A 2011 New Yorker profile of Andrew Stanton revealed that the WALL-E director had never heard the words “I’m proud of you” from his parents. Who wants to kick that dude when he’s down? Thus, I saw the much-reviled John Carter with my son, a moviegoer so generous, he has defended Jar Jar Binks. We tried to get our bearings on Stanton’s alien planet, with its portentous conversations, native Tharks (who would fit in at a Binks family reunion) and long but passionless battles. John Carter (Taylor Kitsch, embodying Lorenzo Lamas circa 1982) and his princess (Lynn Collins) seemed born not to love each other so much as to mud-wrestle each other. At the end, I expected my kid to announce that John Carter was awesome. Instead he said, “That has to go on your worst list.” Out of the mouths of babes (and the target demographic).
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