Tuesday, January 31, 2012

John Carter News Bits 4-Tharks on Thoats!

More news for your week.

First some newly released concept art has shown up at http://www.itsartmag.com/features/johncarter-conceptart/. You can check out all of Woola's teeth, Dejah Thoris' wedding gown and more there.

Also hitting the net is the Super Bowl spot for John Carter! Well actually a sneak peek at the spot, along with a new contest to win tickets for next year's Super Bowl. Some new footage shows up so take a peek and see if you can spot them!. And if you want to enter that contest go to http://nfl.com/johncarter for more info.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Comic Review: John Carter-A Princess of Mars #4-5

Still catching up on the comic reviews. Today we get a two for one deal.

As issue 4, "Flight!" opens, John Carter has just survived his time in the Thark arena when he is pitted against captured Heliumite Kantos Kan. However a clever ruse on Kantos' part allows both to escape unharmed and John continues his quest to find Dejah Thoris. Along the way he meets up again with Woola, discovers the Atmosphere Plant, finds out Dejah is now engaged, arrives in Zodanga, takes flying lessons from Kantos and promptly crashes into Dejah's room, and vows to put a stop to the wedding with some uninvited guests...

Which leads to issue 5, "Revolution!" where finds that Tars Tarkas has been busy-he stabbed Tal Hajus in the back and is now ruling the Tharks. At first reluctant to help, he agrees when he hears the Zodangans have his daughter Sola captive. And well you can guess the rest-John and company crash the wedding and rescue the bride. But a last minute complication results in John returning to Earth...and a young writer beginning his own incredible journey.

As anyone who read my previous reviews of the first three issues of this series knows, my reaction was "Meh." And it remains pretty much the same for these last two issues first. Again we get John Carter the pompous jerk narrating the whole story but also John Carter the idiot who manages to crash land into Dejah's bedroom with all of the skill of Inspector Clouseau. Admittedly most of the plot here is pretty faithful to Burroughs-the arena "fight" with Kantos Kan and the raid on Zodanga-and there is some interesting changes (like Than Kosis' getting the last laugh) but I didn't like the idea of Tars Tarkas just stabbing Tal Hajus in the back-it lacks the nobility of the character or the fact that it's only afterwards he discovers Sola is his daughter-which was the entire reason for his challenging Tal to start with.

And with the artwork-well I already said it before so I'll spare repeating myself.

In conclusion this series was a bust from start to finish. The writing, the artwork, everything just failed to catch fire. Maybe it was having just read Dynamite's treatment of the same story I just wasn't open to another version so close afterwards. I know some people liked this treatment of the story, I just didn't. Sorry folks. Final rating: 1 1/2 stars out of 4.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

John Carter TV Spot 5

Yep another one. This time showing off a little sword action from John Carter and Dejah Thoris and more action. Take a peek and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Comic Review: Lord of the Jungle #1

The week's second comic book review takes us from Mongo to the wilds of Africa and the retelling of a classic story...

After a violent mutiny, Lord John Clayton and his pregnant wife Alice are left on the African coast to fend for themselves with the promise of the mutineers they will tell someone of their location. As time passes, John sets up shelter and fights off attacking wildlife while Alice gives birth to their son. But illness claims her and leaves John fighting for both his and their son's survival. But when a group of apes attack their makeshift home, John is killed but the infant is saved by a grieving female ape who takes the baby to raise as her own...

At this point if you read that you know the story is Tarzan of the Apes (which due to copyright isn't being used as the title for this series) and it's pretty close to Edgar Rice Burroughs's original novel. In fact this first issue spends all of it's time with the Claytons, establishing their lives and the birth of their son, something most adaptations skip over in order to get to Tarzan as an adult. Writer Arvid Nelson-whose work on Warlord of Mars also showed a faithfulness to Burroughs' work-sets up the story well. The only offbeat addition is a sequence where a group of tribesmen are attacked by a strange group of ape-man creatures who immediately start eating them. I don't remember that in the original novel-or any of the latter ones-so I don't know where that's going or how much it will pay off later.

For this series, the artwork is being done by Roberto Castro (who also did Warlord of Mars-Fall of Barsoom) and he does a good job capturing the characters of John and Alice and setting up the jungle setting. Admittedly this issue doesn't have much action to show off until the apes show up at the end but he keeps the art steady and with a good color palette. I can't way to see how he draws Tarzan.

So is this issue worth a dollar? If you're a fan of Tarzan I would suggest giving it a chance. It may not be the best Tarzan comic book ever but if this first issue is any indication, fans of the ape man might enjoy the series. Until next time...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

John Carter: New Promo Pics

We've seen the heroes, now we get the bad guys. Courtesy of http://www.comicbookmovie.com/ are two new promo pics of Sab Than (Dominic West) and Matai Shang (Mark Strong). Take a look and let us know what you think.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Comic Review: Flash Gordon-Zeitgeist #2

I'll try to spend the next few days catching up on reviews of some recent comics. And with that said, let's kick off with a dashing heroic hero, a hot alien babe, gladiatorial combat and evil villains...no not John Carter, the other guy!

Issue 2, "All Hail Ming!" opens with the (spoiler alert!) with Ming and his henchman Klytus voicing their displeasure to their choice for ruler of Earth, Adolf Hitler, and the slow progress he is making in conquering the planet. But Ming has other concerns-the arrival of Flash Gordon and Dale Arden. With Dale taken to Ming's chambers, Flash is dispatched the arena, where he begins fighting for his life and winning the respect of his fellow prisoners. But when a double cross deal with Klytus goes awry, Flash finds his only hope in Ming's hot daughter, Princess Aura. And that isn't much comfort...

I recently talked with a friend of mine who didn't like the first issue of this series. And I could understand why it might not appeal to fans but so far I actually am enjoying it. I do admit the combination of the Flash Gordon story with Hitler might seem an odd fit but in this age of rewriting history for entertainment (see Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter or even the recent X-Men: First Class movie) at least the idea isn't out of left field and writer Eric Trautmann is doing a good job balancing the original Alex Raymond storyline with the new one.

The artwork by Daniel Indro is also quite good. Granted I would love to see more of Mongo-but I figure that's being saved for the next few issues, but so far his work matches well with Trautmann's narrative. He also draws a sexy Aura, which again always raises the one problem I have had with Flash-is he really that blind to be able to avoid her charms? Oh well...

To wrap up if you liked the first issue, this one is just as much fun and a good take on the character. If not I doubt it will change your mind. Hail Ming!

Friday, January 20, 2012

John Carter News Bits 3: Taylor Kitsch Talks

Sorry for the lack of updates this past week but here's some news for to start off the weekend.

First up those lucky Brits once again got to see some exclusive footage from John Carter at an event with a follow-up Q&A with star Taylor Kitsch, visual effects supervisor Sue Rowe and animation supervisor Eamon Butler. Some video clips from it have been posted at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/Wolvie09/news/?a=53190&t=JOHN_CARTER_Taylor_Kitsch_On_Why_The_Title_Was_Changed_Opening_Shot_Of_The_Film_Described__More along with some positive reviews of the footage shown. The article also reveals that the film's official running time has been announced by director Andrew Stanton at 2 hours and 3 minutes.

Next up, and please don't shoot the messenger here, Stanton has also hit Twitter to comment on a recent Hollywood Reporter article http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/%20john-carter-taylor-kitsch-47-ronin-keanu-reeves-mission-impossible-283347 that has been posted. Among the article's claims (all without anyone on the record officially) is that the film's budget has ballooned to $300 million, that a rough cut of the film screened for Disney execs was poorly received, that talks about the sequel were put on hold and that Stanton had no support on the film. Stanton's reaction: "Was a DISNEY film that I completed on time, on budget w/ full support." He also refuted the recent claims about the film needing to make $700 million to get the sequel greenlight: "Is it true that JC needs $700 mil+ at the BO to get a sequel?” Nope. U'll get farther in life not believing everything u read." You can see the rest at http://twitter.com/andrewstanton.

Finally another inteview courtesy of Adventures by Daddy, this time with actor Dominic West http://www.adventuresbydaddy.com/2012/01/18/actor-dominic-west-drawn-to-disneys-john-carter-by-andrew-stantons-genius/ where he talks about his playing Sab Than and working on the movie. Take a look and have a good day!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New John Carter TV Spot

As the build-up continues, a new TV spot has shown up with a few new shots in it. Watch and see if you can spot them! (And before I forget, the caps from the spots and trailers come from http://www.cartermovie.com/.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris #9

This week's comic book review finds our heroine hitting the ice-in her usual skimpy attire.

Following their escape from the pirate Xen Brega, Dejah and Pirate Queen Phondari have headed south and begin drilling under at Helium's main pumping station when they discover what appears to be a man made cavern. But that discovery is trumped when they see a man tied up and devoured by a giant worm (think Dune) and a race of men who believe them to be the saviors they were praying for. But when both women discover the fabled lost treasure-the Sacred Hoard-of Segotha they both have to deal with a potential curse and an unwelcome visitor...

As we head towards the finale of the "Pirate Queen of Mars" storyline, this issue is the usual setup without much payoff. We do get more of the back story of the treasure and Xen Brega, as well as a big worm. Yeah I don't have much to say about that one, except where's the Fremen? Seriously, the issue still benefits from some nice artwork by Carlos Rafael and some interesting twists and turns by writer Arvid Nelson so those who enjoyed the past issues again will find much here to enjoy.

I'll close up by saying this: I know some of you don't like this series or how Dynamite has been handling their John Carter comics and that I might be too hard on Marvel's recent series. I'm not playing favorites OK-I liked both Dynamite's Warlord of Mars series and Marvel's John Carter: World of Mars. But I know what I like and that's how the reviews probably will go. Until next time...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

John Carter International Poster

Another find for the week-the blog AndromedaHigh has posted up this Spanish poster for the film http://wickieblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/john-carter-el-poster-espanol.html, showing off our heroes and faithful Woola hitting the road with the tagline (I think since my Spanish skills are virtually non-existent) "Two Worlds, One Hero." So take a look and tell us what you think.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

John Carter of Mars Billboards

Well it looks like Disney has decided to go big with John Carter...in Los Angeles anyway. A couple of shots of billboards showing off John and company has shown up and some photos of them have been posted at http://barsoomia.wordpress.com/2012/01/10/john-carter-rules-la/. Take a look and once again let us know what you think.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Willem Dafoe On John Carter of Mars

How about some news this Monday morning? The site Adventures by Daddy has now posted an interview with Willem Dafoe, where he talks about the challenges of playing Tars Tarkas and the influence of Edgar Rice Burroughs and his work on science fiction http://www.adventuresbydaddy.com/2012/01/06/acclaimed-actor-willem-dafoe-chats-about-playing-and-speaking-martian-in-john-carter/ So far I've been impressed with what I've seen with Dafoe and his take on the character and what he says at least confirms that his character might be the best (next to Woola of course:-).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

John Carter News Bits 2

Sorry for the lack of updates. But here's some news items for you fans. And a brief update!

First up it looks like a new character poster showing off Dejah Thoris as shown above is making the rounds. It looks good, even though if you look closely at the M the date shown says 6-2-12. Maybe I'm just misreading it. Still a good looking poster.

Also hitting the web is a new pic courtesy of the site Adventures by Daddy (yes that's the name of it) showing our heroes riding Thoats. You can see more of the site at http://www.adventuresbydaddy.com/2011/12/12/disneys-john-carter-coming-to-theaters-march-9-2012/

Next it looks like Disney has been releasing already prepared "interviews" with people involved with the film and now have released a new one with Lynn Collins at http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/1201/03/lynncollins.htm. Most of it's pretty much fluff but...well I'll let you read it and then you can decide.

Also making news from USA Today is a pretty cool article taking a look back at Disney's failed attempts at a John Carter of Mars movie in the late 1980s and 1990s http://travel.usatoday.com/alliance/destinations/mouseplanet/post/2012/01/The-Disney-John-Carters-That-Never-Were/596215/1. Definitely worth reading for those unfamiliar with the past attempts (and I have to say, the Ted Elliott-Terry Rossio scripted version might have been a good movie.)

Finally someone apparently doesn't think John Carter stands a chance: The Hollywood Reporter reports that analyst Richard Greenfield from the firm of BTIG-which is a trading and brokerage firm has predicted that "The biggest movie of 2012 will be Warner Bros. release Dark Knight Rises, while the biggest box office disappointment will be Disney’s John Carter." You can read the rest and get your swords ready at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/analyst-predicts-declines-tv-viewing-277670

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #14

First a Happy New Year! I hope it will be a good one. And with that out of the way we'll kick off with a new comic book review.

When we last left off, John Carter had just landed in the Valley Dor only to discover instead of paradise a living hell. He has survived white apes, plant men, banths and has just found out that the Holy Therns are not gods but regular men. But being a man of action John decides to leave and takes his friend Tars Tarkas and the princess Thuvia with him. But before they can make their escape, the Thern stronghold is attacked by the Black Pirates of Thuria, one of their raids to claim Thern women. John, Tars and Thuvia almost escape but our overloaded in their flier and to help his friends escape John leaps out and finds himself in the midst of battle. He also meets Xodar, a Black Pirate who he fights and plans to take back to Helium to prove his story, and Phaidor, the haughty-but hot!-daughter of the Therns' leader Matai Shang. And in typical John Carter fashion things take a turn for the worse...

So far so good with this adaptation of The Gods of Mars. As usual here's the good stuff: a faithfulness to the source material-from the revelation of the Therns' vanity to Thuvia getting her revenge on her tormentor Sator Throg and her ability to control the Banths-writer Arvid Nelson has managed to keep true to Edgar Rice Burroughs without going to far off the beaten track (i.e. the Therns don't have glowing blue eyes-thank Issus) but at the same time making it accessible to people who never read the book before.

As for the artwork by Edgar Salazar, I mentioned last time I was a little taken aback by the change in artists but he does a pretty good job in this issue, capturing the look of the characters-even though in his loincloth John Carter looks more like Tarzan-but he captures the action scenes well and makes story come alive with nice uses of color. In short the art is growing on me for this run.

I'll end by saying another top job for this series, helped by some nice covers (including the one by Joe Jusko above-why couldn't they have got Joe or some of the artists working on this series to work on the movie? We might have been spared those tattoos). Enjoy the rest of the holiday!

Dejah Thoris Sideshow Statue Revealed

Some Barsoom news from San Diego Comic-Con for you guys. Sideshow Collectibles has released first images of a Dejah Thoris statue for fan...