INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS...
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A Doctor in San Francisco has noticed that people have been coming in, noting that their loved ones have been acting strangely. One of the ladies finds her boyfriend becoming wrapped up in a huge conspiracy in the city and her colleague doesn't' believe it until they find a partially grown clone (hey, that rhymes!) of another fellow. Pod people! Terror! What more do you need to know?
Is it good movie?
You just can't trust anyone these days. Playing off of the fear of other human beings and being watched and all that tinfoil hat conspiracy stuff, Body Snatchers is a fun remake that is actually done really well. Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams play the heroes of the flick who begin noticing the strange things going on. Luckily for them, Dr. Spock himself Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright are there to help out along the way.
This is a very precise movie. If you've never seen Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this is the version to seek out. It's campy and fun but is shot with an awesome visual flair that seems to conjure up paranoia just by looking at it. This movie has some awesome camera work that borrows from greats like Hitchcock and Kubrick. Great direction from Philip Kaufman.
Although this movie can be campy from time to time and there is some humor in there, don't get confused- this is a creepy film that can indeed get under your skin. Things stay rooted firmly in reality instead of being tongue in cheek and the story stays with the characters and the emotions they're going through rather than effects and jolts all the time. Of course, things are a bit dated but this one plays undoubtedly on the fears of the time that still resonate today (who doesn't fear conformity?).
On top of all of this, the film is actually really well acted and carries a great score. Sure, Spock can be a little hammy at times and some things just don't work as well as they would have in the eighties but Sutherland and crew are just working their asses off and it shows. I always thought that this was another bomb remake that I should have avoided. I love being wrong sometimes.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in a 1080p 1.85:1 Widescreen transfer and looks fantastic. This is a movie that actually looks really clean and sharp in High-Def.
Audio comes to us in an impressive DTS-HD surround mix, although at times some scenes have dialogue that seems a bit muffled.
We begin with a 15 minute featurette called Re-visitors from Outer Space, or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pod, and with a title like that you know you're in for a treat. This one details the themes of the film and how it relates to the original and features both director Kaufman and Donald Sutherland.
Practical Magic: The Special Effects Pod is a 5 minute fluff piece about the special effects, which doesn't add much. It has a sister featurette, The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod which is pretty self-explanatory.
You also get The Man Behind the Scream: The Sound Effects Pod, which is an awesome 12 minute clip about the great use of sound in this film.
You also get a trailer and as an added bonus, a DVD copy of the film as well.
This movie was a great and pleasant surprise that will remain on my shelf for years to come. Do yourself a favor and seek it out on Blu Ray where it looks wonderful. Whatever you do, avoid that awful remake from the Wachowski brothers, Invasion.