2112.net and m.poulet and I made the Nerd Sci-Fi Ciné Club of Paris outing last night for John Carter. While not a chef d’oeuvre in the scifi genre, it was a pretty decent movie. Yes, they could easily have cut 45 min or so out without crippling the plot, and lovey-dovey scenes between John and Princess Dejah got a bit annoying, but it was still entertaining for a Disney effort. To describe the overall atmosphere, it was like Avatar meets Star Wars meets Ben Hur. There were martians (the tharks) that are tall, lanky, and cranky like the Na’vi except they were green and hate flying. There were canyon flying scenes and cool Star Wars-ish ships and exotic desertic scenery. And the color saturation and music gave the picture an overall feel like a 50’s epic film in the Spartacus/Ben Hur style complete with an arena fight with two killer giant gorillas which we see on the movie poster to the left. Disney can’t claim credit for the story idea – that was purely from the rich imagination of Edgar Rice Bourrough (also papa of Tarzan as m.poulet pointed out) and whole concept was perhaps the most appealing aspect of the film. 2112.net is from Virginia, so he was chuckling throughout the film with all the references to the Confederacy and with John Carter being from Virginia himself and all. As for the acting, well, it wasn’t as bad as Iron Man 2. Most of the characters were one dimensional (especially Dejah who was particularly bad). I got a bit fed up with the actor playing the title role as it seemed he really, really wanted to look like Johnny Depp most of the time. I think I already mentioned that the vehicles and decor were all really cool. The thing is that it did drag on sometimes. All of us agreed that a little less conversation and a little more kicking ass would have helped raise this from an shrugishly good movie to one that we’d wanna watch again.
[UPDATE: 2112.net found the following article on the web after I wrote this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17442200. Looks as if Disney didn't bet the store, but they may have lost a farm or two on this one.]
Next up: The Anger of the Titans, The Avengers, Prometheus…and The Hobbitt. How about a hand for 2012 which sees the return of geek films after a lousy 2011? Anyone?