John Carter was like an audio book, too long.
Too many characters. Took too long to get to the story. It should've been a miniseries, and if they'd contained themselves -- meaning, if they'd compressed things better -- and not gone for the Huge Panoramas everywhere, that would have been better.
The graphics were nifty, though. :) I have a feeling that if you watched it with the sound off, that might help.
Also, I can appreciate fans making stories; that's how we got Sherlock and Peter Jackson's LOTR cycle. The problem is when the movie makers go overboard because of enthusiasm. So much stuff not to leave out, you can just feel them cry... no, no, you must leave things out.
That's what makes the others good. Knowing what to leave out as well as what to put in.
I loved the Tharks. Except they were too skinny, so half the time I was thinking "Anorexic Tharks!" and the rest I was being all delighted at them. Whoever did the Tharks is full of win, and I salute you most happily.
My favorite part was the arena. :) But overall it dragged. I kept pausing it to see just how long I'd been watching, which is never a good sign.
Dad watched the beginning with me, and we discussed [and he critiqued] how long it was taking them to get to the story. He complained -- rightly, I thought -- about the actor cast as John Carter. They really needed someone built like the young Schwarzenegger. Every time the camera came back to Carter, I got a bit more twitchy. :/
I did like how Deja Thoris wasn't all wimpy. I don't remember what she was like, but that was a pleasant difference. The different frame story had its moments, particularly the end, but... sigh.
I read the John Carter books in my teens. They were just like Tarzan in many ways, unsurprisingly. That's not a complaint, it's just an observation. They went in two-book cycles.
So I kept saying, "Why aren't they getting to the cave?" and similar comments. Now I understand why some fans watching Spiderman got upset about the webshooters Peter made. They didn't upset me, but the gizmo instead of John Carter's teleporting, arghhh!!
I could see how they'd been seduced by movies past: Dune, Flash Gordon, the original Star Wars trio, Tron.
So, yeah. See the arena scene, that's really good. The dog, I want a Martian dog a bit, he was great. :) I know he was a plot point, but a very skillfully used one.