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Saturday, 22 June 2013

It's Space Opera, Jim - not Aida!


Ignore the sniping campaign that beset John Carter from before it was even released and watch this movie through the lens of some important facts. Edgar Rice Burroughs' first story was serialised in 1912, and he invented much of the language of modern SF stories, arguably doing more than anyone to create the Space Opera form that long after spawned Star Trek, Star Wars and all that followed them. To say that we have seen before most of what Andrew Stanton puts on screen is a narrow view, and to say that it is confusing implies a conscious unwillingness to put some thought into following the story (that's you, Dr. Kermode). It's sad to think that we will probably not see any of the other books now, all because of the deliberately constructed scuttlebutt designed to sabotage the film. Mark Strong and James Purefoy have both alluded to this in interview and how completely disproportionate that opprobrium was. Those of us who are fans can only hope that John Carter becomes the long term success that it deserves to be, it's a cracking adventure movie, Lynn Collins is every inch the feisty Martian princess and definitely could take Princess Leia in a fight (no blasters allowed). The cast is filled out with a mighty throng of British thesps, including the aforementioned plus Samantha Morton, Ciaran Hinds and Dominic West, and the mighty Bryan Cranston and Thomas Haden Church are also present. But what about Taylor Kitsch? Well he does just fine, the role is not taxing and he's got the muscles for it, I mean come on, it's space opera, not Aida.

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