Tuesday 13 March 2012

John Carter (of Mars) FREEBIE, FREE STUFF

I had the absolute pleasure to go and see John Carter at the cinema this weekend. The wife let me and the eldest go see it together and even paid and provided nibbles. It was also the full 3D version, how cool is that? If you don't know what John Carter is about then I wouldn't be surprised. It would seem Disney invested massive amounts in a story everyone could relate to and identify with and then promptly forgot how to get that across.

John Carter is based on a series of books written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, the guy who wrote Tarzan, The People that Time Forgot and At The Earth's Core, amongst others. Amazingly you can get all the books, and the others mentioned electronically, for FREE at Project Guttenberg

A Princess of Mars
Gods of Mars
Thuvia, Maid of Mars
Warlord of Mars
Chessmen of Mars

I downloaded these books years ago onto my Palm Tungsten T PDA. I can't remember why but I was impressed they were for free and I enjoyed them for the 'pulp' sci-fi they were.

At it's core the story is about a civil war veteran who gets transported to Mars and there becomes a hero in the war between the people and aliens living on that planet. It helps that on Mars Carter's Earth-born bone density and muscle mass allows him to 'leap tall buildings'[yes he inspired the Man of Steel] and have superhuman strength. Of course there's a love interest, the Princess of Mars and if you do an image search of her name NOT AT WORK then you will discover this buxom wench has a slight aversion to clothes but otherwise in the film she's slightly more attired, though no less captivating

John Carter is based on a book nearly 100 years old that brings about the Sci-Fi concepts of flying craft, teleportation, alien creatures, energy weapons and so much more. Concepts that have been borrowed by Star Wars, Aliens, Flash Gordon and Avatar to name but a few, but this was the originator. I can't recall a film recently I've enjoyed so much. Indeed you will see those elements that are from Attack of the Clones and feel a little frustrated because you've seen it before but this is handled so much better and you will wish you'd not seen the poorer version. Ultimately though I felt John Carter had more in common with Flash Gordon than Star Wars and actually the premise is even a little bit like Shrek, a Princess destined to be married to someone else, an anti-hero who wants to cut himself off from the rest of humanity, desperate to get back to his home [swamp]. There's even a donkey...

I loved this film, of course I had pre-conceptions about things because I'd read the books. Dejah Thoris wasn't red, just tattoed, Mars isn't red enough, although tthere are some stubby yellow bushes that look suspiciously like Ferron Bindweed. But overall these are minor annoyances compared with Disney's lack of faith in their film. John Carter deserves a massive audience, it's comparable to any of the big sci-fi epics we've had in years and the only way that can happen is for people to go see it, then perhaps we may get the sequels. At this stage I think that's doubtful but maybe there will be a surge of people discovering this film and it may slowly grow momentum, I hope so. If I've not encouraged you enough try the trailer on for size:

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