What in the world happened to the wonderful story of John Carter of Mars?
Well, to start, Disney messed with the title.
Now, to some of this, the “failure” of the film is a real head-scratcher. Yes, the story was a mixture of more than one of the Barsoom books, but that didn’t make me any less interested.
I found the story compelling, and close enough to the books to be in no way offended. The special effects were wonderful, the action excellent, and the description of the near-superman powers of John Carter were well done.
So why did it fail?
With a budget of $250 million, with good actors, a decent story, and excellent effects why didn’t this movie make it?
Some are saying the title had a lot to do with it (writers, take heed). A more appropriate title might have been “John Carter of Mars” which would have gone some ways to waking up people who had not read the classic novels that this was both a sword and science romp.
Instead, Disney elected to aim for a younger audience, and put their name into the title giving us a thought that we might be seeing Micky or Donald, or any one of a thousand or so animated cute and cuddlies.
I think the “failure” was a bit more insidious, though. I think the movie failed largely because that is how it was introduced to the movie goers. Whether we believe it of ourselves or not, I think we are often lead this way or that based upon what the critics claim.
Oh, I know, there are people–myself for one–who tend to go for the movies panned by the critics. Somewhere along the line I got the idea that movie critics are not reviewing movies I would like (in the first place), and if they disliked them, I would probably enjoy them quite a bit. And, in fact, this seems to prove out.
We need only look at the John Carter movie as an example.
How did you feel about Disney’s John Carter? Did you await it breathlessly? Did you bother to go and see it? And, if you did see it, what did you think?