“John Carter” of Mars Turned Out Okay

I wrote a lengthy review at for “John Carter” of Mars in which I share my very positive, supportive thoughts about the film.

What I want to share here is my disgust at the apparent poison pen campaign that someone in the film industry appears to have conducted against the movie. I began to realize something was up after reading this negative article in the L.A. Times. This was the second news story in a week where I came across references to some unnamed rival studio boss who was predicting disaster for “John Carter”.

I don’t know yet if the movie flops — I hope not. Now I want to see the sequels even more than before.

But we’ve been hearing all sorts of bad press about the movie from the film industry over the past couple of weeks. Supposedly, women didn’t like the movie. Oddly enough, there were plenty of women in the theater I went to who really enjoyed it.

Supposedly no young people are interested in the movie. Again, there were plenty of kids, teenagers, and college students in the audience — and they gave the film an ovation after it was over.

I don’t know how often people in the film industry try to torpedo each other’s projects — I suppose it happens quite often — but what disgusts me is that the news media played along. Someone down low apparently knows how to press buttons with the L.A. Times and other major news organizations willing to sell their integrity by pandering to old fashioned poison pen campaigns.

You’d think professional journalists would know better, but perhaps the disdain with which science fiction and fantasy are often treated by the news media excuses this kind of nonsense in their eyes. Well, the L.A. Times has no excuse. They should know better, and I expect better of them.

Disney screwed up royally in clamping down an embargo on the movie’s production for two years. They should have engaged with the fans all along, given us access to the development of Barsoom, and fed a steady stream of information and spy reports to major fan sites.

Disney owes the Edgar Rice Burroughs fandom a huge apology. They can make it up to us, however, by greenlighting the sequels to “John Carter” and getting the advance promotion right. Andrew Stanton did a great job with the movie. He just needs to come out and engage with the fans.

I think Edgar Rice Burroughs would have been pleased with the movie.


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