This week I had the great pleasure of finally seeing Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks. And it was definitely some kind of treat. Based on a series of Topps trading cards from the 60s, this movie satirizes both B-movies and big budget science fiction pretty successfully. The plot is simple: Martians have landed on Earth and keep tricking humanity into thinking they come in peace. And then they murder everyone. This movie has a surprising number of stars, including two roles played by Jack Nicholson. But the real stars here are the 1996 computer animated Martians. Created by Industrial Light and Magic (the visual effects studio behind Star Wars), these creatures are both funny and kind of terrifying.
Full disclosure here, this movie came out when I was five years old. I didn’t see it until this week, but I have a vivid memory of being at a drive in theater and looking over at a screen playing that movie. No sounds, just the image of Jack Black and Michael J. Fox being incinerated by Martians. I had nightmares for weeks. When I was a kid, I had a bigger fear of Martians incinerating me than I did of any rational fears.
Now that I’ve faced my fears I love this movie. I recommend giving it a shot if you’re over the age of five and enjoy goofy Tim Burton movies.
This week I also watched the first season of Orphan Black. I really enjoyed it, even though you really have to suspend your disbelief for most parts. I don’t want to give anything away, but if you’ve seen it you’ll know why Tatiana Maslany was nominated for a Golden Globe. Watching her play so many different roles is probably worth checking out the show for alone. It’s incredibly impressive. Also, Helena is my favorite.
First she tries to kill you, then she’s asking you on a lunch date. The best kind of insane.
On the book front, I’m still reading Stranger in a Strange Land and The Manhattan Projects. Both are good, but I’ll have more on these when I finish them. I also read The Dandelion Girl by Robert F. Young at my friend’s suggestion. It’s a short read, but the story really plucks at your heart strings. While the story revolves around time travel, at its heart it’s a love story well worth the read.
Anyway, if you want to talk about how awesome Mars Attacks is, or if you want to suggest some sci-fi stories that’ll make me cry, feel free to send me a message or tweet me @left4turtle.