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John Carter brings back the awesome cheese of classic sci-fi!

Bitter, Bitter Balcony, Movie Review, John Carter 2012Andrew Stanton,Mark AndrewsAndrew StantonTaylor Kitsch,Lynn Collins,Samantha Morton,Willem Dafoe,Thomas Haden Church,Mark Strong,Ciarán Hinds,Dominic WestEdgar Rice Burroughs Bitter,Bitterometer,meter John Carter(2012)
 

John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is a man searching for a cave of gold and doing his best to stay out of other people’s battles no matter how much of a warrior he might be. When he accidentally finds his cave a series of events unfold that transport him to Mars. While there he is discovered by Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) a 12-foot tall green barbarian and eventually saves Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) who will need much more of his help to save her planet.

“John Carter” is a traditional sci-fi story with all the cheesy moments it’s 1917 roots has to offer. It’s not bad cheese, but fun, sometimes light moments of being just a tad too nerdy or moments of situational humor. The film is an entertaining romp through a unique vision of Mars and its inhabitants. There is solid action and the characters are easy to connect with, even the 12-foot tall four-armed alien.

The film is bookended by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara) reading a diary left by his now dead family member John Carter. To start it was a foolish hope that the end of the “Spy Kids” franchise would bring about the end of Sabara’s career. The kid is not talented and it definitely shows at the end of the film. Lynn Collins and Taylor Kitsch carry the film with some help from Willem Dafoe. The film is well cast and all those involved, except that first example, really give good performances.

The design of the film is distinctly old school, but that’s part of its charm. The ships and cities are the only design elements that seem more modern than the creature design, but they never collide against each other. The world of Mars is sold as both desolate and inhabited. The balance makes it an intriguing world to follow Carter around in.

Is the film a masterpiece? No, but it’s a solid and welcome throwback to how the world saw sci-fi stories before “Star Wars.” It’s entertaining and well made while never getting, or taking itself, too serious.

There is one other gripe to be had, aside from Sabara. Whoever was in charge of focusing the camera needs to be slapped in the face. I’ve never seen any independent film with as many slightly out of focus shots as this film, let alone a $120,000,000 budgeted film.

Trailer:


Pics:
John Carter2012Andrew Stanton,Mark AndrewsAndrew StantonTaylor Kitsch,Lynn Collins,Samantha Morton,Willem Dafoe,Thomas Haden Church,Mark Strong,Ciarán Hinds,Dominic WestEdgar Rice Burroughs  John Carter2012Andrew Stanton,Mark AndrewsAndrew StantonTaylor Kitsch,Lynn Collins,Samantha Morton,Willem Dafoe,Thomas Haden Church,Mark Strong,Ciarán Hinds,Dominic WestEdgar Rice Burroughs  John Carter2012Andrew Stanton,Mark AndrewsAndrew StantonTaylor Kitsch,Lynn Collins,Samantha Morton,Willem Dafoe,Thomas Haden Church,Mark Strong,Ciarán Hinds,Dominic WestEdgar Rice Burroughs  John Carter2012Andrew Stanton,Mark AndrewsAndrew StantonTaylor Kitsch,Lynn Collins,Samantha Morton,Willem Dafoe,Thomas Haden Church,Mark Strong,Ciarán Hinds,Dominic WestEdgar Rice Burroughs  John Carter2012Andrew Stanton,Mark AndrewsAndrew StantonTaylor Kitsch,Lynn Collins,Samantha Morton,Willem Dafoe,Thomas Haden Church,Mark Strong,Ciarán Hinds,Dominic WestEdgar Rice Burroughs 

Credits:
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Written by: Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews
Based on work(s) by: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West


Source of the Bitter: JAS

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