2 comments on “John Carter: a review

  1. You can’t really call something derivative when it’s an adaptation of a book which helped create the genre. I know it’s blaspheme, but Star Wars and Avatar are derivative.

    I’ve only seen the trailers really, but my main complaint would have to be that it’s obviously not faithful to the original text. The heroine should be basically naked the entire time!

    (Please read this comment with sufficient sarcasm.)

    • Yes, and no. The film is ‘visually’ derivative, the way in which it nicks the look and feel (and even sound effects) of other films. There’s a chase on flying things which is straight out of Phantom Menace. And the first half hour is a bad Indiana Jones movie.

      But I agree with you about the film not being ‘faithful’ to the original. Putting Edgar Rice B into the film as a character just doesn’t really work.

      Someone (think it was Roland Barthes) said there was no such thing as ‘original’ style. And Kant said we can’t step outside of our ‘tropes of understanding’, or something along those lines. They might be right, they might be ninnies. The film is not the book. The film is something else, taken from a range of sources and influences. It’s cobbled together, but all films are… as are books. Even the Edgar Rice B books weren’t ‘original’. They were influenced by iceland sagas, Homer, blah, blah. Under copyright law, there’s no such thing as copyright on an idea: there’s only copyright on how you express or productise that idea.

      At the end of the day, it was watchable enough as a movie. It was ‘out-of-date’ compared to the sort of fantasy currently being written in our credit-crunch culture. And, yes, the princess would have looked much better naked.

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