Did you see “John Carter” when it was in theaters? Not many people did, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a chance on Blu-Ray/DVD. While the movie didn’t perform to the expectations of the movie studio, that doesn’t mean it was the worst movie ever made… I’m not saying it was a good movie by any means, but I’ve seen far worse.
“John Carter” follows, well, John Carter, as he goes looking for an elusive cave of gold. After being chased around by some Indians he ends up being teleported to Mars and spends the rest of the movie trying to get home… essentially. Of course once he ends up on Mars he meets a girl and instantly falls in love with her. It doesn’t help that the girl is a princess and her kingdom is at war with a man hellbent on taking over. It also doesn’t help that this man was given a “super weapon” of sorts by a race of creatures that were thought to be only myths.
The movie is a big, over-the-top, epic that showcases a great deal of special effects work and computer animation, but it lacks that spark that movies like “Harry Potter” have. I didn’t feel any connection with the characters, there was really no reason for me to like John Carter himself. He seemed way too eager to help out on a planet that he was only on accidentally. I don’t know, the movie just wasn’t that great in terms of acting and storytelling, however, the special effects and computer animation were top notch.
So if you’re looking for a movie you can shut your brain off during and still enjoy for the visuals, give it a shot. I’m not telling you you’re going to enjoy it, but I don’t think you’ll hate it. The blu-ray presentation itself is also one of the best things about this set.
The video in this set is flawless, just like most Disney blu-rays these days. There are no artifacts, no blocking, nothing, the picture is crystal clear. For the most part the color palette in the movie is fairly dull, but that doesn’t stop the vibrance from shining through. And like I said above, the CGI in the film was top notch and the video transfer only enhances it making everything fit seamlessly into the backgrounds.
The audio is presented in 7.1 DTS-HD and sounds incredible. If you’re looking to rattle your house with a flick, this is a good choice. The action scenes blew me away in terms of audio and the mixing is spot on. Voices were legible and the music was perfect. Disney has really figured out this whole blu-ray thing.
As far as special features go, there are a good amount of them in this set. You’ve got your standard commentary track with the director and a couple producers which is engaging and funny at times although I would have liked to have heard from Taylor Kitsch. You’ve also got Disney’s Second Screen Interactive Experience, which I don’t really care for. When I’m watching a movie I don’t want to have my iPad out to view more content, I want to actually watch the movie. There are a bunch of semi-pointless deleted scenes, but if you enjoy the movie I’m sure you’ll enjoy these. A cool featurette titled “100 Years in the Making” which chronicles Edgar Rice Burroughs’ life and how the John Carter series catapulted him to fame when the books were first written. It’s actually pretty interesting and one of my favorite things about this disc. Another featurette titled “360 Degrees of John Carter” is also interesting. It runs about 35 minutes long and is a behind-the-scenes look at the movie while following the director around. And of course we have a blooper reel. Unfortunately this movie was not intended to be a comedy, even though some people thought it was, so the blooper reel really isn’t all that funny or interesting.
Overall if you’re curious about this one I would give it a rent. The blu-ray itself doesn’t have anything too special that would warrant you buying this one for your collection, but even if you’re the slight bit curious about why this movie did so poorly, then I would suggest checking it out. I actually watched it twice as it was playing on a plane I was one and then I had to review the blu-ray for the site, so if I can watch it twice it can’t be the worst movie in the world…. right?