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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Arrival (2016)

Author Topic: Arrival (2016)
Mark Ogden
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 882
From: Little Falls, N.J.
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 09-14-2016 08:30 AM      Profile for Mark Ogden   Email Mark Ogden   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A professor of linguistics agrees to help the military decipher the language of recently arrived aliens, but while she is doing so the rest of the world prepares for what it sees as a potential threat. At the Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, opens nationally on November 11th.


It’s difficult to describe what happens in this excellent but highly complex movie without dropping major spoilers, but the gist of it is: alien “heptapods” (seven legs) have landed at twelve different spots on Earth. They are only too happy to talk to us, but it has to be in their language, and, as the linguistics expert played by Amy Adams discovers, it’s better if you do it in writing. But as she delves further and further into understanding their language she starts seeing strange and sometimes upsetting visions of a young girl who may or may not be her daughter, and who may or may not actually exist. Why is she is seeing her, and how does it fit into the alien’s purpose in coming? Can she convince the rest of the world that they are peaceful, especially when they mention that they have “weapons”, a piece of information that agitates the madman ruling China?

Arrival is a very good and very complicated movie about communication and the lack of it in the world, and it is also a very emotional movie about, of all things, motherhood (and when I say “emotional”, believe it, many of the women who sat around me at the screening were in tears). It’s very well made but it is a little stiffly acted, and as lovely as Adams is I thought she was a bit too slight to carry the picture, it possibly would have been better with an actress with a little more screen presence. Some have been hyping this as a potential Best Picture Oscar winner; that’s going a little too far, but it is a terrific movie, a human story told with special effects as opposed to a special effect story told with humans.

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Geoff Jones
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 523
From: Broomfield, CO, USA
Registered: Feb 2006

 - posted 09-14-2016 08:47 AM      Profile for Geoff Jones   Author's Homepage   Email Geoff Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is the movie I'm most excited about for the 2nd half of 2016. Thanks for the review!

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Dennis Benjamin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1425
From: Denton, MD
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 09-14-2016 09:31 AM      Profile for Dennis Benjamin   Author's Homepage   Email Dennis Benjamin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was wondering if this film had anything to do with the film "The Arrival" with Charlie Sheen. I actually liked that film.

While there sounds to be similarities, this one sounds more interesting.

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Jim Cassedy
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1553
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006

 - posted 09-14-2016 11:01 AM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I ran a special showing of this about two weeks ago. I hadn't
intended to watch it, but somehow got 'sucked into the plot'
once it started. It took me almost 24hrs to absorb what I
saw and decide if I really liked it or not. One of my criteria
is that "If I had PAID to see this movie, would I feel like I
got my moneys-worth" - and I would say definitely "yes" and
I did finally wind up liking it overall.

Amy Adams was at the screening I did, and gave some interesting
insights into the production during the Q&A after the show.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1378
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004

 - posted 12-01-2016 04:56 AM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: Warren East, Wichita, KS
PRESENTATION: The WAVE (Warren Audio Video Experience)
RATING: Three stars (out of four)

They actually made a "WAVE" showcase trailer, which has replaced the THX trailer, so I guess they've dropped THX certification.

THE PLOT: AAALIENS have LAAANDED! Or have come close to it...they're sort of hovering. Wackiness ensues.

Well. That was deep. I still have no idea how they deciphered what each specific ring meant and there's that whole M. Night Shyamalin-style ending, but for managing to compact something this ambitious into a watchable two hours is no simple feat. Well done.

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Manny Knowles
"What are these things and WHY are they BLUE???"

Posts: 4247
From: Bloomington, IN, USA
Registered: Feb 2002

 - posted 12-04-2016 05:27 AM      Profile for Manny Knowles   Email Manny Knowles   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Boring and incoherent.
One never knows what exactly is going on from moment to moment.
Nor does one care.
The ending is a huge "so effing what" ?
Extremely low wattage in the narrative and drama departments.

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Jonathan Goeldner
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1330
From: Washington, District of Columbia
Registered: Jun 2008

 - posted 12-18-2016 09:19 PM      Profile for Jonathan Goeldner   Email Jonathan Goeldner   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
even though I thought the first thirty minutes were a bit on the dry side, as the story progressed I found it more engrossing - a scfi film that didn't gave into one dimensional characters or plot devices - one of the best of the year!

interesting use of a nearly monochromatic color grading of the image for the movie and one of the best 7.1 surround sound mixes of the year - very evocative and eerie.

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