As I mentioned in my previous post, I managed to see the John Carter movie this past weekend. In short, the movie was good and I enjoyed it very much. Sadly, it isn't getting the sort of attention that it rightly deserves. This is an adaptation of the first Barsoom book entitled, "The Princess of Mars" written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Hollywood treatment here is actually not at all bad. Yes, there are changes between the book and the movie and the movie doesn't go cover everything the book does nor is the movie without its additions. However, it does work.
I love a good story and I think anyone who loves role-playing games do as well and movies are an excellent medium to tell a story. I don't pretend to be a movie critic but I know what I like. Unfortunately, the past few years, I have found liking some of the film offerings I had been looking forward to less and less. My biggest disappointment in the past year was the newest 'Conin' movie (I paid good movie to see a movie involving 'Conan' but apparently it involved the exploits of a barbarian which a lot of people were calling Conin). It had good visuals but, the story (or the bits and pieces stuck together that claimed to be a story) was a jumbled mess. I've begun to suspect that ADD is becoming a serious issue in the movie industry or maybe they just really think the audience is too stupid to follow the basic premise of a story and plot development.
Sorry... my ranting is starting to get the better of me but I hope some of you will get my point. All you have to do is compare the Sherlock Holmes movie that came out 2-3 years ago to the recent sequel from the past year. Compare the two and you will see a general trend with some of these movies.
John Carter is currently being hailed as a box office flop and I find this is really unfortunate. Why though? People haven't exactly been waiting in line to see the movie. Sadly, a large percentage of the audience today don't know who the hell 'John Carter' actually is. Others may have a bit of a clue on who Edgar Rice Burroughs is but, once again, probably not if we ask the average Joe on the street. On the other hand, they will know who Tarzan is so I guess there's that at least. The marketing for the movie has been terrible from what I have seen -- which really hasn't been much. Posters about some guy named 'John Carter' won't elicit much of a reaction because, the average person don't know who he is. The trailers sure didn't help ... while the biggest problem with the typical movie trailer is that it shows too much, I wonder if this trailer can be accused of the opposite? It shows little to nothing and doesn't give the average viewer proper context. Why is 'John Carter' cool and why is he leaping around like a super hero that looks like a barbarian? It should be noted that the wife who did not know who John Carter was thought it was some sort of Conan ripoff from watching these same trailers. Of course, there was the whole naming thing. Some studio execs clearly thought that naming it 'The Princess of Mars' might not be a good idea nor would it be wise to even have 'Mars' in the movie title. Great move...
As for actual film critics... none have really praised the movie but the biggest slam is that this sort of thing has been seen before. Comparisons might be made with a whole slew of movies, including those particularly famous ones that George Lucas is best known for not to mention some of Spielberg's work. Who do you think they read when they were younger.
No... the movie is decent and the book is a great read. While it might get yanked very soon to make way for a more 'profitable' movie, if you are curious and would like to see it, it's pretty cool on the big screen. If you have seen it and like it, spread the word because right now, most people tend to think of it as a disaster without knowing anything about it and that's a shame. Better yet... if others give it a chance, maybe they'll turn to the actual books and read it. While I won't go and say it's a great movie, it's one that I had fun with and would be willing to see again -- even pay theatre prices to see again. Of course, not too hard these days since my next big 'must see' movie is the Avengers anyways.
I had no problems with the humor added in and not in the book... I thought everyone did a good job playing their respective roles and I thought it was fun. It was also a movie (and reading the book helped too) which has renewed an idea to run a Sci-Fi campaign. As for as inspiration goes, what more could you want? :)