MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Based on the 1960s Topps trading card series, “Mars Attacks!” is Tim Burton’s take on the classic alien invasion movies. Told with its tongue firmly in its cheek, the movie starts with the arrival of Martian flying saucers. The President, the media and the average American learns to deal with the new visitors, and soon they learn whether they are friendly or not. As the Martians are on the rampage, a few humans are able to fight against them, hoping to save their planet.
WHAT I LIKED
I’ve been a huge Tim Burton fan ever since I saw “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” when I was in high school. This is one of my favorite films of his, even though it is largely forgotten and often misunderstood. This film offers a surreal look at an exaggeration of how things would transpire behind the scenes of such events. Yes, it’s over-the-top, but there’s a terrifying truth in how politicians would want to spin this or media would want to angle it.
The genius of “Mars Attacks!” is how it works on so many different levels. First, it serves as biting satire and a brilliant commentary on our political system in the information age. Second, it works as a neat little alien invasion story, tapping into the memories of the sci-fi films of the 50s. Finally, it also works as an action movie. Having come out within a year of the blockbuster “Independence Day,” “Mars Attacks!” is an unintentional sister film, giving a different take on a similar story.
“Mars Attacks!” also has one of the greatest casts assembled. Featuring Jack Nicholson in dual roles, plus brilliant smaller parts with Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Jim Brown, Sarah Jessica Parker and Tom Fucking Jones, “Mars Attacks!” is a great movie that holds up as satire, action and adventure today.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Not much. there are some special effects that break down, but that’s because the film is almost 15 years old. Even by today’s standards, the look and style still works extremely well.
Sadly, there’s nothing on the disc besides the movie… the only real problem with the release.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of Tim Burton who want to see something different from his normal Gothic spin on a classic.