Body Snatchers 1979

 DATELINE: Sequel, not Remake!

snatchers 3 Peas in a Pod?

The movie The Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nimoy back in the late 1970s was not technically a remake, but a sequel.

Though it uses the same story-line by Jack Finney from his novel, it is slightly updated to contemporary times. Then, out of the original ending comes a running Kevin McCarthy, the original star, dashing through the streets of San Francisco like Paul Revere, calling people to alert.

The “pod people” are coming. Indeed.

This film is even more nightmarish in its paranoia than the original 1950s Commies under the bed movie.

Here the paranoia is steeped in everyone and everything. People are either inexplicably dashing to-and-fro in the background, or they are staring emotionlessly at you.

San Francisco, always weird anyhow, is the perfect backdrop for chaos and insanity.

Gathering some of the most familiar of sci-fi faces, the film puts Veronica Cartwright (Aliens) with Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park  ) and Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek) as a motley crew.

The film is surprisingly modern with the omission of Internet and PCs, which did not exist back then. However, the government control and conspiracy notions are heavy-handed. The use of public phones will be an incomprehensible throwback for young viewers who may wonder where the texting is.

Visual details are fascinating and complex. No one seems to wonder why rubbish trucks are constantly picking up  mounds of black cotton at night. This is the ultimate conspiracy theorist wallow.

If you are a conspiracy nut, then you will not have much restful sleep after watching this looney-tune of a science fiction horror. It puts together man-eating plants with the egg-head monsters of Alien.

Bad Day at Black Hole, Denver


If you expected mercy from Goodell’s referees, you would be deluded. The Patriots had many drives stopped by penalties we have not seen all season. Dumb penalities.

We think the magnetic powers of the universe have been undermined by the approach of a dangerous brown star, returning after 3600 years to send the Patriots into a black hole.

Of course, we weren’t sure if the Pod People had taken over. Brady looked tentative, unlike anything this season. His interceptions and poor judgment were totally different from anything in months of watching his play.

If Tom wants to say how he should have played better, we will not argue.

After one quarter we began to wonder if the fix was in. Were the Patriots throwing the game? Stephen Gostkowsky’s missed point after, the first in years, struck us as weirdly unnatural.

If this meant the better team would win, we didn’t see it that way.

The better team lost with panache. And the other team didn’t look all that much better.

Belichick’s etch-a-sketch went out during the first half, and Brady was bloodied by the Denver assaults. If anything could go wrong for New England, it went wrong in the first half.

The second half featured a stronger defense by New England, but Brady continued to make inexplicable and unusual decisions. Since we have not seen him confused or rattled all season, this was curiouser and curiouser. Brady’s mind palace seemed to be crumbling.

The Patriots have not been so dominated all game by any team in this season. Nothing worked, and they wasted time on long shots and bad throws.

If they had played like this in September, we might have bailed on them. Call us fickle.

We are used to a higher level of play. This had nothing to do with an aging quarterback, or porous offensive line. It seemed like a little birdie told the Patriots this was not their year.

The game came down to a two-point conversion for a tie—with seconds left. It was not the right script.

And, the Patriots acquiesced to the Big Joker in the Commissioner’s Office. A sad end to an interesting season meant we have run out of puns, bad jokes, biting irony, and the Pod People have won.

One wag told us that the discovery of a brown dwarf with its magnetic force approaching Earth has set bizarre natural disasters in motion. We just watched an early example. The Pod People have already landed.

Pod People Possess Patriots

DATELINE:  Dead on Arrival

The Fat Lady never appeared, but the game was over from the start.

In their final regular season game, the last rites were said over the Patriots’ collective, battered body. And then it was left to fester and to rot for sixty minutes.

The signs of abuse were everywhere the Dolphins cared to drop a fin. We thought the Brady clone was an interesting touch by Belichick. Someone wearing #12 was out there, passing for a handful of yards on a half-dozen receptions.

It was like looking at a photocopy of a reproduction of a draft of the Mona Lisa. The smile was there, but it seemed a tad distant, colorless, and bland.

Gronk notably blocked on a few runs. Amendola notably faked on a few fake passes. A fake Gostkowsky clone also notably missed a field goal. And, Belichick notably did nothing on nearly every play. Who were these guys?

In movies they’d be called stunt doubles, but there were no stunts in this game by the Patriots. Trick plays seem to have disappeared with botched coin tosses.

If this is how they will play in the playoffs, we are near the end of the road for this season. Can the Patriots flip a switch? If it is anything like a coin flip, we say run with your tails between your half-dollar heads.

As a testimony to how bad the Dolphins played, they barely eked out their points. It looked like the older brother was under orders to let his baby brother win for a change.

We were not inspired, pleased, nor made to feel confident with the closing weeks of the season. It may be said the Patriots peaked too easily, and we had a peek at a dark future with turkey pod people.