30 films to watch before you die, #17
This must be the only film ever made that's based on a set of trading cards. Only a director as eccentric as Tim Burton would tackle such a task. The end result is at the same time ridiculous and astounding. It's a big budget B-Movie. The cast looks like a list of all of Hollywood's biggest stars in 1996, when it was made.
On paper the film looks overly complex. There are so many different characters competing for screen time -- the American president and his family, an ex-boxer and his family, a Las Vegas casino owner and his wife, an American soldier and his family, to name but a few -- but somehow the film doesn't seem cluttered. Everything fits together so well. I'm sure that if there's a beginner's class for film makers Tim Burton broke all the rules when he made this film. It's difficult to say what makes the film so good, it just is.
The flying saucers from Mars even invaded the Warner Bros. logo!
Other examples of Tim Burton's cinematic madness -- though not quite as mad as "Mars Attacks" -- are