Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Jackson Bond, Jeffrey Wright
Directors: James McTeigue, Oliver Hirschbiegel
Genres: Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
The Invasion tells the story of a mysterious epidemic that alters the behavior of human beings. When a Washington D.C. psychiatrist (Nicole Kidman) discovers the epidemics origins are extraterrestrial, she must fight to pr... more »
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Yet another remake of a classic story.
Steven Hedge | Somewhere "East of Eden" | 08/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Every era seems to have a connection to the "Body Snatchers" as there have been about 4 films so far that are based on the classic tale and it has spawned numerous similarily themed films and silly rip-offs (Invasion of the Pod People).
The first version and arguably the best is Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) which dealt with McCarthism. The next take on the classic came in 1978 with Invasion of the Body Snatchers and has become my favorite version of the tale. It focused on our need to be emotional even when it makes no sense, hence, the appearance of Leonard Nimoy in the film who built a career playing Spock, part emotionless Vulcan and part human, on Star Trek. Then there came Body Snatchers in 1994 and although that was a rather forgettable version, it did have something to say about the "me" and "greed" era of the 1980's.
Now we have "The Invasion" in which Nicole Kidman takes on Leonard Nimoy's supporting role in the 1978 version and makes it the starring role. She is well-supported by the new James Bond, Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, and even the actor who plays the new Felix Liter in the same Bond film. In addition, there is Jeremy Northam (The Net) who has made a nice career playing heavies, and in a moment of inspirational casting there is Veronica Cartwright playing a patient of Kidman's.
Cartwright was terrific in Alien (the first one) and has been in more supporting roles in film and television than I can remember. But why is she so memorable for being in this film? She was in the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, and Leonard Nimoy. She is a consistently strong supporting actress and to see her return 30 years later in this remake is fun and it's nice that her role isn't some small cameo either.
The film itself is rather unremarkable even though it is enjoyable. I think it may end up being only a bit more remembered than the 1994 version of this tale only because of it's cast as the direction, effects, music, and photography are all rather pedestrian. In addition, many may recall this film for NOT having the infamous "pods" for which this tale is so well-known for. While this makes this take a bit unique, I think it's a flaw as it treats the invasion more as an infection and less than an interglatic fight to exist as we are and not as another being would have us be and that is ironically the focus of this film even though that isn't played up until near the end (as if it were an after-thought).
This tale continues to be haunting even with the lackadaisical approach here because this tale speaks to us in this era that seems to suggest that everyone not exactly like one group is wrong or bad. We have become in this era rather ethnocentric and this film lightly explores how if we were all alike there would be no more wars, distrust, hate and so forth, but for that kind of world we must give up our souls. In the end, this film attempts to redeem it's own pointlessness by throwing in the question of whether is it better to have wars over religion, status, wealth, etc. or have peace at the cost of not being who we are and our right to express that.
The film wastes the talents of all by only hinting on this theme rather than exploring it with more depth and sincerity as the previous versions explored their visions of paranoia, isolationism, and the deadening of emotions in an ever increasingly violent world. For this lack of seriousness and earnestness this film is all too much like the 1994 version which was more like this one in that it had a good cast and was appropriately chilling, but lacked significant punch and/or influence.
This film is mild popcorn fun and the whole family can see it, but don't expect it to hold up to the first two far superior versions of this timeless tale."
Typical Hollywood Dumbed Down Garbage
David S. Jenkins | On the Road | 02/15/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Simply terrible. Aside from being able to bask in the magnificence of Ms. Kidman, who is indeed magnificent and does all she can with her role, this film has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Sophomoric white bread direction, shameful use of news footage and witness interviews from the latest shuttle disaster, zero character development, bland camera work and editing, no emotions (it's hard to tell when characters have turned since aside from Kidman the screenwriters and director don't allow the cast to convincingly exhibit any while still human,) and no pods!
This could be a hundred other movies over the last twenty years - bad guys chase good guys around downtown Washington DC, car chases every five minutes, cell phones, elevator buttons, basement parking lots, cars on fire, child must be rescued, blah blah blah.
Oh, and instead of pods the "disease" is passed by people throwing up. In people's coffee. In each other's faces. Nice, thanks for that. That's really challenging intellectually. That's fine scriptwriting. Is that the Academy calling?
The original remains an almost sacred masterpiece and it still hasn't been topped. The remake staring Donald Sutherland was excellent and genuinely creepy, cleverly directed and scripted. The third version was quite OK. This edition is beyond lame and doesn't for a second create a tenth as much mood as an average Twilight Zone episode. Your standard dog food commercial is more frightening, more mysterious. (And better directed.)
If you want to find a textbook case of how void of creativity big studio Hollywood has become, and how they denegrate the intellect of their audience, look no further.
A Five Star Science-Fiction Classic
Cabir Davis | 01/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Someone must defend the exquisite "The Invasion", which was a huge critical and commercial disaster when released in 2007. Personally, I think it was way ahead of its' time, and it is quite ironic that most people are waking up to its' genius on DVD.
Nicole Kidman, in perhaps her most restrained performance plays 'a woman against the world'. Holding onto her sanity while the rest of the world around her are converted literally into zombies, she plays a simple woman who has to deal with some extraordinary circumstances. I found her insomniac performance while teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown while trapped in the convenience store, to be one of her greatest screen moments.
Its moments like that which define "The Invasion". This is NOT a film for special effects afficionados. In fact, I can't recall even one significant special effect or 'things blowing up'. What I got instead was a quiet, intelligent science fiction thriller that relied upon dialog and languid camera movement to convey a sense of fear and mayhem. In fact, the Directors' style here is an amalgamation of David Lynch and two of his best movies - "Dune" and "Mulholland Drive". The film-noir vibe is stark throughout this film, and I would say this is closer to an art film that a typical commercial thriller.
Perhaps its that sensibility that made this a commercial failure. In one extended sequence, Nicole Kidman is informed that in order to escape being noticed by the zombies, you need to be 'emotionless'. Nicole then proceeds to take the train and walk the streets, and does a fine job of conveying nothingness, simply to escape being killed, while all the while her character is dying inside. Superb.
The end could have been better, yes, and in fact even I was surprised at how conveniently they wrapped things up just to finish the film off. But thats a minor quibble. I preferred this vastly over last years "Children of Men", which I would call "The Invasion"'s poorer cousin. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend the negativity this film attracts when in fact its certainly a science fiction classic and clearly the best film made on the Invasion theme so far.
There is a film from 1994 - "Body Snatchers", which had the same storyline. That was another minor masterpiece that no one noticed (try looking for the DVD, it starred Gabrielle Anwar in her defining role). Its unsung movies like these that are present in the science fiction genre, and true fans of the medium such as myself will always be there to give them the respect they deserve.
Ignore the negativity, and BUY this on DVD today. Its certainly worth watching more than once, and will quickly become one of your favorite movies if you give it a chance.
Fuzzy at the edges
H. Schneider | window seat | 02/09/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, most bad reviews here are justified. Did we need another remake? For sure not. But on the other hand, a really strong story at the core of the script proves nearly unkillable.
And I want to place on record my objection to the Kidman bashing: I think she does a very good job and makes the movie watchable despite all efforts to the contrary, she certainly helps safe the suspense, which is not totally out. (Hope nobody noticed that I am the chairman of the Kidman fanclub in Morning Land.)
One objection to the script: the story is 50 years old, the efforts to place it at the turn of the century have given us some nice anachronisms. There is a Czechoslovakian Ambassador in the story, at the same time that the Irak war and the Darfur crisis are issues. Of course one can't expect a Hollywood script writer to keep up with all the political changes in Europe...