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ARRIVAL Post-Release

post #1 of 243
Thread Starter 

An all-timer.  This feels like a movie that we'll still be talking about in 30 years.

post #2 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
 

An all-timer.  This feels like a movie that we'll still be talking about in 30 years.

 

Without spoiling anything, is there a film that you'd compare it to in terms of execution?

post #3 of 243
Thread Starter 

The first film that jumps to mind is THE FOUNTAIN.

post #4 of 243
Can't wait. Feel this worth an increasingly rare trip to the cinema.
post #5 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post

The first film that jumps to mind is THE FOUNTAIN.
Hmm.
post #6 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
 

The first film that jumps to mind is THE FOUNTAIN.

 

Oh, you're saying all the right things...

post #7 of 243
Thread Starter 

Another execution comparison that just popped into my head: the final episode of SIX FEET UNDER, though maybe not for the immediate reason that jumps into your head.

post #8 of 243

So, does this bode well for Blade Runner: Part Deux?

post #9 of 243

I have also seen this, and agree with TDS' assessment. This fucker is devastating and tremendous. Though anything that uses Max Richter's On The Nature of Daylight in the soundtrack wins points for me (though I still associate that most strongly with that incredible horse race sequence in the fourth episode of Luck), by the time we got to the first ascension into the spaceship it was pretty clear I was watching something special. And the moment when the film tips its hand and makes clear what's really going on hits like a freight train. Go in unspoiled. You will not regret it.

 

The two elements I really want to point out are Adams' performance and Eric Heisserer's script. The former is walking a far trickier line than she appears to be at first blush, and it's a shame that Best Actress is so crowded this year between Viola Davis in Fences, Emma Stone in La La Land, and Natalie Portman in Jackie all contending for the big prize, because what Adams does in this film is frankly pretty incredible. But it's a sci-fi film, and she doesn't have a big Oscar clip scene in it, so there's probably no way she gets the recognition she deserves. Similarly, Heisserer pulls off a mother of a challenge in adapting Chiang's story - filling it out so that it can actually go for two hours, creating a way (in combination with Villeneuve) to portray the language-exchange sections that's actually cinematic, and figuring out how to structure it so it retains the original story's power. It's an enormously impressive feat of adaptation, one deeply deserving of any kudos that head his way.

 

Villeneuve's best film yet. And I can't wait to see what he does with Blade Runner 2.


Edited by Dent6084 - 10/12/16 at 9:15pm
post #10 of 243

...I thought it was all right. A lot of composite parts here. There's Contact, there's The Abyss, a little bit of Close Encounters. A lot of Interstellar. 

 

What was most surprising was the big finale ends up having the same conflict resolution as

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Bill and Ted.
'We gotta remember to steal your Dad's keys, or it totally won't happen!' 
'But it did happen, Ted!'

I'm sure some people will enjoy this, but it felt to me like an occasion where having seen a lot of SciFi kinda fucked me. 

post #11 of 243

After the events of this past week, any film that has at its core the value of making the effort to understand each other is definitely welcome.

 

I agree with Dark Shape on the Aranofsky feel.  Also some Malick too, with a dash of the Kubrick distance here and there.  This doesn't feel at all in the Spielberg/Cameron "Golly gee" realm of alien encounters.  It's more somber and contemplative.  The arrival of the aliens isn't a moment of wonder, but of confusion and uncertainty.  Which underlines the theme of communication; do we respond to uncertainty with fear, or curiosity?  Do we see it as danger, or a chance to learn?

 

It also feels fitting that the journey being greater than the destination is another theme of the film, as I think you can apply the same outlook to the film itself.  This isn't a plot-driven film.  You're not hanging on for a big moment at the end, some mind-blowing climax.  Yes, there's a reveal, but it doesn't feel like the entire point.  We're in this to see Amy Adams' journey.  It's a film of character development, not plot development.

 

And if you're a parent, I can see this being absolutely shattering for you.


Edited by Richard Dickson - 11/19/16 at 4:41am
post #12 of 243
I have two kids, and my brother has serious, permanent post-traumatic Epilepsy. It really, really hit me. Simultaneously depressing and life-affirming.

DEFINITELY see this on the big-screen. Completely immersive. Adams better get some awards.
post #13 of 243
Legitimately spectacular. Emotionally challenging, beautiful, and rich.
post #14 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
 

I'm sure some people will enjoy this, but it felt to me like an occasion where having seen a lot of SciFi kinda fucked me. 

I love me some hard sci-fi that can resist devolving into explosive action beats (and that part does bode well for Blade Runner 2, much as I was against the concept), so this is still near my favorite for the year.  But I do wish the opening narration hadn't tipped its hand on the reveal so completely.  Then it might have hit me like the ton of bricks it was supposed to, though kudos to Adams and the score for making sure at least 2 of those bricks still landed. 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by First Class 782 View Post

Legitimately spectacular. Emotionally challenging, beautiful, and rich.

 

post #15 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

... But I do wish the opening narration hadn't tipped its hand on the reveal so completely.  

 

So should I plug my ears and go "LaLaLaLaLa" until the opening credits are over?

post #16 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhere View Post

So should I plug my ears and go "LaLaLaLaLa" until the opening credits are over?

I say we go ahead, take off, and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure,
post #17 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhere View Post
 

 

So should I plug my ears and go "LaLaLaLaLa" until the opening credits are over?

 

Pretty much.  You could just watch everything up to Adams entering her classroom on mute and get the gist.

post #18 of 243
I didn't get it.
post #19 of 243

If something can reach me like this at the end of this shit week, it's damned great.  One of the most classically elegant and beautiful movies I've seen in some time.  I'm damned impressed by how steady the buildup is without at all feeling slow or ponderous.

post #20 of 243

Liked it plenty.  Very good direction, great cinematography, FANTASTIC soundscape.  So fantastic that all my complaints are sound related, and they probably wouldn't stand out if it hadn't been so good.*

 

The maudlin stuff worked for me in a way that Interstellar or The Fountain never did.

 

*complaints: Whitaker's accent (New York? Boston? South Africa?)   Score was so good, two cues took me out of it: first, when world tensions are highest, the music goes full Steve Jablonsky.  Then near the end, when On The Nature of Daylight kicks in, it sounds like the score to Gattaca, which reminds me that Andrew Nicol exists, and that made me angry and sad.

 

But really, I liked it a ton.  I have an irrational hatred for Jeremy Renner, and I didn't mind him in this at all.

post #21 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
 

 

Pretty much.  You could just watch everything up to Adams entering her classroom on mute and get the gist.

 

Thanks.  Just to be clear I'm not trying to be snarky, really looking forward to seeing this.  Your comment just gave me "Dark City" flashbacks... I saw that in the theater also looking forward to it, and as the opening narration by Keifer Sutherland started & went on, and I slowly realized that it was giving the entire movie away, I got more and more pissed off at it.  Leaving the theater, we passed some friends and I told them exactly that - plug your ears until the opening credits, 'cause the beginning spoils the rest of the movie.

 

I want to go into the bulk of Arrival as cold as possible to avoid another "Dark City" possible situation.  (Should probably stay out of discussion forums about it too...:)

post #22 of 243

Dark City was exactly what I thought of.  But to clear, it's still really, really good even with the twist so telegraphed.  And beautiful.  See it in the theater.

post #23 of 243
Weird, I didn't think it was telegraphed at all. Especially during the UP montage. Which I loved it.
post #24 of 243

Anyone see the Dark City Director's Cut?  So much better.

 

EDIT:

 

I'm a little surprised at the praise of Amy Adams. I've always liked her, but I've never really considered her a break out, fantastic actress. There's always something that's been missing for me. Is it really as good as others are saying?


Edited by Carnotaur3 - 11/11/16 at 11:54pm
post #25 of 243
Yes. It's a very, very moving performance.
post #26 of 243

Agreed.  Her opening moments broke me.  They're even more devastating when put into context.

post #27 of 243

Excellent, smart movie.  Very well acted and believably plotted, in terms of how the countries and the people in general would respond to an alien contact of this magnitude.  The film never plays you for a fool or hits a false note in terms of what it shows you or HIDES from you.

 

Spoilery stuff:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The mid film revelation that she's dreaming of a child (and the realization that all of the dead daughter montage that we've seen for the first hour is stuff that hasn't even happened yet to Amy's character) was a jaw dropper.  I caught on to where the film was going fairly quickly (I've read and seen SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE) regarding the experience of time, but I wasn't expecting that.  Once that revelation happened, I knew that Jeremy's character would be the dad that would end up leaving when told of the daughter's impending illness.

 

That didn't change the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the journey of the film.

 

We saw this in a full theater.  I suspect that word of mouth on the film will be mixed, as many people around me were kinda restless at the deliberate pace.  Also, while many people were introspective and thoughtful when the movie ended, others were kinda laughing in that 'give me a break' way.  

post #28 of 243

Thought this took the smart, concise short-story and ballooned it with over-wrought sentimentality (I'm paraphrasing, but the line "I looked at the stars my whole life, but your the most amazing thing I've ever seen!" made me laugh at loud). Just as embarrassing as Interstellar honestly, but the bones put in place by the short story make this seem more respectable and thoughtful. 

post #29 of 243

Interstellar is more overwrought plotwise.  Or put more plainly, it is longer and louder, which wore down my patience for the schmaltz more.  This is a quiet, resolutely intimate movie, and the casting does wonders to keep it that way.  Adams does not (glorious hamminess in American Hustle notwithstanding) tend to go as big as Hathaway, and while I have mixed feelings on Jeremy Renner, he is one of the most doggedly unsentimental actors you'll find, which really helps ground the veers toward the mawkish.   I'm thinking particularly of a part in the climax, where his character has to heroically throw himself in front of the guns pointing at Adams.  It would be really easy to play up a big, "you want her, you have to come through me!" martyr moment, but he does it with confusion that borders on sheepishness.  It's a great moment, and the way he underplays it doesn't just make a more distinctive dramatic note, it underscores the big themes of the movie, which are about pointedly rejecting the urge to force a big showdown and do the hard work of finding common ground with that which scares the shit out of you.


Edited by Schwartz - 11/28/16 at 7:26pm
post #30 of 243
The soft dialogue at key moments especially towards the end caused me to miss out what really happened. The movie fell flat at the end because of this.
post #31 of 243

A masterclass in direction, tone, pacing and editing.

 

Honestly, one of the smartest sci-fi films I've seen in a long time.

 

I am so glad Blade Runner II is in such capable hands.

 

I can't wait to see what Denis Villeneuve does with it.

 

Even if it just ends up being Sicario meets Arrival, I'll be more than happy.

post #32 of 243

And boy does this film have zero fucks to give as to whether it plays in China or not...

post #33 of 243

Just saw this. It's a very good movie. Out of the four Vines Dieseleuve films I've seen, this is by far the best. It's certainly better than the (Opinion Trigger Warning!) empty, tone-deaf cinematogrpahy showcase that was Sicario.

 

Before I get to the meat and spoilers, I'd advise seeing this in a theater that has no other human beings in it. They are a vile species.

 

I suppose I should give the other 90% of the crowd credit for making it through this slow deliberately paced movie with minimal fuss, but it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the mood. About 10 minutes into the movie, a Confused Old Man snapped. As Amy Adams talked to her mother on the phone, C.O.M. felt the need to vocalize his displeasure. "I don't get it! What's going on? I'm waiting and WAITING and WAITING, and NOTHING'S HAPPENING!". Thankfully, some shushers sounded off around him, and there were only a few murmurs later on.

 

It's funny, because right before it happened, I was thinking to myself "I'll bet some motherfucker walked in here expecting Independence Day 3."

 

Anyways, the movie. I'd almost put it at The Fountain level, but not quite. The difference is, Aronofsky is a filmmaker with something to say. Arrival is the meeting of a solid story with a technical filmmaker that excells in visuals and mood. It's a beneficiary combination of director and material more than it is the execution of a singular vision.

 

More specific impressions (check out here if you are avoiding plot details):

 

The second hour had me fully gripped, even though I had little niggles of doubt with certain things.

 

Nothing in the film particularly surprised me, but that's probably because I had just read Childhood's End recently, and various other books that cover some of the same points. It's a mish-mash of stuff from the type of sci-fi books that don't usually get big budget adaptations, mixed in with little dashes of art-filminess. The fact that these elements form a cohesive whole with a good flow is the movie's best achievement. The biggest downside is that it doesn't go particularly deep into any one of these elements, and some of the side plots are handled with inelegent bluntness.

 

Heavy full spoilers:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I didn't walk away from the movie feeling any emotional impact from Jeremy and Amy's relationship, even though they were both great in the movie. That element needed to mesh with the arty editing for the ending to really hit home.

D.V. is still pretty stiff and "off" with some of the dialogue scenes. It's hard to describe, but I get the feeling that he pays a lot more attention to where the frame is and what is in the frame than what kind of performance is actually being given by the actor that's in the frame.

Jack Bauer's eternal nemesis General Cheng is at it again! That whole plotline came off more Michael Bay cartoony than the Serious, Arty, Intelligent sci-fi the rest of the movie was trying to be. Satellite Phoneus Ex Machina would work well in a rote time travel thriller script, but here is detracted a bit from the revelatory vibe they were trying to maintain after the weapon discovery. I think Chris Nolan did the "What if 2001 was a heist movie?" aspect better.

I'm really good at missing obvious big-picture broad strokes, so the opening narration didn't spoil anything for me, lol. I didn't catch on to the non-linear time thing until later. She didn't have the baby until AFTER they left The Island!

While I thought this was very good, I don't think I'll have to urge to revisit it anytime soon. Maybe I'll do one more watch before BR2 comes out. It'll give the white balance on my TV a good workout.
post #34 of 243

Every time I see the posters for this movie I think that these aliens are plopping giant turds all over the Earth.

 

 

 

And in the end we learned that aliens were using us as a toilet.

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

*flushing sounds*

post #35 of 243
This was basically the short story blown up into a two hour movie so there were no real surprises for me... But man, it leveled me.

Not perfect, some clunky sections, a scene towards the end I felt unnecessary. But a work of vision, of poignant theme, and a GREAT performance by Adams.

And, full disclosure: I have three kids. Even though I knew the story, I was crying almost as soon as the movie started, I was gut-wrenched by that scene by the water, and I was trying not to break down into full on sobbing at the end.

What a beautifully sad thing, this life we live.
post #36 of 243
I really like this film, just got out of the theater. It didn't blow me away, but definitely gave me goosebumps at several points in the story.

I love how the idea that the aliens think in non-linear time reframes the events in the movie. Abbot and Costello showed up to earth knowing that one of them was going to die because of human stupidity and as the moment of that death was seconds away they chose to keep talking/writing rather than warn Louise or try to get her to defuse the bomb.
post #37 of 243

(*Coffee stain pointing north-west*)

 

Translation:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
SOMEBODY SET UP US THE BOMB
post #38 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

And boy does this film have zero fucks to give as to whether it plays in China or not...

 

Ha, that was my reaction as well.  In that respect it's a relic of a bygone era, with our cultural dominance waning.  This is also super nitpicky, but I don't think China has a navy anywhere near the size we see in the film. 

post #39 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim K View Post

I really like this film, just got out of the theater. It didn't blow me away, but definitely gave me goosebumps at several points in the story.

I love how the idea that the aliens think in non-linear time reframes the events in the movie. Abbot and Costello showed up to earth knowing that one of them was going to die because of human stupidity and as the moment of that death was seconds away they chose to keep talking/writing rather than warn Louise or try to get her to defuse the bomb.

I thought the tapping on the glass was a warning.
post #40 of 243
I feel so much better about blade runner 2 now after this, this was exactly the intricate intense scifi master-class I was hoping it would be. Had one of those 'bwaaaah' moments when I started to figure out the big twist was. Great movie to chat with others about. Loved the sound design as well. Adams deserves some rewards.
post #41 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluelouboyle View Post

Yes. It's a very, very moving performance.


And all the more impressive for how subtle it is too - there's no big histrionic screaming GIVE ME MY OSCAR scene - and the line she has to walk without overtly tipping the film's hand that

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
the whole dead daughter thing hasn't happened yet

Is incredibly tricky. I've always liked Adams all the way back to Catch Me If You Can, but the chops that she shows here are pretty damned impressive.

post #42 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluelouboyle View Post


I thought the tapping on the glass was a warning.

 

As did I.  Like, "Okay, look, first contact, I get it, but TURN AROUND, DUMBASS."

post #43 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Macken View Post

Ha, that was my reaction as well.  In that respect it's a relic of a bygone era, with our cultural dominance waning.  This is also super nitpicky, but I don't think China has a navy anywhere near the size we see in the film. 
China has a pretty large Navy, and modernizing quickly.

And we all know the shenanigans would have happened with the Danish team, amiright?
post #44 of 243

What year was this supposed to be set?

 

Oh and did anyone else catch what her colleague at Dartmouth(?) said the sanskrit word for war meant?

 

I didn't quite catch Forest Whitaker's line to Louise before they left on the chopper to the site.

 

(btw this has got to be one of Forest's best performances in a long while. Understated but exactly what the character needed.)

post #45 of 243

I got a near-future vibe from it.  Like maybe ten to fifteen years from now.

post #46 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill View Post
 

What year was this supposed to be set?

 

Oh and did anyone else catch what her colleague at Dartmouth(?) said the sanskrit word for war meant?

 

"An argument", I think.

post #47 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Reese View Post
 

"An argument", I think.

 

Cool. Thanks.

 

 

I couldn't quite make it out in the theater.

 

That does sound right based off her line right afterwards.

post #48 of 243

Abbott and Costello Meet the Squidbillies!

 

I saw this last night and really enjoyed it. Some deliberately paced, not-overly-dumbed-down science fiction, blended with very intimate, moving human drama in a natural, well balanced way, thanks largely to a solid script, confident and mature direction by Villeneuve, and a stellar (pun sort of intended) performance by Amy Adams. There are a lot of cinematic influences in the mix. Contact, 2010 (more so than 2001), The Day the Earth Stood Still. Some Interstellar and Eternal Sunshine toward the end. Aesthetically and tonally it reminded me of Under the Skin. But it was enough its own story that none of these influences went so far as to feel like cribbing from others' work, and fit together organically. Also, the first 10-15 minutes felt like some of the best evocation of September 11 in film; not buildings collapsing, huge walls of dust, or people screaming and running, but just confusion and dread as snippets of information come in.

 

This movie was an expert blend of ideas and heart. As others have said, this gave me the first feeling of optimism about the Blade Runner sequel I've felt since that project was announced. If it has to happen, it might as well be directed by the director of Arrival.

post #49 of 243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

I got a near-future vibe from it.  Like maybe ten to fifteen years from now.

 

Yeah, same here.

 

So, The Fountain comparisons - Fountain is a much more lush movie visually.  The Xibalba and Conquistador sequences are incredible.  Buuuut... The present-day stuff doesn't work for me at all.

 

As a cohesive narrative and tonally, Arrival is much stronger, if less visually rich.  I can also understand if the maudlin bits don't work for everyone though.

 

I also wouldn't say this movie or Villenueva has nothing to say.  Disagree there fairly strongly.

post #50 of 243

I feel confident I just witnessed something very, very special. It's a timeless (ba dum dum) film whose message is all the timelier what with all the shit that's happening in the world. It's basically Anti-2016: The Movie.

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