Walt Disney Pictures,

Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Bryan Cranston, Polly Walker, Daryl Sabara

John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is a Civil War soldier. While trapped in a cave, he wakes up on Mars, an earth-like planet covered with sand and rocks and in the middle of civil war. John Carter meets a Princess who is need of his help. Though his only thought is to go home, he finds he can’t resist staying to help fight to free the planet and save the princess from a fate worse than death.

Occasionally there is a movie that we just fight with. John Carter is one of these. I never made it to the theater when it was out. It came and went pretty fast. Originally ordered for delivery from NetFlix, I got the old “Very Long Wait” thing, and it WAS a very long wait. Finally when it was shipped, I found the envelopes in my front yard, ripped to shreds and the DVD’s long gone, stolen. I notified NetFlix, and figured I’d pick this up from the Redbox rather than trying to get another one shipped out to me. But I didn’t get around to it. Finally after all this time, I got the movie and got to watch it. I have to admit, I had great fears about this film. After all, it was one of the biggest box office bombs in Disney history. I am not sure why it did so very poorly. Perhaps the story didn’t resonate with people, or perhaps it was the lack of very big stars in it. I’m not sure. Perhaps people just don’t like pictures about Mars, who knows.

Edgar Rice Burroughs must have had his own concerns as he wrote this under a pseudo-name. But the stories were pretty popular, sparking a series of stories. This was originally titled John Carter of Mars, but later changed to John Carter, possibly because Disney had an aversion to movies with Mars in the title (Mars Needs Moms!), but perhaps more likely because they thought it would hit pay dirt and start a whole series of movies. Unfortunately that’s not likely to happen.

This is an adventure story, with lots of interesting CGI characters, and battles. There are special effects galore, and an interesting storyline. I didn’t think this movie is nearly as bad as the box office showed. But it’s certainly not a great movie. Disney’s been looking for a big hit series like the did with Pirates of the Caribbean, but this isn’t it. The actors do a well enough job, but some of the story is just confusing. I don’t think we develop enough of a connection to any of the characters to really care about them, and it just is not hitting on enough cylinders to keep the thing running. It’s worth catching on cable or for a quick rental, but its sad that this film just didn’t live up to the hype. I did enjoy watching it, but it just isn’t that memorable to stick with you for the long haul. I wouldn’t want to sit through it again.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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