Dear Andrew Stanton,
It amazes me how much pre-release hoopla has been made over your new movie JOHN CARTER, and not in a good way. For all the negative articles that littered the internet, I would have thought you had waltzed into Disney studios with heavy firearms and held key studio executives for ransom.
Why else would so much negative ink be spilled regarding your passion-project had you not somehow duped one of the largest movie studios in Hollywood into giving you $250 million dollars to make a movie that’s been languishing in development hell for the better half of 75 years, and then failed to deliver the typical, bombastic, over-the-top, plot-devoid, idiotic, 2-hour toy commercial / happy-meal tie-in for a safe, familiar product?
Was it too much for these reviewers and audiences not to be treated to the typical popcorn movie fare they’ve come to expect lately? Have we fallen that far as a movie-going society that everything we see must fall into that same bucket of expectations, and when we’re suddenly treated to something different and out-of-the-ordinary, we rebel against it and secretly hope for it to fail? Is it job security? Do the risk-averse studios fear they might have to change their green-light policies if something not based on a known property is somehow successful? Ah well, better to pan it beforehand then, lest we’re proven wrong.
My condolences to you, Andrew, and the rest of the audience members like me, who long to see great throwback spectacles like JOHN CARTER. If the early returns are any indication, the negative press and botched marketing campaign may have condemned us to the realm of wishful thinking, should we hope to see something so wondrous and original ever again. Instead, we’ll be cursed to endure more lack-luster creations based on board games, children’s toys, bad teen novels and increasingly obscure comic heroes. Memorable characters will take a back seat to more explosions and wiz-bang effects, and any semblances of narrative will seem like it was spit out of a random story-generating computer.
That most reviewers complained of getting lost in the details of JOHN CARTER’S plot is testament to the fact that movie-going audiences are getting ever more stupid. Having read this complaint on many a review, I was prepared for a confusing mess. What I witnessed, however, was far from that. I saw a science fiction movie that was both rich in detail and layered with plot. Did I see the same film so many others said they couldn’t follow? Was I biased and/or better informed having read the books as a kid? I asked my wife, who also saw the film and had no familiarity with the 100-year-old source material. She followed the story just fine, and couldn’t understand where that negative thread had come from. It bothers me that this has become a frequent complaint with your movie, Andrew. I fear it will only further relegate movies toward the lowest, most simplistic form of story structure, or eschew it altogether in favor of a higher effects budget. Indeed, one need only look at some of the more recent big-budget summer movies to see this is already becoming a trend. Really, how hard was it to understand this film people? I know the trailers made it look like a mindless action flick, but it’s not. I’m sorry you couldn’t waltz in 10-minutes late with your face full of popcorn and your butter-stained fingers endlessly fumbling over your cell phone, and not be able to figure out what’s going on. It’s called attention. If you pay it, you’ll get it.
<a href=”http://www.themovieguys.net/2012/03/13/movie-review-john-carter/”>Read the rest at The Movie Guys</a>