Arrival - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

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Arrival - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

Well that was much better than I was expecting. i knew it was going to be good, i had no idea it would be THIS good. There were one or two moments that I was literally on the edge of my seat. 

Amy Adams is great in this and thank goodness as the movie really revolves completely around her character. The movie has a few similarities with both Contact and Interstellar but is better than both on many levels. I had a few hiccups at the beginning (why would the military fly fighter jets that low over populated areas?) but as the movie got more complicated, it actually started to make more and more sense. Good storytelling for sure. 

It's neat how in a movie about aliens visiting Earth, the movie is much more about us than them. 

The soundtrack is extraordinary too. 

Very recommended, one of this 2016's best. 

 

Heart rating: 4.5 stars

Brain rating: 4 stars

There Will Be Games

Editor review

1 reviews

(Updated: May 22, 2018)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Heart 
 
4.5
Brain 
 
4.0

Summary

Movie Title
Arrival
Well that was much better than I was expecting. i knew it was going to be good, i had no idea it would be THIS good. There were one or two moments that I was literally on the edge of my seat.
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Vlad's Avatar
Vlad replied the topic: #241974 07 Jan 2017 17:53
Man, Arrival is so November '16 I don't even remember it now.
But agreed with your sentiment, generally speaking
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #242861 23 Jan 2017 09:45
Watched this last night and really enjoyed it. Not better than Interstellar though. It is better than Contact.

My only problem with the film was that the very premise makes no sense. I mean, not just in a sci-fi way but it's absolutely idiotic that this advanced race would come here and rely on us figuring out a way to communicate with them. I would think they'd be able to easily figure out how to communicate with us, given their ability and technology.
Jarvis's Avatar
Jarvis replied the topic: #242864 23 Jan 2017 10:10
See I took it as both sides were working on ways to communicate with each other. It wasn't just us.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #242866 23 Jan 2017 10:21

Jarvis wrote: See I took it as both sides were working on ways to communicate with each other. It wasn't just us.


It certainly didn't seem 50-50.

They came to Earth and then sat there, waiting for the humans to initiate conversation.
They only spoke/vocalized after humans initiated conversation
They only responded with writing after Louise initiated
They never learned an English word or phrase, instead sticking to their form of communication and requiring the humans to use it as well


I mean, imagine us thinking we need to convey some important message to aliens that exist on Mars (which don't know anything about us), knowing we'll need their help in the future. So our plan is to land there and sit in our shuttle, only responding in English when they address us in Martian.

You can handwave it I guess and say they think differently than us or their cultural differences could explain it, but it just seemed weak to me.
Gregarius's Avatar
Gregarius replied the topic: #242868 23 Jan 2017 10:53
Wasn't the whole point of the movie that learning their language also allowed us to think a different way? Maybe they *had* to teach us to think that way in order for us to understand that we would help them in the future. I think the language, though fascinating, was just a stepping stone to this bigger goal, and them learning our language would not have helped towards that goal at all.
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #242874 23 Jan 2017 12:01
Their required atmosphere made it difficult for them to take any kind of initiative other than parking their ships and opening their doors. They probably have been observing humans for sometime and knew how they would respond.

I get what you're saying though charlest and it's true that their passivity is annoying since it gives humans all the rope to hang themselves with. My only thinking looking back is that they must have been supremely confident in their defensive and/or offensive capabilities over humans to be that passive.

I just really like the focus on the language cuz it reminds me of what I consider to be the best Star Trek episode of all time, across all series, Next Generation's "Darmok". It's just so Gene Roddenberry's vision. And this movie reminds me of that.
Deleted's Avatar
Deleted replied the topic: #242875 23 Jan 2017 12:30
I agree with Chuck. No fucking way can a race of interstellar travelers with vastly advanced tech not be able to pick up TV transmissions from decades of broadcasts and not realize "Hi!" is an English greeting. Or in any other language.

I get that the learning of language is the core of the plot but fuck it's contrived.

It's like they took Star Trek: The Motion Picture's bullshit VGER plot (apparently advanced races don't understand how to clean nameplates) where Voyager 6 became sentient and had a universe's worth of knowledge but couldn't figure out how to communicate. Especially when fucking English among other languages is ON THE GOLDEN RECORD.
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #242880 23 Jan 2017 14:16
at least they didn't talk to the whales
Ancient_of_MuMu's Avatar
Ancient_of_MuMu replied the topic: #242882 23 Jan 2017 15:19
Did IQs drop sharply while I was away?

They explicitly state in the movie that the aliens came to (a) teach us their language and (b) get humans to work together as a planet, which is why they take their strange path of first contact.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #242883 23 Jan 2017 15:46
When I took Spanish class the teacher didn't start by sitting in the closet, waiting for us to try different methods to communicate with her. She wasn't advanced far beyond our technology/knowledge level either.

At the very least..wouldn't they have started off with written language if that's what they were planning on teaching?

Again, I liked the movie quite a bit but just thought that was lame.
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #242885 23 Jan 2017 15:54
Your teacher probably wasn't a heptapod. They seem to do things different than us.

And they DID start off with written language. Remember that the aliens giving their language is the whole point to why they are here. The 'gift' is linguistic relativity.
charlest's Avatar
charlest replied the topic: #242886 23 Jan 2017 15:59
They did not start off with written language. They waited for humans to speak to them and made weird noises in response. Remember Louise is recruited via the recording. They don't use written language until she insists on it.

I guess my point is that their entire purpose is to give a gift as you note, but their way of giving that gift is to sit back and wait, hope someone comes up with the idea to try written language and they spend effort into deciphering it.

The only rationale that makes sense to me is that since they can view the future (time not being linear), they knew they needed to give this gift to humans but had to fumble their way through it because they didn't know how. Much like Louise fumbling her way through that meeting with the Chinese General.
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #242887 23 Jan 2017 16:09
yeah, i think your rationale is correct. They see the future and know that they will need help from the humans down the road. The need to teach the humans this trick which is totally related to their own language, so they have to make sure to make zero effort to understand the human language or the humans will cease to attempt to understand the heptapod language (which is the key to the linguistic relativity).

The only humans that will probably be able to make an attempt to learn their language will be the most curious ones so they leave it to them to approach the glass and all that. If they were too forward with another culture, the wrong culture, things would have become aggressive probably too fast.

We both agree that the movie is asking the audience to make a few jumps.
jeb's Avatar
jeb replied the topic: #242889 23 Jan 2017 16:47
I liked it, and I liked the effort associated with it. I am all for these thoughtful SF exercises, I think they let us explore aspects of our shared humanity* in interesting ways. The vaaaaast majority of SF filmmaking is either 1) shit. 2) explosions!!one! or 3) both.

I respect the effort made at making the heptapods alien. Too many aliens are actors with accents, ears, and some skin tinting. We're a lot more likely to encounter Horta than Romulans, and probably even more likely to encounter intelligences that are non-organic in the traditional sense. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is the pinnacle achievement here, obviously. Does anyone want to go deep on this film with me? I can guide you to its hidden truths.

*I do acknowledge that our "shared humanity" is usually told from a white elite perspective, natch.
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #242890 23 Jan 2017 16:51

jeb wrote: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY is the pinnacle achievement here, obviously. Does anyone want to go deep on this film with me? I can guide you to its hidden truths.


Christ-on-a-bike no
jeb's Avatar
jeb replied the topic: #242891 23 Jan 2017 17:15
Ahem

Vlad's Avatar
Vlad replied the topic: #242894 23 Jan 2017 18:14
in my opinion, 2001 is one of the best unwatchable films ever. Compared to it, Arrival is a SNL sketch.

Jeb, I am assuming your interpretation of 2001 does not involve going into the books? (I stopped with those series half-way through).
Black Barney's Avatar
Black Barney replied the topic: #242903 23 Jan 2017 21:01
If you guys keep this up, I'm going to... arrive... all over this thread.