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Going back to John Carter.

Am I over exagerrating by suggesting one of it's biggest problems is the fact it was called "John Carter" when it appeared to be trying to be some big epic action filled blockbuster?

And using a nobody to play the eponymous role

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The name didn't help - I don't think anyone really knows for sure why they thought it was a good idea to drop the 'of Mars' part of the name, other than perhaps Hollywood has been burned by Mars so many times now they got the fear of using it in the title, or they felt the sci-fi aspect might put off people. The film actually ends with a caption 'John Carter of Mars', with a nice logo.
It came about 80 years too late.

There was a time when any sf buff would be familiar with the whole Burroughs John Carter world - it was the Star Trek of its day. But not these days. Foolish (lack of) marketing and market education.

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Going back to John Carter.

Am I over exagerrating by suggesting one of it's biggest problems is the fact it was called "John Carter" when it appeared to be trying to be some big epic action filled blockbuster?

And using a nobody to play the eponymous role

It's Tim Riggins, so he's not a nobody in my book :D

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Back from Total Recall ... Once I went into the right screen that was, first clue was when DC Comics appeared but luckily I didn't miss anything as I changed to the correct screen

Was an ok film , hardly a classic but wow is Kate Bekinsdale fit .... few nice nods to the original and I think the Mars story worked better than the Colony v Britian storyline

Looper trailer looked good so might check that one out for next weeks outing

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In Laws are down in a few weeks, which means babysitters!!!!

Just in time to catch Looper at the cinema - having missed the likes of the Avengers and Batman at the cinema recently, I can't wait for a night out to the flicks with the wife!

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Went to see Dredd yesterday, loved it!

Thought Karl Urban was really good, the girl who played Anderson did a good job. I'm not a massive 3d fan but it worked for this movie, Kermode slates every 3d film but it does work here, would be interested to see it in 2d just to compare.

Thought they did the right thing mainly focusing on one area, with a low ish budget he was never going to take on the whole city.

8/10 for me.

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Reason enough to want to watch it; oh and the fact it stars 2 of the most gifted actors of our generation.

Scientologists tried to stop 'The Master' from being made

Scientologists 'tried to stop' The Master film

Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master Joaquin Phoenix (left) and Philip Seymour Hoffman star in The Master

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Scientologists in Hollywood tried to derail a movie inspired by the religion's founder, its studio claims.

Unnamed Scientologists applied "lots of pressure" to stop The Master being made and have it changed once filming began, studio head Harvey Weinstein said.

The film's director Paul Thomas Anderson has stated that The Master was partly based on L Ron Hubbard, who founded Scientology in the 1950s.

The Church of Scientology has denied trying to block the film.

Weinstein told BBC News: "We've had pressure and we've resisted pressure. Originally people said to me 'don't make it'. Lots of pressure.

"And then, as we were making it, we had pressure to change it. Paul's not doing that and I didn't think he chose me [to work with] because I was going to acquiesce either."

The movie tells the story of a cult leader known as The Master, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a troubled World War II veteran, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who is drawn into his world.

L Ron Hubbard in 1960 There are parallels between the film and the story of L Ron Hubbard

It won awards for acting and directing after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival and is seen as an early contender for The Oscars.

Asked about the reaction from Scientologists in Hollywood, Weinstein said: "I'm not going to get into names, but they feel strongly that they think it's a religion and as such they think the subject matter shouldn't be explored.

"Paul Thomas Anderson admitted in Venice that it was about L Ron Hubbard and the early days of his teaching and the creation of Scientology. But that's not all there is in the movie."

The film is also about the impact of fighting in World War II on the armed forces, he said.

"That's what attracted me to this script - my dad saw combat in World War II and he never got over it. It's about the journey that Joaquin Phoenix's character goes through, trying all sorts of things.

"I'm not sure how Scientologists will react. So far, without seeing it, it's negative - so I just urge people to go see it and then they can react." Weinstein is a producer and distributor who has worked on films including Pulp Fiction and The King's Speech.

'Still friends'

The Church of Scientology, meanwhile, have denied any suggestion that it had attempted to block the making of The Master and pointed to earlier statements in which the film-makers distanced themselves from the movement.

"The movie is a work of fiction and the director, producer and actors have said so," a Church of Scientology spokesperson said.

"For example, Paul Thomas Anderson is quoted as saying: 'This is a fabricated story: pure fiction.' And Philip Seymour Hoffman is quoted saying: 'It's not a Scientology movie.' There is nothing more to say about the matter."

Prominent Scientologists include Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Juliette Lewis and Priscilla Presley.

Paul Thomas Anderson recently said he had held a screening of The Master for Cruise, with whom he worked on the 1999 film Magnolia.

"Yes, I have shown him the film, and yes, we are still friends," Anderson said. "The rest is between me and Tom."

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Scientologists basically believe in aliens. Many people (non-scientologists) believe in the possibility or existence of intelligent life other than our own. So essentially they believe in something that is mathematically nowhere near as far fetched as the other religions that believe in imaginary beings. Just sayin' :)

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I'm not worried about them, I'm just sickened by them.

Anyway back on topic, will probably be watching Ted* this weekend. Should be good.

*They released it late in Asia, as studios like to do in Asia with movies that aren't expected to be big blockbuster hits

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I watched Dredd on Tuesday, haven't really had chance to put down my thoughts.

I really enjoyed it, even the 3d wasn't particularly obtrusive.

It's brutal in all the right ways, it can be quite pretty, it has completely deadpan humour, it looks right, and despite a pretty simple storyline manages to hit all the right notes along the way to drag you into it.

Urban absolutely nails Dredd. He's not the most 3-dimensional of characters and easily can fall into caricature but Urban plays him straight as the most hard ass of hard ass coppers. The film opens with him responding to a call to apprehend some guys in a van who are under the influence of a drug that forms the heart of the plot, Slo-mo (...guess what that does!) and already wanted. They choose to fire on him with an Uzi as he chases them down on his Lawmaster bike and he doesn't flinch, when dispatch asks if he requires back up he growls back 'No'. He says very little throughout the film but every word, and every movement, is perfect.

And Thirlby is great as rookie psychic Judge Anderson. I think I fell in love a little by the time the credits rolled. and her psychic ability is handled fairly well.

I can see some people disliking it - a lot of the action is played strangely matter of factly - Dredd dispatches those standing in his way with little ceremony. A few scenes have him simply set up an encounter and professionally pop off shots as he walks through criminals. Thats not to say all scenes are like that - a notable scene turns the cold professional killing into a curiously beautiful if also horrific. And between bullets flying the film drops in pace considerably.

I really enjoyed it. Go see it. I hope it can make enough to justify a sequel, sadly I think even at a £50m budget it's going to struggle.

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