Cover by Gino D’Achille
At least that was what I expected.
So the first book. It starts off, loosely how the movie did. I've been meaning to watch it again, but since I'm writing it now, you will have to put up with the holes in my memory like I do. :)
Now I say loosely because there are Indians and there is running to save his hide and he does go up into a cave to hide and gets transported to Mars from there. And that about's about it. Everything else is different, For better or for worst, it's different. He does have a mine claim, But it's when he's trying to rescue his partner in the mine that he ends up having issues with the Indians that killed him and he's off and running.
So he's on Mars now. How? We don't know. He seizes up and he experiences traveling between the two planets, like in Galaxy Quest, and wakes up on Mars. And he's naked. In fact, it seems that most 'people' here are mostly naked. They have 'leathers' to hold weapons, a sword and dagger, and a pouch for other others. And somewhere on this, there is a space for the mark of where they come from, what city.
The green men are just about right, and how they met is the same as in the book. So is how he learns to walk on Mars. He even describes how it was one of most embarrassing moments of his life in the book. Then there is the incubator. That is most true also. I think the movie made the green men shorter than they are described in the book. But it's far more forgivable than how they depicted the red men of Mars. But I'm jumping ahead.
... I'm going to see if I can watch this. Something feels off. ...
Ok. So I forgot a bit. The walking city, the little sand storm war and the gift from the Goddess. Oh, and everything leading up to his nephew reading his journal.
So far, I have yet to see any walking cities and I'm up to book 5. Oh, those people that float down from the sky with the weapon? They are a reinvention of a race we don't see until book two, Gods Of Mars. So this didn't happen either. As for the war, they lived in wars. One city was always fighting another city. Over anyone's guess. Then there is the whole show of the telegram and the tomb.
John did 'die' and his nephew was sent for. In fact, John did send for him, himself, but not for the reasons that are shown. I was there reading and reading and waiting to see this part that was shown in the movie and it never came.
Now despite the fact of all the writing I have done and will do, there are bits I will leave out. I don't think I can give the whole thing away, and after a while, I'll just get tired of typing. 😊
So that whole bit around him 'dying' and his nephew at the start is something I leave for you to discover.
Ok, back to where I left off. The height of the green man is good. :) I would like to note, that he, John, wasn't shot in the book and only the women tended to the wounded among their kind. In the movie, there is the bit where she, the princess of Helium, is trying to present this device that used the 9th ray and it blows up and she is more or less disgraced and her father makes her marry someone she doesn't want to. None of that happened and it's even more misleading because, in the book, they have and use the 9th ray. This is not something for anyone on Mars to discover.
Next, The green man that captured him is not Jeddak. he was just Jed. The branding thing. Not a thing at all. Next, he, John, was raised in a house with two or three other babies and the women who are in charge of each. He was taught the spoken langue of Mars by the female that took care of him. The same one who was branded in the movie.
Oh, she wasn't well liked, but she wasn't whipped or branded or anything like that. She was just hated for being too kind-hearted. She was considered a throwback to before the seas dried up and they could have afforded to be kind to those around them. But once everyone had to fight for food and whatnot on a changing, dying world, they like everyone else on the planet became more warlike to get or keep what they had.
The time he spent with the green men is more like weeks to two months than the two or so days we see in the movie. The girl he falls for was shot down by the green men. There was no fight overhead that they just claimed stuff from after shooting down a ship themselves. They started the attack and boarded the ship after they disabled the other two that were with it. John played no part either.
The princess was also with them for a long time before they both escaped. In the book we saw the green man caravan as it moved to the south or was it the north? I think it was the south, of where John found them, to meet up with other green men tribes. This is where their Jeddak lived. We saw John fight with the green men against another green man tribe that didn't like the one he was with. We saw one attempted assassination on John's life. This is the only time that the princess fights and all she really does is knock a mirror out of someone's hand and maybe try to stab them. Oh, that someone is the green female that had it out for them in the movie. She's not a good soul in any version.
Now there is no river scene. Everyone talks about the river and the goddess. But we don't see any of that until the second book. Gods of Mars.
Oh. I forgot about the flashbacks to his dead wife. There is no dead wife. And the 'horses' here on Mars in the movie are wrong. This is the only time I've seen them so stocky, and they forgot the yellow feet. They are suppose to have yellow feet. Oh, something else we don't see, the princess' father and grandfather, at least not until the end of the book. Yeah, her grandfather still lives. In the books anyway.
I keep forgetting little bits. The red men of Mars are suppose to be red. Not red tattooed, but red skinned. Like a potato. Or a red onion. There is suppose to be a marked contrast between his skin and her's.
What else can I say? Most of what happens next in the movie don't really follow the book. At one point there is the threat of a wedding that the princess doesn't want any part of and is being forced into by her captor. Not her dad. But we learned a lot about Mars before that happens. All that was taken out of the movie. Now I understand why some of it was taken out, but in doing so they have to omit a lot later on, if they got to continue, or re-write completely. One one, We see trees in this book. Those Mar Canals are lined with trees because it's one of the few places where there is enough water to really grow anything. At least that is what the first book tells you. :)
Oh, that bit about Tharks, the green men, not flying? It's not true. In the book, they don't have that hang-up. Also, the guy sitting pretty during the arena fight was Jeddak and John's friend killed him to become Jeddak. Oddly, we don't see it in the book. In the book when he goes back to get help from his green skinned friend he is Jaddak and as they ride to save his princess, he gathers other green men tribes to their cause.
In the movie, they show that they first went to the wrong city then had to get on the fliers to get to Helium in time. But that is only half true. They did not get the wrong city in the book. They do stop the wedding, and then they get on the fliers to go to Helium because it was under attack still.
I leave the surrounding details for you to discover.
Now in the movie, once Helium is safe John is attacked and sent back to earth right after he gets to spend most of the night with his princess and now wife. In the book, peace is brought to Helium and he marries his princess and they have an ... egg. Yep. I was surprised too. This is near the end of the book but not quite. There is a little bit more, but it ties into what I omitted above so I won't talk about it now.
There. I have told you about the book, Left good bits out for you to find something interesting and new to read for yourself and I didn't ruin the ending.
So if you are interested here is the link for the audiobook.
Now that I have recapped parts of the book and the movie for you, I felt like finally playing a "Everything that is wrong with John Carter Of Mars" vid. They have some good points so far, most of which I missed since I wasn't watching the movie to take it apart. I wouldn't be surprised if they actually watched this movie like 3 times and on the third time through they got a whole bunch that didn't bother them or they didn't realize until then.
As purely a movie on its own, it wasn't that bad I liked it. And this one review I'm watching is comparing it with Waterworld. Believe it or not, I liked Waterworld. I didn't see anything in that would make it garner such hate.
I think most of the mistakes he's pointing out are due to all the rewriting of the story to such a degree. They also forgot to show the proper passage of time. So some people think all of this happened in 3-4 days. In the book you will see that all this, not counting the time he was back on earth, was years of his life. See vast difference.
Ok, that's it. I hope you do read or play the book. It may have outdated ideas, but it's still a good adventure story. They all are. Yes, I'm taking back all the moaning I did about Chessmen Of Mars. 😏