John Carter, Ender

Watched John Carter the other day. Apparently it was a box office bomb, but I thought it was a pretty good movie, and respectful enough, based on what I know of Burroughs and the stories.

I suppose I can understand why it wouldn’t be a hit now, because people are so de-sensitized and de-mythologized by Star Wars and its ilk, which are in turn dependent on Burroughs and his ilk. What was fantastical in 1917 is old hat now. We’re too fussy about a scientific view of the solar system instead of a relatively idyllic view, for one, but I hadn’t thought we were over romances, even planetary ones such as JC. Swashbucklers do have a tough time these days, unless they have Johnny Depp in them.

On a slightly unrelated note, I think the upcoming Ender’s Game film will be a disaster if the big change discussed by Card here in 1998 is made. Don’t click on that if you haven’t read it. Talk about a quick way to completely kill a story dead.

Annoying capturing

I have been reading through the Cole & Pike novels by Robert Crais lately on my iPhone, and I have to say while they are generally enjoyable, I am tired of the capture scene. This is when our protagonist or protagonists are temporarily captured by the bad guys due to some momentary miscalculation.

I hate this trope. I just detest it. It requires the good guys be dumb enough to be captured and the bad guys to be stupid enough not to kill them immediately. I can understand its appeal – it’s dramatic to have the heroes in mortal peril, but when it happens OVER AND OVER AGAIN to no ill effect it becomes so progressively unbelievable that it spoils immersion.

For the interested, I finally became fed up after the ending of L.A. Requiem. Ok, that’s pretty deep into the series, but I have developed high pain tolerance. I’m not sure if I want to continue. I understand as series characters they can’t die, but if so, they can’t be put into artificial situations that they can’t possibly survive. I have other complaints about the series, but that’s the big one.