Read the entire piece from Mark Hughes in Forbes HERE.
Let me just start by getting something off my chest, before I explain why you should see John Carter. If anyone feels too jaded to have any fun, or tries too hard to pretend they’re too “cool” to like anything anymore, they should just stop professionally reviewing movies. Why subject yourselves and your readers to the repetitive (and boring) sneering and jeering that dominates your film reviews? Why exert yourselves in this endless display of trying to find something, anything, to complain about as an excuse to ignore quality entertainment, as you rush to best one another in some silly game of “who can out-bash whose reviews?”
It seems you pick these little “negative narratives” in advance, without any regard for accuracy, and you all hop the bandwagon to be sure and parrot that narrative until it sounds like the same review over and over — and, if anyone cares to look closely, the same phrases and words lifted right from one another (like “rooting interest” and “flat/inexpressive”), making me wonder if reviewers are seriously getting paid even if they just read other people’s reviews and do some quick cut-and-pasting instead of watching the film themselves.
Which is all to say, dear readers, you should ignore most of the negative reviews you’ve heard about John Carter. The film merges portions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first John Carter novel A Princess of Mars and a few parts of the follow-up book The Gods of Mars, streamlined into a single narrative and with some updating and alteration in the adapting. It also reflects some of the look and pulpy feel of the 1970′s Marvel comic book series John Carter, Warlord of Mars.
But what it most reminds me of are those great classic matinee adventures like Jason and the Argonauts — big, bright adventures with wild monsters and brave armies, heroes and heroines who run and jump and kiss while we grin like kids at the sheer fun of it all. There was a time when not every movie tried to be some cliched “dark and gritty” version of itself, and when critics and audiences went to movies to laugh and cheer and have grand ol’ fun getting entertained by movies that worked hard to give you your buck’s worth for two hours.
And that’s what John Carter is — an old fashioned matinee adventure. It’s Tarzan and Flash Gordon, it’s The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Star Wars. It’s a mixture of barbarian-like ancient technology and weird heavy machinery, it’s swords and flying ships, it’s cowboys and space travel.
Google Inc.’s YouTube announced a deal with Walt Disney Co. to offer rentals of the studio’s movies, letting U.S. and Canadian users watch such films as “Cars 2” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”
A handful of titles will be available for rent today (November 23 was the date of this story), with hundreds more appearing in the weeks to come, YouTube said on its blog. Disney joins Sony Corp., Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures and Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. in offering rentals on YouTube. Some titles are available for free, with many new releases costing $3.99 for 48 hours.
“Check back in because even more of the great Disney classics and new releases will be added in weeks to come, including our YouTube Movie Extras with behind-the-scenes clips, interviews, and more,” said Minjae Ormes, movies and television marketing manager at YouTube, in the blog post.
YouTube, the largest video-sharing site, is expanding its media offerings and helping Google curb its reliance on Internet-search advertising. The rental effort steps up competition with Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc., three of the top providers of digital entertainment. Last week, Google announced a music service that lets users stream songs from more than 1,000 record labels.
With the new agreement, YouTube users can get access to movies from Disney, Disney-Pixar and DreamWorks Studios. The films will be available on Google’s television service as well. Netflix customers, meanwhile, will lose online access to late- release Disney films in February when the video service’s agreement with the Starz cable network expires.
From Bloomberg News.
Another post on the new Muppet movie; read more HERE.
DISNEY didn’t become the world’s largest entertainment company by guessing what people want. Sure, it trusts its creative instincts. But the Magic Kingdom also employs squadrons of black-ops researchers to poke, prod and pry. What psychological hooks should be built into a children’s television show? What colors are most likely to move princess dolls off store shelves?
So imagine how Disney reacted when the time came to create a new Muppet as part of a big-screen, last-ditch effort to resuscitate the 1970s-era TV franchise. One of the producers of its new film “The Muppets,” David Hoberman, who is also a past president of Walt Disney Studios, could easily envision the company delivering an 18-wheeler full of market research with conclusions like: must be cute and fuzzy (to interest moms), spunky and skateboard toting (to hook boys) and square shaped (for easy stacking in toy store displays).
It didn’t happen. Disney — Mr. Hoberman and other members of the movie’s senior creative team said, speaking in separate interviews — was remarkably hands off about Walter, the Muppet at the center of that new film. The studio’s instructions: “Just make a good movie,” Mr. Hoberman said. “It’s pretty amazing that teams of people from consumer products didn’t descend. If they had, God knows where we would have landed.”
Nicholas Stoller, who helped write the screenplay for “The Muppets,” backed him up. “There was shockingly little interference,” Mr. Stoller said. “It turned out to be a pretty strange movie in a totally awesome way.”
Audiences will have to decide awesome for themselves, but strange is true enough. In an obsessive re-creation of the oddball antics that made “The Muppet Show” beloved to a generation of TV viewers, the new movie features dancing chickens, a rapping villain (played by Chris Cooper) and a barbershop quartet that harmonizes Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Disney thinks “The Muppets,” which opens on Wednesday and cost under $50 million to make, has blockbuster potential. But it’s anyone’s guess whether puppets can resonate in the Pixar era. (To quote one of Kermit’s catchphrases, “Don’t count your tadpoles until they’ve hatched.”)
What is certain: “The Muppets” — as underscored by how Walter came to life — is a rare example of the corporate committee getting out of its own way and letting the creative folks take the lead. (Previous efforts to revive the Muppets were built more around consumer products than compelling content.)