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Surprisingly, Mars Attacks! has an explosive cast. The actors appearing in Mars Attacks! are Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnon, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael J. Fox, Rod Steiger, Tom Jones, Natalie Portman, and more. Tim Burton had a fantastic cast to work with, but never used them to its full potential. Jack Nicholson clearly shines above the rest as the president. He surely delivers the best laughs. None of the performances are bad, but Academy Award winners aren't required for a movie such as this. Don't expect to see the work of these actors to be their best.
Similar to some of his past work, Tim Burton used stop motion animation for the Martians. He purposefully made the visuals poor. If the FX were phenomenal, it wouldn't capture the tone of the B-movie. These flicks are generally made on a shoe-string budget. The final production budget was $80 million. The Martians, explosions, and UFOs intentionally look tacky. Tim Burton definitely captured the cheesy tone of the old B-movies. This could be seen as a bad thing by some audiences, but I found it to make the movie that much more fun. The audio is primarily a front stage presentation. The surrounds aren't used as often as they could have been. The subwoofer only shows its presence during some explosions and the score. Mars Attacks! is by no means a reference track, but it's a bit of a letdown.
I remember seeing Mars Attacks! when I was quite a bit younger. I wasn't too fond of the film. However, I gave it another shot all these years later and found myself enjoying it a bit more. It will never be a masterpiece to me, but it's a fun B-movie throwback. The humor isn't for all moviegoers. While some audiences will find it hilarious, others will think that it's just stupid. Don't expect this to be a brilliant piece of cinema. I definitely recommend this to fans of older B-movies. Mars Attacks! is sure to get mixed opinions, but I find it to be an amusing throwback that was better than I remember it being.