‘John Carter’ Spoilers Discussion

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 18th, 2012 at 8:08 am,

John Carter vs. White Ape John Carter Spoilers Discussion

While our readers are already this sci-fi adventure in the comments section of our John Carter Review, this is the place where you can discuss John Carter spoilers without concerns about ruining the movie for folks who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, we would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have. 

We’ve set up a poll below where you can rate John Carter for yourself. Other than that, feel free to discuss the film and all its surprises!

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  1. I personally found the pacing to be a bit rushed. And, aside from Kofi’s review, and even though Kitsch is a fellow Canadian & Riggins, as John Carter, mixed bag. His physicality works but his delivery I found it off.
    I did enjoy the hell out of it as a pure fantasy film and plays heavily like A New Hope in terms of experiencing a new world.
    Is Edgar Rice in the film the kid from Spy Kids?
    Solid 4 out of 5. I liked the nice touch in the Disney Magic Kingdom opener it was in Red starting off with Barsoom.

  2. Lynn Collins is super HOT in JCOM. I mean REAL HOT!

    • I totally agree ….giggity. ;)

      • Agreed (in Simpsons President Schwarzenegger voice)

    • I hear that.
      Definitely one of the high points of the movie.
      (And I’d like to thank the costume designer for making all her costumes so… revealing :D)

      • I want to have sex with Dejah. I have ever since I read the books, but now I want to do her even more.

        • Vlad the impale-her eh?

          sorry ;)

        • Absolutely! Dejah is awesome! One thing I was wondering is whether or not ten years passed on Mars as well, or if John Carter went back to the moment that he left? I’d hate to leave a newly wed bride like Dejah waiting at all!

  3. I just got back from the theater. Overall it is a fine movie and kept true to the ERB vision. However, as a devotee to the original books I’m having trouble reconciling the main plot points Andrew Stanton added/removed – the Thern’s ability to control the ninth ray, including shape shifting and interplanetary travel. The Zondangans having a super weapon (aided by the therns.) Due to the existence of the medallion JC’s motivations are different. The book was about the journey with a sense of duty – there was no intent to get back to earth. It changed the relationship between Dejah Thoris and JC. They didn’t share as much during the first third of the story and thus their romance came across rushed.

    Actually, sticking with the plot they conceived this would have been a great movie had they made it a solid three hours and developed the JC DJ relationship and let JC bond with the Tharks more.

    • Thats where I felt the pacing of the film was rushed. It seems this film has a close to 3hour director’s cut

      • Agreed. I didn’t buy into the marriage based on what I saw onscreen.

        For a rather long movie, it didn’t feel long to me – at all. I could have watched another 30 – 45 minutes if it helped develop the characters bonds and not the crazy plot points.

        • probably Disney’s call to put in a lean fantasy epic rather than the Lawrence of Arabia Stanton probably wanted. Shame I would have loved to see its true runtime on the big screen. They should have looked at Pirates’ success. They were long as movies yet kept their character development. Especially the first.

    • I saw the movie and I’ve read and heard that the director had a 3 1/1/2 hour cut but was told that he had to cut it as close to 2 hrs. there go the plots and relationships that I keep hearing from people are missing. At the beginning there is this guy who foils the explanantion from the Princes, of the ray and we never see him again. He was in the inner circle. Stuff like the that producers don’t think about. There is a rule that an audiennce can deal or they can get away with 3 holes in a movie. Having said that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw the 3D showing
      lefou

      • Hopefully the DVD will include all the missing footage. I’d have no problem watching a 3.5 hr version of JC.

      • The guy we don’t see again is the Fern in disguise

    • Right on with your assessment regarding the relationship between Dejah Thoris and John Carter. The movie would have benefited by more time spent building their relationship. The friendship between John Carter and Tars Tarkas needed a little more as well. Nevertheless, I am thankful to Disney for making this movie. I have seen it twice this week. I look forward to the day when I can buy the DVD. A director’s cut with additional detail (including “the egg”) would be great.

      • Yeah, Disney clearly deserves our gratitude. They made a fine film and it’s a shame their marketing execs bungled so badly. It was great to see ERB’s concepts on screen even though we’ll never see any sequels. Actually, we’ve seen his concepts on screen countless times – this is just the only movie credited to him instead of being stolen. Looking forward to the DVD.

  4. The movie is a mixed bag to be sure. It is certainly a confusing muddle of a movie. I’ve read Burroughs for forty years and am thoroughly familiar with his work. That was really not much help here because Stanton quickly abandons ERB’s story. I really didn’t care for the changes he made regarding the Therns relationship in the story. In the movie it just makes no sense that this race of floating, morphing, space travelling super-beings exists. I guess Stanton thinks that is a modern twist that people in 2012 will appreciate. Just bloody stupid in my opinion.

    The planet and the cities are ugly and squalid. Nothing like the Helium that Burroughs described. The city of Zodanga is ridiculous and the changes made were pointless. The two warring tribes of red humans are almost indistinguishable from one another. The tattoos are ridiculous, and again pointless. I never really connected with anything in the movie. Only a few times did I look at a scene and think, “That’s pretty cool.” There are alot of abrupt scene cuts. Almost like something else was intended to come next, but Stanton just didn’t have the time.

    I’m no fan of 3D. That said, the 3D was lousy. Some angles made it look as though John Carter was a mile high in the air. I also didn’t care for the cartoonish superhero nature of John Carter. Burroughs’ John Carter was stronger and could jump higher, but not like this “Superman.” Where’s the sense of peril in a hero who can just jump out of any problem, or swing a “two-ton” boulder like a hammer thrower?

    Stanton and Chabon really mussed this up, especially considering how much they like the original. Overall, I gave the movie a three because my kid liked it and there is plenty of family friendly action. Just turn off your mind and it’s entertaining in senseless sort of way.

    • After reading your post I have to agree more so with you. From the very beginning when JC is a semi-prisoner of the Tharks the ERB storyline and many of the details are abandoned – from the ornate beautiful architecture of the dead cities to the Thark leadership (Tars Tarkus was not Jeddak!) and really through the rest of the film. It really takes a left turn.

      Lots of problems with The Therns, the medallion, the marriage/truce… the jeweled city of helium, almost everything really. Although the thoats looked about right.

      I guess what I thought Stanton did capture well were the aircraft and the overall “steampunk” vibe I got from the original books. From a filmmaker’s standpoint it had a nice pace, and a balance of action, humor and drama. I thought the actors were cast well, the performances were good, and it was nice looking.

      BUT it comes back to story…
      What happened to JC meeting Kantos Kan in the Thark prison? And when the flyer attacks JC, Sola and DJ during their “escape” from the Tharks, … do the Zodangans capture DJ, no its her father. So there is no city of Zodanga for Carter to rescue her from and to meet back up with Kantos Kan. Unless you count the moving contraption. Whose idea was that?

      No atmosphere plant? enough said.

      As far as JC jumping as his main skill – that was just silly. JC due to his strength and agility was first and foremost an expert swordsman. That was completely lost in the film.

      To boil it down, the film wasn’t an evolving journey where relationships are developed between characters as they fight for honor. Which is what made JC in the original books so wonderful.

      So why did I rate it so high… because I love the Barsoom series, and if I consider the film without comparing the storyline to the books it really wasn’t bad. Just different.

      and of course Lynn Collins didn’t hurt.

      • come to think of it, the only reason JC could convince the Tharks to fight against the Zodangans was the promise that the Tharks could loot their city. Since the wedding took place in Helium that made no sense.

        Urgh! I’m sure I could come up with a hundred more holes.

        • There are so many holes, that I think it’s easier to just see where the Burroughs plot points intersect the Stanton plot points. I’m all right with fleshing out John Carter on Earth. I’m all right with his arrival on Mars. The shooting down of the Princesses flyer was okay, but too much “flying” by John Carter. Later, he did slip off the back of the thoat and send Dejah on her way. Beyond that, Stanton did his own story which is surely his perogative, it’s just very uneven pacing.

          BTW-I saw this at a pre-showing with a large number of ardent ERB fans, and surprisingly most seemed okay with the film. Maybe they didn’t want to offend Disney, or were just happy to see a JC film after all these years. If only Stanton had been a little more true to the original, I think alot of the criticisms would have been avoidable. I still hope it doesn’t tank too badly.

          • I was kind of expecting them to chop the story apart a little, and “Hollywoodize” it. But they just completely destroyed the storyline in my opinion. I like the movie, but if you read the books and are a purist for plot, then you will be sorely disappointed.

      • I didn’t see the movie in a theater because, from what I had seen of the previews, I expected to be greatly disappointed. I finally rented the DVD from a Redbox; I know this is shallow, but if it hadn’t been for Lynn Collins, I would never have finished watching the video.

    • The film included some nice visual renderings of some components, e.g. the Tharks, thoats and white apes, but I have gripes mainly based in the abandonment of the main ERG story framework as well as some misses in terms of the main characters’ attributes and development. the omission of the atmosphere generator, the chivalry, sense of honor, and “joy of battle” of John Carter were not stressed, the far too “super” jumping ability, I think the technology of the ninth ray was already centuries old before Carter came to Barsoom, the Therns were plucked from the second novel to give a face to the contrivances and antagonists written in with their magic medallions,which is how the story was made to resemble a Star Wars style affair rather than the remarkable adventure with the epic scope of the original work wherein the survival of the warring factions on a dying planet was at stake. On and on, I just don’t understand where the original work didn’t offer enough interest and material for more of a straight rendering into the screenplay. Most of ERG’s adventure novels carried a moral, the moral of John Carter was lost with the story omissions.
      CWK

      • I was thinking the same thing. Why would it have been such a bad idea to follow the original storyline as it was told? Heck you could have made a very compelling trilogy TBH. I would have gone to all three movies if the storyline were followed. Now I just feel bamboozled out of my money and if the ending was a cliffhanger for a sequel….I most likely won’t see it.

        • Honestly, I’m not sure how well the original story would have translated into a film. It would have needed to be quite long for one and I just sort of feel that the books would work best as a television series where you can have the early episodes dealing with his adaptation to Mars and showing the culture of the Tharks and then moving on with perhaps some teases to the other cultures throughout Mars.

          If they had followed the storyline to the letter then we still would have seen things get cut out and the storyline might still have been muddled to some degree.

          It would also mean using the idea that John was an immortal, which I thought was fine since it explained aspects of his character and how he reacts. I can’t help but feel that it might have thrown some viewers given how its really just casually mentioned with no real explanation in the books.

    • I thought the visuals were great, but the story line was a travesty. I’m going to start my grandson off with the book, then see what he thinks of the film. With the budget they had, this was a waste.

  5. One other thing. I’m not a fan of Taylor Kitsch and had never heard of him before this movie. However, I think he did a fine job and I don’t think all the criticism of him as “wooden” is valid. The acting is really not among this movies problems.

  6. Just came back from the movie–really liked it! But I have a question… at the end when John was on his search for another portal, they brought him something wrapped in a cloth from a mine. I thought it must be a medallion… but then he killed the thern at the end to get his medallion. So what did he get in the mine? thanks

    • @Sally,

      They actually didn’t bring him anything. They just used that as a way to lure the thern out so john could kill him and retrieve the therns medallion. That was the only way to get back to mars since he had searched and searched and was unable to find another medallion.

    • Remember that Edgar is reading, Carter’s journal. I believe that the part of the journal that mentions finding something (a Thern amulet) is made up by Carter a part of his ploy to attract a Thern to his tomb so that he can actually obtain one.

  7. I give this movie a 7 out of 10. It was better than I thought it would be from some early reviews but I thought it was really good.

    I must say the beginning wasn’t good – the start on Earth. I didn’t start liking it till Carter first got on Mars. The guy who played his nephew was annoying too.

    Like I said, overall it was a good film. I think Disney has two tentpole franchises with this and Tron for the future.

  8. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. But I have one question…Bryan Cranston is shaving when John Carter steals his horse, but then we see him chasing Carter without shaving cream and fully dressed. Would he really take the time to make himself look proper as Carter escaped?

    Can you tell that I didn’t read the books but I wanted to add to the discussion? Actually, I did wonder how long he was gone. Cranston’s body was decayed down to a skeleton. One would think that would take a little longer than a few weeks.

    • In the books, time passes differently on Earth than on Mars. Could have been a common belief in the early 1900′s that because you are on a planet further from the sun time must pass differently. Hence it being only a few weeks on Mars but a much longer time on Earth. When JC returns to Earth and searches for a way back to Mars years pass, but when he returns it hasn’t been nearly as long on Mars.

      • Alright, thanks. I hope they actually explain that if a sequel gets made.

      • In the book, A Princess of Mars, JC had many years on Mars before returning to Earth, thus there was time for the adjacent body to decay to a skeleton. Also JC’s first return to Mars must have seen more time pass on Mars than Earth, because he’d been on Earth only 10 years, but upon his return to Mars, he encounters his son — who’d not yet been born (hatched ?) — already fully grown and a formidable warrior with nearly a year of fighting in the arena as a prisoner of the Therns. Too, there is a plot element in the 3rd book whereby JC thinks Dejah lost because a year has passed — in Earth days — but the Martian year is longer — more days — so he’s not so late as he thinks.

  9. I really enjoyed the movie but I have a few questions; I don’t remember JC ever telling Deja that he was a captain, yet she called him Captain John Carter. How did she know that?

    When JC returned to Jarsoom, I mean Earth :-) , there was a skeleton in the cave, which tells me he had been gone a while; how could his body survive so long without food and water?

    Where the heck did these Therns come from? They were pretty powerful.

    That….uh, dog? (Mohla), was pretty fast. They had more comedy in the movie than I would have thought.

    • Not sure about the captain part. I can’t remember if he told her or not.

      The bones are explained better in the books. But basically time passes differently on Mars and Earth.

      The Therns aren’t explained very well in the movie. You’re just meant to believe they’re some kind of immortal planetary trouble makers…In the books they are actually another caste of humanoid creatures on Mars (still priestlike…in a sense). The lowers castes being the Red Men (Helium and Zodanga) and the Tharks. When a lower caste gets older or they are disgraced and need to redeem themselves they take the pilgrimage to the River Iss where they are supposed to be taken in by the Priestess and forgiven (basically heaven). They float down the river Iss and are then taken captive by the Therns who use them as slaves…or just kill them outright (so its just a trap really). It makes for a pretty efficient form of slavery cause the lower castes go willingly since they are ignorant of what is really at the end of the river.

      The dog-thing is Woola. He was originally set to guard JC and keep him from escaping. In the book JC saves Woola from a great white ape and he basically becomes indebted to him for life which is why he follows him around. In the movie he saves his life from the Tharks….a minor deviation from the plot line.

      • That still doesn’t make sense to me. According to the movie, JC on Mars was just a copy and his body was still on earth. Since that skeleton must have been there for a while, JC’s body should have died in about a week, since he didn’t have water. I understand the time lapse thingy but that doesn’t explain his body not dying without sustenance. Was his body in some type of stasis?

        • This is never really explained. Its just one of those things you’re supposed to wonder about on your own. If there is some sort of technology that can transport a copy of you to another planet it should have the ability to keep you alive while you’re away. Exactly how is up to you to decide.

          • In the book, Carter was overcome by a “vapor” some sort of strange gas that apparently preserved his body and acted to separate his spirit from his corporeal form. When Carter passes out from oxygen deprivation (an atmosphere plant that provided oxygen for the atmosphere had ceased fucntioning)on Mars at the end of th first book, his spirit returns to earth and reenters his original body. he comes to in a cave where a a greenih powder is found in a pot above a chrcoal burner. The exact mechanism for his preservation is never explained, but some change has been made in Carter, who grows older but never appears to age.

      • But if the Therns are immortal, and he says so in the movie “We are not haunted by mortality as you are, We are eternal” How could JC manage to kill two of them?
        I liked the movie btw :) The Woola-dog-thing was one of my favs :D

        • Keyword is eternal. They’re not invincible. They can be shot. Can they die? I haven’t read the books so I have no idea. Remember the Thern in the cave? He was gone when JC woke up so he probably didn’t die.

  10. I enjoyed the movie but I’ve never read the books. My question to anyone who can tell me is how many books is there. The books are always more detailed and usually contain a lot more than what actually makes it to the live action adaptation.

    • Technically there’s around 10 or 11 books called the Barsoom Series.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Rice_Burroughs#Barsoom_series

      The main story can be found in the first three books, A princess of Mars, The Gods of Mars, and The Warlord of Mars. The rest of the books are kind of side stories that take place on Barsoom between some of the different characters and other goings on on Barsoom.

      You will prob only find the first three books in most stores, getting the other stories may prove a little more difficult.

      The movie covers book 1 (A Princess of Mars) but also reveals stuff from book 2…..although it doesn’t follow the plot line as told in the books.

      If you are thinking of reading them I would highly recommend it! They are amazing books, especially when you think about the time period they were written and how little was actually known about other planets and science fiction in general.

      • I got the entire series on the Kindle through Amazon for $2 awhile ago. I’m going to start reading it now that I’ve seen the movie.

      • @ JB & B-List,

        Thanks for the info I’m gonna try and get the first 3 and go from there.

      • Yeah, a lot of the books are about other characters and John Carter, Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas, Sola, etc are just peripheral to the story. “Synthetic Men of Mars” is an excellent example of these books.

  11. I loved the movie, although I cannot understand why they deviated so much from A Princess of Mars. The book, due to its serialized origin, is practically already written for the screen, and it didn’t launch EGB’s career for nothing. It’s fantastic. A simple, faithful script is easily sitting right there out in the open. But no, they had to transform it all over the place. I know very well that if you’ve read the book you’re going to be disappointed in the movie as a standard, general fact. It really does not have to be so, especially with this one. It’s so frustrating. Hollywood takes great books and puts them on film because they are great books, that proven greatness is the very attraction. But then they re-imagine it away until it is something only loosely based on the books, and so here we go.

    So we’re forced to look at John Carter the film on its own terms divorced from the book. I did enjoy it; it did make great cinema. I’d go see it again. I got my money’s worth. I hope it makes a lot of money so it might become a franchise with more films coming.

    BUT, it could have been SO much better. Just follow the dang book!

  12. impossible to follow. Boring. Long. Great effects thouh

  13. In the books, time does not actually run differently between the worlds. Its that jc spend ten years on Mars before returning to earth. Most of that time is spent after the main action of the book and before the atmosphere plant

    • I stand corrected. I had forgotten that he spent ten years on Barsoom originally. The movie did a horrible job of explaining the time lapse….actually it did zero job of explaining the time lapse. When you watch a movie its easy to believe that he had only been there for a short period of time and not ten years. Also the time he spent back on Earth searching for a way back was another ten years (not sure if that was mentioned in the movie).

      • Yeah, I had no sense of the amount of time he was on Mars. It seemed like a couple weeks…maybe a month. But, on Earth, they did say that this adventure started 13 years ago in the beginning with NED reading the journal.

  14. I’m looking forward to watching this movie; it seems outstanding. I hope someday in our lifetime, we will be able to travel to other stellar systems to seek out for amazing alien life forms. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSkxPghXTCg

  15. So, I heard they’re already planning a sequel?
    Was that just a rumor, or has there been an official statement?
    I’d really like to see what’s going to happen next (the characters kinda grew on me :) – I didn’t think I’d care so much about where they’d end up next).
    Plus, Mark Strong’s character (Matai Shang, leader of the Therns) escaped, so that must mean there’s more to come right?…

    • It would seem they left it open for a sequel. There is a lot more material in the books that you could make another movie out of. Although I have no idea how they will advance the plot because it is so much different from what I have read in the books. It would be interesting to see where they go with it, but we’ll have to see if I’m over my jadedness by then.
      Honestly, if you want to know what happens next I highly suggest getting the first three books and reading them. They are relatively short and an easy read, but they tell so much more than the movie did and the plot in my opinion draws you into it to a greater degree than the movie did.

  16. I like it. The only thing that didn’t work for me was the gags. Virginia worked once and that was pretty much it. never a dull moment or any down moments. Every scene had a purpose. Them getting married at the end was the only part that seemed rushed.

    • VIRGINIA FIGHTS FOR US!!!!

  17. I loved John Carter. It doesn’t hold a candle to Avatar, but I really liked it and it’s way better than the Clash of the Titans and Conan the Barbarian remakes and Immortals put together.

  18. I’m actually quite curious now as to how much of what we saw was what Stanton wanted or rather, how much ended up getting cut to make it leaner. The fact that the movie began with a monologue describing various aspects wasn’t the best way to start. Going right from Burroughs to John’s journal would have been a better approach. I found a bit of news that said the release on Blu-ray and whatnot will have 10 deleted scenes with commentary that range from simply story boards to actually being filmed.

    Honestly, the film could have used more time. I could have sat there for three hours or maybe a bit longer.

  19. I liked the ending because it left open the possibility that John Carter didn’t return to Barsoom for several years. The sequel could be “A Princess of Mars” and show how Dejah fought the bad guys for years on her own, showing that a warrior doesn’t need to wait for a man to show up and save her. JC could appear near the end, setting up “The Gods of Mars” as the third one. Only Disney would make a movie with a Princess as the main protagonist, ie, BRAVE is about to open.

  20. One comment on your review. I do not think it is “illogical” that two sentient species could evolve on a planet with differing technological capabilities and anatomies. Also you need to remember that this movie is based on the world created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and written in the very early 1900′s. Everything about his writing was way ahead of its time and is considered by many science fiction writers/enthusiasts to be the basis for many of the science fiction stories we read/watch today. A science fiction movie does not need to explain in detail why or how there would be differing intelligent species together on a planet.

    • The multiple sentient races on Mars and grew from the tree of life, splitting off from it at different times and then evolving. There are green men (Tharks), red men (Helium and Zodanga), white men (Therns), yellow men (Okar), and black men (First Born). Also, while the books portray many civilizations with different advanced technologies or other fantastic abilities as having arisen and fallen in Martian history; or in some pockets still existing, there is nothing in the book like the power attributed the to the 9th ray in the movie. In the book, the therns are people very much like the red men and they are neither longer lived nor able to fly or do other fantastic feats like in the movie.

      • True, I had forgotten about the tree of life. Its a shame they didn’t mention it in the movie, but I still don’t think that it makes the thought of two or even three different species on a single planet illogical.
        Also, I hate how they made the Therns these godlike superhumans. It really killed the movie for me and any chance of going to see the sequel (if they even make one). With the amount that they chopped and destroyed the original plot I can only imagine what the second movie would be like when they have to explain how the first born are superior to the Therns…

      • Actually the Red men of Barsoom are the result of genetic engineering and centuries of inbreeding by the Whites, Blacks and Yellows to create a race that could withstand the harsh conditions brought on by the plant dying. Over the many years, the Blacks, Whites and Yellows die out slowly with the survivors retreating to their respective hideouots at the poles to become the stuff of Barsoomian legend and myth.

        I read somewhere in a book on Burroughs that the Green Martians were the first attempt by the original races to create a super species that didn’t turn out so well because they were hideous and too furocious. But I don’t recall that fact ever coming out in any of the first three novels. Maybe in some of the later volumns, but its been a while since I’ve read them.

        I did revisit Princess, Gods and Warlord in anticipation of the movie.

        PS: As a avid ERB fan for nearly 40 years, I thought this was a pretty solid effort. I was not so hung up on the plot differences. Maybe a little turned off by some of the character differences, and the romance did seem to be neglected a bit. Obviously, hoping for sequels as I want to see where Stanton intends to go.

        • I don’t know… I only read the books last year, but I can’t reconcile the changes they made to the plot. It was just too off-putting for me. I’m a purist, and if you’re going to make a movie based on a book, you sure as heck better make it like the book. Hollywood tries to put their own spin on things and it just turns it into garbage. They think they can just lull us with cool special effects and give up on plot. Doesn’t work for me.

  21. Its tough to do a movie using the limited science known about Mars back in 1917. Using todays technology we know that Mars has been a dead planet for millions of years. We also know that Mars has 38 percent Earth gravity. Its amazing how far John Carter can jump or sling a boulder. I feel the special effects were awesome but the story is somewhat crummy. One report I read is the cost to produce was $250 million, same as Avartar. Avatar made over $2 billion world wide. Good luck John Carter!

    • That’s the great thing about sci-fi. Maybe those portals go through time as well as space. So maybe JC went to the Mars of a billion years ago. Or a billion years in the future….

  22. I read the books as a child and it was fantastic to see these characters brought to life. My favorites were Sola and Tars Tarkas – I pictured the Tharks as much bigger but no complaints. They probably needed to be smaller to fit into the frame with the human characters. JC was extremely entertaining and enjoyable and well-made. The makers obviously revered the books and it showed. Disney’s marketing execs ruined any chance JC had and it’s a shame we won’t get to see the sequels now.

  23. So I guess a sequel doesn’t look too likely given how much money it lost. It’s a shame, because it was good that there was somewhat of an original big budget movie (by that I mean not based on an 80s cartoon or a reboot/remake etc.) in the cinemas.

  24. First of all Disney is the last pruduction company that should be doing any Burroughs book based films. As for Mr Stanton who boasted himself to be such a big fan that he requested to do a trilogy based on the first 3 books, his ego is too big for his britches. I am no director but I could have done a better job simply by NOT changing the story. Burroughs stories are perfect and should be artistic license exempt. Stick your artistic license back in your pants and tell the story the way it was written. From the first opening scene and on from one scene to the next I was constantly asking myself, what the frack is going on. Yes I am a huge Burroughs fan and I have read nearly all 90 plus book he wrote. The Tarzan and Barsoom series numerouse times. I have been waiting over 30 years for this movie and sadly it was a huge letdown. A catastrophic trainwreck and an insult to the Burroughs estate and his fans. You want a script?….. The book IS the script. The book titled, A Princess of Mars because it is about The Incomparably beautiful Princess whom john saves from one tragedy to another. Confused by his love and the Martian tradiditions he struggles to rescue her and love her at the same time. It is a LOVE story as much as it is a sci-fi action thriller. A masterpiece that Stanton destroyed. Not an ounce of romance. No mention of “My Princess” and ” My Chieftain”. Both such simple yet meaningful phrases that my wife and I lovingly use as terms of endearment for eachother.
    Stanton, next time write your own story rather than destroying some one else’s. Literally millions of Burroughs fans have been greatly saddened by this travisty.
    For those of you reading this, I implore you to please, please honor the late Mr Burroughs and read A Princess of Mars if you haven’t. I gaurantee you will want to read the entire 11 book series and quite possibly more of Burroughs series like the Venus series, Tarzan & Pellucidar. Once you have read A Princess of Mars you will understand my disappointment and want to see a respectable movie done Wright.
    If someone will do it Wright, yes it could be a franchise to rivalled Star Trek. Over 20 interplanetary books to start with. Sadly with all of today’s technology, the movies The Land that Time Forgot & The People that Time Forgot based on the Burroughs books with the same names gave better hommage to the Burroughs legacy. Even the recent Command movie paled in comparison with the Schwarzenegger version with its Frank Frazetta inspired set designs.
    I can’t help wonder how Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man who was slated to direct John Carter before Stanton would have done it. I think it certainly would have been better.

    Velonaut

    • Well, that about sums up my underlying feelings about the movie. Having read the Mars novels a number of times, I developed mental images of the planet and its various races. I found those images in conflict with much of what is shown in the movie. Some changes were inevitable, for example, the fact that everyone on the red planet of Burroughs imagination is virtually naked would have been impossible to depict in a movie hoping to draw in a large audience of all ages. But, the changes, such as what appears to be a great reduction in the size of Helium, weren’t necessary. Nor was changing the airships in a way that calls to mind the land speeders of Star Wars, rather than some archaic hull shape resembling the ships that once sailed seas when those bodies of water existed on Mars. Making a comic character out of Woola, with that absurd speed was jarring, as was the unbelievable jumping ability of John Carter. Yes, I know he could jump a great deal farther on Mars than on earth, but, in the novels, it was much less than depicted in the film, and made the Carter of the novels more admirable for overcoming daunting obstacles. I also missed hearing “my princess” and “my chieftain” as well as the cultural conflict and difficulties it posed for an earthman and martian woman.

      I believe I read somewhere that the wirter / director wanted to avoid a “perils of Pauline” story, with the male hero repeatedly rescuing the female from dire straits, and that was one reason the plot changed so much from the books. I think that is a poor refelctio nfo the nature of Dejh Thoris in the novels. Yes, she does get captured repeatedly, and, yes, John Carter comes to her rescue, but the Dejah of the novels is not a simpering weakling; she is a spirited, brave, principled woman, who merely lacks the physical strength (or ninja skills) to defeat her male captors. The way the relationship develops in the book is marvelous; turning Dejah into the image of a modern female heroine with armor and sword-fighting skills wasn’t necessary. Dejah could have been more like Cameron Diaz’s character in Knight and Day, and it could have worked out fine.

      It looks to me as if the writer/director was effectivley trying to do a reimagining of the novels, with maybe some or too much input from the suits on what the movie should be like. In that regard, Dejah is like a lot of newer Disney animated heroines, the actors, rather than the acted upon. Another thought is that the one reason the plot could deviate so much from the books, is that audience members familiar with the novels could still be surprised by the movie. For me, unfortunately, the surprise was unwelcome.

  25. I am trying to figure out how John Carter got hold of the medallion before throwing it away during the last few min of the movie. Didn’t the Thern took it away and disappeared during the wedding fight scene.

  26. Finally saw J.C. and it was a fine film. Granted, not perfect, but it was enjoyable.

    I think the marketing really killed this movie’s box office hopes. For one, the title, “John Carter”, simply doesn’t garner any attention. I mean … was it Jimmy Carter’s forefather meeting up with a SciFi story or what? Sorry but “John Carter” is a pretty generic sounding name. Then, the clips of the films made it look like a Conan knock off. Well, that was already done (& was a big failure), so why didn’t the studios communicate the story a little better?

    How about this … a long time ago, Mars was alive, as Barsoom … and their legends await us, “Barsoom: Chronicles of John Carter”? Earth’s first interstellar traveler gives us a view of their world and their struggles.

  27. The jumping completely ruined any attempt to suspend disbelief. You cannot jump like that on the moon. You certainly cannot jump like that on Mars. Very distracting. It was like watching that awful “Heroes” series. It deserved to tank. What a waste. The dog? Gratuitous Ewok manipulation. Like someone said above, the director should have written a new story and not desecrated ERB’s legacy. Seriously, even if someone doesn’t care about the books, how do they reconcile that ridiculous jumping? In The Matrix, you can easily reconcile flying, because …. Neo’s in the Matrix.

    The Therns are able to teleport. The Thern on Earth could easily transport into Carter’s tomb. THIS IS A HUGE PLOT HOLE, claiming the Thern has to wait for ERB to open the tomb. HUGE.

    An utterly silly crap-fest.

    I thought a lot of the CGI was completely unbelievable with highly off putting light values.

    All of this can be forgiven if marketed to a child audience, but it was marketed to adults.

    I’ve seen better science and laws of physics in Godzilla movies. I was completely confused by Powell’s skeleton and all the dust on JC. As someone said, time does NOT pass differently in the books and the film didn’t convey more than a few weeks as having passed on Mars.

    The timeline began in 1867, right? Ned arrives in 1881. JC searched for an Earth amulet from 1871 to 1881, right? So if JC was on Mars for four years, that would explain the skeleton.

    The problem is, the movie didn’t convey that AT ALL.

    Maybe it’s me. I just wasn’t able to turn off my brain and enjoy it the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

    No. It wasn’t me. It was the movie.

    The movie demanded too much.

    I guess I should be thankful that Shia LeBeouf didn’t play the young ERB.

    I think those who were greatly pleased with the film were able to relate to it more on an emotional level and not question the mistakes.

    The commentary was SELF TORTURE. How many TIMES can a director talk about how difficult it is for an actor to pretend they are looking at a creature that isn’t there? Good lord.

    Shoot me!

    • Hi,

      I completely agree with your observations. I was also confused while watching the movie.
      1. Why the Thern was unable to transport himself into Carter’s tomb.
      2. First time JC shot the Thern, but he didn’t die, then in the end, we
      saw The Thern is dead. A bit confusing.
      3. The timeline was missing when JC came back on Earth.
      4. Movie was like in a bit hurry of no clear understanding.
      5. I was just curious if the director had shown a small shot of JC return to Mars.

  28. One more thing, though I could name many many more. I must address the “swinging a boulder on a chain” problem. Remember the Hollywood physics of shooting the Six Million Dollar Man? Steve could reach up and grab a helicopter’s landing bars and PULL the helicopter down. In reality, he would have merely pulled HIMSELF up, since his feet were not attached to anything.

    Exact same thing with the boulder. Even if you give JC massive strength to swing the thing, it still obviously weighed so much more than his body and would have pulled him along the second it left the ground, since his feet were “not attached” to the arena floor.

    All copies of this film should be gathered up and destroyed.

    There really is no other way.

  29. At the end JC beams himself back to mars. what happends next? im wondering!! hahaha!

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