It’s bizarre, it’s corny, it’s by Tim Burton – and it’s not Alice In Wonderland. In 1996 Tim Burton created Marks Attacks, a combination live-action/CGI movie based on a series of trading cards that Burton used to collect. It was done in a campy 50s sci-fi B-movie flick, but with a heavy-hitting cast list which included Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Piece Brosnan, Annette Benning, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Jessica Parker, and on and on. 14 years later, it gets its first Blu-ray treatment on September 7th, 2010.
I first watched this movie when it was released in the theaters. And I admit, I hated this movie. Detested it. It was stupid, annoying, and the acting was poor.
I watched it again a little more than a year later, and laughed out loud.
I think this is the sort of movie that it really depends on what kind of movie you were expecting. I wasn’t really ready for the campy B-movie, and expected something perhaps more serious, and noticed all the perceived flaws. On the second viewing, I knew what the movie was, and was able to enjoy it a lot more.
The acting isn’t exactly stellar – but some of that may in fact be intentional, to further fit the B-movie style. Overly melodromatic (and predicatable) dialog delivery, stereotypical characters with little intelligence, etc. can be a sign of a really poor movie – or a brilliant capture of a movie style.
Mars Attacks proves to be a wonderfully campy movie worth it for the chuckles.
I wish that they had perhaps added something to the Blu-ray edition on top of the DVD version, beyond the better video transfer and audio. There are no special features at all. But the video differences are noticeable in the tiny details that can be seen, right from the start in the imperfect reflections of the flying saucers, as if they were from hammered metal. As with similar Blu-ray transfers, these little details are almost never noticed due to their loss on DVD, and until you see it again in high definition you don’t know what was lost. Minor, true, but sometimes the minor details really define the amount of work that was put in.
If you are unfamilar with the movie in general, here is the official synopsis – which I can easily see being done as a 50s SF movie trailer:
Awake, Earthlings! It’s later than you think. Don’t miss this hilarious frenzy as Tim Burton (Alice in Wonderland) directs – and Mars Attacks!
See! Stars that shine across the galaxy. Jack Nicholson (in a dual role), Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito and a dozen more!
Shriek! At mean, green invaders form the angry red planet! Armed with insta-fry ray guns, endowed with slimy, humongous brains – and enlivened with out-of-this-world but state-of-the-art special effects.
Gasp! As the U.S. Legislature is overwhelmed. Don’t fear, we have two out of three branches of the government working for us, and that ain’t bad!
Thrill! As Earth fights back with an unexpected weapon. Take that, Martians!
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Martin Short, Danny De Vito, Natalie Portman, Jim Brown, Lukas Haas, Rod Steiger, Tom Jones, Pam Grier, Paul Winfield, Annette Bening, Sylvia Sidney, Lisa Marie, Christina Applegate, Joe Don Baker, Jack Black, Barbet Schroeder, Brandon Hammond and Ray J. Norwood.