Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy 1 Year Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to me! I can’t believe it’s been one whole year since I’ve started reviewing as such I have an announcement to make.
video

Awesome right? I’ll be starting work on my new video reviews soon.
Thanks for reading
-The Guide to Geekdom

Monday, April 2, 2012

Let's Review: John Carter

I’m a big fan of Tarzan. I really loved the animated adaptation that Disney did and I even enjoyed the tv show that came out of that film, so when I heard that Disney was adapting another one of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ stories, I was excited. I can’t say I knew anything about John Carter before I saw the first trailer, but I was more than willing to try the sci-fi epic by the same author of Tarzan. So was John Carter everything that I had hoped for? Let’s Review John Carter.
The Negative
This is a small complaint but one that I want to make note of. Around the middle of the film John comes to the realization that the planet he is standing on is actually Mars after talking with the Princess. It’s a really well done scene with the shock of being on another planet fully hits John as he gazes out at the moons in the sky. This scene probably would have had a better impact with the audience IF THEY HADN’T ALREADY TOLD US IT WAS MARS WITHIN THE FIRST FIVE SECONDS OF THE FILM! They literally tell us that the planet Barsoom is better known as Mars to us during the opening narration. This information would have been better found out alongside the main character that way we can all experience the same plot twist shock that he is, instead of knowing exactly where he is from the start and just getting a sense of ‘well it took him long enough to find out’. We should always find out information at the same time the main character does, we are following this character throughout the story we should know about as much as he does, don’t just blatantly tell us everything at the start of the film.
Now this is something I briefly mentioned in my last review but I’ll go into full detail here. I judge a film’s pacing based solely on if I check my watch or not. A good film should be able to hold my attention for the entire storyline, if I check my watch it usually means that the scene is going on way too long and should have been cut shorter. Unfortunately this was the case with John Carter as I found myself checking my watch a handful of times. These scenes don’t bring the film down but a little faster pace wouldn’t have hurt either.
The Positive
I absolutely loved this story. I read a good number of the reviews after I saw the film and a lot of complaints were directed at the preposterous story plot. John Carter is one of the first sci-fi stories to ever be created; I can accept that some of the ideas are a bit silly due to its age, like the fact that Mars has an entire empire of people living on it. I didn’t have a problem with the story because I never really felt the need poke holes in it. I was willing to accept that this all existed on Mars and that we haven't seen any of this before for whatever reason was necessary. Simply put I loved the concept of the film and was willing to put aside any questions of reality that might come up. I never question Pirates of the Caribbean’s more absurd plot points even though it is supposed to take place in reality, so I never really felt the need to question John Carter, Just enjoy the film for what it is.
Now part of the reason why I loved the concept was the villains. I really liked the idea of a group of super advanced aliens going around the galaxy leaching off of other world’s societies until their planet dies. They would basically live in luxury on a new world slowly directing the course of its history and then allowing it to die through war. The fact that the main alien villain had such an extensive knowledge of Earth culture and could tell where John was from just by sitting with him a while really felt like the ultimate threat. These aliens are in the last stages of killing Mars and are already have their sights set on Earth preparing for their takeover of another planet. These aliens can be anywhere at once and be anyone at any given time. They can sway a nation to go to war with the promises they whisper. They are an incredibly threat and I loved every second they were on the screen.
What truly made this film was the green Martians, The Tharks. Almost every scene with their leader, Tars Tarkas, had me dying from laughter. Willem Dafoe was able to pull of being a strong leader while at the same time being a little bit of an oddball character. They truly brought energy to the film that kept it going even in the slowest of scenes. I really wish the film had gone more in depth into the culture of the Tharks and what kind of role they played within the society of Barsoom overall.  
In Conclusion
I already know that this film received fairly bad reviews and performed poorly at the box office, personally I have absolutely no idea why. I loved every single second of this film. I honestly hope that hasn’t deterred Disney from making sequels of this film because I simply can’t get enough of it. I might even make it one of my top films of the year, that is how much I enjoyed this film. It’s definitely worth checking out. 4.2 out of 5.