Well, I went to see John Carter for a second time in 2D. Knowing what the changes to the story were, I was able to relax a bit more and settle in.
First off, the effects look so much better in 2D...in fact, I would go so far as to say that the visual effects in this movie are some of the best I've ever seen. They really do integrate and serve the story, and are about 90% seamless. The Thark animation is as convincing as the work done on Gollum...I imagine the motion capture was an important element to this, but the animators really nailed it. Not once did I think about what I was seeing as being a visual effect. There were two scenes that had that CGI feel: the Gates of Iss, when Dejah and John leave the temple thingy to check on Sola, and the one-man flier chase when John Carter escapes Zodanga...but even then, I was into the movie enough to not be distracted by them too much. So much of the background detail and integration of the characters into the settings is so perfectly realized...you really do feel like you're there on Barsoom, even when in hindsight you realize much of that scene had to have been realized on green screen. So fantastic.
On the whole, I liked it more the second go around. It isn't perfect, but man is it better than most crap that's out there. It has a great deal of spirit, and is filled with gee-whiz moments that are just so rare. I really want it to do well, both for the sake of the film makers who put a heck of a lot of work and love into the movie, and for Burroughs fans like myself. But I'm a realist, and I know that the chances are slim. Its upsetting to me that people didn't even know that this movie existed...all of that money supposedly spent on marketing, and I've never seen an ad on TV. John Carter deserves better...but at least we have this movie. Like that other under-appreciated Disney feature The Rocketeer, I still marvel that it exists, and that despite my stupid quibbles, someone made a pretty good movie out of something so close to my heart.
The custom figure was a quickie I made as a reference for doing illustration and paintings. Magneto head grafted onto a Namor body, with the harness harvested from my lame 'Timothy Dalton' John Carter custom. Simple and quick.