(aka 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' or 'The Visiting')

Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel
USA 2007

 

Something terrifying has come to Earth, something that attacks us while we sleep and turns us into soulless replicants. The clock is ticking as Washington, DC psychiatrist Carol Benell (Nicole Kidman) and her colleague Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) embark on a heart-stopping journey into a nightmarish world where the only way to stay awake. No one can be trusted. No one is safe in producer Joel Silver’s bold new take on Jack Finney’s classic novel The Body Snatchers.

***

"Help me," the young woman screams. "They're coming, they're among us." No one on screen is paying attention, but we know what it means.

That's right, the body snatchers are once again on the prowl. "The Invasion," starring the upscale duo of Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, is the third remake of what was once a humble B picture, 1956's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Still effectively creepy and surprisingly unnerving despite the occasional misstep and rumors of a troubled production, the new film illustrates why and how the power of the original story remains undiminished more than half a century after its creation.

Excerpt from Kenneth Turan's review at the L.A. Times located HERE

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Theatrical Release: August 17th, 2007

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DVD Review: Warner - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:39:12 
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.78 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), DUBs in French and Spanish 
Subtitles English, English (CC), French, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Documentary: We've been Snatched Before (18:50)
• 
Featurette: The Invasion - A New Story (2:58)
• 
Featurette: The Invasion - On the Set (3:21)
• 
Featurette: Snatched (3:13)

DVD Release Date: January 29th, 2007

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Chapters: 27

 

Comments:

My opinion on the film was not overly expectant - I'd glanced at some reviews - most panning it. So because of that I had a pleasant surprise. I found it a rather interesting re-telling of the 'old tale'; the corollary-inducing novel by Jack Finney. I thought director Oliver Hirschbiegel's juxtaposing of non-linear timelines and events was quite intelligently presented. Daniel Craig is relegated to a minor one-dimensional role and Kidman is, as usual, wonderfully feminine and visually expressive. The Invasion hints at current events being politically representational (background audio news clips are frequently present) -  but not in a preachy, annoying manner. The storyline has enough differences to make the connection to the original as more an 'homage' than an obvious duplication. Anyway, the narrative base is becoming iconic in our culture whether reflected in new age ideologies, founded (or unfounded) terrorist fears, biotechnology or apocalyptic anxiety. As Kissinger stated - 'Even paranoids have enemies'.

I think this is far better than most critics wished, or rather dared, to express. You don't score points with cineastes extolling modern remakes (especially augmented ones) - see Cuarón's Great Expectations or the more recent, and popular, 3:10 to Yuma as prime examples that this reviewer thought immensely entertaining revisions. To be fair - the characterizations, aside from Kidman's Dr. Benell, are fairly, surface, weak. Although, some may enjoy it for other emotionally based strengths (fear, survival-ism, love of your children...). Hey, to each his own. 

Warner's SD progressive, anamorphic and dual-layered DVD looks competent - clean, bright and fairly detailed. Compression noise is occasionally there but hopefully diminished in the upcoming high-definition visions (that we will also eventually review). Without benefit of exposure to 1080P resolution I probably would be less critical of this image which, although looks fine in SD, will eventually seem very weak next to Blu-ray or HD (my guess). Anyway, I see no prominent deficiencies to report. This looks, and sounds (5.1) as good as any major modern film transferred to DVD by a major studio. No one should be disappointed in the image or audio quality.

There are two DUBs offered and optional English, French or Spanish subtitles supporting the audio.

Extras offer no director commentary (which might have been intriguing, i.e. possibly controversial) but we get a documentary touching on some of the politicalities potentially present - with past McCarthyism anxiety and even Legionaries disease being discussed - it runs at about 20 minutes. Plus, there are, three very short featurettes (3 X 3 minutes each) with various cast and crew giving sound-bites. Kind of skimping in the supplements but I expect this DVD should do well sales-wise. As I stated, I enjoyed the tense, edgy with unpredictable directions. If you are very keen you may wish to await the, predictably more vibrant, hi-def options - released at the same time. The film is no masterpiece but it is definitely worth watching for strong entertainment value.

Gary W. Tooze

 

 



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Distribution Warner Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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