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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Philip Kaufman
US 19
78

 

When filmy spores fall from space and take root in San Francisco, the city is beautifully transformed by spectacular and exotic flowers. But these lovely extraterrestrial blossoms have gruesome plans for their earthly admirers: to slowly clone their bodies and then dispose of the originals! "A first-rate suspense thriller" (Newsday), this sci-fi adventure is a "chilling" (Leonard Maltin), "dazzling" (The New York Times) and "stunning" (Cosmopolitan) thrill ride that will send your pulse rate soaring! From a brilliant screenplay by Oscar nominee* W.D. Richter, filmmaker Philip Kaufman directs an all-star cast that includes Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Brooke Adams and Leonard Nimoy. With its mesmerizing style and awe-inspiring special effects, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is "a classic of the genre" (New York Post) a terrifying tale that "literally chills the blood" (The Hollywood Reporter)!.

****

Though it lacks the awesome allegorical ambiguousness of the 1956 classic of sci-fi/political paranoia (here paid homage in cameo appearances by Kevin McCarthy and Don Siegel), Kaufman and screenwriter WD Richter's update and San Francisco transposition of Jack Finney's novel is a far from redundant remake. The extraterrestrial pod people now erupt into a world where seemingly everyone is already 'into' changing their lives or lifestyles, and into a cinematic landscape already criss-crossed by an endless series of conspiracies, while the movie has as much fun toying with modern thought systems (psychology, ecology) as with elaborate variations on its predecessor. Kaufman here turns in his most Movie Brattish film, but soft-pedals on both his special effects and knowing in-jokiness in a way that puts De Palma to shame; even extra bit appearances by Robert Duvall (Kaufman's Jesse James in The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid) and Hollywood archivist Tom Luddy are given a nicely take-it-or-leave-it dimension.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 20th, 1978

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Comparison: 

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray vs. Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT
2) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
SECOND

3) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Cover

 

Also available from Arrow in a Limited Edition Blu-ray - Region B Steelbook:

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Collector's Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Arrow Video
Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:55:52 1:55:24 1:55:37.180 1:55:36.679
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio 
Average Bitrate: 4.63 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.75 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 40,995,040,719 bytes

Feature Size: 37,982,269,440 bytes

Average Bitrate: 32.94 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

Disc Size: 44,890,148,366 bytes

Feature Size: 32,800,945,728 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

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

Bitrate: MGM

Bitrate: MGM )Collector's Edition)

Bitrate: MGM Blu-ray (US)

Bitrate: Arrow Blu-ray (UK)

Audio English  (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 1.0 Stereo) English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 1.0 Stereo) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3350 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3350 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio English 3351 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3351 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None English, French, Spanish, None English, French, Spanish, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Philip Kaufman

• Theatrical trailer

Flipper with 4:3 version on opposite side of the disc

DVD Release Date: March 31st, 1998
Keep Case

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio:
MGM (CE)

 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by Philip Kaufman

Second DVD disc:

• Visitors From Outer Space or How I stop Worrying and Learned to Love the Pod (16:14)

• Practical Magic - The Special Effects Pod (4:38)
• The Man Behind the Scream - The Sound Effects Pod (12:47)

• The Invasion Will Be Televised - the Cinematography Pod (5:24)

• Original Theatrical trailer (2:11)



DVD Release Date: August 7th, 2007
Standard Keep Case

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio:
MGM (Fox)

 

Disc Size: 40,995,040,719 bytes

Feature Size: 37,982,269,440 bytes

Average Bitrate: 32.94 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
Visitors From Outer Space or How I stop Worrying and Learned to Love the Pod (16:14 in HD!)

• Practical Magic - The Special Effects Pod (4:38 in HD!)
• The Man Behind the Scream - The Sound Effects Pod (12:47 in HD!)

• The Invasion Will Be Televised - the Cinematography Pod (5:24 in HD!)

• Original Theatrical trailer (2:11 in HD!)

 

• Double-sided 1998 DVD with widescreen letterboxed on one side - pan and scan on opposite and Philip Kaufman Commentary with theatrical trailer


Blu-ray Release Date: September 14th, 2010
Standard
Blu-ray Case

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:1.85:1

Disc Size: 44,890,148,366 bytes

Feature Size: 32,800,945,728 bytes

Average Bitrate: 29.98 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary with director Philip Kaufman
• Pod Discussion: A new panel conversation about Invasion of the Body Snatchers and invasion cinema featuring critic Kim Newman and filmmakers Ben Wheatley and Norman J. Warren (51:54)
• Dissecting the Pod: A new interview with Kaufman biographer Annette Insdorf (17:24)
• Pod Novel: A new interview with Jack Seabrook, author of Stealing through Time: On the Writings of Jack Finney about Finney s original novel The Body Snatchers (11:15)
• Re-Visitors from Outer Space: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pod a documentary on the making of the film featuring Philip Kaufman, Donald Sutherland, writer W.D. Richter and more (16:14)
• The Man Behind the Scream: The Sound Effects Pod a look at the film s pioneering sound effects (12:47)
• The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod cinematographer Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) discusses the look of and influences on the visual style of the film (5:24)
• Practical Magic: The Special Effect Pod A look at the creation of the special effects from the opening space sequence (4:38)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (2:13)
• Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Cairns, as well as re-prints of classic articles including contemporary interviews with Philip Kaufman and W.D. Richter, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

Blu-ray Release Date: November 18th, 2013
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Arrow Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray (October 2013): Firstly, comments for the MGM 1080P are totally appropriate for this Arrow Blu-ray image as it looks exactly the same - despite the US edition have a higher bitrate. My screen captures nor my system can distinguish any significant differences. It looks, probably as good as it can and the textures are appealing.

Audio, on the other hand has some slight differences. Arrow have gone with uncompressed for both the 2.0 (LPCM) and 5.1 (DTS-HD). The surround is a duplicate of the MGM (to my ears) but its reassuring to have the 2.0 channel original also in its premium lossless format. The Arrow also offers English subtitles (seemingly a near replication of the MGM - font, size - just a lot brighter) but the Arrow is Region 'B'-locked.

NOTE: Sent in by Michael (Thanks Michael!): Further to your review of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', you might also like to know that Arrow corrected a small audio flub that was present on both the MGM BD and the HD master that fuelled both releases. If you look at Don Siegel's cameo as the taxi driver on the MGM BD, he appears to be talking to himself. The old DVD revealed that we should also be hearing his controller communicating with him over the radio - for some reason, that particular audio stem was dropped or accidentally muted when the soundtrack was remastered, but the controller's voice has been reinstated on the Arrow release.

Extras is where the Arrow vaults ahead. It includes the informative Kaufman commentary (only found on the MGM DVD) plus the 4 vintage documentaries (running a little over 1/2 hour);  Re-Visitors from Outer Space: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Pod a documentary on the making of the film featuring Philip Kaufman, Donald Sutherland, writer W.D. Richter and more, The Man Behind the Scream: The Sound Effects Pod takes a look at the film's pioneering sound effects, The Invasion Will Be Televised: The Cinematography Pod cinematographer Michael Chapman (Taxi Driver and Raging Bull) discusses the look of and influences on the visual style of the film and Practical Magic: The Special Effect Pod is a look at the creation of the special effects from the opening space sequence. PLUS Arrow add three further 'Pod' pieces - a 'Pod Discussion' consisting of a new 51-minute panel conversation about Invasion of the Body Snatchers and invasion cinema featuring critic Kim Newman and filmmakers Ben Wheatley and Norman J. Warren. Dissecting the Pod: is a 20-minute new interview with Kaufman biographer Annette Insdorf and 11-minutes of Pod Novel: a new interview with Jack Seabrook, author of Stealing through Time: On the Writings of Jack Finney about Finney's original novel The Body Snatchers.

It seems like we have all the best of the MGM... and then some. It is the definitive package of this film and comes in an alternate Blu-ray Steelbook case for fans with as high opinion of the film as I. This gets better each time i see it. Strongly recommended!   

***

'ADDITION: MGM (US) -Region 'A' - Blu-ray September 2010: Okay - this is a wonderfully enjoyable film - a superb remake of Siegel's 56' classic (compared HERE).

Although it initially appears as MGM have scrimped with the 'thrown in' inclusion of a DVD - which we were able to determine was the 1998 non-anamorphic, flipper disc (pan and scan version on opposite side). This was the reason we actually included it in the comparison. Technically though - the MGM Blu-ray appears to be adept with a dual-layered transfer - the feature taking up almost 38 Gig for the, less than 2-hour, film. There is quite a high bitrate. The 2-disc Collector's Edition DVD was excellent for that SD medium and the Blu-ray doesn't advance predominately in colors but it showcases the grain in a more even, consistent fashion - this same grain often appeared as blotchier noise on the 2007 DVD.  Now, noise still exists on the Blu-ray image cinematographer Michael Chapman (notable for such Scorsese films as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull) describes in the extra featurette The Invasion Will Be Televised - the Cinematography Pod that the image was intentionally very dark - making the viewer pay strict attention to distinguish detail. This grain gives a potent textured appearance that improves the presentation in my opinion. I don't see digital manipulation and suggest that this is probably as close to theatrical as we are likely to get.

 

Audio may actually be an even stronger component to this transfer. There are plenty of deliberately spaced audio effects in the film and the powerful DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3350 kbps exports some decent depth as well as a bit of surprisingly spooky range. This area there is a notable difference from the DVDs and there are optional English, French and Spanish subtitles choices offered on all three editions. My Momitsu has identified the US Blu-ray as being a region 'A'-locked.

Supplements contain the same featurettes as the CE DVD with the 16-minute piece - Visitors From Outer Space, or How I Stop Worrying and Learned to Love the Pod - a shorter piece on the special effects entitled Practical Magic, The Man Behind the Scream - The Sound Effects Pod details more about the audio - lasting almost 13-minutes and lastly the aforementioned 'Cinematography Pod' for less than 6-minutes. While all of these are offered in HD - the video quality is limited on these extras such that it looks as if they were simply blown up from the resolution of the CE DVD. We also get an original theatrical trailer (2:11 in HD!) and on the included 'pan and scan' flipper disc has the, more-then-decade-old, Kaufman commentary. This is frustrating not to have the commentary moved over to the Blu-ray - how hard could it have been? - unless there is a legality around it. I'm sure it is just laziness. Still these are good extras despite nothing being new.

A fabulous sci-fi concept film and a rare example of an extremely well done re-make in this genre. It has actually 'spawned' yet another remake - from 2007 with Nicole Kidman/Daniel Craig - called simply Invasion - that I enjoyed more than the critics.

Kaufman's Invasion of the Body Snatchers has a great many horror elements and can be quite a scary film. Performances are top notch - Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, the stoic Nimoy and I always thought Veronica Cartwright was great in her limited appearances. Great to see the respect shown the original with brief cameos with Kevin McCarthy and Don Siegel. I am happy to have this film looking, and especially sounding, the best it has since theatrical. 

 -Gary Tooze

 



DVD Menus
 

 

MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

 

Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
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3) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
SECOND

3) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
SECOND

3) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
SECOND

3) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC
SECOND

3) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


More Blu-ray Captures

1) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP
2)
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP
2)
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP
2)
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP
2)
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP
2)
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

1) MGM - Region 'A' - Blu-ray TOP
2)
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


Box Cover

 

Also available from Arrow in a Limited Edition Blu-ray - Region B Steelbook:

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Collector's Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Arrow Video
Region 'B' - Blu-ray



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