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-   -   John Carter 3D (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/187-official-avs-blu-ray-disc-reviews/1412670-john-carter-3d-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review.html)

Ralph Potts 05-28-2012 12:33 PM

attachment.php?attachmentid=247377&d=1337777334
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

86






Studio and Year: Disney - 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 132 minutes
Genre: Action/Advneture/Sci-fi

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, Willem DaFoe, James Purefoy
Directed by: Andrew Stanton
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Written by: Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, Michael Chabon based on the story A princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 5, 2012







"A warrior on earth becomes a hero on Mars"



Film Synopsis:

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton John Carter is a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). John Carter is a war-weary, former military captain who's inexplicably transported to Mars and reluctantly becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. It's a world on the brink of collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.





My Take:

Based on the classic novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter is a warrior lost on Earth, who is magically transported to Mars, where the fate of the planet and its people ultimately rest in his hands. With surprising new powers, and epic battles, he rises to become the man he is meant to be and the hero he truly is.

I suppose that I should be a little embarrassed to admit that prior to the release of this film I had never really heard of John Carter or his adventures on Mars. The classic series of books are world renown and have an incredible fan base that spans generations. Director Andrew Stanton is clearly among those that love Edgar Rice Burroughs work and making this film was truly a labor of love for him. Thematically speaking John Carter is a sort of swashbuckling sci-fi romance that contains standard character archetypes that by today's standards may seem elementary. For those that appreciate the timeless nature of such stories/character archetypes film's such as these can prove rewarding.

I didn't see John Carter during its theatrical run. I didn't hear anything about it that made it worthy of a trip to the theater but figured I would catch it when it came to Blu-ray. I went in this review with reserved expectations hoping that there would be enough to keep me interested. John Carter isn't as bad as what I anticipated and in fact other than a few problems is reasonably entertaining. Probably the biggest problem is that there really isn't enough storyline to sustain the film's two hour and twelve minute runtime which adversely effects the pacing. Secondly, and to a lesser degree, there are aspects of the narrative that isn't fully developed which creates the feeling of fragmentation. This splashes over onto some of the secondary characters but again I didn't see it as detrimental. This is a straight forward action-adventure that has epic aspirations that never come to fruition mostly for the reasons stated above.

Having said that there is plenty to like in the cache of primary characters headed by Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), Tars Tarkas (Willem Defoe), Sola (Samantha Morton), and bad guys Matai Shang (Mark Strong) and Sab Than (Dominic West). Honorable mention goes out to the CGI creature/dog (name?) that provided a few of the film's best moments. I didn't find Taylor Kitsch's portrayal of John Carter to have enough charisma/grit to be wholly convincing (he wasn't terrible) which is my final complaint. I liked the action and high end production which at times proved pretty slick and there is enough heart and levity to provide a tangible connection to key elements. In the end I found John Carter to be mildly entertaining but not up to the level of the better action/adventure/fantasies fans of the genre are accustomed to seeing.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for intense sequences of violence and action.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 92



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692


3D Presentation: 80


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

John Carter 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps.

This film wasn't shot natively in 3D but was converted in post-production. The film was largely shot against green screens and the reproduction of the digital effects and wide angle background elements translates positively here. Depth is appreciable as evidenced by separation of objects and/or people layered in the foreground/background which creates a visual sense of virtual space. High definition dimensionality and apparent resolution is rarely questionable in close ups and brightly lit exterior sequences but it varies some in the limited lighting. Comparing white/black levels, color and skin tone reproduction to the 2D presentation I found them to essentially be identical. There is a distinct lack of 3D effects that transcend the boundaries of the screen which makes for a somewhat less involving experience especially during the action based segments. I will say that I didn't find that this detracted from my enjoyment of the overall presentation which like the 2D version looks terrific on Blu-ray. I didn't notice any distracting instances of crosstalk or other video related anomalies. The end result is a satisfying but unremarkable 3D video presentation.

This 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is fairly aggressive and features an active surround mix that has extended dynamic range that positively renders the bombastic nature of the elements in the recording. The action based sequences transform the listening area into a three dimensional sound field filled via immersive surround activity that mates perfectly with the events unfolding onscreen. Low frequency effects produce bass that rumbles with tactile authority that occasionally pressurizes the room. While there are moments where punctuated deep bass can be felt it never entered the realm of the pant flapping extension that bass heads love to talk about. This shouldn't be seen as a shortcoming as overall balance within the mix is appropriate and satisfying. Dialogue is reproduced with lucid expression and exacting clarity that produced just the slightest hint of sibilance in the upper registers. This is an involving and dynamically enriched sound design that features high level sonic detail, excellent directional correlation and rhythmically charged bass. My advice is to crank this one up, sit back and enjoy.



2D Video Quality:



Video: 94


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

John Carter comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 Mpbs.

This is a high quality video presentation that looks spectacular on Blu-ray. Images can be visually arresting and have a rich dynamic quality that highlights a near flawless rendering of detail. The video has excellent dimension and enriching clarity that rarely left me wanting. The stylized visual design features varied aesthetics that mate perfectly with subject matter. The majority of the film boasts deep shades of gray, blue, red, green, white and black. The chromatic range is vividly reproduced and fully appreciable as colors are deeply saturated with lustrous vibrancy that leaps off of the screen. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. Flesh tones are not overtly complex in tone but appear diverse in subtle structure and complexional makeup. High production value expertly blends real imagery with CGI with the end result being a distinguished video presentation that is perfect for showing off your high definition display.



Bonus Features:


  • Disc 1:


  • 3D Blu-ray - John Carter

  • Disc 2:


  • 2D Blu-ray - John Carter (plus the following bonus features):
  • Explore John Carter's Journel with Disney's Second Screen

  • (HD) 100 years in the making - 10 minute documentary

  • (HD) 10 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Andrew Stanton (Also includes an introduction by Andrew Stanton)

  • (HD) 360 degrees of John Carter - 34 minute look at a day on the set

  • (HD) Barsoom bloopers - 2 minutes

  • Audio commentary by Andrew Stanton and producers Jim Morris and Lindsey Collins

  • Disc 3:


  • Bonus DVD - John Carter

  • Disc 4:


  • Digital Copy Bonus Disc - John Carter




Final Thoughts:

Based on the classic novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter is an ambitious big screen adaptation that is clearly a labor of love for director Andrew Stanton. While its heart is in the right place it suffers from a problematic script and bloated runtime. The good news is that the production is first rate and problems aside the screenplay contains enough action, likeable characters and heart to make for a mildly entertaining action/adventure. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney in this four disc 3D package that offers a satisfying but unremarkable 3D viewing experience that draws from the terrific elements found in its excellent 2D high definition audio/video presentation. The bonus material includes Disney's worthwhile Second Screen in-world experience (via the downloadable app), and several interesting features highlighted by an in depth look behind the scenes during a busy production day on the set. John Carter isn't the best nor is it the worst action/adventure film out there. Personally I enjoyed it enough to add this four disc 3D Blu-ray release to my collection. If you're curious drop it in your rental queue and take it for a spin.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

jproy13 05-28-2012 02:40 PM

Thanks Ralph.

So it seems it's one of those sit back, don't think and enjoy type of flick

Another one for my collection. Anything that is 90 and up, always finds is way in my movie library

cheers

yadfgp 05-28-2012 02:46 PM

Happy Memorial Day Ralph!!!!!!!!!!!

Ralph Potts 05-28-2012 03:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by yadfgp View Post

Happy Memorial Day Ralph!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks! Same to you

Regards,

Nuieve 05-28-2012 05:53 PM

I think the reason why most people never really warmed up to JC is that they compared it to modern movies.

But you have to realize this whole story, world was created in a mind of a man from early 1900s when he didn't know squad about the universe. Now we know there's nothing on Mars so it's just another Mars movie, but to people of 1920s it wasn't the case. They looked at the bright red star and wondered what's there. You have to feel the romance of unknown in this movie, see it with the eyes of a person of 1920. This is what makes this movie so special.

grasshoppers 05-28-2012 07:16 PM

I enjoyed the movie, thought it was pretty good.
I have always been A big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs
from Tarzan when I was a kid and onwards.
I was pretty bummed out when the movie did so poorly.
Disney took a lot of heat, and I feel they spent WAY too
much $$ producing it.

They main reason I am a bit upset is that I have always
hoped that another classic 'ERB' book series would be brought
to the big screen. I am talking about the 5 book series
called "Carson of Venus". Great story,one of the best I've read.
Sadly now, I dont think its gonna happen.

javry 05-29-2012 01:10 AM

Quote:
John Carter 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps



Hey Ralph - What is the general range and significance of low - average - and high re: the above?

Ralph Potts 05-29-2012 02:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by javry View Post


Hey Ralph - What is the general range and significance of low - average - and high re: the above?

Greetings,

When I use the term "average" it is meant to indicate that of the samples taken over the course of the film this number is the approximate bitrate. It isn't meant as a rating (low/average/high).


Regards,

Scottyb09 05-29-2012 07:25 AM

Dude - that cover art is really, really bad!

Xavier1 05-29-2012 08:56 AM

My wife and I really enjoyed this movie. We went in with low expectations, and it surprised me at how good it was. A great popcorn flick!

GoCaboNow 05-29-2012 09:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by grasshoppers View Post


I have always been A big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs
from Tarzan when I was a kid and onwards.
I was pretty bummed out when the movie did so poorly.
Disney took a lot of heat, and I feel they spent WAY too
much $$ producing it.

They main reason I am a bit upset is that I have always
hoped that another classic 'ERB' book series would be brought
to the big screen. I am talking about the 5 book series
called "Carson of Venus". Great story,one of the best I've read.
Sadly now, I dont think its gonna happen.

Echoes my thoughts as well. This and a credible re-make for Tarzan. Funny to me how different the character of Tarzan is from the book to public perception.

JamE55 05-29-2012 09:48 AM

Kinda surprises me when this movie flopped at the box office when i actually found it to be a great flick. Felt sorry for the director Andrew since he's put so much into it and at the end i think he quit or maybe got canned.

But this is movie overall is great!

NCCaniac 05-29-2012 10:18 AM

The CGI dog-like creature's name is "Woola".

Ralph Potts 05-29-2012 10:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCCaniac View Post

The CGI dog-like creature's name is "Woola".

Greetings,

Woola ! Thanks..

Regards,

spivonious 05-29-2012 11:23 AM

I enjoyed this movie when I saw it in the second-run theater. I really don't understand why it got panned by critics and the public. Other than a horrible marketing campaign and horrible title, the movie itself was entertaining and the special effects more than adequate.

gridbug 05-29-2012 06:44 PM

I too skipped this during it's initial cinematic run, but caught it on HD home video. Considering 'Princess of Mars' was in many ways the archetype for every movie that John Carter wound up being compared to (Avatar, Star Wars etc) it's an understated accomplishment that JC was able to keep its narrative brisk and inspired while complimenting the proceedings with some stunning visuals. Keeping in mind the John Carter of Mars novels by Burroughs have been riffed on (read: ripped off) by dozens of films over multiple decades and spawning various genres it's a wonder that we A) even got this film in the first place and B) got something that managed to transcend its comparative cinematic ventures and prove that in this case, the original still holds significant weight on its own. For my two cents, JC wasn't exactly a slam dunk, but there was far more enjoyment to be had than there was disappointment, and based on that alone this film was a success that was shamefully short changed by the Mouse House. With luck it'll find its audience on home video and will finally get the credit it's due. Respectful enough of its source material (for the most part) and not afraid to embrace the epic spectacle that this sort of story calls for, the Missus and I found John Carter to be a worthwhile waste of a couple hours and worth a rental at least.


dfergie 05-29-2012 08:19 PM

Saw it at the theater, we all loved it... I grew up on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels as well as many of the early scifi & adventure novels. This one is a pre-order for me.

coolcat4843 05-30-2012 06:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post


Another one for my collection.
Anything that is 90 and up, always finds is way in my movie library

Is that for audio or video, or both?

tfoltz 05-30-2012 09:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottyb09 View Post

Dude - that cover art is really, really bad!

Poster/cover art technique 101: 1. Insert background art that is interesting and relates to the movie. 2. Insert zoomed image of main character/actor to diminish any interest in movie. 3. Pat self on back.

Unrelated fun movie poster article #1.
Unrelated fun movie poster article #2.

ozar 05-30-2012 10:00 AM

I've had this one on my "thinking about it" list for a while, now but not entirely decided. Will wait for a few more opinions and comments here before moving on it one way, or the other.

Thanks for taking the time to review this for us, Ralph!

JMCurtis 05-30-2012 11:03 AM

Really liked the 3D movie version in the theater, and is a definite buy for me. But, I'll bet it might have had a better run at the box office if it would have had ERB's name on it and had been called John Carter of Mars!!

derek 05-30-2012 12:46 PM

Really enjoyed this film a fun, scifi romp that didn't deserve the negative feedback it got. Looking forward to the 3D bluray set.

Mr.G 05-31-2012 08:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by gridbug View Post

I too skipped this during it's initial cinematic run, but caught it on HD home video. Considering 'Princess of Mars' was in many ways the archetype for every movie that John Carter wound up being compared to (Avatar, Star Wars etc) it's an understated accomplishment that JC was able to keep its narrative brisk and inspired while complimenting the proceedings with some stunning visuals. Keeping in mind the John Carter of Mars novels by Burroughs have been riffed on (read: ripped off) by dozens of films over multiple decades and spawning various genres it's a wonder that we A) even got this film in the first place and B) got something that managed to transcend its comparative cinematic ventures and prove that in this case, the original still holds significant weight on its own. For my two cents, JC wasn't exactly a slam dunk, but there was far more enjoyment to be had than there was disappointment, and based on that alone this film was a success that was shamefully short changed by the Mouse House. With luck it'll find its audience on home video and will finally get the credit it's due. Respectful enough of its source material (for the most part) and not afraid to embrace the epic spectacle that this sort of story calls for, the Missus and I found John Carter to be a worthwhile waste of a couple hours and worth a rental at least.

Well said. It seems fairly common that folks like you and Ralph skipped seeing this in a theater due to critic reviews. I was going to skip it as well until I decided to see it in the very last showing before it left my local IMAX 3D theater. I'm not really much of a 3D fan but thought the depth of the 3D in the film was excellent so I was a little surprised that Ralph thought it was only okay. I have already pre-ordered my John Carter Blu-ray combo pack and look forward to screening this film for friends and relatives who opted not to see it on the big screen.

chong67 05-31-2012 09:52 AM

Y.A. Prince of Persia movie.

coati858 05-31-2012 03:38 PM

I liked it (a lot). My kids loved it. So this is a "day one" purchase for us. This movie deserved a better fate.

Rach 06-01-2012 08:49 AM

It sounds like it might be a good 3D family film for the kids. With that in mind, it might be worth a purchase.

ozar 06-01-2012 09:15 AM

Opinions regarding John Carter seem to be all over the place but I've gone ahead and ordered the 2D/3D version.

If that turns out to be a mistake, it won't be the first time I've goofed up...

Franin 06-02-2012 04:49 AM

Thank you for the review Ralph looking forward in watching it.

cinema13 06-02-2012 03:48 PM

What, no love for the more accurately-titled adaptation PRINCESS OF MARS, starring Traci Lords as Dejah Thoris and Antonio Sabato as John Carter?? :-)

dholmes54 06-03-2012 07:55 AM

Is this movie in 2.40 or 1.85,Amazon says 1.85,thanks


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