Ron Fortier’s a great fan of pulp fiction and literature in general.
His blog is worth a look at any time. I’d like to spotlight his March book review of
JOHN CARTER AND THE GODS OF HOLLYWOOD by Michael D. Sellers, (Universal Media, 348 pages).
This book is all about the movie version of “A Princess of Mars,” by the greatest pulp writer of them all, Edgar Rice Burroughs. Reading this book will doubtless engender some animosity towards many of the people who were 'a part of one of the most disastrous Hollywood marketing fiascos of all time'.
As Ron says, ‘It is a book that details catastrophic incompetence among so many high ranking Disney executives one is left marveling how such a great movie as “John Carter,” ever got made in the first place. It also turns the spotlight on the heroes of this epic calamity; the few with the courage of their convictions and the daring audacity to see it finished. All this despite the selfish individuals determined to see them fail to the point of spreading lies to their cronies; unscrupulous movie critics eager for any scrap of negativity to enhance their own lackluster careers.’
Harsh words. Read the full review here, and weep:
At time of writing the votes for the DVD were phenomenally good. Amazon.com has 1801 reviews, of which 1200 = 5-stars, 345 = 4, 112 = 3, 55 = 2 and 89 = 1 star. This translates as 67% vote of 5 stars. Add 4 and 5 stars and that’s a hefty 86% viewers highly in favour of the film. Go to the bottom scores and the 1 and 2 stars can barely muster 8% of the total votes.
The story is much the same at Amazon.co.uk, with 395 reviews. Of these, 231 are 5-star (59%), 94 are 4-star (24%); that’s combining 4 and 5-star vote of 83% in favour. At the bottom end, the 1 and 2 stars can muster only 10%. (For the record, the 3-star votes, hits 6-7%).
Interestingly, the Rotten Tomatoes score-card of 51% doesn’t quite reflect the notion of a ‘flop’, despite the sourpuss comments; sure, it isn't up in the high 70s, mid-eighties either! Now, their score of 27% for Ishtar, for example, might suggest a flop… Reading the 11 pages of comments of these reviewers, it’s clear that many were very favourable towards John Carter and those who were not, simply didn’t get it, (why, I don’t know, perhaps because they were too young, deaf or jaded). Another oddity: on the Rotten Tomatoes site, they suggest movies ‘like John Carter’ – these are: Prince of Persia (35%), Avatar (83%), 300 (60%) and Thor (77%). Considering most post-war pulp science fiction was derivative of Edgar Rice Burroughs anyway, this is amusing, at least.
There is a sizeable group who are still lobbying for a sequel to John Carter – they can be contacted at http://backtobarsoom.com/