John Carter, an Action Adventure for Teens on 3D Blu-ray (Video Review)


Technologically  John Carter shines as one of the better films I’ve seen in a couple of years.  The 3D CGI, make-up, puppetry, mixed with fine live action characterization alone is worth the watch. Meld all this technology with the amazing fantasy story by Edgar Rice Burroughs and you have an excellent home movie experience. Much like the film Avatar you don’t have to be a science fiction enthusiast to enjoy the adventure and fantasy and it’s now packaged in a 3D Blu-ray combo pack for home viewing. Male teens are the target for this home video, but not if your Tweens grab it first.

The story centers on John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a Civil War military captain who upon fleeing the possibility of death from his fellow soldiers lead by Powell (Brian Cranston) becomes cornered in a cavern, finds and amulet and gets transported to Mars.  Now in a strange world filled with aliens and having obtained physical superpowers due to the change in gravity John is perplexed.  After befriending the green skinned Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) leader of the Tharks he meets Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) of Helium and becomes her ally in the war against Sab Than (Dominic West).

The action filled transformation from gritty gunslinger to Martian power figure involves an exciting chase, capture by the four-armed Tharks and introduction to a planet in chaos.  Director Andrew Stanton of PIXAR (Finding Nemo, WALL-E) keeps the film moving at a fast clip slowing down only to add character buildup and relationships.  His team, most of which are from PIXAR and experts in the area of computer generation imaging, add the cool background, inhabitants and war scenes.

Taylor Kitsch (Battleship) gives a first-rate performance as the buffed-out powerhouse John Carter who finds his way into the heart of Princess Dejah Thoris played nicely by Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine).  The two have a lot of chemistry with their interplanetary love affair and make a hot couple on the screen.  Think Han Solo and Princess Leia (Star Wars IV) or Jack Sully and Neytiri (Avatar) both couples finding each other on distant planets caught up in a life of turmoil.

The players in this film are found in the top echelon of acting including Willem Dafoe (The Green Goblin in Spider-Man) who plays Tars Tarkas.  He’s a strong willed ruler who has come under attack by the sinister shape shifting Matai Shang played by Mark Strong (Sinestro in The Green Lantern).  One of Tarkas’ people Sola played by Samantha Morton (Control) leads Carter to the sacred Gates of Iss. Heading up the troop of Confederates who try to take Carter down is Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as Powell.

John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) faces off against huge white apes

The imagination runs high in John Carter with special aircraft that glides with bird feather wings.  Vast colonies move along the surface of Mars on a platform village that walks and crushes towns in its path.  A menagerie of creatures inhabit Mars including a worm faced organism that emulates a pet dog, huge dinosaur like animals that transport the Tarks into battle and two powerful white furred Apes that Carter has to fight and many other computerized action figures.

It’s hard to believe that the high-energy science fiction book by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Norman Bean) was written back in 1914. But his talent for writing was so cleaver that his public relished not only in the John Carter series but the nearly 70 novels with imaginary tales likes Tarzan (series), The Lost Continent, The Deputy Sheriff of Comanche County, and The Land That Time Forgot.

The 3D technology on the Blu-ray works well on the home 3D Digital Television screen showing amazing depth of field and pop-out action.  The film gets so intense with this platform that it’s hard to take a break from the on-screen action.  But just like other home video, just pause it, take a break and then continue where you left off.  Actually, just in case you did not catch my drift here, the story changes within John Carter do tend to stretch the film to an almost tiring length, so take it slow and you’ll enjoy each segment of this saga.

John Carter has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of violence and action, much like many of the Teen rated X-BOX games that are on the market.

There are a lot of bonus features in the 3D Blu-ray Combo pack that comes with 4-Discs.

4-Disc Combo Pack (3D BD + 2D BD + DVD + Digital Copy) Includes:

  • Blu-ray bonus features:
  • Disney Second Screen – Explore John Carter’s journal with this innovative in-world experience and uncover a trove of fascinating details that extend the mythology of the movie.
  • 360 Degrees of John Carter – Experience every aspect of the filmmaking process on one of the movie’s biggest production days.
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director, Andrew Stanton
  • Barsoom Bloopers
  • Plus all DVD features

DVD bonus features:

  • 100 Years In The Making – Follow the journey of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story, from its origins as a pulp novel to its arrival onscreen.
  • Audio Commentary with Filmmakers

Also available in a 2-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD) the bonus features includes:

  • All Blu-ray bonus features
  • All DVD bonus features

The movie can also be purchased in a 1-Disc DVD that includes:

  • All DVD bonus features

Digital 3D High Definition Digital Disc:

  • Does not include bonus features

High Definition Digital bonuses Include:

  • Life by the Second: The Shanzam Unit (digital premiere)
  • Disney Second Screen
  • Barsoom Bloopers
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director, Andrew Stanton

Standard Definition Digital features Include:

  • Life by the Second: The Shanzam Unit (digital premiere)
  • Disney Second Screen
  • Barsoom Bloopers
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director, Andrew Stanton


  • Does not include bonus features

FINAL ANALYSIS: An exciting adventure with brilliant production value. (B)   

Specifications and additional film information:

  • Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton, Bryan Cranston, and Mark Strong
  • Directed by: Andrew Stanton
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
  • Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
  • Running Time: 2 hrs 12 min
  • Original Theatrical Release Date: March 9, 2012
  • Street Date: June 5, 2012
  • Language: English
  • Format: 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Disc
  • Audio: Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray: 7.1 DTS HD-MA; French & Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital DVD: English, French & Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Video: Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray: 1080p High Definition 2.40:1 / DVD: Widescreen 2.40:1
  • Subtitles: Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray – English SDH, French, Spanish. DVD – English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Number of Discs: 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack- 4 Discs, Blu-ray Combo Pack- 2 Discs, DVD- 1 Disc
  • Distributed by: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

Social Media:

  • Stay connected with the latest news and information on Disney’s JOHN CARTER
  • “Like” the Facebook page at
  • Follow us on Twitter at @JohnCarter
  • View videos at
You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress