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.
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.
I was a little mixed on this cut. I really loved this when it came out in the theater and marvelled at how far CGI technology had come.
At the beginning of this edit, I felt a little rushed along by the story pace. I wanted things to slow down a bit and they eventually did. By the time Carter was captured by the Tharks, I was enjoying the pacing.
I did not miss some of the dialog that was removed throughout and thought those cuts were appropriate.
The color saturation was a mixed bag for me. I liked that it made Mars and the Martians more visually striking, but it came off a little odd at times, like watching an old Disney movie. (Ironic, I know) I also seemed to notice some of the CGI effects a little more in this cut, especially when Dejah was holding herself hostage. I don't know if it was caused by the color saturation, the non HD source or a little of both or something else, but I noticed it more.
All of the visual and audio editing felt seamless to me except I felt something had been cut when Carter and the old lady were walking together. I also could tell that there were cuts made during the battle with the (evil tharks??) whatever they were. Then during the sword fight with the bad guy (sorry, my memory sucks) I noticed somethiing wasn't quite right. None of these were really that jarring, but noticeable.
Regarding the flashbacks to the wife being in color, I think I understand what Bob was going for here, but I would have preferred them in B&W. Maybe a brightened B&W for those scenes to contrast with the dark visual of the burial scene.
One thing I think got rushed through too quickly was Carter learning to walk and jump on Mars. It just felt like that wasn't fully established and would have preferred to leave in most of that scene.
All in all the thing is well put together and definitely worth checking out by those that loved the original, like myself and those that weren't so impressed.
John Carter wasn't a terrible movie, in fact it was almost a great one. I saw it on a massive IMAX screen where it looked and sounded fantastic and I had fun while it was on. It was clearly flawed and a bit forgettable but hardly deserving of the critical mauling and hyrdogen-bomb sized box-office failure. In other words, the perfect fanedit opportunity...
After having viewed Bob's heroic rescue of 'Kick Ass 2', I was looking forward to him pulling off the same trick here and he almost does. This is a much, much better version of the movie than the official cut but still not quite a complete fix of the problems. Maybe many of them just can't be fully fixed.
Audio/Video Quality 8/10
Generally I liked the new colouring as it made Barsoom look more alien, made Carter less pasty and made the red men/women appear more Martian and less like they'd got a joblot on fake tan. However occasionally things just looked way too pink IMO. I also feel an epic Sci-Fi fantasy romance of this nature deserves higher than Standard Definition (My John Carter Blu-Ray looks lovely and I missed that same presentation here).
Visual Editing 8/10
For the most part I couldn't see any evidence of cutting, nice work. But in a few places there were some mis-matched cuts that looked odd. e.g. Carter's reaction shot in the "time of oceans" dialogue and the excising of the old ladies speech on the walk through the city. Loved the '2001'-ish "Gods of Mars" title at the end plus the post credits scene worked to perfection! I now want that sequel more than life itself ;-)
Audio Editing 8/10
Again mostly excellent with only one or two cuts being noticable. However the way the music was mixed in during the wedding finale sounded too sudden and off. Emotionally it was absolutely the right choice of music though, so I can happily live with it on that basis.
This is where this edit really shines.
I really felt that Carter was more heroic, more of a superhero and much more of a game changer. Here the impression that Carter was a stone being dropped into the pond of Barsoom, rippling out and changing everything was so much stronger. I'm not sure this was down to anything Bob added, it was more down to other things being trimmed away to bring focus elsewhere and the placement of scenes. So the Tharks and Dejah instantly recognising how Carter could be used to make their position stronger was clearer. They could instantly see his value even though he could not. Great job editing this.
Also I liked the quick way we got into the plot Oz style and the new emotional ending. I'm not sure it's quite the way I would have rearranged things but it was no doubt better than the original. With the 21 minutes cut some of the films hidden strengths shined out better. For example, I hadn't noticed how great James Purefoy's character was. I'd have loved if his character had been used more. If the filmmakers hadn't made Dejah such a superhero (Beautiful Princess AND genius-level scientist AND unstoppable warrior) it would have allowed him to be her right-hand-man/sword/bodyguard type guy. It would have made her appear more cerebral, commanding and more regal to have a loyal bodyguard ready to die for her IMO. Because of this trimming I was also much more engaged by the central romance, which you need to be for this film to work.
This still isn't a masterpiece but it's a lot of fun and a good piece of simple escapism. From now on, Bob's cut is going to be my go-to version, when I fancy a trip to Barsoom.
I watched this movie cold - never having seen it before. However, I read the entire Mars series as a kid, so I thought it would be fun to see what Hollywood did with it. By the time John Carter met Dejah Thoris, I could tell why the movie never received much acclaim. Poor acting, cheesy dialogue, Tharks that remind me of Jar Jar Binks, and too much effort to be cute. A particularly bad movie, that I believe no edit could fix, at least for what I would look for in a tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs. My nine year old son enjoyed it though, so there is a audience. Visually entertaining for sure.
Technically a sound edit. I was not able to tell when and what might have been cut. It seemed disjointed at times (like the jump to the first flier battle and the red man getting the power weapon), but I I'm guessing that is unavoidable. I would have preferred a slower intro to Mars, leave the flier scene until later if possible.