John Carter DVD/Blu-ray Review

My life in home theatre began about 1958. My brother Norman brought home a black and white, 8mm, silent, Castle film of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. It ran, as I recall, about 5 minutes when we projected it on the wall, about 100 times. Who knew that I would be getting a 3-D, full color movie, in surround sound that I would see on a 110 inch screen?

The 3-D package of John Carter comes with four discs. Disney takes their regular DVD disc, with all the bonus features and packages it with their Blu-ray disc, which duplicates the movie and the bonus features. They also have a disc for a digital copy and, of course, the 3-D version.

John Carter DVD Blu-ray

John Carter (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

First, the Blu-ray picture is just terrific, great color, great sharpness and it sounds wonderful too, in 7.1 DTS.

On to the Bonus features:

My favorite moment: Did you know that Bob Clampett (Beany and Cecil) wanted to make a 90 minute cartoon of John Carter in the 1930s and even did some test animation for it? They included about 10 seconds of that in the bonus features! That is shown in 100 Years in the Making: a 10-minute look at the history of Carter, with comments from the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as a few celebrities such as Jon Favreau.

We learn that Favreau, the director of Iron Man, had tried to develop John Carter for Paramount but failed and then Disney got the rights. This and the audio commentary are the only features on the regular DVD. The audio commentary is interesting and we learn a lot about everything. It features the director and two of the producers. But I can never listen to that an enjoy watching the film. I have to listen to it separately. Does anyone else feel that way?

Deleted scenes: Scenes are often deleted from movies, of course because they did not come out well. However, scenes are often deleted because they slow down the pacing of the picture or because they make the picture too long. Sometimes it is because they would take too long or too much money to complete. Here, the optional narration of Andrew Stanton takes you through ten minutes of outtakes, explaining why each one was deleted. It also gives you a great view on what the movie sets looked like for the actors before the special effects. (Not available on the DVD.)

Bloopers: Barsoom Bloopers is a wasted two minutes. Nothing interesting or funny.

360 Degrees of John Carter: Lead by the director an interesting half hour about the details in making this film. Fun, but a bit long for me.

A minor complaint: No longer do they put a flyer inside the box with the features listed or explained. It is listed on the box in type so small it is unreadable; I’d say 5 or 6 point type. It is also interesting that the cast is NOT mentioned on the cover box.

If you liked the movie you’ll like this disc. It is obvious that the commentary was done at the time they made the movie, not after it was released? Why? Because the director promises things to come in the next movies, and I doubt that there will be any!

Our previous discussions of John Carter of Mars comic and movie adaptations