So, as a lady who did not grow up with comic books or read much sci-fi, I can say that I was not all that interested in the latest Disney release John Carter.
The trailer looked kinda whacky, and though I love me some Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), I just couldn’t get behind it.
And then I actually saw the movie and realized that this is going to go down as one of the most fun, exciting, well made sci-fi adventures in recent years and no one is going to see it.
Admittedly, I’m not a huge comic person, and I hadn’t read that much sci-fi in my youth, so I didn’t realize that John Carter was based on anything other than some writer at Disney. I had no idea it was a beloved 100yr old series of stories that kids had been reading for decades – until I got the 4th degree from my buddy Ed who explained that people have been waiting their whole lives for this story to come to film.
Well, that’s news to me because Disney marketed the movie to young people. To kids 15-25 I imagine, based on the marketing areas and the trailer. And yet, the main demographic going to see this movie is 30-somethings and up,up,up. So there’s your first problem – crap marketing. And the trailer, ooh god the trailer! It was so, so bad it made even a lover of shitty movies (me!) not want to bother. And if the movie was poised to lose $200million, it couldn’t be that great right?
Really, what are we looking at when we watch that trailer? Tim Riggins. Some lady in a bikini. Moody music. A desert and then spaceships? And desert again, and he jumps? It’s so disjointed no wonder people didn’t want to see it – they have no idea what the hell they are looking at!
Then I found this fan-trailer and after heard that John Carter is going to lose $200million, maybe Disney should start hiring a new marketing firm.
See? There is continuity, a semblance of a story, you can see the amazing animation by Pixar and now you can see that the movie is directed by Andrew Stanton who also did Finding Nemo and Wall-e. Two supremely amazing films out of Pixar, and the real trailer didn’t think to mention Carter had the same director?! Sweet jebus, what were they thinking?
And let’s also note the crazy cast of the film which is never mentioned. You have shining star Taylor Kitsch, of Friday Night Lights fame and a household name as Tim Riggins. But what about Willem Defoe? Samantha Morton? Thomas Hayden Church? Dominic West? Bryan Cranston? And those are the names you’d recognize – I won’t even get into all the faces you will recognize but only know them as ‘ooh! That guy!’ (like half the cast of HBO’s Rome and The Wire).
So the movie has an amazing cast, director and writing, and gorgeous animation by the best in the business. And it was a flop. Well, if there is anything I can do to get people to see this movie, I know at least one method of persuasion.
Ladies: every single character in this movie is ripped, tanned, and wearing nothing but a loin cloth. Shirts are optional in Mars, apparently, which is a bonus for us. Ooh, and did I mention lots of closeups of beefy thighs and rippling abs? AND the woman character, played by Lynn Collins (Dawn in True Blood) is totally badass/smart/funny/badass? Because she is. You are going to laugh, you are going to cry (I definitely teared up at one part) and you are going to be really happy you reluctantly went into that theatre and ended up spending 2 hours of your day having a really great time.
Ok? Yeah. So go forth and watch. I promise you won’t be disappointed.