This week, we look back to one of last year's biggest blockbusters — and an Oscar frontrunner — for inspiration, and turn up an interesting, misbegotten cinematic comparison point. Ridley Scott's THE MARTIAN is critically and commercially successful in a way Andrew Stanton's D.O.A. JOHN CARTER never even approached, but the two Mars-centric films viewed in tandem offer interesting takeaways about the nature of science fiction and fantasy, the perils of source-material fidelity and visual poetry. Can one's failure be better understood through the lens of the other's success?
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