Jeff watches John Carter – 3

Draped in baby Tharks. I love it, and he is gentle with them.


Now the star of the movie arrives WOOLA ! He looked like a potato in the posters, but is great on screen.


“You killed him with one blow” which we heard Tars say in the trailer. It’s part of how this one the small scene compresses an awful lot of the first part of the book. This may be a quick whitewash over the movie that some people really wanted. From what we’ve heard, Favreau’s version was more intimate Planet of the Tharks take. I’d be good with that. What it doesn’t address, as you look at A  Princess of Mars, and the whole trilogy from a distance, is that is wasn’t written as a trilogy. Other than Carter finally rescuing Dejah and making it safely back to Helium. Okay, it wraps up, but he wasn’t writing Princess with three books in mind. I’m sure some of you have heard me say that I think Princess goes way off the rails after the atmosphere plant. The whole Zodanga thing is like a different novel and most of what I loved about Princess isn’t in that portion at all.

phonjto    pjhoto

To put my money where my mouth is came up with my own ‘fix’. While in the Warhoon arena/city, John Carter goes all Spartacus and leads a slave revolt. In this version Dejah is in that same city. Carter sends a freed Thark to Tars Tarkas for back up while they mount an attack on the Warhoons. The Thark army’s arrival clinches it. Successful, they travel to Helium where John Carter returns Dejah to her home. He’s united humans and Tharks and changed things on Barsoom. Zodanga could be the next novel. Yup, a completely different series.

Anyways, you can see that I’m torn. Most of Princess ( to me ) is John Carter with the Tharks, Dejah and running around the dried ocean beds. And the scene mentioned above sums up many scenes from around pages 29-80. Not all of it, but spread throughout. That’s about a third of the book. And I think that’s what many wanted to see. But you still Zodanga. And they’re making a trilogy. So I get it. To make a trilogy you have incorporate Zodanga, the pacing is different and some stuff goes. I think they tried though. A lot of Princess has John Carter rising to you yet one more battle challenge and getting more prizes for his award shelf.

Back to the Movie !

In many ways the architecture in this setting looks exactly like what I’d expect to see.  phoLto

If you think about it too hard this is one of those scenes you just have to take on faith.  and I’m not criticizing,  but Tars Tarkas concern about “who is to blame” seemed to be about Woola. Or is that just me ?  Perhaps Calots are not allowed in the party room ? Oh –  I just thought of it right now, maybe Tars is upset that his new pet John Carter has escaped. That’s probably it.

There’s a flashback when John Carter is unconscious to the time he left his wife and child at home, I’d say doesn’t sleep very well.

Great use a of the Thark’s four hands when John Carter gets slapped in the head from one and then an another one from another angle.

Sola getting tortured/branded – now I get what the marks are. This scene is a great tragic gift when John Carter is trying to reach out to her. He really cares that she’s in pain.


Okay the movie really rocks now the Flyers are attacking! Sab Than has a lot of female crew on the ship good for him!


I did not get the Thark bookie at all (which is John Favreau ) I got that gambling, but not the bowl. That’s probably because I’m like a 10-year-old about gambling so it went right over my head.


If I was making this movie I would go through the process of really trying to figure out how strong John Carter is how high can you jump. I don’t think I make the same decisions as they did for the movie, but I can’t say for sure not having gone through it. That said,  when Carter says “she’s a human !” and he takes off to go save Dejah, it is kind of cool. He gets a lot of momentum built up like he’s going from trampoline for trampoline, ramping up momentum until he’s at quite the height. Hell of a first meeting.

I really like how the scene when Carter hits the ground with Dejah and they first meet. I think that was one the reshoots ( and for the record, I have no problem with reshoots, I don’t know why it’s not standard… )

When Carter says “maybe I should get behind you” she gets really close to him.


And when she runs away and jumps down the slope he’s just charmed by her – smitten the second he sees her.


When Carter jumps onto the Zodangan ship, I’m a little conflicted about how he treats the soldiers. Is he being kind and not tearing of the pieces or is it filmmakers choice to keep him human ? Oh, he throughs one out the window. Guess not.  This is related to the jumping, how strong is he ?

The stills that I saw before the movie opens of Carter on the Zodangan ship , long hair blowing and the blue sky behind him made me think of Luke Skywalker in returning the Jedi. Kind of a cool job juxtaposition.


I have read a complaint that the movie doesn’t show an example of ‘real marksmanship ”  ( yea, that’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of A  Princess of Mars…. ) but the Tharks don’t shoot Carter, so they’ll have to settle for that.

Ha ha Favreau gets hit in the face! ( I really Jon Favreau actually )

I love the look Dejah gives John when she sees him wearing all the Thark gear and the shrug he gives back.

Yet again another example of Carter’s true nature he can’t help but protect Dejah even if he doesn’t want to fight for the Tharks.

Okay – done for today.

5 responses

  1. Good thoughts again. I don’t understand the criticisms that others have for John’s high jumps when saving Dejah. Now if he’s jumped straight up to the ships from where he stood by Tars, then yea, that would be ridiculous. But like you said, he really picks up momentum and it’s stages building to the high jump. I loved it! Felt like I was living the book!!

    December 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

  2. Brad

    David Schwimmer of Friends fame also had a Thark Cameo. I am not sure but I think that was his voice which sounds the alarm to Tars saying, “Jedak Flyers!”

    I love the movie but there are some things that bother me. One is the timeline indicates that John Carter was on Mars for 3 years but as I watch the film it feels more like 3 weeks. Another is the Tharks are always using their swords to cut chains and leather straps. They have four arms can’t they tie a knot? This seems very wasteful when they are short on resources.

    Jeff I am enjoying your JC watching posts keep them up.

    December 13, 2012 at 10:47 am

  3. Thanks – next up, John and Dejah talk. Are they reading the same script ?

    December 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm

  4. I like the way that John and Dejah meet. And I really like the Thark design. A friend of mine thought the Tharks were too thin and spindly… but I buy it. Bulk of arm does not automatically equal strength and endurance.

    I do have a problem with JC’s jumping, though. To me, it seemed like the Stanton or the writers wanted to give JC a “superpower.” I know that the gravity is less on Barsoom, but the jumps that Carter is able to make in the battle scene look like he’s traveling half a mile. (Its been a while since I read the novel, but I seem to remember Burroughs saying Carter could jump something like 150 feet.) These jumps in the film just seemed like they were so totally out of line with the gravity difference between Earth and Mars, that I had a hard time accepting them.

    January 31, 2013 at 3:19 pm

  5. I love the Carter/Thoris banter! It really sets the stage for the idea that Dejah Thoris being the tough princess that she is. It’s implied in the novels but it’s not shown enough. Lynn Collins really drove it home with this scene – well done. 🙂
    Interesting juxtaposition – I was thinking more about Tarzan but Star Wars works here too.

    February 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

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