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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 12 August 2016
We currently live in an age of endless movie sequels, reboots & remakes but back in 1978, such regurgitation was not commonplace. So, when Philip Kaufman decided to remake Don Siegel's classic sci-fi film, 'Invasion Of The Body Snatchers,' eyebrows were raised. The original 1956 film had grown in stature since its release, with critics regarding it as one of the better genre films from that period, largely because they began to see the alien 'body snatchers' as a metaphor for either communism or conformity, depending on which side of the political divide they happened to be on. The genius of Kaufman's remake was to supplant the setting of the film from the moral certainties of small town America to the amoral uncertainties of the American city. As in the original, there are no large spaceships hovering in the skies above to herald an imminent alien invasion, or grave pronouncements on the news about our certain extinction, for this was an invasion by stealth; and by setting it in the city, where people don't really know their neighbours, it is so much more plausible that it goes on unnoticed. Largely unnoticed, for we have an engaging group of individuals who perceive that something strange is going on & club together to resist being taken over & forever losing that which makes them human - their individuality. After all, it would be so much easier to lay back, close your eyes & submit. In many ways, the film is about defiance in the face of authority & freedom of individual thought.

In order to heighten the increasing paranoia & mistrust, Kaufman uses strange camera angles, bizarre sounds & shots of people silently gathering. He has also assembled a great cast: Donald Sutherland; Brooke Adams; Veronica Cartwright: a young Jeff Goldblum: & Leonard Nimoy. In my opinion, it is one of the finest remakes ever made!

As well as the film, there are the obligatory extras & they are all worth a look but my favourite is, 'Discussing The Pod,' which is basically, novelist & film critic, Kim Newman discussing the movie with filmmakers Norman J. Warren & Ben Wheatley, which is heaven for a sci-fi geek like myself.
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I've seen this sci-fi/horror film (a superior remake of the 1956 effort) quite a few times on TV, but when it was given the HD treatment for this recent Blu-ray issue AND I could get it as a steelbook it was just too tempting.

Arrow have produced another gem here. The soundtrack is not that lively, being mostly dialogue, but when the occasional creepy music plays it is bounced around my surround setup very well courtesy of the clear DTS Master Audio 5.1 choice (make sure you have it selected as there is a DD2.0 option...). The picture is just as impressive, being pleasingly sharp, blemish-free and wonderfully bright - with solid black-levels for the frequent nighttime scenes.

Amazon have a decent synopsis for this product, so if you need to know more about the film or disc extras take a peek...

The 50-odd page booklet is great addition and, for once, us Brits get a superior release with stacks more (worthwhile) extras !

I've attached a photo of the steelbook interior and accompanying booklet, Amazon show the outside well enough already...

So, whilst this film may be approaching it's 40th year it still manages to scare and provoke, largely due to the foundation in a strong story (based on a novel of the same name) supported by good acting and strong production-values. There may well be newer 'anniversary' issues in the pipeline BUT it is difficult to see how they could improve on this release, since it provides exemplary sound and image, a decent booklet and an impressive steelbook option.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 15 September 2017
The beauty of this film is the way it puts such emphasis on human values; the central quartet of characters, in effect making up two romantic couples, are a fantastic way of affirming what life is, as opposed to the alien invasion, whose defining characteristic is having no emotion. But all this comes to light fairly late in the film - the slow build-up not only allows characters to be revealed with depth, and also the sense of San Francisco as a living, breathing city; it also allows the tension to be ratcheted up very gradually. The special effects are rudimentary by today's standards, amounting to a few giant pods which are pretty unnerving nonetheless, due to the slow pacing of these sequences. But this lack of technical sophistication is not a defect at all. Donald Sutherland leads the cast amazingly well, his very feeling character providing the core of the film. Its conclusion is devastating as a symbol, but chillingly logical; it also seems to be a metaphor for encroaching globalisation, the dehumanisation of life through unchecked capitalism. On that score, it remains pertinent and chilling - the way people have to be so earnest about their careers today, when a proper sense of perspective often seems to be under threat - also because of the virtual world, which was still a thing of the future, of course ... Nevertheless, it is a further stage in terms of the discussion the film seems to be about, namely how we define being human.
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on 27 December 2013
Well ill start by saying I did order this and something else before xmas but this did not turn up from amazon so I had bought it else where.

The movie has always been one of my fav movies, it is for me 1 of the best remakes ever made that is way way better than the original, it creepy, stylish and just great :D

The Blu-ray is packed with tons of extras so fans will love this inc a thick booklet in the case.

The sound is fabulous, this is down to this movie having some of the best uses of music, scores and sound effects ive heard specially for a movie form the 70s.

NOW the picture quality I will now say I pretty great for a movie from the 70s, arrow have done a great job


im saying this because for some time ive bought blu-rays from newer movies to old movies and a lot have had tons and tons of grain, this movie when I put it in my player was filled with grain it looked like someone had tipped white bits over my tv screen, I was about to stick to my old dvd copy the grain was that bad BUT I checked mt tv settings and I set it all to default then in the MODE section it was automatically set to DYNAMIC so I flicked through and I kept it on NATURAL mode and BANG 90% of the grain was gone

I couldn't believe the big difference just because of 1 setting on my LED tv, I will say its 90% better and 90% of the grain has gone and everything looks great and sharp, the 10% of grain that's left is simply because its a old movie

I checked my other blu-rays and they are all grain free now :D
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on 18 September 2017
Fabulous film, excellent acting and superb storyline.
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on 11 July 2000
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (IOTBS) is a well-paced and highly creepy sci-fi thriller which has not really aged since it's initial release back in 1978.
This was perhaps not the best year to release a movie entitled 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. Star Wars was still filling the cinemas a year after its release, and the big-budget remake of Superman was released at around the same time, while IOTBS was initially perceived as another shaky 1950's remake.
However, IOTBS is a genunely edgy, frightening film that has been critically under-rated for many years. The lead performances from Sutherland, Adams, Goldblum, Cartwright and Nimoy are excellent, and we have genuine sympathy for each of the characters involved as the unseen, parasitical alien forces close-in on them one by one. You will not 'sleep' easily after seeing this, so to speak.
Director Kaufmann accurately portrays an unsettling undercurrent of 1970's urban paranoia in the setting of San Francisco, and almost parodies the needless psychotherapy undertaken by millions of American's during this period, in a country not completely at ease with itself in the first place.
There is little in way of gore, although what shocks do occur are effectively dealt with,with creepy camera angles which shows a weak society slowly and unconsciously surrendering to superior extraterrestrial forces, which manifest themselves in an unlikely yet frighteningly realistic manner. The depressing, final scene with Veronica Cartwright and Donald Sutherland is one of the most haunting endings of all time. Overall, this comes highly recommended.
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There is a lot more, to the film than you'd think from just reading the movie title.

This is the first remake of assimilation and covert Alien infiltration classic of the 1950s, the new setting for the invasion from a small town to the city of San Francisco, in the late 1970s, and starts as Matthew Bennell notices that several of his friends are complaining that their close relatives are in some way changed. This is a solid speculative fiction narrative tinged with within a horror context with rather good production values. Those values include good direction by Philip Kaufman, camera-work by Michael Chapman in the form of the facial close-ups and interesting camera angles. The acting of the cast of main characters was comprised of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and last but not least the late Leonard Nimoy whose characterization; as the all explaining psychiatrist was exceedingly well done, as you really want to believe his explanation of events, as the truth is all too frightening. Donald Sutherland had quite a lot of the dialogue and was the most notable. All of it added up, for me anyway to a very good re-make that really brought the original themes to a more modern setting and a much darker closure.

--------------------Dare you take a nap?-------------------------

For me, this movie did so well in the build-up, with the uncertainty and suspense that translates into a real crescendo, and proved you don't need a lot of violence and body parts to scare the viewer. In fact the creepiest thing of the movie - and it WAS scary too - was the eerie guttural sound - the piercing pod scream. The film is a visual treat. The star of the first film, by the way - Kevin McCarthy, makes a great cameo appearance, which was a nice touch. Due to Kevin McCarthy's appearance and warning, some viewers have seen this movie as possible sequel to the 1950s movie.

If there is anything to dislike about the film, it's the fact that it seems to be shown on TV late at night, which makes this viewer very apprehensive about going to bed.
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on 18 August 2017
The best of the three classic versions, the realism and depth of paranoia rendered my nephew unable to unable watch it. Film making at it's best.
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on 22 December 2013
This is a review of the blu-ray steelbook edition from Arrow Video.

The image quality on this release is excellent, especially for a movie that was made in the 1970s. The closeups of plants in the opening sequences are pristine, and in general the image quality makes it easy to appreciate the superb camerawork that is in evidence in so many scenes. (But a warning to those with an LCD TV: the many night scenes don't look that great on my LCD: the blacks are only a middling darkish gray. On a friend's plasma TV the image in these scenes was much better, with deep, eerie blacks that made the scenes much more effective.)

Aside from the extras listed by Amazon, this edition contains a 52-page booklet with an (apparently original) article by David Cairnes, "We Came From Outer Space" plus the following reprints:
- "Pods Over San Francisco" which originally appeared in Film Comment in 1979
- an interview with Philip Kaufman which originally appeard in Film Comment in 1979
- an interview with W.D. Richter, the screenplay author, which originally appeared in Cinefantastique in 1978
These are in-depth articles with a wealth of information on the film.
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on 5 June 2017
It's one of my favourite films (and not just for that scene!)
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