Thursday, December 01, 2011

"John Carter" Looking Better

Much as I liked what the first "John Carter" trailer was implying, the buzz since then has been shaky - fans who got a look at a sizzle reel during D23 were largely underwhelmed; and the suspiciously expection-lowering-esque "leaked" reports of budget runovers and the ongoing issue of the title (WHY can't they add in "Of Mars" again?) haven't helped. I want this to work, but I'm not getting that same "holy shit, they NAILED IT!" vibe the first "Lord of The Rings" trailers had.

This new one... is a step in the right direction. I'm still coming to terms with the decidedly un-Martian look of Mars (I'm wondering if they intend "I'm on Mars" to be some kind of surprise-reveal?) and the practical/semirealism look of the the tech and creatures... but that's an expectation thing, I think - adhering to either Burrough's persistent "going native" fetishism OR the gloriously-overblown Frazetta paintings that have defined this franchise visually for so long were never really options for a Disney actioner.



At this point, my bigger worry is that it doesn't look all that much "different" from Star Wars or a dozen other similar offerings, which is problematic considering how 'traditional' the narrative is by now. That said, the use of Led Zepplin (which couldn't have been cheap) goes a long way toward giving the whole thing a very "ostentatious album-cover" feel, so we'll see.

19 comments:

Chris said...

I barely remember the first trailer but I do know it didn't look anything like that. If somebody had put them side by side and covered up the lead actors face, I wouldn't be able to tell they are from the same movie.

And a quick praise for the readability of your "captcha's". I swear, on some sites you need to be Dexter to figure out the word verification underneath the twists and scribbles.

vamast said...

it looks ok

Fergus said...

Nice to see Julius Caesar and Marc Antony back together...

Anonymous said...

...and Atia of the Julii joining the party

Anonymous said...

This honestly should've been a Snyder film. He could've at least got it closer to looking like Frazetta's interpretation than this...generic wasteland of a planet.

Smashmatt202 said...

When I saw the first John Carter trailer in theaters, I knew what was going on. My mom only recognized the name of the movie, but I told her that it's being directed by the same guy that did WALL-E.

Definitely going to see this movie no matter what.

Mister Linton said...

This appears to be the Masters of the Universe film I have been waiting for. I approve.

Joshua the Anarchist said...

Every sci-fi geek in America is going to spend March explaining to everyone they know that this ISN'T a ripoff of every Hero's Journey Space Action movie they've ever seen.

Sssonic said...

Honestly? I like it. I liked the first trailer too, for that matter.

Maybe it's because I'm only vaguely familiar with the original "John Carter" novels. Maybe it's my pre-existing affection for Andrew Stanton for having made one of my favorite films of the last decade ("WALL-E"), but I don't think so; I love Brad Bird too, and while that means I'm approaching the new "Mission: Impossible" movie with a more positive overall outlook than I otherwise would, nothing I've seen of the movie itself really appeals to me in the same way "John Carter" has (and incidentally, I too wish they could add the "of Mars" to the title; that just plain sounds cool to say, "John Carter of Mars". Seriously. Do your best "movie announcer voice" and say that title. It's friggin' awesome).

It doesn't look great by any stretch of the imagination, but it's sort of hard to imagine how it possibly could when so many other movies and stories have come along that apparently owe something to the original novels and thus diminish the ability of an adaptation to look all that original in comparison. It does, however, at least look good, and there are already a lot of design choices that I very much like (the look of the Martians, the space-ships, etc.).

Jacob Beck said...

1:07 Wait, is that a Fremen? Is he on Mars or Arrakis? Either way, Andrew Stanton's directing, so I might as well buy my ticket now.

J said...

I know nothing at all about the franchise, but I am kind of digging the aesthetic of the martians and their technology. The one thing that bugs me though is that in my opinion, Mars should look more like Mars, with a red sky and a blue sun.

Yeah, we're pretending that the planet can support human life, so maybe that justifies the blue sky, but the land it's self should be red at the very least.


Obviously something like that's not going to be a deal breaker, but it is a little irksome that they are making this big old-school pulp scifi epic, and passing up the opportunity for some really cool and different alien landscapes.

Imagine the scenery porn that someone like Peter Jackson could have brought to this project.

The Partisan said...

Led Zepplin is infamous for NEVER signing their songs to appear in movies (with Immigrants Song in Jack Black's "School of Rock" being the ONLY exception to date).

How in the HELL did they pull this off?!

Anubis C. Soundwave said...

@ The Partisan: Actually, Jimmy Page (post-Zeppelin) did let P. Diddy (back then Puff Daddy) use the riff from "Kashmir" for the background hook from the 1990s American "Zilla" movie. (I liked the music video and the song enough to own the single.)

Anonymous said...

Am I seriously the only one that saw Avatar in this trailer...but in a desert? Because it looks like Avatar...but in a desert, and that does not sound enticing.

...like, AT ALL.

Anonymous said...

"You are ugly. But you are beautiful!"

...Add that one to this list of rather awkward pickup lines.

john said...

God dammit does there need to be a blanket ban on choral backing in film scores for the next forty or fifty years. Was "Kashmir" just not trailer-ey enough without trying to make it sound like Carl Orff Ripoff #3,287? Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I think this version of Kashmir is the string verson by Bond...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiTlYJfr6DA

Arturo said...

Considering that the other "live-action debut of genius animator" movie is Mission Impossible 4, I'm still very hopeful for this.

Elessar said...

First off if they're trying to set up 'I'm on Mars' as a reveal, that's a terrible idea. It's in the frakking title of the book. So while I agree that it looks like they might be doing that, it's not a good call.

Second the problem with John Carter is that it's just...not that good. It's the problem Oz has, in that it's primary function is to serve as sort of a time capsule of how the previous form of science fiction pre-Dune and Heinlein (Oz does the same thing for Fantasy pre Lord of the Rings) but these days it's kinda silly and anachronistic. Now that doesn't mean you can't rework it to work in modern day (since I keep bring up Oz, I can point to Wicked, both book and musical) but you generally have to break it down and rebuild it from the ground up.