“John Carter” trailer 2 now live, “ER” fans resolutely bemused…

Taylor Kitsch is the eponymous "John Carter"...

Perspective is a funny thing.

When you’ve been around for a while, you start to see the difference between being an influencer and just being influenced.

Take this second trailer for Andrew Stanton and Disney’s “John Carter”, for example.  Many online reactions to the footage have centred around perceived echoes to scenes from “Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones” (the arena battles and the alien creatures) and “Avatar” (erm…John Carter is covered in blue monster gunk at one point?).

So, it couldn’t be the case that James Cameron and George Lucas were influenced by pulp sci-fi classics and managed to get their visions to the screen first, then?

Not skimping on the CG creatures...

I will concur that this trailer feels a little more generic and slightly ‘Bro’ audience-friendly than the first teaser – when the Led Zep tune kicked in, my eyebrow raised in sympathy.  It’s a weird choice, no doubt – better to use some sympathetic cues from Howard Shore or James Horner than to have a rather out-of-place classic rock jam being rather out-of-place in a trailer which is going to get in front of a lot of eyes in the next month or so, surely?

...Blue Man Group live at Red Rocks? No? I'll get my coat...

Films (and film-makers) are the product of their influences, just as games and developers soak up influence and project it into their craft – witness the number of fans who look at “Halo” and the lore that Bungie created and then see “Aliens” for the first time and somehow convince themselves that James Cameron is guilty of ripping off a game which came out perhaps twenty years after he began work on his film.  It’s asinine and absurd, but less well-informed fans will insist on believing it.

Does he look like an Ewok? Does he?

Influence and those who are influenced – look into it.

A Martian spaceship, yesterday..

“John Carter” is out in March 2012.


Filed under Films, Geekery, Movie Trailer

2 responses to ““John Carter” trailer 2 now live, “ER” fans resolutely bemused…

  1. I get irritated when I see people spouting off about this-ripping-off-that, even when they aren’t engaged in some wildly anachronistic distortion like your examples. Sadly, this sort of stuff seems to go beyond a kind of shallow ignorance into some kind of a weird distortion of perception that could only arise from living in a perpetually unmoored experiential ‘now’ — which helps explain how someone could be so stupid as to accuse John Carter of ripping off Star Wars. It isn’t just ignorance of Burroughs or books or what have you, it is ignorance of the very concept that there are things out there that they haven’t been exposed to.

    Anyway, I like the trailer, even the Led Zep, and I’m pretty excited about the movie — however it could just be that my disappointment over the horrible new Conan has me holding out for a hero. (Or has left me permanently brain damaged.)

    • I’ve been nervous about seeing the new “Conan” – normally, I can find something to love in a genre movie but that recent film’s trailer made me think that not much about it was going to be enjoyable.

      It’s weird that we live in a time when people have never before had so much access to so much information so very easily and yet still manage to miss the point or have such absurdly skewed perceptions about the provenance and context of what they’re watching.

      Perhaps this “Penny Arcade” comic from 2008 – which concerns the White Wolf/Sony Pictures contretemps over Len Wiseman’s “Underworld” goes some way towards making sense of the contradictions between influence and influenced….

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