Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 29+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-02-25
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Emanuel to face Garcia in April runoff; gay Latino wins big Emanuel to face Garcia in April runoff; gay Latino wins big
[Originally posted on WindyCityTimes.com on Feb. 24] Incumbent Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

Knight at the Movies: John Carter; film notes
by Richard Knight, Jr., for Windy City Times
2012-03-07

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


In John Carter—Disney's latest big-budget attempt at creating an action franchise—former Friday Night Lights television heartthrob Taylor Kitsch makes the first of two high-profile tries for movie hunkdom as we inch our way into blockbuster season. (Batttleship, based on the decades-old board game, follows this summer.) Based on Kitsch's physical attributes, which are noticeably on display throughout the movie's two-hour-plus running time as he skitters about shirtless in a man skirt and engraved breastplate, John Carter is sure to help build the actor's gay fan base tenfold. The movie itself? Not "meh" but not exactly "yeah," either.

The fault is not with Kitsch's acting—which falls under the standard-issue "brooding leading man with smoldering good looks" category—nor is it with Andrew Stanton's direction, making his live-action debut after having spectacular results in the animated realm with Finding Nemo and Wall-E. Stanton's script, co-written with Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon, is a nicely paced adventure story that hits all the marks while honoring its source material. And the fault certainly isn't with Kitsch's co-starring cast, which includes Lynn Collins as a fetching, fiery princess, Dominic West, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong, etc., etc.—all speaking in precisely clipped British accents (natch). Lastly, Disney has laid out a sumptuous budget, more than sufficient for Stanton's assembled creative team to construct various fiefdoms on the desert planet of Mars (where most of the action takes place) as well as on Earth.

The problem is one of familiarity or, more to the point, creative cannibalism. A generation of filmmakers—consciously or not—have helped themselves, piecemeal, to sections of Edgar Rice Burroughs' series of adventure novels (dating all the way back to 1912). John Carter is the story of a former Civil War captain mysteriously transported to exotic Mars (called Barsoom in the film) who lands in the middle of a war and finds himself the unwitting secret weapon that every side of the conflict wants to put to use.

It's easy to pick out elements of other movies residing in that basic plot outline—with the entire Star Wars saga to Stargate, Cowboys & Aliens and Avatar being the most prominent—and the actual movie offers dozens more, to an almost embarrassing degree. It's not Stanton's fault that his source material has been picked over so thoroughly and for so long. (Film versions have been attempted going back to the 1930s but this is the first one to make it into theaters.) And this movie déjà vu, as I've noted in reviews of other film blockbusters which have suffered from varying degrees of this creative dilemma, is often a source of comfort for a filmgoer—and to marketers—who bank on familiarity when buying tickets (and to sell their expensive products to their fidgety, easily distracted customers).

But it's not the kind of thing that sets a film critic's heart afire and, though the picture is certainly entertaining enough in the moment (there's more than enough sweeping adventure to satisfy action junkies) and will surely be adored by 13 year-old boys (and I would assume, plenty of action-minded 13-year-old girls), John Carter is—for good or bad—one of those big-screen enterprises that doesn't leave much residue (not to mention pleasure) once its moved on to conquer its next audience. Being in 3-D adds nothing to the picture's plus column.

Of related interest: Both Immortals and The Three Musketeers, two other big-budget action movies with franchise hopes are arriving this week on DVD/Blu-ray. The former, a mythical action fantasy with tenuous links to Greek mythology, relies heavily on CGI effects (almost entirely) while the latter, perhaps the tenth filming of the classic Alexander Dumas novel, leans on expensive sets, costumes and a flashier cast. As a duo, these expensive films each have their merits (and their respective releases are packed with special features) and are worth taking in for action enthusiasts. For gay fans, the former might have an edge—it shows a lot more male flesh, thanks to its skimpy costumes. Both movies include out handsome British actor Luke Evans in their casts.

Film notes:

—Cinema Q II—the free, LGBT-themed, weekly mini film series—returns for the second year on Wednesdays in March at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St., with screenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Claudia Cassidy Theater.

This year's series, focusing on queer youth, kicks off March 7 with a screening of lesbian director Jamie Babbit's hilarious 1999 black comedy But I'm a Cheerleader, about a notorious "ex-gay" camp for teenagers. It stars Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Cathy Moriarty, RuPaul, Melanie Lynskey and Michelle Williams. The March 14 installment is 2003's Blue Citrus Hearts, a gritty, coming-of-age/coming-out tale. Windy City Times is one of the series' media sponsors. www.queerfilmsociety.org

—Chicago Filmmakers' popular Dyke Delicious film series, curated by Sharon Zurek and co-sponsored by the Reeling Film Festival and Black Cat Productions, returns Saturday, March 10, with Ferron: Girl on a Road. This 2009 documentary from filmmaker Gerry Rogers (My Left Breast) focuses on the groundbreaking lesbian singer/songwriter and her long-awaited return to music, along with an emotional reunion with her band. As always with this series, a social hour (beginning at 7 p.m.) precedes the 8 p.m. screening at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark, second floor. www.chicagofilmmakers.org

Check out my archived reviews at www.windycitymediagroup.com or www.knightatthemovies.com . Readers can leave feedback at the latter website.


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Alfre Woodard talks 'State of Affairs' before local benefit 2015-02-25
NUNN ON ONE: MUSIC Betty Buckley puts out haunting 'Ghostlight' 2015-02-25
Knight at the Movies: The Circle; Maggie Smith 2015-02-25
Upcoming: Willa Taylor; Knuckles movie;'Louder than a Bomb'; Armatrading; Writers 2015-02-25
Oscars: NPH, Lady Gaga and inclusive remarks 2015-02-23
NUNN ON ONE: MOVIES Siskel board member on Oscars party, fave gay movie 2015-02-18
Upcoming events: On the Red Carpet and Oscars party Feb. 22 2015-02-18
Upcoming events: Internat'l Women's Dance; gays on 'Hate in America'; Knuckles film 2015-02-18
Entertainment news: Ricky Martin; Melissa Manchester; Madonna banned 2015-02-17
Movie celebrating Frankie Knuckles to shoot in Chicago 2015-02-11
Knight at the Movies: A 'Grey' day, Black history and (Oscar) gold 2015-02-11
Music Box gets a new look, addition 2015-02-10
Entertainment: Lance Bass at wedding; Andy Cohen; Lea DeLaria engaged; DGA Awards 2015-02-10
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Trai Byers talks about 'Empire' and the film 'Selma' 2015-02-04
Entertainment news: 'Drag Race'; 'Ghostbusters'; Cumming turns 50 2015-02-03
Joel Grey officially comes out as gay 2015-01-28
VIEWS Historic Black LGBTQ talk on 'Selma' takes place 2015-01-28
Coming up in film and music 2015-01-28
Knight at the Movies: Baby, it's cold outside! 2015-01-28
MOVIES Queer couple addresses Alzheimer's in 'Still Alice' 2015-01-21
Briefs: Entertainment and news 2015-01-21
Jesse Tyler's project; Streisand's honor; an offer to Bieber 2015-01-20
'On the Red Carpet' Feb. 22 at Park West 2015-01-16
Knight at the Movies: Hello, Oscar! 2015-01-14
MOVIES The perfect 'Match': Sir Patrick Stewart reflects on gay roles 2015-01-07
Entertainment: 'Pride' change; 'Brokeback' author; Ricky Martin 2015-01-06
Knight at the Movies: The 10 best LGBT movies of 2014 2014-12-31
Sandra Bernhard; John Waters; Taylor Lautner parties 2014-12-30
MOVIES Director Daniel Ribiero on 'The Way He Looks' 2014-12-30
Knight at the Movies: Into the Woods; Mr. Turner; film notes 2014-12-24
NUNN ON ONE: COMEDY Margaret Cho chats about sex, Chicago, Bob Mould 2014-12-24
Entertainment: Sir Ian's 'Street' moves; Audra on HBO; FCKH8 calendar 2014-12-23
Knight at the Movies: The Hobbit; The Babadook; film notes 2014-12-17
Michael Sam documentary to air on OWN Dec. 27 2014-12-11
Chicago, Oak Park screenings of 'Scrooge & Marley' 2014-12-10
Knight at the Movies: The Imitation Game; Exodus; film notes 2014-12-10
Sam Smith, Beyonce lead Grammy nods 2014-12-10
WTTW to air @home; Moraine presents 'Humbug!' 2014-12-10
Winter LGBT movie preview 2014-12-10
TELEVISION Graham Moore talks 'The Imitation Game' 2014-12-10





Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Emanuel to face Garcia in April runoff; gay Latino wins big
 
Entertainment: Darren Criss; Kelly Clarkson; chef Art Smith; Tom Ford
 
National: Pol and trans granddaughter; suicide; FBI and Fred Phelps
 
Chicago endurance athlete Hupe excels in marathon, Ironman
 
Clarence Darrow symposium to explore undocumented laborers, immigration
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.