Movie Review- MARS ATTACKS!

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MARS ATTACKS! (1996)

Cymast’s Synopsis: Technologically superior Martians attack Earthlings in a full-scale planetary war. But 2 humans stumble upon an unlikely and effective weapon against the Martians. And it isn’t a pickle.

Noteable Cast:

Jack Nicholson- USA’s President James Dale/property developer Art Land

Glenn Close- USA’s First Lady Marsha Dale

Natalie Porman- USA’s First Daughter Taffy Dale

Annette Bening- Art’s wife Barbara Land

Pierce Brosnan- National Academy of Astronautics Chair and Presidential Advisor Professor Donald Kessler

Danny Devito- scumbag lawyer

Martin Short- White House Press Secretary Jerry Ross

Michael J. Fox- reporter Jason Stone

Sarah Jessica Parker- reporter Nathalie Lake

Poppy (dog)- Nathalie Lake’s pet dog Poppy

Rod Steiger- USA Army General Decker

Lukas Haas- donut shop employee Richie Norris

Jack Black- USA Army Soldier Billy Glenn Norris

Sylvia Sidney- Richie and Billy Glenn’s grandmother Florence Norris

 Joe Don Baker- Richie and Billy Glenn’s father Mr. Norris

O-Lan Jones- Richie and Billy Glenn’s mother Mrs. Norris

Christina Applegate- Billy Glenn’s girlfriend Sharona

Lisa Marie- Martians

Ray J- truant child Cedric Williams

Brandon Hammond- truant child Neville Williams

Jim Brown- retired champion boxer turned casino greeter Byron Williams, Cedric and Neville’s father

Pam Grier- bus driver Louise Williams, Cedric and Neville’s mother

Tom Jones- self

Paul Winfield- USA Army Lt. Gen. Casey

Brian Haley- Secret Service Agent Mitch, presidential bodyguard

Jerzy Skolimowski- inventor Dr. Zeigler

Janice Rivera- waitress Cindy

Barbet Schroeder- France’s President Maurice

Cymast: I abhor gratuitous violence. I detest banal cartoons. Show me a gratuituosly violent, banal cartoon and I will run away screaming, literally. I never understood the adage “The exception proves the rule,” but I do know it can be applied to the puzzling curiosity of ME + MARS ATTACKS! = RAPTUROUS GLEE.

Mr. Cymast: Goofy. It didn’t make sense.

Roger Ebert: Burton has made a common mistake: He assumes it is funny simply to *be doing* a parody, when in fact the material has to be funny in its own right. It isn’t funny *that* Jack Nicholson is the president–it’s only funny if the writing makes the role comic. 

James Rocchi: A frantic, funny love letter to an era of entertainment gone by, but also a top-notch example of modern comedy.

Cymast’s Favorite quote:

“Why are they doing this?”

“Maybe they don’t like the humans!”

Cymast’s High/Lowlights:

DR. STRANGELOVE is respectfully channeled several times, particularly with Jack Nickolson’s dual role. 

Lukas Haas as Richie Norris pleasantly channels Darren E. Burrows’ Ed Chigliak from TV’s Northern Exposure.

The only 2 flaws in the movie are the casting of Glenn Close and Sarah Jessica Parker. Sure, they’re big names, but they’re more suited to villain and misfit roles than to leading lady and glamor roles.

In my opinion, the most riveting performance is Lisa Marie’s as the mute decoyed aliens. Her deadpan, silent role is the drop-dead stunner of the movie, special effects meltdowns and explosions notwithstanding. It’s a you’ve-got-to-see-it-to-believe-it scene!

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7 Comments

  1. acilius

     /  February 28, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  2. lefalcon

     /  February 28, 2009

    Good posting. I’m baffled.

    It’s highly unusual for me to be unaware of any major film release (and that excludes Bollywood, for the sake of GOD) … but this … film … I guess it’s real? … This just happens to be the poster from its Japanese release? OK I seem to understand now.

    What you’re saying about SJP and Glenn Close sounds right on, even tho’ I haven’t seen the actual film.

  3. cymast

     /  February 28, 2009

    You’re welcome!

  4. cymast

     /  February 28, 2009

    Oh thanks. Every once in a while I get it right.

    It’s a real film and that poster was the only acceptable image I found.

  5. acilius

     /  February 28, 2009

    What might be baffling you is the fact that the film was originally released secveral years ago. As our resident film reviewer, cymast does not work on deadline. Nor would we want her to!

  6. cymast

     /  February 28, 2009

    What are “deadlines”?

  7. acilius

     /  February 28, 2009

    Something I heard mentioned once, long ago, in a tale of another place.

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