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Oliver Hirschbiegel
Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Jackson Bond, Jeffrey Wright, Veronica Cartwright, Josef Sommer
Writing Credits:
Dave Kajganich

As a Washington psychiatrist unearths the origin of an alien epidemic, she also discovers her son might be the only way it can be stopped.

Box Office:
$80 million.
Opening Weekend
$5.951 million on 2776 screens.
Domestic Gross
$15.071 million.

Rated PG-13

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $9.98
Release Date: 1/29/2008

• “We’ve Been Snatched Before: Invasion in Media History” Featurette
• “The Invasion: A New Story” Featurette
• “The Invasion: On the Set” Featurette
• “The Invasion: Snatched” Featurette


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The Invasion [Blu-Ray] (2007)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 2, 2016)

Back in 2007, The Invasion became the fourth cinematic adaptation of Jack Finney’s 1955 novel Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I wanted to see the 2007 Invasion theatrically, but it came and went so quickly I never got the chance. Undeterred by its poor box office performance, I decided to take a look at the Blu-ray.

When the space shuttle explodes and disintegrates during re-entry, it leaves a wide trail of debris from DC to Dallas. It brings with it something sinister as well: an infectious space spore attached to it. CDC representative Tucker Kaufman (Jeremy Northam) investigates and becomes contaminated by the spore.

This changes Tucker, as he becomes literally a new person, affected by the spore. DC psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Kidman) immediately senses the difference, and she starts to develop additional suspicions when she hears of people who act unlike themselves.

Along with doctor friends Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) and Stephen Galeano (Jeffrey Wright), they discover that a virus that alters a person’s DNA during sleep spreads the plague. The movie follows Carol’s attempts to stay human and also to save her son Oliver (Jackson Bond).

As the fourth version of this tale to hit the big screen, a discussion of Invasion should focus on what it does to justify its existence. Unless a flick decides to take the bizarre shot-by-shot replication mode of Psycho 1998, a remake needs to do something different. Otherwise, why bother?

At the very least, one must give Invasion credit for its refusal to simply imitate its predecessors. Oh, it obviously shares many similarities with the earlier flicks, but it still manages to stand on its own. I think this one uses the prior efforts as conceptual inspiration instead of as a direct blueprint.

Whether or not these various changes succeed becomes a different issue. For instance, the method that the aliens use to take over the humans is very different here. In the old movies, pods created replacement versions of folks, whereas here an infection changes them from the inside. This still requires sleep to work, but otherwise it’s a definite variation.

I could live without the disgusting aspects of this, as the transformed people spew infected vomit at their intended targets. Otherwise I think it’s an interesting idea, and one that increases the threat. The pods were ominous but not as difficult to escape. When people can easily infect you wherever you go, though, the situation becomes much more difficult to endure.

Really, I can’t find fault with the changes such as that, but that doesn’t mean that I think Invasion is superior to its predecessors. Oh, it might top the forgettable 1993 version, but it certainly doesn’t compare with the original 1956 edition or the creepy 1978 take.

While Invasion evolves into its own film and indeed improves on the model in some ways, the execution falters much of the time. Rather than embrace the eerie paranoia of earlier versions, this one prefers a more standard thriller/horror vibe.

Invasion also is not a terribly coherent effort, as it emphasizes action over atmosphere or plot. Characters wander into illogical situations and plot holes abound, but the movie doesn’t care; it just wants to throw out the scares and jumps.

Even when Invasion attempts to become more thoughtful, it can’t follow through in a satisfying manner. Unlike its predecessors, this one actually suggests that planet full of “pod people” might not be a bad thing. With these replacements in play, world peace develops. Is free will and true humanity worth all the pain and angst that result?

The movie alludes to these concepts, but it fails to do much to explore them. The notion arises during an awkward and incongruous dinner party scene, and it pops up again at the end, but that’s about it.

At no point does the movie do more than nod at the philosophical implications. The Invasion wants to believe it’s a thoughtful flick, but it really prefers to stick with brainless action.

And I can’t say it flops in that department. The Invasion never quite becomes a good movie, but it never turns into something genuinely bad either. Kidman remains lovely to watch, and the drama manages to keep us reasonably involved. That’s enough to make the flick moderately entertaining but nothing more significant occurs.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus D+

The Invasion appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The transfer wasn’t great but it seemed more than satisfactory.

Sharpness was mostly good. Some interiors showed minor softness, but those elements stayed modest, so the majority of the flick appeared well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge enhancement was minimal. I noticed no source flaws, though the flick seemed rather grainy at times.

Like many sci-fi films, Invasion went with a heavy stylized palette, and this one opted for orange and teal. These choices lacked inventiveness but the Blu-ray presented them well.

Blacks were reasonably deep and dark, while shadows showed positive clarity. The mild softness made this a “B” presentation but the majority of the flick offered pleasing visuals.

Matters improved when I considered the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of The Invasion. While not a dazzling affair, it opened up the spectrum to good advantage.

The opening space shuttle disaster started things with a bang, and a variety of action sequences used the side and rear speakers to move vehicles and other elements in a satisfying way. I couldn’t point out a truly impressive sequence, but the soundfield was more than satisfactory.

Audio quality always worked fine. Speech seemed natural and concise, and the score was quite lively. The musical elements showed nice range and clarity throughout the flick. Effects also appeared impressive, as they were both clean and vivid. This was a solid mix that earned a “B+”.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Audio showed more range and power, while visuals came across as tighter and better developed. The DVD suffered from surprisingly weak visuals, so the Blu-ray gave us a good upgrade.

The Blu-ray provides the same extras found on the DVD. We’ve Been Snatched Before: Invasion in Media History goes for 18 minutes, 54 seconds and provides notes from producer Joel Silver, USC Homeland Security Researcher Terry O’Sullivan, professor/author Vivian Sobchak, The Monster At Our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu author Mike Davis, screenwriter David Kajganich, False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear author Dr. Marc Siegel, The Secret Life of Germs author Philip M. Tierno, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology Randy S. Wymore, and actors Jeremy Northam and Veronica Cartwright.

“Snatched” briefly alludes to the prior Body Snatchers films and their political environments but mostly discusses the newest flick’s theme of infectious disease. It looks at various issues related to that subject as it considers threats and fear among the world’s population.

This becomes a moderately interesting piece but not a particularly coherent one. It never quite figures out where it wants to go, so some intriguing threads pop up but don’t ever mesh together.

The other three featurettes all come as branches of the same tree. These include The Invasion: A New Story (2:57), The Invasion: On the Set (3:23) and The Invasion: Snatched (3:15). They involve Kajganich, Northam, Silver, Cartwright, director Oliver Hirschbiegel, executive producer Ron Smith, key location manager Todd Christensen, production designer Jack Fisk, location manager John Latsener, stunt coordinator Keith Adams, special effects make-up artist Michael O’Brien and actors Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman.

They chat about the flick’s plot and themes, shooting in DC, and some elements of the “snatching”. A few decent glimpses of the set occur, but overall these programs offer standard promotional fluff.

Given its failure at the box office, one could assume that The Invasion is a terrible flick. It’s not, though I also can’t call it an especially interesting effort. It’s just good enough to maintain our interest for 99 minutes, but it falls far short of the heights achieved by its more successful predecessors. The Blu-ray provides generally good picture and audio but it lacks substantial supplements. Invasion offers an inconsistent adaptation.

To rate this film visit the original review of THE INVASION

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