The Flaming Lips – Christmas On Mars CD/DVD (Warner Brothers)

Even though Christmas On Mars is a sci-fi movie, it’s worth reviewing for music fans since it was written and directed by The Flaming Lips. The film has been in the works for seven years, but despite all that time it’s not some grandiose effect-laden epic – in fact, it’s a pretty bargain-basement effort that resembles the big-idea/low-funding films of Ed Wood or Jim Jarmusch’s deadpan indie, mixed with Kubrick’s cerebral outer-space visions from 2001. The story is a confusing one about a failing space station stuck on Mars, with some mumbo jumbo about a child being born, and of course the celebration of the titular Christmas on Mars. OK, so the plot makes no sense, and the acting (mostly by the band and friends, including Fred Armisen, Adam Goldberg and Steve Burns) is inept, but the film clearly meant a lot to Wayne Coyne and longtime fans will enjoy his go-for-it attitude and knack for visuals that reference themes from Flaming Lips songs, such as egg yolks, childbirth, and being brave in the face of adversity. People who aren’t familiar with the band will probably just find Christmas on Mars hard to follow and boring.

The DVD comes with a CD soundtrack which, despite mind-bending song-titles like “The Gleaming Armament of Marching Genitalia” and “The Horrors Of Isolation: The Celestial Dissolve, Triumphant Hallucination, Light Being Absorbed”, is just ambient pieces taken from the movie and not really worth hearing without the matching visual images.