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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » John Carter (Page 1)

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Author Topic: John Carter
Jeff C.
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I don't know how many of you have seen the trailers for this, but it looks amazing.

Some people are calling it a rip-off of Star Wars and other popular scifi epics (basing their opinions solely on the previews, of course), but the ironic thing about this is that the movie itself is based on a novel that was written about 100 years ago. In fact, many of those elements and themes didn't even exist before these books came out (written by the same guy who wrote Tarzan), which makes the original books quite innovative.

Despite these similar themes, however, there's a lot going on in the film/books that makes the story stand on its own. I really enjoyed the books, so I'm naturally excited about this.

From the reviews I've read so far, it seems like people are really enjoying it, but these are all advanced reviews and we won't know for sure how good it is until the day it gets released.

For those interested, here's a trailer. It's a shorter one than the others, but I think it's the best (and the song is pretty sweet).

Also, it's from the director of Wall-E and Finding Nemo, so there's two more reasons to watch it. [Smile]

Anyone else going to see it?

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ZachC
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I have seen many reviews but I still have no idea what it is.

-First, is it set in the past, or the present, or the future, because the humans in the movie have a strange level of technology that doesn't make sense.

-Second, they look like they are in a desert which suggests maybe... the Middle East? But John Carter has all of the makings of a modern day american (accent, mannerisms, etc.). I'm no cine file, so maybe I am missing something, but this movie, to me, sounds like a bust.
But then again, I could be proven totally wrong, so I will probably see the movie anyway [Wink]

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Bella Bee
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John Carter is an American Civil War soldier who ends up on Mars (okay, not quite Mars) and then stays there having adventures for reasons that it's better not to worry about too much.

I am so excited. There is probably nothing that I love more than epic historical sci-fi, so I really want this film to be amazing.

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Strider
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It's been some years since I've read the book, but the trailers for this movie seem to have nothing in common with what I remember of it.
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kmbboots
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Yeah. Just from the ads, John Carter doesn't strike me as the gallant Southern gentleman soldier from the books.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Yeah. Just from the ads, John Carter doesn't strike me as the gallant Southern gentleman soldier from the books.

I thought the same thing, but supposedly the ads don't do a good job of portraying certain aspects of the film as well as they should. From what I've read, the actor does a pretty good job. Still, I'm really hoping the southern gentleman characterization is in the film.
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King of Men
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quote:
Some people are calling it a rip-off of Star Wars and other popular scifi epics (basing their opinions solely on the previews, of course), but the ironic thing about this is that the movie itself is based on a novel that was written about 100 years ago. In fact, many of those elements and themes didn't even exist before these books came out (written by the same guy who wrote Tarzan), which makes the original books quite innovative.
To the extent that John Carter is like Star Wars, or vice versa, it is not actually very innovative; Star Wars was based very strongly on old Norse sources, the Tattuinardøla Saga, or in English "Saga of the Tattooine Valley Dwellers". It is of course possible that Burroughs wasn't aware of this source, and reinvented the themes himself; but in the case of Lucas there can be no doubt that the adaptation was direct.
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kmbboots
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The books are nothing like Star Wars.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The books are nothing like Star Wars.

Yeah, the comparisons are mostly to do with the movie (based mostly on the previews) and, more specifically, the Colosseum scene. I see more similarities between the books and something like Dune or something.
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Carrie
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I was not even kind of interested in seeing this movie, though this thread gave me a sliver of hope that it won't totally suck. I know nothing of the book (in fact, I didn't know it existed until reading this thread), so my gut feeling about the movie is based entirely on the trailer - and I have not yet been impressed.

It's exactly as Jeff C. and others have mentioned in this thread - the SFX look straight out of Attack of the Clones, an experience I'm not terribly eager to repeat. Maybe the books are totally different, I wouldn't know. The trailers and promos have done nothing to convince me that the story is anything remotely approaching epic, or even moderately entertaining.

I probably won't see it, but it's interesting to learn that it's not (as) derivative (as I'd previously thought).

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odouls268
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quote:
Some people are calling it a rip-off of Star Wars
Looks more like a rip off of Eragon to me.

sad, such lack of originality.

[Razz]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
the SFX look straight out of Attack of the Clones, an experience I'm not terribly eager to repeat. Maybe the books are totally different, I wouldn't know
Yeah, the SFX in the books is completely rad.
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SteveRogers
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The 3D was what really blew me away about the novels.
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Belle
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I just hated the headaches I got from reading in those glasses.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
The 3D was what really blew me away about the novels.

This made me laugh out loud [Roll Eyes]
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Phillyn
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I've been waiting for this movie since I was a kid! The books (I've read 'em all, multiple times) are great swashbuckling adventures, full of maidens in distress and dashing sword-wielding heroes and villains, told with excitement and flair.
So I will definitely see this movie and, as with Lord of the Rings, forgive as much as possible, anything that doesn't line up with my vision of Barsoom (Mars).
I have to say, though, that when I first saw the trailer, where John Carter wakes up on Mars my reaction was, "Wohh, the ochre sea bottoms!!" Looked great to me.
The stories are imagined so vividly and the world- building is detailed and believable (within the constraints of science-fantasy) that when the first Mars lander sent back images from the surface of Mars in the 60s I was disappointed there were no fliers buzzing round in the skies, or Tharks on thoat-back galloping by, or at least some canals.
The fact the stories were told 100 years ago means that pretty much all of the Star Wars type stuff is derivative of John Carter.
Can't wait to see it!!

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SteveRogers
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So far, so good. I've only seen positive reviews so far, and they've been saying about what I'd expect. I'm cautiously hopeful. I think a buddy and I are going to go see it in IMAX this weekend, so I can definitely let everyone know what I thought based on that experience afterward.

But I can say that my desire to see it has only increased exponentially as of late (particularly after beginning to read the novels on my Nook [for anyone wondering, I have an original Nook, so no 3D novels for me]).

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Carrie
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
the SFX look straight out of Attack of the Clones, an experience I'm not terribly eager to repeat. Maybe the books are totally different, I wouldn't know
Yeah, the SFX in the books is completely rad.
Good to know. I'll keep that in mind should I ever feel like reading the books.
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Kwea
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You should, it's worth the effort. There are also some unexpected benefits at times.

When Lucas changed the continuity of the original Star Wars by having Greedo shoot first, he had to come edit my copy of the book himself. [Wink]

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Jeff C.
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I just bought the first five books on the Nook and collectively they were only 3 bucks. That's not a bad deal.
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Geraine
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I started reading them a while ago. I thought they were wonderful books, and I didn't want to put them down.

The movie looks like they are focusing more on the latter half of the first book than the first half.

That and it looks like they are using someone from a race introduced in the second book as the person pulling all of the strings from behind the scenes. Whatever. I'll watch it.

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aspectre
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http://www.youtube.com/johncarter : the first ten-minutes.
Hafta assume Disney had it made in hopes of reviving Mystery Science Theater 2000...
...cuz it's too poorly done to be selected for MST3K

[ March 05, 2012, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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SteveRogers
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What makes you say that?
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DSH
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
I just bought the first five books on the Nook and collectively they were only 3 bucks. That's not a bad deal.

The novels are all in the public domain and available for free at places like Project Gutenberg
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SteveRogers
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I paid for a collection of them on the Nook also due mostly to the fact that user reviews seemed to imply the sponsored e-publication had actually been copy-edited prior to being uploaded unlike some of the free options also available on the Nook.
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Ron Lambert
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Is there any effort made to explain how air-breathing creatures could live on Mars, when we now know it's atmosphere is so thin it is the next thing to vacuum? I don't know if I can maintain a suspension of disbelief to that extent. They could suggest parallel worlds, where this is a Mars of a different universe.
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Is there any effort made to explain how air-breathing creatures could live on Mars, when we now know it's atmosphere is so thin it is the next thing to vacuum? I don't know if I can maintain a suspension of disbelief to that extent. They could suggest parallel worlds, where this is a Mars of a different universe.

It isn't our Mars, it's a parallel dimension.
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kmbboots
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Same way they did on Malacandra, Ron. [Roll Eyes]
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Annie
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Funny - Mars looks a lot like Southern Utah. [Wink]
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Annie:
Funny - Mars looks a lot like Southern Utah. [Wink]

It has since at least the 1920's. Only back then it was black and white.
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Phillyn
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In the book one of the key plot points is that the atmosphere on Mars (and it IS our Mars, not a parallel universe - there's times when John Carter is back on earth that he gazes into the night sky at the red planet longing to be back with the incomparable Dejah Thoris [Smile] - don't know what they've done for the movie though - and remember, the book was written exactly 100 years ago), anyway, the atmosphere is rapidly disappearing and life is made possible only by giant atmosphere plants (as in factories) which produce enough oxygen to sustain life - again, remember it's a science fantasy and it's 100 year old science, when canals were seriously believed to be visible on Mars taking water from the poles to the habitable areas.
Suspension of disbelief, folks... the stories are worth it.

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Phillyn
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A review...
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/03/06/review-john-carter-visually-stunning-testament-to-sci-fi-genre/?intcmp=features

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Jeff C.
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I wrote up something on my blog about this, detailing the history that the film took to being made. It might be worth a look to those of you who are interested in history. I was surprised to learn that they've been trying to make a movie for almost as long as the books have been around. Very cool.
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Jeff C.
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I just got back from seeing this and I thought it was fantastic. The story is a little cliche at parts, but the characters are likable and the action is superb. I really enjoyed the visual effects.

I can understand how some people might find it too similar to other franchises, but it's really not. The story is its own creation, and it is very clear that the director was a fan of the novels. They recreated Barsoom for the first time on the silver screen and it looks and feels more real than any movie I've seen in the past year.

A few scenes are a little cheesy, but I honestly didn't care. It was a very good movie and it reminded me of my childhood.

I really hope it gets the sequels it deserves.

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Phillyn
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Looking forward to seeing it!
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Samprimary
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I don't know how likely a sequel is when it's bombing this hard at present.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I don't know how likely a sequel is when it's bombing this hard at present.

You never know. Green Lantern was a huge stinker and it still managed to produce some profit and now they want to make a follow-up. If JC ends up making some money, it might spawn more films.
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Aros
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The whole family loved it. Better than the "Prequels". Up there with Dune and the Original Trilogy as some of the best space opera to hit the silver screen. And one of the best sci-fi movies in years.
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BlackBlade
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I actually enjoyed it a great deal. Excellent design, better acting than I honestly expected, great music.

It's also fun to reflect on story elements that clearly inspired other books and movies.

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Jeff C.
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SPOILERS AHEAD


The best part of the film, in my opinion, was the epic battle scene near the middle of the movie where JC is mowing down the tribes people. The inter-splicing of his old memories of burying his wife and child and seeing his emotions play out as he fights was really well done. The ending was also fantastic. [Smile]

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Ron Lambert
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I have not seen the movie yet. Nor, I am a little chagrined to say, have I ever read the Barsoom novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I think I will remedy this after seeing the movie.

It is perhaps fitting that Disney studios produced this live-action movie. They considered making an animated version back in the 1980's but finally decided the project was too much for them. So they produced Snow White instead, as the first animated feature-length movie. Probably Disney still owns the rights to the Barsoom-John Carter fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs, so no one else would have the legal right to make the movie. Certainly Disney is the only movie-maker big enough to take on the risk of producing such a movie with a $250 million budget.

If the movie does succeed, however, we could look forward to sequels, since this movie was based on Burrough's novel, A Princess of Mars, and there were two more Barsoom novels in the series, plus a number of additional stories.

It is interesting that Burroughs' A Princess of Mars was written 100 years ago. It is said to be the source for many of the ideas later used by Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, and of course George Lucas and James Cameron. It may be hard to remember that John Carter was actually first. The more I learn about this movie, the more intrigued I am to see it, at least in part because the novels it is based on are so integral to the history of science fiction (though of course theoretically you could go back to Homer's Illiad and Odysee.)

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Bella Bee
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I'm hoping to see this film after work sometime next week. I'm really looking forward to it.

I really hope this does really well, at least internationally (that's where my ticket money comes in) because apart from this series, I'd love for big screen epic sci-fi to come back in a huge way, since I dream that someone will take Dune and give it this kind of big screen treatment. The mini-series was okay (the film was bizarre if you hadn't read the books, and not great even if you had, IMO, as much as I love Patrick Stewart), but considering the quality of CGI these days, it seems to me that someone could make an amazing trilogy of 'Dune' up to 'Children of Dune', if the money was spent on it.

Plus, that way I'd get movies for both my 'intro to real sci-fi aged ten' books in the next few years. The other was 'Ender's Game'.

ETA: From E.
quote:
Despite grossing $30.6 million domestically, a terrible start for a movie advertised as the first blockbuster of the year, much less one of the most expensive films of all-time, John Carter ended up with $101 million weekend thanks to solid debuts in Russia, Asia and other overseas markets...

"Labeling [John Carter] as a financial disaster at this point doesn't really make sense," BoxOffice.com editor Phil Contrino said Sunday via email. "It's not going to be a huge blockbuster at home, but it's on pace to make up for that disappointment by doing well abroad."

So international money counts on this.
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SteveRogers
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I actually saw this movie last night in an IMAX theater, and I can honestly say that, after having read a number of positive reviews, I don't understand what the complaints about the movie were really based upon. I thought it was a very well made movie. I didn't notice any issues with the writing or visual effects unlike what a lot of reviews pointed out. I didn't think it was boring or long-winded. It was an enjoyable science fiction movie.

Edit: I'm really hoping, if they can get the same creative team on board, they produce a sequel. I'd much rather see another movie set in this universe than another god forsaken Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

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Puffy Treat
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:

It is perhaps fitting that Disney studios produced this live-action movie. They considered making an animated version back in the 1980's but finally decided the project was too much for them. So they produced Snow White instead, as the first animated feature-length movie.

You've mixed it up a bit. Disney did option the property in the 80s (as part of the trend of space opera films inspired by the success of Star Wars inspired), but the animated version to which you refer was considered by Bob Clampett back in the 1930s. He was not affiliated with Disney but with MGM. (Snow White was released in 1937, not the 80s.)

Disney's 80s version was going to be live action, but ultimately the studio felt the FX demands were too great.

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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Puffy Treat:
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:

It is perhaps fitting that Disney studios produced this live-action movie. They considered making an animated version back in the 1980's but finally decided the project was too much for them. So they produced Snow White instead, as the first animated feature-length movie.

You've mixed it up a bit. Disney did option the property in the 80s (as part of the trend of space opera films inspired by the success of Star Wars inspired), but the animated version to which you refer was considered by Bob Clampett back in the 1930s. He was not affiliated with Disney but with MGM. (Snow White was released in 1937, not the 80s.)

Disney's 80s version was going to be live action, but ultimately the studio felt the FX demands were too great.

It was also set to star Tom Cruise. [ROFL]

The news about the foreign ticket sales are very encouraging. I'm a little more optimistic [Smile]

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Ron Lambert
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Thanks for the corrections on the details about by whom and when John Carter might have been produced. Here's what I read (at that same link Jeff C. provided):

quote:
According to some experts, if Clampett had been successful, there’s a very good chance that John Carter’s story would have preceded Snow White and the Seven Dwarves as the very first full-length American animated movie.

....

This series was so popular that there was even a movement in the early 80′s by Walt Disney Pictures to develop it. This version of the series would, oddly enough, star Tom Cruise, and it would be Disney’s answer to Star Wars and Conan. Apparently, though, the deal fell through when the filmmakers realized it would be next to impossible to recreate Barsoom as it was in the books, and because the current state of special effects just wasn’t good enough.

Also, after checking some libraries, I find that there were more than three Barsoom novels--there were about nine.

[ March 11, 2012, 09:53 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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Aros
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The Golden Compass was also a bust domestic with strong overseas revenue. Didn't help much.
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Sala
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Saw the movie on Saturday with the hubby. I enjoyed it quite a bit. I must have read at least the first book waaaaay back in the day sometime because I recognized all of the names and the baby hatchery. I did think that John Carter could just just a bit too high and too far for the amount of gravity on Mars. I mean, look at the jumps the men on the Moon took. Granted, the men on the Moon had heavy suits on, but still, the Moon has less gravity than Mars and they couldn't jump nearly as far or high as John Carter could. Other than this, no complaints!

I'm really interested in how they did the Tharks (spelling?). I thought they were quite well done.

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Sala
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Oh, okay, I guess I did have *one* complaint. I didn't think that the guy who played John Carter was a very good actor. Seemed fairly wooden. Looked nice, though a bit more tan would have better suited my tastes. <blush>
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Samprimary
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http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/03/box-office-john-carter-lorax-thousand-words.html

I agree and have talked about how initial domestic box office take versus the stated production costs of a movie are often extraordinarily distant and irrelevant from the actual costs of a movie versus the profitability of an enterprise or a movie franchise, yet they still seem to be the arbitrary goalposts by which a movie is judged to be a hit or a flop, and the strongest pull towards (or away from) the production of a sequel.

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