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'John Carter:' Average name, average movie

By Hannah Betler
On March 13, 2012

John Carter opened in theatres everywhere this past weekend. The Disney Pixar movie got the three and half stars it deserved. This Disney movie is rated PG-13 because of a few mildly violent scenes, but I wouldn't worry too much about taking younger kids to this movie. They will love the chaos and huge green creatures, and the idea that life on planet Mars might actually exist.

 John Carter is about a Civil War captain who lost both wife and child and is unexpectedly transported onto the planet Mars after finding a cave of gold he had been searching for years for.
This isn't just a simple Disney movie. Mars isn't like any place he's ever seen. It's desolate desert landscape and with the gravity differing greatly from Earth, John Carter is able to jump very high and great distances. Barsoom, as the natives call planet Mars, is slowly loosing all its scarce resources such as oxygen, water and even the atmosphere.

The plot had several stories intertwining with the main story line. The main story line consists of two different alien races, good vs. evil, with the Holly Therns trying to gain control of its neighboring inhabitants Helium. John Carter aids the Helium people in keeping their freedom before being whisked back to earth.
Taylor Kitsch playing the role of John Carter did a decent job as the protagonist. For those Friday Night Lights fans, Kitsch had a similar role in John Carter. Kitsch will also star in the movie Battleship which is supposed to be released later this summer.

The best performances of the movie however, come from the trio of actors featured as "Tharks." Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church and Samantha Morton played the Tharks, the tall, green creatures with two arms on each side of their bodies. Although their faces weren't physically on the screen, their voices worked throughout the movie. Their characters really were brought to life, becoming the most intricate additions to the film. The strongest part of the movie was the very end. Carter's nephew is coming to the close of the journal when a light bulb goes off and he realizes what he must do. The ending really added an unexpected twist in the storyline.  

The film is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel, A Princess of Mars, the first of a classic 11-part series of science fiction pulp novels positioned on our neighboring red planet, Mars. Burrough's is better known for his creation of Tarzan in the early 19th Century. However, much like other movies based on books, The Hunger Games, set to come out later this month, Twilight, and Harry Potter, most people probably wouldn't be as familiar with these books had it not been for the movies.

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