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Dissecting Trailers: “John Carter”

Hey, remember these?

Last week, the full trailer for Disney’s John Carter was released. The film is directed by Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, of Finding Nemo and WALL-E fame. The trailer brings up some interesting things, which I will be talking about… right…


0:00 – 0:08: Mars doesn’t look particularly red. Maybe it should be called the Beige Planet.

0:08 – 0:12: Okay, at first glance, this part looks like the similar Gladiatorial sequence in Attack of the Clones

0:12 – 0:14: …and those Martians bear a bit of a similarity to the Geonosians…

0:15 – 0:20: …and that sort of looks like an amalgam of a couple of the creatures they had to fight in that sequence also…

0:20 – 0:28: Okay, so this bit, excellent as it may look, is really just a modified version of the Star Wars scene. I’ve never read the Edgar Rice Burroughs book upon which the film is based, but I wonder if there’s gladiator stuff with monsters in there.

0:29 – 0:33: It’s nice that alien races always speak English so fluently. And their diction is perfect.

0:33 – 0:40: City and spaceship designs look pretty cool. Not un-Star Wars-like, but still.

0:40 – 0:41: John Carter likely would be able to jump like that since Mars has only about 38% the gravity that Earth has. Though, I think he’d want to put on a coat or something since it rarely gets above 32 degrees F. Just saying. “Desert” just means lack of rainfall, it doesn’t automatically make it hot. *pushes up glasses because he’s a huge nerd*

0:42 – 0:50: And she is not of Earth? She looks pretty Earthy. Surely it’ll be explained in the movie. Can’t have the love interest be a giant green bug creature thing.

0:50 – 0:53: Maybe you wanna jump or something? There’s a huge horde of things coming for you; don’t you think you ought to move? Or swing your sword? Anything besides just standing there looking pensive… John?

0:54 – 1:00: Don’t you hate it when you lose your keys in one world and then you find them in another? How did they even get there?

1:01 – 1:05: “Bummer about your homes, man. Something like this happened to me when I was playing football in Texas on Friday nights.”

1:06 – 1:09: Man, Mark Strong just cannot play a good guy. He’s nearly beating Michael Ironside at this point.

1:10 – 1:11: They should have heeded the old nautical adage: Blue electricity in the morning, sailors take warning.

1:12 – 1:17: No, it don’t look like a fair fight. Grammar product of the Texas public school system. Also glad they decided to include a large Martian bulldog in the film. Expect plush toys aplenty when March rolls around.

1:17 – 1:21: That’s a very Earth-centric view of things; assuming Martians can’t do anything for themselves without the aid of Earthlings. They’ll only become dependent on us.

1:22 – 1:23: Dude with a big rifle. Cool shot, but not connected to anything.

1:24 – 1:25: Jeez, John, I thought this was a family movie.

1:25 – 1:30: OBLIGATORY ACTION MONTAGE!!!!! And, is that a full choir chanting to “Kashmir?” Proving once and for all that Zeppelin is the music of the gods.

1:31 – 1:36: “You can take our lives, but you’ll never take… Sparta!! Are you not entertained!?!? You!!! Shall!!! Not!!! PASS!!!!”

1:37 – 1:42: Well, that’s a pretty large amount of humans on this planet… Why is he special again? And “I was late once…” See, one time, he missed the team bus to Lubbock and had to drive himself. It was a real drag.

1:43 – 1:48: The battle sequences do look pretty badass, and nothing is better than jumping super high.

1:48 – 2:01: The book’s title is “John Carter of Mars,” which I think is a much better title. John Carter could be the name of any movie. Why wouldn’t you want to make the movie’s title as enticing as possible? Adding “of Mars” to the end of something makes it immediately 15 times better. Larry Crowne of Mars would have been a much better movie.

Despite my petty niggling, I’m actually looking forward to this movie. The Pixar guys do amazing work, so I’ll gladly follow them from animation to live-action. Or “live-action,” I guess, despite a lot of it being in front of a green screen.

-Kanderson of Mars is the new movie about when he visits the M&M factory… Follow him on TWITTER

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  1. valhallaarwen says:

    Okay, got the books from the library today and pretty excited since I’ve never read any of his books, but to make it appear that this looks/based on Star Wars is bullcrap. Umm, didn’t this book come out in the 1910’s, so I would say wouldn’t it be correct to say that Lucas was inspired by these works as well? Duh. I really wish if folks are going to diss this movie, at least read what the books are about or read the damn books. But then again folks hated pirates and look how that turned out. I think the problem is that so many people are special effects driven instead of storyline/plot driven. I will see this movie.

  2. Lucy says:

    “John Carter” sounds like it could be an alternate title for almost any of Denzel Washington’s movies in the last 15 years. I guess marketing “A Princess of Mars” under the Disney label would be difficult if their target audience isn’t young girls…

  3. Gabriel says:

    In the books John has to learn how to speak martian. All of the martians including their animals are psychic and mainly communitace via telepathy. In the beginning John had to communicate through gestures.

  4. mikej says:

    mars is brown. the famous red pictures where doctored by nasa. and stop picking on kashmir, it worked in godzilla.

  5. Gabriel says:

    I’m about half-way through the first book “A Princess of Mars” and this actually looks pretty faithful. I’m assuming they will leave out the bits about how much the slaves on the plantation loved John whenever he would visit or the long anti-communist speaches that occur several times in the book. The martian bulldog, the long rifle, the human looking red martians, the four armed giant green martians, the hairy white gorilla martians, the flying vehicles etc are all in the first half of the book I’m reading. I think he is actually wearing a red cape in the book also. (Superman was heavily influenced by these books).

  6. Rocklee63 says:

    *a coat on Carter

  7. Rocklee63 says:

    The First book is actually called “A Princess of Mars”, and if anything Star Wars is Barsoom series esque, because Burroughs had a good 50 years or so before Lucas and Spielberg. Oh and they can’t put Carter, because of his trademark harness.XD

  8. greg says:

    “And she is not of Earth? She looks pretty Earthy. Surely it’ll be explained in the movie. Can’t have the love interest be a giant green bug creature thing.”

    the red martians, of which Dejah Thoris is one, are distinctly humanoid other than being of reddish skin. it’s explained in the book. which if you were actually a “huge nerd”, you’d have already read 😉

  9. Betsy says:

    BTW, “Mars” and “Lake Silencio” are the same place.

  10. Dana Baker says:

    So – Burroughs wrote 10 books in the Barsoom series starting around 1912 – yes – 1912 and continued writing (in between writing the Tarzan novels…) and various other sword and laser stories and novels for almost 40 years that probably influenced Lucas and Spielberg (along with a host of other authors and filmakers)– now tell me whose being derivative.

    Actually the “Green Martians” look pretty much as i remember them being described in the novels. Um “gladiator stuff in the novels?” – yeah – seeing as the Green Martians area warrior society and believe in trial by combat etc…

    BTW the Martian Bulldog… yup – known as a calot… Oh and there are banths ( and a sith or two) in the novels, sound familiar?

    Sorry to be so pedantic – but you did say you hadn’t read the novels

    I agree about the title – so did Burroughs apparently – he never wrote a book called “John Carter of Mars” (although I believe one was published posthumously. I much prefer ERB’s titles such as “Thuvia, Maid of Mars”

  11. Will says:

    I’m having bad Star Wars flashbacks and it’s making me barf a little. *bruup …

  12. Amanda says:

    Did they really need to use Kashmir? Disney obviously has the budget, so why not compose some new music. I literally rolled my eyes when that music started playing.

  13. Anne says:

    I’ve read the books and I’m pretty excited for the movie. Presumably, they will fill you in on what happens in the books (to varying degrees) in the movie. Once you’re up to speed, it should make much more sense. Bear in mind when the books were written regarding the science and some other things.