Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
When Alien pods start landing in San Francisco they clone and replace humans as emotionless beings, and for Matthew Bennell (Donald Sutherland) and his friends it is a race against time and against the odds to escape San Francisco.
From the start of the film you know that there is something wrong with San Francisco and something weird and possibly unexplainable is happening within its community, as the film opens with an odd, slightly creepy shot of a Priest (Robert Duvall), expressionless as he goes up and down on a swing. From here the film grows more and more tense and creepy as more and more people become emotionless, and once the truth about the pods is revealed the film becomes a full on adrenaline rush against the odds. Thanks partly to the strong performances, which help build up the characters as strong characters, and we feel their fear as it is displayed on screen. It is also partly due to the fact that in a city the size of San Francisco it really does seem the end, and the characters have to really fight a passionate, no-limits fight to escape with their souls.
The film also uses some very shocking imagery in Matthew's climactic attempt to escape from what seems to be every single resident in San Francisco. The shocking image in question is a human head on a dog's body, which happened when the pod became confused by the DNA of a tramp (Joe Bellan) who slept with his dog (Misty) pressed against him, in what is an effective piece of make-up which will really make the viewer jump as they see this unexpected mutant for the first time.
It is things like this however, which drag the film down, as the film is a fairly big budget sci-fi/horror, and the fact it is so big and extravagent robs it of the magic of the sophisticated, low-budget original which was a lot more sophisticated and felt just as bleak as this one, with a lot less to attribute to its success, while this film ends up feeling like and becoming a big budget Hollywood remake of a simple idea. This usually fails, but in this case it works reasonably well as it is a film about mankind's individualism and how we should fight for said individualism, just like the original, and it gets the message across quite well. It isn't a brilliant film, and nowhere near as good as the original, but it is still a pretty good film, definetly worth a viewing.
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Art Hindle, Lelia Goldoni, Kevin McCarthy, Don Siegel, Tom Luddy, Stan Richie, David Fisher, Tom Dahlgren, Garry Goodrow, Joe Bellan, Jerry Walter.
Saturn Awards: Best Director (Philip Kaufman), Best Sound (Art Rochester, Mark Berger, Andy Wiskes).
Saturn nominations: Best Science Fiction Film, Best Actor (Donald Sutherland), Best Actress (Brooke Adams), Best Supporting Actor (Leonard Nimoy), Best Special Effects (Russel Hessey, Dell Rheaume), Best Make-Up (Thomas R. Burman, Edouard F. Henriques).