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4.5 out of 5 stars149
4.5 out of 5 stars
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*** REVIEW FOR THE BLU RAY REISSUE ***

I hadn't looked at my DVD of Tim Burton's ridiculously over-the-top homage to Fifties Sci-Fi movies in years - and I was stunned at two things when I popped this 2010 BLU RAY reissue in my Sony - first - the massive improvement in picture quality - and second - just how ball-breakingly funny "Mars Attacks!" actually is.

At times the great picture quality is a shock after the dull DVD I've been used to since 1996 - there's tremendous clarity on offer on almost all of the internal scenes. And the upgrade has somehow made the film seem all grown-up all of a sudden - a real contender for an all-time comedy classic too easily dismissed as fluff when it was released.

Genuinely anarchic in a way so few movies are these days, you also forget how good and varied the cast was... Glenn Close plays the President's fussy uptight wife Marsha Dale ("...they're not eating off the bone china, I can tell you that..."), Pierce Brosnan is brilliant as the pipe-smoking Professor Donald Kessler forever with a reasonable explanation about 'cultural misunderstandings' and why the Martians are delighting in ray-gunning everything in sight. Donald also has the hots for airhead news reporter Natalie Lake played deftly by Sarah Jessica-Parker (she and her irritating Chihuahua dog end up closer than they should at one point). Martin Short plays the permanently randy White House Press Secretary Jerry Ross (Lisa Marie does a great turn as a alien prostitute), Annette Bening as a dizzy hippy-chick saving her glass pyramid in her handbag as the Aliens wreck Vegas and Rod Steiger is just fabulously tacky as General Decker - the military dinosaur whose battle cry of "Kill! Kill! Kill!" turns out to be right all along.

There's Danny DeVito as a gross gambler, Lukas Haas as the only sane kid in a trailer-trash family ("...they ain't getting the TV...") trying to protect his wheelchair bound aunt (played with relish by Sylvia Stalwart). We get Blaxsploitation stars Jim Brown and Pam Grier as a couple trying to keep their family together (their kids gaming skills come in handy when the aliens attack the Whitehouse). There are even early roles for Jack Black and Natalie Portman before global fame consumed them both - and Tom Jones gives it a bit of swivel-hip as he belts out the irrepressibly brill "It's Not Unusual". Danny Elfman's score is suitably throwback and brilliantly woven into every scene - it even pays respects to the films Tim Burton so loved by taking the ray gun sound from the 1953 Sci-Fi classic "War Of The Worlds". And by the time you get to the end - you've enjoyed enough fried doves of peace, bowling balls taking out Easter Island and splattered alien brain matter in glass-dome helmets to keep any customer satisfied.

But the real shame of this Blu Ray reissue is the complete lack of any bonus material (not even a trailer for God's sake), when this release screamed out for an orgy of it (definitely docked a star for that).

My son Sean watched this with me (he's 14) and we then spent a good hour afterwards going around the TV room squawking "Ack Ack!" like giggling mayhem-inducing aliens. Buy this and do the same peopleoids.

Nice one Mr. Burton - and a bit of a wee gem frankly...

AUDIO Details:
Spoken Languages: English, French, Dutch, Italian, Castellano, Czech and Thai
Subtitles: English (SDH), French, German, Italian, Castellano, Dutch, Chinese, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Thai and Korean
0Comment|25 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Tim Burton outdoes himself with this silly, but funny, spoof of 1950s flying saucer/alien invasion movies. It is absolutely zany and quite funny. There is also nothing politically correct about it, as there are no sacred cows. The film is totally irreverent of American culture and icons. Everything and everyone is fair game.
Martians have come to Earth, and they do not come in peace. Diabolical and deadly, they are bent on wreaking havoc wherever they go with their death ray guns, which serve to incinerate living beings. These bulbous headed martians with their own brand of deadly humour are hell bent on destroying Earth, while laughing and cackling maniacally.
The special effects are meant to to be reminiscent of those found in 1950s UFO flicks and in this it certainly succeeds. The cast is stellar with Jack Nicholson playing dual roles, that of President James Dale and that of entrepreneur Art Land. Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Rod Steiger, Jim Brown, Natalie Portman, Sylvia Sydney, Paul Winfield, Pam Grier, Lisa Marie, Christine Applegate, Lukas Haas, and Tom Jones round out the star studded cast. With tongue in cheek performances, the viewer is bound to get a good laugh out of this film.
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on 19 July 2000
It's difficult not to be fond Tim Burton's big-budget 50's sci-fi spoof Mars Attacks (1996).
The lead actors were clearly having a real laugh whilst making this, with hilariously cheesy over-acting and some great one-liners. Amid the mayhem, you don't really care what happens to most of these characters anyway, most of whom come to a gory end, but towards the end of the film, you'll want to get in there yourself to sort out the vicious little Martian creeps.
The admittedly shaky plot is pretty secondary to the excellent visual effects, and there is an eery 50's-esque score underlying the whole film, which is a good touch.
The scheming, skeletal aliens have a genuinely nasty look about them, whilst also coming across as quite comic, and go about their murderous human annihilation / experimentation with a twisted glee. In fact they are the most unsympathetic aliens to have graced our movie-screens since H R Giger's ultra-aggressive 'Alien' back in 1979.
The 50's B-Movie cliches are used to full-effect, with body-pulverising ray guns, saucer-shaped spacecraft and large-brained/puny-bodied aliens running riot throughout.
You just cannot take Mars Attacks too seriously (as did the producers of Independence Day in the same year), so if you'd like to see half the US Presidential Administration and Chiefs of Staff wiped-out within 90 minutes, this is your movie !
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on 13 October 2013
This is the sort of film you either love or hate. I had watched it on TV a couple of times and thought it was hilarious, whereas my husband hates it. Buy it - but don't take it seriously - it is supposed to be tongue in cheek after all.
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on 12 January 2015
A film that wouldn't have worked under the auspices of a director other than Tim Burton, 'Mars Attacks' is a wonderful interpretation of the Topps card series of the 1960s. With overtly malevolent aliens, and human authorities who seem reluctant to tackle the invaders head on, this typifies Burton before Burton paid too much heed to studio intervention. With a cast list reading like a who's who of contemporary American cinema, 'Mars Attacks' sees the director working with many of his established on-screen collaborators. Though the CGI utilized for the Martians may seem a little dated today, their characterization (as ruthless would-be conquerors) is utterly convincing. A great piece of escapism for all the family.
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on 19 May 2013
Good performances all round - especially from the aliens, the wicked little b.........s! A really entertaining send-up of all those 1950s alien 'take over the world' films. I will be watching it again soon.
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on 24 June 2013
loved this film, so happy i bought it.... i love my films and this is one of the top ones!! im a big fan of jack nicholson and that was really the main reason i got it.. glad i did now! hilarious..
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 September 2013
I don't know if Tim Burton has ever made a film that isn't weird (perhaps Batman Returns counts, I haven't seen it); I know only that all of those that I have seen are. Whilst this is enjoyable, it's the weakest of those that I've watched (Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride, and Nightmare Before Christmas are the others). Whilst it may be intended as a spoof, that doesn't excuse the disjointed script (I can see no point or purpose to Nicholson's second character Art Land; he's completely irrelevant to the story at all times) or the very lame ending. So it's fun & it's funny, but it's hardly ball-breakingly funny & 3* seems about right to me.
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on 14 June 2013
I enjoyed Mars Attacks, but I did find it quite slow paced. Obviously I enjoy the homages to older SF films, which make me feel smart for getting references. Essentially it's a parody, and I felt that it went a bit overboard in the first section with the people being sure that Nothing Could Possibly Go Wrong, and Surely Martians Are A Technologically Advanced And Therefore Civilised People.

Obviously this goes against the Cold War Terror thing which has innocent and friendly aliens being shot on general principles. Made in 1996, watching it in the post 2001 error makes it seem perhaps, not quite as laughable.
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on 28 April 2015
Really enjoyable. It is what it is, a bit frivolous and silly but with a pretty dark undercurrent. I do recommend it, I can't think of a reason anyone wouldn't enjoy watching this film.
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