Before John Carter hit theaters, it felt as if there was the opinion by many that it wasn't going to be a good movie. It's typical for people to often form opinions on a movie without actually watching it. What's odd about this movie is the way it quietly snuck into theaters. There hadn't been many TV spots until the week before it opened. With a simple name like 'John Carter,' it would be hard for viewers to become interested. Thankfully the day it opened, I made the journey to the theater and saw it in 3D Imax.
I won't go into the details of what I fully thought. You can read our review of the movie here. Visually, it's a spectacular film. It felt as if many different locations were used in the story and there was plenty of action, adventure, suspense and even romance to keep the story moving. I even enjoyed seeing Taylor Kitsch in the role. His performance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine has been a sore point for many but (as I've mentioned several times on our podcast), he was good on Friday Night Lights.
I wasn't completely blown away by the movie but I would absolutely enjoy seeing more adventures now that everything has been established and set up. Sadly, that may not ever happen.== TEASER ==
With the release on Blu-ray and DVD (as well as a 3D Blu-ray version), this is the type of movie that makes you appreciate the Blu-ray technology. Watching it again, there were moments where I found myself pausing the movie so I could get up real close to take in all the detail. It's a fun movie. I went into it not expecting a masterpiece and ended up having a good time.
What about the special features?
One option you have is "Explore John Carter's Journal with Disney Second Screen." I didn't get a chance to check this out as I wanted to get this review out right away. What it involves is downloading an app that will sync your smart phone or tablet to the movie and you get some behind-the-scenes content while the movie plays.
100 Years in the Making (10:43) This is a pretty cool feature with thoughts from Andrew Stanton, Jon Favreau, Michael Chabon, Steve Barnes, Willem Dafoe and Taylor Kitsch. They talk about everything Edgar Burroughs did and how the character was received in the beginning. It turns out Bob Clampett was actually interested in making an animated feature. Production had started but it fell through. What little we see is pretty amazing.
Deleted Scenes with/without commentary. I like seeing the deleted scenes. Some feel they were cut for a reason but that isn't always the case. There are ten scenes here with a total running time of 19:02. Some scenes are finished and some unfinished. They include: Original Opening: Hall of Science, Ned at College, Lucky SOB, Journey to Thark City (unfinished), Sola and Deja Confrontation, Campfire (unfinished), Thoat Ride (unfinished), Dejah's Answer (unfinished), Matai's Walk, Groomsmen Assassins (unfinished),
360 Degrees of John Carter (34:32) A look at the production process on one day. Actors arriving on set. Make up process and the tattoo process. All the extras need to be approved once they're dressed and have had make up/tattoos applied. Going to the sets, green screens, etc. We've all seen 'making of' features before but having this focus on one day gives a better sense of what exactly goes into making a movie. You don't really think too much about all the little details that have to be considered and it's really cool seeing it presented this way. It's a lot of work but you can also see how much fun it can be.
Barsoom Bloopers (1:56) You can't have a movie without bloopers. Whenever I see special features not include them, it means that either the actors were all perfect or they weren't good sports to allow them to be included. No matter how serious the movie is, seeing the actors not be perfect and having a great attitude about it is a bit refreshing.
If you avoided seeing John Carter in theaters, now is the time to rectify that. At least in the way that you can now watch the movie. It's a fun movie with a good story and visuals. It's not something to take completely seriously and it should entertain you. That's what movies should be all about.