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Recap / The Nostalgia Critic S 11 E 1

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Release date: January 2, 2018

Film: Mars Attacks!

Tagline: It's known as one of Tim Burton's biggest blunders, but it's also getting a bit of a following. Is it worth it?

We remembered these tropes so you don't have to:

  • Actor Allusion: Three In-Universe cases:
    • The Critic thinks Annette Bening's performance as Barbara Land would be more powerful if the film just let her imitate her other role as Carolyn Burnham screaming and slapping herself.
    • Seeing Sarah Jessica Parker's performance as Natalie Lake, the Critic quips she's in a weird mood because her Sex and the City survey says she's Samantha Jones (when in fact she plays Carrie Bradshaw).
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    • The Critic thinks the obnoxious gambler played by Danny DeVito is actually Frank Reynolds who walked into the set and refused to leave until he gets a role.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Amidst the boring sequences of a White House press conference, the Critic tries not to laugh at the scene where a highly androgynous journalist asks if the Martians have two sexes.
    Critic: "Must not laugh... Must not justify pointlessness..."
  • All-Star Cast: The Critic is baffled by the film's abundance of big-name celebrities, many of which play characters that are killed off unceremoniously throughout the alien invasion.
  • Anvilicious: The Critic especially takes issue with the film's forcible attempts at social commentary.
  • Awesome Music: The Critic considers the opening title music to be one of Danny Elfman's "catchiest yet somehow threatening" themes.
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  • Follow the Leader: The Critic notes how some people at the time thought this film was following on the heels of the success of Independence Day and thought this was a satire.
  • Glurge: The Critic's opinion on a supposedly emotional scene of Byron forcing Cindy to flee while he puts up a Last Stand against a group of Martians.
  • Insistent Terminology: The Critic keeps calling the characters by their actors' names because of the Loads and Loads of Characters, as well as its All-Star Cast.
  • Parody Commercial: Exemplifying how child-unfriendly Batman Returns is, the Critic mockingly plays up a clip of Mr. Penguin biting off Josh's nose as a McDonald's commercial, complete with the tagline "I'm lovin' it". He also applies the comparison to the film's establishing scene of a herd of cows on fire running down the road.
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  • Sellout: The Critic begins the episode analyzing Burton's transition from one of the most unique directors to one of the most commercial and then one of the artsiest, while showing posters for Big Fish, Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children to illustrate his point.
  • Shout-Out:
  • So Okay, It's Average: The Critic's verdict on this film.
  • Take That!:
    • The lack of subtitles over the Martians' dialogue is compared to the same lack of subtitles over Chewbacca's family in The Star Wars Holiday Special.
    • When Grandma Florence laughs at the television coverage of the Martians shooting up the Congress, the Critic snarks that it's still not as funny as the current state of the real-life United States Congress at the time this episode came out (i.e., in a state of political deadlock resulting in little productivity).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Two In-Universe cases.
    • The Critic is dismayed at how the film overran the comedic potential of the scene where a Martian infiltrates the White House disguised as a human woman.
    • He also expresses dismay at the film failing to live up the hyped-up casting of Tom Jones as himself.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The Critic takes censure to how a majority of the film's All-Star Cast simply exist to be immediately killed off without further exploring their backgrounds.
  • What Were You Thinking?: The Critic exemplifies the public reaction to Burton making Mars Attacks! with this line.
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