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PCR # 386  (Vol. 8, No. 33)  This edition is for the week of August 13--19, 2007.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Invasion"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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The Tampa Film Review for August  by Nolan Canova, Terence Nuzum, and Chris Woods
"The Invasion"  by Mike Smith
Birthday Bashers....Flash - Ahhh-Ah!  by Andy Lalino
Book Review: "Fangland" by John Marks  by Lisa Ciurro
DVD Review: “Godzilla Raids Again”  by ED Tucker
Missed Birthdays .... Musical Notes .... Poison Me Elmo .... Barry Bonds .... Whatever Happened To--? Chapter 27: Brad Sullivan  by Mike Smith
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Warner Brothers     
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeffrey Wright and Veronica Cartwright
Directed by: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Rated:PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 33 mins

I'm usually very wary of films that suffer lot's of production problems. This week's film, The Invasion, endured the following:

  • Various name changes.
  • Extremely long production time (Daniel Craig hadn't even been CHOSEN to play James Bond when this film started filming).
  • Extensive reshoots, including new action scenes supervised by the creators of The Matrix, The Wachowski Brothers.

    With all of this baggage, I was quite surprised to find The Invasion a thriller for modern times.

    While returning from a mission in space, the space shuttle breaks up after reentry. At the various wreckage sites a living organism is found attached to the pieces still intact. NASA employee Tucker Kaufman (Jeremy Northam) accidentally pricks his finger on the sharp edge of wreckage and blows off the cut. That night, while Tucker sleeps, his body is enveloped in a gauze-like substance. When he awakens, he appears normal. But he's not. Having been exposed to the "space flu," he is now void of emotions. In Washington D.C., his psychiatrist ex-wife, Carol (Kidman) meets with her usual 9 o'clock patient (Cartwright). She tells Carol that "her husband isn't her husband." Alarmed, Carol subscribes some pills. As the space flu spreads, and the emotions of the world are removed, Carol notices the news is strikingly good. The war in Iraq is over, North Korea has signed a peace treaty. Heck, even President Bush and Hugo Chavez have become friends. Good times indeed. But are they here to stay?

    The Invasion is the third re-telling of the classic 1950s film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. However, while the original film was clearly a story about the threat of Communism (pods turn people into brainless slobs who trudge along emotionless), The Invasion deals with the world that we are living in now. With people not being able to exhibit true emotions (tears, anger, etc), there is no reason for war. For arguments. For individuality. Good idea?

    Based more on the 1978 remake then the original, The Invasion brings a great cast together for some genuinely suspenseful scenes. Kidman shines as a mother fighting to get her young son (Jackson Bond) to act for himself, no matter the diversions. Craig adds another fine performance to his resumé as Kidman's scientist friend and hopeful love interest. As Kidman's son, Oliver, young Jackson Bond is all wide eyed wonder. The rest of the supporting cast is equally strong, including Roger Rees who delivers a great speech about an emotionless world and the outcome such world would enjoy. And it's always great to see Cartwright (who played a role similar to Kidman's in the 1978 remake) on the big screen. German director Hirschbiegel, making his English language debut, knows how to tell a story and pack it with suspense at every turn. And the many Baltimore locations made this former resident of Charm City a little home sick.

    On a scale of zero to four stars, I give The Invasion  Three stars.

    This week's movie review of "The Invasion" is ©2007 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2007, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2007 by Nolan B. Canova.