Fun edit of a bad film. The fan-edit is -- as always with BionicBob -- smart and smooth. So, in technical terms, a superb job, and in terms of the story, a big improvement.
I can't give it a higher rating for narrative and enjoyment, though, for the simple reason that -- in my humble opinion -- the film is really bad.
There are breath-taking scenes, incredible FX, not least the Tharks and Woola, and some good bits, not least the Thark scenes,
But it just mangles and rewrites the source material for no good reason -- the usual Hollywood assumption that a random scriptwriter and some suits know better than a global bestselling author -- and far too much for my tastes as a ERB and John Carter fan, John Carter as anti-war, Dejah Thoris as super-scientist, the Therns as weird interstellar planet wreckers, Sab Then with a super-weapon, problems in Barsoom as due to war (and a Thern conspiracy), Red Martians not being, you know, red ...
This is too much, and way beyond what even the most brilliant fan-editor can fix.
Great choices all around to keep this edit focus and not *quite* as campy, as much as could be done IMO - the campy bits were balanced well enough - the original was just so over the top in the wrong ways.
I loved the BW intro that others mention, although that quick color flashback felt out of place.
I didn't even notice the low resolution until we got to Mars - Oh how I wish it would also jump to HD when we switch to color. I hope BionicBob gets to an HD release of this, it would be worth it!
Brilliant. Simply brilliant. I haven't read the book of this movie but the theatrical release had various issues as a movie and BionicBob truly crafts a far superior version cutting out those bloated exposition, useless scenes that drag the story and adding a bit more colour to Mars. A big change that I really love is how this edit starts- no longer does it basically start 3 times now it just focuses on John plus its presented as black and white making the teleportation to Mars feel so much more fantastical. The editing was all seamless nothing jumped out as odd or weird. The ending was also fantastic really creates a good cliff hanger. Another element I appreciated was the end titles with all the classic artwork- made it feel very Mandalorian-esque.
What a masterpiece of editing!
My son and I watched the original version recently and at the end he commented "The trouble is, the film starts three times."
Well, not here it doesn't. There's none of the pre-amble about Edgar Rice Burroughs. Instead, it gets straight into the story of John Carter.
I'm not sure I liked the black and white intro before he gets to Mars, sorry, Barsoom. But once there, it's all full colour and full action. I only thought once that something had been cut. But, honestly, this is how the film should have been released. And the ending - wow! What a cliffhanger. I loved the end titles with all the classic artwork too..
I've read some complain about the story itself, but here we're judging the editing, not the story. I've actually read all the John Carter books and I didn't like what they'd done with the Therns who actually only appear in the second book. The story would have been good enough if they'd just followed the book properly. But going back to this film - this is how it should have been put together. Thank you so much for a truly outstanding edit. And once again - I love that ending!
The long and short of it is: this edit is better than the theatrical release, but it's still not that great of a movie.
BionicBob takes off a lot of extraneous material at the beginning and end of the film that just bogged it down even further. Great choice. It should go without saying that the edits are all made skillfully and seamlessly. His choice of filtering the beginning to look very muted didn't do it for me. Maybe I'd like it more if I rewatched, but my current impression is that without similar scenes at the end, it doesn't work thematically. It would also work better if all Earth scenes were pure black and white. There are some other good editing choices in terms of taking out story distractions, but there are still multiple cheesy moments that I wish were removed from the film. A laughably fast Mars-dog goofily leaping through a scene of carnage. A Martian crying at a wedding. Etc. Typical Hollywood blockbuster cheese. The beginning and end credits are actually my favorite part....the old-timey titles, the historical artwork...there's a lot of love there.
Unfortunately, all that old school pulp cool doesn't really translate to the movie. There's not a lot an editor can do about this. Taylor Kitsch just isn't a great actor, and he doesn't pull off this role. The script is way over-dense and way too rushed on the world-building. There are 4 cultures and civilizations, all with their own technology, rituals, weapons, and animals thrown at you in the first 20 minutes, not counting the Old West. It's just way to much to take in. The plot is also loaded with characters, all with their own sub-plots, none of which have time to breath. And yet somehow almost everything here feels like we've seen it in other movies. Andrew Stanton is just fully to blame as the director who apparently wouldn't listen to anyone's advice (look it up). I can imagine dialogue and scenes from his script working in an animated kids film, but they don't here. I wish they would've made a film that leaned into the pulp roots of the character, but well, nothing to be done.
As is, this isn't a bad film, and if you're going to watch a version, watch BionicBob's. It's just not a movie I'd ever rewatch, imho.