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4.4 out of 5 stars51
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on November 5, 1999
Truly excellent in mood, atmosphere and all around creepiness, this is the version to see. Although the original was indeed a classic in American Film, the revision left an indelible mark in my mind as a youngster. I about wet myself during the final shot! Abel Ferrera's "Body Snatchers" bears mention as well, but is not as effective as the first two. Be prepared to be gyped by the features however. You get commentary by the Director, but he is so dull and monotonal, that he'll talk you to sleep. The "Trivia" simply does not exist. Or if it does, then it refers to a line in the text where it asks you how many times during the film you spot a certain building. There are no "Production Notes". The "Body Snatchers" retrospective consists of 1-2 paragraphs per film, basically just filling space in the 8-page (including covers) flyer within. In fact, the only "feature" you get aside from the commentary is a trailer. I can't tell if it is my player, but all DVD's get pixelly in the black areas. Since this film is quite dark, it's a little distracting. I bought this mainly because Leonard Nimoy is in it, and he is effective, although he's only in about 1/4 of the film. All-in-all, a good purchase.
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on July 7, 1999
The FDR quote "we have nothing to fear but fear itself" is the thought-provoking premise of Philip Kaufman's remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. While Kaufman's Invasion offers a similiar plot(humans battling inert alien replicants)the subtext is refreshingly different. The original's subtext was infamously McCarthyist(the battlelines of Communism encroaching on a 'sleepy' postwar America). Kaufman's version isn't as judgemental, and plays like a Jack London shortstory in that it reveals one of life's sad truths: nature often shapes us in ways we are unable to control. Kaufman makes Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, and Veronica Cartwright more anti-heroic than 'good'. And the pod people's purpose isn't political--it's survival. While Sutherland and company are the last remnants of humanity, they mostly embody everything that is bad about it(from Sutherland and Adams's adultry to Goldblum's relentless envy of Leonard Nimoy). As Invasion transpires, it is increasingly evident that the pod people represent the amorality that change itself often is, and Sutherland and company embody man's natural aprehension to it. In fact, Kaufman brilliantly inserts a scene where the song "Amazing Grace" wafts in the background. The song metaphorically summarizes Invasion's point: the real enemy isn't change but those who fear it and refuse to adapt.
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on March 31, 2004
The city of San Francisco is suddenly exposed to a threat from outer space that is related to complaint in regards to peculiar behavior of people's spouses and friends. Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) works for the Department of Public Health in the city and he begins to hear these complaints from a co-worker, Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams), whose boyfriend has begun to behave strangely. However, Matthew waves off Elizabeth's insinuations in regards to her boyfriend until he witness some strange occurrences, which lead him to understanding the danger that everyone is in. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is an excellent science fiction story that brings chills to the bones and continues to cause shivers throughout the body from the beginning to the end. Kaufman knew what he was doing as he created the initial shots, which heightened threat awareness in the audience and he kept the audience on an elevated state of alarm throughout the film by introducing new threats.
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on May 16, 2000
Perhaps one of the most overlooked sci-fi films, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is a tight, powerful and very disturbing film all around. It dosen't compare to the classic black and white original, which is good, this film stands on it's own and makes it's own mark and statement on culture and society. The DVD version features a clean transfer, great sound, and features both PAN/SCAN and WIDESCREEN versions of the film. There is little else to play with on the disk, but it does feature a very insightful and interesting commentary by the director who points out things you never knew were in the movie... Robert Duvall for one, and why and how the original STAR TREK movie failed to be made... and why sci-fi movies were written off as "dead" in the 70's (just a few months before STAR WARS was released). All in all, short on glitz, long on stlye, worthy addition to your collection, or a good bet for rent.
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on October 5, 2000
The film itself is an excellent translation of the original story to a setting which would mean more to its contemporary audience. Nobody believed, by 1978, that America "lived" in its small towns - so the decision to move the setting to a big city, and to make the IBS a tale of urban paranoia is an excellent move. Characters are fully developed and lively; special effects are great fun. The pace is a good deal slower than that of the 1956 original, but the greater visual interest perhaps makes up for the occasional slownesses.
ALERT: the "widescreen" side of the DVD presents an image which is, in fact, wider than the "fullscreen" image, but it is also shorter top-to-bottom. Why do these clowns feel obliged to do this? Why are we putting up with it? Can it really be cheaper to produce? Or do they just think we're too oblivious to notice? (As most of us probably are.)
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on July 24, 2000
A genuinely creepy movie, that hits the ground running.
Kaufman effectively builds paranoia, in both his characters and his audience, maintaining tension from the very beginning of the movie to the end.
Good performances all around. Leonard Nimoy is great as the psycho-babbling pop-psychiatrist; so is Veronica Cartwright, acting much the same as she does in a later movie, Alien--tightly-wound, and frightened. We never know whom to trust. No one wants to listen to the truthspeakers. ("They're all part of it! They're all pods, all of them.")
Much has been written about this (and the original) as commentaries on xenophobia, fear of communism, and so forth, but social criticism aside, this movie is probably one of the creepiest ever made, and a heck of a fun scare. And it is remarkably ungory....
(Is that Robert Duvall on the swing in one of the opening scenes?)
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on June 23, 2002
I did something stupid! I watched it alone! At the end of the movie I could feel my heart beating. This was much better than the 1956 one. This is scarier and the characters are more developed. We think of the idea of alien invasion is mythical. A crop circle 300 meters in circuference was made in one night. Te crops were woven between each other like the pattern of a shirt. A group of even 20,000,000 people couldn't pull that off in one night. I saw that on the discovery channel and then I watched this movie. It is a movie that hits us were we don't like and makes us uncomfortable. We try to hide it and reasure ourselves that it was just a movie. You are just saying that so you will feel better. This might happen? I'm not a believer in aliens, but I have considered the possiblity. I'm very open minded. Be open minded and watch this movie alone in the dark!!!
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on August 13, 2001
This version "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is easily the best twentieth century paranoia movie ever made. It is magnificently directed by Phillip Kaufman, impeccably acted and brilliantly scripted. It is also visually stunning, using every frame to create a deep and brooding sense of unease that lasts through multiple watchings.
True to their reputation, MGM have seen fit to release this film in the WRONG ASPECT RATIO. Instead of this film being released in 235.1 (very widescreen) MGM have released it as 185.1 (not very widescreen)
This means that impeccably composed shots are uglily cut at the edges unbalancing the look of the entire film and the vision of the supremely talented people who made it.
Frankly, this release is nothing short of a butchery of a fine film and should be avoided like the plague.
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on March 7, 2003
Much more intriguing, involved, suspenseful and horrifying than the original 1956 film. Much better by far. However I will say that you should see the original, uncut version of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) to fully understand what is going on in the 1978 remake and to fully appreciate it. Yes, that is Robert DuVall as the priest on the swing. And, yes, that is Kevin McCarthy as the scared, crazy man in the street. Of course you remember Kevin McCarthy in the original 1956 film. This film has a good all-star cast, Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Goldblum, and Veronica Cartwright. Leonard Nimoy is chilling. Jeff Goldblum who we remember from Death Wish (1974) is a nice surprise and is a great addition to the cast. Veronica Cartwright has a wonderful mature role. Great acting from her in this one.
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on December 10, 2000
Five stars to the movie itself, but -- as someone else suggests -- the widescreen image has been compromised. At one point director Kaufman comments on a scene shot in Donald Sutherland's office and how you can see buildings outside in San Francisco through the window on the right. All I can see on my TV is about 1" of what's outside! Some of the opening credits are close to running off the screen on the left as well. For me this movie is worth it for the explanation of a joke told by Donald Sutherland when he is driving through downtown San Francisco with Brooke Adams. Sutherland never finishes the joke, but Kaufman finally does -- solving something which has been driving me nuts for years!
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