Well, that was terrible. Truly just awful. I mean, thank god for beer and having a friends to watch movies with (thanks Anne!) because otherwise I think I would have just turned Mars Attacks! off. Without exaggeration or hyperbole, this was the worst movie I’ve watched for BAAM. Keep in mind that this is stacked up against god awful heavyweights like Megapython Vs. Gatoroid and Ironclad. Yeah, it was that bad. Yay! Let’s do a review!
Before tonight, I was actually kind of excited to see Tim Burton’s 1996 film Mars Attacks! I had managed to avoid seeing it over the years and I had only heard great things about it. I knew it was supposed to be a bit campy and zany, but most opinions seemed to rate the movie as quite funny and entertaining. I would rate my experience as the opposite of funny and entertaining. Without listing off the litany of issues I have with this movie (and we’ll just ignore the plot considering it doesn’t have one), I’ll just briefly talk about what bothered me most. Whether you know it or not, Tim Burton is trying to channel B-film legend Ed Wood in Mars Attacks!. Ed Wood is known for his horribly campy and cheaply made sci-fi and horror films, such as the infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space. The thing about campy movies, and Ed Wood, is that they are unconsciously terrible. It’s not as if Ed Wood set out to make terrible movies. He actually believed in his work and committed to it whole-heartedly, allowing the audience to forgive the director and just laugh along with the movie. In the case of Tim Burton and Mars Attacks!, you can tell that Tim Burton is actively trying to be self-reflexively campy. The result is that the movie doesn’t feel campy at all. It’s just terrible. It feels like a waste of money and a good cast. No one is likable. Nothing makes sense and nothing is explained. It seems to me that purpose of the film is it’s own absurdity. Unfortunately, a film can’t stand solely on pointless absurdity. As a result, despite an excessive number of explosions and body-meltings, the movie drags. I kept checking my watch, hoping the movie was over. I really could keep talking about how awful this movie was, but it just makes me angry. So if you’ll excuse me, I need to go to my happy place. My happy, beer-filled place.
Oh but before we change subjects, let’s just list off the fabulous cast of this film:
Jack Nicholson Rod Steiger
Glenn Close Michael J. Fox
Annette Benning Sarah Jessica Parker
Pierce Brosnan Pam Grier
Danny DeVito Natalie Portman
Martin Short Jack Black
Dear god let’s talk about beer. Okay so tonight I cracked open a bomber of New Belgium’s Lips of Faith series Biere De Mars. This clever twist on a Biere de Garde pours a hazy golden, copper color and instantly gives off a sweet aroma. Quite fruity with a distinct maltiness to it, this beer is actually quite light in its body. The beer is only 6.5%, which helps keep it fairly light but it’s not particularly complex in its flavor. It’s very easy to drink and it offers few surprises. Though the beautifully designed bottle (see below) spoke of spice, I didn’t really get that. To me, the beer was fairly simple and uncomplicated. Not in a bad way, just not in an extraordinary way. But that’s fine. New Belgium makes so many great beers that this one has a bit of a pedigree to stand up to.
So while the beer didn’t obliterate the memory of this awful, awful movie, it certainly helped me through it. This movie goes beyond non-sensical to just plain stupid. The films tries so hard to be campy while also acknowledging how campy it is. The end result is that the film gets twisted up in itself and delivers absolutely nothing. It’s safe to say that you can skip this one. And that I might have been better off sneaking this beer in to see John Carter.
-Great cast doing nothing but getting killed.
-Tim Burton wishes he were Ed Wood.
-Just go watch Plan 9 From Outer Space. You’ll be happier.