Cinematic Releases: Arrival (2016) - Reviewed

After years of waiting patiently, a new film brings a balance back to a genre lost in the quagmire of effects laden, big budget blockbusters. 

Cinematic ingenue, Denis Villeneuve delivers another masterful piece of art in his new theatrical releaseThe best science based fiction challenges its audience and makes them process situations which are larger than life. His Arrival does just that. It's a beautiful motion picture that questions our possible futures, our past, and the present while exploring themes of motherhood and loss. With the pairing of Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner under the collected directorial talents of Villeneuve, Arrival is nearly perfect. 

Never one to stick with one type of movie for too long, he abandons his earlier formulas for a science fiction feature that hits on similar notes from movies like Contact, Interstellar, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. With slow pacing, ethereal environments, and an absolutely beautiful but mostly dry color pallette, Arrival is the best hard sci-fi film of 2016 and will most likely garner award nods for its visual elements and a great dramatic portrayal from lead player, Amy Adams. For fans of dialogue heavy cinematic entries that make the brain work, this is a great watch that's not easy or simplistic in its story arc.

Arrival plays to our basic instincts of fear of the unknown and man's inept desire to destroy, but also gives us a message of hope for our future. Centered on building a means of communication with alien lifeforms, the movie feels realistic and contends with The Martian as fiction that lends itself to some amount of reality based science. If an alien species ever enters our airspace without expediting an imminent threat of global destruction or planetary takeover, it could actually go down like this. Villeneuve's Arrival plays much like his other releases but totally switches genres. The script is even keeled and focused on characters that are put in extraordinary situations while a key mystery unfolds around them. Sitting back and thinking about this for a couple hours after our screening, it resonated with me more and more. 

amy adams
There's something more than Lois Lane out there!!! This means something. 

Villeneuve has an eccentric control and focus that allows him to weave intricate little details into stories about people that feel like they share the same space as his audience. Like Hugh Jackman's character in Prisoners, Amy Adams never seems like a fictional archetype. She's tangible. Her emotions on screen actually portray the human experience of loss and excitement in the frightful face of her own mortality. Coming at the tail end of the year, it's easy to see they're aiming for some serious attention come Oscar time. The scope of Arrival is enormous and the story is one of creative genius. If you're looking to challenge your mind, this is the time to do it. See this movie. 

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