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Artist/Designer Wayne Barlowe John Carter of Mars movie concept art

I dig Wayne’s unused take on Barsoom. More here + Avatar, Hellboy and more concepts too.

John Carter Movie Review

Grade C+: When I saw the first trailers for the John Carter movie I was a less than impressed. Something that I’d assumed would have the action of Indiana Jones and the visuals of Star Wars was instead being sold as an introspective journey to an alien world. Which was okay, I can dig it when a movie like John Carter plays with viewer expectations and instead delivers something different and unique than what has come before.

Unfortunately, though there are some bright moments in John Carter, for the most part there’s nothing different or unique in this movie than what’s come before.

In John Carter, the character of the same name (played by Taylor Kitsch) is magically whisked away to the planet Mars after he seeks shelter in a weird cave. On Mars, known as Barsoom by its inhabitants, John Carter meets the green, four armed Tharks, falls in love with princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins)  and does battle with the evil Matai Shang (Mark Strong) and minions who somehow feed off of chaos and have driven the planet Mars to ruin. It’s up to Carter to stop Shang before he completely destroys Mars and moves onto the Earth.

The bright moments of John Carter are the visuals, Mars and the CGI Tharks are particularly wonderful, and other various special effects too. Since Mars has less gravity than the Earth makes John Carter much stronger than anything else on Mars and when we see Carter jump and fight it’s awesome. That being said, the overall story of the movie is the real weakness of the film. What works are the bits of the original A Princess of Mars story that makes it into the movie, what doesn’t is just about everything else.

John Carter is currently available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download.

John Carter (of Mars) Movie Concept Art

John Carter of Mars aka Dotar Sojat of Barsoom

The turn of the 20th century must have been a wonderful time for those interested in the sky and astronomy. In 1910, Halley’s Comet made a particularly spectacular pass of the Earth, coming so close that the planet passed through the tail of the comet. In Arizona, astronomer Percival Lowell was nightly scanning the planet Mars where he had detected evidence of canals* on that planet and had already published a book on them in 1906 called Mars and its Canals. Canals that he supposed were designed to transport water from the wetter polar regions of the planet to the dryer parts. Canals that had to have been designed and built by—something.

It was under these conditions that author Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator of Tarzan, would write his first story chronicling Virginian John Carter and his adventures on the planet Mars in the book A Princess of Mars (1917).

Click here to continue reading this column on the character and upcoming movie John Carter.

Cool John Carter (of Mars) Fan Movie Poster