Blu-Ray Gives 'John Carter' Second Chance to Thrill Audiences in 3-D

Taylor Kitsch in 'John Carter'/Photo © 2011 Disney
Taylor Kitsch in 'John Carter'/Photo © 2011 Disney

The enduring tale of John Carter will not be that of one simple man's unwitting participation in a galactic uprising, but of one genuinely entertaining movie that was unceremoniously hung out to dry by its studio (the Disney exec who allowed this to happen was later given the same treatment). For those who were curious about the colorful Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation but were scared away by the lingering smell of imminent box office death, today marks the film's release on Blu-Ray (including that home 3-D option, which I still can't believe is real). The inclusion of a blooper reel is a nice touch; after months of struggling to prove itself among inferior (yet less expensive) films, it's refreshing to see John Carter emerge with a sense of humor about itself.

I confess that at a certain age I emitted many a "D'awwww" over the sensitive characters in Stephen Chbosky's suburban coming-of-age tale The Perks of Being a  Wallflower. However, despite Emma Watson's flawless American accent, the new trailer for the upcoming film version makes me cringe a bit; casting luminously attractive people as awkward outsiders always turns me off, and it seems to pander a bit overtly to the type of tweemo lonely hearts that are most likely to pre-order the film's soundtrack. Don't take my word for it, young wallflowers: I've probably just gotten old.

Speaking of soundtrack-as-character-development, it looks like Ryan Gosling may get yet another chance to brood to the beat: James Sallis, the author behind last year's "Drive," has written a sequel called Driven, picking up seven years after the events of the first book/film. No official word yet as to whether a movie is in the works, but does anyone really doubt this will happen? Hope Gosling remembers where he kept his fancy scorpion windbreaker (you can buy your own replica here).

What's this? A remake of Jacob's Ladder? First of all, the original Tim Robbins version already has everything that a great scary movie needs: body-horror; demons riding the NYC subway; Macauley Culkin. I don't see any room for improvement, but if it makes a new generation curious about revisiting the Adrian Lyne version, I can hardly complain. (Here's one of my favorite scenes.)