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Thread: John Carter (of Mars)
September 29th, 2012, 11:00 AM #61
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As far as adaptations go... I liked it enough that I didn't feel ripped off, however it wasn't great. It hasn't been a good year for movies.
October 25th, 2012, 06:22 PM #62
Well I finally got round to it and was really disappointed. I know the books aren't great literature and haven't dated very well. After 100 years most of Edgar Rice Burrough's creative imaginings are sad, old, worked to death clichés, but even so I really think they should have stuck to the book a lot more than they did. For one thing the film took an age to get going. After a prologue set on Mars that left me going 'Duh what? I don't remember this from the book. Where did these guys come from?' a few times, we moved into a double flashback that took far too long to get the central character established. (During the film brief, tertiary flashbacks also occurred. It's an irrational dislike but three layers of flashback annoys the tits off me.) It's a full 20+ or so minutes before we're anywhere near the start of the story as it appeared in the book. By the final act I just thought it was an unholy mess and I just wanted it to finish as soon as possible. Somehow they managed to loose the very thing that made the book so captivating for me as a kid. The aged, decayed, and dwindling world sunk to barbarism and faded glories, lost cities, the whole planet dying - there's a few nods to this in the film but it's a sad state of affairs when the Asylum knock-buster version with Tracy Lords in a Princess Leia slave costume starts to look good by comparison - at least thematically (and that was **** film).
October 27th, 2012, 12:49 AM #63
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October 27th, 2012, 02:43 AM #64
I have seen both, and the Disney version is greatly superior. After seeing a number of negative reviews of John Carter, it strikes me that the treatment was too clever for the material. For example, I couldn't understand why they didn't reveal what had happened to Carter's family, but when they did finally do so, it was perfectly timed. And the double ending, the first downbeat and the second upbeat, was a genius move. There were some longeurs, and a tendency to exposition in places, but the only film better than John Carter that I've seen this year is Dredd.
October 27th, 2012, 07:51 AM #65One idea that was good and Burroughs did not think of was a group (Zodanga) deliberately tracking down resources in order to maintain their civilisation. Then again he was more interested in chivalry, romance and slaying the bad guys and gals.
October 27th, 2012, 08:26 AM #66
October 27th, 2012, 07:52 PM #67You can't copyright ideas.
One unfortunate moment I forgot to mention that helped my general headshaking despair about John Carter was the straight to camera, breaking the fourth wall moment when we first see Dejah Thoris. My mind jumped (as it would to any connoisseur of overblown, over-expensive, SF film failures) to the last time I saw an SF princess doing the straight to camera, breaking the fourth wall thing. "The beginning is a very delicate time. Know then that it is the year 10191. The Known Universe is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, my father. In this time, the most..." suddenly I was in David Lynch's Dune. Took me a bit of time to get out, especially as beginnings are very delicate times and this film's was a right dog's dinner.
* or 'homage' - depends how literate/generous you think your audience is going to be.
Last edited by JunkMonkey; October 28th, 2012 at 09:57 AM. Reason: 'forth' indeed!
October 28th, 2012, 02:52 AM #68
Dune is a greatly under-rated film. If you watch the "television version", there are hints of what Lynch was trying to achieve and had he succeeded the result would have been a masterpiece.
October 28th, 2012, 08:20 AM #69
I have watched both those versions of Lynch's Dune and you're right (once you get past the incredibly awful opening of the Smithee TV version.) Both are fragmented messes. Whether the sum of the parts would have been 'great' I don't know. I suspect they would. I'd love to see a 'restored', 'original cut', or whatever.
November 3rd, 2012, 10:51 PM #70
Just saw it and I liked it. I mean there were some slow parts but most movies that are great have some slow parts so wtf. I'm starting to realize I hate talking about movies here.
November 4th, 2012, 04:24 AM #71
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This was the long version or the regular version of Dune, SJ?
The super-long version of Dune is one of those 'holy grails' for many film buffs: rather like Blade Runner used to be. From what I remember, most of the extra footage was destroyed so the chances of seeing an Ultimate version of Dune is very remote.
Would love to be proved wrong, though!Mark
November 4th, 2012, 04:49 AM #72
There are at least three "special edition" DVDs of Dune. The UK one boasts "lynch's director's cut" and is 137 minutes long. The US edition includes both the original theatrical cut and the "extended version (directed by Alan Smithee, screenplay by Judas Booth)". The theatrical cut is also 137 minutes long, but lengths differ between NTSC and PAL/SECAM so it's unlikely the UK director's cut is the same as the theatrical release. I also have a German 3-disc "Paradise Edition" - it includes a plaster sandworm - containing (I think) a restored version of the theatrical release and a 180-minute "die TV-Fassung", which I take to be the television version. Legend has it, though, that Lynch filmed over 5½ hours of footage, but little of it was saved after the studio cut the movie for release. I have the original script for the film somewhere, but I've never gone through it to see what's missing from the finished product.
November 4th, 2012, 09:20 AM #73
November 4th, 2012, 06:07 PM #74
I actually didn't mind John Carter as much the second time i watched it as i did the first time. Don't know why.
I prefer the Dune mini-series vs the truncated Lynch over dubbed version. There are some good parts within the Lynch version, but I'm not a fan of the overall film.
November 5th, 2012, 02:29 AM #75
I watched John Carter again last night, and it impressed me just as much as it did the first time I saw it. It's not perfect - that prologue is completely unnecessary, and the bit where Mark Strong explains the plot is somewhat inelegant. But the battle with the Warhoon, intercut with Carter burying is wife, is a classic piece of cinema and beautifully done.
I didn't like the miniseries of Dune - it seemed to be the director wanted it to be Shakespeare... but it's a long way from being that. The sequel, Children of Dune, I thought much better. Some of the acting in both series was terrible, though - especially the bloke who played Gurney Halleck.