Occasionally, something on a chewing-gum trading card is better off just staying there. Not surprisingly, director Tim Burton's idea was to keep his 1996 movie's Martians as close to the original image as possible ... but once you get used to them here, which doesn't take long, the fright value goes way down. More shocking was the caliber of the cast Burton attracted for the sci-fi satire, ranging from Jack Nicholson (in dual roles) and Glenn Close to Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael J. Fox. At the very least, this is the only film that gives you aliens and singer Tom Jones. Hey, maybe it is scary.
-- Jay Bobbin