Saturday, 12 May 2012
Red Planet Blues
TV mini series adaptations of fiction classics should be a sure thing - reasonable production standards twinned with the time to explicate the plot rather than have it scrunched into the usual 90 mins. I've always been a little naive though and it turns out The Martian Chronicles is a cheap and cheesy rendition of a Ray Bradbury novel following over the exploration and colonisation of the Red Planet and the inevitable discovery of it's comically cliched inhabitants. Rock Hudson leads the cast with a empty eyed, hammy performance and over the ensuing 6 hours the script and acting never lifts above the am-dram and the sfx tragic but somehow it kept me watching, It does have a wispy, dreamlike atmosphere and the ghost planet motif is nicely done but I guess that's down to Bradbury's original anyways it's definitely one that's for just the nerds & nostalgists.
Edgar Rice Burrough's aging Martian adventure, John Carter, got a polish from Disney but a kicking by the critics and sure, it's big budget fluff. but it's not nearly as bad as some of the guff I've sat through. It doesn't make much sense, is stuffed to the gills with cheese and the main actor, Taylor Kitsch, can't act for toffee but that hardly distinguishes it from the majority of Hollywood's offerings. The titular hero gets zapped from the South into the middle of a Martian civil war and discovers his new found abilities might hold the key to ending the conflict and finding his way home blah blah blah. Given the amount of cash they spent on the snazzy sfx it's just a shame they never though of making something more than the average dumb blockbuster better film.