they are true to the characters, the process of streamlining the printed material to a movie length compromises a lot of the author's vision.

    He described John Carter as "fun" and I will go along with that. However what separates a "fun" movie from a really good one for me is answering the question, "Do I have any real desire to see JC when it comes to video?" Nope. Seen it once, that was enough. Of course, the ultimate question as whether a movie is excellent or not is whether you actually have any desire to own a copy of the movie for your personal collection and again - I'll pass right by the Blu-Ray copies of John Carter when the movie hits the display at Wal-Mart.

    Here it is 3 days after the movies release. I saw it in a multiplex that has 16 theaters including muliple 3D theaters and an IMAX. Today, the film has 2 showings in 3D, 5 showings in one regular theater, and 4 showings in IMAX. In contrast, The Lorax is in multiple theaters both regular and 3D probably easily doubling the number of John Carter showings. John Carter will be gone in probably 3 weeks. While there some hope that an international market may help the film's bottom line, the chances of Disney making sequels to this are probably in the slim to none range.

    Did Disney make a movie that just had no real audience? Did the incredibly poor marketing campaign sabatoge any chance for this film to truly succeed? These are the questions up for debate.

    And here is my last comment, while it isn't fair to compare Stanton's 2 Pixar efforts with the John Carter because they are totally different, I can't help but think about a misfit fish and a little metal robot had more heart than anything in John Carter. There's where the audience is - people need something to care about.

    Writing about all things Disney, a couple of paragraphs at a time.

    http://disneylandtraveler.blogspot.com/

    105000 page views and counting

  10. #34
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Elk Grove, CA

    I had no plans to see John Carter, but friends invited us, and we went last night.

    I went in skeptical because of how poorly it's been doing. But I really enjoyed it. I thought it was a fun, well done movie with a great plot. It's really a shame that it's not doing better. I'd love to see a sequel for this movie.


  11. #35

    This is a really great article about John Carter and the ridiculous negative press it received before the film had even been finished (warning, a bit of NSFW language):

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/54267

    …this is the problem with savaging a film like JOHN CARTER: yes, it's ungainly and clearly flawed in ways that no Andrew Stanton film has been before, but it's at least the work of a visionary who loves pulp entertainment. It's not a by-committee cash-grab like PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES.
    That Jerry Bruckheimer and Rob Marshall can get away with phoning in a $300 million piece of s*** while Stanton gets killed for taking a well-earned risk underscores everything that's wrong with this industry - and, in particular, the way in which it's covered by entertainment journalists.

  12. #36
    Registered User dban3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northern California (Sacramento Area)
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by IllusionOfLife View Post
    This is a really great article about John Carter and the ridiculous negative press it received before the film had even been finished (warning, a bit of NSFW language):

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/54267
    Which gets back to point, Disney and Stanton made a movie that very few people really wanted to see (at least in the U.S. market). There are over 900 user review on Yahoo and the over-whelming percentage is positive still, the movie cannot find an audience. What ever happened to word of mouth? So it brings up another weak point of JC, no star power. At least the Pirates franchise, no matter how lousy the installment, can pretty much break even or shoot for the moon in the box office with Johnny Depp as the lead and a clearly defined bankable character. The calamity of John Carter's failure is something someone can write a book about. It was really a perfect storm of bad decisions and miscalculations that overrode a moderately entertaining movie. Here is food for thought. What if a movie about the failure of John Carter and all those responsible is better and more entertaining than the movie itself? Let's just have Brad Pitt play Andrew Stanton.
    Writing about all things Disney, a couple of paragraphs at a time.

    http://disneylandtraveler.blogspot.com/

    105000 page views and counting

  13. #37

    There were definitely very large bungles on Disney's part in terms of marketing this movie, but there's a larger issue, which this article points out, that critics and film journalists were out for blood with this movie for absolutely no good reason. You mentioned word of mouth, and at this point, any positive reactions to this film (of which there have been many, as you pointed out) are fighting an uphill battle because for months people have been submitted to overwhelmingly negative word of mouth before a single person outside of Disney had even seen the movie!

    Unfortunatley, this movie probably never would have made Pirates level business, it was kind of always destined to be a cult classic. However, even the type of people who would almost certainly enjoy a movie like this are apprehensive due to the negative feedback that was based on absolutely nothing. Even with a sub-par marketing campaign, I imagine this movie would have easily broken even within a few weekends due to the positive word of mouth it's been getting from the fans. Instead, though, people are hesitant to see it due to all the premature bad press.

    As the article says, "pick your f***ing battles people." The type of movies that are actually damaging to the industry (Transformers, PotC 4, Shrek Forever After, etc.) all roll into the theater without so much as a sneeze from the movie journalists, and then due to a star studded cast and a strong marketing campaign, these horribly stupid and lazily crafted messes go on to gross $800 million+. Sure they get lambasted by the critics, but by that point the people who have bought into the marketing campaign are already determined to see it. On the other hand, a movie that, while imperfect, was made by a talented director with passion for the material and the story he's trying to tell is ripped apart long before anyone has a chance to make up their minds if they might be interested.

    Andrew Stanton spends $250 million to share a story that he's always loved with the world and does so in a very competent and entertaining way and gets thrown to the sharks for it. Michael Bay spends $200 million on a story he openly admits that he cares nothing about, fills it with sloppy action scenes, lazy sex jokes, and walks away with a billion dollar paycheck and nobody bats an eyelash. There's something severely wrong with this picture.


  14. #38
    Registered User dban3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northern California (Sacramento Area)
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by IllusionOfLife View Post
    Andrew Stanton spends $250 million to share a story that he's always loved with the world and does so in a very competent and entertaining way and gets thrown to the sharks for it. Michael Bay spends $200 million on a story he openly admits that he cares nothing about, fills it with sloppy action scenes, lazy sex jokes, and walks away with a billion dollar paycheck and nobody bats an eyelash. There's something severely wrong with this picture.
    Yes, sadly, that's kind of how it works with 21st America. Why do people still go down to their local McDonalds or Taco Bell? You pay your money and before you take a bite you already know what it tastes like. Its a safe bet, especially for a family - like Transformers, Shrek. Pirates, etc. Also, don't forget that Stanton made his share of errors in the John Carter debacle. He has some measure of culpability.
    Writing about all things Disney, a couple of paragraphs at a time.

    http://disneylandtraveler.blogspot.com/

    105000 page views and counting

  15. #39

    But I'm not referring to consumers on this one. Consumers are ok with low-quality, pre-packaged products as long as that package happens to be shiny and feature something they're familiar with; that applies to food, that applies to merchandise, that applies to entertainment. There's not a lot we can do to change that.

    What I'm talking about, though, is the fact that film journalists, the people who are supposed to be sticking up for the integrity of the medium and for the rights of talented film makers to take risks on new things, are out having a field day with taking premature pot-shots at John Carter when it's not worth an ounce of their ire, while the films that are truly insulting to the medium and the people spending money on them are given a free pass. Consumer culture is stupid and doesn't know any better, people who are getting paid to analyze and write about the film industry have power and responsibility and should know better.

    EDIT: As for Stanton, his only crime was not making a perfect movie. You can hardly blame him for that. Sure there were things that could have been improved, but he made a competently directed, visually impressive, and entertaining sci-fi/adventure film. He did his job. It was Disney's job to market the thing properly, and they failed at that task. It was the journalists' job to be professional and stick up for a director with proven talent taking a risk, instead they started forming a riot against Stanton and John Carter based on nothing more than two minutes of footage and a budget.

    You mentioned big name actors like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, and so the question must be posed, would John Carter have been any better if Johnny Depp played Carter, Natalie Portman played Deja Thoris, and Brad Pitt played Sab Than? They certainly would have brought more people into the theater, but in terms of benefitting the film's quality and artistic merit would they have really made a difference? It's certainly debatable, but I'd say no. Andrew Stanton cast the people he felt were right for the roles and that's his prerogative as a filmmaker and an artist and that is *certainly* not a failing on his part. Supporting new talent is always a good thing, after all, we wouldn't have big name actors if people hadn't supported them when they were nobodies. You're more than entitled to disagree with a casting decision, but calling it a failing on the director's part is a gross confusion of opinion with fact.

    Last edited by IllusionOfLife; 03-17-2012 at 07:26 PM.

  16. #40
    Registered User dban3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northern California (Sacramento Area)
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by IllusionOfLife View Post

    What I'm talking about, though, is the fact that film journalists, the people who are supposed to be sticking up for the integrity of the medium and for the rights of talented film makers to take risks on new things, are out having a field day with taking premature pot-shots at John Carter when it's not worth an ounce of their ire, while the films that are truly insulting to the medium and the people spending money on them are given a free pass.

    EDIT: As for Stanton, his only crime was not making a perfect movie. You can hardly blame him for that. Sure there were things that could have been improved, but he made a competently directed, visually impressive, and entertaining sci-fi/adventure film. He did his job. It was Disney's job to market the thing properly, and they failed at that task. It was the journalists' job to be professional and stick up for a director with proven talent taking a risk, instead they started forming a riot against Stanton and John Carter based on nothing more than two minutes of footage and a budget.

    Andrew Stanton cast the people he felt were right for the roles and that's his prerogative as a filmmaker and an artist and that is *certainly* not a failing on his part. Supporting new talent is always a good thing, after all, we wouldn't have big name actors if people hadn't supported them when they were nobodies. You're more than entitled to disagree with a casting decision, but calling it a failing on the director's part is a gross confusion of opinion with fact.
    I actually think Stanton's major blunder in this one was, by many accounts, his decision to shorten the title to Larry Crowne,,,,eh, I mean,,,, John Carter. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote A Princess From Mars the subject of which this movie is based. The original working title was John Carter of Mars, which was put together after Burroughs had long passed away. Again, by accounts, it was Stanton's decision was shorten the title to Larry..... darn it,,, John Carter. It bastardized the legacy of ERB and his Barsoom series despite the fact Stanton was true to the original characters. It kind kind of ticked off the ERB fans.

    You seem to throw all critics and journalists in a bucket which is kind of disingenuous to their profession. As I mentioned somewhere else in all this, the professional film critics and journalists were split pretty much 50 - 50 when it came to giving a thumbs up or thumbs down to John Carter. But it is true that Roger Ebert and the critics of his ilk came up on the negative side of things (and he wasn't complete negative in his review of JC). Since I am from the SF Bay Area, Mick LaSalle of the SF Chronicle wrote (paraphrasing) that John Carter was as was as wasteful and barren as the Martian landscape it portrayed. He is also the same critic that wrote the first 55 minutes of Andrew Stanton's Wall-E may have been the most beautiful in all of cinema history only to be marginally sabotaged when the human element of the movie was introduced.

    If Brad Pitt, Brendan Fraser, or Natalie Portman were in this movie you most certainly may not have had a better movie. But you probably would have had the sequel that fans of the film are hoping for but will never see.

    I studied Art History in college. Few things in life are as deeply moving and profound as a painting by Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko at the pinnacle of his career. The pictures hang in museums for a reason. 99% of most people could care less. For whatever their reasons, most people just don't care about John Carter no matter how noble of effort it is.
    Writing about all things Disney, a couple of paragraphs at a time.

    http://disneylandtraveler.blogspot.com/

    105000 page views and counting

  17. #41
    MousePlanet Staff
    MousePlanet Staff

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Blog Entries
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by IllusionOfLife View Post
    Andrew Stanton spends $250 million to share a story that he's always loved with the world and does so in a very competent and entertaining way and gets thrown to the sharks for it. Michael Bay spends $200 million on a story he openly admits that he cares nothing about, fills it with sloppy action scenes, lazy sex jokes, and walks away with a billion dollar paycheck and nobody bats an eyelash. There's something severely wrong with this picture.
    I would disagree with this in that I don't think Andrew Stanton brought his labor of love to the screen with any great display of competence and entertainment (obviously a subjective opinion others disagree with). I also find the Transformers movies significantly more abhorrent. But I will admit I am more disappointed in Stanton than Bay. Bay is Bay. While his visuals have been great at Pixar, what was awe inspiring in Stanton (and Bird, and Lasseter, and Docter) was his mastery of story. Admittedly, the source material is no great shakes in this regard, but I did hope Stanton (especially working with Michael Chabon) would raise the storytelling well beyond the books (which are essentially: he-man gets in endless battle and kills everything and then goes to the next battle where he'll find more stuff to kill).

    I also saw very little of the pre-release coverage since I don't consume any of those shows or periodicals. But I will admit I may have been pre-disposed against it to a degree by the absolutely awful trailers they cut.

  18. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by dban3 View Post
    I actually think Stanton's major blunder in this one was, by many accounts, his decision to shorten the title to Larry Crowne,,,,eh, I mean,,,, John Carter.
    I would agree that the title was unfortunate. As a fan of the long-running tv show, "ER," in my mind, John Carter will always first be the young, wealthy doctor who worked at County General...
    To all who come to this happy place...quit stepping on the back of my shoes!

  19. #43
    Some people are worth melting for oregontraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Springfield, Oregon

    It's official, Disney expected to take $200M loss on JC for their 2nd fiscal quarter ending March 31st, (according to Yahoo)


  20. #44
    Registered User dban3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Northern California (Sacramento Area)
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by oregontraveler View Post
    It's official, Disney expected to take $200M loss on JC for their 2nd fiscal quarter ending March 31st, (according to Yahoo)
    Yep.... the losses on Mars Needs Moms dragged down quarterly profits by an estimated 3% when reported last year. For a large company like Disney, that percentage is not insignificant. The losses on John Carter stand to be even deeper. Now granted, financial losses in the stratosphere on a failed movie can be offset in the books as an earnings write-off but what hurts most is how a failure in a traditionally profitable part of company affects stockholders confidence. No CEO or CFO ever likes to hold a quarterly earnings conference call on and talk about losses.
    Writing about all things Disney, a couple of paragraphs at a time.

    http://disneylandtraveler.blogspot.com/

    105000 page views and counting

  21. #45
    Registered User arnoldvb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

    The strange things is that I'm seeing many online articles touting what a big bomb the movie is, and some almost sound gleeful that Disney will take a beating on this. But then you read the comments at the bottom and many people loved (or at least liked) John Carter. It seems that the non-descriptive movie title and the marketing campaign really hurt what might otherwise have been at least a decent box office showing.

    I haven't seen John Carter yet because it only opened here in the Virgin Islands until this week. I hope to see it this coming weekend.


  22. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by dban3 View Post
    I actually think Stanton's major blunder in this one was, by many accounts, his decision to shorten the title to Larry Crowne,,,,eh, I mean,,,, John Carter. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote A Princess From Mars the subject of which this movie is based. The original working title was John Carter of Mars, which was put together after Burroughs had long passed away. Again, by accounts, it was Stanton's decision was shorten the title to Larry..... darn it,,, John Carter. It bastardized the legacy of ERB and his Barsoom series despite the fact Stanton was true to the original characters. It kind kind of ticked off the ERB fans.

    Unfortunately, the Syfy Channel produced a dozen dollar epic by that title the year before with Traci Lord starring as a blond Dejah Thoris. So the actual title wasn't really available. The new movie's title, "John Carter," was significant of the character, At the beginning, Carter was a man without a family, without friends, without a country, and, ultimately, without even a world. Everything had been taken from him. Hence, simply "John Carter" Through the course of the movie, he regained all of that. Friends, someone to love, a people,a country, and even a world. That's why, at the end of the movie (for those who bothered to wait that long) we see that caption, "John Carter OF MARS." He was no longer a man alone. He had, literally, come home.

    Unfortunately, that was never actually explained anywhere, Maybe Mr Stanton should have been less subtle, and there would have been fewer questions about his choice of a title.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •