25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
If ER Burroughs were still alive...
, March 21, 2010
This review is from: Princess of Mars (DVD)
...this movie would have killed him.
I rented this 'film' from Netflix, and didn't bother to check out who produced it beforehand. When the DVD arrived and I took it out of the sleeve and saw "The Asylum" on the disc, I knew I was in for a crapfest. I would wager every penny I own and ever will own that those guys just are simply not capable of making a real movie. You know, with a coherent plot, decent acting, and at least semi-convincing special effects. Nope, instead, The Asylum specializes in rip-offs of better-known box-office hits, such schlock-fests as 'I Am Omega' and 'Transmorphers'. So yeah, as soon as I saw who made the film, my expectations were already non-existent.
After actually watching the movie (against my better judgement, but hey, I'm a glutton for punishment), my opinion hasn't changed one bit. In the 'making of' featurette, the director makes a big deal of how they did this film in only TWELVE DAYS!!!!1!! Uh, hate to break it to you dude, but maybe that's not something you should be proud of. Just because something is possible doesn't mean it's the best thing to do. I mean, I could run out into traffic instead of taking a couple of minutes more to cross at a crosswalk and maybe save myself a minute or two, but I could also get hit by a car.
And this movie IS a car-wreck. The story is a barely-coherent 'adaption' of the source material. It was a nice idea to update John Carter's back-story to the present day and make it more relevant to today's viewers, but the way it was done was laughably stupid. Without giving away anything (for those masochistic enough to subject themselves to watching it), the method by which Carter was sent to 'Mars' was never explained with any degree of sense. Once on 'Mars', many of the 'Martians' called their planet Mars, while some stuck with Barsoom. In the original book, it made a certain amount of sense that maybe, just maybe, some of the natives would call their planet by the Earth-name, since Earth and Mars are neighbors after all, but here? This 'Mars' isn't even in the same freaking solar system! Why would the inhabitants even know what that word means? I just can't go on pointing out plot holes, but that should give you some idea.
As for the casting and acting... bleh. Antonio Sabato made a passable John Carter, but with that type of character one expects a bit of stoic woodenness, so it made sense to cast him or someone like him. But Traci Lords as Deja Thoris? Come on now - what's that all about? She's a pretty lady, but she's not the Princess of Mars. Not to mention she can't act her way out of a paper bag.
The special effects are the usual Asylum hurry-up-and-get-it-done garbage. The fight with the spiders early in the film was fairly well-done as long as you don't look too closely, but as for the rest of it... bleh again.
I just don't understand production companies like The Asylum. Did they all actually come from an asylum? Don't they have any pride in their work, any interest in making a halfway decent movie? I don't get it. At any rate, it reinforced my decision never to watch another one of their movies, and taught me to do some research on IMDB before adding something to my Netflix queue. :D
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