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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:11 am 
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Oh, and on the topic of old Disney vs. new Disney, I think there is something to both sides of that argument.

I think we hardcore fans of the old stuff can lose sight of this, but it is very true that the equivalent of shows like Hannah Montana and so on could be found from Disney back in the old days with the Mickey Mouse Club material, and the many complaints about current Disney taking tween girls and manufacturing them into pop stars who sometimes don't even have the singing chops to begin with seem irrelevant when we consider that the same thing was done with Annette. The EXACT same thing. But, it looks very different because kids' entertainment and kid shows and stars are obnoxious and overly sexualized now. Therein lies the big difference between the kid-aimed material, and it's just the times a changin'. The moral code was overly strict then, and now it is just totally retarded and hypocritical, with tweens dressed and dancing trampy on kids' channels while you've got Dateline catching predators on the other channel at the same time, ha. But, at the heart of the shows themselves, yeah, you have Disney making shows targeted at kids that are really very, very corny. So, yeah, Disney did do that even then. We might as well stop saying they didn't. And they manufactured pop-stars too. The difference is that they didn't devote the majority of their resources to this in pursuit of the dollars it brought. Walt had higher ideals because it was a family company at the time, and that's very important to note. He had more he wanted to do with his company than just make money. He loved to make films and he wanted to make a theme park to bring them to life. The money was the means to do that. What happens now is they make films and build/run theme parks for the sake of the money. That part is reversed. So, when they make a kids' show and it's a hit, they make 20 copycats and completely turn the Disney Channel into JUST THAT. It was once a high quality, highly respectable premium channel, now it is 24 hours of basically the same thing, and a huge cash cow.

It's the same thing with the feature films. Yeah, Disney always made violent action films. At least, ever since they could afford to, starting back with Treasure Island. Pirates of the Caribbean was an excellent film, and I think Walt would be proud of it, whether or not he would have saw it's value beforehand enough to greenlight it. I think you can go through all the years of Disney and find things here and there that Walt would be proud to have his name on, all the way up to today. However, I think a lot he would not have been happy with either, and some he never would have done. But, sequels and franchises? Sure, if they could be afforded. There were a lot of Herbie films. Okay, that wasn't Walt's doing, but he did make sequels during his day too. Son of Flubber is a great example. And, really, the anthology series was all about franchises, Davy Crockett being the most popular. These resulted mostly in comic books, but other merchandise as well.

So, I think it's true that Disney has always made the sort of material that they make today, and they have always seen profit as a good thing, naturally. However, I think the money was a means to an end during Walt's day, whereas now it is the actual goal, and that hurts the quality. I also think the older stuff looks like classier stuff, and the reason for that is that it simply IS classier. People were classier back then. They had issues, for sure, but as far as the wholesomeness, the way the kids spoke and dressed on television, all that stuff, it was a bit dull, but far less tacky and obnoxious. The acting was often better as well. Sure, kids didn't really act like they did on TV, they couldn't have, but you could believe they did by the way those kids used to act on the Mickey Mouse Club, while, well, have you seen the acting on Austin and Ally? Ugh. I really think we tend to be too hard on the writing of the new shows though, as the old stuff was really cheesy too. But, we certainly don't need a whole channel of the same thing. Which brings me to the point I'm always trying to bring up about Walt's original desires. He was trying to make entertainment that could be enjoyed by the whole family at once. The shorts, the features (even the violent ones, generally I think Americans have never been too concerned with exposing our children too violent programming, at least until things got all PC), the TV shows, the parks... in Walt's day, the material he made was meant for the WHOLE family, to be friendly and watchable by the WHOLE family. I would say the Mickey Mouse Club was the ONE exception. I think entertainment in general is having a negative affect on the family unit these days due to its targeting specific age ranges, and it's also making more of it look like crap to everybody, since only a small range of things appeal to any particular age group. Channels like the Disney Channel, We, Spike, etc..., they put each family member in a different room watching a show tailored to them... This is the ANTI-Walt. They are doing the same thing at the theme parks by increasing the Six Flags factor (if you don't know, I loathe going to Six Flags, and most non-Disney theme parks). Adding more attractions and activities specifically targeted at small children and rollercoasters for the older folks rather than the great, show-driven attractions they used to have takes the Disney out of the Disney parks, in my opinion, and it's definitely profit driven.

Anyway, I'll stop already. I could end this in a less abrupt manner, but I'm spending too much time on it. My point is, Disney HAS always made the kind of material they make now, and yet they used to do it better and in a more tempered fashion, and profit wasn't the final goal, it was what allowed them to continue to create. And that's the difference that makes the old stuff USUALLY better than the new stuff, but some of the new stuff is still as good, nearly as good, and occasionally surpassing the old. Unfortunately, it is not the majority.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:31 am 
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slave2moonlight wrote:
The moral code was overly strict then, and now it is just totally retarded and hypocritical, with tweens dressed and dancing trampy on kids' channels while you've got Dateline catching predators on the other channel at the same time, ha.


Huh? How is that hypocritical? What do kids dressing "trampy" and dancing on kids' channels have to do with predators? Are you saying that kids should "cover up" as to not tempt predators? Kids can do whatever they want, within reason of themselves and their parents. They should not be governed by predators. It is the predators' responsibility to control themselves and not do anything non consensual or illegal, it is not the kids' responsibility to change the way they dress just so they don't tempt predators. Predators are the ones with the issues, and kids or victims should not have to change the way they live for them; the predators, however, must.

slave2moonlight wrote:
My point is, Disney HAS always made the kind of material they make now, and yet they used to do it better and in a more tempered fashion, and profit wasn't the final goal, it was what allowed them to continue to create. And that's the difference that makes the old stuff USUALLY better than the new stuff, but some of the new stuff is still as good, nearly as good, and occasionally surpassing the old. Unfortunately, it is not the majority.


Totally agree there, though. I definitely see a higher quality in the MMC stuff than most of the Disney channel things. Oh my gosh Austin and Aly. It's painful to watch. A lot of people watch because the main girl is pretty, but I don't even think it has that going for it, either.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:53 am 
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Alphapanchito wrote:
Huh? How is that hypocritical? What do kids dressing "trampy" and dancing on kids' channels have to do with predators? Are you saying that kids should "cover up" as to not tempt predators? Kids can do whatever they want, within reason of themselves and their parents. They should not be governed by predators. It is the predators' responsibility to control themselves and not do anything non consensual or illegal, it is not the kids' responsibility to change the way they dress just so they don't tempt predators. Predators are the ones with the issues, and kids or victims should not have to change the way they live for them; the predators, however, must.


No, Alpha, you're misunderstanding. I am not condoning the predators' activities, and maybe I could have worded that better, but my point is that the media itself acts as a predator by oversexualizing the kids on these "kids'" Networks these days. They want to have their cake and eat it too, because oversexualizing them brings profits, as does sexualizing anything. However, I don't necessarily agree that kids should be able to just "do whatever they want", even under the guard of their parents, as a lot of parents are unfit. I could tell you some true horror stories I have heard, and we have many celeb examples too.

And if you don't agree that kids can dress too trampy for their own good, you should see the very real (and already pretty old news) photos of Bella Thorne in a bikini that have been posted on some Disney boards in the past. It's pretty disturbing that her parents would let her wear that, frankly.

A further point though, since you sort of bring it up, is that predators aren't likely to govern themselves. It IS up to parents and society (it takes a village, they used to say, to raise a kid) to do their best not to attract predators to their kids or put them in particularly dangerous situations. So, as I think about it more, no, I don't really agree with you that it's all up to the predators. You want to rely on them? And we aren't talking about adult victims here. How you dress your kids when you send them out into the world, and how good of an eye you keep on them, does play a role on if some predator is going to single them out or not. Yet, on these kids' shows, often parents are nowhere to be found at all.

Alphapanchito wrote:
Totally agree there, though. I definitely see a higher quality in the MMC stuff than most of the Disney channel things. Oh my gosh Austin and Aly. It's painful to watch. A lot of people watch because the main girl is pretty, but I don't even think it has that going for it, either.


The main girl is very pretty, I'll agree. But the show is terrible, as is all the acting. Of course, I always have to throw in that bad acting CAN be the result of bad directing (sometimes, you are directed to overact). I mentioned about the old stuff having higher quality too, at least in the acting and general sense of class.

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Last edited by slave2moonlight on Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:53 am 
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Frankly, I haven't seen John Carter, and Im not really interested in seeing it. The trailers and posters I have seen don't really peak my interest. But that's not the issue.
Im sure its a fine movie. I think the problem is allowing a budged to get to 250 million. That is absurd. That means the movie doesn't just have to perform well: it has to be a mega blockbuster, which is never a guarantee.
If this film had cost 100 million...or 130 million... it would surely be considered a success.
And I know Avatar had a ridiculous budget too... but it had james cameron behind it, and 12 yrs of word-of-mouth behind it.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:53 am 
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SWillie! wrote:
Dream Huntress wrote:
Kyle wrote:
Did you guys see where Andrew Stanton basically calls people who didn't like the movie jaded on twitter?


Yeah, there are far more graceful ways to deal with failure, then again, this was his big shot, so it's understandable if he's a little bitter.


Agreed, but there are far worse ways as well. Stanton's always been very outspoken, so it doesn't surprise me. Nor do I think less of him for it.


Well, Im a bit split on it. I mean, I want pixar's directors to speak their mind, I hate how everyone has to sugar coat their opinions all the time. If that's how he feels, fine. But I also think he should maybe be a bit more receptive of constructive criticism. Not every critic is Armond white afterall, there are legitimate reasons to dislike a movie.

I haven't seen the movie yet personally, I was planning on it but now I might just skip it and wait until it hits blu ray. It never looked that great to me in trailers but I was hoping they could get me excited by the time it released, and now word of mouth is just making me want to see it less.

I wanted to see him do well but its looking like this won't be the best fit for him. Live action is new territory for him though so I guess that should have been expected in a way. Animation and live action do have a lot of similarities, but there also a lot of differences and without Pixar to constantly bounce ideas off of he probably let things get to his head a bit, feeling like he was always right because no one was brave enough to point out any problems.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:09 pm 
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I've been waiting to see this movie forever, it seems, so of course I went and saw it with my husband this weekend.
I found myself confused through a lot of it, because I'm a big fan of the book and there was a subplot that went on throughout the movie that differed from the text. However, the movie got better the further you got into it. I enjoyed the humor that they injected in the movie that was not in the source material. The ending was spectacular. I think they did a decent job at making this movie. It wasn't perfect, but I did not walk away feeling disappointed in the least. I WANT to see it again. SOON.
I probably will see it once more in theaters and of course will buy the blu-ray. I hope more people give it a chance instead of going with what the critics are reviewing.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:13 pm 
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dvdjunkie wrote:
I wish that all of the naysayers here would go see the movie before bad-mouthing it.

The history of how this film even got made is one that most people aren't even aware of. The initial books, and their are ten of them, were written in the early 1900's and were written in the language of the day which is very hard to understand today, so the books make a very good read.

Critics have been unkind toward "John Carter" because they aren't quite sure what that saw on the screen. So rather than be original with their critique of the movie they just reverted back to their opinions of most of the 'bad' Disney films of the past years.


WELL SAID! You and I tend to agree on movies. I feel that the critics who are reviewing this movie Have Not Read the source material. Which is a darn shame. If you are a professional reviewer, you should take the time to do research on what you are reviewing.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Reading the source should Not be a requirement. A movie should stand on its own. It doesnt hurt I suppose, but you have to judge based on what's in the movie, not what's left out/changed.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:54 pm 
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I would agree with the above statement for the average moviegoer.
If I were a critic who got paid for being a critic, however, I think I would want to review it based on the most knowledge of how the movie came to be made AND the source material it's based on.
My husband hadn't read the book and he still enjoyed the movie, FYI.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:15 pm 
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The thing is, the source can often connect dots that were never there or less obvious, it can give you an unfair advantage, raise and lower your expectations. No adaptation is a literal translation anyway, which is why the source is almost irrelevant. It doesn't really matter if you know more about the source. Thier critiquing film not books. This is true for both average movie goer and paid critics. Only those who want to dive deeper should care.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:50 pm 
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I have to agree with Kyle, here. In fact, I think sometimes, studios rely too much on existing material outside the film itself, such as books, video games, comics etc. and put less effort into creating a good product that stands on it's own, thinking they can skimp and ride the wave of the already existing pop culture success.

So, unless my movie ticket or dvd/blu-ray comes with a free copy of the book, the movie is based on, it should have absolutely zero reliance on said source when determining the quality of the movie itself.

If I decide that I, personally, am interested in delving into everything associated with the movie I can get my hands on, than thats based on my own personal level of interest and has nothing to do with anyone else being obligated.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:46 pm 
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What about the people who come into the movie emotionally invested because they HAVE read the book - how can they relate to a review written by a critic who hasn't? Is that fair?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:01 pm 
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I just unlocked the free movie ticket from DMR and I'm hoping I'll be able to see it when I go back home in a few weeks. In all honesty, I think it looks pretty good and I hope it won't disappoint. It doesn't look bad to me at all and since it's apparently good, I think I'll have a good time.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:02 pm 
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kbehm29 wrote:
What about the people who come into the movie emotionally invested because they HAVE read the book - how can they relate to a review written by a critic who hasn't? Is that fair?


Absolutely, it's fair. Because it's still just one person's opinion vs. another. Critics are not responsible for anyone else's expectations, only that they review the film they have seen. Some critics will review the film based off knowledge from the source material, and some will not. Each opinion just as valid as the last.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:29 pm 
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kbehm29 wrote:
I would agree with the above statement for the average moviegoer.
If I were a critic who got paid for being a critic, however, I think I would want to review it based on the most knowledge of how the movie came to be made AND the source material it's based on.
My husband hadn't read the book and he still enjoyed the movie, FYI.

By that logic then all the critics who liked or disliked The Godfather and Blade Runner must have read the books they were based of. An adaptation should be able to stand on it's own, it's one thing for the critics to aknowledge the original work and for the audience to be interested in it based on the adaptation, but if you have to force people to search for it in order to "get" the adaptation, then you have failed as a storyteller.

kbehm29 wrote:
What about the people who come into the movie emotionally invested because they HAVE read the book - how can they relate to a review written by a critic who hasn't? Is that fair?

Yes, yes it is, because that's their job, their job is give their opinion about the material they're reviewing, regardless of to what audience is said material being aimed at.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:05 am 
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Why did Disney's 'John Carter' flop?
BY DAWN C. CHMIELEWSKI AND REBECCA KEEGAN
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES - When Walt Disney Co. executives gave the greenlight to the project that became the Martian adventure film "John Carter," they hoped they were launching the studio's next big franchise.

It was to be directed by Andrew Stanton, who had been associated with a string of successful Pixar Animation Studios films - starting with the 1995 hit "Toy Story." The source material was a century-old sci-fi touchstone that had inspired filmmakers including George Lucas and James Cameron. The movie would fit perfectly into Disney Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger's big-picture plan to produce movies that would spawn sequels, become theme park attractions and drive sales of "John Carter" merchandise.

Instead, with a weak opening this past weekend, Wall Street analysts expect the company to take a $165-million loss on a movie that has joined "Heaven's Gate," "Ishtar" and "Howard the Duck" in the constellation of Hollywood's costliest flops.

What happened? The very things Disney thought would guarantee box-office success may have left "John Carter" star-crossed from the start. The acclaimed director had never made a live-action movie before. The executives guiding and helping market his movie were new on the job and had limited experience running movie divisions. And the source material, written beginning a century ago by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, had already been so picked over by its admirers that critics and audiences found the film hackneyed and stale.

Producer James Jacks, in fact, once took Burroughs' Martian chronicles to filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, who'd made movie gold out of "Back to the Future" and other films. Zemeckis, a friend of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas, read the material and, Jacks says, told him, "I don't think so. George has really plundered these books."

Jacks worked with other filmmakers to get "Carter" into orbit for Paramount Pictures, finding willing partners in "Sin City's" Robert Rodriguez, "Pan's Labyrinth's" Guillermo del Toro, "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow's" Kerry Conran and "Iron Man's" Jon Favreau - all of whom struggled to mold the dense stories into a workable script.

Paramount ultimately abandoned "John Carter" and allowed the rights to the material to expire. Even through Stanton was in the middle of production on "Wall-E," he lobbied Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook to snap up the rights. Cook called Stanton two months later to say "John Carter" was his to direct. Stanton outlined the first three books, wrote a first draft of the script in 2007 and spent years working on the project in pre-production.

By the time "John Carter" started filming in January 2010, however, Cook had been replaced by Rich Ross, a television executive who had never overseen a film of this scope. Ross named as president of production Sean Bailey, a movie producer who lacked experience as a studio executive, then installed MT Carney, an outsider from the New York advertising world who'd never worked at a studio, as marketing chief. Then Carney left in early January and was replaced by veteran Ricky Strauss - just as the film's promotional efforts were to kick into high gear.

"The worst thing that can happen to a movie is the marketing team changes midstream," said Peter Sealey, marketing strategist and former marketing president at Columbia Pictures. "It's disheartening for the filmmakers, for the talent. They lose belief in the film."

Ross theoretically could have scuttled "John Carter" as he did with a planned $150-million production of "Captain Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea." Or stood firm and said "no" as he did to star Johnny Depp, who'd made a fortune for Disney starring in its "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, until costs were cut on his upcoming "The Lone Ranger."

Instead, the studio stood behind Stanton, whose "Wall-E" and "Finding Nemo" brought in a combined $1.4 billion in worldwide box-office receipts and went on to collect Academy Awards for animated feature.

"It's OK to swing for the fences and try to make a giant hit and establish a franchise. That is a worthy goal," said Harold Vogel, a veteran media analyst and president of Vogel Capital Management. "But still, you've got to wonder how the budgets get so out of control."

One industry veteran said the fundamental problem with "John Carter" had less to do with budget than with cognitive dissonance: The action plays out on Mars (known as Barsoom in the books and the film), a planet that contemporary audiences know is barren and uninhabited. That creates a formidable, elephant-in-the-room challenge for the movie's marketers.

"You're not able to sell that," noted the industry insider, who asked not to be quoted commenting on someone else's film.

Posters that at one point had been adorned with a mysterious figure under the letters "JC" were replaced by ads that featured a shirtless man fleeing giant white apes and left prospective moviegoers scratching their heads.

They have been confused, Sealey said: "What the hell is John Carter? What's the film about? I don't know who John Carter is. You've got to make that clear."

"John Carter" still has the potential to earn some of its money back. The movie opened to just over $30 million in domestic box-office revenue and earned $70 million more worldwide - a pittance compared with the $600 million in global theatrical ticket sales that analysts have said the movie must generate just to break even.

But it's not the "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" the studio was hoping, nor even the "Indiana Jones on Mars" that Stanton told Disney he hoped to make. The status of any "John Carter" sequels or theme park attractions is unclear.

"It's not the first movie to cost a lot of money," said former Fox Studios Chairman Bill Mechanic, speaking about his own experience with big-budget movies - among them the high-stakes winner "Titanic" and the high-stakes loser animated film "Titan A.E." "With all the best intentions in the world - good script, great director, great cast - movies don't always perform. Sometimes they're just not interesting to the public."

Los Angeles Times staff writer John Horn contributed to this report.

Posted on Tue, Mar. 13, 2012 02:10 PM
http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/13/3486806/why-did-disneys-john-carter-flop.html

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:07 am 
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I read a romour elsewhere online that Disney wanted it to fail in order to discourage more Pixar staff directed live-action stuff and to show that Dick Cook was wrong in greenlighting it. I have no idea how true any of that is, but if it was it's not something you'll see posted in a published artcile anytime soon.

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Flanger-Hanger wrote:
I read a romour elsewhere online that Disney wanted it to fail in order to discourage more Pixar staff directed live-action stuff and to show that Dick Cook was wrong in greenlighting it. I have no idea how true any of that is, but if it was it's not something you'll see posted in a published artcile anytime soon.


They would never want to take such an expensive bath just to make a point that is illogical anyway. If people from PIXAR can give them big success in other arenas, they'll just be thrilled. This is just one of those "Disney is an evil corporation" rumors that makes the mistake of implying that Disney would allow itself to lose money on purpose. The truth in Disney's dark side these days is that moolah is the number one priority (and they probably get most of it from PIXAR talent these days).

By the way, has anyone seen that John Carter amulet available right now as a Disney Movie Rewards exclusive? I'm curious about the accuracy of it as a replica. Some have said it looks to be smaller than the one in the film. I haven't had a chance to see the film yet. Any thoughts? I also noticed at Barnes and Noble today that, like with TRON Legacy, they released a Disney graphic novel (in conjunction with Marvel) that is actually a prequel for the film. Maybe that has already been mentioned here. This is in addition to another Marvel John Carter book I saw on the same table that didn't say Disney on it and was less related to the film, I suppose (or perhaps the source material).

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:10 pm 
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Thanks for posting the article Milo. I am glad that most of the blame is being given where it has been due for quite some time, to Disney Marketing. I can't remember the last time a major movie studio has ever been run by such an asinine group of people in the marketing department.

How many more box office disappointments/flops is it going to take before the studio powers that be, bring in people who know what the hell they're doing?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:22 pm 
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For those not aware about the books, there are 10 books in the John Carter series and it is the first three that this movie is loosely based on. They did take some liberties with the story, but I still think if you haven't seen in person on the big screen, then you should not have the right to tell us whether it is good or bad.

You can say you won't see it because you haven't read the books, but that is a total cop out and there is no need to read the books to get into what the movie is about.

You can say that you don't like these kind of movies, which might be a 'little' untruth, especially for those of you who saw "Prince of Persia".

I just think those naysayers are hurting more than helping those of us who want to see the movie, or have seen the movie and want to see it again.

Personally I have now seen this wonderful film THREE times, once in each of the formats. It is near the top of my "must-have-list' of Blu-Rays in the future.

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