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File: John Carter
John Carter is an upcoming 2012 American science fiction action film featuring John Carter, the heroic protagonist of Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-volume Barsoom series.
The film marks the centennial of the character's first appearance.
Former Confederate captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is mysteriously transported to Mars ("Barsoom") where he becomes part of a conflict between the various nations of the planet, whose leaders include Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). Carter takes it upon himself to save Barsoom and its people from a growing threat.
The film is the live-action debut of director/writer Andrew Stanton; his previous work includes the Pixar animated films Finding Nemo and WALL-E. Co-written by Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon, it is produced by Jim Morris, Colin Wilson, and Lindsey Collins, and scored by Michael Giacchino.
Walt Disney Pictures is distributing the film and will release it in the United States on March 9, 2012; the film will be shown in regular 2D and in the Digital 3D and IMAX 3D formats. Filming began in November 2009 with principal photography underway in January 2010, wrapping seven months later in July 2010.
The film is largely based on A Princess of Mars, the first novel to feature the hero John Carter. The story was originally serialized over six monthly installments, from February through July 1912, in the pulp magazine The All-Story; those chapters, originally titled "Under the Moons of Mars," were collected five years later as a hardcover book from publisher A. C. McClurg. In both the novel and film John Carter is a former American Civil War Confederate Army captain who is mysteriously transported to Mars, which is known to its inhabitants as Barsoom. In the course of his first adventures there Carter learns the planet is dying from the loss of its atmosphere and water. Only a peaceful alliance of its intelligent but volatile inhabitants can save all the species of Barsoom from extinction; he sets out to achieve that goal.
One week before the film's release, Disney removed an embargo on reviews of the film. As of March 8, the film holds a 60% "Fresh" rating on the film-critics aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes based on 45 reviews. On Metacritic as of March 8, the film holds a rating of 47% based on 10 reviews, signifying "Mixed or average reviews".
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "Derivative but charming and fun enough, Disney's mammoth scifier is both spectacular and a bit cheesy." Glenn Kenny of MSN Movies rated the film 4 out of 5 stars, saying, "By the end of the adventure, even the initially befuddling double-frame story pays off, in spades. For me, this is the first movie of its kind in a very long time that I'd willingly sit through a second or even third time." Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times rated the film 2.5 out of 4 stars, commenting "Amazingly, this is the first John Carter movie, but it is intended to foster a franchise and will probably succeed. Does John Carter get the job done for the weekend action audience? Yes, I suppose it does." Dan Jolin of Empire Magazine gave the film 3 stars out of 5, noting "Stanton has built a fantastic world, but the action is unmemorable. Still, just about every sci-fi/fantasy/superhero adventure you ever loved is in here somewhere."
Peter Debruge of Variety gave a negative review, saying, "To watch John Carter is to wonder where in this jumbled space opera one might find the intuitive sense of wonderment and awe Stanton brought to Finding Nemo and WALL-E." Owen Glieberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a D rating, saying "Nothing in John Carter really works, since everything in the movie has been done so many times before, and so much better." Christy Lemire of Associated Press gave the film a negative review, saying "Except for a strong cast, a few striking visuals and some unexpected flashes of humor, John Carter is just a dreary, convoluted trudge - a soulless sprawl of computer-generated blippery converted to 3-D."
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