Spoiler Alert: "John Carter" is as bad as most of America thought it was. This Disney debacle is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ popular "Barsoom" series of books that are some of the earliest science fiction works in popular culture. Given the fact that the series has been named as one of the progenitors of almost all great science fiction and a film version was in development off and on for 100 years, the film is an epic failure. "John Carter" ends up being a film about having special effects.
The film manages to be confusing yet have excessive exposition. Albeit visually stunning, the special effects cannot save a film that has no clear narrative through-line. So much time passes in the film, and yet, the story only picks up in bursts. It’s a pity because writer/director Andrew Stanton wrote and directed amazing films like "WALL-E" and "Finding Nemo."
The DVD includes an audio commentary by the director and producers. It tends to focus significantly on filming but doesn’t explain how a script that was co-authored by Michael Chabon or a film starring acting heavyweights like Dominic West and Willem Dafoe and a total dreamboat like Taylor Kitsch could be so disappointing.
There is an interesting, yet short, retrospective on the Barsoom series and writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. It is very visually stunning with photos of Burroughs and some voice over. There are also interviews with Jon Favreau and Michael Chabon. There is also information given on the long development process that began in the 1930s when the film was first optioned.
The Blu-Ray of the film features deleted scenes and bloopers. It also features some Disney interactive features that allow you to look at John Carter’s journal and chart the filmmaking process.
"John Carter" is a stunning piece of special effects but an ultimately disappointing film. It is at times unwatchable and at times shocking in its visual effects. Ultimately, it might be worth a rent to see what you think but remember you’ve been warned.