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John Carter (2012)

Released:  Friday, March 9, 2012  
Length:  137 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Rating: John Carter is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of AmericaSome material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

John Carter Synopsis

John Carter © Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”—a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). “John Carter” is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

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John Carter images are © Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

Jim Morris and Lindsey Collins Speak About Choosing Taylor Kitsc...  3/12/2012 11:19 AM EST
Jim Morris and Lindsey Collins recently spoke at the premiere of "John Carter" about the making of the film, as well as why they chose Taylor Kitsch as their star.Morris told reporters, "I think that it's not until the last several years that the technology was really there to be able to tell the story in a believable fashion". The original story of John carter was written nearly a century ago. "T...  More>>

Disney / Pixar to make Three Mars Films  10/11/2007 12:59 PM EST
"John Carter of Mars", the latest Disney/Pixar film, appears to be moving right along with their pre-production. The new movie, based on the Edgar Rice Burrows sci-fi series, is about a Civil War veteran whose retreat into a cave to avoid capture by Apache Indians takes an otherworldly turn as he's transported via time portal to the planet of Barsoom and taken prisoner by 12-foot-tall green men.Ev...  More>>

John Carter 3D Blu-ray Review

John Carter 3D Blu-ray Review
With occasional exceptions, like Michael Keaton's Batman, we want and expect our superheroes to be classically handsome. But the interplanetary sci-fi bash John Carter proves it's possible for a superhero to be incredibly good-looking…in the wrong way. Taylor Kitsch, who stars as the space warrior created a hundred years ago by Edgar Rice Burroughs, has soft bedroom eyes, a pinup's pout, and straight long hair that makes him look like an easy-listening star from 1974. On Friday Night Lights, Kitsch had a pleasingly direct, loose-limbed charisma, but within the stoic, arid, and often wordless fantasy universe of John Carter, he's clad in a breastplate and loincloth, and he comes off more like the Abercrombie & Fitch model he once was. Kitsch looks marvelous, but that's the problem: He looks a little too marvelous. He's all sexed up with little to do.
None of this is really the actor's fault. As a character, John Carter has appeared in countless iterations over the past century (novels and serials; comics from DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse; and graphic novels like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). His fusion of valor and mystic ability casts a shadow over the whole superhero genre — and also movies like Star Wars. Yet when seen through the lens of all that has come afterward, what was once original and visionary just routine. A hero of the Virginia Confederate Army teleported through space and time, futuristic combat on Mars! Seems old hat. John Carter, a $250 million spectacle based on the very first Carter novel, marks the live-action directorial debut of Andrew Stanton, one of the wizards of Pixar (he directed WALL•E and Finding Nemo). But Stanton's visual brilliance, as well as his storytelling wit, gets lost amid all the blah hardware and monochromatic dust. There is hardly a moment in John Carter that isn't stamped by the generic spirit of franchise filmmaking.
A lengthy prologue, set in New York and Arizona in the mid-1800s, has a deadliness about it. Then Carter is transported to Barsoom (Burroughs' fictional name for Mars). He wakes up in a desert that looks like a bombed-out Monument Valley and soon discovers his one effective superpower: With the gravity so much less forceful than it is on Earth, he can take flying leaps, like a long jumper. This must have seemed pretty damn exciting in 1912. Now, frankly, it's more than a little dorky. Carter's ability to bound has a ''Weee, this is fun!" quality.
Carter doesn't know that he's left Earth until set upon by the Tharks, a tribe of übertall green warriors who look like skeletal versions of E.T., with twin sets of arms and horns jutting out of their cheeks. They're cool to look at, for about five minutes, but though played via motion capture by Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, and Samantha Morton, they're less differentiated from each other than, say, the Na'vi of Avatar, and their scenes grow dull.
There are also humans on Mars, but the moment we meet them, we too seem to have been transported — to a bad sci-fi movie from the '50s. Ciarán Hinds, in the kind of thatchy wig no actor can triumph over, sulks and frets as Tardos Mors, leader of the red-tattooed Heliumites, and Lynn Collins, as his princess daughter Dejah Thoris, bats her eyes at the camera like a Gossip Girl version of Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. Meanwhile, Dominic West smirks as Sab Than, leader of the dastardly Zodangans. He's Carter's rival for Dejah's affections, but it's a Flash Gordon love triangle, cheesy and predictable.
Out now on Blu-ray with a 3D option for certain packages, there isn't too much to get excited about. Besides some standard behind the scenes footage, a commentary and some deleted scenes, there isn't anything that makes the movie more interesting by learning some back story. The unnecessary 3D really makes the world feel false and alienating by emphasizing the synthetic, computerization.

Nothing in John Carter really works, since everything in the movie has been done so many times before, and so much better.


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  • 3/1/2012 10:04 PM EST

    John Carter's Lynn Collins Interview

    Join FlickDirect's Penny McLean and Lynn Collins (Wolverine, True Blood) as they discuss what it was like on the set of Disney's new epic science fict...
  • 2/5/2012 8:06 PM EST

    Superbowl Trailer

    From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”—a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet...
  • 7/18/2011 2:26 PM EST

    Trailer 1

    From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”—a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet...
  • 12/4/2011 5:47 PM EST

    Trailer 2

    From Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”—a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet...

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