Post Green Day.

So after work yesterday I connected with friends in a cool hipster type bar which seemed blessedly devoid of St Paddy’s day revelers ( I can say this being part Irish ) but they did have green beer. Several green beers later we wobbled into the movie theatre beside our bar. This was my second viewing of John Carter and their first.

I think I may have enjoyed it’s even more than my first viewing. I was even more emotionally invested ( almost embarrassingly so ) than the first time. I still gaped wide mouthed  in a complete ‘holy tharkman it’s Barsoom ‘ kind of way, but I also responded very strongly to both the film maker’s love of Barsoom the so very ERB details filling every nook and cranny of this fine movie. If some think ‘this ain’t ERB’ they need to see it again and really absorb what a wonder of ERBocity this is.

The other half of my over the top emotional response was to – the emotional content of the story itself. John and Dejah’s arc worked wonderfully for me, as did moments like Carter trying to reach out to Sola when the Tharks are beating her, John’s personal battle between what he wanted and what he had lost and many others that I can’t even remember now. I’m even more in love with this crazy movie of mars than I was the first time out. My friends were very enthusiastic as well, which made it great evening for all of us. I can’t wait to see it yet again. And again and again…..

A final note – we had to wait in line to get in, and the theatre was full. The lobby featured the International poster, which combined with the packed theatre made me feel more part of that international audience despite my knowing that Canadian box office is  part of the US box office. They also had a D-Box ( shaky seat ) display pushing John Carter and the giant screen displays were showing John Carter non-stop. We were sitting right behind those so our explosions were epic too. – Jeff


11 responses

  1. Scott Dutton

    I sat right in front of the D-Box seats at my second viewing. Really? Vibrating beds in a theatre? What will they think of next? Smell-O-Vision?


    March 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm

  2. Princess of Mars

    I watched the D box version with my nephews & it was a wonderful experience ( you can control the intensity as well.) . It was definitely worth the extra admission price 😉

    March 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

  3. I found the vibrating rather invigorating…..

    March 18, 2012 at 8:21 pm

  4. Gur Tus

    Just returned from taking my adult nephew to the show — my third, his first. Afterwards he was taken aback by how much he enjoyed it. Just the best movie he’s seen in quite a while. He’s a technical musician and sound engineer by trade. Wants to see it again. Liked Woola and enjoyed the humor. He was grateful that John Carter didn’t get left on Earth, he said that would have been the worst possible scene.

    I noticed more and more this time the way John Carter’s internal struggle kept coming back, not counting the flashbacks, just the number of times the rings were seen or his hesitations at giving Dejah Thoris a commitment to fight for “Helium.” It is a much fuller telling of the story than I would have expected and more satisfying.

    Now when should I hit the theater the fourth time . . .

    March 18, 2012 at 9:01 pm

  5. I saw it on Saturday for the first time as well. I was hoping that it would’ve been six people, but it ended up only being two. I saw it with my brother and he liked it as much as I did! 🙂

    March 19, 2012 at 12:34 am

    • That’s great ! I just caught that you were having a hard time getting there, I thrilled that you did ! 🙂

      March 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm

  6. *Spoiler*

    During the scene while John Carter is fighting the Warhoon with bodies piling up all around him there are also flashbacks of tragic memories of John Carter’s past on earth. The first time I watched the movie these flashbacks didn’t mean that much to me because I was so engrossed with the action of seeing John Carter be the John Carter I remember. The second time I saw the film I took a closer look at these heartbreaking moments and it actually brought tears to my eyes. The story arc of John Carter overcoming his past and moving on with his life has turned into a positive addition by Andrew Stanton and company in my opinion.

    I agree 100% with you Jeff when you talk about being more emotionally invested with the second viewing. I have now seen the movie 4 times and moments like I described still pull at my heartstrings.

    March 19, 2012 at 6:54 am

  7. Xodar

    This movie was as far away from the books as it could possibly be. This movie only slightly resembled the books that took me to barsoom. For a movie that seemed to have so much promise in terms of the talent the direction it failed miserably.

    The nature of the characters relationships to one another were either terribly distorted or just plain changed. In the movie tars starts off as the jeddak of the tharks and tal hajus takes it away from him. This deviates completely from what tars was like during the books. In the books tars was the greatest thark warrior only second to John Carter, and easily defeated tal hajus to avenge his lovers death.

    Stanton also failed to develop the relationship between john and dejah. Making their relationship be driven by john carters quest to get back to earth. Where in the books their relationship is driven by John’s utter infatuation with Dejah thoris. In the books John Carter is never driven by his desire to return home.

    Stanton also fails to develop and flesh out the martian culture. e.g. he never explains the nature of martian dueling and weapon choice, why the tharks are the mirthless creatures that they are, and the marriage customs on mars. The biggest issue for me was the lack of fighting. If you have read the books then you would know what I am talking about; the books were incredibly violent and were almost in themselves a homage to the god of war. The scene with John battling the warhoons was fantastic, but that was about it.

    There is still a great deal about this movie that really is nothing like the books and grinds my gears a bit. I know im coming off a tad harsh but understand i had so many hopes for this movie and it met none of them. I do realize that others who have read the books could have enjoyed this just because a movie was finally getting made, and there is a part of me that feels that.

    March 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm

  8. Sorry that it didn’t work for you. I have to say that I think they took enough time explaining things… I’ve seen it twice and will again. ERB is there in the details and the actions and – I could go but I have stuff to do. I honestly feel that straight A Princess of Mars movie would be sort of cool, but pretty meandering – just like the book. I think they were trying to make a trilogy work and polish of some of the rough story edges. I loved the movie, but I do see as an alternet telling of the tale. Perhaps it’s the ‘real’ story while A Princess of Mars is Carter and ERB’s fictional, edited version. Carter does say in the intro that the people of Earth are not ready for the truth….

    March 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

  9. Rudy

    Really, really tired of guys like xodar getting on every site possible to trash the movie. Not interested in your negativity. Wrong on all counts…and not enough courtesy to keep it to yourself!

    I have seen it four times…it holds up well, and very much captures the magic from the books. In fact, my sense of wonder was awakened for short while. Thank you Mr. Stanton and crew!

    March 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

  10. I will say ( seeing a response to Xodar here ) that I do wonder if I’ve read your review on Facebook. That person too seemed unusually concerned with ‘the customs of Barsoom as though the movie needed a moment out to explain things. Oddly enough there are two complaints, usually from the same person. 1- there is too much exposition, 2- I don’t know what’s going on. The lack in understanding rests completely on said fools head, but I don’t think talk about customs would enhance the movie going experience for anyone.

    Perhaps a second viewing will reveal to you how amazingly, wonderfully, and deeply Barsoomian the movie is. Laying down a sword for someone is there, the wedding chains, I can’t think of more right now, I need more coffee.

    On a personal level I have no idea why Tars relationship with Hajus matters to you. They hate each other just like in the book. I have NO IDEA why you think they need to explain the Tharks cultural mode. Now that I’ve written this, I do remember that Hajus does comment on their view in the movie.

    Unlike the book the movie doesn’t move from a battle scene, travel a bit, have another duel, travel a bit … I love the book, it’s my favourite book of all time and hugely influential on my life. But it is certainly not the best book I’ve read. The book really is a series of events that eventually end. The plotting goes WAY off track around the 3/4 point and that’s something the filmmakers have had to deal with. Pulling elements in from the later books does create an over arcing plan that is more familiar to contemporary audiences and sets up future adventures. Remember, ERB never really rewrote APOM ( at least what I’d consider a rewrite ) it’s a polished first draft.

    The movie is more complex than the book and it really moves. It has a larger scope and a larger plan than ‘John will lead a bunch of barbarians to raper plunder and massacre an entire city so he can save his girlfriend.’ That always seemed a little extreme to me…

    So my impression is that you’d prefer more and bloodier battles, more obvious formality, less plot and less character. I’m sure you’ll say I’m wrong. More like Spartacus perhaps ( which I haven’t seen ) – I’ve picked up that viewers that are the kind of people who ( cough ) perhaps enjoy things like Civil war re-enactments or are long time members of the SCA are the most likely to have these sort of issues with the movie. My concern was that it would follow the book tightly and be big and noisy and sort of cool but not touch my heart once. This version has a strong emotional core completely lacking in the novel while still delivering a wonderful Barsoom. It’s not a perfect movie and there are things from the novel that I miss, but I wouldn’t want them if they broke the pacing of the movie.

    I can understand a certain amount of shock at the changes in scenes and events from book to movie, but if you think of 5 different people telling the same story you know they will tell it in different order and with different focus. As I said above, I view the novel as John Carter’s edited for public consumption version of the tale, not the whole truth… – Jeff

    March 23, 2012 at 8:36 am

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