Saturday, August 25, 2012

John Carter of Mars

Yeah, I know it's not called John Carter of Mar, just John Carter. But it should have been. Actually, it should have been called the The Princess of Mars, the actual title of Edgar Rice Burrough's seminal sci-fi novel.

Doesn't matter. The movie is very good. It's a muddle at times with a lot of Mars lingo mumbo jumbo but that's what it's all about. This is the original Flash Gordon, the original Star Wars, the original Avatar. Plus a movie that's been in development hell since the early 1930s when producers first tried to get this film made. It took about eighty years and now that it's been made it will be remembered for a while as a colossal flop, and the film that ousted a lot of Disney execs, but that's only temporary. It's a soulful, whiz-bang Saturday morning serial type of movie that is very well done. It's beautiful to look at, incorporating a lot of wide-open space, the action sequences are witty and nicely composed by Pixar guru Andrew Stanton, and all the performances are good, especially Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris, the princess.

My favorite popcorn flick of the year so far. I wish I'd gone to see it in the theaters.

Here are some bonus Frank Frazetta paintings of the world Burroughs created. Just because.


  1. Lovely review! Couldn't agree more. This is one of the best movies I've seen in a long time, very well done and its pulpy sensibilities were part of its charm. I also enjoyed seeing my beautiful home state featured as a stand-in for Barsoom.

  2. "Battleship is SUPER underrated."-Peter Swanson

    I kid! I kid! I haven't seen the movie yet but maybe on your recommendation I will.