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John Carter

In one of two blockbuster adaptations to showcase his shining star this year (the other being the inexplicable feature-length translation of a little game called Battleship), Taylor Kitsch leads the weekend as the title character in John Carter, leaping miles in a single bound and surely climbing the box-office charts too. John Carter's action, of course, unfolds on Mars, Earth's ever-cinematic neighbor. What other films have seen their heroes roam the red landscape or tussle with its residents? From buddy comedies to creature features to—wait for it—holiday fare, turns out there are quite a few.

Mars Attacks!

Mars Attacks! (1996). A veritable masterpiece alongside ugly CG ducklings like Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Tim Burton's gonzo rendering of a 1960s trading card series is the blackest of sci-fi satires, its goodies ranging from the prescient merger of Sarah Jessica Parker's head with the body of a lapdog to the unabashedly abrupt vaporization of Jack Black. Sylvia Sydney, rest her dear soul, put the cherry on the cake with her immortal line of demented glee: "They blew up Congress! Hahaha!"

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