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259 of 274 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review of the movie itself...
Ok. Where to start?
Firstly, I have not read the book. So I can't draw any comparisons on content/accuracy etc.

What I wanted to do is simply dispel the rumours and terrible press this move has had to endure.
To start with the painfully obvious: This movie is unlikely to win any oscars (although the CGI is really really good).

I sat down to...
Published on 21 May 2012 by P. Vlahodimos

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather flawed, but mostly worth a watch
As Hayden Christensen was to George Lucas in the second set of three Star Wars flix, so this guy Kitsch is to this film's maker. Stiffly unconvincing in every move, they woodenly recited their lines as if to prove they've been learnt like a good boy should. Neither is any kind of actor although Kitsch is less dreadful by a short hair or two.

Given the...
Published 17 months ago by Kilrymont


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259 of 274 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A review of the movie itself..., 21 May 2012
Ok. Where to start?
Firstly, I have not read the book. So I can't draw any comparisons on content/accuracy etc.

What I wanted to do is simply dispel the rumours and terrible press this move has had to endure.
To start with the painfully obvious: This movie is unlikely to win any oscars (although the CGI is really really good).

I sat down to watch this with very very low expectations. I mean, how much could I expect from a movie panned by all critics and recording massive losses for Disney.

But you know what? This is actually rather good.
It's not going to make it into my all time top ten, but it's a lot of fun.
Maybe it helps that I'm a big sci-fi fan in general, but this type of movie is typically what I like to sit back and watch with full immersion without the need to really work the grey matter in my brain.

The alien race(s) are well developed, the imagery is superb, with Mars looking both daunting and amazing, and as mentioned before, the special effects are top drawer. The battles, especially those in the air are stunning visually.

The lead actors do a decent job of drawing you into their characters and their fight to address the demons in ther respective closets. The female lead is stunningly beautiful, and you never tire of her screen time. The bonus being that she doesnt whine or complain a great deal and really comes accross as a tough heroine in her own right. Carter is well acted, with occasional reference to his troubled past, but this works well as well as it's not overly frequent, and when it does occur, you actually feel for him, at least a bit.

And of course the story itself is excellent. You have to remember just how long ago the book was written. It makes it even more astounding as the level of imagination and creativity that has gone into the story is incredible.

So I guess my point is that this is a good movie. Really. Ignore the press, ignore the negative review. Speak to people that have seen it. Take a chance. Go and see it. Or buy this blu-ray. It's a bargain, and the movie will provide entertainment for all ages (excluding the very young kids).

PS. I thought one of the slightly weak bits was the white apes. Which bizarely is on the cover of the blu-ray. But don't let that put you off. This is a much, much better movie than it's given credit for.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jump Virginia!, 10 July 2012
By 
Jules (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: John Carter [DVD] (DVD)
Taylor Kitsch (Battleship) stars as a tormented American Civil War veteran of the Confederate 7th Cavalry, Virginia. Who through the story telling of his open minded young relative, Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara - Spy Kids), who's character, Edgar, is the real life writer of the book, A Princess of Mars, this story is devrived from. Reading from Carter's journal, the film plays out the predicament that has befallen Captain John Carter. From his 1868 western travels looking for a cave of gold, to being whisked to Mars by a strange amulet, finding he has superhuman strength & is smack dab in the middle of another war, this time, for Mars(Barsoom).

Overall i found this movie to be very enjoyable. The concept took a little bit of getting my head around it, but having seen nothing but Marvel comic movies recently, it didn't take too much effort on my part. The story was interesting, and following Carter's exploits raised a wide array of various emotions through a plethora of attention grabbing situations. The introduction of Carter is one of mystery & humor, as he starts out like Clint Eastwood with a scrap against some yokels in a smokey makeshift outpost, then he turns into Captain Jack Sparrow as he attempts to escape capture from American solider's in a humorous, over the top visual manner. This is as the film carries on with a mixture of seriousness & humor. Some particular highlights of the film, were when Carter is learning that he has new abilities, and like a new born baby, he has to learn to walk again. His first experience with the alien race of Tharks, especially his relationship with Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe -Spider-Man) & Sola (Samantha Morton -Minority Report) was a particular highlight of the movie, while the CGI for them was great as well. I also got a kick out of the few light hearted moments with Kantos Kan (James Purefoy -Solomon Kane), he wasn't in the film a lot, but they were some of the most memorable moments. The love story with Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins -X-Men Origins) was alright, i was interested in the other action, but Kitsch & Collins had a good rapport.

The rest of the cast is support well, with Mark Strong (Robin Hood) reprising yet another baddie role (he must be minted), Dominic West (The Wire) as his puppet leader of the opposing faction. Ciarán Hinds (Tinker Taylor SP) as the leader of the noble faction, and a quick yet memorable cameo from Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad).

In conclusion, i found John Carter to be a good piece of sci-fi fantasy popcorn entertainment, that didn't take itself too seriously. Recommended.
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124 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Movie !, 21 Mar. 2012
I saw this film last week and it is an excelllent representation of ERBs "A Princess of Mars"

The savaging of this film by the media is not only unfair, its unjustified and frankly I have been disgusted at some of the so called critics and their reviews.

Everyone,I know,that saw this film, loved it-so give it a chance-you will not regret it.

This film is good old fashioned escapism, of a swashbuckling kind,I thought it was better than Avatar ( it was more fun,thats for sure)

Its a pity the film was not given a proper chance.I think it will be judged very kindly, in future years and its a pity more people didnt take a chance on going to the cinema to watch it.
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116 of 132 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good adventure movie based on "Princess of Mars", with the amazing Lynn Collins stealing the show as Dejah Thoris, 9 Mar. 2012
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: John Carter [DVD] (DVD)
I liked this film a lot. Long long time ago, when I was a teenager, I read some of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels in the "Barsoom" series (Barsoom means Mars in Martian language) and I enjoyed them greatly. And thanks to this movie, I just relived again this experience and I could enjoy a little bit of the old magic.

Burroughs books about Tarzan (he created this character) had quite a number of movie adaptations, but his Martian and Venusian series were considered for a long time too hard to film. Considering that the first book was written in 1912 and that the first plans to film it were made (without success) in 1931, it certainly took time to have a movie version of the first of "Barsoom" books - but considering the rather pleasant result, it was worth waiting that long.

Below I tried to describe the best things in this film, with as little SPOILERS as possible.

1. John Carter from Virginia, a former captain of Confederate cavalry. For my personal taste Taylor Kitsch pictured him quite well, and the scenario describes him like in the book, as a man courageous, strong and aggressive but also noble, faithful and clever. Unlike in some other action movies I found this hero quite LIKEABLE - he is a little bit grim and sullen in the beginning, but we soon come to understand why and frankly he has reasons to be in such a state of mind. His progressive awakening to a second chance in life is credible and a pleasant thing to watch.

2. Dejah Thoris of Helium, the Princess of Mars. Actually, the first book in "Barsoom" series, of which this film is the adaptation, had for title precisely "A Princess of Mars", as Dejah Thoris is a character as important as John Carter. In the film, in my opinion her character completely steals the show and it is in large part due to the excellent performance of Lynn Collins. Whoever cast her in that role was a genius! Her Dejah Thoris is an excellent mixture of an amazon (courage and strength), a scholar (brains and learning) and an aristocratic young lady (pride and manners). In this film Dejah Thoris is different from what we could see in the first "Barsoom" book (in which she never even touches a weapon), but it doesn't really hurt the story.

Lynn Collins was clearly instructed to play Dejah Thoris as warrior princess, but she still kept Dejah Thoris a very feminine character, in the best sense of the term. Although she swings the sword and pilots the warships as the best male warriors of her country, she also can display a moment of girlish cheerfulness and enthusiasm, smile in a way which melts the hardest hearts, give looks filled with an almost motherly warmth and tenderness (and also a purring promise) and walk in such a way that all males in the assistance are almost howling! I particularly appreciated the fact that when sharpening her sword she simply couldn't resist to look on the blade, check her make up and preen a little... And then, there are short moments when we perceive a brief glimpse of vulnerability - and at that time she is even more impressive.

The fact that Ms Collins is a very beautiful woman with an exceptional figure only adds to her performance - also her clothes, body paintings, haircut, makeup and jewelry were perfectly well chosen! And I really believe that her model of wedding dress should be MANDATORY on Earth - the number of men willing to marry would probably explode overnight as the result! Frankly, when she appeared in her wedding dress, the male part of the public gasped - and in the same time many girls in the cinema started to emit noises similar to those made by a very angry rattlesnake when choking on a half swallowed chinchilla...)))

To resume, Lynn Collins pictured a PERFECT Dejah Thoris. Even if this character is not entirely faithful to the one imagined by Edgar Rice Burroughs, I still had a feeling of "Dejah Vu" (sorry for that, I couldn't resist...)

3. The Tharks, desert warriors. Excellent. I found every scene with Thark tribe a delight. The characters of Tars Tarkas and Sola are very well done and played. The Woola "dog" is simply too cute and extremely funny - every scene when it appears was welcomed by a big laughter in the cinema.

4. Other special effects. This film was very costly and you can really see the effects on the screen. The mobile city of Zodanga, walking through the desolate deserts of Mars is really impressive. The flying warships are excellent. The gigantic White Apes are really impressive and scary. The city of Helium is very beautiful. And finally, the panorama of Mars is really well done - one can immediately see that this world was once full of life, but it is now dying and in dire need of help...

5. Dominic West. He plays a scoundrel - again. I must admit that I have a weakness for this actor, since watching him in "The Wire", but also the "300" and "Centurion". Here his role is not as important as it could be, considering that he is not exactly THE main villain (it is not exactly a spoiler - we learn it in the first scene of the film). But it is still a pleasure to watch him.

6. Difference with the books. There are many small and one HUGE difference with the "Princess of Mars", concerning the race of Therns, who in the book do not play an important role - in the "Barsoom" series they really appear in later parts. But I believe this HUGE change for once was a rather good thing, as it allows for a more logical explanation of John Carter's travels from Earth to Mars. The smaller differences didn't hurt the movie either.

7. The ending is quite good, not stupid at all and rather moving. And that is something not so frequent in modern Hollywood movies. Good job for this one!

Bottom line, I liked this film a lot and I am certainly going to buy it as soon as it is available - preferably in Blu-Ray, because here the quality of image has its importance. And I will certainly go to see the sequel if there is one, for many obvious reasons but especially because I am DYING to see how they would solve the little problem of Martian reproduction - because you see, in the books, when John Carter and Dejah Thoris are married, she lays him an egg...)))
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never Judge a Film By The Size of the Flop - BLU RAY, 11 Aug. 2013
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I have a theory when I watch the films in my collection that are supposed to be rubbish because 'they did not do well at the box office'. It's about a fireworks display: Loads of people turn up and it's awful because the people doing it haven't spent enough, but it's a 'hit' simply because they take more than they paid. Then you get the ones where they spend loads, but don't make enough back to cover the budget. So you get a massive display. They just lose money.

Does it make the film bad? Well, no, cos the 'display' is still good, yes? Just there were not enough people to see it.

John Carter carries that like a millstone and I really felt I might be taking a chance when I bought it. But after the first half an hour, some of which takes a little bit to get going, the film is off. No spoilers, but some of the CGI characters wipe anything in the later Star Wars films off the map.

The Tharks are SO realistic, you forget after a while you are watching CGI. Oh. And got to love the 'dog' - watch the film, you'll get it.

Some might say it's not original: There is an arena scene VERY VERY similar to the one in Attack of the Clones. But bear in mind that this came first - not in film terms, but from the original book, written by the guy that wrote Tarzan. In fact Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) was offered the chance to direct and said "Lucas picked the bones of that already". But this IS a PROPER story.

And so this is a better film than any of Part 1, 2 or 3 Star Wars films. Taylor Kistch comes over as a dashing, charismatic hero and Lynn Collins is the perfect leading lady for the Dad's especially.

Terrific fun and take my advice, ignore the box office.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Film version of "A Princess of Mars", 18 Mar. 2013
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
"John Carter" is a 2012 film version of the first of the eleven books of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic Martian series. This review is based on watching the film at home on Blu-Ray.

When the people who produced this decided to bring out a film version of a book which had first been published almost exactly a hundred years before ("A Princess of Mars: John Carter of Mars, Book 1" by Edgar Rice Burroughs was first been published in serial form in 1912 as "Under the Moons of Mars") and which had enormously influenced a great many subsequent sci-fi adventures, they must have known that there was a risk of critics and audiences saying "We've seen it all before" - because they had seen films and read books which shamelessly copied from Rice Burroughs' ideas.

For exmple, Luke Skywalker's battle with the Rancor in "Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1 Disc) [DVD]," and the similar scene with his parents and Obi Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones [DVD] [2002]," and indeed, just about every scene in a Science Fiction or Fantasy adventure in which the hero and/or heroine have to fight for their lives in front of an audience against huge, strange and terrifying monsters, are pretty much plagiarised from a scene in "A Princess of Mars" which is reasonably faithfully reproduced in this film with the credit (or blame!) finally going where it properly belongs.

Sure enough, when it came out this film had mixed reviews from critics and some of the flak did appear to be accusations of a lack or originality, with one critic calling the film "derivative" and another saying that "everything in the movie has been done so many times before, and so much better." A slightly more positive comment along the same lines was that "just about every sci-fi/fantasy/superhero adventure you ever loved is in here somewhere."

Even allowing for the fact that this particular criticism was rather unfair, there were a lot of critical raspberries, and this film didn't do too well in the US box office. So when I rented this and sat down to watch it with my family I wasn't expecting anything too special, but we were pleasantly surprised.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' tale of a Confederate Civil War veteran miraculously transported though space (and possibly time) to the red planet which we call Mars and its' inhabitants call Barsoom was created on film with a fair degree of respect but without taking itself too seriously. The airships of Barsoom, the giant green Tharks, the great cities of Barsoom, the heroic John Carter (Taylor Kitch), the brave and beautiful princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Colins) and even Woola, Carter's loyal calot, (a Barsoomian creature the size of a shetland pony who acts like a dog) - it's all here.

The action in the film flowed reasonably fast, the characters were well presented and there was some quite good humour.

It's not the most brilliant film I've ever seen and the mixed reviews demonstrated that not everyone liked it, but my family did find this entertaining. As mentioned "A Princess of Mars" was the first of eleven Barsoom novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs: if the creators of this film ever manage to get the finance to have a go at making film versions of any the remaining ten books I will certainly watch them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Enjoyable Fantasy Film, 5 Mar. 2013
I have had an interest in Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter character since the late 1970's when he had a three year run in a Marvel comics series - this encouraged to buy some of the original paperbacks & I found ERB's Martian world to be of great interest - ERB being one of the pioneers of the fantasy hero genre (of course he also wrote the Tarzan books) - Burroughs being a direct catalyst for RE Howard's successful Conan series (REH based his Almuric stories on John Carter).
Therefore when a major film was announced for John Carter I was excited by the prospect - however this was soon followed by a number of negative reviews as it hit the cinemas.
Well I have now seen John Carter on a 37" screen rather than at the cinema but I can't for the life of me understand why so much criticism was generated by the critics - from what I can recall much of ERB's A Princess of Mars has been used to good effect generating a fast paced, "cheer the hero" story - despite my initial reservations about the casting of the two leads- Taylor Kitsch & Lynn Collins - (Dejah Thoris was always portrayed as comparable to Egypt's Cleopatra in appearance) I have to say that by the end of the film they had completely won me over - both putting in fine performances in keeping with an action / adventure film.
Generally the special effects & depiction of this Martian world were well done - only a few dodgy effects such as JC jumping about & a couple of flying sequences but otherwise quite impressive.
There are times during the film when you are reminded of the serials of the 1930/40s that played in theatres on Saturday mornings - also of the Flash Gordon movie and Star Wars series - but what you have to remember is that ERB wrote his Martian stories 100 years ago well before the other material appeared - ERB's inspiration was probably HG Wells (Time Machine & War Of The Worlds) from about 15 years earlier but he has certainly moved things on.
Both the framing sequences to the main action - the mystery put before Carter's relative & Carter's past as a Captain in the US army worked well.
The film's conclusion where our hero decides where his future lies is also effective - he is now John Carter of MARS.

To sum up - I can't put myself in the shoes of the general public or film critics who went into a movie theatre with no prior knowledge of the character so I don't know whether they would have found any of the story confusing or whether there were too many characters or tribes to take in - or whether there were any other reasons for negativity - all I found was a rollicking adventure film that grabbed my attention from start to finish - if you are looking for 2 hours of fantasy film enjoyment then you could do a lot worse than pick this movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hero from page to screen, 19 Nov. 2012
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As the title of my review says "A hero from page to screen". Now I know this film didn't do well at the box office but as far as I'm concerned it's already one of my favourites. I have been a fan of the tales of John Carter as penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs since first discovering them in my local book shop in the late 1970's. At the time the books had been published by Del Ray with fantastic cover art by Michael Whelan & they were the kind of exciting escapism a teenage boy could loose himself in. Indeed I still have all the books & I re-read them all from time to time. Imagine then my delight at finding that a big budget movie had been made about my favourite pulp hero. As to the film itself, it's true it is not entirely accurate to the books but it has captured the spirit of the stories perfectly. The story itself is best described as science fantasy & concerns the adventures of the title character, an ex American Civil War Cavalry Captain who is mysteriously transported to the planet Mars. If I were to be really critical, & this is an entirely personal view; the books themselves feature a lot of sword play & I feel this was just a little lacking in the movie. That aside it's great family entertainment & I hope it enjoys more success on disc than it did on the big screen, indeed everyone I know who has seen the film has only had good thngs to say about it. The Blu-Ray picture & sound are superb & the impressive visuals are shown off in fantastic detail. Buy it, watch it, & hopefully it will spur you on to read the books & loose yourself in the world of Barsoom among the Tharks, Banths, White Apes & Red Men.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sci-fi escapism at its pinnacle.., 9 Oct. 2012
By 
Rafe Zetter "Space Pirate" (Usually here, sometimes elsewhere.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: John Carter [DVD] (DVD)
As has been remarked elsewhere this film could be taken as a Job's style bozo-metre, some just won't "get it", and judging by some of the reviews they were right, they didn't.

This film is a story that's now a CENTURY old, that's right, the original John Carter and the Princess of Mars was first published in 1912, and was the influence of many of the greatest authors / screenplay writers and modern directors in sci-fi history, whom grew up reading the Barsoom series as youths.

For me it was delicious to watch; not because I'm a fan of the series, I've never read any of the books, BUT I am a huge fan of the authors that followed and used bits here and there, most notably Robert A Heinlein, whom threaded breadcrumbs about Barsoom and it's characters throughout many of his books, but until now they were just as abstract as the rest, now given faces and form, almost like meeting a penpal for the first time.

As for modern day sci-fi films, you just can't compare it to them, because it will never be of the same ilk, just as the recent adaptations of Sherlock Holmes are not compared to modern day films of the same type. People understand that the Sherlock films are based on a character more than a century old; well, John carter isn't that far behind.

The only reason John Carter didn't do so well at the box is because it has been released AFTER those that it inspired to be created.

No-one would dare question the influences of Flash Gordon, Star Wars and other big box office hits on the sci-fi genre, well...

John Carter was their Father.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discover a real gem, 26 Sept. 2012
By 
Mr. A. Quibell (Newark, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: John Carter [DVD] (DVD)
Me and my Wife picked this film up off the shelf on our first anniversary holiday as potentially a good film to sit and watch together in the evening. We didn't know anything about the film or it's rich literary history at the time.

We both loved it. The world that Andrew Stanton (understandably so when you can produce a film with a world as immerisive as WALL-E) built was beautiful and intriguing, especially when you see the remains of destroyed civilisations and what Barsoom (Mars) would have been.

We thought the casting was great, with Lynn Collins playing an excellent Dejah Thoris, with some excellent scenes where you really become drawn in to her character and predicament. The same with John Carter himself, especially the links between his tortured past and his growing feelings towards Dejah which are interspersed throughout the film.

The action scenes were great, fast paced, exciting, but not to extended that they lost their place in the storyline, all the while showing great visual effects work.

The other main characters in the story such as the Thirks and Woola the 'dog' were very enjoyable and complemented well the main characters.

The ending was a killer, cementing dislike for Matai Shang, and invoking deep resonation with the Dejah and John Carter's sudden seperation. This ending just screams for a sequel, we hope that, despite the mixed critic reviews (I have no idea why) and box-office turnout, the two planned sequels will be released to bring Edgar Rice Burrough's classic work in the 21st century, since they have been a major foundation for much modern sci-fi and superhero concepts, it is in fact they that were behind the times, not John Carter.

We also thought that the score was absolutely wonderful, John Carter's theme being especially moving.

All in all a great film, thoroughly recommended.
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John Carter [DVD] by Andrew Stanton (DVD - 2012)
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