Rental Movie Review: John Carter of Mars

I just watched John Carter of Mars on BluRay. This is the second time I’ve seen it, the first being when I was deployed to Afghanistan. It was something of a shock to me, because I heard it did terribly, yet when I watched it I thought it was pretty epic. The casting was great, the relutant hero and conniving villain were entertaining, and the characters were well defined. Yes, the main character jumps around like a grasshopper on PCP. The movie isn’t spot on science… but it’s fun, exciting, and epic, something you don’t see a lot of anymore… so why did it flop?

I did a bit of research, after watching it again. There were a number of problems, I think. Bad marketing, for one. I watched a few trailers, and it looked like they just didn’t know how to market it… was it action? Was it comedy? Or was it science fiction? The next issue was that they made some changes to the original books. It looks like a lot of the Edgar Rice Burroughs fans are die-hard fanatical types… which isn’t bad, but Disney didn’t try to win them over, they just made the movie and assumed people would love it. It looks like there’s a lot of backlash in the reviews from long-time fans of the John Carter series. It also received some rather harsh reviews from critics, mostly, it seems, because it was too whimsical and fantastical. Then again, who really listens to the critics any more about a fun movie?

Anyway, back to the movie. John Carter, disillusioned from the war (Civil War) goes searching for gold and finds more than he bargained for… and ends up on Mars, smack in the middle of a war. It has combat, adventure, some hand-waves at science, and an underlying message and theme about fighting for your beliefs. What’s not to like? John Carter is some of the original space opera, the inspiration for later franchises like Buck Rogers, Star Wars, and a host of others.  For a good popcorn flick and an introduction to the John Carter universe (I highly recommend the books), pick it up and give it a shot.

Kal’s October 2014 Forecast

I’ve got to admit, October is my favorite month. It’s not just because of Halloween, though that’s a part. I like the cooler weather, the changing leaves, and that hint of frost in the air as winter slowly takes hold and summer fades away.

That said, this is going to be a busy October for me. I’ll be at Mile Hi Con from the 24th to the 26th of October.  I just received the Echo of the High Kings audiobook from the narrator to review. That will take me some time (it’s 24 hours long) to review. I’m doing the final edits on The Shattered Empire and will have it uploaded by the 13th of October.   I’ve finished outlining Wrath of the Usurper and I’ll be working on it as soon as I finish up The Shattered Empire.

On the sales side, I’m doing two book bombs. The 11th of October, I’m doing a book bomb for the rerelease of Echo of the High Kings with its new cover and the fact that I’ve an audiobook out. I’m also doing one for the release of The Shattered Empire, Book II of the Shadow Space Chronicles on the 25th of October. You can find both books here and here, respectively. My next step as far as audiobooks is producing The Shattered Empire.

If all goes well, I’ll roll into November midway through Wrath of the Usurper, finish it off and get to editing it and outlining the third book of the Shadow Space Chronicles, which I hope to get out and available early 2015.

Echo of the High Kings Book Bomb Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Echo of the High Kings book bomb will occur on the 11th of October. As part of this, I’m also doing a giveaway for those who buy the book and post a review (because I can’t tell who bought it otherwise) by the 15th of November.  I’ll randomly pick three of the reviewers as the winners. The three winners will receive either a signed paperback copy of Echo of the High Kings, an audiobook, or a spot in my next book.

In Eoriel, the High Kings are legend: rulers who once stood against the darkness and ruled the world for two thousand turns of peace and prosperity. In the long turns since their fall during the Sundering, Eoriel’s civilization has faded. Dark men and darker beings have torn down and destroyed the old works. While some have held out against the grind of history, other places have been reduced to primitive tribes of savages, worshiping dark spirits and demons as their gods. Yet a spark of hope remains. Some still believe in the old legends, some still fight to restore the old ways, and some will stand against the darkness, in an echo of the High Kings.

Get your copy of Echo of the High Kings here.