These are ALL of the Amazon Reviews, updated as new ones are posted, presented from “Most Helpful” to “Least Helpful” based on reader ratings. In the comments section you can find other reviews, or you can leave your own.
Michael Sellers has taken a story worthy of Edgar Rice Burroughs himself and told it with style, skill, fairness, thoroughness – and great affection for the original material. He narrates the gripping saga of the 100-year-old novel’s long march to the big screen, during which time much of Burroughs’ creative genius was ‘strip-mined’ by such later icons as Lucas and Cameron. Along the way Sellers treats the reader to an insider’s view of today’s ‘gods of Hollywood,’ who are not the autocratic and capricious moguls of a bygone era but equally aggressive, corporate warriors navigating the narrow straits between ever-adjusting, long-term, strategic visions and those pesky, quarterly earnings reports. In this world, cinematic artistry becomes a consumer product; and even a $250-million tentpole film can be sacrificed on the altar of an executive coup or the next acquisition.
In true Burroughs style, this timely tale ends with its own, real-life cliffhanger: will the concluding installments of the Burroughs/Stanton trilogy ever see the light of day, or, more to the point, the warm, inviting light of an IMAX theater? Against all odds, Sellers shows how that just might happen.
Finally we are able to read and know what happened with the marketing (or lack there of) of the Disney film, John Carter (of Mars). As someone who is a huge fan of John Carter and thought it a brilliant, well cast and directed film,I am so disappointed regarding the lack of marketing and attention this film was initially given and the politics that played a part in why this happened. Now we are able to read about why this film was doomed from the start. As someone who interacts with thousands of John Carter fans, it is amazing and wonderful to hear how much people love this film who never saw it in the theater, but have discovered it now on DVD. Of course there is always the disappointment from them that they wished they had not listened to Disney and critics alike, and had seen the film on the big screen. It was a pleasure to be able to read this and understand just what happened and why so many people ended up unaware of not only what this film was about, but why that happened. Thankfully, I didn’t listen to critics or Disney. I did get to see it on the big screen! And I wasn’t disappointed a bit. I fell in-love with a wonderful movie and would love to see and support a sequel. Thank you Michael D. Sellers for The Gods Of Hollywood. I highly recommend this book and definitely give it the 5-star rating it deserves.
This book so impressed me! It’s investigative approach is presented in a very balanced and fair way. All of the points made are backed up with direct quotes, articles, and referenced so that the author doesn’t simply present his opinions alone. As I read I kept thinking how valuable this book would be for film students, Hollywood marketing classrooms, and it’s a brilliant book for anyone interested in Hollywood and the corporate politics, media, and the ins and outs of film marketing. I loved the film John Carter and was so disappointed at the lack of reception it got here in the US. I had high hopes for sequels and even now, after all that’s happened, I still hold out some hope that things could turn around. I’ve found that there are endless misconceptions about what actually happened and this book totally clears them all up. If you’re a John Carter fan, then this book is a necessity! You simply have to read it and get the full, straight story about what happened to what was supposed to be a big blockbuster franchise for Disney. But even if you’re not a John Carter fan and are not that interested in what happened with that film in particular, but if you ARE interested in the inner workings of the film promotion aspect, I would highly recommend this book!
I downloaded the book on my Kindle just a few days ago and I loved it. It is very informative and really helped me understand the situation that surrounded the (unfortunate) failure of the movie. The author keeps the information coming at a steady pace but it is never overwhelming and never boring. He is concise and the book never gets so bogged down in minutia that you lose interest. I would highly recommend this book for fans of ERB and the movie as well as people who are just interested in movies in general.
An incredible story and will make you re-think Hollywood. Some great insights into the marketing and the breaking of a hollywood blockbuster. John Carter did not quit meet expectations but the question is who’s expectation?
What an eye opening read on the internal workings in Hollywood..not just for Edgar rice Burroughs and John carter fans but anyone who is interested in films and how the politics in getting them made and marketed…….the mindset of Hollywood and how with talented people and studio a good film can be made to fail at the domestic box office !!!!…can really bring on frustration at the lack of brainpower and and a few awful executives can do , or accually undo!!!!!! .cudos to the author Michael sellers in bring this to light in an intertaining and easy read!!!!!
Until John Carter I was hardly aware of the impact marketing had on the overall box office career of a movie. I thought, naively, that the final product spoke for itself, and that movies found their audiences no matter what. It turned out I was far from the truth. It’s not that John Carter is a perfect movie. If you ask me, I think The Avengers is a more perfect movie. But John Carter is more than a perfect movie in a way, because it’s a touching one. It grew on me since I first saw it in the theater, in a way no other movie ever did. It turns out I was not alone in that state of mind, the movie drew spontaneously a fan base like few others in history (and among those fans, professionals that worked on John Carter!). And it still grows today.
The book written by Michael D. Sellers is also touching in a unique way. It is both a love letter to Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel (which I dearly love also), and a journalistic approach to the way Disney handled its own movie, objective when it needs to be (and not afraid of sentences like “we don’t know what happened exactly”), also subjective when it needs to. From his unique perspective as both a fan and a filmmaker in his own right, he has somewhat the best position to develop a well-informed point of view, with no stone unturned as far as I can tell.
But my favorite chapter is perhaps the smallest one: “What Would Walt Disney Think?”. Indeed. When a company fails to live on its creative roots and only grows by acquisition of outside properties, while neglecting, by intent or most probably incompetence, its own, you wonder how the original spirit of its creator was perverted along the way. My sincere hope is that someone at the higher levels at Disney takes notice, and sees the reasoning behind the development of sequels.
This book is a passionate must-read, for fans but also for anyone interested in modern movie marketing techniques.
A not particularly critical look by a fan who’s fanaticism over a middling movie out of place and time is mildly entertaining, but not for the reasons one might suspect. It’s a glimpse into an uber fan’s well meaning, if obviously skewed love of the pulp novellas and it’s translation into one of the biggest motion picture blunders ever. The film itself couldn’t convince audiences to care–it never rises above just another content filler for late night cable tv filler.
The information on the films mishandling by marketing is certainly the most interesting part of this book. Why would Disney not properly promote a film, no matter how weak, that it spent so much money on? It’s certainly far better, as a film, than dreck like Tim Burton’s moneymaker Alice in Wonderland and the bomb Tron Legacy.
Ultimately, the book can’t shake it’s “fan-boy” status, and it’s passionate argument for a sequel isn’t very convincing. Taken with a very large grain of salt, it’s more interesting as a peek into the culture of fan-dom than a serious look at the perils of Hollywood moviemaking.