The press was concerned when John Carter hit theaters March 9. For many, the question was "Does the movie live up to the books?" And then the question remained: "Does it live up to the covers of the books?"
Burroughs was daring and desperate enough to imagine an alien planet. But Gilman, a Victorian-era survivor, imagined something even more bold: a time and place where gender alone would not doom a person to a life of prescribed confinement, drudgery, or madness.
You cannot prepare for it. Your expectations may never match the reality. Willem Dafoe has played vampires, monsters, goblins (of the green variety), pervs, psychotherapists, bikers and even that kinda conflicted Christ guy.
I'd probably seen the placard on the side of New York city buses a half-dozen times before I actually noticed the tiny John Carter figure in the foreground, wielding a mammoth chain with a big rock attached to the end.