Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Version Comparison

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Gigi M.
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#26 Post by Gigi M. » Thu May 10, 2007 8:14 pm

The Digital Bitz is reporting a new special edition of Kaufman's version of Body Snatchers on 8/7.

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Person
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#27 Post by Person » Fri May 11, 2007 4:26 pm

I was half-expecting a new SE of the 1978 version, seeing as the Nicole Kidman remake is on the way. Kaufman's commentary and the original Dolby stereo sound track on the previous disc were awesome, but were the non-anamorphic transfer has bugged me for years, as I watch the film at least once per year. Great, great score by Denny Zeitlin.

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#28 Post by Gigi M. » Mon May 28, 2007 12:02 pm

Gordo, I think we expect the Siegel version to get Special Edition treatment. A new SE is coming out in July in Spain. Hopefully the same will happened in R1.

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#29 Post by Person » Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:34 pm

Recieved the new 2-disc of the 1978 version today. Vastly improved transfer. Much more detail, much cleaner (the opening credits were a mess on the previous transfer) and slightly more vibrant colors. Michael Chapman is an amazing cinematographer and I love his work on this film. The new interviews are pretty good. It's always a joy to hear Donald Sutherland speak and he has fond memories of the film. No Nimoy or Goldblum, which is a shame, as both are very good in this film. The landmark Dolby analogue stereo mix is retained, thankfully.

I would say, "Buy now!", but this release may have been delayed until September 11, according to some sites, but I and many others have the Canadian edition. I'm not sure why MGM changed the release, as everything seems fine with this new set.

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#30 Post by mogwai » Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:37 pm

Person wrote:I would say, "Buy now!", but this release may have been delayed until September 11, according to some sites, but I and many others have the Canadian edition. I'm not sure why MGM changed the release, as everything seems fine with this new set.
I received my copy last week. I don't think it's been delayed. It seems to be available at most places.

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#31 Post by Person » Tue Aug 14, 2007 3:45 pm

Yeah, you seem to be right, but for a while Amazon.com was listing the release as September 11 and DVD Pacific don't list it at all - that's why I had to order from Play USA. Normally I try and avoid bilingual packaging, but it isn't that bad in this release.

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#32 Post by Daliah Lavi » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:58 am

Any further news on the final specs for this UK Invasion of the Body Snatchers release? I held off from buying the Kinowelt release whilst in Stuttgart over the Summer, as I figured it'd be re released at some point, the wait is frustrating!

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#33 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:48 pm

Sorry to take this off the subject of the original again for a moment but I couldn't resist linking to the Moviedrome introduction of the 70s film!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#34 Post by Person » Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:53 pm

Thanks, Colin - great intro. Moviedrome was one of the great blessings of British TV in the 90s.

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Cold Bishop
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#35 Post by Cold Bishop » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:24 pm

But now I want an anamorphic widescreen Sorcerer. :(

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#36 Post by Person » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:17 pm

Cold Bishop wrote:But now I want an anamorphic widescreen Sorcerer. :(
Oh, that's on the way, brother! Friedkin confirmed this last month...

Click here
DVD Rama:

Finally, the fateful question: when will we finally have a good DVD edition of the Sorcerer ?

Friedkin: Yes, there is a DVD and I know that it is not at all satisfactory. In fact, Laurent Bouzereau, who is working on the extras for Cruising that we prepared, is currently in talks with Universal to do a Collector's Edition of Sorcerer. The film will be presented in the correct format [ie. widescreen], in an entirely remastered copy and I will do an audio commentary, even if I do not like this task. I do not like it when someone says to me what I must look at or listen when I view a film. I find that the films are sufficient in themselves - they do not need comments. But if it has to be done, good, I'll do it.
I'm tentatively anticipating a March/April release.

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Re: Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Version Comparison

#37 Post by perkizitore » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:04 pm

What about the quality of the Universal UK DVD?

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Re: Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Version Comparison

#38 Post by Tommaso » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:53 pm


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Re: Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Version Comparison

#39 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:01 pm

I know that this isn't an 'official' Invasion of the Body Snatchers film, but it is so blatantly in the same vein that I think it is worthwhile mentioning it in the "Version Comparison" thread! (Though I really should make a filmmaker thread for Andrew Niccol at some point!):

The Host (Andrew Niccol, 2012)

An interesting take on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers standard though this comes from the novel by Stephenie Meyer, who is better known for the Twilight novels. This time rather than focusing on the paranoia of a gradual takeover and fears over who can and cannot be trusted the film begins with the Earth already having been conquered by the aliens and our heroine being captured and immediately impregnated herself by a new host. However the human being still remains, fighting against the alien that has taken them over, adding an interesting schizophrenic twist (or rather the voice of a conscience, begging the heroine not to give into her urges and instead do its bidding instead?) to the character's actions. The alien comes to appreciate the humans that their species are colonising, and the human begins to understand the alien too (it is kind of like Parasyte in that way too). Saoirse Ronan is great in the quite tough to pull off dual main roles, although the constant sarcastic comments from the human inside her head, or orders barked in voiceover (Don't you dare kiss that boy!), do get a little wearing after a while. I do like the idea of taking an internalised perspective on the alien invasion though, in which the alien is given the task of probing the human's memories for useful information and the battle for control is taking place within someone's mind. With a bit more of a push it could have had more connections to something like 1984.

Unfortunately the film almost collapses in its mid-section as the tendrils of Stephenie Myers preoccupations infiltrate and begin to take over the sci-fi narrative, threatening to derail the delicate balance of action and character moments that the film has been establishing. The alien and human join forces to escape being placed under arrest and seek out the last human stronghold, only once there instead of dealing with somewhat more important matters we then end up with a rather bizarre and unorthodox love triangle in which the original human is just wanting to be back with her boyfriend whilst the alien occupying her body falls in love with another, implausibly well coiffured for living in a cave, deadly dull lunk (the two male leads are the true pod people of this film! Closely followed by the bland licensed pop soundtrack, full of their own unthreatening boy bands blandly singing about sanitised rebellion, love and being yourself!)

This is really just in the same vein as the heroine getting torn between Edward and Jacob from the Twilight films, though of course the twist here is that the heroine is literally in two minds about her feelings! There are lots of scenes of one of the pair having to force the other one to look on whilst they smooch with one beau or the other, and more than anything it felt as if this was in a similar vein to a film that could be made about the sex lives of Siamese twins, with the other party being unable to leave so instead having to sort of tune out the other one making out!

Anyway things sort of get back on track for the final third, and there is a very interesting take on the Body Snatchers theme in which love and forgiveness sort of end up saving the day and liberating the oppressed humans who have been pushed deep down into the prison of their own bodies by the alien hosts, rather than having been totally consumed and replicated, and therefore irretrievably lost.

The end section in which we get the seeming death of our friendly alien but have the revelation of a transfer into a shell of a dying human is both touching in providing closure (and the chance to continue the soppy relationship without forcing her friend into it as well!) and a message of assimilation, which is obviously what the film was going for. Although I ended up feeling rather ambivalent about the ending, especially for the brushing over of using this 'dying girl' as a shell for our friendly alien (and amusing in the way that they conveniently have the beautiful Emily Browning appear almost in a cameo, as if she has been the requisite beautiful leading lady on ice waiting for the breakthrough in human-alien separation and reimplantation techniques to be made!), and for the way that this idea of aliens using dead bodies as hosts is an idea that appears to have come from The Outer Limits series, in particular the episode The Second Soul from 1995, which also dealt with the ethical implications of treating dead bodies as empty vessels to do with what we wish in a more detailed and morally complex way than the simple plot closure convenience such a subject gets used for here.

So it is a film with its moments, though it really is almost destroyed by the jarring shift of focus from alien conquest to love triangle in the middle section (all those swimming in underground cave pools and watching sunsets on cliffsides scenes could maybe have worked as seizing a brief moment against the massing and almost overwhelming threat, but instead they're just a chance for a bit of snogging or some cat fighting over boys as the pace of the film flatlines). It picks up again though and ends quite strongly. I think I'd credit Andrew Niccol with just about keeping this together though - he's a director that I'm always interested in seeing films by, and while this doesn't reach the level of Gattaca (or even really his other sci-fi films S1m0ne or In Time), there are still enough elements suggesting some care and attention is being paid to creating a somewhat believable wider world beyond our lovers to make this worthwhile.

In terms of teen-centred takes on this material though I still prefer the Abel Ferrara Body Snatchers! Perhaps only because the little brother that the heroine spends so much care and attention over isn't ever really in any danger in The Host, compared to the little brother in Body Snatchers being taken over and eventually getting bodily thrown out of a helicopter into an exploding building by the machine gun wielding heroine at the end of that film!

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