March 19th, 2012

New Tilley Hat

John Carter: A worthy effort

John Carter is better than the book. In fact, since all the Edgar Rice Burrough's Mars books were written to the same pulp formula, I could say that John Carter is better than all the books. So I will.

"You're ugly, but you're beautiful."

Which is not to say that John Carter is a great movie. It's a good movie, and many people will admire the great things about it and others will denigrate the poor things about it all with complete justification. The movie's weaknesses are, in many respects, the weaknesses of ERB, with a few more tacked on. The movie's strengths are ERB's strengths, where new-fangled CGI technology can bring to the screen what florid language could only describe a century ago.

It's a worthy effort, and a fitting tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs. It's not the brilliant homage to George Melies of Hugo nor the nifty movie magic of the 30s serials that the Indiana Jones movies brought to the big screen. But the parts that work are really good, and if you go in with low expectations you'll have a grand ol' time.
more review, some spoilersCollapse )
So: Recommended. See it, and see it on the biggest screen you can find, before it goes off into limbo. If you've read the books, you'll appreciate how well they have been brought to life. If you haven't, you'll be swept up in the world.