Amph John Carter (of Mars)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by StarDude, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

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    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5


    I'll just repeat what I said earlier...in essence, the jury is still out...until the weekend of March 9th.

    I can tell you this much, Disney's not skimping on that poorly focused marketing campaign. In one 48 hour
    period I saw at least a dozen commercials on the net, on cable TV and on broadcast TV. Because it's a
    250 million dollar movie, they have to run a saturation campaign. I'm sure their main prayer is, "please
    God, let this at least OPEN with a respectable first weekend."
  2. Vengance1003 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2006
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    [image=http://www.iwatchstuff.com/2012/02/22/john-carter-mondo-poster.jpg]

    Anyone see the John Carter Mondo poster? It looks pretty cool!

    I've heard from reviews that this movie is pretty good so I can't wait to see it.
  3. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Yeah, that Mondo poster is the first thing to come out from the film that actually looked very good (especially considering i tend to hate the style of the Mondo posters I've seen- but the JC poster is a completely different style than the others so it actually works). Looks like the cover or back cover to the type of pulp books this originated from.


    The problem isn't the infrequency of the marketing- I've seen tons of TV spots and the trailers run quite often in theaters. It's the quality.

    If they want a respectable opening (or, better yet, a chance that this'll break even), they need to completely reboot the style and approach of the marketing to date immediately. New trailers, new TV spots, none using the same music or generic approach.

    They need spots focusing on the story- introduce the concept of him being sent to Mars from Earth to establish a point of reference for the audience. Tell us just what exactly is the "EVIL rising" they keep talking about in the trailers/spots (because, the whole "we did not cause this but we will end it" makes no sense since we don't know what was caused).

    And they have to stop using those awful "You are John carter of Earth?"/"Yes Ma'am" and aforementioned "we did not cause this but we will end it" lines. Those aren't hooks- the former sounds terrible and latter sounds like another bad Braveheart rip-off speech (how many of those ever work? Braveheart and 300 are among the few- even ROTK's equivalent was arguably adequate at best).

    In short, they have to stop making it look and feel like Masters of the Universe (without Skeletor) meets Galaxy Quest (without the humor).


    There's this fan trailer that;s been getting a lot of buzz on various sites the last couple days. It's certainly more effective than the official trailers (though hampered by some of the same elements, but it's not like he had much to work with) in revealing what the movie's story is actually about. It may be a bit over hyped in quality, IMO, but it's a step in the right direction.


    EDIT- And after looking into a few things, it looks like what I described above is exactly what Disney is trying to do now, ha.

    This spot is headed in the right direction (ok, it still uses that one line, but even that feels like it's been re-timed to be more punctual). And I just saw another on TV in this style that shows what i assume to be the bad guys mining the world or something, as well as giving context to the gladiator scenes (plus it doesn't use the "end this" line either).

    Maybe there's hope for this one yet.
  4. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

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    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5


    Is it just me or do a lot of the arena scenes in the John Carter commercials and trailers
    look a lot like the arena scenes in Attack of the Clones?

    John Carter Featurette
  5. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Absolutely. Though not in a good way.
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    Yes the resemblance is striking enough to look deliberate. But why would Disney want to draw parallels in its marketing (or in the movie itself) between John Carter and the least successful of all the Star Wars movies?
  7. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Well, I think their focus was on the gladiator angle, but it's hard to do that an obscure the Mars/Geonosis similarity in appearance and the bug-like look to the Martians(?).
  8. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

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    Aug 4, 2008
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    Personally I don't care how similar the imagery of one film is to another, esp. when the earlier film drew from the same source material as a newer film. AOTC is less than 10 years old; the Mars series was written in the early 20th century.

    Moreover, the major question for me is not "has this image/idea been seen/done before?" but "is the final product any good or not?" The primacy placed on so-called "originality" (which in cinematic terms really only means "has an individual reviewer or audience member been exposed to this pre-existing property, idea, character or setting before?") is far overstated, IMO.

    Quality, not originality which is an illusion anyway, is key.
  9. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    Since I first posted in this thread, years ago, I've gotten back into the novels. They're fantastic and I reject any attempt by a studio as risk-averse as Disney, in a film that is not rated R for extreme violence, to capture anything of the spirit of the novels. The books are pulp orgasms of explosive violence, extreme energy and vibrancy. This movie looks like a kid's movie; the Green Men look stupid, Taylor Kitsch does not have the gravitas to play a thousand year old hero, the real nobility and honor of John Carter looks to be replaced with a campy kind of "aw-shucks" demeanor, and, while this is rather subjective, I'm going to go ahead and say that Dejah Thoris needs to be a heck of a lot more beautiful than the actress they picked. I mean, this is the most beautiful woman John Carter has ever seen and he's been alive for thousands of years. I've seen women prettier than that girl and I live in a small town in Oklahoma. :p
  10. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

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    Wow, way to tear apart my hopes and dreams. :p

    It's been over 20 years since I read the novels (I only read two of 'em) so the details aren't clear, but my memory comports pretty well with what I've seen in the trailers, and I like what I see. Gravitas and 1000-year-old wisdom may be difficult to achieve in a 20-something actor, but who knows? The dude may yet surprise us once we've seen his whole show.

    And you know, even when Rodriguez was set to direct this thing I never expected it would be heavier than PG-13. Explosive gore-fests do not do well at cinemas unless they are horror films, and given the choice I'd rather see talent and craftsmanship on the screen than blood splatters and offal. That execrable Conan re-make had more bloodshed than a SAW sequel and it was all kinds of awful. Just give me a good damn movie.
  11. quiller Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2005
    star 2
    AS a young kid I was a avid fan of these books and other ERB, as an aside to my horror just two years ago I lost (flood water damage) my collection of ERB paper back's, from the early 40 through 70's I had all but 4-5 of ERB's books in total, and three complete sets of John Carter, and two sets of Tarzan.

    Any way I am excited about the movie just to relive a little of my teenage years, but agree with you that Taylor seems a little miscast to me, a little too much like Conan but I do think the action part might work okay depending upon the skill of the director in alluding to the levels of violence present with out actually showing it. It seems some of the Scify nature of the books is coming through, I loved the concept of the flying ships, complete with GPS and cruise control, as presented in the books, and brought out in some book art. Surprisingly though I have no problems with the actress playing Dejah, the image works for me. [face_peace] I also feel now is the right time for these movies as CGI is improved enough to bring all the alien species to life much as ERB wrote them.

    Still I also find it strange, that no mention of the main names that associate with the books, Warlord of Mars would work much better in my mind the just plain John Carter? What also is interesting is that yes there are 11 books but John Carter only has a main role in a few of those, the first three and a couple more before the last one.

    I also would love a more faithful Tarzan but frankly there are other ERB works that would be great now, Beyond the Farthest Star comes to mind.
  12. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

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  13. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    I'm sure there was a valid and strategic marketing though process that went into choosing "John Carter." They want to establish John Carter as the franchise the way Lucas established the Indiana Jones franchise. It's a direct analogy.

    John Carter ... and the Warlords of Mars or John Carter and the Swords of Mars, etc.

    Of course we shouldn't forget that in true Lucas fashion he went back and renamed "Raiders" long after he had firmly established Indiana Jones as an iconic franchise anchor.

    So, although it was likely a well-considered marketing decision, it was the probably the wrong one.
  14. JohnWesleyDowney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    Yeah, I think that makes sense. A simple name for the initial branding.

    The vignettes look pretty good to me. I wasn't as impressed with the trailers,
    but the brief scene clips make me think the director understands this material and
    knows what to do with it.
  15. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    The music sounds great. And Woola looks pretty good. I mean, Woola is supposed to be the Martian equivalent of a dog in personality and yet also be totally hideous and I think they did a good job with the design. I was afraid he'd look too cute, but he actually is pretty ugly, but his movements look great, very doglike. I particularly liked the way he flopped down on his entrance. I don't think Tars Tarkas looks right, though, and Kitsch doesn't either. It's a tossup whether he looks more ridiculous with the beard or without. On second thought, however, Dejah Thoris is growing on me. I suppose it makes sense that she isn't classically beautiful, on second thought; there is something a little odd about her looks, which I initially didn't really like, but on longer thought, she does need to appear at least somewhat otherworldly and she kind of does. Also, I recognized Mark Strong as the Thern from his voice alone. I didn't know he was going to be in this.
  16. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Yeah, Mark Strong has barely been in the previews, if at all, until recently.

    Also, a new trailer went up today. An improvement over the previous ones, though it does seemingly show almost the entire gladiator beast battle. Still has that one bad line in it (poorly chopped to make it a different line), though. No hint of the earth link, still, more clarity and urgency are presented, which is good. Still feels abbreviated though.

    And have we ever had any major film get a new theatrical trailer only 1.5 weeks before it's release? The only audiences that will potentially see it (depending on the theater) before the film comes out will be those that see Project X and The Lorax.
  17. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

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    That close-up of Mark Strong looks odd to me - almost like a dutch angle. But that's minor.
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

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    It still superficially looks like a Conan the Barbarian sequel. It's the same actor, right? Only last year's Conan was a $90 million movie that flopped at $49 million worldwide and John Carter is a $250 million movie that could potentially flop at around $49 million worldwide. And then we'll have to wait another generation before Disney tries another all out assault on science fiction.
  19. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    It's definitely not the same actor- Jason Momoa is much taller and more intimidating looking than this kid.
  20. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    Mar 3, 2005
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    30 year old kid?

    This is the last vestige of the Hollywood trend of "Villain must be Mark Strong," no? It was shot years ago, so it makes sense.
  21. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Sorry, my mistake- he looks much younger than 30. And him playing the "sailor dating my daughter" angle in the Battleship trailers doesn't help him (or my assessment of his career choices ;)) any.
  22. severian28 Force Ghost

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    Apr 1, 2004
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    Does anyone know if its 250 million dollars worth of cinematography and f/x shots or is 250 million dollars because of post production nightmares?
  23. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Force Ghost

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    Mar 3, 2005
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    There was an allegation going about that Stanton didn't try to approach it as live action and would just keep shooting stuff anew as they went along or some such. Not with the actors I'm guessing, but the visual effects stuff. That could be baloney, though.
  24. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

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    Jun 4, 1999
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    There's a lengthy interview with Stanton here in which he discusses, among other things, his process; the transition from animation to live action and how his experience with the former shaped how he handled the latter; how he approached the adaptation of the books. . . anyway, it's long but worth a read if you're interested in the film.
  25. Blur Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 1999
    star 4
    Great article - Thanks for the post. I've never been more than a casual fan of the ERB Mars books after having read several of them years ago. However, now that the new film is looming, I've gotten re-interested in the franchise, and have re-read the first novel (Princess of Mars), and I also got the new Marvel Omnibus reprinting the entire excellent & underrated late '70's John Carter of Mars comic series.

    Just to address the questions re: the title "John Carter", instead of, for example, "Johh Carter of Mars", I read somewhere online that this may have been done because the string of "Mars"-related films that came out around ten-twelve years ago (i.e. Ghosts of Mars, Mission to Mars, Red Planet) may not have done well in the box office, so leaving out "Mars" from the title of this new John Carter film may have been because of that - however, as far as I can tell, this is pure speculation.

    Here's my big question: Why is a big budget film like this not getting a cool action figure line? This seems strange, unless no toy company wanted to invest in a line promoting the film because they're afraid the movie won't do well.

    The only time we've ever gotten ERB Mars action figures was back in the '90's, when some characters came out as small sub-line within a series of Tarzan action figures (from Trendmasters). These figures were interesting - though, it would be nice to see a line of good quality figures based either on the characters from the new film, the novels, or both.