Watch: Taylor Kitsch and Dominic West represent good and bad in ‘John Carter’

“John Carter” comes out this weekend, so you know what that means?  If you answered “Lots of ‘John Carter’ interviews,” then you win, and as your prize, you get… well, lots of “John Carter” interviews, actually.

What better way to kick off our coverage of the film than with John Carter himself?  I went to Carefree, Arizona to not only see the film but to talk to the team who made it, and obviously, part of that day consisted of sitting down with Taylor Kitsch, on whose shoulders much of the film rests.  This is a major year for Kitsch, and if anyone’s being given a shot at new movie stardom this year, it’s him.  After all, he’s the star of this, then he’s the star of “Battleship,” which will be one of the summer’s biggest films in terms of scale if nothing else, and then later in the summer, he’s one of the stars of Oliver Stone’s adaptation of Don Winslow’s “Savages.”  That’s a pretty big line-up, and I’m curious to see where Kitsch stands at the end of the year.

I reviewed “John Carter” last week, and I am very fond of the movie.  I think Kitsch strikes me as thoroughly modern, which is a problem considering he’s playing a Civil War veteran, but I think once he’s actually on Barsoom and wrapped up in the adventure, he starts to really click as the character, and I like him a lot in the last act, where it feels like he really comes into focus.

Dominic West, on the other hand, is one of those guys who I just plain like watching at this point and who seems very good at latching onto the tone of a project and really blending into whatever it is he’s doing.  He’s one of the bad guys here, and he seems to take great pleasure in it.  It’s always good to get a little time to sit and chat with McNulty (and if you still haven’t see “The Wire,” you really should, just so you understand why people have a hard time thinking of the stars of the show as anything other than those indelibly etched characters), and we had a great chat.  I will confess that it always throws me for a moment when he starts talking and that cultured English accent of his asserts itself, since I always think of him first as a mope from Baltimore.

I’m planning to see “John Carter” again on Tuesday night, but this time, I’m taking Toshi with me.  I think the film’s maybe a little much for Allen on the big screen, but Toshi’s going to lose his mind.  I think both West and Kitsch are very able defenders of the film’s charms in these interviews, and I hope you’ll ignore the disastrous marketing and consider a trip to whatever the biggest nicest screen it’s playing on near you.  It really is something special.

“John Carter” opens in theaters everywhere this Friday.