The pReview Re-viewing of..
highly recommended to check out the trailer and then read!
by Jeff Finck
The premise: An ex Confederate soldier from the American Civil War, suddenly gets teleported to Mars and has a grand sci-fi adventure, sweeping across its hypothetical landscape. Along the way, Rebel Carter meets some colorful locals and saves a princess. Then they all live happily ever after! .. probably.
The movie opens up in what looks like a post Civil War United States. A young man called Mr. Burroughs (played by Daryl Sabara.. the little boy from Spy Kids is finally making good!), learns of his uncle's passing. His uncle being none other than THE John Carter. John Carter is played by Taylor Kitsch. (Another Taylor Kitsch movie on here!? See: Battleship) All of a sudden, we flash forward.. maybe backward? ..all rules are off when, in the opening line of the trailer, they tell you the main character is dead. In any case, we see John Carter wake up all Rip Van Winkle in the middle of the desert not knowing where he is or how he got there.. or why he has a full grown Man's beard. He has apparently been drawn to another world. (See: The Dark Tower) A world that looks a little like the American Southwest.. and then Egypt.. and then.. the Prince of Persia? and then.. Conan? ..oookay.. after a few shots that are blatantly from other movies.. there is a sort of Tron/Stardust hybrid.. and then back to the hits: it looks like he's standing off against the White Witch's army in Chronicles of Narnia, then an air battle with ships straight out of Stargate and Final Fantasy.. this trailer gets kind of ridiculous with what other things it looks like.
Luckily, there is a break from all of the homag-ing (ripping off?).. and we see what looks like Burroughs, sketching a lovely picture of some woman (I want to say the princess.. but it just looks like Pocahontas) after finding a door that says "Inter Mundos," which is weird.. because in Spanish, that means "(gibberish) Worlds" because "Inter" doesn't translate.. and in Latin, apparently it means "Among to Clean".. which doesn't make any ball-damning sense. I can only assume it's supposed to be "Between Worlds", and the character the movie will claim who made the sign, only had that one semester of Spanish. Remember that one semester of Spanish? Quiero una cerveza, por favor iNo quiero una *cereza*! iAy! Silly Spanish and their cherries. But I digress.. because.. you know.. Back to other scenes from other movies!
We get another shot of Conan! This, right before a Spaghetti Western version of the hobbits riding to escape the Nazgûl, as John Carter rides to escape.. the.. Nazgûl.. cowboys? Then, the princess (played by Wolverine: Origins' Lynn Collins) faces off against an alien that would make George Lucas proud. (alas, George Lucas today.. not George Lucas 30 years ago.. sigh.) And then John Carter can control the Matrix. And fly. ..apparently.
While the editor of the trailer takes us on a wankfest of imagery and scenery, surprisingly little is shown of what this movie is actually about. At one point, the lady person in this trailer says that her world is dying. (see: The Neverending Story) I assume, at one point he's gonna have to give this chick a name. John Carter is, of course, one of the only people who can save the planet. Then, on the scenic tour of the movie trailer, they cut some text together telling us that "in 2012", we should "find our destiny".. "a world away".. which is a pretty lofty ideal. I assume there will be mass hysteria when 99% of the people who watch this movie don't have their dreams come true about their destiny, and there will be riots across the world! Even in Antarctica.. because if someone or something doesn't live up to their dreams and aspirations, it's penguins. They're never going to make it to the North Pole at this rate. This ideal is given even more weight, though, when Willem Dafoe starts talking at us at the end of the trailer.. which is pretty sweet. I like when Willem Dafoe talks at me. There's just something so reassuring. He's the best. And the creepiest! But especially the best! ..and especially the creepiest.
The trailer ends as mysteriously as it began: the letters JCM.. which could be JMC.. which, I'd like to think stands for Jesus Mackdaddy Christ. But probably just stands for John "Random symbol we came up with that looks like an M" Carter. The title does slowly fade in, reassuring you that it isn't "Jesus Christ", but is in fact: John Carter. ..which falls apart when Disney rubs their balls in your face by adding even further, that this will be in 3D. Damn.
After all this jammering on and on about how this movie borrowed (read: Stole) every shot from every movie ever, I should add that this flick is based off of the 1912 serial, and 1917 novel, A Princess of Mars, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Which means, that every movie ever, actually stole the ideas from this guy's book. People like Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury all claim inspiration from Burroughs' writing. So it's only fair that the novel that has been so famously ripped off, would spawn a movie that rips other works to shreds and appropriate the pieces in a very pretty looking way! I'm pretty curious about checking this out in the theater. JC has a strong supporting cast, despite neither of the film's leads having a whole lot under their belts to draw in the crowds. Not to say they couldn't draw a crowd, but the supporting cast has Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, James Purefoy, and Bryan Cranston. Plus, Disney usually goes all out with their budgets, so if nothing else, it will be full of eye candy. But, as much bitching as I was doing, I think it will be a pretty decent experience. I know I'm gonna check it out! Fingers Crossed!
Release Date: March 9. 2012
(did you like what you just read? tell me! or tell me you hated it! either way.. opinions are fun. share them!)