Monday, 7 November 2011

Review on Mars Attacks

Review on Mars Attacks! (1996)

Mars Attacks!

The Science fiction comedy; Mars Attacks was based on a set of trading cards from the 60s which portrayed martians invading Earth. A review on The Cinema Laser explains this. 'The Mars Attacks! trading cards graphically depicted a Martian invasion of Earth with tons of gory detail. Mars Attacks! the film, captures the flavor of the trading cards, but plays as an affectionate parody of fifties science fiction films. Mars Attacks! does retain much of the gratuitous violence of the trading cards, yet Burton's presentation is tongue in cheek, making the film more of a black comedy than a science fiction nightmare.' (The Cinema Laser, 1997)

The Martians

Its style which Tim Burton chose pays tribute to those B movies of the fifty's and to those made by Ed Wood. It is as though Burton has made this movie in the style that Ed Wood would have done. Roger Ebert agrees in a review on  Chicago Sun-Times. 'First he made "Ed Wood", a tribute to the man fondly recalled as the worst movie director of all time. Now Tim Burton seems to have made a tribute to Wood's work. "Mars Attacks!" has the look and feel of a schlocky 1950s science-fiction movie, and if it's not as bad as a Wood film, that's not a plus: A movie like this should be a lot better, or a lot worse. "Mars Attack!" plays like one of those 50s movies that are *not* remembered as cult classics.' (Ebert, 1996)


Despite its lacking in intentional humor it makes up for it in imagination and design much similar to Ed Wood's standards rather than Burton's previous successful works. It is mentioned by Todd McCarthy in a review on 'But the picture is lacking in the uproarious humor that might well have ensued from the material, which instead inspires occasional laughs but, much more often, bemused fascination and wonderment at the bizarre imaginations and impressive skill of the filmmakers. Pic is loaded with wit, nifty little ideas and an extraordinary sense of design, but its allure is of quite a particular nature, much closer to that of "Ed Wood" than of Burton's earlier, and far more commercially successful, works.' (McCarthy, 1996)


List of Illustrations

Figure 1. Burton, Tim (1996) Mars Attacks! [Poster] At: (Accessed on: 07.11.11)

Figure 2. Burton, Tim (1996) The Martians [Screen cap] At: (Accessed on: 07.11.11)

Figure 3. Burton, Tim (1996) Invasion [Screen cap] At: (Accessed on: 07.11.11)


Ebert, Roger (1996) Mars Attacks! (Accessed on: 07.11.11)

McCarthy, Todd (1996) Mars Attacks! (Accessed on: 07.11.11)

The Cinema Laser (1997) Mars Attacks! (Accessed on: 07.11.11)  

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