D23 Expo First Impressions: JOHN CARTER

Movie D23 Expo by Joey Paur

The John Carter panel at D23 was actually one of the better presentations I saw at the D23 Expo due to the fact that it was a presentation with substance, not just actors being paraded out on stage not to say anything. The actors actually talked about the film and didn’t just stand there for a few minutes before they walked off stage. They also showed some clips from the film, instead of just a trailer that was released online a week before D23, which is what ever other live-action panel seemed to be like. Talyor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe, and Lynn Collins all showed up to talk about the film with director Andrew Stanton, and they shared some of their experiences filming the movie. One of the more interesting things that was brought up was the fact that even though Dafoe’s character is CGI he was on the set shooting the film everyday wearing his motion capture suit and stilts that made him 9 feet tall. Stanton said this helped a great deal with the performances and chemistry between the actors. It looks like Dafoe really had some fun with it as well. Everyone also went on to talk about the characters they play, in the film which in nothing we already don’t know from the synopsis and the books if you’ve read them. 

Stanton talked about how long he’s been a fan of the book series, and how excited he was to be able to bring that story to life. He even went as far as to show off some John Carter art work that he, the co-writer of the film, and the producer drew up when they were kids to prove how long they’ve been fans of the Edgar Rice Burroughs series. Just becuase they are fans though, doesn't mean they are the right people for the job. 

After they showed the previously released teaser trailer, they showed off four short clips from the film, and after watching them I’m sorry to say that I’m still not impressed, which sucks, because I want this movie to be so good! 

The first clip shows off John Carter waking up on Mars wondering where in the hell he is at. He find a little nest of nasty slimy Thark babies, and it leads in to Carter’s first encounter with a small army of Tharks and the character Tars. There wasn’t a lot of action in the clip, Carter gets shot at jumps really high freaking out Tars, and hides behind a rock. Tars puts down his weapons get Carter to come out from behind the rock and asks him to jump again, which he does, to try a get Tars weapon. Tars yells at the Thark army telling them not to shoot, and he goes to protect Cater from getting shot.  

The second clip show Carter being held captive and chained to a wall with a bunch of Thark babies. He breaks free of the chains and escapes the prison by jumping out. As he is jumping out of this hole a big super fast slug dog named Woola is chasing after him. I liked the design of Woola and I think and it looks like he will had some good comic relief to the story. 

The third clip was more of a serious clip giving us some interaction between John Carter and Dejah Thoris. Dejah is try to talk John into staying to fight for her, and help top her arranged marriage. In it she is showing Carter how to leave he choses to. 

The fourth clip Tars and Carter are sentenced to death and thrown into a gladiator type arena where the have to fight a giant light grey multi legged monster. The scene show Tars take a hard hit, and carter gets the attention of the beast and with Carter chained to the floor he is still able to maneuver and jump around the creature. At the end of the clip one of the leader Tharks looks board and tells the soldiers to release another monster into the gladiator style pit. 

There were some cool scenes, but unfortunately I’m still not overly impressed. I understand a lot of the stuff was unfinished but nothing shown really grabbed my attention. The studio has to actually show me something to get excited about for this movie, I hate that I'm not excited about it because I love the books so much. I think Stanton is a great director who loves this story, but as of right now I’m not sure if he was the right director for the job. 

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