John Carter (Andrew Stanton) - 2012

It is generally accepted that the average temperature of the planet Mars is minus 67 degrees, Fahrenheit.  However, this guy (Taylor Kitsch) runs around most of the time without a shirt.  The lead character is a Civil War veteran with an attitude who somehow finds a portal to Mars (aka Barsoom) where he is able to leap tall buildings with a single bound.  On Barsoom, Carter finds himself among a race of tall, skinny, green people with tusks.  Fortunately, there is also a race of normal-sized, Earthlike people with unusual red tattoos.  To complicate matters, some bald, monk-like, immortal, shape-shifting men are calling the shots and controlling inter-planetary transportation.  On a planet with little water and less vegetation, the red people have developed aviation and some formidable weapons in order to remain in a perpetual state of war with each other.  Although he has a cave of gold on Earth, Carter seems to prefer bleak Barsoom where the lovely princess (Lynn Collins) can match any man with her swordplay.  There is no shortage of action in this improbable tale.  To the credit of Director Stanton, the movie incorporates a young Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) on the 100th anniversary of his first novel (A Princess of Mars). [JAM 3/11/2012]