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A Few Reviews For The Kidman/Craig INVASION Come In!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. Man, I don’t want to dislike this movie. But so far, I have yet to hear anything that would suggest this is a worthwhile retelling of a story that’s been made three times previously. So far, each of those tellings has managed to bring something new to the premise, but is this film one trip too many to the well? We’ll see. For now, we’ve got two reviews. Here’s our first one:

So, I thought I was fortunate enough to attend a screening of Invasion the other day and I could see that I was not alone as there was a good crowd on hand to see it as well. I figured, b/c of the size of the crowd, that there would be another "spy" to write in a review of this movie. I, myself, did not want to write in a lame review of an even lamer movie. And with Bruce Willis talking back on the site here, who in the hell wants to read about a boring as hell movie? Well, I believe it is in the best interest of you all out there to spread the word to avoid this film. I'll try to do my part. To my knowledge, this movie has been on the shelf for two years or so while it was being tweaked, re-shot, etc... In my opinion, they need to keep this movie on the shelf for another two years, or maybe even longer. Let Daniel Craig do a couple more Bond films before you decide to ruin his career. Or at the very least, show us the car accident Kidman had while re-shooting the finale chase sequence. (Does that make me sick?) There is absolutely no suspense, no thrills, no nothing for any movie goer looking for such. Why? For one, they never show the aliens or monsters or whatever that's supposed to be taking everybody over. No pods with tentacles or some other scary looking creature to be afraid of. Creative choice not to show it, you say? Clever idea to build suspense? If it was, it didn't work. In fact it bombed miserably. We just see some snot covered bodies that are "infected" and then those bodies wake up, peel dried snot off of them and are now "baddies." Come on, snot? Really? I'm supposed to be terrified of boogers? What is this, 2nd grade? All the movie is, is people staring into the camera. It's like it was a movie extra's dream come true. The number one rule of an extra is not to stare into the camera. But all you see in this movie is exactly that. Numerous extras staring into the camera. Apparently that's what the aliens do when they are scoping out potential non-aliens. I guess this is supposed to make them threatening. Sorry, I have had numerous staring contests in my life and I didn't pee my pants during any of them. Not one. And then the movie likes to throw those quick cut/edits at you, you know, the ones that trigger epilepsy in small children. Except, with these edits we see animation of blood cells being taken over by the infectious disease. And not just once, no no no. The audience might not have gotten it if it was shown only once. They show it countless times. I think the movie makers didn't have a long enough running time and they thought it was smart to show the disease taking people over. Then some jackass wearing a suit said, "Brilliant!! Put it in! That's gold baby!" Minor spoiler----------- The only semi-interesting part of this film is that the son is immune to the disease and therefore a threat to the aliens (or whatever the hell they are). That story piece alone sets this film apart from the other body snatcher movies. But this movie hardly deals with that aspect. The boy is staying with his infected father (Kidman's husband, they're separated) and the father tries to infect/change the boy. They do this, by the way, by spitting more snot into whatever people are drinking and that's how the disease is spread. Anyway, the boy doesn't change(immune) and the father is just like oh well, next! There's no build up payoff blah blah blah. Kidman does come to get him but you'd think that the aliens would have done something with him or to him and make it just a teeny bit harder for her to rescue him. (Moviemakers, are you listening?) The best part of the movie is the very ending where Kidman stares at her son lovingly/wonderingly and we're treated to a renditon/cover of John Lennon's "Imagine." This scene coming after the two run from the aliens and get rescued, fade to black. Then "Imagine" scene. No getting back at the aliens, no showing what the boy's immunity does to them. None of that... what do you call it? Oh, right PAYOFF. The whole audience burst out laughing at this moment as well they should have. This film was a monumental let down. Avoid at all costs. If you've read this far, I apologize for taking you away from the better aspects of this website. Oh, and Screening Exchange (the people who exhibited the screening)? Stop trying to ask everybody if they write online reviews (Alok I'm talking to you). Like it's some crime or something. Please, the studios love this site for the honest feedback they get. They should be solicitng our opinions more, not less. Alright, all done. Culan Dephi

Ummmm... ouch. If that wasn’t damning enough for you, check this one out:

I saw a review of the film up at Bloody-disgusting and figured you didn't get one, so here goes. This review contains spoilers. The Invasion is the 3rd remake of the original film (and all four are based at least in part on the Jack Finney novel). Up until now, each version of the film has had its own strengths, resulting in a rare 'trilogy' of well made films that are ostensibly the same. Does the 4th continue that tradition? No. More on that in a minute. Let's get the plot out of the way. Nicole Kidman plays Carol, a DC based psychiatrist. She is divorced, her ex (Jeremy Northam) works for the Center for Disease Control, and he is seeking joint custody of their son. Daniel Craig plays her best friend/would-be lover/apparent neighbor, Ben, who is a doctor. Early on, when trick or treating, her kid finds some sort of slime on his candy. Puzzled, she gives it to Ben for analysis. He and his colleague, Jeffrey Wright, determine it's alien. And then, the standard Body Snatchers plot more or less follows: people begin acting strange, our heroes do not know who to trust, etc. Throughout the film we are given two themes. One is how war-torn the world has become. We see news reports of warfare (mostly factual, i.e. Iraq, Darfur, etc) throughout the world. As the film goes on, the reports begin to change, and we hear, among other things, that the Shiites and Sunnis have reached a truce. In other words, the alien beings can bring peace. The other theme, one which isn't nearly as prevalent, is that of medicine being a quick fix to make you happy. Carol prescribes pills in order to make her patients feel content, just as the aliens are doing via their 'invasion'. How is Carol any different than the aliens? Now, reading that, you might be thinking, wow! This is a pretty interesting, or at least different, take on the Body Snatcher mythos. This movie might be pretty good! You would be completely wrong, however. The Invasion is possibly one of the worst major studio films in quite some time. All of those things I mentioned take up maybe 5-10 minutes of screen-time. And their impact is completely muddled by all of the contradictary actions of the aliens, especially near the end of the film. Suddenly, the peaceful and serene aliens are running around like "the infected", even making makeshift molotov cocktails at one point. We have a few car chases, a helicopter rescue, etc. It has been widely reported that the Wachowski brothers and V for Vendetta director James McTeigue were brought in to 'save' the film after Warner was disappointed with Oliver Hirschbiegel's original cut. We can only assume that is true since no one has denied it. The problem is, they are making an entirely different movie. Where Hirschbiegel's film was obviously more cerebral, the McTeigue version is an all out action movie. One or the other would have been fine, but instead they are combined into one ridiculous mess. Making matters worse (MUCH worse) is that someone behind the scenes decided that, in order to make the film even more "exciting", that they would edit in clips of scenes that have yet to take place in the middle of the scene currently taking place. For example, there is a scene where Kidman's husband is trying to get her 'on his side'. She is seemingly trapped in a house while he talks. Suddenly, we see her running outside, driving away, etc., in short bursts, before returning to the scene at hand. This continues almost throughout the entire film. Imagine if say, in Psycho, during the scene with Norman Bates talking to Marion in the parlor, Hitch began intercutting shots of the shower murder. Or maybe in Shawshank Redemption, showing Andy outside in the rain during one of his beatings. It's as ridiculous as it sounds. Maybe if they used it once or twice it MIGHT have been effective for a cheap jolt scare, but by my estimate they do it no less than in 30 scenes. The result? The film is never once suspenseful, because we have been told every single time what will happen. We know she escapes from her husband the second they cut to her running away, so going back to it is fruitless at best. Worse, this makes an already short film (95 minutes maybe) actually SHORTER if you think about it, because we see many scenes twice! The epilogue, always a tricky part in these type of films, goes in the most wrong direction a film could ever be. Rather than end on a downer, like most of the others have done, we get a "one year later" scene, where the aliens have been reverted back to their human self, and, I shit you not, a cover of "Imagine" plays on the soundtrack while someone points out that war in Iraq is as bad as ever. The guy in front of me burst out laughing as soon as the song began, and within 10 seconds most of the theater was joining him (one person NOT laughing was likely Joel Silver, who was in attendance). Way to make a bad movie worse. I can only pray that Warner comes to their senses and at least gives Hirchbeigel's original version some sort of release, a la Paul Schrader's Exorcist sequel. As it stands now, the only use this version has is a textbook example as to how badly studio interference can ruin a film. BC
Readers Talkback
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  • May 15, 2007, 6:36 a.m. CST

    Nommer een!

    by Jakes Nel

    Yeah!

  • May 15, 2007, 7:07 a.m. CST

    Well, I'm sure that the original cut was better.

    by DerLanghaarige

    It was a Hirschbiegel film, dammit! Even his TV-movies, in which one actor is having a monologue all the time (he made at least two of them), are worth watching!

  • May 15, 2007, 7:09 a.m. CST

    That sucks

    by SithMenace

    I really wanted to like this movie because of the always great Daniel Craig.

  • May 15, 2007, 7:15 a.m. CST

    I`m with DerLanghaarige

    by Romoehlio

    maybe sometime soon we all get to see the REAL version...

  • May 15, 2007, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Any dogs with tramp's faces?

    by Spartacus Hughs

    Disturbed.

  • May 15, 2007, 8:09 a.m. CST

    Imagine/Amazing Grace

    by Spartacus Hughs

    http://tinyurl.com/3bzqek

  • May 15, 2007, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Snatchers Gotta Eat

    by BanAllFIRSTPosters

    or whatever the fuck that tired quote would be.

  • May 15, 2007, 8:42 a.m. CST

    Yeah I end up at Alok's screenings a lot too haha

    by polyh3dron

    they screened Knocked Up and Superbad like 5 million times.

  • May 15, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    The guy who made Das experiment and downfall

    by emeraldboy

    had a very good idea. He took Body snatchers and wrapped it around das experiment. He spent a year and half/2 years writing and shooting the movie and he sent it WB. Who immediately threw it back in his face. Oliver Hirchlberger, stormed off the project and will not talk about it. seemingly WB scrapped his Body snatchers/das experiement idea for a generic action movie. With Oliver Hirchlberger off the movie, WB brought in the Wachoswkis and they overhualed the entire movie. To the point where not much is left of the Das experiment/body snatchers idea. That would have been cool.

  • May 15, 2007, 9:13 a.m. CST

    The Hirschbiegel film you are refering to

    by emeraldboy

    is called das experiment. I will have to remember that Hirschbiegel and not what i put. a das experiment version of the body snatchers would have cool as I said.

  • May 15, 2007, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Oh and on a sadder note and off topic....

    by emeraldboy

    It has been reported that the acclaimed filmmaker Lars Van triers is battling depression. he has told friends that he may never shoot another film again. When asked about it Von triers said that at times recently he has felt suicidal and that as a result he will almost never make another film again.

  • May 15, 2007, 9:26 a.m. CST

    What do you expect...

    by Kid Z

    ... it has the screamingly, mind-destroyingly, soul-killingly awful Nicole Kidman in it. I mean, has she ever done anything in which the audience didn't want (to paraphrase a really old Harry quote) to reach up with their bare hands and literally try to tear her hideous presence off the movie screen? Just a glimpse of her pasty-white, ginger face is enough to send me screaming and cursing out of the theatre.

  • May 15, 2007, 10:05 a.m. CST

    The Feel-Good Comedy of the Year

    by TheBaxter

    the ending sounds like it will be funnier than knocked up, evan almighty and whatever will ferrel's next film is, combined.

  • May 15, 2007, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Anyone read the William Gibson story "Belonging Kind"?

    by Christopher3

    That would make a good film. It's a nice twist on the typical paranoia-suffused "body snatchers" concept.

  • May 15, 2007, 10:43 a.m. CST

    The 70 Body Snatches matches the original.

    by Lovecraftfan

    Really scary film with some performances by Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Goldblum, and Sutherland

  • May 15, 2007, 10:50 a.m. CST

    Hmm

    by Cobbio

    Damn, that's pathetic. Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, and Jeffrey Wright are all talented A-list actors, and they went ahead and made a shitty B-list movie? Wow, that's just pathetic. I don't blame McTeigue or the Wachowskis, either. I'm sure their version, such as it was, blew away Hirschbiegel's. Maybe this'll get a comedy release.

  • May 15, 2007, 11 a.m. CST

    Of course it sucks. This is a Nicole Kidman movie.

    by Vicenzo

    She only does bad movies nowadays.

  • May 15, 2007, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Paul Schrader's Exorcist

    by Hail

    Hate to tell you, but his version was actually worse that Reny Harlin's version. Check it out, you'll agree. It's amature at best. Don't be so quick to judge studio interference there, bud.

  • May 15, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST

    This is ideal remake material...

    by ScarranHalfBreed

    The first film wasn't great, and the ones following it were pretty much the same. These are often the best films to remake, but of course they screwed it up. This sounds like yet ANOTHER movie to avoid this year. Is there anything GOOD getting released? Do these studio cunts actually want to make money or what?

  • May 15, 2007, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Ugh this movie can't benefit from any stance that's

    by Demosthenes2

    in any way anti-psychiatry. Even if the film doesn't take that negative a stance, it's still annoying to suggest any controversy when it's just a matter of ignorance of medical facts and an inability to think that maybe you just don't believe in mental health problems only because you don't have any. Antidepressants don't make people bland, happy, or numb to pain. Believe me, I know. Their most prominent function is simply to give people the energy to get out of bed each morning and not think about suicide. Ugh ugh ugh. Oh and ditto that the other three Invasion movies were all quite good and different and three was enough. I remember reading that the movie would be extremely different from the previous incarnations, but the basic concept sounds the same. And if you think remaking it again is worthwhile because you can use the concept for more current social commentary, well, why don't you try doing that with a newish sci-fi concept?

  • May 15, 2007, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Hail is right...

    by Pdorwick

    ...neither version of the Exorcist prequel is worth a damn.

  • May 15, 2007, 12:48 p.m. CST

    a friend of mine...

    by dengreg31

    saw it as well and said it was nearly Unreleasable... One less thing to do this summer I guess... Greg www.denvertvguy.com

  • May 15, 2007, 1:05 p.m. CST

    On the shelf for two years?

    by Clubber

    I live in Baltimore, and they were doing primary filming here just last year because I knew people who worked on the filming. It hasn't been on the shelf for two years. That's a load of bunk.

  • May 15, 2007, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Clubber

    by shmu65

    It has been on the shelf for two years. This movie was shot even before Daniel Craig was cast as the next Bond. What you saw in Baltimore was most likely re-shoots. I live/work in LA and have several friends that are assistants and what not. They have access to that kind of info. Basically the movie was on the shelf because it wasn't received too well.

  • May 15, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    AnimalStructure- Disagree

    by Lovecraftfan

    I enjoyed his but the 70s version was not only the best to me but one of the best remakes ever. Very creepy and expert use of odd camera angles and lighting to create fear. Thats a seriously unsettling film with some great performances.

  • May 15, 2007, 3:23 p.m. CST

    The movie was overhauled by

    by emeraldboy

    the wachowski bros on the WB. They supervised the production. That what I heard.

  • May 15, 2007, 3:30 p.m. CST

    WB brought in the Wachoswki bros to

    by emeraldboy

    overhaul the entire thing. As I said in early post the original movie was to have been a cross between Das experiment and Bodysnatchers. Hirchbiegel spent 2.5 working on the movie and WB threw it back in his face and he stormed off the project. He wont talk about it.

  • May 15, 2007, 3:41 p.m. CST

    "I don't blame McTeigue or the Wachowskis, "

    by BitterMan23

    "I'm sure their version, such as it was, blew away Hirschbiegel's." <br> <br> Do you not know how to read? This IS their version! I'm sure Silver/Warner gave them a blank check to make the movie 'good'. They re-shot 2/3 of it. It's THEIR movie, not Hirschbeigels. And judging from these reviews, it doesn't blow anything away but what's left of their reputation.

  • May 15, 2007, 4:17 p.m. CST

    When i heard that part about

    by emeraldboy

    snot. I coulndt stop laughing. oh dear god.

  • May 15, 2007, 10:21 p.m. CST

    No pods with tentacles coming out of them?

    by Osmosis Jones

    As dumb and literal-minded a visual as they were, I'd hate to see a Body Snatchers movie without the pods.

  • May 16, 2007, 2:39 a.m. CST

    Worst Movie of 2007

    by heywood jablomie

    ...except maybe for the evil (but more competent) 300. I don't know what the Downfall director intended, but the studio has chopped holy hell out of this movie, adding stupid, I Know What You Did Last Summer-esque SHOCK CUTS!!! of wriggling amoebas and buggy eyeballs with LOUD BLASTS OF MUSIC!!! to scare the hell out of you at TOTALLY RANDOM MOMENTS!!! Are all studio movies now aimed at extremely stupid 12-year-old girls? Because they are the only people that would scream at these idiotic jolt effects. Daniel Craig looks like he would rather be pulling a live, wriggling jellyfish out of his urethra than uttering this dialogue. And poor Nicole (I won't countenance any of this shit-talk on this board about her) looks in agony too. The whole thing is a clusterfuck. Haven't seen a big-budget movie this embarrassing since POSEIDON.

  • May 16, 2007, 7:35 a.m. CST

    Shit. I was looking forward to this...

    by Jakes Nel

    I'm not at all against this remake. It seems the kind of idea/story that can be updated every couple of decades to reflect whatever political and social issues are prevalent of the times. I was so excited about the director and the cast, and now this happens? The Wachowski's have only ever made one good film, the first Matrix. Since then, they haven't stopped fucking up whatever Joel Silver allows them to put their greasy hands on...

  • May 16, 2007, 8:50 a.m. CST

    Promising ideas and the 70s remake

    by filmcoyote

    The promising/original ideas such as the immune boy; the is she any worse than the aliens? thing etc are clearly leftovers of Hirschbiegel's effort. A cerebral, interesting approach. Would it have worked? Maybe not. Schrader's version of the Exorcist prequel may be better than Harlin's (it is) but they still both suck. The only good Exorcist is the first one. I love Siegel's original IOBS but it doesn't date well. But the 70s one: that's one of the most effectively terrifying and unnerving films i've seen. I saw it once probably 10-12 years ago and i can still visualise so much from it and can't bring myself to watch it again. It was great. Abel's was okay (I loved Gabrielle Anwar at the time) but not all that. This sounds hideous now. Shame, Wright and Craig obviously signed onto an interesting script from the brilliant director behind Downfall but once poison-Kidman's salary got involved the studio wouldn't accept Hirschbiegel's take. They want an all-action Body Snatchers? Havwe they seen the other IOBS movies? The psychology of the idea is the whole point. By the way I would argue Rodriguez's The Faculty is an IOBS remake by any other name.

  • May 16, 2007, 9:02 a.m. CST

    shmu65

    by Clubber

    Thanks for the clarification, but it really hasn't been on the shelf for two years. Craig was cast as Bond in October 2005, and he had to fly to London for the press conference from filmining Invasion (then The Visiting) in Baltimore. They wrapped filming in Baltimore and DC in early 2006. So, its been longer to the screen than a usual film schedule, but not exceedingly long. Essentially, they delayed it from a fall 2006 release to a Summer 2007 release...not two years like the reviewe says.

  • May 16, 2007, 9:37 a.m. CST

    For the last time

    by emeraldboy

    Hirchbiegel wanted was a Das experiment style Body snatchers. I think it was to be set in a future time and it invovlved to towns one with infected people in it and one with out. Kidman and her kid are part of the town that was not infected. But one of the infected gets out and into the outside world and the govt has to hunt this person down before the alien virus spreads. In that way the aliens take over the world.

  • May 16, 2007, 9:37 a.m. CST

    For the last time

    by emeraldboy

    Hirchbiegel wanted was a Das experiment style Body snatchers. I think it was to be set in a future time and it invovlved two towns one with infected people in it and one with out. Kidman and her kid are part of the town that was not infected. But one of the infected gets out and into the outside world and the govt has to hunt this person down before the alien virus spreads. In that way the aliens take over the world.