I can’t remember ever being as bored in a movie theater as I was at an Antonioni film, Red Desert. It was my first week living on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder. I had no friends in town and not a lot of money, and just about the only thing doing for friendless paupers was the International Film Series, admission to which was probably three or four bucks at the time. And the movie was Red Desert.
I’m not quite sure what to say about Mars Attacks!, which is obviously the work of a deranged genius. When Tim Burton’s twisted alien invasion comedy really works, it’s breathtaking and hilarious in equal measure. And when it doesn’t work, it’s just dull. I’m not even sure it works more often than it doesn’t, but where it counts — that is, when this gleefully evil invading force from the red planet gets down to the business of blasting us to kingdom come — Mars Attacks! is brilliant.