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Arrival

Director:  Denis Villeneuve
Year Released:  2016
Rating:  2.0

Multiple alien pods show up and scatter themselves around Planet Earth (ours ends up in Montana, ha), so the military gathers up linguist Louise (Amy Adams) and scientist Ian (Jeremy Renner) to try to 'communicate' with them (the aliens use inky circles for words and sentences) and understand what they want. Follows the trend of 'heady' sci-fi movies (like Gravity and Interstellar) in avoiding violent combat with squiggly things in order to examine 'our' place in the Universe (here, it's about language-as-a-weapon and viewing time in a non-linear fashion) ... except like many of those other projects, it thinks it's much smarter than it actually is (we need to learn how to communicate with other humans from different backgrounds! wow!): how our species is supposed to assist the aliens in 3,000 years is laughable since, at this rate, we're well on our way to destroying our own planet before that could even happen. The 'twist' can only be met with a shrug, and I don't care how much you slow down your frame rates and play Max Richter, the 'emotional' component to this - with Adams and her (sickly) daughter - is still a dud. For anyone that's seen Villeneuve's Enemy: he sure likes benevolent spider things, doesn't he?

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