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Although the film took a critical drubbing and kind of tanked at the box office, THE INVASION ($29) is actually a pretty good update on the often-remade science fiction classic. What I liked about THE INVASION is the filmís sense of political and social irony stemming from itís depiction of a world that may actually be better off by being taken over by the "Pod People." Actually, THE INVASION is pod free, with an intelligent virus from space taking over its host organism instead of replacing people with duplicates.

THE INVASION stars Nicole Kidman as Carol Bennell, a Washington D.C. psychologist, who initially writes off her patientsí paranoid complaints that the people they know and love really arenít the people they know and love. Of course, when a supposed pandemic flu outbreak proves to be so much more; it leaves our psychologist on the run, trying to save herself and her son from a city load of people under the influence of an alien intelligence. The sequences of paranoia, where the protagonists try to avoid detection work the best, but the chase-thriller climax, in addition to the concluding denouement seem a little too pat and uninspired. The cast of THE INVASION also features Daniel Craig, Jeremy Northam, Jackson Bond, Jeffrey Wright, Veronica Cartwright, Josef Sommer, Celia Weston and Roger Rees.

Warner Home Video has made THE INVASION available on DVD in a 1.78:1 widescreen presentation that has been enhanced for playback on 16:9 displays. Sharpness and image detail are generally quite good, with only the odd shots appearing slightly soft. Colors are a little cool, but flesh tones generally appear accurate. Blacks are deep, whites are stable, plus the levels of contrast and shadow detail are really quite good. The film elements are free from defects and appreciable grain is usually mild, except for a couple of sequences. Digital compression artifacts arenít particularly noticeable.

THE INVASION comes with a reasonably good Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. There are some creepy sound effects deployed throughout the soundstage to signify the alien takeover of a human, plus the sound design bursts to life during the action oriented sequences. Fidelity is very good, making for very convincing sound effects, as well as a solid musical component. Voices are natural sounding, plus the filmís dialogue is always completely understandable. French and Spanish 5.1 channel soundtracks have also been encoded onto the DVD, as have English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few supplementary programs. We've Been Snatched Before: Invasion In Media History is a documentary that looks back on past films and literary sources. Also included are three making of featurettes: The Invasion: A New Story, The Invasion: On the Set and The Invasion: Snatched, which consist of a lot of interviews.

Although not perfect, THE INVASION is a better movie than the initial reviews would lead one to believe. Warnerís DVD has a solid presentation that will not disappoint.



The Invasion (2007)



DVD reviews are Copyright © 2008 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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