Saturday, March 10, 2012

John Carter ~ Review

John Carter ~ Review

I went to go see John Carter last night. I went with my husband and brother-in-law. My husband and I both enjoyed the movie. My brother-in-law could not let go of two things long enough to really enjoy the film for more than its effects. He could not get past the issue of the “science being wrong” and the alien species having such similar behavior to humans.

The film is largely based on A Princess of Mars, the first novel to feature the hero John Carter. The story was originally serialized over six monthly installments, from February through July 1912, in the pulp The All-Story; those chapters, originally titled "Under the Moons of Mars," were collected five years later as a hardcover book from publisher A. C. McClurg. In both the novel and film John Carter is a former American Civil War Confederate Army captain who is mysteriously transported to Mars, which is known to its inhabitants as Barsoom. In the course of his first adventures there Carter learns the planet is dying from the loss of its atmosphere and water. Only a peaceful alliance of its intelligent but volatile inhabitants can save all the species of Barsoom from extinction, a goal he sets out to achieve.

This story follows John Carter from being a selfish, war weary loaner to being a man of action reaching out to help others. On earth and on Mars John is always a man of action and able to think and act his way out of most anything.

As the story unfolds you get to slowly know more about John Carter and what makes him such angry man. You watch him fall in love and decide to go beyond his pain to reach out to help the one he loves save the planet she loves, even if that planet is Mars.

Where this movie can lose people is the science. Remember when this story was written knowledge of the planets was conjecture with little real knowledge. Man had not traveled in space or sent rovers to take pictures of Mars. What people knew was what they could see looking from earth up at the night sky with telescopes that by today’s standards would be considered children’s toys.

If you can get past the science and relax enough to accept that there is air on Mars and intelligent life both similar and different can live there. Not only do you find human life, looking just like us you find a giant green skinned, 9 foot tall, 4 armed creature. You also find an evil life form that is able to change appearance at will. This evil life form wants to destroy Barsoom/Mars and then Earth.

What kept me interested in the movie was John Carter himself. Not the actor with his good looks but the character. You can see the pain at the beginning as he is introduced. You see his determination to not get involved in any fight that does not directly affect him. You watch him grow and some healing happens as he falls in love with both the Princess of Mars and the planet Barsoom.

If you can get past the science and enjoy a classic good story of good vs evil and love conquering all then by all means go see this movie! I highly recommend it. If you are so analytical that you can’t let the science go and accept air on Mars then don’t bother.

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