Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Hurtling Moons of Barsoom

100 years ago, a pencil sharpener salesman and pulp novel fan decided he could write as well as the people he was reading and wrote the serialized novel A Princess of Mars. Five or six decades later, I fell under the spell of Edgar Rice Burroughs' books and the Mars they depicted. John Carter's Barsoom was a take on Percival Lowell's Mars, rather than the one we know today, a dying planet with canals and vestiges of civilization.

Consequently, I was a bit nervous going to see John Carter, since I was pretty sure they could find lots of ways to mess it up. I was pretty pleased with the result, though, even if Deejah Thoris and her maids insisted on wearing a certain, albeit not too large, amount of clothing, contrary to the naked except for jewelry way I remember them. It was pretty hard to take Carter, devotee of the God of War, as a pacifist, though.

Naturally the fight scenes were shot in the obligatory speeded up motion of contemporary cinema, with the result that they were pretty boring.

I saw it in 2-D, but I suppose it would be good in the 3-D version. For my taste, it was less sappy than Avatar and more fun in the final fights.