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Capone Loathes THE INVASION!!

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here, with a warning: what follows is going to get ugly. I'm not going to lie to you; I wouldn't do that. The most recent, by-the-numbers remake of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is a fascinating disaster of a movie. Even the title is completely appropriate, since THE INVASION is basically a reduction of a film, not a fully realized piece but more of an outline that somehow skipped the script stage and went right from one-page treatment to the big screen. I'm not sure if the flaw with The Invasion lies in Oliver Hirschbiegel's (who directed the exceptional Best Foreign Language Film nominee DOWNFALL) direction, with James (V FOR VENDETTA) McTeigue's weeks of re-shoots, or just a flawed re-imagining from the word go, but this movie is actually a bigger cataclysm than the one depicted on the screen. In the first five minutes of the film, a space shuttle teeming with alien microbes crashes, and the wicked spore-like substance immediately begins to infect Americans. It's never totally clear exactly what the alien spore does to humans, but the symptoms seem to include a glaze-like substance covering your body and a penchant for a dark-colored wardrobe. And when I say things move fast in THE INVASION, I don't mean the film is just fast-paced; I mean it flies by, leaving us little or no time to get to know the characters, the situations, the peril, the exact means by which the alien takes over a human body (there are no giant pods in this film, and a complete transformation is never really visualized). the film also leaves us with big, gaping holes in the plot. In the beginning of the film, Nicole Kidman has an argument with her ex-husband about child visitation; about two scenes later, we see her dropping their son off with the already-infected ex. Wha-huh? The progression of the alien infestation across America is handled very poorly, which is actually kind of shocking since the film is set in Washington, D.C. It might have been cool to watch the infected humans actually target politicians and other world leaders at different embassies. There's an implication that this has happened, but it's never explicitly mentioned. And while I've always appreciated the political undercurrents of all of the film versions of BODY SNATCHERS, what the filmmakers attempt here by showing us how much better the world is under alien control is almost totally lost in the film's lightening speed. The least interesting thing about the entire film is the story of psychiatrist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman), her son Oliver (Jackson Bond), her ex-husband (Jeremy Northam) and her best friend/neighbor/potential lover interest Ben (Daniel Craig). This is unfortunate, since this is 95 percent of the film. Throw in a nice-sized supporting role by Jeffrey Wright as Ben's co-worker, and you have one of the greatest casts to ever disappoint me this completely. Wright's character figures out the means of potentially curing all of the infected humans in a time span that could either be many months or a long weekend. It's impossible to tell. Time means nothing here. And the only thing faster than the ramp up of this film's plot is its climax, which reverses the devastation of, at the very least, all of the United States (and most likely the world) in about 27 seconds. The problems: where to fucking begin? Nicole Kidman never looks bad in this movie and that's a major distraction. She's literally witnessing the end of civilization, and her hair is never out of place. Even when her hair is a little messy, it's that kind of "I just had furious sex with myself; want to join me?" messy. Her clothes are just a little too tight, and they show off her figure to perfection. Not that I'm complaining, but it's just one more distraction. After such colossal missteps as THE STEPFORD WIVES, FUR, and BEWITCHED, it may be time to finally admit that Kidman might be skating on a rough patch right now. It's not that she's in decent films that just aren't finding an audience; she's making shit choices. And in THE INVASION, she actually makes an undeniably bad movie just a little bit worse. As much as I'd like to say that the film's bright shining beam of hope is Daniel Craig, don't get your hopes up, cupcake. Craig could not care less that he's in this nonsense, and he adds nothing resembling a spark to the proceedings. No, I didn't miss the oh-so-clever casting of Veronica Cartwright (from the 1978 BODY SNATCHERS remake) as one of Kidman's patients. Guess what? It doesn't help. And for those of you worshipers of Jeffrey Wright's work (myself included), The Invasion offers a rare opportunity to see him flailing like a grounded guppy. The poor man is given the film's worst dialog, and trust me when I say there's a heated battle for that distinction. Every single line he delivers feels flat. Remember than 27-second climax I mentioned? About 10 seconds of it is him explaining to reporters how he saved the earth. It would seem the script was designed to either move the plot forward at a blinding pace or to divert us from the story to some unnecessary subplot that burns up what precious little running time this movie has (about 93 minutes). If there is some state of being beyond "pointless," then that is what THE INVASION achieves. This is a gutless, damaged mess that made me embarrassed for all those involved in its making. The film borders on -- and sometimes crosses over to -- unwatchable. The list of flaws is long and beyond repair. Centuries from now, anthropologists may study this wreck of a production to show the rest of the how, even generations as advanced as this one, we still managed to give birth to monsters. There are always so many contenders for worst film in any given year, but 2007 may mark the first year in recent history to have a sure-fire winner.

Capone




Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 17, 2007, 8:57 a.m. CST

    Hello

    by Jakes Nel

    Am I first?

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Too bad

    by theBigE

    The trailers actually make this look good.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9 a.m. CST

    Can it be?

    by the ageless stranger

    I don't know.......

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9 a.m. CST

    Yes, I am first. Nice.

    by Jakes Nel

    P.S. The Wachowski's suck whale tits.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:03 a.m. CST

    I still say it's not Hitschbiegel's fault!

    by DerLanghaarige

    His only crimes were probably casting Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, who even was a bad actor before he became Bond. I've heard his version was an "eerie, realistic, documentary style thriller", which sounds a little bit far away from the theatrical version. <br> I hope they pull an "Exorcist: Dominion" and release that version on DVD.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:08 a.m. CST

    Invasion - the series

    by BankyEdwards2309

    That t.v series with the perennially creepy William Fichtner was a sound base for a good series,with a similar name. It was shame it was never picked up for a second series i thought it had potential. :(

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:10 a.m. CST

    Ouch. Thanks for the warning, Capone.

    by Roguewriter

    I adore this story like few others in SF history. Won't bother with a theatrical viewing. Sounds like we're all better off rereading Finney's superb original novel. Maybe with the Donald Sutherland remake on TV in the background. Another failure for the Wachowskis; a shame about Hitschbiegel...

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:11 a.m. CST

    Nicole

    by zackman

    Could it be that Nicole isn't that good an actor? Yes, she nice looking if you are into pale, frozen featured women, but being attractive dosen't mean you can act. I always thought Nicole peaked with Flirting.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:17 a.m. CST

    ouch

    by Bloo

    Capone, I have no desire to see this movie, but probably will as I'm just strtin gout as a film reviewer for my local paper, but ouch worst film of the year, it can't be that bad<P>can it?

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:18 a.m. CST

    All downhill since "To Die For" for Nicole imo

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    100% perfectly cast as Mrs. Coulter in Golden Compass though.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:25 a.m. CST

    Oh Please

    by curtbainer

    Has anyone actually seen Fur? It was awesome. Rough patch? Hardly. Just because these pathetic small-minded critics like to tear her apart doesn't mean she's making bad choices. Dogville? Birth? Hello? She is on top of her game and all y'all need to get over yourselves.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:28 a.m. CST

    Wachowski's suck?

    by runfoodrun

    Not sure that's true, one bad film (invasion) doesn't equal suck. Matrix=great sci-fi, a classic, matrix 2& 3 would have been better accepted if not trying to live up to Matrix. V for Vendetta, not my favorite, but there is lots of love, not sure any of the above = suck.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:39 a.m. CST

    flickering text

    by MJDeViant

    is anyone else's text flickering when you mouse over it?

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Mmm ...

    by Judge Briggs

    Nicole Kidman having furious sex with herself. I love to see that!

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 9:46 a.m. CST

    C'mon Tom, just come out of the closet!!!

    by Judge Briggs

    It had to be said. Love South Park like my own child!

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 10:04 a.m. CST

    runfoodrun

    by Lost Prophet

    no, totally wrong- <p>Bound=OK, <p>Matrix= OK, but overrated, <p>Matrix 2= SHIT, <p>Matrix 3= FUCKING AWFUL, <p>V=OK, <p>Invasion= (now) shit.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    I agree with Lost Prophet on that one.

    by Jakes Nel

    Except I would rate V for Vendetta as OKish...

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 10:33 a.m. CST

    SPACE SPORES = EXPLANATION FOR REPUBLICAN PARTY

    by BringingSexyBack

    With Ann Coulter getting the biggest does of spores, apparently.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Kidman peaked with The Others

    by BringingSexyBack

    That movie is pee-in-the-pants scary.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 10:43 a.m. CST

    cheers, Jakes

    by Lost Prophet

    I always feel on my own about not filling buckets full of jizz regarding the matrix.<p>Seeing as I am on a roll, Kidman has not actually been in many good films or given many great performances- so it is very hard to be surprised that another bad film has come along. Seriously, look at the list- Bewitched, The shitford wives, Cold Mountain, Birthday Girl, Days Of Thunder, (I know this one is controversial) MOulin Rouge, Eyes Wide Shit, Practical Magic, Far and Away are all shitty films. On the plus side she does have To Die For, The Others, Malice and Dead Calm. Not to mention an awful lot of Meh films. <p>In fact- looking at that list, all her shitty-est films are remakes: Bewitched, The Stepford Wives, DAys Of thunder (C'mon- it's a blatant lazy top gun remake) and this

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11 a.m. CST

    Must Take Exception With One Thing....

    by www.valiens.com

    Nicole Kidman is still hot? Did they CGI out her increasingly botoxed Joker face?

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Knobules 0 What captboulder is saying is that Cruise

    by BringingSexyBack

    is gayer than Greenwich Village on Halloween, and his marraiges are a sham.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11:08 a.m. CST

    You need to see Star Stories BSB

    by Lost Prophet

    it's fucking Brilliant. The Tom Cruise one made me cry with laughter. Katie Holmes was a robot.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Thanks LP

    by BringingSexyBack

    I'll track it down

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Nicole should have been nominated for an Oscar for her

    by Yeti

    ten year performance married to the non-gay couch jumper.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11:28 a.m. CST

    "Matrix=great sci-fi"

    by godoffireinhell

    Hahaha! Get out and read some books. Read all the classics of science fiction. Joe Haldeman, Alfred Bester, Roger Zelazny, Frederik Pohl, Cordwainer Smith, Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Samuel R. Delany, Gene Wolfe, Kurt Vonnegut, H.G. Wells, Ursula K. Le Guin, Brian W. Aldiss, Larry Niven, Richard Matheson, Robert Silverberg, Olaf Stapledon... Then watch that cheey B-movie again and tell me what you think.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST

    NOT a Wachowski film

    by gescom7

    to the confused above, this is not a Wachowski film and has nothing to do with them...

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    the movie had shit written all over it from day one

    by DarthMartel

    wasn't interested in seeing it when I first heard about it being made and if it's possible, I'm less interested now. Now if Nic got nekkid in it then we might have something to check out. meh

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 12:08 p.m. CST

    they cancelled Invasion and Threshold for this?!

    by oisin5199

    yeah, I know. But it still feels like those shows did it WAY better. Did anyone think this would actually work, with all the reshoots and bad press? And to be fair, Kidman's performances in Cold Mountain, Eyes Wide Shut and Moulin Rouge were fantastic (don't forget The Others). Practical Magic was a fun lark. It's only the really recent ones that have been shit. Let's hope she redeems herself with the Golden Compass.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 12:29 p.m. CST

    I'm seeing it!

    by andrew coleman

    I want to witness this first hand. I enjoy serious failures more than average movies. One's I come out shrugging going "alright I guess". I want to see a horrible mistake! I mean I've seen Superbad already so what else is there to see?

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 12:33 p.m. CST

    This doesn't even have.....

    by C.K. Lamoo

    the fifteen second boob shot that Brooke Adams gave us in 1978.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 12:56 p.m. CST

    The Invasion is this years...

    by skimn

    ...The Wicker Man. Wait...it's Nic and Nic together again, for the first time in ...The Wicker Man Invasion.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Nicole Kidman peaked in BMX

    by TechLord

    Nicole Kidman peaked in BMX Bandits.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 1:18 p.m. CST

    The text keeps disappearing!!

    by ScarranHalfBreed

    I'm scared.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 1:29 p.m. CST

    MoM

    by skimn

    I understand what you're saying. Kidman may have entered the project with Hitschbiegel attached, thinking it would be a smart, different approach to the theme. Unfortunately, as more often than not, the end result is not the case. I just brought up The Wicker Man as an example of another unnecesary remake that came out about this time last year.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 1:54 p.m. CST

    I'll remain Dead Calm with Eyes Wide Shut

    by gad

    And not go see this. Hopefully the Golden Compass will be a bit better.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST

    The Invasion: Straight Up Directors Cut

    by Samuel Fulmer

    When's it coming to DVD??????

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 3:10 p.m. CST

    MoM

    by skimn

    Whenever I think of Joel Silver, and I know he is a smart, capable producer, I think of his role of the hot-tempered blustering director at the beginning of Roger Rabbit. May have been typecast.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 3:36 p.m. CST

    MOM - When the hell did Vern become highbrow?

    by Bass Bastardson

    Or was that sarcasm?

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST

    Totally agree Memories

    by Samuel Fulmer

    If a studio wants to change a film they should do it at the script stage. When films like Payback and the Invasion get these studio mandated re-shoots, they only succeed in producing a tonally schizo product. I guess Hollywood still hasn't learned from the mistakes of The Magnificent Ambersons butchery that happened back in 1942. I guess the positive in 2007 is that Hollywood loves to put out 50 different cuts of a film on DVD, so eventually the real version will get out there and be judged on its on merits.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 4:28 p.m. CST

    [quote]flickering text by

    by JUSTICE41

    [quote]flickering text by MJDeViant Aug 17th, 2007 09:39:05 AM is anyone else's text flickering when you mouse over it?[/quote] Yup . very clever on Capone's part.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 4:32 p.m. CST

    Have a feeling that Invasion and Payback

    by skimn

    fell victim to the negative test screening syndrome. I never saw the directors cut of Payback, but isn't the Mel Gibson character a total son of a bitch.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Entertainment Weekly gave it a B-

    by BrowncoatJedi

    Warner Bros made Invasion and owns EW. What a surprise! Owen Gleiberschmuck is a whore.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 5:24 p.m. CST

    the ballad of britney jean was fucking

    by emeraldboy

    hilarious. Justin Timberlake as micheal jackson was dead on. That scene with Cameron Diaz on the bed in an oxygen tent was inspired. and stuff about her getting justin juice on her hair and how it misses ends up on her tits was inspired. but the funniest thing in tonights was undoubtly when brit met colin farrell. you had to see it to believe it. Colin says do you want ta see mi leprachaun. show us your nellies had me stitches.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 5:26 p.m. CST

    To those who want to see star stories season

    by emeraldboy

    go to Channel4.com/fourondemand you can watch first series for free.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 5:31 p.m. CST

    lost prophet

    by emeraldboy

    you think Birthday girl is a bad film.? Interesting, havent seen the film myslef but I gather that People think that really is kidmans best in very long time since to die for. obviously you feel differently.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 5:59 p.m. CST

    pale, frozen featured women,

    by 7movies4plays

    Well when I saw Nicole live in Toronto for the Dogville premier she was a scrumptious tart, slightly defrosted. As for that woman thing well an Australian pressmen confirmed the faux marriage. But not sure which of the two Tom or Nicole licks best. No pun intended. As for the botox, yeah she's toward forty and the TN and Aussie sun do kill the skin. As for her acting, well I bought fur for the skin and got acting. I would see Invasion just to laugh at the bad acting hell for $4 dollars why not. I mean no blood like in Grindhouse.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 6:03 p.m. CST

    pale, frozen featured women, pt 2

    by 7movies4plays

    What other woman with an Olive Oyle figure is hotter then Nicole Kidman?

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 7:29 p.m. CST

    The 70's Version With Donald Sutherland...

    by skoobyx

    Scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. Its much better than the original actually. Might be worth a spot in your Netflix queue if you want to wash the taste out of your mouth...

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 7:50 p.m. CST

    the 70s version

    by yassoo

    Just re-released on dvd this week i believe. double disc set. its a fantastic movie. creepy as hell.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 8:05 p.m. CST

    In about ten years the next "Invasion" film...

    by rbatty024

    will be about aliens taking over hollywood producers and forcing them to remake every fucking movie ever made. It'll be very post-modern like Scream. I have only watched the original version. People seem to like the 70's version so I'll have to pick it up. With so many choices there's really no excuse to watch Kidman's version.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Never seemed like it added anything...

    by crieff405

    But I remember a while back it was reported that the movie was no longer considered a remake by the filmmakers due to the amount of changes made. In any case, I'll take Abel Ferrara's BODY SNATCHERS over this bollocks anyday.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Did he just call me "Cup Cake"?

    by TheBloop

    Oh no he didn't ! Biotch.

  • Aug. 17, 2007, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Don't Look Now...

    by future help

    was another great creepy film that Donald did in the 70's. Highly recommended.

  • Aug. 18, 2007, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Wow. this flick sounds almost as bad....

    by GavinVanDraven

    as the ASYLUM knockoff called "Invasion of the Pod People". I HATE the ASYLUM. fucking TRANSMORPHERS, THE HITCHHIKER, HILLSIDE CANNIBALS, H.G. WELLS' WAR OF THE WORLDS.... etc. these guys make a living off of making you think you are renting the real movie... thats fucking low.

  • Aug. 18, 2007, 12:49 a.m. CST

    I just remembered that the 90's version was...

    by rbatty024

    just "Body Snatcher." Put the two together and you almost have a full title. By the way, what is it with the bland one-word title in America. It's incredibly boring.

  • Aug. 18, 2007, 1:06 a.m. CST

    Matrix IS great sci-fi

    by runfoodrun

    All right doubters go ahead and list all the great sci-fi writers you know and say the Matrix isn't great or it's overrated, but we are talking about movies, not books and there is a HUGE difference. It's hard to get something original made into a movie because of marketing, research, and all the things that seem to be ruining movies today, but The Matrix really did come out of left field and nail it, a unique, fun ride, and the sequels don't suck, go watch them again, and please don't suggest I need to read more great sci-fi writers, I'm not talking books, only movies...and it's easy to make a list of OBVIOUS greats to make ones self seem "high-brow"

  • Aug. 18, 2007, 1:10 a.m. CST

    Also, Sci Fi is hard

    by runfoodrun

    to translate to the screen, anybody here love Sunshine, brilliant, but I suppose not "intelligant" enough for the people on these boards, how about Primer?

  • Aug. 18, 2007, 10:01 a.m. CST

    GREAT REVIEW!

    by Tha Tohdouble

    Capone, thanks for the great review! I almost spent money on that POS movie, I really don't care for anything that the former Mrs Cruse does, but I almost bit on this hook. THANKS!

  • Aug. 18, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I'd like to have "furious sex" with Nicole Kidman! :)

    by MrMysteryGuest

    It's better than having it alone. :P

  • Aug. 18, 2007, 3:57 p.m. CST

    Poor Invasion. The initial B.O. Projection...

    by glodene

    Looks like it's going to do about 5.5 million for its' first three days of release. The dvd will probably come out by Oct.

  • Aug. 19, 2007, 7:10 p.m. CST

    Kidman was good in...

    by vezner2007

    Far and Away & The Others. The rest of her work has pretty much sucked IMO.

  • Aug. 20, 2007, 7:34 a.m. CST

    It surely can't be as bad as Transformers!?

    by FILMFUNK

    That has to be the worst attempt at movie making I've witnessed in many years let alone this year.

  • Aug. 20, 2007, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Robocop

    by yodalovesyou

    Isn't that a great film? Plus Nancy Allen were worth a portion back in the day, weren't she?