Story: 2 / 5
Video Quality: 3.5 / 5
Audio Quality: 4.5 / 5
Extras: 2.5 / 5
Disney’s John Carter has had the misfortune of being dubbed a “failure”, after a reported 160 million dollar profit loss at the Box Office back in 2012. While there have been several arguments trying to pinpoint the actual reasons for its disappointing figures (some say marketing, others say Taylor Kitsch), its amazing 1080p video transfer certainly isn’t amongst them. No sir, Disney has proven once again to be the masters of 3D and Blu-Ray, bringing the visual splendor of John Carter to home theaters in exciting demo worthy precision (in the 2D format at least).
Many might argue that despite breath-taking visual effects and groundbreaking CGI action sequences, John Carter falls flat on its face as one of the more boring science fiction adventures we’ve seen lately. And while I tend to agree with this sentiment, I can’t help but think that there are still many great merits to the film, most of which can be enjoyed on your 3D home theatre. Pause for a moment and think back to the scene where Carter first appears on Mars. Think back to the epic battle scenes. Think back to all the cool life-like CG characters. Think back to the incredible arena fight scene. All these warrant enough reasons to own a stereoscopic copy of John Carter.
The movie itself is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ (Tarzan author) “A Princess of Mars”, originally published in 1912. Set in 1868, a war veteran, John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is bent on getting his hands on gold hidden within a mine in the mountains. Of course, everyone stands in the way of young Carter, mocking him and even jailing him when he refuses to reinstate in the army. After several escape attempts Carter successfully runs off with the General’s horse. The group soon gives chase, trapping Carter within the mountains. There he discovers strange symbolic writing imprinted on the caves. Out of nowhere an alien being appears and attacks him. But Carter, fast on the draw, kills the being and is transported to another world. He soon discovers the ability to defy gravity and meets up with a race of oppressed savage beings.
As mentioned earlier, there are few complaints about John Carter’s razor sharp transfer to Blu-Ray. That being said, the 3D does suffer from being converted in post and not being shot natively in the format. Here and there are glimpses of eye popping visuals, but most of the 3D, unfortunately, is used to create depth instead. It’s not even remotely bad, though, just very average in comparison to other releases. Presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio, the encoding offers fairly good depth and creates fairly decent 3D space between characters and backgrounds. But don’t expect to be completely sucked into the world. The 2D version, which comes boxed with the 3D counterpart, comes out tops here.
Disney’s DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is nothing short of mind-blowing. Whatever flaws the video may have is surpassed by the amazing audio quality. The sounds will fill your room, as the audio team surely took advantage of every possible channel within their compositions. Check each individual speaker and you are sure to hear an individual sound coming from each one. Impressive!
It’s not uncommon for Disney to jam-pack their Blu Ray’s full of extra content. Unfortunately, John Carter seems to missing a few of the usual extras we’ve come to expect. Nevertheless, there is enough to satisfy here.
“Disney Second Screen”
“100 Years in the Making” – 10 min featurette
“Deleted Scenes” – 19 min feature
“360 Degrees of John Carter” – Chronicles of filming (making of)
“Barsoom Bloopers” – an unfortunate gag real
Audio Commentary by Director Andrew Stanton
What happened to the cast interviews, pre-visualizations, photo galleries, stunt rehearsals? Maybe an exclusive 3D Blu-Ray extra?
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment offers fans both a 2D Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray bundle, and a 2D Blu-Ray and DVD bundle.
My dear Edgar, I remember how I used to take you on my knee and tell you wild tales, which you always did me the great courtesy of believing. Now you are grown, time and space have parted us, but I reach out across that distance, to that same wide eyed boy and ask him to believe me once more. This wild tale begins thirteen years ago, in the Arizona Territory, between the Pinaleño Mountains and the backside of hell. – John Carter
1 x John Carter 3D Blu-Ray (which includes a 2D Blu-Ray) to give away! Courtesy of Disney South Africa.
Number of Discs: 2
As always, all you need to do is share this page on Facebook (your wall) or Twitter and then leave a comment below (in the comments section) saying “done!” on this page! The Giveaway/Competition closes Friday – 22nd March 2013 at 12pm. The Giveaway is restricted to South African readers who like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter only and cannot be exchanged for cash. Terms and conditions/Site Disclaimer rules apply.[/box_light]