(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing trailer clips and screenshots from John Carter)
Doug (vo): By popular demand, it's John Carter, another movie where somebody goes to Mars and yet another one that completely bombs. Everyone was talking about this movie when it came out, not because everybody went to go see it, but because everybody didn't go see it. This was a big-budget movie and nobody had any interest in it, and it's seen as one of Disney's biggest bombs. But I went to go see it, and honestly, I didn't think it was that bad. That is to say, it's nothing spectacular, didn't change my life or anything, but as a dumb little adventure goes about traveling to Mars and fighting aliens and coming across new creatures, I thought it was...fine.
Doug (vo): John Carter is a war veteran who finds himself traveling all the way to Mars. He finds his gravity is different from everyone else's, so he finds he can actually jump around like a superhero, leaping hundreds of feet in the air. Some of the aliens see this as a threat, but one, played by Willem Dafoe, finds him quite interesting and decides to befriend him. He also comes across this friendly dog-type creature, and, of course, a woman of power, so let's just take a guess and say she's...
(An image of Dejah Thoris is shown, with the caption "Princess")
Doug (vo): What a shock. It turns out not only does most of the planet see him as a threat, but there's also a war that's brewing, and it turns out, he has to stop it. But he's tired of war and doesn't want to get involved, but through a series of circumstances and attachment to his friends, he finds he has to get involved. Through constant battles and big effects and even a few funny moments here and there, John Carter may find he cares a lot more than he thought he would.
Doug (vo): Yeah, that kind of gives you an idea of what this movie's going to be like. It's a B-movie, and it is silly, and it is over-the-top. But at the same time, the dedication a lot of these people have, particularly the actors, I found myself actually kind of getting invested.
(The poster and images of Disney's The Three Musketeers (1993) is shown)
Doug (vo): I don't know. It reminded me of another Disney film that didn't do so hot, called The Three Musketeers. Everyone kind of beats up on it for all the cliches, but they're the cliches I kind of like.
(Back to clips and screenshots from John Carter)
Doug (vo): Maybe it's the nostalgia in me, maybe there's just a part of me that kind of likes to see something that's big and goofy, but kind of connects to the humanity that I like connecting to. And so much of that does come from the characters. It's not overly dark, but it's not too light either. It certainly has a lot of violence, but it has a lot of friendly moments as well. The parts between Carter and the Willem Dafoe alien is easily the best stuff. You just feel the connection between these two. They're both kind of outsiders, but they're not the typical "Oh, you're a nerd, you're a dweeb" outsider, they've both seen a lot of rough stuff, and they're both trying to fight a big system. And even the connection between him and this weird little dog is kind of charming. I don't know. There's just something kind of nice and friendly about it, but it has just enough action and sci-fi weirdness that I actually thought it was entertaining.
Final thought Edit
Doug (vo): But with that said, is it actually a good movie? It depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for something really new with a lot of twists and turns, it doesn't have...that much. I mean, nobody's gonna get invested in this like, say, Lord of the Rings or something.
(The books the movie is based on are shown)
Doug (vo): I also hear this is based on an old book series, and I guess, according to fans, it doesn't really follow the book series that well, so, again, I might not be the best person to talk about it.
(Back to footage and stills of John Carter)
Doug (vo): But as a simple moviegoer who is a little interested in seeing a guy travel to Mars and shoot up aliens, I thought it was okay. It was visually interesting, it was creative with its ideas, and it has some likeable characters. I definitely say if you're not familiar with the books and you had any interest after watching the trailer, you'll probably think what I thought of it. If you have a free evening or an afternoon and you just wanna pop in some fun sci-fi nonsense, I think this does the job fine. Definitely better than some other Mars-related Disney films. (The title of that movie, Mars Needs Moms, is shown briefly) Take a look for yourself and find out.
(A scene showing John Carter fighting against the Warhoon is shown)