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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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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 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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on December 25, 1998
I've always been fascinated by the 1978 version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Its theme, the loss of humanity, is presented with subtlety and great intensity, through the sound design, the acting, the music, the photography, and the special effects. So this new DVD is really a treasure. It has excellent picture and sound quality, a great trailer, and a very informative and insightful commentary by the director, Philip Kaufman. This is an epic movie about one of the 20th century's greatest tragedies: the systematic, deliberate conversion of humanity into drones. As such, it is mostly serious in tone, but it does have many moments of quirkiness. Highly recommended!
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on October 29, 2001
Alien spores drift into Earth's atmosphere and begin to produce replications of the populace. As more and more humans are replaced, those who remain gradually become aware that something very strange is going on. Director Philip Kaufmann and screenwriter W.D. Richter are able to attain such a high pitch of paranoiac suspense because we are never allowed to see or know more than the central characters do. The scope of the invasion is unveiled gradually. The pacing of a story like this is of the utmost importance and Kaufmann makes nary a misstep--we go from a world in which everything is routine to a nightarish reality in which no one can be trusted.
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on April 16, 2004
Philip Kaufman shows off his directorial skill in this effective, stylish remake of the suspense classic set in contemporary (albeit 1978) San Francisco.
Sutherland, Goldblum and Cartwright deliver excellent performances as the last hold-outs against an alien invasion. Just enough action and special effects to compliment the well paced mounting suspense.
DVD offers commentary track which also proves interesting. The only glitch for me is how non-aliens can get away with blending in with the aliens, if they don't/can't speak the special alien "language."
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on February 16, 2014
This dvd is totally crap. Fox-Lorber quality crap. It's the murkiest, muddiest thing I've seen.

Story and actors are fine. But typical MGM bargain basement production quality.
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