Sunday, March 25, 2012

Friday Night Lights Season 5: Tim Riggins goes to Mars...

Mondo (the merchandise arm of The Alamo Drafthouse) made a beautiful one sheet for the new Disney film John Carter (left). It's only too bad that it didn't feel like the team at Disney put as much time or effort into the film that recently landed in cinemas with a hollow empty thud.

Now, the problem might be that I'm not really all that much of a Sci-Fi fan. Growing up I was always more into the fantasy side of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre (however I did love when Anne McCaffrey brought Sci-Fi into her Pern series of books). I didn't have much of a fram of reference for the film, but after hearing from Ryan that he really enjoyed the film, and judging by what I expected out of Andrew Stanton (previously directed Wall-E, Finding Nemo and A Bug's Life) I was expecting the film to be pretty decent. I think I can speak for the group of four that I saw it with by saying we all agreed that the film kind of stunk. It really felt like the dug up the old "How to make a Disney Princess Film" manual and then used parts of it. Most of the film felt contrived and soulless, and the rest felt like they were using a sledgehammer to try and drive home the story. I think if the film had a different director I would have been more OK with it, but I expected a lot better from Stanton whose work with Pixar has always had subtext, simplicity and great visual storytelling while this film just felt so heavy-handed and stiff.

1 comment:

The League said...

Ah. Well, part of what you're seeing there is remainder from how everyone has been pillaging Edgar Rice Burroughs for 100 years. Frankly, the marketing's intense desire not to mention the pedigree of the film was, to me, a mistake. The John Carter books were some of the first space opera, and have been endlessly stolen from for a century to the point where if some of this didn't feel original, that's hardly the fault of the guy who had to wait 100 years before film technology could catch up with his story. That doesn't mean the story and movie don't have to stand on their own, they do, but a wee bit of context to prepare an audience never hurt, either.

I'd be curious to know what you didn't think worked about the story, or which parts were dull. I thought it moved at a decent pace without the Michael Bay-like insistence on explosions every five minutes.

In the end, clearly the vintage-type adventure story doesn't meet the needs of the modern movie going audience that turns out in massive numbers to see Vin Diesel drive cars very, very quickly. But I'll still take a sword wielding dude leading an army of green, four-armed space barbarians into a citadel to stop the wedding just in time any day. (insert guitar solo HERE)