Not the Film for Even the Most Casual of UFO Enthusiasts
If you intend to watch the movie Arrival, this may be the place where you stop reading this post. I would also warn that the post is intended for those that have more than just a passing interest in UFOs. In fact, anyone that believes there is something amiss with what we know today about incidents such as Roswell, Rendlesham Forrest, and the Phoenix Incident should save their money for the DVD rental. A great reason to watch this film would be if you are a fan of the cast. Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whitaker are cast members of the film that have some amazing triumphs in their perspective careers. However, for UFO buffs, a onetime rental would certainly suffice.
Arrival Ratings from the Critics
Arrival received film ratings from critics like Roger Ebert (3 out of 4 stars), IMDB (8.5 out of 10), and a whopping 93% from Rotten Tomatoes. In many respects I agree with the Rotten Tomatoes rating if it signified a truly rotten rating. These ratings are not based on a film that portrays a new or novel perspective of the UFO phenomena. The truth is that the only new angle presented by the film was the use of giant squids as the alien of choice. Of course the language barrier proposed by the film is a no brainer to most. Does anyone expect mankind and ETs to communicate openly at first contact using the Queen’s Proper English (or any other form)? No sir, there is no reason to believe English speaking aliens would ever be the case, unless they illegally pirated cable television from us lowly earthlings. The FCC may have to look into that in the near future.
A Theater Filled with Blank Stares
Overall the Arrival film touches upon first contact and the pitfalls of the language barrier. We also see a decay of diplomacy which of course originates from those countries currently identified by Western cultures as threats to world peace. You will be happy to know that in the end the protagonist played by Amy Adams solves the communication puzzle by using her previously untapped ability to see the future. Once the squids hand over their language, which is also a blueprint for how they perceive time, they drop the mic, and leave. Like many in the packed movie theater I sat there wondering what exactly the message behind the film was because we were at a complete loss.
While I never expected to see an action film oozing green alien blood and full of colorful death dealing lasers, I most certainly did not expect to leave the film feeling like I was better off renting a remastered copy of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Sorry, but Arrival pales in comparison to Close Encounters which will be turning 40 in 2017. Notwithstanding the gigantic squids and the obvious language barrier first contact presents, Arrival is a no go. If I had the squid like understanding of time presented in the film, I would have waited for the DVD. I guess like any other human I am susceptible to marketing and ratings by trusted film critics. If you decide to watch the film after reading this…good luck and may the ink be with you!
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