This is an interesting random review that just popped up and highlights what should have happened, and didn’t happen, with the release of the film. I’m talking about the promotion and before I get bushwhacked for “going there” by those who say “it’s not all about the bad promotion” — yeah, I get that completely. But the promotion was just monumentally ineffective and this reviewer, in describing her journey to finally discovering the film in October, highlights what has been the experience of so many who just didn’t bother with they film when it was in theaters, or on Blu-ray.
Now -as to the fact that she REALLY LIKES the movie after having finally been motivated to see it — that’s the second part of this. The people most likely to REALLY LIKE the movie are in fact those who haven’t read the book and can consider the movie on its own terms without having the constant book-vs-movie conflict rattling in their brain while they are watching it.
Anyway, enough intro. I found this interesting. And sad. Because there were so many more like this person out there, waiting to be motivated to see the movie when it would have really made a difference. Damn white ape.
(It takes me a while to get there, but I eventually do).
Turns out this series has been around for a hundred years (the first story came out in 1912) and was inspired the creation of things like Superman and Star Wars (and that’s just what was listed on TV Tropes). Basically, anything you love about superhero stories or science-fiction, this is where all that stuff came from. Which, sort of floors me that Burroughs is more well-known for Tarzan than John Carter of Mars (and it’s key to get the “of Mars” part in there because “John Carter” by itself sounds more like some Hatfield and McCoy-esque historical miniseries than sci-fi). Me? I’m more impressed with an early-20th century writer taking on the story of a man displaced onto another planet than a man displaced onto another continent (shoot, people were doing that last one every day back then).
Long story short – I found out what this movie was really supposed to be about and decided to watch it for myself. My reaction?
Holy. Crow. This. Is. A. Fantastic. Movie! I don’t know what to sing praises to first – the storyline, the special effects or the characters.
The story starts out with John Carter in 1888 New York running from some shady-looking guy. Cut to John’s nephew, Edgar (as in Rice Burroughs. Yeah, I know) going to visit his uncle, only to find out that his uncle has suddenly and inexplicably passed away. Edgar ends up reading his uncle’s journal, which tells the story of how Captain John Carter, formerly of the Confederate Army, was in Arizona Territory after the Civil War searching for gold. He winds up in a cave with strange markings, shoots some freaky-looking alien guy and gets transported to this deserted place where every step he takes launches him about twenty feet in the air. John is taken prisoner by the Tarks (the green Martians that everyone talks about), learns the language and makes friends – of sorts – with a female Tark named Sola. Oh, and the Red Men of Mars (or Barsoom, as they call it) are in a heated war that comes to the Tarks. During the battle, John rescues a woman named Dejah Thoris of Helium (who was shown earlier to be working on a weapon to fight against the Zodanga). John’s enhanced abilities to fight and jump come from the fact that Mars’ gravity is less than Earth’s, but the people of Barsoom see him as a skilled fighter (which, he is in his own right). Dejah is revealed to be the princess of Helium and asks him to help her people fight against Zodanga so they don’t take over the already-dying planet and also so she doesn’t have to marry this Creepy McCreepster that’s just bad news all the way around.