John Carter: A Flickcharter’s Movie Review

Nigel Druitt

An avid Flickcharter since 2009, Nigel is a self-described fanboy whose Top 20 is dominated by the likes of Indiana Jones, Frodo Baggins and Marty McFly. Nigel is the Canadian arm of the Flickchart Blog, but try not to hold that against him. You can find him on Flickchart as johnmason.

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2 Responses

  1. Now go back and try to say three things about John Carter without referring to any of its descendants.

    Seriously, I haven’t seen one review of this film that didn’t discuss it entirely in comparisons with other sci-fi/fantasy movies that stole from the source material. In fact, that sense that other movies got to Barsoom first is really the only review I’ve encountered. They’re all just variations of that one concept. I admit, I fell prey to it myself when I reviewed it on my own blog.

    The more I think about it, the more I feel that perhaps the proper film for comparison is actually Dracula. Nosferatu beat it to the screen (albeit briefly, before being litigated into oblivion) and essentially gave audiences the whole story of Dracula before Universal ever put their picture into production.

    Surely, all the accusations that Tod Browning’s production is stilted and lacks energy are true (made even clearer when contrasted with the Spanish language version shot on the same sets), but we do still generally regard Bela Lugosi as the definitive screen version of the count. Nosferatu couldn’t steal the thunder so much that Lugosi didn’t still carve out a place for the 1931 film.

    I thoroughly enjoyed John Carter, but I confess: I cannot think of anything it accomplished on the level of Lugosi. In many ways, it was a film set up to fail. Andrew Stanton clearly made it out of love and I left feeling I got my money’s worth (which is saying something, because I also paid for my nephew’s admission…and we saw it in 3D, which, incidentally, was kinda fun for this one). I have a feeling this is going to be a film that many skip in theaters, but will later discover on Blu-ray and find they dig it.

    • Nigel Druitt says:

      Yeah, I don’t know how to compare it to everything that stole from it’s source material. But what can you do? That’s the unfortunate result of this film’s timing.