Note: This comes from a serious ERB fan so there will be those who say, well, he’s biased. Answer: Yes, biased, but not like you may think. There is great debate among Burroughs hardcore as to whether Stanton has adhered adequately to the original. This review is posted no so much because it is a credible “general review”, as it is posted for the benefit of ERB fans who are skeptical of Andrew Stanton (or not) ….For the rest of you, there is some value here, but I just wanted to make sure you see the context. Dotar
I HAVE BEEN TO BARSOOM
I went to an advance screening of JOHN CARTER.
Holy Living *beep* The bar on science fiction and fantasy movies has officially been raised.
I expected to come from seeing the movie with my head full of comparisons to all the things Burroughs original novel helped inspire: STAR WARS, AVATAR, FLASH GORDON, etc. Understandably so, as I’m so much more familiar with all of them. That is exactly what didn’t happen though. Put simply; if STAR WARS is a kids’ science fiction movie franchise that adults enjoy (and it is), then JOHN CARTER is an adult science fiction movie that kids will enjoy.
JC was such an immersive experience. Every moment reveals something new about Mars, about the exotic alien races and cultures that call it home, or about their individual characters. James Cameron’s AVATAR showed us a world we’ve never seen before and it was wondrous to behold, but Andrew Stanton’s JOHN CARTER is a movie so rich with detail that it left me feeling like I had been somewhere. JOHN CARTER feels like nothing so much as if David Lean had made an science fiction epic of love and war on Mars.
To the ERB faithful, please relax. Yes, there are changes from the novel. No, they are not the arbitrary changes made in inferior movie adaptations where the filmmaker just wants to do his/her own ideas. Every change is made to tell Burroughs’ story or reveal some aspect of Burroughs’ characters in a way more befitting a movie instead of a novel.
Going into this I had absurdly high expectations. A friend of mine told me he was worried the movie wouldn’t live up to them and that frankly I was starting to sound a little crazy. Well, the movie went and exceeded my expectations. I love it, and give it a 10/10. I’m definitely going to see it at least six times in the theater. And buy a Blu-Ray player to watch it at home.