Based on the story A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter is set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). Carter (Kitsch) is a war-weary, former military captain who's inexplicably transported to Mars and reluctantly becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. It's a world on the brink of collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director Andrew Stanton and Producers Jim Morris and Lindsey Collins, John Carter's Journal Second Screen Bonus View, the featurette 100 Years In The Making—Edgar Rice Burrough's story (HD 10:43), 360 Days Of John Carter—a day on the production (HD 34:32), 11 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Stanton (HD 19:09), Barsoom bloopers (HD 01:56), up-front previews, and a digital copy.
The 1080p MVC post-production 3D conversion was performed by Cinesite and Stereo D and directed by Stereographers Scott Willman and Graham D. Clark. The outer world design is embellished with earthly alien-desert browns and yellows and strong primary reds and blues. Fleshtones are naturally toned with a bronze hue. Resolution is excellent and revealing in fine detail, whether in medium shots or during close-ups of facial features, hair, clothing, and object texture. Contrast is well balanced with deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Due to the numerous dark scenes, viewing in a darkened or black environment is recommended to appreciate the production design. The post-converted 3D exhibits a decent level of depth and perspective, but human characters tend to appear as flat cutouts, though, the alien creatures are more dimensional. Had the film been shot in native 3D, the Martian landscape would likely have been more dramatically rendered, Still, this is a fine 3D experience, with effective depth perspective. Crosstalk ghosting is not present, for a pristine viewing experience. Overall, the 3D experience is satisfactory but not reference quality. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack adheres to the Dolby® theatrical standard with the added two channels to the back. This is problematic for systems in which the surrounds in a 5.1-channel presentation are already positioned toward the back and not at 90 degrees relative to the primary listening position. Thus, with loudspeakers added to the 90-degree position requires some rewiring to allocate channels appropriately to adhere to the Dolby theatrical standard. As for the soundtrack, the sound is dynamic, with effectively rendered low-level ambient atmospherics and a variety of special effect sounds that dimensionalize the soundfield. Thus, the soundscape rendered for Barsoom is intriguing and engaging throughout. Deep bass is extended in the .1 LFE channel at times to sub-25 Hz frequencies. The orchestral music score is projected widely and deeply across the soundstage, extending to the surrounds, for a holosonic® enveloping experience. Dialogue sounds natural and at times is well integrated spatially. Fans will be appreciative of the dynamics and subtle ambient qualities that this soundtrack excels at and will be delighted with the sonic results. (Gary Reber)