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The International Film Music Critics Association announced its nominations today and Michael Giacchino is nominated for John Carter in the Horror/Sci fi category. Here is the full announcement .
INTERNATIONAL FILM MUSIC CRITICS AWARD NOMINATIONS REVEAL MOST OPEN RACE IN YEARS, WITH MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS FOR DANNA, DESPLAT, VELÁZQUEZ, WILLIAMS
FEBRUARY 7, 2013 — The International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) announces its list of nominees for excellence in musical scoring in 2012. The largest numbers this year are, for the most part, split evenly between four composers, all of whom received four nominations: MYCHAEL DANNA, ALEXANDRE DESPLAT, FERNANDO VELÁZQUEZ and veteran composer JOHN WILLIAMS.
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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.
I know this review is coming out of left field, but hang with me here for a second – you’ll be glad that you did.I wasn’t going to watch this movie. Didn’t see it in theaters, didn’t see a reason to buy it on DVD. I think I was more geeked-out over “The Hunger Games” when “John Carter” came out, to be honest. Shoot, I didn’t even know what it was supposed to be about (the movie trailer looked cool, but the title was a little bit “Guys, that’s what you’re calling it?”)Fast forward to September – I’m checking in the newly released books at work and I see that somebody has released the third omnibus of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “John Carter of Mars” series. Two thoughts came into my mind (1) Wasn’t that the guy that wrote “Tarzan?” and (2) Wait – that movie took place on Mars??
(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.
Found a great interview (with an assist from Chris Carter of the Back to Barsoom Facebook Group) of Scott Patton of Legacy effects at Pixologic about his work on John Carter. Here is the link. It’s filled with great insights and concept art, including details that I hadn’t seen previously. Highly recommended!
Jon Favreau, who was set to the direct the Paramount edition of John Carter when it folded, opening the way for Disney to acquire the rights for Andrew Stanton, has made some interesting comments about how his John Carter of Mars project would have been oriented.
“I probably wouldn’t have been as ambitious,” Favreau said. “I think both of us really appreciated the source material. Stanton started to weave in elements from the later books. I probably would’ve told a smaller story.”
Evidently the Favreau version would have focused more what is the first act of Stanton’s movie — Carter’s transport to Mars and his developments with the Tharks — proving himself among them and becoming an ally. “As we were developing the script it was much more the experience of John Carter being found in this new world and him coming up in a Man Called Horse kind of way among the Tharks and then opening up the world slowly.”
I have mixed feelings bout it. First of all, I’m pretty much on record as saying that I favor the way the book had it, that John Carter had no way home and had no choice–or inclination–other than to make his way among the culture where fate had dropped him, and that was the Tharks for sure. In my recent re-read of the book, I was really stuck by how his progression among the Tharks really does carry the view along — and then the “Fair Captive from the Sky” arrives and Dejah changes the dynamic, but even after she is there, he’s still working to secure a position among the Tharks until escape with Dejah becomes an option.
One thing I really missed in the movie that more time among the Tharks might help (in this imaginary Favreau version, I mean) that I’ve never heard anyone complain about is the ancient dead city — the evidence of advanced human habitation, the art (which Dejah reacts to powerfully in a moment that always helped me be drawn to her character), the sense of mystery and poignancy.
Anyway .. I wonder what kind of John Carter of Mars Favreau would have given us. Food for thought indeed.
The basically bombed out city from the movie didn’t have any of that…..
Read more about this at CraveOnline
John Sagar of the Back to Barsoom John Carter Sequel Facebook Group has posted the news that the John Carter DVD in the Asda-Walmart chart has moved up from no 6 to number 4. Walmart has also increased the price of the DVD from 10 pounds to 12-97—nearly a 3 pound increase. We’ll be looking into this more deeply — obviously for fans of the movie, seeing it move up the charts and increase in price, rather than follow the expected pattern of dropping down the charts and dropping in price, is interesting and worth a further look.
This is a wonderful video showing the workflow that animator Patrick Guisiano used to create the animation of one of the scenes from John Carter. This is a particularly lively scene — the Thark females engaging in a free for all to grab Thark hatchlings prior to raising them. There’s a lot that I like about this — — thanks Patrick for sharing. Thanks to Kevin Sanderson and Jan Austin from the John Carter Sequel Facebook Group for tipping this one.
This is just a simple working video from the Costume/Armory department, sent to Andrew Stanton as one of the “every day” videos for him to observe/comment/approve during the pre-production of John Carter. Check it out.
Here is the description by the costumers/armorers:
This video shows the process of making a costume. From concept art to real costumes. This is an exclusive footage of the previous work on prototypes before starting to work in John Carter. A small team or artists came together thanks to costume designer Mayes Rubeo in Trevi, Italy, to produce prototypes to show director Andrew Stanton and the producers via skype. This is one of the videos sent to them on the 6th day of work, and as you can see we were in the right track from a very early stage. As prototypes, they don’t look as the final designs, but you can start to see resemblances for the final look of Hellium footsoldier. In this video you can see early concepts by Jonay Bacallado, metal work by Luca Giampaoli, and leather work by Giampaolo Grassi and Aleanza Zenon, all masterly supervised by costume designer Mayes Rubeo.
The Sydney Morning Herald has an extensive interview with Taylor Kitsch. I’m not sure exactly when Kitsch gave this interview, but it just appeared today at SMH.
Widely and wildly maligned, John Carter was neither the box office nor filmic failure that it has been held out to be.
John Carter is an action-adventure that moves in location from the wild west of North America to Mars, known to its inhabitants as Barsoom. The title character, John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), is a war-weary, former military captain who’s inexplicably transported to Mars and reluctantly becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. It’s a world on the brink of collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.
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Here’s a lengthy and interesting article by Nathan Rabin that just came out, taking a thorough look at John Carter.
Thrilling Adventure Tales Case File #18: John Carter
If those jerks James Agee and Walker Evans hadn’t selfishly already used it for their empathetic exploration of poverty and privilege, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men would be a terrific name for a compilation of New Yorker profiles. The venerable magazine leans heavily toward erudite hagiography in its eloquent, effusive portrayals of the super-geniuses it covers. That’s certainly the tone of Tad Friend’s October 2011 profile of Andrew Stanton, the director ofFinding Nemo and WALL-E as well as the then-upcoming John Carter, a big-budget, live-action, would-be tentpole movie based on a series of pulp novels by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs that Stanton devoured as a kid.
It’s easy to see why an institution like The New Yorker might revere Stanton. As one of the driving forces behind Pixar, Stanton was and remains an essential part of the brain trust behind one of the most consistently brilliant and popular brands in the history of American entertainment. As a screenwriter, director, and voiceover artist on movies like the Toy Story films, Finding Nemo, WALL-E, andMonsters, Inc., Stanton has made his corporate masters billions while winning two Academy Awards (at 46, he’s been nominated for six Oscars) as well as the hearts and minds of critics, kids, and movie-lovers the world over.
The following is a review by J.B. Alderman, columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, who as he says in the review, elected to view John Carter at 30,000 feet at the end of a 14 hour flight when “all other options were exhausted”. I usually only post the more intelligently articulated reviews, whether positive or negative, but I thought I would make an exception for this one. Aside from the review itself, which is entertaining in its over-the-top negativity, the comments, many of them coming from members of the John Carter Sequel Group on Facebook, are interesting. I read through them with the intention of looking for some that are hateful, fetishistic, or whatever, as has been accused here on JCF in some comments from time to time — and I didn’t really find any that struck me as over the top — particularly when they are being written in response to a supposedly professional review calling the film “vile crud”. My thought is that the restraint of the fans is as interesting as the lack of same by the reviewer.
I’m just wondering if some of contrarians might concede that the negativity of this review is a little bit ridiculous. MCR? Henreid? Davidson? Just wondering……
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JOHN CARTER AND THE GODS OF HOLLYWOOD — BOOK TRAILER (WELL, FEATURETTE) . . .
Purchase an Author Signed Copy of the Amazon Best Seller
by Michael D. Sellers
Amazon #2 in Movies/History & Criticism
"A fair, factual, and enlightening assessment of what went wrong . . . the best corporate history I've read since Disney War." Daniel Butcher, Between Disney.
"A winning book . . . . I have no reservations in recommending John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood. Even if you only remotely hold an interest in the film or the moviemaking method, do yourself a favor and purchase this book. I cannot remember an instance when I read 350 pages of anything in 24 hours, but my level of captivation in how methodically and interestingly the content was presented should substantiate why John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood is a must-read. Grade A." Brett Nachman, Geeks of Doom.
"A must read for every fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter and every film buff intrigued by the 'inside baseball' aspects of modern Hollywood." Richard A. Lupoff, Author of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Master of Adventure
John Carter Fan Trailer 1 – by The John Carter Files | 210,000 Views
John Carter Fan Trailer 2 “Heritage” – by the John Carter Files | 150,000 Views
100 Years of John CarterA tribute to the artists who have interpreted John Carter
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