The Flaming Lips
Christmas on Mars (Warner Bros.)
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 26, 2008
The Flaming LipsChristmas on Mars (Warner Bros.)
Christmas on Mars is for Flaming Lips disciples what Chinese Democracy was for Guns n' Roses fans, though only half as long in the making. Luckily for Wayne Coyne and company, their fearlessly freaky followers are more indulgent. The lo-fi space odyssey, which casts the Okies alongside friends and family, would have to ascend a few filmic strata before reaching B-movie quality, yet like the group's music, there's a philosophical and moral imperative behind the campy theatrics. Deserted on a dilapidating Mars outpost, the surviving colonists battle madness and extinction on Christmas Eve when a child is scheduled for birth at midnight. Into this den of depression and dementia drops Coyne's mute Martian, a substitute for the suicided star of the colony's Christmas pageant and salvation to the stranded star men. The allegory of civilization gone astray, and its ultimate rebirth and renewel, is dark, disturbing, and as heavy-handed as the stiff acting, but more disappointing is that the score, the CD component of the DVD package, sticks mostly to classic sci-fi sounds. Whereas the Lips' music thrives on the tension of exuberance in the face of modern absurdity, their cinematic futurism doesn't quite balance as well.
Austin Powell, Fri., March 15, 2013
Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 25, 2009
Michael Bertin, Fri., July 25, 2008
Doug Freeman, Fri., Dec. 21, 2007
Luke Winkie, Fri., May 24, 2013
Abby Johnston, Fri., May 24, 2013
Doug Freeman, Fri., May 24, 2013
Chase Hoffberger, Fri., May 24, 2013
Kevin Curtin, Fri., May 24, 2013
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