The Wrap published a terrific retrospective by Drew Taylor on the ill-fated John Carter (2012), ten years later.
I’m always morbidly fascinated by these Hollywood “disasters”—and I use quotes around “disasters” because my heart goes out to the participants. Nobody sets out to make a bad movie, let alone an embarrassing, potentially career-ending bomb.
Here’s what I wrote about The Bonfire of the Vanities, after re-reading the making-of book and watching the film.
About John Carter...I did watch it a few years after it came out...and, uh...yeah...I don’t know what anybody was thinking. It seemed really weird, uninvolving, old-fashioned and out-of-touch.
I barely remember the story, just tons of CGI armies colliding, and people leaping in the low gravity (which begged the question how they’d ever walk normally), and a dog-creature that ran really fast, and a really goofy, convoluted mythology.
It was really the opposite of “grounded,” which works so much better in sci-fi.
It’s strange that Andrew Stanton would be so pitch-perfect in his animated Pixar work, as far as connecting to a mass audience with really sophisticated, heartfelt material, and then go out into whacky-land with live-action.
But he certainly bounced back, and comes off really well in the article. Good for him!