Monday, March 5, 2012

Random tandem: A mini-review of John Carter

I just got back from a free Austin screening of John Carter, the new Disney movie in wide release on March 9th. I really didn't see this coming! I loved this movie! It was everything I had hoped that Conan would be, but wasn't.

I saw John Carter in an IMAX theater in 3d-- which really added to the visual experience. The scenes weren't CGI-ed to death, which I really appreciate. The cast was appealing-- from the leads, Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins (glad they had chemistry), to the supporting cast of perennial favorites like Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church and Samantha Morton. And lest we forget-- Mark Strong. I don't know what it is, but that man just goes straight to my panties, especially when he plays a villain (as he does here). There's plenty of action, and I was a little surprised at the amount of violence there is in this Disney flick, but none of the violence is unwarranted or too over the top. Oh, and I love the array of creatures-- and yeah, I know I don't have a say about that because I'm one of the few that hasn't totally hated on Jar-Jar Binks. I could totally see spending some discretionary income on action figures, here.

Ok, I only have a couple of film-lit classes under my belt (and believe me, that belt has expanded a great deal in the 12 years since I graduated), so I'm not equipped to discuss the technical aspects of the film's production. I am intrigued about the original story by Edgar Rice Burroughs. And let me stick my neck out-- I think John Carter has the potential to be the Star Wars of a new generation-- but I think the timing of the release doesn't lend itself to mega-block-buster status. I mean, this movie is going to be a winner for Disney, but I think it deserved a summer release, rather than one at the beginning of Spring Break. And, surprisingly, I have only seen one preview for the movie thus far, so it's almost like Disney is being cautiously optimistic in promoting the movie. Quite a change from the The Hunger Games hoopla (which I've unabashedly bought into).

I'm going to recommend John Carter to friends and fam and hope that John Carter has some further adventures coming to the big screen.

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