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Mars Attacks! (Widescreen/Full Screen)
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It's enlightening to view Tim Burton's Mars Attacks! as his twisted satire of the blockbuster film Independence Day, which was released earlier the same year, although the movies were in production simultaneously. Burton's eye-popping, schlock tribute to 1950s UFO movies actually plays better on video than it did in theaters. The idea of invading aliens ray gunning the big-name movie stars in the cast is a cleverly subversive one, and the bulb-headed, funny-sounding animated Martians are pretty nifty, but it all seemed to be spread thin on the big screen. On video, however, the movie's kooky humor seems a bit more concentrated. The Earth actors (most of whom get zapped or kidnapped for alien science experiments) include Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rod Steiger, Michael J. Fox, Lukas Haas, Jim Brown, Tom Jones, and Pam Grier. The digital video disc features an isolated track for Danny Elfman's score, as well as a few other clever and nasty little Martian surprises. --Jim Emerson
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But there's a lot of dead air in this movie. I loved ED WOOD (and still think it's Burton's best film), but I also have a theory: Tim Burton's films are always 20 minutes too long. Every single one of them (except maybe the first Pee Wee Herman film, which is still hilarious).
There are moments of greatness here, but they come way too late. My two favorite moments were (1) how the aliens are ultimately defeated and (2), no matter what was asked of singer Tom Jones, he could do it. I loved that! But those scenes came way late in the movie and, before that, this movie was all over the place.
(Other scenes worth mentioning: the Martians' response to the dove of goodwill and what they say when they learn English).
They needed either the Zucker Brothers (with Jim Abrams) or even the Coen Brothers take a shot at the script--then it might have had some more laughs and momentum.
Great special effects though.
To understand Mars Attacks you must understand Tim Burton's love for Ed Wood as a film-maker. It appears that Tim Burton made this movie in honour of Ed Wood; alongside the bio-pic of the same name.
Have you never seen 'Plan 9 From Outer Space?' If not, watch that movie then watch this one in sequence; You will understand the answer and the question............ what if?
Anyway, then there's the way people act after it becomes official we're at war. People still go to casinos, attend music concerts, and go on tour of the White House. In short, people continue on as if everything's just fine. If aliens were attacking earth and directly threatening everybody, I'd think that everybody would stop with their recreational activities and everyday concerns and worry solely about fighting or escaping from the martians.
Finally, there's earth's (or, more specifically, the U.S.) military, which is potrayed as both incompetent and inactive. During the first battle in the desert, for instance, a whole battalion of soldiers return fire on the martians, who are standing completly still right there in the open. Logic dictates that all the martians should be cut down in less than a minute, yet only one is killed. And then there's the almost total lack of air defense. Where the hell are the jet fighters? Or the attack helicopters? We see exactly one fighter plane fly up to meet the martians, which gets zapped before it can really do anything.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
too funny not to include in any collection (like "Plan 9 From Outer Space")Published 12 months ago by ukiewolf
Hey folks be aware... at least the DVD version of this release may have playback problems. No dialogue present on the soundtrack in either the wide or standard screen sides of this... Read morePublished 12 months ago by RGH-Canada
One of Tim Burton's best films without Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter. A bizarre blend of violent sci-fi action and satire. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Tom D. Bergin
Très bon filme et comique sur tout les marstien sont rigolo quand il parlePublished 19 months ago by Lyne Bragdon
A fabulous goofy film, "ak ak ak". Comes with marvellous cast of actors and zany evil alien characters.Published 20 months ago by Robert Asgeirsson
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