five reasons to see john carter

I've enjoyed the Barsoom books since I was a kid, and my blog title is a reference to them. Saying I'm excited to see John Carter next week would be an understatement. But I know that a lot of folks, even my fellow book geeks, are underwhelmed by the coming awesome.

The ads for the movie have been on the generic side, and haven't emphasized the things I find interesting or important about the project. So here are some reasons you may want to check out the movie's March 9th release:
  • It was written by the creator of Tarzan.
    A Princess of Mars, the book that the movie was based on, was the first story by Edgar Rice Burroughs, better known as the author who wrote Tarzan of the Apes and its many, many sequels. Tarzan broke into the movies early (back in the silent film days), and while most of the adaptations stray wildly from the original plot and characterization, everyone's familiar with the basics of that story. John Carter was never as famous a hero as Tarzan, but I think his adventures are more interesting than the ape man's.
  • The director made WALL-E and Finding Nemo.
    John Carter is the first live action movie from Andrew Stanton, who directed two of Pixar's best movies. This movie was originally rumored to be Pixar's first live action film, but it was supposedly shifted to Disney because the PG-13 setting didn't fit Pixar's mostly G-rated brand.
  • One of the screenwriters won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
    Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon, author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and The Yiddish Policemen's Union, helped out with the script. He's also won a Hugo and a Nebula, so he's got both literary skills and serious genre cred.
  • The books have been hugely influential on genre fiction.
    While Burroughs wasn't the first to write planetary romance style stories, he played a large role in popularizing them. Authors, artists, and filmmakers have been drawing on these books for inspiration since they first appeared way back in 1912. In the past hundred years they've influenced everyone from Ray Bradbury to George Lucas.
  • The story is fun.
    So after all this stuff about the influence of the books and the impressive folks involved with the movie's production, what it really comes down to in the end is the story. John Carter is this soldier who gets transported to Mars, meets some aliens, falls in love, and has swashbuckling adventures with swords and airships. If you don't think that's a cool premise, then you must hate fun.

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