Thursday, December 1, 2011

John Carter Trailer

For the few of you who haven't yet seen it, here it is:



Naturally, I have some fan boy complaints, chief among them being that Dejah Thoris is neither red nor incomparable, but, based on what this trailer shows us, the movie looks like a seriously good faith effort to bring A Princess of Mars to the silver screen, which I cannot help but applaud.

43 comments:

  1. I don't understand the reasoning behind making the Red Martians white. I mean, what are they going to call them?

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  2. Yeah, I don't get that either. I had hoped that maybe they'd do some post-production tinting to the skin of the actors playing Red Martians, but that doesn't seem likely at this stage. Ah well.

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  3. I suppose you could argue that they look red compared to the Green Martians... ummm... sort of... It does look good, though.

    That said, I just wonder why the soundtrack is Kashmir AGAIN. Fond as I am of a bit of Led Zep, can't these people think of another song that says majestic menace?

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  4. It looks fantastic to me. But I'm an unapologetic optimist, and don't feel particularly critical today.

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  5. The "almost Red, perhaps a little Orange" Martins are yeah weird, but I'm also very optimist at this point. Barsoom's visual is both realistic and yet surreal – I think that what I want to say is that the movie looks real, and not your usual computer generated extravaganza. I still believe it can be a great movie and a nice (and maybe even original) take on ERB’s novels.

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  6. I'm disappointed that Dejah isn't running around nude for the whole movie. :P

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  7. Any opinions on another actress that you think would better fill the "incomparable" characteristic of Dejah Thoris (keeping in mind this is a Disney film...)

    And how "red" are the Red Martians from the books? I only remember Dejah being described as something like "light reddish copper" in color or some such thing (but I've only read the first book many years ago)? Didn't get a great look in the trailer, but there seemed to be a sort of reddish-orange tint to some of the people. I guess that would be close to reddish-copper.

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  8. I can't wait for the movie to come out. Coincidentally, I read A Princess of Mars for the first time this past year. It was great to see that John Carter referred to himself as a "fighting man" many times throughout the story. Obviously, Mr. Burroughs was familiar with the OD&D class when he wrote the book....

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  9. I'm still very nervous about this film, because I loved the books. While the trailer looks within the bounds of acceptability, we get no idea of plot or characterization. In other words, I want a good story, not just millions of dollars worth of effects.
    Oh, and I totally agree, Dejah ain't lookin' anywhere near my idea of "incomparable." Frazetta must've spoiled me.

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  10. She did appear to have some sort of red markings (tattoos?) along her shoulders and upper arms, perhaps it will be a common thing among the 'Red' Martians? overall, I thought the trailer was interesting and this one goes on my list of must see at the theatre. And she is much more 'incomparable' than Tracy Lords, at least. :D

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  11. And as far as the trailer goes? Well...I can't say it's overly unique or anything. But maybe that's the problem...the source material has found it's way into so much more SF as inspiration this trailer can't help but come off as appearing like a mix of 'Avatar' with the arena sequence in "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones"

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  12. that dude sorta looks like a young Val Kilmer

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  13. It's disney, the movie will be moderately successful (like the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe) and then the will market the sequels as christian allegory to the straight to video crowd. JC=jesus christ. I can see the hints of it already.

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  14. I'm only really dissapointed in the look of the green martians (not fearsome looking enough, not tall enough). They look kind of like one of the lame aliens from the Phantom Menace pod race.

    I also wish Mars looked a little different from the American deserts, but I get sort of a feeling they are going purposefully for that similar look. Maybe to confuse John Carter at first when he arrives for impact?

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  15. Myabe they're supposed to be sun-burned? Bloody typical of hollywood though.

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  16. It seems really computer-generated to me. I felt like I kept looking around to find something real on the sets.

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  17. Any opinions on another actress that you think would better fill the "incomparable" characteristic of Dejah Thoris (keeping in mind this is a Disney film...)

    I'm honestly not sure -- partly because I don't watch enough contemporary movies to be able to pick out actresses and partly because I'm not sure it's even possible to find a real human woman capable of living up to the adjective "incomparable." All I can say is that I think the actress they did get for Dejah Thoris looks too ordinary. The princess of Helium needs to be exotic and otherworldly rather than dime-a-dozen Hollywood attractive.

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  18. I'm only really dissapointed in the look of the green martians (not fearsome looking enough, not tall enough). They look kind of like one of the lame aliens from the Phantom Menace pod race.

    I (mostly) agree but I'm trying not to nitpick, since I'm pretty sure the changes to the Tharks was to make them easier to accept as characters.

    I also wish Mars looked a little different from the American deserts, but I get sort of a feeling they are going purposefully for that similar look. Maybe to confuse John Carter at first when he arrives for impact?

    It could be that, but my gut feeling is that the director wants to "ground" the movie a little bit in reality, especially since the thing will be CGI-ed to death in other areas. Again, it's not what I'd have done but I'm trying to be open-minded about it, because it's clear that there was a genuine attempt to get Burroughs right in this movie and that buys a ton of goodwill from me.

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  19. "...Oh, and I totally agree, Dejah ain't lookin' anywhere near my idea of "incomparable." Frazetta must've spoiled me..."

    And you can't expect something sexy from Disney. I am afraid we'll have to settle for "cute" for Dejah Thoris. Nothing incomparable (or princely either) there.

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  20. "Any opinions on another actress that you think would better fill the "incomparable" characteristic of Dejah Thoris"

    Sofia Vergara: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-omarjwrxeZc/TcrFjfOHHtI/AAAAAAAAAXI/gCxmw3xa7So/s1600/sofia-vergara-09-f.jpg

    Not that I mind the current Dejah.

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  21. I'm only really dissapointed in the look of the green martians (not fearsome looking enough, not tall enough). They look kind of like one of the lame aliens from the Phantom Menace pod race.

    I love the look of the tharks and can't express how glad I am that they aren't bulked up like Lou Ferigno. As to the Red Martians -- White Earthlings are really more pinkish and Black Earthlings are mostly brownish, so how literal do we need to be about Martians? If anything is the wrong color, it would be Mars itself, which I'd like to be genuinely red. And if that toadlike thing was meant to be Woola, then I'll be disappointed. But overall, I'm excited about what I've seen so far. I tend to be very cynical about this sort of thing, but if the trailers are to be believed, Disney might have nailed it for me.

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  22. Looking at Dejah Thoris in the trailer, she would be "incomparable" to the typical earth woman of 19th Century America, who are wearing full-length dresses, hoop skirts and generally covered up and probably not wearing make-up.

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  23. Al said...
    "Any opinions on another actress that you think would better fill the "incomparable" characteristic of Dejah Thoris"

    Sure she looks sexy enough, but can she act? Most models can't and the ones who have been given chances in lead rolls have fallen flat on their faces. It's not as easy as you think.

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  24. chief among them being that Dejah Thoris is neither red nor incomparable

    But does she still have eggs lying around on the roof of her palace waiting for John Carter to come around and fertilize? That's the most important question!

    (You can keep your Lovecraftian horrors from beyond time and space. The fact that Dejah Thoris laid eggs and John Carter thought this was worth only a passing mention creeped me out as a teenager.)

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  25. I'm not sure what one expects to see when the adjective "incomparable" is used... but whomever they had playing Dejah Thoris in that film looked mighty purty to me. Maybe if Burroughs had called her "The mighty purty Dejah Thoris"?

    I'm looking forward to it. Native Americans (whom the politically incorrect may call 'red men') don't really look 'red' to me either. I'm what a lot of people call a 'white' person but my skin really isn't 'white;' it is a sort of pinkish/beige color.

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  26. The earlier trailer that included some scenes of Carter on Earth and the Peter Gabriel soundtrack made this look much more interesting to me- a little more mysterious and less afflicted by the hyperkinesis of most modern action films. Maybe I just find Kashmir less atmospheric having heard it more times.

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  27. Like with the modern "Conan" I want to truly PUKE... IMO, Burrough's work was cinematic enough it should have been made 100% from him being a Civil War vet hiding from Indians on a bad gold hunt to the colorful splendor of Barsoom. And there have to be TONS of pretty, healthy/fit women to be a better Dejah Thoris.


    I'm so sick and tired of all these things. The media money-men just buy out properties and then they regurgitate them, taking great care the "Story" is nothing and trying to make up for it by special effects. And Disney's the worst. If they had to face their own expansion on the "Copyright" laws...


    Matter of fact, it WAS Disney that kept this out of theaters... From what I understand they kept the movie rights from at least the 70s to the 90s for an animated project but did nothing...


    This is what we have in a world where monopoly laws aren't enforced. A few huge companies cooperate rather than compete. They block everything else from "Their" markets and when their bland sh-- doesn't even sell then scream for money from the government which it gets them as long as a bunch of propaganda threads are kept. (like drugs are bad, mmmkay? Show cops as always indestructible by civilians, etc.)

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  28. Well color me impressed. Maybe as a relative newcomer to the series I'm less spoiled by Frazetta but I think the Dejah they got is definitely a fox and a half.

    Also that cover of Kashmir is really badass and I want a full length cover of it.

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  29. It seems really computer-generated to me. I felt like I kept looking around to find something real on the sets.

    Really? The first trailer was accused of looking too much like the American SW (Utah to be exact) because the CG wasn't finished yet. To be honest, the setting is what appears LEAST computer generated to me.

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  30. To be honest I was badly disappointed when I first saw the "Martian" desert. I grew up in central Australia so I had a strong image of what a red desert can look like here on Earth - I expected that as a bare minimum for Barsoom (and totally didn't get it). But this trailer I didn't mind so much. The tharks were very cool, the airships likewise, and just as if not more important there was some snips of extremely promising dialog.
    Can't wait to see this.

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  31. I like it so far. Dejah is red enough for me, and I can understand why she is wearing that much clotches. I'm also happy that the green martians don't look like four-handed giant orcs.

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  32. "Sure she looks sexy enough, but can she act? Most models can't and the ones who have been given chances in lead rolls have fallen flat on their faces. It's not as easy as you think."

    Check out Modern Family.

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  33. @Ravenheart: Yeah, I wouldn't want the characters to be dressed skimpily. It should be everyone naked all the way, or not at all. Frazetta loincloths and bikinis are missing the point.

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  34. I don't know. I think I've had "my" Barsoom shaped too much by the Marvel Comics version; at the very least, Carter ought to have a cultured-looking proper haircut instead of wearing his hair all Conanish. And the Tharks do seem a bit malnourished, don't they?

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  35. Malnourished? Not a bit. They seem _alien_, as they should. If they had more typically human proportions, it would make them seem more typically human. Not to mention that they are desert nomads who lead a very hard life. Lean and mean is the perfect look.

    In fact, I appreciate the fact that none of the characters, including JC, are beefed up for the sake of beefcake. JC is a superhuman on Barsoom, but he was pretty much Joe Averagephysique on Earth. It would have been the easiest thing in the world for Disney to cast a bodybuilder in that role, but they didn't, a move that IMO shows admirable restraint and respect for the character.

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  36. "White Earthlings are really more pinkish and Black Earthlings are mostly brownish, so how literal do we need to be about Martians?"

    This. We've called earthlings "red" and "yellow" for centuries.

    Ever seen a "redskin"? My grandmother was Seminole. I can assure you she was not red.

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  37. re: incomparable.

    Remember that when John Carter met Dejah Thoris he hadn't seen a human woman for quite a while, and indeed didn't know there were any on Mars.

    (I'm currently working on a verse version of A Princess of Mars, and a side-effect of that is that I'm bursting with fannish theories)

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  38. re: malnourished Tharks.

    They probably are malnourished - they live in the desert on a dying planet.

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  39. @Chuck: She wasn't white either, though. It always comes across as a little bit weird when Hollywood changes characters to be white.

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  40. Fast Company has an article about the John Carter trailer that appears to be interesting.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/pics/john-carter#1

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  41. To be frank, I don't think the Green Martians look alien*enough.* They look more like cartoonish humans with extra arms, tusks and no noses than the fierce, monstrous alien race they should be.

    That and Dejah Thoris are my only real complaints about the film, though: everything else I'm happy to put up to different interpretations.

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  42. As someone who actually saw the movie- I liked it a lot.

    Some thoughts:

    Deja Thoris did indeed come across as incomparable. Hot, smart and not a wilting princess at all.

    The martians are MUCH redder than John Carter- he looks pale and they look like they have a very tan/borderline native american skin tone.

    Also, the Zodangans use blue banners, while the martians of Helium are, wait for it, the Red Martians.

    All in all, I liked it a lot.

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  43. @John: nor are the Martians in this movie white.

    They're red in precisely the same way people on Earth can be.

    They're considerably darker red in tone than the human, wear red bodypaint (or they're tattoos), and follow a red banner.

    Thus, they're "red martians".

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