Saturday, March 10, 2012

John Carter (PG-13)


Will someone please explain to me why almost every foreigner in American-made movies speaks British? If they’re German? British. French? British. Martian? Yup, you guessed it. British. This holds true in the story of John Carter, a Civil War soldier who has lost his reason to fight. He ends up on Mars and once the language boundaries are overcome, he is one of the few people who speaks American. How odd.

This is another “just because” post. My dad took P.T. to see the movie this morning so any warnings I’d have for her would be for naught. Fortunately, there wouldn’t have been many warnings so all is good and right in the world. Well, my little world anyway. I know P.T. liked it but haven’t heard yet what dad thought. I kinda liked it too. Okay, more than “kinda”. I would say that it resembled Star Wars in some ways but that would be backwards seeing as the book about John Carter was written in the early 1900s. Quite a while before Star Wars came out.

So, John escapes the US Civil War just to land smack dab in the middle of Civil War on Mars. How convenient. His “talents” are needed and, fortunately for one side, he discovers a new reason to fight. Yea! John is played by Taylor Kitsch. Who? You know. The guy in Friday Night Lights. And the guy who, disappointingly, played the part of Remy LeBeau in Wolverine. Why disappointingly? Remy/Gambit is probably my favorite X-Man. Well, he was when I watched it on Saturday mornings long, long ago. Taylor did not do Remy justice. I don’t think John, in the hands of Taylor, saw his full potential either. He wasn’t bad but he could’ve been so much better. No, I don’t know who would have been more convincing. I just know that he fell short. Sorry Taylor.

Now on to John’s new reason for fighting. Her name is Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium (tee hee), played by Lynn Collins. I would like to announce that I have found the person who should play Wonder Woman. Just in case anyone ever gets that movie to the big screen. As long as they can discover some way to keep it from being as cheesy as it seems destined to be. Lynn is the Amazon Princess personified. Anyone want to take a stab at what another of my favorite shows was when I was but a child? Mom made cuffs out of paper towel rolls for me and my sister. We could stop fake bullets with the best of them. Once we overcame the dizziness from spinning in circles, that is. Boy, I sure am taking a lot of detours in this post. Back to Dejah. She’s beautiful. She’s smart. And she will cut you, man! She does play the damsel in distress but not to the fragile and completely helpless extent. She knows her limits and isn’t too proud to admit it. And, by the way, if she does play Wonder Woman I will have broken my rule of not liking when the same person plays two different super heroes. Some of you may remember her as Kayla Silverfox in Wolverine. Yup. That’s two Wolverine characters in another movie together. If we’re picking and choosing from that film, I wanna know where Hugh was? Huh?

I liked so many of the supporting actors that to comment on them all would take time that you probably don’t want to spend on a review. I’ll just quickly list a few of my favorites with a comment here and there. Ciarán Hinds. Why is he always just a supporting actor? Willem Dafoe. Thomas Haden Church. I still have a hard time thinking of him as anyone other than Lowell from Wings. Dominic West. Mark Strong. Anyone remember him from Green Lantern? And finally James Purefoy. Why aren’t there any women on this list? Well, there weren’t that many in the movie and the only one I’d seen before was Lynn. That’s why.

It didn’t seem as if much of the budget was spent on scenery. I guess they decided to use it all on costumes, a moving city, “aliens” and light ships. Someone who attempted to sum up this film said that John Carter found himself on a lush planet. Ummm…nope. The place was desolate. Well, except for the yellow stuff we see when John first lands on Mars. As far as costuming goes they went full-out Amazon with most of the human-type women. The men were dressed similarly but, of course, were a bit more covered. This film was made by men after all. The only being other than the Tharks (the alien-looking characters) who was shirtless through most of the movie was John himself and, sorry Taylor, but have you considered sitting out every once in a while under that bright warm ball of light in the daytime sky?

This movie doesn’t really require a break-down. There was no sex or nudity. Not much cussing. Maybe three or four words. A couple of H’s and D’s. No drinking or drugs (unless you count the beverage given to the baby Martians and John). The violence is the reason for the PG-13 rating and I was a bit surprised they added the 13 on the end. There is a LOT of killing during the battle scenes but it didn’t hit me quite as hard as other movies probably due to the fact that the blood is blue. People were completely covered in the stuff but it wasn’t really gross because it wasn’t red. Weird, I know.

If you like movies like Star Wars or Avatar or even Pocahontas (Lynn reminded me of her too) then you’ll probably like John Carter. Despite how I felt about Taylor, I really liked the movie. I will watch this again. And again and again. No need to stay through the credits unless you want to see the small dedication to Steve Jobs. I thought that was nice of them. And, during the film, pay attention to the length of the chains in the Martian prison and again in the arena. So funny.

I didn’t want to end this with a negative but I’m gonna. I don’t much care for the fact that in some of the movie descriptions John is touted as a savior and that the posters and some of the trailers include the initials JC instead of spelling out his full name. I’m just sayin’.

And, to end on a lighter note, I love the “dog”. Do we have those on Earth? No? Shame.

P.S. I just talked to mom. She also went with dad and P.T. to the movie and said that they both loved it. She still had to cover her eyes during the worst of the violence but otherwise was good to go. And she liked the dog too.

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