Friday, March 16, 2012

John Carter

John Carter: Do you remember the first time you saw Flash Gordon?  If it was the 80's movie that you saw, do you remember how horrendously bad it was?  If it was the 30's serial that you saw, do you remember how incredibly campy it was?*  Either way, do you remember how when you saw them you thought to yourself that it was really a shame because the concept had such great potential?  I distinctly remember watching Flash Gordon the movie for the first time and how sad I was because this wonderful treasure chest full of ideas was being wasted on a really bad movie.  Well, John Carter is everything that you wanted Flash Gordon to be but wasn't. Yes, you have to suspend your disbelief enough to accept that there is stuff on Mars that we clearly know today isn't there, but then that's true of lots of sci-fi/fantasy movies (the suspension of disbelief, not necessarily about Mars).  Once you accept that, this movie is great.  It does get off to a rocky start.  The initial parts on Earth are fine (if a bit hurried (understandably hurried, but hurried)) and the initial parts on Mars are fine but then it gets a bit slow for a while.  Not movie ruining slow, but noticeably slow.  But then things start moving again.  Unfortunately, I also left this movie thinking it was a shame, but this time for opposite reasons.  Disney evidently sank a huge sum of money into the movie hoping to start a new franchise and it did not do that well at the box office.  So, in all likelihood that will be the first and last of the John Carter movies.  Which is a shame because I would gladly buy a ticket for more.  The Edgar Rice Burroughs books that this and future movies would be based are are a wonderful treasure chest full of ideas and we only got to explore the first couple layers.  So do me (and yourself) a favor and go see it in the theater.

John Carter: B+

* - Unless you were actually watching it in the 30's in which case I have no idea what you thought.  Also, congratulation on living so long.

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