John Carter

Director: Andrew Stanton
Year Released: 2012
Rating: 2.0

A Civil War veteran and all-around difficult personality (Taylor Kitsch) has a chance encounter with space monks, grabs a magical blue medallion and is transported to Mars where he find himself in the middle of another "war," needs to save a Princess, befriends a massive dog and discovers he not only can fly, but has superhuman strength (!?). Essentially an Avatar rethink - except not nearly as attractive looking - with a slew of big, messy battle scenes and four-armed aliens that are hard to tell apart (the "bad" one only has one tusk): Carter himself is a rather generic action hero (blame the script, not Kitsch) and I found myself rooting for his speedy 'monster dog' companion Woola, who has more personality than any of the characters. Stanton appears a bit lost working with such a colossal budget and live-action fantasy: both WALL-E and Finding Nemo were fun and funny, while this is humorless popcorn fare.