Friday, November 4, 2016

'ARRIVAL' Sets New Standard For Sci-Fi Films

By Darlene Donloe

Are we alone in the universe? The question of whether earth is the only planet inhabited by intelligent beings has long been a mystery.

If you believe in Area 51, then you align with conspiracy theorists who believe that the remains of crashed UFO space crafts are stored at the Air Force base about 150 miles from Las Vegas,

On November 11, the notion of the existence of extraterrestrials becomes a reality in the sci-fi flick, ARRIVAL in theaters November 11. 

They are here!  But the question is why?

This suspenseful drama is slow and deliberate in its presentation. It’s smart and a bit heady for the average moviegoer, but it offers some insight into our very existence. Intellectuals will “get” the film straight away. Others may scratch their heads at what they have just seen. While the main focus of this film is about our attempt to contact alien intelligence, there is something even deeper at work here. Folded inside the plot is the ultimate love story. Not much more can be said without giving away the movie’s ending.

Director Denis Villeneuve has created a lovely, beautifully shot mysterious fantasy that exposes humanity and our ability to see and believe in something beyond ourselves.  For the first time mankind is forced to consider the possibility of having to share the planet.

This daring, masterfully shot film is propelled by great performances from a solid cast that includes Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.

As the story goes - when 12 mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team - lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) - is brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

After the alien vessels touch down the scientists and experts go aboard in hopes of finding out why they have come to earth.   

Once the scientist venture inside the vessel the aliens appear on the other side of glass. They only communicate with the experts for short spurts of time.   Banks communicates as best she can -  presenting information about earth and its inhabitants.  She also asks questions of the space invaders in hopes of figuring out the majestic creatures’ intentions.  Ultimately, the scientists have to resort to elementary means of communication.

There have been plenty of sci-fi films featuring visitors from outer space, but Arrival looks and feels monumentally dissimilar. There is a texture to Arrival that sets it apart from the others. Most notably the aliens themselves don’t have the usual beady eyes.  They have a strange look, but it’s almost calming.

Technically and imaginatively, ARRIVAL is a winner!

ARRIVAL, directed by Denis Villeneuve, stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Ruth Chiang, Tzi Ma and Michael Stuhlbarg.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), ARRIVAL gets an O (oh, yeah).

ARRIVAL is RATED PG-13 (for brief strong language); Runtime: 116 minutes.


1 comment:

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