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Arrival

Jonathan Hinshaw - Sunday, November 20, 2016

Saw a new SciFi movie, the Arrival, starring Amy Adams (Man of Steel, American Hustle), Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Avengers), and Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Last King of Scotland).

So be prepared, this is a complicated science fiction movie, sort of like a continuum, starts with the end, ends with the start.  Some clues in the middle, but here is the summary.  Amy plays a language expert who is brought in by the army when 12 giant spaceships land on earth.  Actually land above earth, they are 50 feet above ground, just sort of hovering there, not moving at all.  Forest plays a Colonel who is tasked with finding out what these aliens want, why are they here?  He recruits Amy, who is not used to deciphering alien languages, but jumps right in.  Every so often, the alien spaceship opens a door in the bottom, they can enter and explore the ship.  Seems like gravity is non-existent, they can float right up to a huge window that separates the aliens from us. 

Amy is the language expert, Jeremy Renner is the scientist, they are both given control of the group trying to understand this invasion, or is it an invasion? 

Amy goes up, decides to take off the hazmat suit, wants the aliens to see her face.  And she sees theirs.  These aliens are some kind of complicated.  They resemble an big squid with 8 arms, big trunk, sorta pointy head.  Big, tall, hard to see details since they are living in a fog that we cannot breathe in.  Elephants and  spiders were also part of the inspiration for these guys. 

One of the movie trademarks is the flashback, or is it a flash forward?  We see Amy has a daughter, can’t tell if she is married, it is somewhat confusing.  She does begin to translate the alien (which they name Heptapods) and finds they tell her they are going to give her a weapon.  The producers actually created a Heptapod language, with over 100 logograms, 71 are featured in the movie.  They are all based on circular shapes, with strange tentacles coming off at intervals. 

The movie was a good science fiction movie in that it did not give anything away, several themes running at the same time.  Almost too many, it was confusing, and difficult to understand at times.  I enjoyed it, but will have to say it was a disappointment, expected more from Amy and Forest.   We’ll go with 3 Heptapods!  


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