Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Release Date: February 14, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team races against time to decipher their intent. As tensions mount between fearful governments, Banks discovers the aliens’ true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.
‘Arrival’ tells the powerful story of a monumental day in which everything changed around the world. When mysterious spacecrafts suddenly arrive and land at various locations around the globe, the government factions around the world race to uncover their purpose, capability and the most important question of all, what their purpose is on earth. Recruiting brilliant translator Louise Banks (Adams) as a key part of beginning to arrive at a method of communication in order to understand them, she is paired with Ian Donnelly (Renner) and the two promptly begin to develop a manner of communicating with the otherworldly visitors. Now they must race against time in order to ascertain their intentions before it’s too late and the various countries around the globe opt for initiating a war with the visitors that could prove to be a crucial mistake if they are wrong.
Directed by the immensely talented Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners, Enemy) from a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer (Lights Out, Final Destination 5) which was based on the story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang respectively, Villeneuve does a phenomenal job at the helm of ‘Arrival’ passionately guiding the powerful tale along its course without ever missing a beat. The film also owes a great deal of credit to the cast which is comprised of some incredibly talented folks and includes Amy Adams (American Hustle, Batman v Superman), Jeremy Renner (Avengers, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Forest Whitaker (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Michael Stuhlbarg (Steve Jobs, TV’s Boardwalk Empire), Mark O’Brien (TV’s Halt and Catch Fire, Republic of Doyle) and more, nearly all delivering fantastic performances in each of their respective roles, particularly Adams who is truly spectacular in the lead.
‘Arrival’ is absolutely magnificent, a brilliant film that reminds us there are still some remarkably talented folks with originality and potential to spare working in Hollywood today. Smart, clever and unique, it’s consistently brimming with beauty, wonder and heart; almost guaranteed to result in a barrage of emotions as the story unfolds with each careful step. One of those rare examples of a film that takes a general concept that we’ve seen countless times (aliens arriving to earth in this case) and manages to create something incredibly fresh, beautiful and entirely unlike so many similarly themed movies; offering a remarkable and truly breathtaking experience and story that is surprisingly powerful and should have no trouble maintaining your unhindered attention throughout its course. Even absent of any real science fiction action or spectacle, it only continues to thrive until eventually escalating to the point of achieving something especially spectacular. Flawlessly guided by outstanding filmmaker Denis Villeneuve and further complimented by a number of wonderful performances, particularly Amy Adams who carries so much of the film without issue and offers a noteworthy portrayal of the lead character. ‘Arrival’ is definitely one of the very best films of 2016 and another noteworthy effort from Villeneuve who continues to prove himself one of the best directors working today, this is one that I would strongly urge everyone to give a shot and the majority should be immensely pleased that you decided to.
Overall, ‘Arrival’ is quite simply a phenomenal film; gorgeous, emotionally powerful and clearly crafted with a careful precision and attention to detail. Director Denis Villeneuve once again proves himself one of the best filmmakers around, delivering what is quite possibly his best film yet (no small statement considering the remarkable three films he helmed prior); only boosted all the more by the noteworthy performances from the talented cast. ‘Arrival’ easily earns my highest possible recommendation; it’s a spectacular piece of filmmaking and without question one of 2016’s absolute best. Anyone who appreciates a phenomenal, emotionally riveting film that’s flawlessly guided through every step will not dare to miss out on this one, it’s well worth the cost of a rental at the very least for those who may be hesitant to drop the cash on a blind purchase.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Arrival’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful as a whole and offers a sharp, detailed and gorgeous presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults of any kind to be found within. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a fantastic high definition video presentation from Paramount that’s complimented by a more than sufficient bitrate and should have no trouble pleasing the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack provides a crisp, clean and often notably aggressive audio presentation throughout. It regularly utilizes all seven available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer within the eerily perfect score, in addition to sending various other auditory elements such as the bass-heavy alien noises, nature elements, crowd chatter and more throughout the various speakers, and never causing any dialogue that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a top notch 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that greatly compliments the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Arrival’ includes a collection of informative behind the scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival’ (running approximately 30 minutes in length), ‘Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘Eternal Recurrence: The Score’ (approximately 11 minutes), ‘Nonlinear Thinking: The Editing Process’ (11 minutes), and ‘Principals of Time, Memory, and Language’ (15 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Arrival’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD from Paramount Home Media Distribution
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