Tag: jack black

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FLOP WEEK 2*** Mars Attacks! (1996)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “There’s a mean, casualness to the deaths and violence of Mars Attacks! that makes the harmless, dumbness a little hard to swallow.”

Mars 1
“We know they’re extremely advanced technologically, which suggests – very rightfully so – that they’re peaceful. An advanced civilization, by definition, is not barbaric.”

Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Annette Benning, Glenn Close, Danny DeVito, Jack Black, Michael J Fox, Martin Short, Natalie Portman, Rod Steiger, Pam Grier… All directed by Tim Burton.  It has to be really, really hard work to take a cast like that, and make a movie that bombs so hard, it’s more famous now for bombing than it is for its enormous, A list cast.  Sure, some of those people weren’t as famous in 1996 as they would become later.  But Nicholson is Nicholson, Brosnan had just taken over as James Bond, and Burton’s Ed Wood had won a couple of Oscars just two years earlier.  So how did so much promise, result in the monumental bombing that was Mars Attacks! ?

Opening on the horrific sight of a herd of cattle, on fire, running down a country road, a flying saucer is also spotted leaving the scene.  When that ship doesn’t make it back to its home planet of Mars, a fleet of hundreds more are dispatched, headed for Earth.  When their approach is uncovered, US president James Dale (Nicholson) alerts the nation, and tries to keep his citizens calm, by saying that he believes the contact is friendly. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Bob Roberts (1992)

Bob Roberts
“Don’t smoke crack. It’s a ghetto drug.”

The concept of the mockumentary is more present than ever, through TV shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern Family.  On the big screen, the patron saint has always been Christopher Guest, for his involvement in movies like Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Might Wind and This is Spinal Tap.  I love those movies and almost anything with Guest’s name attached to it.  But I realised something today, his documentary approach is pretty fast and loose, and easily abandoned for the sake of a good joke or getting an important plot point across.  I realised this after watching the meticulous documentary-like approach to Bob Roberts.

Tim Robbins is the titular Roberts, a folk singing, ultra conservative Republican, running for election.   He has built his own legend as a conservative rebel, singing songs to adoring supporters about how proud he is of his self made wealth, and his dedication to wiping out the drug problem in America.  Aboard his combined campaign bus and stock market trading office, Roberts is making his way across the country, one stump speech at a time, one scandal (about himself or an opponent) at a time. (more…)