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Christmas On Mars

Begins as an assault and ends as a charming fable
By MEGAN V. BELL  |  October 28, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars

ShortTakes_ChristmasINSIDE.jpg

Christmas on Mars begins as an assault — pans of outer space intercut with shots of a bloody fetus and blasts of noise — and ends as a charming and innovative Christmas fable. Stylized after the sci-fi B-movies of yore, the film recycles Atomic Age angst: a group living in a space station on Mars have run out of spare parts, and it seems that everyone’s doomed. That is, until a Martian appears played by Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne (who directed with Bradley Beesley and George Salisbury). Mute and Zen-serene, he not only repairs the ship, he also brings magic and hope to the sterile expanse of hyper-reality that is driving everyone insane. Some of the pseudo-philosophy and symbolism is laid on thick; the low-budget f/x, on the other hand, are not so much shabby as an homage to the old genre entries that are the film’s inspiration. And you can’t go wrong with a supporting cast that includes Adam Goldberg, SNL’s Fred Armisen, and Blues Clues' Steve Burns. 90 minutes | Brattle Theatre: October 31–November 2; November 5-10
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