“John Carter” delivers stunning visual effects

Published by adviser, Author: Jimmy Graner - Rocket Contributor, Date: March 22, 2012

“John Carter” has been said to be a big mistake and a waste of time and money by critics and moviegoers. Disney, who produced the film, is already in the process of losing $200 billion, according to the Associated Press.But as far as the graphics, CGI, plot and great list of earnest characters, the movie stands out among others.

The film stars Taylor Kitsch, who has the leading role of John Carter. Carter is an ex-Confederate soldier in the late 1800’s, who has made a name for himself by being a rough and tough bad boy. When asked upon by fellow Confederate soldier Powell (Bryan Cranston) to accompany him into town after trying to barter for a drink with a piece of gold he found in a cave, Carter is knocked out and questioned about his actions.

Not soon after, Carter escapes and finds himself faced against a group of Apaches. After being chased away and cornered into a canyon with Powell, Kitsch finds himself in the dwellings of an abandoned cave where he had said he’d found gold before. Upon searching the cave, a mysterious figure appears and tries to kill Carter, but Carter is then rescued by Powell.

Carter decides to search the mysterious figure’s body and finds a glowing amulet. When he picks it up, he is teleported to the planet Mars (Barsoom, as it is called by the planet’s inhabitants). Soon after, Carter learns of what is happening on the planet and how he can help not only with an ongoing conflict, but with a father and daughter’s relationship and how it’s growing apart.

The one thing that kept me moving with this film was the actors and how they portrayed their characters in the story. Taylor Kitsch really sets the mood with his role as the leading protagonist, and lends a hand wherever needed.

The leading female role, played by Lynn Collins as the princess of Helium – one of two nations on Mars – is simply irresistible.

Willem Dafoe plays Tars Tarkas, leader and king of the Green Martian Tharks. Although this group is just CGI (computer-generated images), Dafoe does a great job conveying anger and emotion like he did with the Green Goblin in Spiderman.

As far as CGI goes, director Andrew Stanton does a good job showing all that went into the movie. In one action sequence, there are as many as five thousand Tharks in one shot. Along with most of the CGI characters, there are also CGI vehicles that look amazing when driven.

The idea is put into the movie that the sun controls most of the things used on the planet since it’s always so bright, unlike Earth, where the sunlight shines only on certain parts of the planet at a time.

Like the movie “Avatar” released in 2009, almost everything in “John Carter” was CGI, such as native creatures on the planet, but mixed with actual human life.

I feel like the ideas behind making CGI creatures is combining already-made characters and changing them around to get a feel of what a creature may look like in the specific atmosphere given.

With such a high budget for the movie, the director was able to show many aspects of what the film had to offer. Many sequences of John Carter being able to leap high and far distances are well done, and the animation of the aerial shots showing the planet and its landscape are spectacular.

Even though the visuals are magnificent, keeping track of the story is kind of nerve-racking, and putting all the conclusions together at the end of the film makes you wonder what you really just sat through.

If you’re looking for action and adventure with a unique plot and excellent effects, this movie is for you. It’s rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action.


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