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Mars Attacks!

Action & Adventure and Science Fiction & Fantasy movie directed by Tim Burton

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a fantastic send-up

  • Jan 4, 2002
A wonderful pastiche on the campy and cheesy B-grade sci-fi movies of the 50's and 60's, MARS ATTACKS! features a pin-sharp script and a star-studded cast.

Heading the lineup are Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening and Pierce Brosnan, but there is also the game support of Danny DeVito, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lukas Haas, Natalie Portman, Rod Steiger, Martin Short, Michael J. Fox, Lisa Marie, Tom Jones and the veteran Sylvia Sidney.

The whole plot is, of course, Mars attacking Earth after a seemingly bungled translation job. The President and First Lady (played by Nicholson and Close with aplomb) and their young daughter Taffy (Natalie Portman) are taken seige in the White House when the aliens nuke the entire House of Congress.

The key to the alien's downfall belongs to the senile yet lovable old Grandma Norris (Sylvia Sidney). I won't spoil the surprise for those who have yet to see this hilarious film.

A fantastic DVD transfer is given here, with a fair few extra features.

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About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #145
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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About this movie


It's enlightening to view Tim Burton'sMars Attacks!as his twisted satire of the blockbuster filmIndependence 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.--Jim Emerson
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Director: Tim Burton
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Fantasy
DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
Runtime: 106 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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"a fantastic send-up"
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