And so it was with unnerving predictability that I was first in line at the theatre for John Carter, the movie.
I’m a big fan of Dune, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, but likely the real reason I was there was for the 2 1/2 hours that Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) is jumping around Mars wearing a loin cloth—heady stuff.
Kitsch was born right here in Kelowna in 1981 and now lives in Vancouver. We have seen him in X-Men and Friday Night Lights.
Good thing all I went for was the scenery because that’s about all I got—the acting sucked!
But what are you really able to do when, in 1868 Carter finds an amulet on earth which somehow catapults him through space and time to Barsoom (Mars to us), and then, because he can defy gravity on Barsoom (a big hit with the locals), his value as a fighter goes way up.
Of course there’s a beautiful woman, Lynn Collins (Dejah Thoris) who has been in such films as The Lake House and X-Men. Well. I ask you, what interplanetary tale doesn’t have a beautiful woman so of course there is danger, angst, four armed creatures and really mad monsters—and that’s just the love scenes.
I’m just kidding: John Carter has no time for that, he is so valued that everyone either wants him to fight for them or wants him dead, so the guy is really busy.
Maybe a best line (hard to tell really): “You are ugly, but you are truly beautiful,” said to Carter by the four-armed guy after seeing Carter jump tall space ships. See what I mean, this pretty well sums up the acting here.
So Carter’s mission is to save the Martian Princess (oh yeah, she’s a princess) from marrying the evil guy threatening to take over Helium (a city on Barsoom). He turns his back on Earth and leaves his earthly belongings, estate and big bucks to his nephew Edgar Rice Burroughs (he’s only 10 in this show) but as an adult went on to write Dejah Thoris, Martian Princess. Later renamed Under the Moons of Mars, Tarzan of the Apes, and the Land that Time Forgot, to name a few, Carter flits back to Mars and ultimately everyone gets something…we’re just not quite sure what.
The rest of the cast includes the likes of Willem Dafoe (Tars Tarkas), Thomas Haden Church (Tal Hajus), Bryan Cranston (Powell) and Daryl Sabara (the young Edgar Rice Burroughs) just to name a few.
In its first weekend, director Andrew Stanton’s John Carter made $30.5 million, which may sound like a lot to you and me but is less than half of the $80 million that Avatar brought in the first weekend.
So, in the movie biz, if this movie costs $250 million to make, and it did, they have a long way to go to break even. Little factoid: The most expensive movie ever made to date? Not Titanic, but Pirates of the Caribbean (at Worlds End) 2007 which cost $300 million and has made $963 million world-wide
Two reels (just for the loin cloth—and the Martian dog).