Movie: Arrival (2016) #Oscars

This was my second watching of the movie.

My Thoughts:

  • I heart Amy Adams.  Wait, that is her name isn’t it?  Yeah, Amy Adams. Heart the hell outta her.
  • She should have been at least nominated for lead.
  • There is something about a movie that makes you cry in the first two minutes.
  • I wonder how WE would react?  No, stop wondering, that terrifies me.
  • I am sure there is a reason for “12”
  • Montana…really?
  • “Language is the first weapon drawn in a conflict.” great quote
  • Those freaks in the traffic jams headed TO the scary spaceship. That is what is wrong with America today.
  • The immunization the military offers would scare me more than the aliens.
  • Forest plays the General well, the small touches he brings to a character (ie helping Amy with her strap in the helicopter.)
  • Seeing this a second time makes me want to watch Close Encounters.
  • We have not evolved beyond the “canary in the mines.”
  • The aliens sound like Sheldon Cooper’s throat music.
  • I appreciate that it is a female educator who is the courageous one and who goes to the wall without a suit on first.  Teachers ALWAYS lead the way.
  • Abbott and Costello (funny because I thought Fred and Ethel)
  • “Are they scientists or tourists.”  What an amazing concept.  They are not here to kill us or study us, they just took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.
  • “Sheena Easton” reference is freaking hilarious.
  • To approach language as a mathematician…again, I love that it is a female.  But (cause this is my second watch and I know the movie), maybe as a female, she is open to more of the emotional side of things. And, because of that, she is able to connect with the aliens on more than an analytical level.  I am mad that I did not think to look at the board of scientists.  Were there other females from other countries?  Could that have been the key?
  • “The language you speak determines how you think.”  I believe this on different levels.
  • We are a world without one single leader.  Could you imagine THAT election. Sheesh.
  • Non-Zero Sum Game – THAT is how our politics should work.  But hey, it would take aliens to right that wrong in our country.
  • The animated Amy messed with me a little.  But Louise sees the future, I guess it should be a little more than regular Amy.
  • GET YO SHIT TOGETHER…THAT is the message the aliens sent.
  • “If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?”  Alex brought up a great point – the alien who died saving their lives because of the bomb – he knew what would happen, believed in Amy enough to do it anyway.  Interesting.
  • AND, in one transition, Jeremy Renner sends changes this movies from SciFi to Chick Flick: “I’ve had my head tilted up to the stars for as long as I can remember. You know what surprised me most? It wasn’t meeting them. It was meeting you.” blech

I loved this movie enough to want to see it twice.  I am glad the first time was in an actual theater.  It is a terrifying thought, in today’s real world, how we (as a society) would react to an alien arrival.  Maybe it is what we need to force us to work together?  I was a huge fan of Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a kid.  I think that is why I truly liked this movie.  The aspect of language in trying to reach out to another lifeform.  And the possibility of being arrogant enough to believe we know what they are saying, even if we do not.  I give this movie an A+.




Synopsis: Arrival – When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) – are brought together to investigate.  As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers – and to find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.




Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes review of 94% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 92% liking it.  Average Rating: 4/5 with a number of User Ratings: 71,724.

Movie Reviews:

It had an estimated budget of $47M.  It has a 116 minute run time. 

Additional IMDB Trivia

  • Director Denis Villeneuve and screenwriter Eric Heisserer created a fully functioning, visual, alien language. Heisserer, Vermette and their teams managed to create a “logogram bible,” which included over a hundred different completely operative logo-grams, seventy-one of which are actually featured in the movie. 
  • Ted Chiang, who wrote the story the film is based upon, approved the film, saying, “I think it’s that rarest of the rare in that it’s both a good movie and a good adaptation… And when you consider the track record of adaptations of written science fiction, that’s almost literally a miracle.” 
  • The Hungarian word that Halpern refers to is “szalámitaktika.” (In English, this translates to “salami tactics.”) The word refers to divide the opposition, to only have to face smaller, weaker enemies. 
  • Louise tells Colonel Weber that the word ‘kangaroo’ comes from an historical misunderstanding, and actually means “I don’t know”, only to tell Ian that the story is untrue but illustrates her point. This is an actual myth, not just a made up story. It involves Lieutenant James Cook and Sir Joseph Banks who arrived in Australia in the 18th century, where they made contact with the Guugo Yimithirr, a coastal Aborigal tribe. They were puzzled by the sight of a kangaroo, and asked a tribesman what it was. According to the myth, the tribesman responded with the word “gangurru”, meaning “I don’t understand” in his language. Banks mistook it for the local term for the animal, spelling it as “kanguru” in his diary. The myth was debunked in the 1970s by linguist John B. Haviland. In reality, the word gangurru specifically refers to the grey kangaroo in the Guugo Yimithirr language. When Cook and Banks traveled 1,400 miles inland, they encountered the Baagandji tribe, who were unfamiliar with the other tribe and the word gangurru, and thought it meant “unknown animal”. The Baagandji then started to use the word to describe Cook’s and Banks’ horses. 
  • In the whiteboard shot where Louise writes the big question, immediately above the question is the standard formula for entropy – the arrow of time. 
  • Amy Adams revealed in an interview with The New York Times that she did not know Mandarin prior to filming the movie. 
  • Character names Louise Banks and Ian Donnelly probably are a tribute to the late Sci-Fi writer Iain Banks (1954-2013) 
  • The siren emitted throughout the movie signaling the scientists’ preparation to approach the ship is identical to the siren used in The Purge (2013) and its sequels.
  • What General Shang whispers to Louise is, “In war, there are no winners, only widows.”
  • In the source novella, Hannah dies at 25, in an accident while climbing a mountain. That means that Louise knows well in advance of her death from something seemingly avoidable, but has come to accept its inevitability, which lends a far darker tone to the story. 
  • The violin melody in the last sequence is palindromic. 
  • The earring worn by Louise with her gown is very similar to a nautilus shell. It’s an ancient living fossil with tentacles that is often associated with the golden ratio, the Fibonacci sequence mentioned in the film, and pi, a mathematical wonder as its an endless number. They’re considered keys for understanding the universe. 

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