Blu-Ray Review: John Carter 3D

johncarter Blu Ray Review: John Carter 3D

John Carter is a science fiction classic adapted from an Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan) book released in the early 1900s. The book is considered a literary classic by many, but the film is a different story. However, it deserves more credit that it received.

The story revolves around a Civil War hero named John Carter. As he wanders the desert for gold, he accidentally stumbles upon a portal that takes him to Mars. Burroughs’ Mars is definitely strange, but in a fun and slightly goofy kind of way. Carter is confused and finds himself as a prisoner of the greenish creatures that stand 12 feet tall. Carter also learns that he can leap very high and far while in Mars. Of course, there’s conflict, guess who saves the day?

The premise feels more like a video game than a movie.

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The movie is more entertaining than it appears. Whether a film does well or flops at the box office rarely has anything to with the quality of the movie itself. There are worse films out there that made more than John Carter. I believe that the biggest mistake for John Carter was its marketing, and the title itself, “John Carter” doesn’t sound too appealing. Seriously, how many kids would want to see a film called John Carter? It sounds like a lawyer movie.

But, in hindsight, John Carter is a fun family film. Yes, adults might have to try not to over analyze the film, and we’ve had enough practice with Lucas’ films – Episode I, II, and III, so it shouldn’t be very hard. The creatures aren’t very original, but they are fun nonetheless. Especially, Carter’s little pet friend that looks almost like a toad.

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The video quality from Disney is, once again, suberb. Though, in some scenes, the greatness in quality helps reveal some flaws in the CG department, clarity isn’t always good for the occasional bad CG. But this is a rare circumstance, and overall, the scenes look amazingly sharp with warm overtones. The sharpness level is well balanced. It doesn’t feel “digital.” Not overly sharp, and not overly blurry. The colors are nice, the reds are vibrant, and the skin tones are constantly natural.

The 3D is nice but feels like an afterthought.  The stand out are the big battles scenes with flying ships and weapons hurling towards the viewers.  The more quiet ones don’t have much pop to them but there’s no loss in watching the 3D version over the regular blu-ray.

The audio quality is also very impressive. Disney uses the 7.1 surround to its fullest. The sounds of spaceships, cheering crowds, and huge monsters are transferred very nicely into the Blu-ray. The atmospheric sound of Mars is distinct as it circles through all speakers. The dialogue is nice and crisp, very easy to understand, as well as the other background noises within hearing distance.


– Audio Commentary
– Disney Second Screen Interactive Experience
– Deleted Scenes
– 100 Years in the Making
– 360 Degrees of John Carter
– Barsoom Bloopers

The Audio Commentary gives great insight from the Director and the Producers of the film. They talk about the overall experience with the film, including the visual effects and the process of adapting the book to film. “100 Years in the Making” is also a nice 10-minute insight about the author, Edgar Wright Burroughs, and the process of his story adapted from print to the big screen. The Deleted scenes are nice, but many of the contents are incomplete using pre-rendered scenes and storyboard sketches.

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Overall, John Carter is an entertaining flick, almost reminiscent of Indiana Jones style adventure. The story is nothing too deep, but the visual effects are good, the music fits, the creatures are fun, and the video and audio qualities are superb.  So, not the greatest of films, but definitely worth checking out.

Grade: B-

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