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Forum namePass The Popcorn
Topic subjectArrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=6&topic_id=714724
714724, Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
Posted by bwood, Tue Aug-09-16 11:46 AM
My nigga Denis is back bitches!!!


Should've kept the OG title The Story of Your Life though.

Disgusting that the Oscars are gonna snub him again.
714743, can't wait. he gets better with every film.
Posted by will_5198, Wed Aug-10-16 01:08 AM
714927, Full trailer
Posted by bwood, Tue Aug-16-16 09:42 AM
715358, First reviews out of Venice are glowing!
Posted by bwood, Thu Sep-01-16 09:21 AM
My nigga Denis did it again!
717060, Just saw this!!!
Posted by bwood, Tue Nov-01-16 04:21 PM
So I just saw this and it's really, really good. I need to see it again cause it's so heady, I wasn't able to fully wrap my mind around everything. As with Denis Villeneuve's other films I'm afraid this will get looked over as well. But cotdamn if this shit wasn't one of the best films I've seen this year.
717072, dope. your ranking of Villeneuve's films?
Posted by will_5198, Wed Nov-02-16 12:03 AM
717382, His last four:
Posted by Frank Longo, Fri Nov-11-16 01:13 AM
1. Sicario
2. Arrival
3. Enemy
4. Prisoners

That's for me, anyhow.
717384, I've rewatched Sicario probably a half-dozen times now
Posted by will_5198, Fri Nov-11-16 01:47 AM
filmmaking as pure entertainment. and that's not to be flippant about any deeper essays to be written about it, but at a basic level the cinematography, acting, editing, music and dialogue are all candy to me.

Blunt acted her ass off. and Brolin plays one of the best sideways/anti-hero characters ever. that smirk in the mirror when Alejandro is doing his backseat torture routine? gets me every time.
717076, I re-read the short story and am dying to find out how they've managed...
Posted by kwez, Wed Nov-02-16 08:24 AM
...to stretch out such a complex yet brilliantly concise idea into a feature length film.

Can't wait.

717383, Really good. Thoughtful. Well-structured.
Posted by Frank Longo, Fri Nov-11-16 01:15 AM
Beautifully shot by Bradford Young, obviously. Amy Adams may get some Oscar love here-- I wouldn't be mad. Loved the depictions of alien life/attempts at alien communication-- unlike most of what we usually see in these flicks.

Denis stays rollin', man. Doesn't really top Sicario for me, but that script was so fucking aces. This is really strong too.
717389, Dug the graffiti artist aliens but dozed off at some point
Posted by jigga, Fri Nov-11-16 10:50 AM
Started gettin some Interstellar vibes when I woke up but couldn't put it altogether

I'll give it another shot but those daughter scenes might've messed up the pacing too much for me
717394, Easily the best film I've seen all year
Posted by kwez, Fri Nov-11-16 04:35 PM
Complete mindfuck and this is with me already having read the source material. I was still blown away.

717406, does any one in here wanna talk about the narrative
Posted by astralblak, Sat Nov-12-16 01:15 AM

i mean the pacing and look was great

but the story really doesn't work IMO, and the intent of the aliens was really strange, not to add i hated their look/design

EDIT: read up on the story it's based off of... anyone wanna break down the theory of it. i'm still a bit confused

yet, it is an original approach to sci-fi story telling

Enemy is still his best flick IMO
717422, I was confused, too
Posted by ternary_star, Sun Nov-13-16 09:15 AM
did some reading and realize the main question of the film is, if you could foresee a great trauma in your life, would you negate it, if that also meant that you would never experience the greatest love and joy in your life (and, secondarily, would we even have the ability to change our actions in this world of circular/parallel time, or is our fate pre-determined?)

I know this is obvious to most, but I was confused about the order of events at first, so I was missing a lot of that message.

I think most of the logic of the movie checks out. what specifically was bugging you?

the only thing that really bugs me is how similar this played out to Contact. it's almost beat-for-beat the same.
717428, that's clearer
Posted by astralblak, Sun Nov-13-16 12:41 PM
it still makes me wonder what the Aliens gained from this...

they said in 3 thousands years the humans would help them, but was Amy Adams character the only human able to see/understand them, or was that field of language and perception of time opened up to every one?

it's also an odd exploration of free will that is as equally convoluted as it is simple?

even with that little nagging it was so well paced, and the tension was tight, and the tone of the film so clear. DV really is near the top of the directors class IMO, right now
717437, RE: that's clearer
Posted by ternary_star, Mon Nov-14-16 08:12 AM
>it still makes me wonder what the Aliens gained from this...
>they said in 3 thousands years the humans would help them, but
>was Amy Adams character the only human able to see/understand
>them, or was that field of language and perception of time
>opened up to every one?

They were, I think, intentionally vague about what help the aliens would need (could be natural resources unique to earth, could be the thought process of a species that thinks about time linearly...). But teaching us their language and ability to hop around time will make it much easier to communicate (and maybe help ensure that we haven't exterminated ourselves through nuclear war) when they return in 3000 years.

humans can only "time travel" when they've fully understood the heptapod language... that is, when they've started to dream in it and are fully immersed in it. Adams was obviously the most well-versed but I get the feeling that her knowledge was even further advanced when she boarded the ship and could actually touch the ink.

and it looks like she becomes the leading expert on the language in the near future but obviously not everyone gets the time-hopping ability because her husband is surprised by the daughter getting sick.
717439, RE: that's clearer
Posted by ToeJam, Mon Nov-14-16 08:51 AM
Yeah, I think her touching the ink shows us that the communication and understanding the language is a lot more subconscious than we might think.

I also think the bigger message of the story is about life itself. We ALREADY KNOW our lives and those around us will all lead to death. Yet we continue. We create children that (hopefully) live on after us. We understand time in a different way. Yes we are tethered to it, but it also gives everything a meaning and value.
717432, what a fantastic movie, give Adams her Oscar right now
Posted by benny, Sun Nov-13-16 11:39 PM
a lot of scenes depended on her showing revelation, fear, confusion, sadness and countless emotions and she really knocked it out of the park I thought. Renner was good too, in a more self-effaced role.

I think I got the gist of the narrative but I'm wondering if I should read the novella it's based on.

Great cinematography (though not as good as Sicario)

Could have possibly done without the Jina ((c) the Prez) and Russia subplot, but the scene where Louise talks to General Shang was a high point of the movie to me.

717440, Saw it last night
Posted by walihorse, Mon Nov-14-16 09:09 AM
I'm a little confused.

So the aliens came and their whole things is that they can see time a non-linear. Awesome! I get that.

So why was it only about Louise and her daughter for the most part?

I thought the danger was 3 thousand years in the future, ok so did the little girl die from that disease? Why didn't the aliens show that to her? Is it limited to how long you're alive, if so do the alien's live for thousands of years?

I was with it up until the ending.

My girl cried and I blew raspberries.
717457, The aliens didn't show anything to her other than the language
Posted by 13Rose, Mon Nov-14-16 03:15 PM
Once she started to understand the language her perception of time changed and she saw her life events before they happened in pieces. Through that understanding she was able to make the important decision and action in this time. My boy that I saw the film with figured it out about halfway through the film. They did a good job of being consistent with the core idea.
717542, indeed. that was their inherent altriusm
Posted by Flash80, Wed Nov-16-16 12:36 PM
>Once she started to understand the language her perception of
>time changed and she saw her life events before they happened
>in pieces. Through that understanding she was able to make the
>important decision and action in this time.

this makes sense when i look back on the scene where louise and ian are talking about how learning another language can change your cognition.

very good movie overall. loved the establishing shot that circles/descends upon the montana basecamp.


i ain't gonna front --- i cut a little onions when louise realized that ian was da baby daddy.

717458, Very well made film; didn't love the story
Posted by SoulHonky, Mon Nov-14-16 03:33 PM
I'm not a fan of time travel paradoxes like How did the guy know he had to tell her his phone number? although in this case I was a little bit more forgiving. But I kind of called the "Daughter is the future" angle early and was kind of bummed that that was going to be the solution to the overall question.

Ultimately, I enjoyed the film but nothing really stuck with me. I know a lot of people are moved by it because of how it relates to today with helping others/refugees but I didn't really feel like it played with that angle enough to make it resonate. Also, I feel like the solution being knowing what happened in the future kind of short-circuits that. (And I think the Sicario lesson was more important for what's happening today.)

Still, one of the better movies of the year so far.
717526, probably my fav this year
Posted by Crash Bandacoot, Wed Nov-16-16 08:56 AM
i really enjoyed this. Villeneuve's films are very engaging, my type of movie.
717594, beautiful film. Villeneuve stays undefeated.
Posted by will_5198, Thu Nov-17-16 05:14 PM
Doctor Manhattan vibes, the obvious Contact parallel, and even a bit of Nolan to the third act, but it all comes together extremely well.

I was surprisingly moved, and reminded of the words from another director:

"As if Japan weren't small enough to begin with, I fail to understand why it is necessary to think of it in even smaller units. No matter where I go in the world, although I can't speak any foreign language, I don't feel out of place. I think of the earth as my home. If everyone thought this way, people might notice just how foolish international friction is, and they would put an end to it. We are, after all, at a point where it is almost narrow-minded to think merely in geocentric terms. Human beings have launched satellites into outer space, and yet they still grovel on earth looking at their own feet like wild dogs. What is to become of our planet?" (c) Akira Kurosawa
717604, Very disappointing payoff.
Posted by denny, Fri Nov-18-16 02:05 AM
And philosophically, an extremely unsophisticated understanding of language underlies a movie that's supposed to espouse the beauty of communication. Words are symbols for meanings which pre-supposes the existence of those meanings before words are used to symbolize them. It's about the most unromantic understanding of language possible and is used here as an attempt for romantic effect.

A very dull and unimaginative understanding of language that can only retreat into magic territory in an attempt to make poetry out of a very small-minded and overly-mechanical framework of assumptions.

Ex-Machina might be the greatest sci-fi film of the millenium and raised the bar on the philosophy of language in sci-fi to great heights.....this film falls embarrasingly low on that bar.
717758, just... UTTERLY FANTASTIC
Posted by HecticHavoc, Thu Nov-24-16 10:43 PM
i was also very happy to read in this thread this was the same director as Sicario (my favorite movie from last year)

this was by far my favorite movie this year, and to be honest, best ive seen since Sicario

i was really moved by this movie man. powerful fucking shit right there. think they dominated every aspect of this film, enjoyed how the aliens looked and presented themselves.

question, she asks her future baby daddy that if you knew your entire future ahead of you, what would you do, he says be more truthful about how i feel... when she is drinking wine later on in their house, that must be when she tells him about their kid. surprised he leaves her even still.

again, i left the theater very happy with the experience. LOVED IT.
718227, FINALLY!!!! What a beautiful adaptation.
Posted by Castro, Sat Dec-10-16 12:12 AM
They did the story justice on the screen. Villeneuve and Bradford Young kept me hooked.

Deft touches with dialogue and cinematography.
718234, Underwhelmed. Visually beautiful but that's about it
Posted by calminvasion, Sun Dec-11-16 12:02 PM
718247, I'll get in this line
Posted by Nodima, Sun Dec-11-16 07:32 PM
it became too sentimental and focused on the primary character's story

I had the same issue with Interstellar's third act but at least they made it clear it was always going to be about this guy saving the galaxy from the beginning

the introduction of Renner's character had me all set up for a straight up hour and a half of problem solving and figuring out what the aliens want and then all of a sudden it's another kind of movie.

that said, I had a similar problem with how Sicario snuck an entirely different movie into what it spent most of its time attempting to be and I enjoyed that far more on a second viewing recently than I did in theaters.

but I'm not necessarily in the "I really gotta have a kid no matter what may befall that kid because I want to raise a successor and feel that level of affection for something" subset of humanity so it didn't hit me the way it would likely hit parents or wanna-be parents.

I got most excited when her dreams and reality began becoming a bit of a blur near the mid-section but they didn't stick with that idea enough; this movie would've been a great Inception-style thriller if they'd have played with that idea more.

I will add that in addition to the scenery and general aesthetic of the movie (look, score, atmosphere) being masterful I also thought it had a perfect pace to it; I just take issue with the beats and overall message, which I also think the movie undermined a bit with a couple specific pieces of dialogue and plot points that didn't necessarily seem satirical though they may have been intended to be.

"This is the streets, and I am the trap." � Jay Bilas
Hip Hop Handbook: http://tinyurl.com/ll4kzz
718261, I'm finally catching up on Denis Villeneuve, period, and...
Posted by phenompyrus, Mon Dec-12-16 08:55 AM
Arrival was good, not great. The hype around it was too great to really deliver the movie I wanted it to be.

Also just watched Prisoners which was very good (and better than Arrival).

Sicario up next.

Sue me, I'm late.
718308, I was really disappointed by Young's
Posted by madwriter, Tue Dec-13-16 09:05 PM

I hated how flat the color grading was. The shots were good but I just was not wowed with the choice they made in color grading
718331, RE: I was really disappointed by Young's
Posted by 13Rose, Wed Dec-14-16 11:49 PM
That's fair.

>I hated how flat the color grading was. The shots were good
>but I just was not wowed with the choice they made in color
718378, that flat look is standard for Sci-Fi drama.
Posted by Castro, Fri Dec-16-16 12:49 PM
What he did playing with focus and perspective was dope.
718638, Was interesting
Posted by lfresh, Sat Dec-24-16 12:38 PM
Amy Adams played herself...again
But it worked this time
Usually she's annoying as hell
When you are born, you cry, and the world rejoices. Live so that when you die, you rejoice, and the world cries.
You cannot hate people for their own good.
719550, I really enjoyed it.
Posted by KnowOne, Tue Feb-07-17 09:01 AM
I can see why some did not though.
719681, It shouldn't have started with the future visions
Posted by imcvspl, Mon Feb-13-17 08:07 AM
That really fucked the story up for me. Otherwise it was pretty awesome. If they had saved the future visions for when she actually started understanding the language it would have been completely solid.

Big PEMFin H & z's
"I ain't no entertainer, and ain't trying to be one. I am 1 thing, a musician." � Miles

"When the music stops he falls back in the abyss."
720068, If they did that then it would have been clear they were future visions
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Mon Feb-27-17 10:12 AM
the point was to mislead the audience into thinking it was scenes from the past.

"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"
720073, ^^^^^
Posted by Castro, Mon Feb-27-17 11:16 AM
720342, Beautiful...bravo
Posted by LA2Philly, Thu Mar-09-17 09:13 AM
For whatever reason (and I had no idea about the plot of the movie other than the basic concept), my viewing intersected during a time where the major themes are so salient to me personally.

Back to that in a second..technically, well done in all regards. The leads, the framing, the pacing, the handling of the always difficult time dimension. Villanueve handled the latter aspect like Nolan wishes he could have in Interstellar...complex without being convoluted, shows rather than tells using the natural flow and mechanisms of the plot.

The final 10 minutes had me in tears. The major theme of enjoying the process/moments regardless the outcome is one I have carried throughout my life yet have forgotten recently due to certain frustrations with constraints. Renner's final line floored me "all my life I looked up to the stars...and what surprised me most, wasn't meeting them, it was meeting you." Goosebumps while just typing that line...get so caught up in the future and where we want to go or do, and I'm extremely guilty of this, that we forget those things most impactful are often times right in front of us.

Bravo. The power of film...this is the film I needed to see at this moment in my life and so thankful I did.
743233, I am an idiot. On rewatch this movie might be in my top 5 sci-fi.
Posted by Buddy_Gilapagos, Tue Jan-04-22 05:52 PM
I saw it years ago (but not when it came out) and I think I enjoyed it good enough but I think I had some of the complaints people stated in here, namely I was looking for a deep dive movie on what first contact would be like and it isn't that type of movie.

I also thought it was somewhat hokey in an interstellar type of way thinking it was one of those sci-fi movies where the main theme is love conquers sciences. I thought the story of Louise Family Life was too narrow a focus of a film about First Contact.

I rewatched it recently and it was one of those rewatches where I kinda of mostly forgotten what the story was about and every scene was familiar but I was still captivated like I was watching it for the first time. And I was in a sense because my focus this time was totally different. This time I totally got caught up with the idea of The "tool/weapon" of the Aliens language. To me that's the most interesting aspect of the movie. The idea that if we had the ability to experience time in a non-linear fashion, it could lead the way to all sorts of breakthroughs including something like world peace (which I think the movie was suggesting was the direction earth was going, from the brink of war to international cooperation because we now have the ability to stop seeing everything as a zero sum competition and finally see the bigger picture.

Looking at the movie this way, it no longer seemed like a small narrow scoped movie but a movie with a broad global message.

I don't know, it just hit differently watching it again. Something that I am finding happens a lot on rewatches of Denis Villeneuve movies. In the past few months I rewatched the Prisonor, Sicaro and Arrival and I think on first pass I thought they were all well made genre movies on second watching I see a lot more is going on in the films. Denis Villeneuve is somebody who I have seen many of his films without knowing the director by name to becoming one of my top 5 working directors simply by rewatching his films. Dude is a slow burn director in a time when everything else seems surface deep and based on speed.

"Everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don't have a plan anymore." (c) Mike Tyson

"what's a leader if he isn't reluctant"