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Author Topic: John Carter
Aros
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Why is this movie rated PG13, anyway? Episode II was more violent, and there was nothing else objectionable. Was there? I took my little kids.
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Javert
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It was probably made PG-13 for the violence and the skimpy outfits.

I went with my fiance and we loved it. Tons of fun.

I also got a kick out of Ciaran Hinds and James Purefoy being put together again after playing Caesar and Marc Antony on HBO's ROME.

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Jeff C.
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It's PG-13 because of the "blood", the violence, and the language (they cuss a number of times).

I was talking about this movie to people at work today and a lot of them are not going to see it. They think since it was made by Disney that it's not going to be very good, or they have no idea what it is. It's silly ignorance, but it seems like that's how it will be for general audiences. Most people won't go watch it because they expect something else. It's a shame, really.

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Aros
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I don't remember any real cussing. They cite it as "intense sequences of violence and action". Again, I don't see how John Carter warrants a PG13, if Episode II was rated PG.
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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I don't remember any real cussing. They cite it as "intense sequences of violence and action". Again, I don't see how John Carter warrants a PG13, if Episode II was rated PG.

It's because there's less bleeding when you get cut by a lightsaber.

And Obi-wan doesn't say 'hell' or 'damn'.

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Ron Lambert
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What I remember reading is that the Moon has approximately one-sixth of Earth's gravity, and Mars has about one-third of Earth's gravity. Unencumbered by a heavy space suit, a man who can jump four feet straight up should be able to jump 12 feet straight up on Mars.

The official, verified long distance jump is currently 8.95 meters (29.3635 feet) according to Wickipedia. So if John Carter were an olympic athelete as good as Mike Powell or Carl Lewis, he could long jump a maximum of a little over 88 feet. That would be impressive. He should be a superman compared to an indigenous Martian. Of course, the down side to that would be the effects of such ligher gravity on anyone born and growing up on Mars. Deeja Thoris, for instance, should look like a beanstalk, really tall and slender.

Jeff C. I think the time is long past when we should label a movie as juvenile or simplistic just because it is made by Disney. That is like talking about a "cheap Japanese transistor radio," like we used to say before Japan became such a leader in electronics. Presently Disney is a conglomerate, having acquired controlling interests in several other movie producers, and is one of the largest players in the industry.

[ March 12, 2012, 05:18 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
It's because there's less bleeding when you get cut by a lightsaber.

Auto-cauterization.

Gravity and jumping distances should fall under the inverse-square law, not straight proportion.

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Ron Lambert
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I don't know about that, rivka. Are light sabres supposed to be hot plasma beams, or force field beams? If the latter, then they do not have to be hot and capable of cauterizing the flesh they cut.

I think there is little significant difference even with the inverse-square law when you are talking about jumping distances on the face of a planet. You have to take the percentage difference in heights measured from the gravitational center of the planet. That is why you cannot jump to the moon with a pogo stick.

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rivka
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Plasma.

Are we now measuring heights from the center of planets? Or from the surface?

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Jeff C.
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Let's not turn this into a Star Wars debate.

quote:
Jeff C. I think the time is long past when we should label a movie as juvenile or simplistic just because it is made by Disney. That is like talking about a "cheap Japanese transistor radio," like we used to say before Japan became such a leader in electronics. Presently Disney is a conglomerate, having acquired controlling interests in several other movie producers, and is one of the largest players in the industry.
Including Marvel Comics. Disney has its hands on a lot of properties that the masses don't even know about. People love Thor and Iron Man, but those are still Disney (now, anyway), just like JC.
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Samprimary
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John Carter is probably going to end up being the biggest money loser in cinema history. The biggest former box office bust is Mars Needs Moms (also Disney) at $136m. And, as far as I know, only six movies have ever managed a loss above $100m — Mars needs Moms, Sahara, The Alamo, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Speed Racer, and Green Lantern. John Carter is on track to be the first movie to lose over $200m.
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Javert
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
John Carter is on track to be the first movie to lose over $200m.

From the movie's wikipedia page:

Budget $250 million
Box office $179,272,000

So, so far, it's only lost about $71 million.

This includes overseas, of course.

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TomDavidson
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Note that the studio doesn't see much more than half the box office even in a best-case scenario. So you're probably looking at $150 million so far.
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Aros
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Austin Powers bombed in the theaters and recouped in home video. Something tells me that (with word of mouth) this might happen to John Carter.
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BlackBlade
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I don't think Austin Powers earned $200m in DVD rentals/sales.

According to IMDB The first Austin Powers made $24.3 million in DVD rentals in the American market.

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Aros
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No, but it became a cult classic on tv and in rentals, spawning two sequels. And a flop doesn't mean a movie's bad -- nobody noticed Fight Club or The Shawshank Redemption when they came out.

But then again, it only cost $13 M to make. Its books balanced. It looks like that might not be the case with John Carter.

Blade Runner was a real financial flop, and it looks like it might begat a sequel (finally). Unfortunately, John Carter isn't anywhere near THAT good.

And I don't think international sales will help. Golden Compass made a killing internationally, but its terrible domestic run killed any chance of a sequel. In many cases, the production company doesn't get a huge share of the overseas sales -- they go to the foreign distributors.

[ March 21, 2012, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: Aros ]

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Bella Bee
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I went to see this a week ago and thought it was really fun and enjoyable, with laughs and drama and likable characters - and really beautiful.

But I loved the ending. They went the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' route and had the movie tell a totally complete story - and gave it a slightly twisted happy ending with just a hint at the possibility that there could be more adventures to come. Since I was expecting a cliff-hanger, I was totally delighted.

Having seen what happened with the decreasing quality of the 'Pirates' series, I think I'd be happier and love the movie a lot more in the long run if they never made a sequel. Plus, if they made sequels they'd eventually kill the dog, because they always do. And then I'd cry.

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Aros
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This was SO much better than Pirates, though. (sigh)
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
John Carter is on track to be the first movie to lose over $200m.

From the movie's wikipedia page:

Budget $250 million
Box office $179,272,000

So, so far, it's only lost about $71 million.

This includes overseas, of course.

That budget figure is just production, without including costs such as advertising. In addition, that box office figure isn't what the movie gets back from the cinemas, it's just the dollar figure from sold tickets.

Disney is already stating a probable 200m writeoff, making it by far the biggest flop in the entire history of moviedom. By a wide margin.

(revised: apparently cutthroat island outdid Mars needs Moms in terms of box office loss at about 145+ million)

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Nighthawk
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How in blazes did Mars Needs Moms cost $150M to make?!? But I digress...

Disney's own Treasure Planet, which was a pretty massive bomb, only cost them $70M. And there are a half dozen movies that did worse than Cutthroat Island. (Link)

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AchillesHeel
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Doesn't this make anyone else a bit pessimistic about the EG movie? Long time sci-fi book, well respected in the literary community, plenty of comparisons to works that came out afterward. At least one fool in all of the internet is bound to post "wtf that kid kills another kid, what a ripoff of kickass and then he goes to hogwarts in space."

As a finished work the two books/movies have a lot in common and I really hope EG does better, if nothing else they have a much more impressive cast assembled.

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Aros
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A lot of people think that marketing was the problem. Does the trailer give you the impression that it's a story-driven epic space opera? Or another rip off of 300 / Clash of the Titans / etc?
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
How in blazes did Mars Needs Moms cost $150M to make?!? But I digress...

It was supposed to be the magnum opus of imagemovers digital's plans for a motion-capture revolution in CGI. They spent a lot of money to work the movie diligently into the uncanny valley. Post-production on the hassle of mapping facial animations onto motion capture animated body models was a nightmare, as was all attempts to conjoin the body models to their digital environment while trying to keep them from looking detached from the scene. Many millions of dollars in processing and overworked CGI artists later, they had managed to desperately craft them all together into something which did kind of sort of work. In an intensely creepy looking way. At least they saved money on the whole plot thing, though.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Nighthawk:
And there are a half dozen movies that did worse than Cutthroat Island.

Ok. RE-amended back to my first list.

quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
A lot of people think that marketing was the problem. Does the trailer give you the impression that it's a story-driven epic space opera? Or another rip off of 300 / Clash of the Titans / etc?

I can't comment much on the advertising campaign for the movie, since I managed to completely, completely miss it. I saw not even one banner ad nor tv spot for it.

Other marketing decisions, in hindsight, obviously contributed. I still have no idea why they decided to release it under the name "John Carter."

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Bella Bee
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The first trailer I saw for this movie on TV was in in the UK in late December last year. For a movie coming out almost three months later.

Here in Madrid, the city was plastered with posters for about three weeks. Unfortunately, they didn't change the title (which is unusual, and in this case, an 'y la princesa de Marte' or something, would have been a very helpful clue since the books are not exactly well known here), and the posters seemed to be just a half naked guy against a red background. Which is all very lovely, but doesn't really give any idea as to the plot.

I can completely see how they must have spent a pile of cash to market the movie, it's just that said marketing was appallingly badly thought out.

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T:man
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I liked it a lot. Sad it's doing so bad because I really thought they did the designs really well. Not enough killing and conquering green Martians but overall very enjoyable.
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King of Men
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About jumping heights: Kinetic energy at start is equal to potential energy at the top. The kinetic energy is the same for a given set of muscles, so it's equal on Earth and Mars. Potential energy is given by mgh, where g is the local acceleration due to gravity. We can easily see that height is inversely proportional to g. Therefore, if Martian surface gravity is one-third that of Earth, a man can jump three times as high as on Earth.

This doesn't take into account that his reflexes will be all wrong, to be sure. When he crouches to get the maximum push from his legs, he will expect (muscle memory) that it takes a certain amount of time for his center of gravity to drop. It will actually take quite a bit longer, because he's not falling as fast as he usually would. He will therefore, unless he consciously corrects, start pushing too early, and not generate the full force of which he's capable. But presumably he'll soon learn to wait a bit longer.

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GaalDornick
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Can someone explain to me how, according to this article, Disney expects to lose $200 million despite that they've only lost about $150 million on it so far? Aren't all the major expenses already over with and from here on out they will only decrease their loss on it from more ticket sales, dvd sales, etc.?
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
Can someone explain to me how, according to this article, Disney expects to lose $200 million despite that they've only lost about $150 million on it so far? Aren't all the major expenses already over with and from here on out they will only decrease their loss on it from more ticket sales, dvd sales, etc.?

I'm curious about that, too. There must be other costs associated with the film that weren't revealed.
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Ron Lambert
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I've finally begun reading A Princess of Mars for the first time. I see I've been misspelling the name of John Carter's "princess." It should be Dejah. I just wish Edgar Rice Burroughs have given just a little idea how Carter got to Mars. So far it seems like some kind of out-of-body projection. But even that is not clear. Oh well, anything he suggested would just be hand-waving anyway.

I'm about 2/3 through the book. I plan to see the movie Sunday afternoon. I always like to read the book first, so I can compare the movie to it.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
Can someone explain to me how, according to this article, Disney expects to lose $200 million despite that they've only lost about $150 million on it so far? Aren't all the major expenses already over with and from here on out they will only decrease their loss on it from more ticket sales, dvd sales, etc.?

Total costs were $350 M after marketing, right? They only receive a portion of domestic ticket sales -- I think it's less than half. And most likely a smaller portion of overseas sales (unless they're doing their own overseas distribution).

There are also a lot more costs from an accounting perspective. They likely look at a project based on NPV (net present value), or the present value of future cash streams, and they may be calculating using opportunity costs (what else could they have been doing with their money? Another Pirates sequel would be safe).

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Samprimary
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I've been asking around about the advertising for the movie, and as far as I can tell, it was singularly incompetent. None of my friends really knew what the movie was about unless they had specifically seen a thread about it, which was few, and the threads were all usually like 'what is a john carter anyway'
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fugu13
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I think they made a huge mistake not calling it John Carter of Mars. Sure, it would mean few girls would go see it . . . but few girls went to see it this way, too. The trailers weren't focused enough, either, leaving it too ambiguous what the general thrust of the plot was. They should have exposited the entire setup in one of the most distributed trailers.
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Bella Bee
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quote:
Sure, it would mean few girls would go see it...
Not necessarily true, that.
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fugu13
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Not possible to know without trying it, but their audience research results were pretty conclusive, from what I understand.
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Jeff C.
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I understand why they did it. The character doesn't become John Carter "of Mars" until the last part of the movie. Until then, he's John Carter of Earth.

The audience research they did was pretty conclusive, as fugu said. The word "Mars" doesn't stick with people, not in a positive way, anyway. Not only that, but most films that have used the word "Mars" in the title have gone on to do somewhat poorly at the box office, including "Mars Needs Moms".

Regardless, I think we can all agree that the marketing campaign was poorly executed.

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Bella Bee
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quote:
Mars Needs Moms
Somehow, I just can't quite believe that the 'Mars' part of the title is as problematic as the 'Moms' bit. Whatever, it's a very stupid name for a movie.

But there seems to be little point leaving out the 'Mars' in 'John Carter of Mars', because the moment the movie starts, Mars kind of hits you in the face. There's really no hiding it.

Unless they thought people would just assume the movie was an intimate character portrait of an ordinary guy and his obsessive relationship with his favourite brand of chocolate bar.

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Ron Lambert
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I saw the movie in 3D. It was also shown in IMAX 3D, but the theater stopped showing it in IMAX after just a few days, which was before I was ready to see it.

On the whole, I think the movie improved on the novel a little bit. It gave an explanation for how John Carter got from Jasoom (Earth) to Barsoom (Mars). The motivations for why some characters did what they did made better sense in the movie, except for where the novel gave a more in-depth explanation for the back history and relationship between Tars Tarsis and Sola.

I think it was cool that the screenwriters/producers decided to work Edgar Rice Burroughs himself into the story line. That added a little interest, and worked pretty well.

As for how far John Carter could jump, this has already been discussed. But the movie clearly got carried away. As I mentioned before, the official, verified long distance jump record is currently 8.95 meters (29.3635 feet) according to Wickipedia. So if John Carter were an olympic athelete as good as Mike Powell or Carl Lewis, he could long jump a maximum of a little over 88 feet. However, in the movie, we see John Carter jumping what has to be over 100 yards or more, which is plain ridiculous.

Anyone growing up in the lighter gravity of Mars should be tall and slender, like a beanstalk. So Dejah Thoris should not be so beautiful. At least she should tower over John Carter.

I don't know if the movie is going to show a net loss, like many people are saying. (It was said to cost $250 million to produce.) Too bad if that is the case. I think Disney did a good job, and it would be nice to see a sequel or two. (Burroughs wrote many sequels.)

I think there is a chance that this movie could be a sleeper, that develops a big fan following over the course of time. That is what happened for the original Star Trek TV series. Which the network stupidly killed--and then over the next four decades the series went on to spawn four more TV series and about a dozen movies.

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Phillyn
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I STILL haven't had time to see it, but have started rereading A Princess of Mars. After 45 years since my first reading I still love these tales. Burroughs was so good at world building - he creates a whole Martian/Barsoomian culture in the first 50 or 60 pages, with a 100,000 year history, a religion, a technology and a cultural/anthropologicqal setting which works. So what if it's not particularly logical (egg-laying humans, etc) in the context of the stories it's believable and heaps of fun. And it's reminiscent, to me at least, of Tolkien's world building.

As I said in an earlier post, I was SO wanting the first Mars probes in the 60s to send back pictures of green Martians on thoats and canals criss-crossing the landscape.

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Ron Lambert
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Yes, Phillyn--I have to agree. Burroughs does compare well to Tolkien. A lot of the early pioneers of syfydom seem to have been taken with him.
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Yes, Phillyn--I have to agree. Burroughs does compare well to Tolkien. A lot of the early pioneers of syfydom seem to have been taken with him.

This time, Ron, you've gone too far.
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Jeff C.
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quote:
Originally posted by Jon Boy:
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Lambert:
Yes, Phillyn--I have to agree. Burroughs does compare well to Tolkien. A lot of the early pioneers of syfydom seem to have been taken with him.

This time, Ron, you've gone too far.
Grab the pitchforks!
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Kwea
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I love this about Hatrack....

Thanks to a post in this thread I just spent 2 hours....and I read really, really fast.....looking up page after page to Star Wars info on Wookiepedia. [Big Grin]

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Phillyn
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Well, I've seen it and the best I can say is that if I wasn't such a fan of the books I'd have enjoyed it a lot more. My wife, who doesn't know the books, liked the movie.
What I liked:
Visually wonderful, especially the physical settings. Most things looked right. Especially liked the neat mix of advanced technology with late 19th Century Industrial Revoloution detail, such as the great big wheels used to steer the fliers, and the other clunky bits of machinery associated with the high tech stuff. I thought that was really well conceived and worked really well with the timing of when the book was written.
What I didn't like:
What they did with the story - completely (to me) unnecessary changes to a simple story that needlessly over complicated it.
The irritating aspects of John Carter's personality
The boring middle section

Having said that, it was fun. I think my biggest problem with the movie was me - I have a 45 year old vision of what these stories look like, based on multiple readings, and they didn't deliver my vision (simliar reaction to Lord of the Rins first time I saw each of them). If I saw it again I'd probably enjoy it more.

Would I buy it on dvd? Before seeing the movie the answer would have been a definite Yes. Now, not so sure...

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