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TAG TEAM REVIEW: JOHN CARTER - Page 15

post #701 of 778

*nods thoughtfully* Good points all, Greg. Thanks for the perspective, mate.

post #702 of 778

Revisited this recently with the wife and daughter. My daughter says "The Princess has a bigger nose than John Carter". Just a funny observation.

 

I think I keep going back to it because I love the space opera (and Sword & Planet) genre so much and want more pulp out there in my cinema, Plus, like Howard's Conan and the Sword & Sorcery genre, I unashamedly love that era of fantasy/scifi. It's what I was hoping GREEN LANTERN would be, but was ultimately let down there. FLASH GORDON, BUCK ROGERS, FARSCAPE, STAR WARS (OT), etc. But I wanted a more swash-buckling hero here. Not another post-Batman (and I do love my Batman) angsty mope. See Han Solo on how to do a reluctant hero correctly if you need to go that route in a fun space adventure.

 

I love Collins' Deja, but I find it odd that she desperately wants JC to fight for Helium when she wasn't willing to take the plunge herself and offer herself up to save her people. The villains are so weak in this it hurts. It also feels like there's a major scene missing between the time Deja's father informs her that marriage is the only way and when she's getting fired upon by the bad guys. In the book she's off on a scientific mission, but it's not super clear in the film.

 

Just reread the original book. The villains aren't really delineated in that much more, except for the Tharks (Sarkoja, etc) that stand out. There's a scene where the fat Thark Jedak has Deja chained up and I couldn't help but imagine Jabba and Leia in JEDI while reading.

 

It's watchable for the most part, fun in certain areas, but suffers from some serious flaws. The lead actor is just miscast for such a huge investment IMO.

 

"Trailer after trailer, poster after poster, even that awful title change (why not call it John Carter: A Princess of Mars?"

 

Maybe they were afraid people would think JC's the princess based on how that's worded. ;) You need an "and" in there.


Edited by DARKMITE8 - 11/12/12 at 9:29pm
post #703 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8 View Post

 

It's watchable for the most part, fun in certain areas, but suffers from some serious flaws. The lead actor is just miscast for such a huge investment IMO.

 

A great summation of the film. It is heavily flawed, but better casting for the title role could have done a lot for the flick.

post #704 of 778

Kitsch was fine, but a better known name might've helped.  People didn't want to give it a shot.
 

post #705 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

Kitsch was fine, but a better known name might've helped.  People didn't want to give it a shot.
 


I gave it a shot and mourn at the "what if" of a more charming screen presence and more likeable character approach. The film needed a star to carry it to victory. I liked it in spite of the main character, not because he was a mostly blank "avatar" (oops) for me to project myself onto. I would have preferred to love it.

post #706 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subotai View Post

Kitsch was fine, but a better known name might've helped.  People didn't want to give it a shot.
 

 

Nope, he was completely lifeless.  And when he did show a mild spark of interest in being in the film it was only to brood.

 

This film had 99 good things going for it, but Kitsch ain't one.

post #707 of 778

I disagree.  Unfortunately Kitsch took it on the chin for JC and Battleship's failings, but Lone Survivor and the FNL movie should work out better.
 

post #708 of 778

I'm just sick of the "brooding reluctant hero with a troubled past". It's no fun. And it's too big (and unnecessary) of a change from the book's version. Do characters have to lose their family to be motivated to do the right thing? Not every character has to be Batman or Harry Potter or Peter Parker. And for the record, Batman is one of my favorite fictional characters ever.I certainly hope Bilbo's reluctance to leave the Shire isn't explained in a flashback and  due to some childhood trauma.

Can't a character enjoy an adventure because IT'S AN ADVENTURE? Can't a hero be motivated by the love of a woman? Or because of his principles? Does every modern character need a 180 arc? Or to be an orphan for audience sympathy?

 

GREEN LANTERN: FIRST FLIGHT and JLA: NEW FRONTIER origin stories worked for me. The live action one did not. Much of that has to do with the clumsy and unnecessary addition of  traumatic backstory. Let's get on with the escapism. Stop dwelling on the reasons for escape. You want me to feel for the lead, develop the relationships with the characters in the story. Stop giving me notes from their shrink. Men don't have to be grumpy to be manly. And Kitsch is no Eastwood.

 

There's a reason why the SW OT was fun pulp and why the SW PT was a joyless slog. I wanted to be Luke or Han. Never wanted to be Anakin or young Obi Wan.

post #709 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKMITE8 View Post


I gave it a shot and mourn at the "what if" of a more charming screen presence and more likeable character approach. The film needed a star to carry it to victory. I liked it in spite of the main character, not because he was a mostly blank "avatar" (oops) for me to project myself onto. I would have preferred to love it.

It would've worked a lot better if they had gotten a slightly older actor who could bring some gravitas and experience to the character. Josh Holloway in particular has the right blend of southern charm, magnetic personality, and just old enough to look weathered but not so old to look leathered. I didn't think Kitsch was bad, but he still looks too young to play the character he's playing, and no amount of pasted-on beard can change that.

post #710 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

It would've worked a lot better if they had gotten a slightly older actor who could bring some gravitas and experience to the character. Josh Holloway in particular has the right blend of southern charm, magnetic personality, and just old enough to look weathered but not so old to look leathered. I didn't think Kitsch was bad, but he still looks too young to play the character he's playing, and no amount of pasted-on beard can change that.


Yeah, there's a big difference between playing grizzled and worldly and being grizzled and worldly. I agree fully.

I'm not sure the dour approach is the way to go for this particular story (Just imagine if Luke Skywalker mourned his Aunt and Uncle's death for the remainder of the film instead of being swept up in the adventure of the Empire/Rebellion conflict, rescuing princesses and blasting Ti-Fighters.), but a screen presence with gravitas would have been the better way (than not). Seems like a pretty face is all that we need these days to market to the four quadrant. But there's a reason why the Hugh Jackmans and the Robert Downey Jrs are popular, beyond just their female-pleasing looks.

 

I'm reminded of Marky Mark in place of Charlton Heston on the POTA remake. Wahlberg is fine in some cases (see buddy comedies), but he's not a "star" IMO. And not big enough (and I don't mean physically) for the material/tone of pulp scifi.


Edited by DARKMITE8 - 11/13/12 at 7:55am
post #711 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

It would've worked a lot better if they had gotten a slightly older actor who could bring some gravitas and experience to the character. Josh Holloway in particular has the right blend of southern charm, magnetic personality, and just old enough to look weathered but not so old to look leathered. I didn't think Kitsch was bad, but he still looks too young to play the character he's playing, and no amount of pasted-on beard can change that.


Would've killed to have seen Holloway as Jonah Hex - - but not in a crap production as Brolin's film.

post #712 of 778

I'm convinced that Holloway's got a leading man franchise waiting for him, if only someone will actually give him the role. *coughcough*DarkTower*coughcough*

post #713 of 778

He's made for the westerns - but we'll have to settle for that b-boy movie.
 

post #714 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post

It would've worked a lot better if they had gotten a slightly older actor who could bring some gravitas and experience to the character. Josh Holloway in particular has the right blend of southern charm, magnetic personality, and just old enough to look weathered but not so old to look leathered. 

You are right. Josh Holloway would have been a great actor for the role.

 

Unfortunately he is not really a "bigger name" than Kitsch, even though he deserves to be.

post #715 of 778

All the Kitsch-hating reminds me how many people actually watched FNL.
 

post #716 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperspace View Post

You are right. Josh Holloway would have been a great actor for the role.

 

Unfortunately he is not really a "bigger name" than Kitsch, even though he deserves to be.

Right, but my point was that you didn't need a bigger name, just an actor with a more natural charm and experience on his face.

post #717 of 778

I don't hate Kitsch. I just felt like he - or at least his portrayal - was the wrong choice for Carter. Maybe it was more the writing or directing, but we've all seen meh-to-bad scripts and pedestrian directing elevated by strong performances.

post #718 of 778

Doesn't happen too often in my experience.  One thing I liked about Kitsch's portrayal was how he didn't simply lead with his chest.  In any case, Kitsch has unfortunately become the fall guy for the John Carter fiasco.  Hopefully Berg does better by him with Lone Survivor.
 

post #719 of 778

I just got to see this this week off Starz....and I thought it was pretty good. Even better, the 13 year old son--who doesn't dig Star Wars at all--loved it enough to watch it twice with me. It certainly was a helluva missed opportinity. Dejah should have been made far more front and center, and perhaps someone with more star presence than Mr Kitsch as the lead. But he wasn't the worst part of the movie. The convoluted bad guy plot made little sense in how they tried to sell it.

 

I thought it was too bad it took Carter ten years  to think up the idea on how to get the teleporter medallion thing, but hey there's a learning curve to being a pulp hero I guess....

post #720 of 778

I enjoyed the hell out of this and the potential for a franchise was there. Too bad really.

 

JOHN CARTER AND THE WARLORDS OF MARS would've been a nice title for the sequel.
 

post #721 of 778

This smug fuck...

 

Pixar's Maverick Director: How I'd Tweak Our Formula for Success

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/pixars-maverick-director-how-id-tweak-our-formula-success-65756?page=0,0

 

 

Quote:

Speaking of live action, you worked on the rather notable recent flop "John Carter." What went wrong?


I don’t know. Definitely not the story. There were a lot of mistakes that were made in the selling of the movie. It’s the one part of the process that’s out of our hands, and that stuff is just as much alchemy as making a movie. 

 

I think there was a lot of internal turmoil in Disney at the time on "John Carter," which may have everything to do with why it didn’t so so well. It’s unfortunate, but that’s Hollywood.

 

Yes, the marketing was awful.  But there was plenty wrong with the story on many levels.  Also, Brave was a legitimate disappointment.

 

Either Pixar course-corrects on their current trajectory, or I long for them to experience a glorious crash and burn as other animation studios up their game.

post #722 of 778

Oh, hubris. You so tasty.

post #723 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

This smug fuck...

 

Pixar's Maverick Director: How I'd Tweak Our Formula for Success

http://www.thewrap.com/movies/column-post/pixars-maverick-director-how-id-tweak-our-formula-success-65756?page=0,0

 

 

 

Yes, the marketing was awful.  But there was plenty wrong with the story on many levels.  Also, Brave was a legitimate disappointment.

 

Either Pixar course-corrects on their current trajectory, or I long for them to experience a glorious crash and burn as other animation studios up their game.

 

 

I thought he was in charge of Marketing the film, up until a month or two before release. So he's throwing Disney under the bus and denying responsibility? What a prick!

 

Such a bad film (that I still haven't seen). Not like Dark Knight Rises!

post #724 of 778

JOHN CARTER is bad. It's so awful.

post #725 of 778
"So THAT'S how that feels..." --Stupid Bale Voice

By the way, the piece is an interview with Mark Andrews, who cowrote John Carter with Stanton. Not Stanton himself.
post #726 of 778

What, I'm supposed to actually  click on the link?!

post #727 of 778

FYI

 

haven't read it myself, but it's a free Kindle download, so.....

 

Quote:

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood

 

It took 100 years to bring Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars to the big screen. It took Disney Studios just ten days to declare the film a flop and lock it away in the Disney vaults. How did this project, despite its quarter-billion dollar budget, the brilliance of director Andrew Stanton, and the creative talents of legendary Pixar Studios, become a calamity of historic proportions?

Michael Sellers, a filmmaker and Hollywood insider himself, saw the disaster approaching and fought to save the project – but without success. In John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood, Sellers details every blunder and betrayal that led to the doom of the motion picture – and that left countless Hollywood careers in the wreckage.

JOHN CARTER AND THE GODS OF HOLLYWOOD examines every aspect of Andrew Stanton's adaptation and Disney's marketing campaign and seeks to answer the question: What went wrong? it includes a history of Hollywood's 100 year effort to bring the film to the screen, and examines the global fan movement spawned by the film.

post #728 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelM View Post

JOHN CARTER is bad. It's so awful.

 

 

Oh yeah did I mention that I finally saw John Carter? And it SUCKED!

 

Actually it wasn't terrible, and it wasn't great. I think the lead actor and how he was written were all wrong. You aim for a light hearted adventure film, you don't portray the hero as a brooding monosyllabic jerk. And you don't intersperse an exciting battle scene with flash backs to the hero's family being murdered by flames. Oh and you have villains who are powerful, yes, but not omnipotent and random. And they should have a motive beyond "yeah we just like to fuck with whole Planets!".

 

And also you should have the DP shoot the lead actor so that his "good sides" are featured (I never really noticed that technical aspect of film making until I saw how Kistch just looked crap in certain shots but properly Leading Manish in others).

 

Oh and how about just ONE Prologue. Skip that, let's ditch the prologue altogether, and introduce John Carter on the run from Cowboys Anonymous or whatever those gimps were supposed to be. You know, that "in Media Res" thingee that worked so well in a little film you all may have heard about....what's it called...mmmm... I know...STAR WARS!

 

Seriously I didn't really hate this film, but it there were glimmers of brilliance in oceans of boring. If I'd read the books maybe I'd feel differently, as it seems that John Carter (the book) fans really dug the film.

 

And having perused this thread (some very interesting discussion) I have to say I agree with whoever wrote that, even though Stanton got free reign to bring his vision to the screen, this film really feels like it was made by committee, with every decision second and third guessed.

 

I could tell that the film was made with good intent, the "heart" that people mention above. And I unabashedly love films like Battle Beyond the Stars, Starcrash and Message from Space because, even though all were conceived as cynical rip offs of Star Wars, all three have that indefinable "heart" that makes me lurv them. But the  "heart" in John Carter was skipping too many beats , so to speak.

 

Dejah does have quite the belly though haha.

post #729 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

 

 

Oh yeah did I mention that I finally saw John Carter? And it SUCKED!

 

And having perused this thread (some very interesting discussion) I have to say I agree with whoever wrote that, even though Stanton got free reign to bring his vision to the screen, this film really feels like it was made by committee, with every decision second and third guessed.

 


I would suspect this is mostly due to Stanton second and third guessing himself, which seems to be how they do things at Pixar (for better and worse).

post #730 of 778

While I agree the film is underwhelming, this ONE scene in particular is spectacular and feels like it is Andrew Stanton's vision not muddled by second guessing that the rest of the film lacks. If the whole film lived up to this moment (and maybe a better lead actor), we'd be talking about sequels right now.

 

post #731 of 778

I'm reading the free download of JOHN CARTER AND THE GODS OF HOLLYWOOD. It's a highly entertaining read but the guy is clearly a huge fan of the property and smells conspiracy everywhere, not that I'm convinced he's wrong. He basically conjectures at one point that the STAR WARS acquisition, in the works long before CARTER's release, played a role in Disney's negligent marketing. I'm impressed by how thorough and up-to-date it is, but it's really poorly formatted and punctuation errors abound. It's like the guy didn't proofread it before he threw it online. Still, good read.

post #732 of 778

I think Woola superchomping that guy is my favorite part of the movie.

 

Man, I hadn't seen any of the film since it was in the theater. Kitsch is worse than I remembered. I guess its different when watching him in the context of the whole film, but his delivery is so cheesy and faux-serious.

post #733 of 778

Seeing James Purefoy so underutilized in this makes me think that he would've made a great John Carter.

post #734 of 778

My overriding memory of John Carter was the moment where John leads them to the wrong place and the Thark slaps him on the head. 

The film was sorely missing more moments like that.

post #735 of 778

Man I was so disappointed in this movie. 

post #736 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

Man I was so disappointed in this movie. 

 

It's so bad.

post #737 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanburger View Post

Seeing James Purefoy so underutilized in this makes me think that he would've made a great John Carter.

I just think James Purefoy is so generally underutilized, period.  The man can do about anything.  Period, drama, comedy, action.  But yeah, he'd been great as John Carter, but I LOVED seeing him as Kantos Kan.  But, if they followed the book - Kantos and John Carter really first meet when they're both imprisoned and are made to fight to the death.  Now, wouldn't THAT have been a great moment for the movie?

 

For the record, I enjoyed the movie.  Sometimes I wonder if I like it so much because of that exceptional Giachino score.  That music is nearly flawless.  I do like Kitsch as Carter and LOVE Collins as Dejah Thoris.  She's the bright bright spot in this movie for me.

post #738 of 778

Thinking about Purefoy being put in the Carter role, all I can really conclude is that yeah, Purefoy would have been great-- but replacing Kitsch with any seasoned, masculine actor would have been an improvement, too. I will not throw all of John Carter's ills on Kitsch alone because that would be minimizing and unfair, but he's a big, spiky thorn in the film's side from start to finish. There's nothing strictly incorrect about tinkering with the parts of an adapted work, at least if you ask me, until "tinkering" starts to include "completely reinterpreting the protagonist of the story". Nothing about Kitsch reads as "military" or "Southern gentleman"; even physically, he's wrong for the role.

 

He handles the action stuff well enough, and that clip User 32 posted showcases this quite strongly (and, I agree, happens to be the most spectacular moment in the whole movie). But Carter is so much more than a sword-swinging tough guy, and I think a more dynamic actor would have helped the movie immensely. Clearly, Kitsch didn't do anything for the film's business, so I can't really see any arguments to the effect of, "well, whatever, he's fine".

post #739 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Thinking about Purefoy being put in the Carter role, all I can really conclude is that yeah, Purefoy would have been great-- but replacing Kitsch with any seasoned, masculine actor would have been an improvement, too. I will not throw all of John Carter's ills on Kitsch alone because that would be minimizing and unfair, but he's a big, spiky thorn in the film's side from start to finish. There's nothing strictly incorrect about tinkering with the parts of an adapted work, at least if you ask me, until "tinkering" starts to include "completely reinterpreting the protagonist of the story". Nothing about Kitsch reads as "military" or "Southern gentleman"; even physically, he's wrong for the role.

 

He handles the action stuff well enough, and that clip User 32 posted showcases this quite strongly (and, I agree, happens to be the most spectacular moment in the whole movie). But Carter is so much more than a sword-swinging tough guy, and I think a more dynamic actor would have helped the movie immensely. Clearly, Kitsch didn't do anything for the film's business, so I can't really see any arguments to the effect of, "well, whatever, he's fine".

He turned me off to the film. I found him to be hugely unlikable in a really intense way - rare for the lead in a major blockbuster. Even in that action clip I was put off by his pretty boy hair and the fact it looked like he was swinging around a greenscreen with the targets only added in later. Very unconvincing technique for VFX sword fighting. 

 

Purefoy was the best part of the movie though, no doubt about that. Everytime he showed up I kept hoping he was there to start a montage where he taught Kitsch how to be a proper leading man. 

post #740 of 778

I still think that Hugh Jackman would have been amazing in the role.  He has actual presence, and he would have been someone that you believed the Martians would follow into battle.

post #741 of 778
I've somewhat surprised myself by never even entertaining giving this a shot in theaters. It's partly the rigid fanboy thing that I thought I didn't have, that: if something I enjoy isn't brought to life in line with how I view it, then to hell with it. But really, it's mostly that it just looked boring as all hell.
post #742 of 778

It's almost worth watching for Lynn Collins, but I suspect that all of her scenes are on youtube by now.

post #743 of 778
Maybe I will at that. I love the silly, pulpy simplicity of the books, but Dejah Thoris is such a void in them, I'm at least curious to see what kind of personality they decided to give her, and if it plays.
post #744 of 778
She's still kinda a void, but she's a damned good looking void. To her credit, Lynn does the best she can with what she's been given to make the role memorable, and she makes a few acting choices that help to at least suggest that there's more going on than what's presented on the screen.
post #745 of 778
I like Jackson and Purefoy, but while either could probably pull it off, neither screams John Carter to me. I'd go with somebody like Timothy Olyphant.
post #746 of 778

I get Lynn Collins mixed up with Olivia Wilde. I think cause Cowboys & Aliens and John Carter came out a few months from each other and looked like one another in some scenes I get both films jumbled up and forget which scenes were in which film. 

post #747 of 778
Also cause they're both gorgeous and charismatic.
post #748 of 778

I would never use the word "charismatic" to describe Wilde. She's a stunning, statuesque beauty, the type men would have fought wars over ages ago, and I'm sure she's a lovely person in real life, but man, she barely radiates life in every role she plays.

post #749 of 778
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

I would never use the word "charismatic" to describe Wilde. She's a stunning, statuesque beauty, the type men would have fought wars over ages ago, and I'm sure she's a lovely person in real life, but man, she barely radiates life in every role she plays.

 

I also find her to be a cold fish in every role that she plays. An extremely gorgeous cold fish, mind you. She's all looks with zero presence. Lynn Collins, on the other hand, has some actual presence to go with her beauty. I'm not sure what it is, but she seems to actually become her characters whereas it always looks like Olivia is acting.
post #750 of 778

So I'm now the minority that really enjoys this one. That saddens me, but I suppose it's understandable. Still, though, I don't regret my three trips to the theater and my Blu-Ray purchase. Is it as good as it should have been? No, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. But now someone mentioned Timothy Olyphant being a better choice for John Carter and GODDAMN DO I WANT TO SEE THAT MOVIE.

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