Thursday, July 14, 2011

John Carter Trailer

For those who haven't seen it, here's the trailer for the John Carter movie. All in all, it's excellent in my opinion. I really like the inclusion of Edgar Rice Burroughs as a character, which, like Carter's civil war origins, provides a vital frame for understanding the story.


Naturally, I have some minor quibbles but nothing on par with my feelings about The Hobbit or Conan the Barbarian. As always, the real proof is in the movie itself, but I get a very good vibe from just this short taste of what's to come.

47 comments:

  1. I can't help it. I don't wanna build it up in my head and be disappointed, but I'm stoked.

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  2. Personally I'm totally the reverse. Despite having Michael Chabon and Andrew Stanton attach this trailer is selling me off the movie. It looks just like every derivative barbarian in the desert film ever made. I hope it's just a bad trailer.

    On the other hand, the dwarf character photos they've been releasing are great. There's a mixture of comedy and threat and a great deal of playfulness. For once we're not going to get yet another bunch of Disney dwarves.

    That said, I agree about Conan. I can't think of anything good about what I've seen of that.

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  3. This looks pretty good to me. Hell we can complain about it all we want but most will see it anyway.

    Hobbit, I have faith in Jackson. It will turn out charming and fine.

    Conan looks good to me so far. The trailers have vastly improved for it the last few months. I'm liking what I see.

    It's going to be another good year for movies through next winter. And Sherlock Holmes too. :D

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  4. I'm with bighara. I'm not a HUGE Burroughs fan, but what I've seen so far looks great. Finally got a shot of the green martians towards the end of the clip. Looks nice. Color me excited.

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  5. It is a great cut. I agree that adding Burroughs into the frame story is a sharp move. I confess I always imagined Carter as taller and more severly chiseled in the face, more aristocratic, but that's the pulp covers' influence and the mannered prose. Love the theme song.

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  6. The trailer does look good but somehow, in my mind, I always pictured the Mars from the books more...well, more red. I hope they add more red tones to the earth and the sky, with today tech should be easy enough. As it is now, I can't help but to think that what I'm seeing is Earth and not Mars.

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  7. There's not enough there to guess as to whether it'll be good or not, but I don't see anything to suggest it'll be bad either. The Green Martian looks a little goofy, but my mental image of them never matched their descriptions in the book anyway. The Red Martians seem peculiarly white-skinned, though I guess just how red-copper they are is up to interpretation.

    And of course, everybody's wearing clothes. Boo!

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  8. Looks good so far. Bit worried about the CGI.

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  9. I sent the link to the trailer to my parents. My mom is jazzed for JCM. "At last they have the technology to do it right!" was her comment.

    That did catch me off-guard a bit, I hadn't realized my mom had read the books. :) My dad owns copies of 10th/11th printed paperbacks, so I knew he'd be into it...

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  10. I could nitpick. Mars looks like a location shoot in the Utah desert dress with a couple dozen "alien" plants. Carter is clothed; Carter is not tall, black haired nor grey eyed; The Green Martian's tusks seem to grow from his ears not his mouth; Green Martian is missing his antennae-like ears.... But based on the trailer I'm cautiously optimistic. It already looks closer to Burroughs' novel than any Tarzan movie has ever come.

    I don't understand the hair though. Tarzan, John Carter and Conan are all black haired. Hair dye is cheap and plentiful. Why can't movie makers at least get that right?

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  11. That looks pretty awesome. Dejah should be topless, though!

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  12. While I would applaud the choice of full frontal nudity for all cast members as both true to the book and an excellent step forward in social standards, there'd probably be one or two minor rating issues so I can understand their reluctance.

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  13. Here's an interesting behind-the-scenes/press junket article with some nice pictures (Thark Maquettes!).

    It's refreshingly cautiously optimistic with some nitpicks.

    http://www.aintitcool.com/node/50322

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  14. That looks great! The only thing I don't get is why they removed "of Mars" from the title (but kept the logo, apparently). I mean, "John Carter" as a name isn't terribly evocative. "John Carter of Mars" on the other hand, is evocative as all hell. You'd think they'd have learned the lesson of "Michael Clayton." Great movie, boring title.

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  15. I'm jazzed despite how goofy the one martian showed looks. Maybe he's just a wussy Grima Wormtongue type? All the earthly period location stuff looks great, but I am hoping they are adding more redness to Mars in post-production.

    I'm totally sold on Defoe's voice for Tars. Just wish we had seen him. Oh, and the ever awesome Brian Cranston as Carters commanding officer just makes my heart soar. Hope that scene pays off too.

    But where is the cave Carter dies in? And what, no arrows sticking out of him?

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  16. Oh, on watching again I realize that Green martian that is briefly shown looks a hell of a lot like one of the very lame aliens from the pod race in Phantom Menace. Most of those creatures looked like cereal box mascots from the 70's. I hope that ain't Tars, for gods sake.

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  17. At the 54-second mark, for just a moment, John Carter is shown holding two swords. Two swords! That's double-wielding!

    So, obviously, this movie will suck and everybody involved with making it is a total loser.

    Or not.

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  18. My first though was "Oh, gee. Another barbarian swordsman movie with slow-motion effects." I hope I'm wrong, but this looks distinctly "meh."

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  19. Mars not red? Depends on your definition I suppose. Mars Pathfinder seems to indicate it's a lot less red than Hollywood would have you believe: Pathfinder Photos

    Not that we should let 21st century science get in the way! ;)

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  20. They got my attention with the understated theme song, which emphasizes the dream-like aspect of Carter's astral travel to Barsoom.

    They got my tentative approval with the airships.

    Perhaps we'll have the luck for this movie to do well, inspire interest in real-world Mars, and end up naming the first Mars Lander "John Carter." If Carter can dream of Mars, so can I. More likely, if it does well, Disney will go on with another Carter movie: The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.

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  21. Stuff I like: the Thark looks like a Thark (if a bit Phantom-Menacey, hopefully just unfinished SFX), the airships look fantastic, the architecture looks great, Carter's costume is excellent, the stuff on Earth looked good, the inclusion of Burroughs is a brilliant idea, the little I saw of the Thoats and Calots in the distance looked perfect.

    Stuff I didn't like: Everyone is wearing too much, I don't dig the tattoos at all, that bit with the bluey-liney-thingy bothered me, Mars doesn't look alien enough.

    Overall, I liked it. Better than what I've seen of The Hobbit, and infinitely better than anything I've seen from Conan.

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  22. I just read a startlingly good short story by Geoff Ryman, "Film-Makers of Mars" (from his new collection, PARADISE TALES). I'd recommend it to any ERB fans, particularly those interested in the question of adapting the Mars books for film...

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  23. Just comparing it to the Conan trailer, it's, like, a whole different thing.

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  24. It looks like a generic barbarian movie set in the southwestern United States.

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  25. Taranaich said...
    Stuff I didn't like: Everyone is wearing too much

    Maybe this will satisfy some of your needs:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsawq3PBMms

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  26. I'm with Revenant; I have no idea what you guys are raving out. You can't tell if it's Mars or Arizona. In fact the brief Civil War chase clip is clearly set in the southwestern states and it looks the same as 'Mars'. And the CGI Martian is awful, what little we see of him.

    So far, both Conan and The Hobbit look far more compelling to me than this.

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  27. Dejah Thoris is a huge disappointment.

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  28. Dejah Thoris is the most beautiful woman on Barsoom. Since the trailer doesn't show us any other Barsoomian women, we just have to trust them on that. This being a Disney production, maybe all the rest look like Cruella Deville or Ursula the Sea Witch. For what it's worth, I thought she looked fine.

    This doesn't look like my vision of Barsoom, but I'm willing to cut Disney a lot of slack in that regard. Barsoom is a very exotic setting open to many interpretations. This one at least looks compelling.

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  29. "Maybe this will satisfy some of your needs:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsawq3PBMms"

    For as bad as that film is (and it's bad), I can at least say that it's not as bad as I feared it might be. Traci Lords was a truly awful choice for Dejah Thoris. Considering the terrible quality of the movie overall, however, it's oddly faithful to the novel in some key ways.

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  30. I'm hoping this trailer is just a teaser to keep the film in the public eye while they grind out some more impressive visuals than what we see here. That Thark looks mighty goofy. The film's vision of Barsoom seems a little dull and conservative, which is disappointing given Andrew Stanton's pedigree. I was hoping it would scream ALIEN WORLD, but it seems tame and low-budget, maybe more like John Carter of Albuquerque.

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  31. The Asylum Princess of Mars is pretty cheesy but it cost under $1 Million. Will the Disney $100 million movie be 100 times as enjoyable? I have my doubts....

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  32. The Disney version cost $100 million? $1 million for leather clothes, $500 to drive the cast and crew to Barstow, where'd the other $98,999,500 go? Catering?

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. @Revenant

    Probably somewhere in the 110 minutes and 22 second that you or any of us haven't seen yet.

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  35. I guess, but normally the expensive stuff ends up in the trailer.

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  36. I literally teared up watching this. Maybe I'm glossing over the flaws, but it looks damn good to me. The choice of score and the retention of the framing device are both brilliant.

    I love the original books (at least the first seven or eight of them; the last couple are bad) to death, and have since I was a kid. You know that passage in OD&D where Gary talks about the books which inspired it, and writes "Those wargamers who lack imagination, those who don't care for Burroughs' Martian adventures where John Carter is groping through black pits... ...will not be likely to find DUNGEONS and DRAGONS to their taste." That bit there? That's talking to me; except that I read it many years later than discovering Barsoom or my love for D&D, as I started with Mentzer. It was only later that I found out Gary and I both loved John Carter's adventures, and saw that obviously they had an influence.

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  37. I always pictured the Mars from the books more...well, more red.

    Me too. I am hoping that this is a case of where the trailer is just showing us some pre-effects footage and that the final release will be tinted red so that it doesn't just look like Utah.

    We'll see if I'm disappointed or not.

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  38. At the 54-second mark, for just a moment, John Carter is shown holding two swords. Two swords! That's double-wielding!

    I believe Carter sometimes fought with two weapons in the books, though one weapon is usually a dagger or something similar. The Green Martians, of course, can fight with multiple weapons.

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  39. They got my attention with the understated theme song, which emphasizes the dream-like aspect of Carter's astral travel to Barsoom.

    What I found most interesting was how calm this trailer was. It wasn't busy or action-packed and I really liked that. It lent a "serious" tone to the whole thing that I approve of.

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  40. Dejah Thoris is a huge disappointment.

    She is a bit underwhelming, I agree, but then, truly, what human woman could portray the incomparable princess of Helium?

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  41. I agree about the serious and dreamlike quality of the music. We'll have to see how the actress is, but on first glance I like her. She's got a regal, dignified, proud kind of beauty. While I might think that some Brazilian or other exotic (young Monica Belluci?) sex bomb might better represent the concept of a woman of literally incomparable beauty, I think personality, bearing, and acting chops have got to weigh in. Not to say that the combination of both is impossible; if there IS another, younger, Monica Belluci out there somewhere, I'd be happy to have her. But we don't want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

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  42. But we don't want to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    Absolutely. I'd much prefer someone who doesn't look the part who acts it over the reverse.

    Besides, there's more important issues to worry about, like if they pronounce "Dejah" correctly. :)

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  43. Prince of Scorpion Apprientice: The Titan Sands of Sorcerer's Barbarian. Blah blah blah.

    It _does_ have Mark Strong in it though. But I'd rather see John Carpenter of Mars.

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  44. It actually looks a lot like The Last Samurai (on Mars).

    A stranger in a strange land is the only one that can save them!

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  45. Maybe this will satisfy some of your needs:

    Oh lord, don't remind me of that damned movie...

    But I'd rather see John Carpenter of Mars.

    You mean Ghosts of Mars? Now there's a film that had a fantastic concept and terrible execution.

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  46. "A stranger in a strange land is the only one that can save them!"

    Well, that's the core conceit Tarzan & John Carter: Ruling class outlander teaches the savages what for. Granted, Greystoke is a savage before he gets rehabilitated in high society and can then travel back and forth between civilization and wilderness, but he's a much better savage than the indigenous population. I love those stories, but prefer Conan as primal man putting the effete elite through their paces.

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