Mars Attacks!

Mars Attacks! ★★★★½

For the kind of movie that this is, the pacing was a little off but that's maybe a minor nitpick. Mars Attacks! is maybe one of the better alien invasion movies around, at least comparatively. It doesn't take itself seriously which is perhaps as it should be. It follows in the footsteps of the 50's invasion films similar to that of War of the Worlds, the work of Ed Wood, and so on. It's appropriate, too, that Tim Burton should be the one to direct this film though his usual aesthetic is missing in favor of a movie Retrofutrist look. Again, it makes sense but maybe a bit more Burtonesque feel would have worked better or more flavorful. I heard comparisons to Dr. Strangelove which I think is valid, but this movie wavers between satire and loving homage and it is situated somewhere in between. It is a gloriously funny movie and the effects are quite good. It was, perhaps, a bit of a genius call to have such a star studded cast only for the majority of them to just die in gruesome ways and, yet, it subverts the tropes it so much loves. I particularly love that the Black cast is virtually unharmed throughout the film and are the most capable and sympathetic of the characters, seeing Jim Brown fist fight Martians was also just incredible. The effects, practical or otherwise, hold up rather well. Some of the CGI feels dated but I honestly think that's because it is somewhat on purpose. After all, it follows in the footsteps of rather cheaply made movies. I will say this is also maybe the closest that Tim Burton has ever come to Joe Dante, in some ways it mirrors Gremlins and the leftist politics of Dante's work though it's less tightly made than that film and somewhat more all over the place in a less organized chaos and anarchic manner. Nonetheless, it was a supremely enjoyable ride, depending on what you are looking for.