John Carter

Disney Blu-ray

In shops now

Poor Taylor Kitsch can’t catch a break.  Between “John Carter” and “Battleship” he’s doing a lot of big movies that aren’t making big money.  I’m really rooting for him come “Savages” time.

Despite all the hubub in the press, the reportedly $250 million epic has actually earned more than $282 million worldwide according to BoxOfficeMojo, and with good reason.  Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic “A Princess of Mars,” the story has been around for nearly 100 years, and thankfully it’s in the hands of visionary director, Andrew Stanton.

As you will see in the special features, the production design was a two-year process and despite all the wonders of CGI, the actual shooting of the film was an incredible feat. Flying ships and alien beasts and gravity-defying stunts are all well and good, but this adaptation (thankfully) also has layered characters at its center so we can root for the people and the special effects.

The Blu-ray set includes the features: ‘360 Degrees of John Carter’ a production diary that follows cast and crew on one of the biggest days of the shoot in England, ‘100 Years in the Making’ with testimony from Stanton, Michael Chabon and Jon Favreau about why the book was destined to become a film, why it took so long to be realized, and why it’s such a key piece in the genre. Also, there is a blooper reel.

But really, it’s a great story and one that was perhaps dismissed too soon because of a box office misfire.  It’s absolutely worth a viewing.