Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jane Carver of Waar!


How's this for something new? While looking for something else I stumbled upon this upcoming book by author Nathan Long and for those who thought Dejah Thoris needed more sword wielding time well this one is for you! Here's the description from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Carver-Waar-Nathan-Long/dp/1597803960:

Jane Carver is nobody''s idea of a space princess. A hard-ridin'', hard-lovin'' biker chick and ex-Airborne Ranger, Jane is as surprised as anyone else when, on the run from the law, she ducks into the wrong cave at the wrong time-and wakes up butt-naked on an exotic alien planet light-years away from everything she''s ever known. Waar is a savage world of four-armed tiger-men, sky-pirates, slaves, gladiators, and purple-skinned warriors in thrall to a bloodthirsty code of honor and chivalry. Caught up in a disgraced nobleman''s quest to win back the hand of a sexy alien princess, Jane encounters bizarre wonders and dangers unlike anything she ever ran into back home. Then again, Waar has never seen anyone like Jane before . . . . Both a loving tribute and scathing parody of the swashbuckling space fantasies of yore, Jane Carver of Waar introduces an unforgettable new science fiction heroine.

I might have to pick this up when it comes out March 6. If anything it will provide some reading while waiting for John Carter three days later.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

John Carter Final Trailer


Well here's our final trailer for John Carter and well it's pretty much the same as the last trailer and few TV spots which means more white ape, more big action pieces and zero romance. What are they afraid to turn off the action crowd? Take a look and let us know what you think.


Monday, February 27, 2012

John Carter "Critics" TV Spots


And now it's time to use the "critics" to sell the movie. Disney showed a few spots last night during the Academy Awards and here one is online to go over. Some brief new shots-John taking on Warhoons (YES!) and more Matai Shang silliness (BOO!) So take a peek.




UPDATE: A second longer "Critics" spot has shown up and here it is:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

John Carter "Sizzle" Reel


Well after my ranting here comes another piece of footage. This time it's a sizzle reel put together by John Carter editor Erik Jessen and if it looks familiar, well it is. It originally ran at the end of the long "Great White Ape" clip but now you can watch it without the ape. Enjoy!


Opinion: The Fate of John Carter?


OK there will be some rambling, some ranting and some things that people may not want to hear or consider. But I guess I need to say something about this since this blog concerns everything John Carter and so far I haven't spoken about it. So here goes.

At this point, as most of you guys and gals probably already know, John Carter is having problems. BIG problems. For the last month what was seen for a long time as a sure bet at the box office and the next big movie franchise now has people proclaiming it will become the biggest bomb in movie history-or at least one of them. From Deadline Hollywood (which claimed it could be the biggest "write off" in film history and how the film has failed to connect to women of all age groups) to the Hollywood Reporter (who just a day after reporting about "happy audiences" at the film's premiere published another piece about the film's struggle to connect) to even Newsweek (which compared it to the 1980s movie bomb Ishtar) the story has been the same: a massively over budgeted film that went out of control that is struggling to connect with moviegoers.

Granted there has been some positive buzz building from early screenings and the film's premiere and the filmmakers have defended the film and director Andrew Stanton-who himself has denounced such stories as a "complete and utter lie." But will this buzz be enough to convince audiences to go to Barsoom? Or convince Disney to continue on with the series?

So who is responsible? Whose to blame for this state? If you look back it seemed to be such a sure winner-a classic novel from the creator of one of the most recognized characters in literature and film (and if you don't believe that, watch the current season of Survivor-there's a guy on there calling himself Tarzan) that has been claimed to be the influence for several influential science fiction writers and scientists (Ray Bradbury, Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke). That was name checked by the director of the biggest film in movie history as an influence on his film (that would be James Cameron) and has been sited as the inspiration for everything from Superman to Star Wars. The director attached had just come off of a big critical and commercial success with Wall-E, not to mention his connection to Pixar. The film's cast-while not filled with a big name-still has several respectable and familiar actors. And a big budget and the marketing machine that is Disney-what could go wrong?

Well a lot. That machine broke down and so far hasn't been repaired. Where did it break you ask? Well some say it was the time when Disney announced that they were changing the name from John Carter of Mars to just John Carter with various reasons given-fear of it being linked to Disney's huge flop Mars Needs Moms to Stanton himself claiming he did it so not to turn off non sci-fi fans and girls to recent ousted marketing head MT Carney being responsible. In fact Carney has taken most of the blame for the poor marketing, showing that she clearly had little understanding of the film or the audience. And you can see it in the confused trailers which ran from dour and solemn (the first teaser) to showing off all the big effects that makes it look like the standard empty FX showcase. Also take a look of what hasn't been in the trailers-no mention of Edgar Rice Burroughs or the novel and no mention of Stanton either. Maybe if Disney had mention Burroughs and the novel's history there wouldn't have been so many "It looks like "Fill_in_the_Blank" movies (Avatar, Attack of the Clones, Prince or Persia, etc). There's also been Disney's fear to use the dreaded "M" word anywhere. Only now-with Carney gone-have they even mentioned Mars in the clips and featurettes that have been released.

Some of this can also be blamed on bad luck. The Super Bowl spot-which was seen as Disney's last ditch effort by some-was nothing more than that image of a bunch of tiny scenes spelling out the title-a title that means very little to actual moviegoers. Yet the longer version was quite good but probably little seen. Also the fact that all of the hype for the month of March has been eaten up by The Hunger Games which hits theaters two weeks after John Carter. It's hard to get noticed when you're going up against one of the most hyped films of the year.

That may also have been a questionable decision. Originally John Carter was set to come out June 8 but Disney decided to move it up to March 9 without much explanation-the only one officially released was that Tim Burton's Frakenweenie, which was set for the March date-wasn't done and Disney needed something to take it's place. On the one hand it was probably smart to move it in order to avoid the crush of presold blockbusters (and any failure of star Taylor Kitsch's other big budget pic Battleship) but very few films have become major blockbusters in the month. Only one film-Alice in Wonderland-grossed over a 1 billion at the box office and that one had a major movie star, a familiar title and was riding on Avatar's success with 3D, three things John Carter doesn't have.

And maybe that's an issue also that has been ignored. For the vast majority of moviegoers-those people who lined up for Safe House and The Vow-they've never heard of John Carter of Mars (which again Disney can be faulted for for not giving Burroughs any mention.) There is no big name star attached-yes I know Willem Dafoe and Thomas Haden Church are familiar names but they're playing Tharks and you have to wonder if people even know they're in the movie. And while he might have a devoted fan base due to Friday Night Lights Taylor Kitsch isn't a household name, nor is the rest of the cast. Even Andrew Stanton isn't a known name along the lines of Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson. As for 3D well now it's seen more as a cheap gimmick and isn't a security net like the studios want to believe.

Now I have to admit I've been skeptical about this film as anyone who has read this blog can tell. There are things and changes I don't care for, nor do I have the blind belief I've seen some have in Andrew Stanton (who hasn't exactly been Peter Jackson or Jon Favreau in welcoming or embracing the fans of the books-a base that should have been appealed to right at the beginning). But I always thought the marketing would have been in the bag. Maybe if Disney had understood what they were selling in the first place. Maybe if they had took a page from The Lord of the Rings and reached out to the fans and got them talking sooner instead of pretending they don't exist. Maybe if they realize the film should be aimed at more than they're 10 year old Disney Channel audience we wouldn't be having this issue. We wouldn't be worried that John Carter will flop and that the sequels won't get made.

So what's my opinion? Yes Disney did blow it. They blew it big time. They didn't understand this film and still don't. At the same time I also feel that they-and the filmmakers-have ignored those who could have helped them-the fans. There may not be the overwhelming base compared to say Harry Potter or Twilight but you know what-those bases started out small too. Disney and Stanton should have thought about that and worked to get them on their side. I know that may not have changed much but still as a fan I feel this movie has been poorly marketed not only to the non fans but to the fans as well. I do hope I'm wrong-and those positive reviews at least seem to confirm it will be a great movie, even if it does sound like a poor adaptation-but at this point I won't be surprised if we never get a sequel. Disney has buried this film with their standard incompetence. Let's just hope John Carter can survive. He's survived Tharks, Warhoons and other enemies. It would be shame if he can't overcome Disney.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Book Review: Under the Moons of Mars


I had hoped to have this done sooner but now it is. So how are the "New Adventures on Barsoom" you ask? Well let's dive in and see...

After a brief forward by author Tamora Pierce and an introduction by editor John Joseph Adams, the book starts off with a bang with Joe R. Lansdale's "The Metal Men of Mars." While out looking for some adventure, John Carter suddenly finds himself facing a new threat to Barsoom-metallic men and their crazed inventor Odar Rukk-and it's up to him and some captives to prevent Rukk's grand scheme to conquer Barsoom. It's a fun story, similar to Llana of Gathol and a great way to kick off the collection.

The next few stories though were a little more uneven."Three Deaths" by David Barr Kirtley is the first of a few stories following individual Warhoons-in this case Ghar Han who is deprived of two of his arms and vows vengeance against the man responsible-John Carter. It's OK but shows why Burroughs didn't spend much time on them as they're pretty one note here. The biggest disappointment-and the one I was surprised with-was "The Ape-Man of Mars" by fantasy and sci-fi writer Peter S. Beagle (who was behind the classic The Last Unicorn). As you can tell the story finds Tarzan landing on Barsoom only to meet a rather unlikable John Carter-who spends most of it berating Tarzan for the British's pulling out of helping the South in the Civil War-and Dejah Thoris. The problem I had was John Carter was just unlikable from beginning to end while the story has Tarzan and Dejah flirting with each other-something out of character for both. Throw in a scene where Tarzan gets the Great White Apes to the "dum dum" dance and I was ready to move on.

Our next story, "A Tinker of Barsoom" by Tobias S. Buckell, returns us back to the Warhoons-in this case Kaz, the title character. When his skills are called for to open a strange structure, his explosive causes much damage inside-and the beginning of the loss of air on Barsoom. Yep this is the explanation for the Atmosphere Plant's failure at the end of A Princess of Mars. Like "Three Deaths" the Warhoons are pretty one note but it's still an interesting read-especially for how it ties into Burrough's narrative. Things begin to pick up a bit with "Vengeance of Mars" by Robin Wasserman which fills in the story of Sarkoja after leaving the Tharks at the end of Princess. Here we find her growing an army of Thark hatchlings and revenge seeking Zodangans as she prepares to destroy John and Tars Tarkas. While it has some hitches it still manages to be an entertaining story.

Like "Tinker," "Woola's Song" by Theodora Goss works around the narrative of Princess as we follow Woola from his birth-yes we hear about his mother and siblings-to his meeting and treatment by the Tharks and Sola's care for him before he is assigned to guard John Carter and then Dejah Thoris. Admittedly I would have liked to have had more time with Woola before he meets John or possibly later and see what Woola was doing in the time between Princess and The Gods of Mars but still anything that gives our favorite Calot his time in the sun is OK by me. The next story "The River Gods of Mars" by Austin Grossman finds John Carter returning from Jasoom after a long period-in fact it's the 1970s-only to find both Helium and the Tharks in search of a fallen object-one that could change the outcome and destiny of the entire planet. Grossman tells a good story, working in our modern knowledge of Mars within Burroughs and leaves us with an ambigous ending for Barsoom and John Carter.

And we're still going. Written by LE. Modesitt Jr., "The Bronze Man of Mars" is the first of two stories following the offspring of Llana of Gathol and Pan Dan Chee. In this case it's Dan Lan Chee-the Bronze Man of the title-who decides in order to win the hand of the haughty Jasras Kan to venture to Horz and find the ancient devices of Lum Tar O, which includes the ability to preserve people for thousands of years. Once there he finds some awakened-and ticked off-Orovars and the beautiful Princess Cynthara. Again it's an OK story that is very similiar to A Fighting Man of Mars in it's basic plot. Moving from Llana's son we move to her mother for the next story, Genevieve Valentine's "A Game of Mars" which follows Tara of Helium as she must return to Manator and the land of the Kaldanes to rescue her brother and his wife from their deadly Jetan matches. While the setup is pretty good I was a little confused-did the Kaldanes take over Manator after The Chessmen of Mars? Otherwise it had some good action pieces and gave Tara her chance in the son. Unfortunately things go down with "A Sidekick of Mars" by Garth Nix. Like "Ape Man of Mars" it follows another Earthman on Mars-Union soldier Lam Jones-who arrives on Barsoom and basically finds John Carter to be a jerk. Nothing more to the story really other than Jones' complaining.

After that though comes what are the the two best stories of the book: We kick that off with "The Ghost that Haunts the Superstition Mountains" by Chris Claremont (who fans will remember wrote several issues of Marvel's John Carter, Warlord of Mars series in the 1970s) and it takes Burroughs' concept and goes in reverse-John, Dejah and Tars Tarkas are now on Earth and have made friends with both Cochise-yes THE Cochise-and US Army Scout Tom Jeffords. In this tale our heroes discover that a Barsoomian has possibly been living on Earth for decades and now has the power and materials to bring Barsoom's massive war machines to life and put the Earth in danger! Written with respect for the characters, I really loved this story and how it tied in the narrative to real history. The only disappointment-it ends with a cliffhanger! I hope there is another collection just to get to see the conclusion.

Equalling Claremont's story is SM Stirling's "The Jasoom Project" which finds that other offspring of Llana's Prince Jalvar on his own adventure. With his Thark friend Tars Sojat-yep the grandson of Tars Tarkas-the two attempt to find Ras Thavas, only to discover a plot by radical Zodangans to destroy Helium and John Carter. And that's only the tip of the iceberg. Stirling has fun with this one, playing up everything from Ras Thavas' original past time to working in the plots of The Moon Maid and The Moon Men into the narrative. And a surprise cameo at the end that I won't spoil.

The last two stories don't match the previous two but are still fun. "Coming of Age on Barsoom" by Catherynne M. Valente follows the tale of Falm Rojut, a disgusted Thark who breaks ties with his kind after John Carter arrives and changes their ways. It does present an interesting twist on the story of the Tharks that doesn't overstay it's welcome. The last story, Jonathan Maberry's "The Death Song of Dwar Guntha" finds Barsoom on the verge of peace. With a group of pirates standing between it, a small group of warriors led by aging swordsmen Dwar Guntha and Jeks Toron attempt to hold out until John Carter arrives with his ships. It's a touching story of aging warriors going once more into the breach and the way history remembers them.

I know this was a long one. There was so many stories to work through, all of them taking different approaches to the world of Barsoom, some really great, some not. In all though I did get the feeling that each author wanted to honor Burroughs and his creation and attempt to do something unique. Some of them-like Landsdale, Claremont and Stirling-delivered big time. And that might make this book worth getting, even for the lesser stories.

I also have to mention the artwork. Each story has artwork by a variety of different artists-including old pros like Michael Kaluta-that are a nice touch to each story.

So to wrap up, Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom is an interesting collection that fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs will enjoy, debate and have a lot of fun with. So give it a chance. Rating for the entire book: ***1/2 out 4.

John Carter New Featurettes


And the marketing machine rolls on! This time it's two featurettes-one an extended version of the previous "Legacy" one-making the rounds. So take a glimpse and get ready!




Friday, February 24, 2012

John Carter Clip Peek: Great Ape and New Trailer!


Looking around Youtube brought this up-a rather lengthy "sneak peek" of the Great White Ape scene. Take a look and let us know what you think! UPDATE: Well I guess this is what I get for not watching the full clip before posting. About half way through we get our first glimpse of the new trailer for the film, which reportedly will be attached to Act of Valor which is hitting theaters today. So we get a two for the price of one bonus!


John Carter: "A F---ing Great Movie!"


At least according to Taylor Kitsch. Sorry for missing yesterday and news on the film's premiere but you can just check out some of the coverage at sites like http://thejohncarterfiles.com/. I did want to highlight this piece from the Hollywood Reporter that sums up most of the night: positive reactions from both the "fanboy" critics and normal audiences and how the stars are proud of the film they made. Take a look at http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/john-carter-premiere-taylor-kitsch-andrew-stanton-294691.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"John and Dejah" Featurette


Another hour, more footage. This time it's a new featurette looking at our hero and his beloved princess with brief comments from Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins and Andrew Stanton. Take a peak and enjoy!


John Carter News Bits: Ship's Ahoy!


Sorry couldn't resist. We kick off this bit with a new poster from France for that other "Taylor Kitsch Vs. Aliens" epic coming out soon. Interestingly Mr. Kitsch's name hasn't been seen on any of the official John Carter posters so either he has a huge fanbase in France or they know something we don't. (Thanks to Coming Soon http://www.comingsoon.net/ for the heads-up).

Next up is an interview from the Huffington Post with John Carter producers Lindsey Collins and Jim Morris where both address the film's production, the marketing and in particular the current stories about the film's budget http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/john-carter-producers-on-budget-rumors-creating-mars_n_1293248.html. Some interesting reading for fans.

Finally the Hollywood Reporter has another article for us, this time concerning the recent lawsuit brought by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate against Dynamite Comics over their Warlord of Mars comics http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/john-carter-from-mars-lawsuit-taylor-kitsch-warlord-of-mars-293784. The most notable comments are that ERB Inc is worried that the "racy" covers and artwork is damaging the characters and that they could possibly not have much of a case since most of Burroughs' work (including the first five John Carter of Mars books) are in public domain. I have a feeling this will get messy before it's over with.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mondo's John Carter Poster


How this for a surprise-a third post today. In this case Quint at Aint It Cool News has posted this cool looking poster done by the artists at Mondo that will be given away at midnight IMAX screenings of the film. For those who haven't seen Mondo's past work hit Google and type in Mondo posters and you'll see why they have loyal following. You can read more from Quint (who also expresses his aggravation over Disney's lackluster marketing) at http://www.aintitcool.com/node/53730

John Carter Fan Trailer: This Is How It's Done!


Well I figured we need some good news today. With the marketing for John Carter turning out to be a bust and more gloom and doom predictions hitting the web (the latest is from Newsweek which is comparing the film's box office chances to the infamous Warren Beatty/Dustin Hoffman train wreck Ishtar) I guess it's fallen to the fans to help. And this this case the people at The John Carter Files (http://thejohncarterfiles.com/) have done that, creating a fan made trailer that takes the best elements from all of the trailers and TV spots and wrapping it up with a nice bow. And it seems to be getting notice. Collider has a report on it http://collider.com/john-carter-fan-trailer/147054/ but the biggest rave has come from director Andrew Stanton himself, who posted on his Twitter page "They Get It!" You can check out the full comment and a story about it at http://thejohncarterfiles.com/blog/2012/02/20/stanton-tweets-re-our-fan-trailer-great-fan-trailer-they-get-it/ and watch the trailer below.



John Carter Soundtrack Preview


Well here's some music for your week. Score Keeper at Aint It Cool News has posted the soundtrack for John Carter online and you can sample the work below. Take a listen and let us know which track is your favorite.


JOHN CARTER (2012) by scorekeeper

Monday, February 20, 2012

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars #15


With President's Day here in the states, there is a little break so I thought I would catch up with another comic book review. This time hell hath no fury like hot Thern daughters and evil goddesses...

When we last left John Carter he had just jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the fire, being captured by the First Born along with Phaidor, daughter of the Holy Hekkador of the Therns Matai Shang. Heading towards the Temple of Issus, John and Phaidor find themselves now slaves to an unholy creature. With John now sentenced to the arena he must find a way out of his new predictament...and might do it with a young red man who bares an uncanny resemblance...

Having just reread The Gods of Mars I have to admit it was more entertaining than the last time. Maybe it was the tone, the fast paced action or the cliffhanging ending but it's probably moved up the list of the best of the series. So I was surprised again how faithful this series is adapting the book. With this issue we get little references to the novel-from John and Phaidor being forced to grovel at Issus' feet to Phaidor's threat to seek her revenge against John and Dejah-that proves at least writer Arvid Nelson read the book. The only major change is the elimination of the long drawn out revelation of Carthoris-this time he's introduced as the savior of the slaves in the arena and makes dad really proud.

The artwork by Edgar Salazar has improved a little from the last issue, even though I still preferred Stephen Sandowski's art from the prior storyline. Still he manages to capture the Temple of Issus well and what little action there is with ease. There is some bizarre character design choices though-Issus herself looks like a shrivled up skeleton while Thurid for some reason reminded me of the Beast from X-Men.

So to wrap up again this issue does a good job of adapting Burroughs and I do hope that this suit gets resolved and the series continues. Because honestly they're doing a bang up job.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Comic Review: Dejah Thoris #10



With a little break in between John Carter news, I thought I would play catch up on the comic book end. So here's the final entry in the "Pirate Queen of Mars" saga!

When we last left off, our heroines had just been confronted by a ticked off Xen Brega in the arctic ice beneath Helium's pumping station. As the story opens they make a break for it with Brega and his men in hot pursuit. But some hungry worms get in the way leading to a possible end for our princess and her pirate acquaintance...and possibly Brega as well.

With this storyline wrapping up it's pretty much the same as before-nice artwork by Carlos Rafael and some interesting twists by writer Arvid Nelson. Admittedly Dejah doesn't get into the action much here-the worms make short work of Brega's Pirates-and the ultimate resolution is a little predictable but overall this issue wraps up the storyline quite well.

I know this may seem brief but reviewing this issue by issue you run out of things to say about the artwork and the writing so I'll close by saying I liked this one better than the first story arc. Final rating for "The Pirate Queen of Mars" *** out of 4. And a little surprise:


Yep as you can tell Dynamite has announced a new comic book series, Dejah Thoris and The White Apes of Mars and here's the first covers. We'll see how that one turns out (unless ERB Inc has their way.)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

John Carter: Latest TV Spot


Yep more new footage, this time with an emphasize on Matai Shang and the Therns. Take a look and enjoy!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

John Carter:The Gods of Mars?


Consider this "John Carter News Bits 6." And please don't shoot the messenger.

First up as I'm sure most of you have now heard or read Deadline Hollywood has posted a story concerning the tracking numbers for John Carter and they're not good. In fact one source says the film could become "the biggest write off of all time." You can judge for yourself at http://www.deadline.com/2012/02/john-carter-early-tracking-shockingly-soft-could-be-biggest-writeoff-of-all-time/.

Next apparently not letting this get in the way, Coming Soon had a brief discussion with producer Jim Morris during a PR event to promote the film where he revealed that some early work has begun on the sequel, which is currently being called John Carter: The Gods of Mars. As the article it quick to point out there is no official word from Disney about this and probably won't be until after the movie comes out. More info is available at http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=87167.

Finally away from movie news: the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Dynamite Entertainment for "trademark infringement and unfair competition" over the company's Warlord of Mars and Lord of the Jungle comics http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/02/16/owner-of-tarzan-sues-comics-companies-for-infringement/. There is no comment from Dynamite so we'll see where this goes.

John Carter Images Galore!






And the news keeps on coming in. This time the site Collider has posted a whopping 95 images from John Carter, including behind the scenes shots (and is it me or does anyone think Return of the Jedi in the shot of Taylor Kitsch sitting on what looks like a speeder bike), images of James Purefoy as Kantos Kan and Ciaran Hinds as Tardos Mors, more Tharks and well just more. To see the entire collection hit http://collider.com/john-carter-movie-images-2/145869/

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

John Carter Clips 2: Woola!


More clips and this time both are pretty cool. The first one, called "I'm on Mars" finds John (Taylor Kitsch) getting an astronomy lesson from Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) while the second one, "Mars' Best Friend" gives us everyone's favorite calot in some humorous action. Enjoy! UPDATE: A third clip has also showed up, called "Virginia" it shows John meeting Tars Tarkas and a misunderstanding.






New John Carter Poster


Yep another day, another poster. This time courtesy of the site MovieWeb http://www.movieweb.com/news/john-carter-final-poster. So let's see John Carter has had a few, the Great White Apes, even Sarkoja. How about Woola people?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

John Carter Clip: Warhoons!


And the news keeps on rolling. This time the first clip from the film has arrived, showing John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) and Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) escaping from a horde of Warhoons and Matai Shang (Mark Strong). Have a peek and again let us know what you think.













John Carter: Extensive Andrew Stanton Interview


More news for the day. This time Aint It Cool News mastermind Harry Knowles has posted a rather lengthy interview with John Carter director Andrew Stanton at http://www.aintitcool.com/node/53561 and there is some interesting comments from Stanton about the casting of Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins, his approach to adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs, working with composer Michael Giacchino (whose score Stanton compares favorably to John Williams' original Star Wars score) and why the Therns were added (even though I have a hard time buying his reason). Take a look and let us know what you think.

Monday, February 13, 2012

An Introduction to John Carter Featurette


I'll skip to the basics: A new featurette has shown up online with new footage and interviews with director Andrew Stanton and most of the cast. Keep an eye out for our first glimpse of Tal Hajus and some new bits and pieces!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Comic Review: John Carter-World of Mars #4


I'm still catching up (and due to some recent changes in finances there may not be as many comic book reviews for a while) so sorry for the late review. That said, let's see how the story wraps-up...and there are some real spoilers so read with caution.

When we last left off Tal Hajus, Tars Tarkas and Laos had finally found the fabled Warhoon Gothan. But as this issue opens it's revealed he's an old man who can't even make the trip to the River Iss. That doesn't stop Tal from brutally slaying him but before he goes Gothan uses a horn to signal one last surprise. The call brings forth the Warhoons-who are busy chasing the escaped Dejah Thoris and Sab Than, a Thark scouting party, and parties from both Helium and Zodanga who are looking for Dejah and Sab respectively. And you can guess where it goes from there-an action packed melee filled with swords, death and narrow escapes.

For this last issue, writer Peter David and artist Luke Ross pull out the stops and deliver an action packed finale. The final battle with Tharks, Warhoons and Dejah and Sab stuck in the middle does a good job of recapturing the action scenes from Burroughs and even tips the hat to the author's frequent use of both coincidence and deux ex machina. There's also a big change in the character of Sab Than and the revelation of what happened to his father Than Kosis that actually works. For all that I have to give a big thumbs up.

Unfortunately there was one drastic change that I have to give thumbs down to and this is really where the spoiler alert comes in. During the battle Laos is mortally wounded and we discover she is Tars' lover...as well as Sola's mother. That's right, no Gozova, no betrayal by Sarkoja-which raises the question of what her part now is-and probably no way that Sola knows who her mother was. To me that was one of the most touching parts of A Princess of Mars but it looks like that has been tossed out. Granted it seems to setup the plot twist of the movie where Tars is the Jeddak of the Tharks not Tal Hajus but still it rips the heart of both Sola and Tars Tarkas' characters.

With that one misstep though the rest of the series was pretty good overall. I definitely preferred the first and this last issue and while there were things I just flat out hated-blitzing Dejah for example and what was mentioned above-it still did a good job of keeping the reader entertained. Final Rating for the entire series: ***1/2 out of 4.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

John Carter Set Visit and New TV Spot


With the movie now weeks away, several sites are now being allowed to publish set visits they took back when the movie was shooting. In this case here's Collider's visit http://collider.com/john-carter-set-visit/143308/ and there are separate interviews in the body of the article so go through to get the rest as well as some behind the scenes shots.

Also hitting is a new TV spot, this one called "Battle" showing off more action...and Sab's Moving Metropolis. Sorry couldn't resist.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

John Carter: New Sneak Peek Spot


Following the mixed reaction to the Super Bowl spot, Disney has released a new 60 second preview of John Carter that first aired last night during the premiere of the TV series The River. You can check it out below. On the plus side we finally hear the word "Mars." On the down side...well just watch it. If you've followed this movie for any length of time you'll know what I'm talking about.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Dejah Thoris: New Pics!




Yep she's the major focus here. With the Super Bowl spot now behind us some new photos have shown up with the primary focus being the incomprable Dejah (Lynn Collins). You can check out the rest at http://collider.com/john-carter-images/143245/

Comic Review: Warriors of Mars #1


More Martian comics fun to follow-up last night's Super Bowl action. Just a quick warning: some spoilers will be revealed so those wanting to wait and read the issue first might want to skip this until you've read it.

While visiting the grave of her mother, Dejah Thoris tells John Carter a secret that her mother once told her-a secret about the first man from Earth who visited Barsoom, Lt. Gullivar Jones and his own adventures on the red planet.

After having been denied a promotion and fearing that he cannot provide for his true love, Gullivar's life takes a change when he is nearly hit by an old man in a carpet. When the old man is killed Gullivar takes the carpet home and in a fit of aggravation says he wishes he were anywhere, anytime or on another planet...like Mars! And before he knows it he's wrapped up in the carpet and finds himself hurled through the cosmos until he finds himself on Mars. Once there he finds a race of intelligent humanoid beings and earns their trust when he rescues the beautiful Princess Heru. But after being drugged at a dinner party, Gullivar must undertake a dangerous journey to rescue Heru from the beastly Thither people. Can Gullivar rescue the princess and save the day?

At this point most fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Barsoom series know about Edwin Lester Arnold's novel Lt. Gullivar Jones: His Vacation (later republished as Gulliver of Mars) so I won't go into the history here. So I'll instead focus on this first issue and how it works. And so far it's OK. For the most part the issue is a straightforward adaptation of Arnold's book, with some major alterations. In order to make it fit inside the world of John Carter of Mars, writer Robert Napton has changed the almost hippie like Hither people into the red men and women of Burroughs. Also in the opening framing sequence-and I'm sure this will be the biggest bone of contention-Heru has been rewritten to be Dejah Thoris' mother. Beyond that most of the issue was respectful of Arnold and Burroughs.

The artwork here is also pretty good by artist Jack Jadson. He captures Gullivar-right down to his Civil War era uniform-and makes Heru an attractive princess. He also brings a nice design to the Thither people-barbaric insect like creatures here-that makes them stand out. The backgrounds admittedly aren't well defined and there isn't much action to show off but so far so good.

I guess the best way to say it is that if you liked Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen then you might enjoy this combination of these characters. While I don't know if the remaining issues will adapt the rest of Gulliver of Mars or attempt to bring together the Gullivar and John Carter, fans might want to give it a chance and see for themselves.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

John Carter Super Bowl Spot!


And for those who missed it here it is. Admittedly it would have been nice to have all new footage but I guess that would be expecting too much. Still take a peak and let us know what you think.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

John Carter News Bits 5-Monsters!


More news bits for your week. First up John Carter finally gets a cover story! Well a drawing anyway as the latest issue of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine hits newsstands. But unlike most of the current coverage this issue is paying tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs with three articles-including a 1948 interview with Burroughs and FM legend Forest J. Ackerman, a look at Burroughs life and an article on where newcomers to Burroughs work can start their reading. You can check out some more info at http://famousmonstersoffilmland.com/famous-monsters-260/.


Next up a new poster promoting the IMAX release of John Carter has been released, showing off Tars Tarkas...in what looks like a dress. I leave it to you to make your own "Princess of Mars" jokes.

Finally a new featurette previously only available on Disney's website has shown up on Youtube showing some new footage-including more Tharks, Dejah Thoris and Woola so take a look and lets us know what you think.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Under the Moons of Mars Turns 100


Yep another post for the day, this time commemorating an historic event. It was in February 1912 that Under the Moons of Mars, a sci-fi romance written by writer Norman Bean was first published in the pulp magazine All-Story Weekly and would run for the next five issues. By the end the story would help launch the career of it's writer-Edgar Rice Burroughs, who used the Bean byline out of fear people might think he was off his rocker for writing such a tale-and create a new type of science fiction story that would inspire future writers and filmmakers, including the upcoming movie John Carter. So take a moment to raise a glass in celebration and if you're really curious hit ERBZine for a look at the original magazine http://www.erbzine.com/mag4/0419.html. (Special thanks to the site The John Carter Files http://thejohncarterfiles.com/ for the heads up).

Comic Review: Warlord of Mars-Fall of Barsoom #5


And the comic reviews keep pouring in. This time it's the end of the world as we know it...and the Tharks feel fine.

With the Orovars now facing extinction at the hands of the green hordes, general Van Tun Bor continues to fight to rescue the surviving citizens while the Jeddak reveals his ultimate plan-he plans to hide out in the Atmosphere Factory and allow the green and red men to suffocate outside. Meanwhile scientist Tak Nan Lee has taught the controls of the plant to the red woman Anouk. But when a tribe of red men attack and the Jeddak's plan is revealed, Tak must make a decision that could change the entire face of Barsoom's future...

With this last issue, we get tons of action-Tharks on malagors, giant ulsios attacking, evil Jeddaks and and a crazed scientist with a fondness for cutting people up all adding to a surprising ending. Not to say it doesn't have its faults-the story resolution is a little too pat and the fate of the some the characters a little predictable-let's say there is a noble death and a fitting demise for the bad guy-but overall writer Robert Napton has written a good story.

And like the previous issues there is no complaints about the artwork by Roberto Castro. It's nice and colorful and catches the eye.

So wrapping up, this series is an entertaining "what if" story. It may not have pleased some fans of Barsoom but I found it an interesting storyline helped by some nice turns and good artwork. Final rating: ***1/2 out of 4