Chitika Ad

Friday, November 18, 2011

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 57 - My Favorite Martian (1999)

My Favorite Martian final poster and box art.
This will be a short one:

Years after the trend of rebooting classic television series to film died out, My Favorite Martian came about to give this trend another chance.  It didn’t work.  The movie was a bland, forgettable and stupid movie plagued with issues but none more so than the fact that Christopher Lloyd just didn’t have enough character.  He was playing a cartoon and was trying to squeeze laughs out of weak material and despite his comedic ability, was definitely unsuccessful.  This is just another one of Disney’s very painful live-action movies of the 90’s, and it easily ranks among the worst movies the acclaimed studio has ever released.

The plot centers on a Martian that crashes to earth and is taken in by a failed reporter named Tim (Jeff Daniels).  After he moves in, Tim tries to sell him out by publishing a story on him but the clock is ticking because it won’t be long before “Uncle Martin” (as the Martian insists on being called) fixes his ship and heads home.  Also, Tim is conflicted as he begins to befriend the Martian and now he must choose between his career and selling out his new interstellar buddy.

This film’s biggest offense is stealing the sound effect from R2-D2 getting stunned from Star Wars during a very lame chase scene.  Really.  That’s it.  The movie is utterly harmless, and toothless (unfortunately).  The problem is its slapstick humor, sloppy CGI and bad material hold it back.  It was directed by Donald Petrie who would go on to make some truly dreadful romantic comedies (How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Just My Luck, to name a few) and was written by two women who have spent most of their careers writing cartoons.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the problem.  This movie is written like a cartoon, not like a film, and is an example of what happens when the screenwriter doesn’t know how to put together a logical screenplay that can maintain interest for a feature length and stand the test of time.  This is a mostly-forgotten film mainly because, while no one was really offended by it, it was boring, and just plain silly.  

My Favorite Martian teaser poster.
On a more trivial note, I would like to draw attention the poster for this film.  The teaser poster (right) was pretty bare-bones but not all that bad, but the final poster (shown above) commits some of my most hated movie poster offenses.  First, it has one or more actors posing in bewildered and goofy poses (the "I-Dunno-What's-Going-On-Here-But-I'm-Wacky" shrug for instance) and the other looking either away or at the main character with a look of disgust or confusion.  This is obviously meant to convey a sort of silly attitude towards the events in the film as to say "this is a comedy" but it is a prime example of market obsoletism.  This trend has actually been around for many years and long before the days when we saw movie trailers on TV everyday, and before we could seek them out online, this was an easy way convey the tone of the film visually.  However, we didn't need this in 1999 and we do not need it today!  The second offense is that the poster tries to fill negative space with little objects and creates a sort of cluttered feel. Sometimes, simple is better.  This poster is just amateurish, and really looks like a bad Photoshop job (which it obviously was).  I know the poster has little to do with the quality of the film but I did want to point out the fact that the final poster for the film is one of my picks for the all time worst movie posters.  It fails to convey much of anything from the film and it looks like the work of a high school kid that won a contest to have his work featured as the art.  I mean, look at that image, now take out all the filler and text and leave only the two stars.  For all you know Daniels could have caught Lloyd with his wife in bed and with a shrug Doc Brown gets up and all poor ol' Jeff can do is sort of look at him with disgust while he turns and walks away.  Anything is possible!  Just use your freaking imagination!

No comments:

Post a Comment