It’s the big weekend for Disney, and Pixar director Andrew Stanton, as Stanton’s live-action adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel A Princess of Mars finally hits theaters. John Carter is a film that has been many, many years in development, and finally sees life thanks to Stanton’s interest in the story. Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong and more make up the cast of the film, which follows a Civil War vet (Kitsch) who is transported to Mars, where he meets a smokin’ hot princess (Collins) and is drawn into an alien civil strife.
In our review of the film, Angie praised the loving care devoted to realizing the film’s world, even as she was less than impressed with the overall narrative structure and central character. But enough about our thoughts, and enough about Disney’s marketing of the movie, plans for sequels, or past versions that never came to be. Let’s talk about the John Carter that we have here and now — hit the jump to voice your thoughts on the film, and go into the discussion knowing that spoilers lie ahead. Read More »
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Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2012 by Angie Han
On a surface level, there’s much that Andrew Stanton‘s John Carter gets right — much more than you’d expect, given Disney’s exasperatingly incompetent marketing campaign. The visual effects are imaginative and seamless, the action is appropriately flashy, and the source material by Edgar Rice Burroughs seems rich enough in mythology to make even the most jaded sci-fi and fantasy geek drool. All of that, however, can’t make up for the fact that beyond its intricate trappings, John Carter feels oddly hollow. Somehow, the director who once brought us Finding Nemo and Wall-E fails to evoke emotion in his first live-action outing.
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Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 by Angie Han
With exactly ten days left until the opening of John Carter, Disney has released what I’m assuming is the final trailer for the film. And while I haven’t loved all of the previous marketing, it appears the team has learned from its mistakes because this is probably the best one they’ve released so far. The new trailer is heavier on menacing Mark Strong, eye-popping action, and plot, and lighter on Taylor Kitsch‘s stilted readings of generic dialogue. Watch the video after the jump.
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Posted on Friday, February 24th, 2012 by Angie Han
We’ve seen what seems like a fair amount of footage from John Carter already, between its various teasers, trailers and TV spots, but today we’ve got a somewhat longer two-and-a-half minute clip to show you — plus another two minutes from a new sizzle reel. The scene sees the titular hero (Taylor Kitsch) and Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) battling white apes in a huge arena, while the reel that includes some new bits we haven’t seen yet. Check it out after the jump.
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The latest film from Abel Ferrara, one of the most dedicated indie filmmakers working, is 4:44 Last Day on Earth, which presents a story in which the world is about to end. Willem Dafoe and Shanyn Leigh play a couple living in New York, and we watch as they live through what may be their last hours, as the world is supposedly going to end at 4:44 AM the next day. Reviews of the movie weren’t great when it premiered at festivals last year, but this trailer is fairly convincing.
It’s taking me a minute to get past one thing in this trailer, which is that it seems to feature a new song from Tom Waits. That’s not the case, though — the score, and the trailer song are by a guy named Francis Kuipers, who sounds a whole hell of a lot like Waits.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and a video for the song contained therein. Read More »
While on the Utah set of John Carter, a group of journalists (including myself) has the opportunity to interview to the cast and crew. On the following pages, you can read the interviews we conducted on set, transcribed in full:
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I visited Mars almost two years ago. It was April 2010 and the film set was in the middle of nowhere. Finding Nemo/WALL-E director Andrew Stanton was making his live-action debut John Carter, a big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘s novel A Princess of Mars. There had been many failed attempts to bring the material to the big screen, but somehow Stanton was able to convince the studio heads to let him be the one to make the adaptation at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Disney flew a group of journalists into the Las Vegas airport, where we boarded a shuttle bus to a location five hours away. A location so far away that we were no longer in Nevada. Located at the center of the Grand Circle, Big Water Utah has a population of only 417 people (which probably explains why you didn’t see many John Carter set photos). The set was located out in the middle of a desert.
You wouldn’t have any idea a big Hollywood production was being shot in town, aside from small yellow signs that read “BARSOOM” which help crew members find the small dirt road which leads to the set. And by set, I mean a few structures which have been constructed on the grey dirt in the middle of these large brown hills made of sandstone. Barsoom, of course, is what the Martians in the books call their home planet.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 by Angie Han
I haven’t been quiet about my ambivalence toward John Carter, Andrew Stanton‘s live-action directing debut, but I think I’ve finally figured out what my problem with the film is: the dialogue. Or at least, that’s what I’ve come to suspect after watching this new 60-second TV spot. The new video downplays the talking bits and highlights the action, and perhaps as a result, it may be my favorite teaser / trailer / commercial for John Carter yet. Watch it after the jump.
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