March 11th, 2012


Picoreview: John Carter

Ted and I just got back from John Carter. I really, really wanted to like this movie, which means I went in with kind of grim expectations, particularly since I’ve only just recently read A PRINCESS OF MARS (which I did in part because I wanted to know just how badly they were about to slaughter a classic work of science fiction), and I have to say…

…actually, I think they did the old man proud.

There are *problems*, yes. There were a few things explained that aren’t explained in the book (and one thing, more or less the first sentence, which is wholly ignored and I wonder if they’ll deal with it in the next movie), there’s one addition to Carter’s past that I don’t think was really necessary but eh, okay. There’s one significant storyline change that while I understand it, meh, I didn’t like it, and I fear it may cause problems with the structure of the next film. Aside from that, Woola wasn’t nearly ugly enough, and the Tharns were a little anemic.

But really truly? I thought they got the heart of the book, the sentiment of it, right up there on the screen in glorious spectacular spectacleness (I’m a professional writer. Don’t try this at home.). Lynn Collins was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful as Dejah Thoris. I thought they did a tremendously good job of taking a character who had been a quite astonishingly adept female lead in a book published in 1912, and updated her to be what she might well have been had Burroughs been writing now and not a century ago. I loved her. I loved her with all my heart.

I’d seen complaints that John Carter was too modern, which is possible. OTOH, as Ted said, “He’s just been thrown onto another planet with six-limbed green monsters and a dog that runs faster than the eye can see. Why not go with the flow?” :)

Anyway, yeah. We really liked it, and if I didn’t have to go finish watching another movie now I’d probably write more about it. :)

(x-posted from the essential kit)