Mars Attacks (1996) artwork

Mars Attacks (1996)

1st January 2000

Aliens from Mars come to visit Earth, but decide "Nice planet, we'll take it".
Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Benning, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Rod Steiger, Tom Jones, Luke Haas, Natalie Portman, Jim Brown, Lisa Marie, Sylvia Sidney
Science Fiction
1 Hour 42 Minutes
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Due to an unfortunate mix-up during the welcoming ceremony involving a dove and a hippy, the aliens decide to wage war on Earth and its population. This involves killing people, knocking down the statues on Easter Island like a giant game of ten-pin-bowling, experimenting on people and generally being annoying pests in upside-down goldfish bowls.

This film didn't do too well at the box office, some say it was because it takes a sideways swipe at the Americans, odd since its an American film. It has some genuinely funny moments though, like the general being called on the field telephone by his wife during the trip to meet the aliens (involving kissy kissy and other nauseating things) and the unfortunate experiments on Nathalie and Donald.

Picture quality is variable, the colours are quite vibrant but the bitrate is only average producing an okay picture but nothing special. The special effects are excellent, with the CGI aliens themselves looking superb and stealing the show, something difficult considering the enormous array of stars on offer here!

The sound is excellent with good booming bass during the music which is also in surround, clear dialogue, and excellent use of surround in general during the film, especially in the battle scene at the beginning.

Extras are fairly poor though. I certainly don't count trailers as "extras" since 99% of the time they are for the film you have probably just watched (or are about to), which applies here. The cast list however is fairly comprehensive and the menu system is quite pretty too.

All in all, Mars Attacks! is not a bad film with some excellent use of the surround channels. Buy it if you have an interest in one of the cast, or if like your films a bit on the mad side!

  • Production Notes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Cast List
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