John Carter ★★½

Part of me wonders if the success of LORD OF THE RINGS is the worst thing that could have happened to big-screen fantasies, since now Hollywood's default mode is to make them as self-important and spectacle-driven as possible, no matter whether the material will actually support it. Which it doesn't here- Burroughs' prose was id-driven and frenzied, but it was also pretty goofy as a rule, so it doesn't really stand up to the epic treatment Stanton strives for here. If only the film had a swashbuckling sense of fun, it might have been worthy, but alas.