Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I Still Want a Woola

What went wrong? After "John Carter of Mars" went into production, Disney released "Mars Needs Moms" to a resounding lack of business, and began to fear that Mars had no commercial potential. They did some marketing research and discovered that women will not see movies set on Mars (I don't know how the fair sex feels about Venus, or Uranus), so "John Carter of Mars" is a title to alienate half of your potential audience right off the bat. Hence, the name change to "John Carter," or, "Some Guy of Somewhere: The Movie." Couldn't they have kept the original title "A Princess of Mars" and hoped that the girliness of "Princess" would cancel out the previously unrecognized by astronomy gynorepellant properties of the red planet? After all that, the director demanded total control over the advertising, and seems to have been misguided in this sphere.

And it's a good movie! It doesn't always have the narrative clarity and light touch one might expect from Pixar people. Still, a solid pulp adventure. I don't understand the gleefully vituperative reception. I feel sorry for the poor shaggy thing.

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Blogger Chad Woody said...

Someone on i09 commented that all modern movies involving Mars have been considered flops with the exception of "Total Recall." But I think you are right about the title. "John Carter" is too generic, and secretly alienated the political right, who considered it a relative of that malaise-peddling villain, Jimmy Carter.

March 13, 2012 at 8:47 PM  
Blogger Edward said...

It had a buzz of doom, but I figured I'd be happy enough if the Woola was cute, the apes were fierce, and the princess didn't have too many clothes. It way exceeded my lowered expectations. The "Conan" review showed me how to approach this sort of thing.

March 13, 2012 at 9:51 PM  

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