John Carter Blu-Ray Review

Listen To The After The Show Podcast Review Here.
The Movie: 7.5/10
I want to go to a planet where there are beings almost like humans, but they are green, with 4 arms, horns, and other appealing alien type features. I want to encounter a society of humanoids who have been around for millions of years controlling and thriving on the destruction of planets. Do you know where I can accomplish all of these things? Oh, never mind, I’ll watch John Carter again to escape to some very groovy Martian world adventures with a hint of American history woven through just for fun.

I can’t go in without mentioning, out of context, that there is a city, a WHOLE CITY on a mechanical device that is terrorizing everything in its path. It’s so friggin’ cool. I wanted more of that city, more of it’s inner workings, more of it’s destructive powers to be welded, more more more more..what a very impactful image. Great work people.

On to the rest of the stuff. The story was written a hundred years ago by a dude who must have had a very interesting internal life. His head must have been so full of science fiction must have been a bit of a challenge back in a time before the sci-fi concept gripped humans here on our little planet. To tell a story about oppressed people, a princess caught in a political drama involving the very survival of her own planet, it’s just cool.

The cast is OK, not fantastic, but there aren’t any failures that I can remember. The voice acting for the CGI characters is all excellent, along with the motion capture. The special effects have soooo much potential and a lot of it’s really great, and then there are the horrible moments that need a lot of forgiving. I won’t focus on the annoying bits and pieces. It’s got more fun and excitement that outweigh the negatives.

I really had a great time going to Mars with Mr. Carter. He’s not such a powerful leading man, but I suppose that’s the idea. He was a Civil War soldier looking for some trouble, so he’s not super dynamic. He’s set up to be quite the fighting type, free spirit, independent, enemy of authority. So, dropping into a place where the fate of the people and planet depend on the freedom of the least powerful race may or may not be enough to spark his hero fire inside. He does get riled up and fights for the right to be free and all that good stuff.  It’s actually pretty hard to describe. There’s a lot of politics and rivalries and maneuvering to get to points I was confident I knew what exactly was going on….no I’m not an idiot, but there are movies that get a little too blurry in the chess mentality of power and control for me.

There is a scientist princess, her father willing to make her marry some jerk to save the planet, and a mysterious bald guy with an electric blue weapon of destruction. Seriously, what more do you want from your sci-fi? OH, wait, there are completely awesome Tharks, the vicious green Martians that do not resemble anything we have ever thought about “green martians”, ever. They are brutal, primal, strong, uncompromising, and they look fantastic. Sola, the daughter of the leader of the Tharks is my favorite character in the whole movie. She’s brave and bold and compassionate. She’s clever and interesting, more interesting than anyone else. I would LOVE to see a movie just about her!!

Ultimately I enjoyed John Carter a lot. I was mesmerized by the place and the people and the technology. I wanted to go there, and I don’t always want to go to the strange places in movies.  I want more of these Martian folks on the big screen, so come on people, watch it, enjoy it, stop bitching about it!!!

Features: 7/10

  • Disney Second Screen – Got an Ipad or a Laptop (sorry no love for android users) watch the movie as your second screen device gives you a ton of information and beautiful imagery.
  • 360 Degrees Of John Carter – A superb half hour on the set documentary. Learn about the costume and Makeup departments and then take a tour of the set with Andrew Stanton.
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Andrew Stanton – Ten deleted scenes clocking in at around 19 minutes show that sometimes it’s a good idea to remove parts from a movie. The saving grace here is an alternate opening that uses the princess as the narrator a much better idea than the random voice used in the final movie.
  • Barsoom Bloopers – Two minutes of not so hilarious bloopers, oh well.
  • 100 Years In The Making – A ten minute piece on the life of Edgar Rice Burrough’s life, lots of interviews with other filmmakers including John Favreau who was once attached to John Carter.
  • Feature Commentary – Andrew Stanton takes you through the movie in great detail, hes also joined by producers Lindsey Collins & Jim Morris. This is not your usual “let’s get this over with” commentary track  as it’s quite obvious Stanton is extremely passionate about getting this 100 year old story on today’s screens.

Cover Art and Menus: Cover 2/10  Menu 6/10
The cover is awful, boring, crappy. I would NOT have it as a poster in my house. The menu is actually quite good, but does it really matter these days? Let’s get over the need for special packaging and just make good movies and make the DVD’s/Blu-Rays cheaper!!!

Audio & Video: 9/10 (By Ascully)
You really cannot fault the 1080P AVC encode that Disney has put together for John Carter. This simply is as pristine as it gets. Detail is so extraordinary crisp you can see every single pore on the aliens skin during any of the Mars sequences. Some of the CG in the movie is questionable at best and the fantastic transfer does not help in this regard. I really enjoyed John Carter and it makes me think why so many people dislike it, I mean its the best parts of Star Wars mixed with a little Indiana Jones and throw in some Dances With Wolves for good measure. What’s not to like?

The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track will literally rip your room apart. From the opening narration to the final action sequence the audio simply does not let up. If you are looking for something to show off that home theater you simply need to give this disc a spin. Like the movie or not there is no denying the visual and audio thrill that is John Carter.

Value: 5/10 (at full price) 8/10 (online rental)
I would say to read the books, yes, it was a book so go look it up. After that rent the movie, download from an online rental service, just don’t give in to the big corporate bullshit and pay the $20 and more that’s stamped all over it. I’m not picking on John Carter for the price. I’m making a statement to rock the entire capitalistic structure of over charging for entertainment…deal with it.

Overall Score 7/10