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October 17, 2017, 07:02:02 PM
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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Arrival (2016) (includes poll) « previous next »
Poll
Question: What did you think of the film?
***** An instant classic - 1 (16.7%)
**** Good but not withouth its flaws - 5 (83.3%)
*** Decent - 0 (0%)
** Meh - 0 (0%)
* Boooooring - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 6

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Author Topic: Arrival (2016) (includes poll)  (Read 635 times)
Neville
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« on: December 02, 2016, 02:49:07 PM »



What did you guys think of this one? Personally, I loved it. It's the kind of cerebral, "real" sci-fi you don't get too often. Not a blockbuster by design, an action film in disguise, not the seed to a future franchise. This time is the real thing.

The film is told from the point of view of Amy Adams' character, a linguist. When the movie begins, several spaceships have landed in different points ofthe Earth, and she's contacted by the military in order to be part of the contact team. Because, see, nobody knows what the aliens want. Is this an invasion? An offer to share their advanced technology with us? An evaluation of some kind?

As the movie progresses, we follow her task of stablishing communication with the aliens. They have a spoken language, but it's not the kind that can be spoken with our vocal chords, so she focuses on deciphering their writing, which takes the form of circles with random elements. This is the part of the movie that will make you love or hate it. Personally, I'm not a linguist, but I did study some of languages' key aspects, and I found the stuff fascinating. It's not too different from stuff you would have to consider if you came in contact with humans from a different culture. Does their language make sense? Should I learn it or try to find other forms of communication, such as a third, easier language? What about their culture? Do they have taboos I should consider? Should I introduce humour or non-literal terms?

Things make finally sense in the final act of the movie, but I'm not going to discuss it yet. It's not just the spoilers. It's one of those cases were the twist really "makes" the movie. Some will consider it dishonest, others will claim the whole thing was in front of our eyes the whole time, and so on.

So it's your turn to speak now.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 02:52:41 PM by Neville » Logged

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WingedSerpent
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 06:42:57 PM »

Instant Classic?  Probably not.  More of a movie that you watch later and say to yourself "Man...I really wish I had seen this when it was in the theaters" 

Still, I loved the movie too, and was glad I saw it.  Maybe even the best first contact with extraterrestrials that isn't action/horror. 

Best visual for me was when they first get to one of the ships, and its floating there in the mountains with frog rolling off the hills.  Like something a really good sci-fi artist would create.
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 07:11:59 AM »

with frog rolling off the hills. 

That must have been one angry frog  Wink Wink



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Neville
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 08:43:54 AM »

Yes, I remember that visual from the beginning of the movie.

The moment that blew me away was when the aliens produce their first sample of written language. I was like "OK, now, what are we going to do with this?" xD

BTW, the stuff about linguistics they mention on the movie is largely accurate. A different language often implies a different world view, and sometimes languages come with annoying limitations the speakers are completely unaware of. Romans didn't have a "zero" number, and a few years ago an investigator reported an Amazon tribe that didn't seem to have numbers beyond ten. Anything larger became "a lot" or "plenty".

And other languages are "superior" to ours, meaning they have words for stuff we don't. The usual example, although it's disputed, is the innuit having many words for "ice" and "snow" because it makes sense in their environment. For us "ice" means "ice", but for them it makes sense to distinguish between ice that will support the weight of a person and ice that won't.
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2016, 10:11:12 AM »

Finally saw it and I'm in the "good, nearly great, but not classic" camp. I too thought the linguistics stuff was interesting. I was actually a tiny bit disappointed that they went away from that at the ending---at some point they got a workable vocabulary and the story shifted to a different idea, one that we can't discuss without spoilers. I guess I understand; they got as much drama out of "what does this word mean? Do aliens use the pluperfect subjunctive?" as they possibly could.
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Neville
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2016, 10:12:55 AM »

I guess I understand; they got as much drama out of "what does this word mean? Do aliens use the pluperfect subjunctive?" as they possibly could.

I wonder what the "Star Wars" crowd thinks about this...
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2016, 02:11:18 PM »

I enjoyed it. A race of aliens that communicate through coffee stains? Brilliant.

I'm a sci-fi fan, so seeing a large budget film based off linguistics of all things sneak its way into the movie theaters was a nice surprise. That said, it did fall into some of the pitfalls that "serious" sci-fi movies tend to have. Number one for me was that the whole thing was just too damn portentous. I get it. Aliens appear, the world is transformed, scary music. Did we really need a ten minute walk down a hallway, though? And why is it constantly cloudy and overcast? They're in big sky country after all.

I did enjoy it, and would like to see more like it, but it wasn't as well put together as I would have liked.

I have been getting a kick out of people telling me they saw The Arrival. "Oh really? I thought the trailer looked cheesy, but Charlie Sheen did a pretty good job."
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2016, 01:22:48 PM »

I liked it a lot. Although it is not without its problems, it is an intelligent take on first contact. And, speaking as someone with a degree in language, it is nice to see a linguist save the world, for a change.
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