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MARS ATTACKS! (BLU-RAY)
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Reviewed by: Mike Catalano

Directed by: Tim Burton

Starring:
Jack Nicholson
Glenn Close
Pierce Brosnan

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Martians are invading the Earth! Can an all-star cast do all that they can to stop them before the human race becomes extinct?! Bring it on, ya little green bastards!

Is it good movie?
I honestly think a flick like this could never get made today. Blame the economy or perhaps the cautiousness of today's award-winning filmmakers, whatever. I just can't believe that a seasoned director like Tim Burton was able to amass the kind of talent that he did for, basically, a cheesy b-movie-style alien-invasion movie. In case you can't remember, MARS ATTACKS! stars Nicholson, Glenn Close, Michael J. Fox, Annette Bening, Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Jack Black, Natalie Portman, Martin Short, Pam Grier, and f*cking Tom Jones! That sure is a shitload of characters to involve in a tongue-in-cheek monster-fest. And almost every character is friggin' developed. I'm still in shock over that. I suppose that's what happens when an A-list director decides to tackle subject matter such as this. Thankfully, Burton has always had a soft spot for the weird.

It's pretty obvious that Burton is the main reason that MARS succeeds. The flick is full of the kind of out-there humor and old-school creature feature pinache that the director has prided himself on for years. I thought this movie was funny when I first saw it in the theater 14 years ago and it's still funny now on Blu-Ray. And the martians themselves look even better on the advanced video transfer. The spinning pie-tin spaceships, the green-goo splatters, and laser-beam attacks all sparkle in bright, shiny bursts across the screen.

The manner with which everyone seems to be in on the joke (that this was intentionally made to come off as a bad b-movie) is just astounding. Every actor turns in a fun, winking performance and, like I said before, I can't believe that Burton made it happen. Where else can you find Jack Nicholson playing dual roles as the President of the United States and some slimey Vegas entrepreneur? The answer is nowhere! And I guess that was what truly hindered MARS when it first came out. This movie was basically considered a flop in terms of box office and I think it's because most people couldn't grasp the kind of grandiose yet gross actor masterclass that Burton was peddling. Too bad.

I'm not saying that MARS ATTACKS! is excellent on every level. It does suffer from a kind of slow start and a somewhat lackluster ending. However many films from long ago (that Burton is clearly looking to emulate) worked along the same lines. Hence, it's so hard to really fault the flick because of its shortcomings because they were most likely intentional. Which again brings me back to my initial amazement that a movie like this was able to be made on such a large level. Yes, this is a flick where a good sense of humor is highly required.

Video / Audio
Video A nice and crisp Widescreen 2.40:1

Audio English dolby digital with Spanish and French subtitles.

The Extras
For its maiden voyage onto Blu-Ray, this disc shockingly doesn't have shit! Weak sauce!
Last Call
The alien laughs come frequent and far out from left field. No genre buff should miss this once-in-a-lifetime amalgam of so many wonderful actors smirking and screaming their way through martian goo. Just don't hold your breath for any Blu-Ray extras... at all.

ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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