Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thought on the film: John Carter

Saturday I decided to see John Carter out of curiosity. I left Hollywood after choosing my wedding invitations and drove to Burbank, where if you miss the showing it's okay because you can walk to two other theaters. I had to walk to all three because the last theater on the walk was the one showing it soonest.

This walk involved a trip through the mall where two dudes in bunny costumes were murdering people entertaining kids or something. I don't know how anyone enjoys that. Also, some woman in the mall was singing "America the Beautiful" but to a completely different melody. I know Whitney Houston made a splash when she did all those crazy things to the National Anthem way back when, but that does not mean you can just completely change a melody and keep the words to songs about America. Somebody worked really hard to come up with the best melody for the song and you, mall singer lady, do not get to overrule them just because you have an army of creepy bunny men behind you.

I digress.

Anyway, I ended up at a 3-D showing, and even thought I still hate 3-D it no longer gives me headaches since I got Lasik, and I figured the studio can use all the dollars it can get on this one, so in I went.

It was 2pm on a Saturday in a theater next to a mall and an Ikea. There were maybe two dozen people in there - and none of us under 25. That cannot be good.

They gave me a coupon for a dollar off a Coke float, and I considered it but knew I'd have to pee halfway through the movie. Then in front of me sat a dude so obese he had difficulty walking with his mountain of popcorn and his bucket of soda, and I was glad I had not ordered the float. When it takes you three whole minutes to sit down in a theater seat, you might want to consider switching to diet popcorn.

I digress again.

Anyway, there were previews. This is what I learned.

The Avengers: This movie has explosions!
Battleship: This movie has explosions!
Men in Black 3: This movie has jokes!

There were like 40 other previews, and then there was a movie.

John Carter was entertaining. There were some really great scenes. I especially loved all the intercutting between his past with his wife and kid and what he was going through in the present. I liked some of the relationships and the characters and the chemistry between the leads and whatnot. But I also felt like just when I started enjoying the story, it was podrace time.

I feel bad saying this, because it's not the movie's fault. Star Wars owes a lot to the novel this film was based on, so even though a lot of scenes in this movie reminded me of the prequels, that's hardly fair.

But remind me it did. The scene in the gladiator ring reminded me of Attack of the Clones. The flying bike thingee reminded me of a podrace. Pretty much every other action scene reminded me of how much the prequels sucked. I tried to shake it off, but I couldn't. And I'm sure it unfairly clouded my ability to properly appreciate what I was watching.

Also, James Purefoy was underused, but I think James Purefoy is ALWAYS underused.

I don't mean to imply that it's a bad movie. It's not. It's a solid film. I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it. I just didn't think it blew my mind either. When the movie was over I marveled at the amount of names in the credits, watched the obese guy struggle out of his seat, then left, got in my car and drove home and didn't really spend a lot of time thinking about it.

So I dunno. What did you think? Did you see it?

1 comment:

  1. George Lucas borrowed, cough, I mean paid huge homage to this and Flash Gordon.... just like Source Code er piad homage to Quantum Leap. Wish there was an article out there on how much one can pay homage to. To be fair, the prequels would have been great if Lucas had employed some real writers on that...all the pod races were great, but the dialogue was mind-numbing and the plot was just intelligence-insulting.

    I still have no idea what this movie is about after the trailers, reviews and advertisements. I will go and see this movie, but it's probably 3rd or 4th on my list... And it doesn't matter how much it's getting trashed in the reviews, I'd still go see it because it looks like an event pic that guys usually like... all it has to do is so hit the mark somewhere in the ball park of good.


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