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Mars Attacks!
BLU-RAY disk
Oct 1, 2010 By: Jason Adams
Mars Attacks! order download
Director:
Tim Burton

Actors:
Jack Nicholson
Pierce Brosnan
Natalie Portman

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Groups of vaguely interconnected humans in Washington DC, Las Vegas and Kansas attempt to fight off invading Martians, who, despite their recorded insistence that they come in peace, are definitely attacking earth.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
MARS ATTACKS! is a strange beast. It has the dark edge and vivid production design we expect from Tim Burton, but it also boasts a fun tone and oddly goofy sense of humor that escapes a lot of the directors films. Plus it features Jim Brown and singer Tom Jones kicking alien ass, which is just glorious for reasons I shouldnt have to explain.

Based on the cult trading cards of the 1960s, MARS ATTACKS! evokes the spirit of the old school science fiction movies of that time period with modern sensibilities . (A lot better than recent attempts like ALIEN TRESPASS.) It riffs on the Cold-War paranoia sci-fi archetype, at times paying tribute to it and other times mocking it. Burton fills the story with tons of characters from all backgroundspoliticians, the media, rednecks, hippies, the upper class, the middle classand uses them to saywell, MARS ATTACKS may not say anything useful or relevant about these characters or the stereotypes they represent, but its really not trying to be anything more than what it is. In fact, its inherent silliness and carefree demeanor is part of its lasting charm. The fact that an old Slim Whitman song is what finally defeats the aliens is a good litmus test. If you find that inexplicably funny, then youll probably dig the rest of the movie. If youre scratching your head, then you can continue ignoring MARS ATTACKS!

The movie boasts a truly ridiculous cast (some of whom were less famous in 1996 than they are now). Theres Jack Nicholson (playing two roles), Annette Bening, Glenn Close, Natalie Portman, Pierce Brosnan, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jack Black, Martin Short, Jack Black, Danny DeVito, Rod Steiger, Paul Winfield, Pam Grier and a pretty much silent Christina Applegate just to name a few. Granted most of these people only have a couple scenes each, but the A-list ensemble helps to give MARS ATTACKS! an epic kind of feel, like the old star-studded disaster movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Considering the human talent, the Martians themselves are surprisingly the best thing about this movie. The alien design is fun , the voices are highly addictive, and the CG effects from ILM still look great, but their behavior is what sells it. The invaders have a great, diabolical sense of humor, with more mischief than menace, which makes things fun. When the Martians keep trying to knock the Washington Monument down in different directions in order to kill as many Boy Scouts as possible, it fills me with joy inside. Hmmm, that's probably not a good thing.
THE EXTRAS
Nothing. Not even a trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
MARS ATTACKS! still works as a star studded ode to old-school sci-fi movies, with great visuals and a fun tone that's sorely missed from Tim Burton. While the image and sound quality is superb, the lack of any special features is bewildering. I realize youre not going to get the entire cast to do a commentary, but give the fans something, right?

Extra Tidbit: I swear to God I saw Kevin Bacon at 40:17, but cant find any confirmation of this online. Does anybody know for sure? Because this movie would be an ace in the hole when playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
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11:45AM on 10/01/2010
Because there's no extras numbnuts.
Because there's no extras numbnuts.
Your Reply:



10:35AM on 10/01/2010
I don't understand why if you liked the presentation here and the film, you gave the DVD such a low rating?!
I don't understand why if you liked the presentation here and the film, you gave the DVD such a low rating?!
Your Reply:



2:21PM on 10/01/2010
Yeah, the overall score is whether or not it's worth buying. Unless you have to own the movie in HD, the lack of any bonus material makes it shaky at best.
Yeah, the overall score is whether or not it's worth buying. Unless you have to own the movie in HD, the lack of any bonus material makes it shaky at best.
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