Monday, June 20, 2011

Another movie I'll be avoiding - John Carter of Mars.

Ugh.  Work is going on to make a movie about John Carter, the Warlord of Mars.  While I wouldn't mind seeing my hero on the big screen, this will probably be a skip for me.  There is no doubt in my mind that I will tempted to see it if it isn't in 3-D.  Will I succumb to the temptation, knowing full well beforehand that I expect this to be a stinkeroo?  Disney is behind it, which bodes well.  I loved That Darn Cat.  Listen to the swinging opening music below, sung by Bobby Darin at the end, as you read along... Take time to watch; the visuals are nice too.  He is a darned cat, and Disney knows how to tell a story.

All of that said, I don't have any high hopes for a John Carter movie.  I don't think it will translate well.  People said that about the Lord of the Rings, too, so I may be wrong.
Pixar may be involved, I don't know, I lost interest reading about it.  I was crestfallen to know that I will be tempted to spend my money to see, yet again, a rehash of the adventures of one of my adolescent, fictional role models.  There is no doubt in my mind that it will be sexed up, updated, and the story's premise made irrelevant, something on which to hang special effects.  Do I sound bitter?  I've sat through too many super hero movies, none recently, and none filmed in New Orleans (Green Lantern), but I'm the kind of cat who, if burned once, is twice shy.

I'm not saying there isn't room for more than one interpretation.

The good news is that many people are not familiar with Edgar Rice Burroughs' literary output besides Tarzan, so this will be an opportunity, if done correctly, to introduce his oeuvre to a new generation.  The good news is also that Disney is involved, so at least the film will be entertaining.  The bad news is also that Disney is involved; they did make a Tarzan movie, television show, plush tows, etc. that bore scant resemblance to Burroughs' creation.  I doubt there was a run on Tarzan's original printed adventures.  Kids would find them dull.

A little Frazetta to end this essay:
That's John Carter and Deja Thoris.  There is nothing dull about them if they aren't watered down and made accessible for movie-goers with short attention spans.  The story is not about explosions.

See you at the theater in 2012,

Image of the Gods of Mars and the second illustration ("John Carter of Mars) copyright resides with the artist, Michael Whalen, and, presumably, Del-Rey Publications.  They are used here to show what John Carter and Barsoom should look like.  The third illustration is probably copyright Argosy Publications, or whatever conglomerate owns this defunct fiction house now.  Likewise, it is included to illustrate a complementary vision of life on the Red Planet.  The final illustration is copyright Frank Frazetta.  'nuff said about that.

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