My Favorite Martian
For all their bright colors and cheeriness, so many recent live-action kids'
movies have been rather lifeless affairs. And let's face it, another film based
on an old television show doesn't seem likely to break the mold. But as the
condescending (to earthlings) but bumbling and lovable Martian "Uncle Martin,"
Christopher Lloyd's patented zaniness is contagious. Everyone involved, from
Wallace Shawn as the neurotic, greedy scientist to Ray Walston (the original
Uncle Martin in the '60s TV show) as an alien investigator, seems to have a lot
of fun parodying and kid-ifying science-fiction conventions. Director Donald
Petrie (Grumpy Old Men) sets the appropriate tone with plenty of
immature but harmless sight gags and the most cartoonish aliens you've seen
this side of the Teletubbies (Jerry Falwell, be warned). Jeff Daniels (as the
news reporter who discovers Uncle Martin) and Elizabeth Hurley (as his love
interest) acquit themselves respectably. At the Campus, Harbour Mall,
Holiday, Lincoln Mall, Showcase (North Attleboro and Warwick), Tri-Boro,
Westerly, and Woonsocket cinemas.
-- Mark Bazer