Blu-ray Review: John Carter
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John Carter
Blu-ray | Blu-ray 3D | DVD
Directed by Andrew Stanton
Starring Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy
Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 5, 2012

Written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars is the first book in the John Carter of Mars series, which tells the story of a Civil War veteran transported to Mars.

For nearly 100 years, Hollywood has failed in its attempts to bring Burroughs’ classic science-fiction fantasy to the silver screen, though the ideas presented were borrowed by countless other works.

Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars series is so old that it actually influenced other influences. From Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian series to the pulpy Flash Gordon serials of the ’30s and ’40s that inspired George Lucas’s Star Wars, the themes and elements of Burroughs’ work have been mined so thoroughly that most moviegoers will find Disney’s live-action film adaptation, John Carter, to be rather irrelevant – but that’s not to say it isn’t entertaining.

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Movie Review: John Carter

John Carter
Directed by Andrew Stanton
Written by Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, and Michael Chabon
Starring Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, and Dominic West
Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: March 9, 2012

The Story

Captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a former Confederate officer who returned from fighting in the Civil War to find his wife and child murdered by Apaches, is now scouring the deserts and hills of Arizona looking for a mysterious cave of gold. When a group of Calvary soldiers attempt to conscript him into their fight against the Apaches in that territory, Carter escapes their clutches and soon manages to find the cave he has been looking for, but a strange and bald being is already there waiting for him. After a brief fight Carter emerges the victor, but his adversary activates a device and speaks the word “Barsoom” before perishing from his wounds. The reluctant soldier is suddenly transported from Earth to a place unfamiliar to him. In his new surroundings, a planet called Barsoom (better known to us as Mars), Carter can leap great distances and has increased strength, but he soon discovers he’s not alone.

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Watch Now: Test Footage For Proposed ‘John Carter of Mars’ Animated Feature From 1936

A Princess of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ timeless novel of intergalactic adventure and intrigue that introduced one of science fiction’s most enduring and iconic heroes in Captain John Carter, has seen many fits and starts in its journey from page to screen that will end in less than two months when Andrew Stanton‘s live-action debut John Carter hits the big screen. Prior to Stanton’s involvement the property passed through the hands of directors such as John McTiernan, Robert Rodriguez, Kerry Conran, and Jon Favreau over the years.

But when talk first began of bringing the adventures of John Carter to life via the magic of celluloid it was a much different time, and it wasn’t intended to be a live-action adaptation. In 1931, nearly two decades after the publication of A Princess of Mars, author Burroughs approached early animation pioneer Bob Clampett about possibly making a full-length animated John Carter feature. Working with Burroughs’ son John Coleman, Clampett spent a year beginning in 1935 producing a reel of test footage for the proposed John Carter feature hoping to garner the interest of a major Hollywood studio.

You can watch Clampett’s test footage, complete with the animator’s narration, here below.

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Listen To Three Tracks From Michael Giacchino’s ‘John Carter’ Music Score

In December composer Michael Giacchino was a guest on “Movies on the Radio,” a popular program spotlighting film composers that airs on the New York-based classical radio station WQXR. Best known for providing the scores to movies such as The Incredibles, Star Trek, and the last two Mission: Impossible sequels, Giacchino gave listeners of the show a special treat by previewing three tracks from his score to Disney’s upcoming mega-budget intergalactic adventure John Carter.

You can listen to all three tracks here below.

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