Epic Science Fiction!!!
* * * * * / 5
Wow! This is easily the best movie to come out from Hollywood in 2012. The 3D effects aside, the movie itself is brilliant. All you Avatar fans can go to hell. This is how you make memorable characters, memorable story and an epic science fiction. Not since Star Wars hit cinemas 30 odd years ago has there been a space saga so beautifully been made and (re)told.
Yes, this is the retelling of the cult pulp story by Edgar Rice Burroughs titled "A Princess of Mars". And all you naysayers who think a big budget special effects thriller can't have a good story - I got two words for you - "Michael Chabon". Yes, the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist has co-written and reviewed the script of this movie. The movie itself is made by Oscar winning writer-director Andrew Stanton who has given us "Finding Nemo" and "Wall-E" in the recent past. This grand movie is rightly dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs (Apple). For decades this movie couldn't be made. But with technical visionaries such as Steve Jobs, these ancient heroes have come to life on the big silver screen.
The post-intermission half is easily the best part. The action, suspense, thrill escalates to epic proportions here. But to those imbeciles who criticise the movie by saying it is "imcomprehensible", well why don't you stick to watching paint dry - that's all you can understand in your limited intellect.
The first half sets the tone and style for this grand adventure. Who is John Carter? Why does Uncle Sam want him? Why does a strange man shadow him and wants him? Why do the warring aliens on Planet Mars want him? Why do the elite race of Therns who play God with various civilisations want him?
The movie has a brisk pace. Every scene hints at a strong and tight plot. We move from Virginia to the action against Red Indians, then suddenly John Carter is no longer on Earth. He has reached Barsoom - the name given to the red planet by its natives, what us on Earth call Mars.
As the story unfolds we are revealed the backdrop as well. It seems John Carter is a rich uncle of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Young Edgar has just inherited the estate of John Carter after the latter had passed away. The tomb of John Carter holds much intrigue and mystery too as it cannot be opened from outside. It only opens from the inside.
What was John Carter planning for his young nephew Edgar? What secrets does Carter conceal in his private notes. Why has the wealthy John Carter explored every corner of Earth excavating ancient mysteries? What is John Carter looking for?
Well, all you need to look for is a prized ticket for the HouseFull screening of John Carter in 3D. All will be revealed. This is a science fiction you will remember pleasantly for a long time. Not since the reboot of the Star Trek TOS has there been so much excitement about a scifi movie. And you won't be disappointed. This is better than the forgettable characters and premise of Avatar. This is more engaging and thrilling than Star Trek reboot. This movie is a thrilling biography of John Carter, a Civil War veteran, a Warrior, a man just and honorable, a man in love and a man who will fight for the survival of an entire planet.
The special effects are judiciously done, bringing life into the fantastic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs. The characters and alien species are beautifully crafted and entirely realistic. The movement, the cinematography, the lighting, the sets, the locations - it all adds up to making the story come alive on the big screen. The drama, the dialogues, the suspense will keep you glued to your seat. The most exciting part of the movie is that it is loyal to its original author - Edgar Rice Burroughs. So the ancient 1912 vision of this famous pulp fiction author is honored and glorified on celluloid by the brilliant cast and crew of John Carter. Walt Disney has a new winning franchise here after the successful "Pirates of the Caribbean" series. All of you who thought that this ancient production company is dated and brings nothing new to the box-office - well, check out the trailers and if it makes you curious, it's because this movie is irresistible.
There are 3 novels in the original novel series: "A Princess of Mars", "The Gods of Mars", and "The Warlord of Mars". This movie is an adaptation of the very first novel in the John Carter series. I gladly look forward to a sequel and an adaptation of the remaining books in the series.
As a bonus feature for reading this blog, please have a look at some classic images of "John Carter of Mars" from legendary illustrator Frank Frazetta.
And as an added bonus in honour of this first visionary, here is http://frankfrazetta.org/