Visions of John Carter

Back in the day I read pretty well all the science fantasy of Edgar Rice Burroughs, from Tarzan, through the Pellucidar series and the tales of Barsoom — Mars — with its scantily clad Princess. Inevitably those of my generation (and possibly of later generations) imagined the muscular heroes, and in particular John Carter and his princess Dejah Thoris, in imagery based on the art of Frank Frazetta, as it appears on the cover of the 1970 edition of the first of the Barsoom books, A Princess of Mars, and the later A Fighting Man of Mars:

Frazetta’s fantasy art, along with that of Boris Vallejo, provided a muscular, dynamically iconic vision of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, as his cover art also did for Conan the Barbarian (perhaps even more so).

With the imminent release of the new Disney fantasy blockbuster John Carter (US-2012; dir. Andrew Stanton), which is due to open in Australia on 8 March, the current generation will acquire, I suspect, a new vision of Burroughs’ characters — even if from the look of recent publicity there is a certain familiarity to it all (as there should be). Check out this latest poster, which ups the fantastical ante over previously released collateral:


The stills below tell a similar story and the lush re-imagined familiarity of them makes me very keen to see the film. John Carter has been long overdue to make a big-budget appearance at the movies — one fitting Burroughs’ neglected importance in the genre.

If you haven’t already seen them, check out the trailers and the following clips:

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6 Responses to Visions of John Carter

  1. magdy says:

    Silly movie!! No new from Disney.. Actually, after watching this movie, I discovered that I lost 2 hours of my life.. These people are kidding us.
    I wish everyone saw it to compare between Avatar, Tangeled and the current silly one.

    • Robert Hood says:

      You didn’t like it that much, Magdy? I’m surprised. I seriously can’t imagine anyone who likes this sort of science fantasy at all disliking the new John Carter movie. I’ve just returned from seeing it and loved it. Very faithful to the books, beautifully done in every way. It even had a good script, which is more than Avatar can say. But comparing it to Avatar and especially Tangled is irrelevant. Despite similarities, it is and should be an entirely different kind of film. If your rather strange sentence “No new from Disney” is implying that John Carter “stole” its ideas from the films you mention, then you have no sense of cultural history whatsoever. If anyone did any stealing it was Avatar, which obviously drew from many sources, including Burroughs and John Carter!

  2. Lowiczanka says:

    Finally we get to see the first action hero, John Carter, and the epic adventures that inspired Superman, Flash Gordon, Dune, Star Wars, Avatar, and all the others.
    No derivative here. This is the Origional !!!
    Loved the film, and each time I see it I love it more.
    Here is my review and personal thoughts…

  3. Lin says:

    I thought this film was great! Great story, made well, great acting, lots of action and a love story too, don’t know what more you could ask for in a film. I actually thought this show focused more on the story than the 3D as in Avatar. I really don’t understand any bad reviews. I think the lower box office is because of young people not having heard of the original John Carter story and nothing else.

  4. LesPerez says:

    Great movie. Good interpretation of the book.
    If you have read the book/ series you will know where all it all began over 100 years ago from Edgard R.B. even the scene with Jabba the hutt and Princess Lea with The Hutt squatting like some blaoted devil fish, it all came from this book.

    If you havent read the book / series you might think of it as silly. Unfortunately your a literary imbecile. This is the book that started it all.
    Flash Gordon, Conan, Star Wars etc…

    The original Sci-FI fanstasy love story written over 100 years ago! Good movie.

  5. Robert Hood says:

    I totally agree, Les. I loved the film and am saddened by the low turnout — and bad, ignorant reviews from critics who should know better — which resulted in it being considered a “disaster”. Poor publicity, a foolish name change (it should have been “John Carter of Mars”) and a deluge of smart-ass comments that were more the result of conflicted, half-hearted pre-publicity, the huge budget and ignorance than any fault of the film are what killed it at the box-office. The studio still hasn’t learned. They would make their money back more readily if they’d stick a reasonable price tag on the DVDs. After all this time, it remains one of the most expensive around, with no impressive additional content to justify the discrepancy. [end rant]

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