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.”
“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…)