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 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

Still [...] cannot understand why this jewel of a film was not a gigantic hit.

From what I've read, part of it is the director's fault. He didn't want the advertising to say anything like "From the director of A Bug's Life/Finding Nemo/WALL-E" or "From Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan;" nothing like that. He seemed convinced that it would perform on the strength of the name "John Carter" alone, but these days more people probably associate that name with E.R. than anything else. It was almost like the director sabotaged his own movie.

Plus, without a reference to it being from the same author who created Tarzan, many probably thought it looked like just a big rip-off of every other sci-fi epic that had come along over the years. It took so long to get a real JC movie made that in that time so many other films had already used various aspects of it, to the point this looked to many like it was just rife with every sci-fi/fantasy cliche. When in reality this was the very story from which all that stuff originally sprang.

In any event, the important thing is that movie was indeed terrific, although I would have liked to seen an extended edition, as reportedly a lot of footage was cut that would have better clarified certain aspects. It's one of the most entertaining and (gasp) FUN movies I've seen in theaters in a long time. I can see it being reevaluated and becoming a cult classic in the future.


I read (part of) a small ebook (John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood) that investigated why John Carter did so poorly. One main reason was the amount of marketing, which was nowhere near other big films like Hunger Games and The Avengers received. A pity; this film was a bunch of fun and could have made an enjoyable franchise. And I love the score to pieces. Here's hoping Giacchino can revisit the grand space opera style with either Jupiter Ascending or maybe a Star Wars film in the future.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 5:03 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

I'm not judging, because I still haven't seen the film, and maybe I'll love it when I do. But the people I know on the internet who say this is a great film number in the dozens, it seems. And yet the people I know in real life who saw it and enjoyed it number in the… well, zero. Nobody I know who saw it liked it. What a strange phenomenon.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 5:05 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

The marketing was horrible. The trailers DID make it look like a trashy B movie...you know, the frenetic cutting, the action clips overlaid with electric guitars. Made my wife virtually refuse to see it and made me lose quite a lot of interest. Then we saw the film and it was nothing like the trailers made it look. Even the arena scene people complain about (for ripping off Attack of the Clones...haha) worked well in context. The biggest shock was the poignancy when a big action scene in the middle of the film was intercut with John Carter's memories of burying his family and overlaid with a GORGEOUS Giacchino cue...this was lots of the same footage that got electric guitars in the trailer and turned me off, and here it is the emotional high point of the film...

...yeah, HOW was the one of the biggest flops of all time while Avatar one of the biggest moneymakers?!! All just marketing?

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 7:23 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

The marketing was horrible. The trailers DID make it look like a trashy B movie...you know, the frenetic cutting, the action clips overlaid with electric guitars. Made my wife virtually refuse to see it and made me lose quite a lot of interest. Then we saw the film and it was nothing like the trailers made it look.

This is why I refuse to watch trailers anymore...they LIE.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 7:35 PM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

The biggest shock was the poignancy when a big action scene in the middle of the film was intercut with John Carter's memories of burying his family and overlaid with a GORGEOUS Giacchino cue...this was lots of the same footage that got electric guitars in the trailer and turned me off, and here it is the emotional high point of the film...

Exactly. That part is what really connected me to the film. The music matched the visuals so well, it touched the emotions just perfectly (for me anyways). Giacchino's gotten tears from me twice now, the other time being the opening of Star Trek.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 7:41 PM   
 By:   yonythemoony   (Member)

I really wish we could get an sequel. It's not fair to people who actually knew about the books and loved the film, to having a first part incomplete and no sequel. Also, I think it's sad how Giacchino (like Desplat) can't get a franchise for it's own. Every time they tried that, the films we're box office failures.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 8:08 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Thought this was a very boring movie with a very uncharismatic lead actor.

Not surprised it was a massive flop.


Sure someone else may have been better but I thought he was fine and certainly more charismatic than say Sam Worthington who starred in a very similar movie not much earlier that actually WAS derivative...I am of course talking about Avatar, the highest grossing movie of all time.

So is someone actually going to tell me that John Carter is a B movie with A production values but Avatar is somehow different? Just because it 'takes itself more seriously' or some such? I guess Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars are B movies too...gee I wish we had more B movies like that.

Yavar


I love "B" movies. Star Wars was a high budget "B" movie. As you said Raiders was a high budget "B" movie. But they didn't look like a "B" movie. A shirtless guy running around Mars with a sword and or blaster just looked corny. Neither the previews or the visuals pulled me in.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 8:08 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

A knockout score to a knockout movie (in my opinion)...a bit of judicious pruning may have helped but hey...and and yes, I'm on board for a sequel and have been part of the "movement" since day one.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 10:41 PM   
 By:   WillGoldNewtonBarryGrusin   (Member)

Thought this was a very boring movie with a very uncharismatic lead actor.

Not surprised it was a massive flop.


Sure someone else may have been better but I thought he was fine and certainly more charismatic than say Sam Worthington who starred in a very similar movie not much earlier that actually WAS derivative...I am of course talking about Avatar, the highest grossing movie of all time.

So is someone actually going to tell me that John Carter is a B movie with A production values but Avatar is somehow different? Just because it 'takes itself more seriously' or some such? I guess Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars are B movies too...gee I wish we had more B movies like that.

Yavar


I love "B" movies. Star Wars was a high budget "B" movie. As you said Raiders was a high budget "B" movie. But they didn't look like a "B" movie. A shirtless guy running around Mars with a sword and or blaster just looked corny. Neither the previews or the visuals pulled me in.


Hmm, and guys accompanied by giant ape/dog-breeds or carrying a bullwhip are not corny?

Make no mistake - Star Wars and Indiana Jones are always in my heart. But give "John Carter" a true chance, and the film will win you over in a heartbeat.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2014 - 5:00 AM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

" Giacchino's gotten tears from me twice now, the other time being the opening of Star Trek "
--------------------------------------
David!!! You didn't cry at the opening of UP (Married Life)??
You have no heart!!! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2014 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

Gee. JC seems to split audiences right down the middle.

I have heard that it appealed more to older people than younger, presumably because older people were more familiar with the books.

I read all the books when I was about 14 or so, the perfect age for them, when tales of adventure and derring-do are more appealing, and intricacies of character and situation matter less. Not for me those Russian depressives! I dove into the works of ERB and had a great time.

So I thought, even though it took liberties with the book, especially expanding the role of the heroine, who's mostly passive and statuesque, transforming her into a more active player, I loved the movie. I actually saw it 4 times in a theatre! The first in 3-D, and the rest not.

Originally, a trilogy was planned, based more or less on the first 3 books: "A Princess of Mars," "The Gods of Mars," and "The Warlord of Mars." Disney knew enough not to use the word "princess," or they'd lose the target young male audience. Originally, the first part was called JOHN CARTER OF MARS, but that was inexplicably shortened to just the name. Why they thought that would appeal to audiences is beyond me. The publicity ended up being the most inane aspect of the film, almost as if they had no idea how to present this at all.

I also believe the film will garner greater appreciation in future. Too bad. I'd have loved to see the other proposed parts. Oh well.

And Giacchino's score is still my favorite from the past couple of years. Haven't heard any other contemporary composer write as beautifully, about anything.

(And I did later end up reading books by those Russian depressives. But they never reached that adolescent idealist so inspired by ERB's John Carter.)

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2014 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Clearly, I have to see this film. But boy, the trailer made it look like no fun at all. Serious, portentous, grim. It began with solemn music and a man in the rain telling Carter (I think) "I bring news of sad tidings" (or the like). Later, on Mars (I think), a woman ominously intones "Fate has brought you here, John Carter."

This looked pompous, not fun at all. And it was absolutely the doing of director Andrew Stanton. Having been a fan of Stanton's work, I was interested in the film, but these trailers turned me off. I guess I'm not the only one.

And honestly, it doesn't matter one bit that Edgar Rice Burroughs originated a bunch of ideas plundered in fantasy films over the years. Fair or not, those films beat "John Carter" to the screen by years. Just because I may have seen a rip-off first doesn't mean I can unsee it to find the first incarnation (produced second, or fifth, or tenth) more exciting. It's a bummer if you're a fan of Burroughs, but that's just how it is.

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2014 - 7:50 AM   
 By:   Other Tallguy   (Member)

I like John Carter a lot. But it was missing something. I don’t know what. (A leading man would be my first guess.) I don’t think it had enough of what Nicholas Meyer called “tap dancing”. Star Wars had it in spades. JC did not.

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2014 - 8:35 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Clearly, I have to see this film. But boy, the trailer made it look like no fun at all. Serious, portentous, grim.

Yeah, totally agree. Posters didn't helping either. Rest assured the film itself is a lot of fun with just the right amount of humor (and done well, not Star Wars prequel type humor).

And John Carter's leading man is much better than some people give him credit for. Certainly better than Mark Hamill came across in the original Star Wars (Han and Leia were much better characters, which is maybe why it was decided to fix them up in the sequel rather than Leia with Luke...though I do think Hamill and his character got incredibly better in the sequels.)

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2014 - 9:09 AM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

" Giacchino's gotten tears from me twice now, the other time being the opening of Star Trek "
--------------------------------------
David!!! You didn't cry at the opening of UP (Married Life)??
You have no heart!!! smile


For some reason no actual tears, but I was deeply moved. I think the main difference is in John Carter and Star Trek, the characters' lives got cut short before they enjoyed growing old and falling deeper in love with each other for many years. There's more of an element of tragedy in those two films than in Up (which still has a poignant, moving scene - I'm not discounting that), where the couple lived a nice long happy life together.
I've been through some stuff since the last time I saw it, so who knows - maybe next time I will shed a tear.

 
 Posted:   Feb 7, 2014 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   The REAL BJBien   (Member)

still hate how FLAT this score sounds on CD and how BOMBASTIC it feels on BLURAY and the mix on the disc is much more warmer, engrossing, and just the right amount of bass.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2014 - 6:43 AM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)

Clearly, I have to see this film. But boy, the trailer made it look like no fun at all. Serious, portentous, grim. It began with solemn music and a man in the rain telling Carter (I think) "I bring news of sad tidings" (or the like). Later, on Mars (I think), a woman ominously intones "Fate has brought you here, John Carter."

This looked pompous, not fun at all. And it was absolutely the doing of director Andrew Stanton. Having been a fan of Stanton's work, I was interested in the film, but these trailers turned me off. I guess I'm not the only one.



Yep, the failure does fall 100% at Stanton's feet. I walked into the theater eagerly anticipating a big old fashioned romp... but within 15 minutes it was obvious something was wrong. The humor was awkward, ill timed, most of the attempts at light hearted comedic lines failed, the character names were impossible to keep straight, the characters themselves were hard to keep straight, the plot, conflicts, threats...the finale action set piece that just lays there...

I really wanted to love this movie, I did. But Stanton bungled it beyond belief. The movie was undone all by itself... nothing was going to make this a hit.

For me, the score is the only saving grace of this otherwise wasted opportunity.

 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2014 - 6:54 AM   
 By:   WillGoldNewtonBarryGrusin   (Member)

Clearly, I have to see this film. But boy, the trailer made it look like no fun at all. Serious, portentous, grim. It began with solemn music and a man in the rain telling Carter (I think) "I bring news of sad tidings" (or the like). Later, on Mars (I think), a woman ominously intones "Fate has brought you here, John Carter."

This looked pompous, not fun at all. And it was absolutely the doing of director Andrew Stanton. Having been a fan of Stanton's work, I was interested in the film, but these trailers turned me off. I guess I'm not the only one.



Yep, the failure does fall 100% at Stanton's feet. I walked into the theater eagerly anticipating a big old fashioned romp... but within 15 minutes it was obvious something was wrong. The humor was awkward, ill timed, most of the attempts at light hearted comedic lines failed, the character names were impossible to keep straight, the characters themselves were hard to keep straight, the plot, conflicts, threats...the finale action set piece that just lays there...

I really wanted to love this movie, I did. But Stanton bungled it beyond belief. The movie was undone all by itself... nothing was going to make this a hit.

For me, the score is the only saving grace of this otherwise wasted opportunity.


Very interesting to see that you criticize everything as awkward, ill-timed or failing which I believe is extremely well done.

Just to put it in perspective: which films do you consider your favorites?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2014 - 7:01 AM   
 By:   MikeP   (Member)



Very interesting to see that you criticize everything as awkward, ill-timed or failing which I believe is extremely well done.

Just to put it in perspective: which films do you consider your favorites?




My favorites? Jaws, Chinatown, 3 Days Of The Condor, Die Hard, 12 Angry Men, Marathon Man, Star Wars, About A Boy ...

 
 Posted:   Feb 8, 2014 - 7:19 AM   
 By:   WillGoldNewtonBarryGrusin   (Member)



Very interesting to see that you criticize everything as awkward, ill-timed or failing which I believe is extremely well done.

Just to put it in perspective: which films do you consider your favorites?




My favorites? Jaws, Chinatown, 3 Days Of The Condor, Die Hard, 12 Angry Men, Marathon Man, Star Wars, About A Boy ...


Films I love, too.

Hmm.

Interesting...

 
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