John Carter was a major flop for Disney. 200 million to produce and it very poorly at the box office. This 4 disc set is expensive (retails for $49.95) but you can get it for nearly half that if you look around. So was it really that bad? No!
Not having read of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books I went into viewing this a “John Carter” novice and I was not disappointed at all. What you have is a good old fashioned adventure film with a handsome hero, with a good amount of humor thrown in, in an exotic locale (can’t get more exotic than Mars) and a beautiful, smart and tough princess to rescue (Dejah Thoris) from an evil, power hungry bad guy. Also, there is an ancient tribe of non human aliens with their own sub-plot and language, great voice acting from Willem Dafoe, and of course, a Disney throw in alien dog like creature. Story line is fast oving and I really liked the Edgar Rice Burroughs tie in at the beginning and end.
The 3D disc do not disappoint with tons of special effects that are totally enhanced while watching in 3D. The effects look better in 3D and are not just thrown in because its a 3D movie. No pointing swords coming out of the screen as in Pirates 3.
I found all aspects of the production to be first rate. If I would improve anything, I’d dig a little deeper into the cultural aspects of the different civilizations on Mars but then the film would have been 3 hours long. If you want more, read the books.
Extras are included on the 2 D blu-ray and feature Disney second screen; a great way to watch additional info on your ipad while watching the 2 D version of the film, bloopers, deleted scenes with commentary, a 100 years in the making documentary from pulp novel to film, 360 degrees of John Carter, which explores the film’s production, and audio commentary during the film. As usual, Disney throws in a lot of materials to supplement the disc set. You also get a DVD copy with extras and a digital copy.
This film got a bad rap; its not that bad and production values are very good. I found it very entertaining and fun to watch in 3D. Its also pretty much family friendly. Price is restrictive, even for 3D, but get it on sale and you’ll be a happy camper.
“I Am Number Four” is a science fiction teen action adventure with a formula plot line but is still quite entertaining. Continue reading
“The Book Of Eli” stars Denzel Washington as a mysterious man wandering “West” in a post-apocalyptic US with a sharp blade and a book which may mean the beginning of new life in the devastated country. Not far into the film, we see where civilization has deteriorated as Eli encounters ambushes and witnesses brutal behavior by gangs roaming the countryside. When he walks into a small town, his troubles really start as Gary Oldman, a local leader of the town, suspects that Eli is carrying the book he has been seeking to build his power base. Mila Kunis plays a sassy teen who wants to go with Eli on his quest. Jennifer Beals is her blind mother and main squeeze of Oldman’s, and Ray Stevenson is the gang member with a soft spot for Mila. Tom Waits has an excellent cameo as the town trader and electronic expert, who recharges Eli’s first generation iPod. Michael Gambon also has a short but sweet character cameo. Continue reading
“Strange New World” borrows elements from Gene Roddenberry’s two unsuccessful attempts at a series following “Star Trek” , “Genesis II” and “Planet Earth” and paints a less than optimistic future of our planet; the exact opposite of “Star Trek”. In this disc, John Saxon(he was also in Planet Earth) heads a team of scientists who have been in suspended animation in orbit above the Earth when a shower of meteors wipes out civilization as we know it. When they awake , they return to Earth and try to find their headquarters, exploring the planet in a rover and running into various pockets of cultures that have evolved from the ruins of Earth. That’s the scenario for this failed pilot and two episodes are included on this dvd from Warner Archive. Continue reading
First about the blu-ray-the disc is without a doubt a system show off disc-it has one of the clearest, sharpest and best looking pictures I’ve ever seen on blu-ray. That’s the good part.
The disc, even though it comes with a dvd copy, is totally bare bones; no extras at all, nada, zip, nothing. Gee, was this planned? Continue reading
Michael Bay’s big film before “Transformers” was this doomsday plot action thriller with producer Jerry Bruckheimer on board. Stars Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton, Owen Wilson, Michael Duncan, and Will Patton are put in charge of saving the planet from a rogue comet the size of Texas, as no one in the government can hold a candle to these oil drilling experts. (We need these guys in the Gulf of Mexico right now!). The semi-serious plot (the end of the world sure is funny)involves their recruitment, training and their adventures getting to the comet to drill a hole and stuff it with a nuke before it impacts Earth. Along the way they team up with a space happy Russian cosmonaut and “serious” members of the NASA crew.
The science part of this science fiction film is laughable but the movie in general is really one of those “put your brain on hold and just watch the action” type films anyway. If you can get around those facts that are glaring in parts (fires in space?) you could enjoy the film for its effects, humor and action sequences.
The blu-ray picture is up to Disney (Touchstone) standards, as well as the DTS-MA sound. Extras are not plentiful at all, which is a disturbing trend for Disney films( Tombstone also lacked extras found on the Vista series dvd set) but all we get on this blu-ray is Aerosmith’s music video I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, a theatrical trailer, and teaser trailer. With the Criterion dvd set loaded extras this a real letdown.
The first 10 episodes of this original show on ABC are released on DVD, before the return of the show on March 18th. I have found the show worth watching, and the show follows the calendar as the weeks go by. For anyone not familiar with it, a world wide blackout of humans occurs for 2 minutes and 17 seconds in the opening show and FBI agents Joseph Fiennes and John Cho must deal with the aftermath and try to find out the mystery behind it. During this blackout period, people experience a vision of their future, that have devastating results to relationships and the way people feel about life. The show deals more with these visions and the clues they contain then anything else. The audience discovers along with the characters when secrets are revealed. Continue reading
“Pandorum” is the scary, edge of your seat type of science fiction, with quick edits and added shock value throughout. Continue reading