MOVIE REVIEW: Arrival (2017)

I must admit, I’m such a big fan of La La Land even before it hit local scenes, that I almost forgot that there are other interesting movies coming to theaters thereon. When Damien Chazelle’s followup to Whiplash was finally shown in the cinemas just last month, I managed to watch it 11 times as if magic has already lured me to return again and again. The musical romantic drama film is indeed captivating. The songs stuck in my head, its visual spectacle as awesome as the first time. Arrival, on the other hand, is a different case. Despite prior critical acclaims, I was not as excited to see it, simply because “alien invasion” sounds too worn-out for me. Much to my surprise, I had no idea that Arrival is the kind of movie that will make me forget La La Land (and all of the 11 times I saw it), or any other recent favorite for that matter.

In Arrival, the help of linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is sought by the military when twelve seedpod-shaped spaceships suddenly appeared on random location across the Earth. She is teamed up with physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) and they station at the nearest landing site in Montana. As supervised by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) and CIA Agent Halpern (Michael Sthulbarg), their goal is to determine what the aliens want. Adams showcases a character to be hold onto and to be cared for, with Renner’s comforting personality on the side.

Director Dennis Villeneuve proves yet again that he has the knack in his craft, more evident as ever after Enemy and Sicario (both of which are outstanding as well). Based on the short story, Story of your Life by Ted Chiang, Arrival is adapted to screen by Eric Heisserer who highlighted the importance of visual cues and actions to give hints and plant seeds that are to be harvested as the story progresses. What the two created in Arrival is a movie to be remembered, not as an alien movie but as one good example of how to break the stereotype in alien sci-fi subgenre. This time around, it is not about the usual destructive nature of close encounters with aliens. The key word here is communication. For guman beings or otherwise, communication is the best tool to make things possible and workable. But one big question remains: is it really the intention of the large spider-like seven-legged aliens they referred to as heptapods?

This all goes back to the very start of the movie. The introduction is a fascinating prelude to its ending piece inasmuch as this same ending is a riveting starting point that could lead back to the movie’s first few minutes. Focus is much needed to fully comprehend what the story is all about. It is indeed a simple story that tackles various personal issues including fear of the unknown and facing consequences. A repeat viewing could also work wonders in filling in the gaps that would appear as though intended to make the audience crave for more. Why are they here? Why are we all here?

Critically-acclaimed sci-fi ‘Arrival’ holds sneak previews on Feb 6, 7

Nerdist calls it, “The smartest blockbuster since The Dark Knight,” while NY Magazine describes it as “An eerie, tantalizing, altogether superb puzzler.”

The subject of these praises is Columbia Pictures’ Arrival – the critically acclaimed film that’s up for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay.

And now, Philippine audiences can catch it in sneak previews on Monday and Tuesday, February 6 and 7 in selected cinemas everywhere. Tickets will be at regular admission prices. (Check your favorite cinema for details).

arrival movie amy adams

Arrival is a provocative science fiction thriller from acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners, upcoming Blade Runner 2049). When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead 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.

Also starring Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, Arrival is based upon the acclaimed short story by Ted Chiang titled Story of Your Life.

In its citation of Arrival as the No.1 Best Reviewed Sci-Fi/Fantasy film of 2016’s, RottenTomatoes writes, “Arrival delivers a must-see experience for fans of thinking person’s sci-fi that anchors its heady themes with genuinely affecting emotion and a terrific performance from Amy Adams.”

Concurring with this acclaim is Kenneth Turan of Los Angeles Times who says the film “is simultaneously old and new, revisiting many of these alien-invasion conventions but with unexpected intelligence, visual style and heart.”

Steve Tilley of Toronto Sun also affirms, “If you’re yearning for a smart, thoughtful sci-fi film that wonders how first contact with aliens might go down, this tight little gem of a film is a gift from beyond the stars.”

Finally, The Atlantic’s Christopher Orr proclaims, “The best film of the year to date, ambitious in conception and extraordinary in execution, has arrived.”

Opening across the Philippines on February 15, Arrival is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

With 8 Oscar noms, ‘Arrival’ a rare sci-fi Best Picture contender

Nabbing a best picture nomination January 23, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival joined the short list of science-fiction films that have been nominated for the film industry’s top prize.

Reports Variety, previous to the Academy’s expansion of the category in 2009, sci-fi nominees were a rarity. The only two that come to mind are E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982 and Star Wars in 1979.

With eight, Arrival earned the second-highest number of nominations, clinching nods for director, adapted screenplay, cinematography, sound editing, sound mixing, production design, and editing — in addition to best picture.

Since 2009, movies such as District 9, Avatar, Inception, and Her have picked up best picture nominations. Gravity and The Martian have joined the fray as well, but purists might not consider their baked-in-reality premises strictly sci-fi.

The point is the Academy’s best picture expansion has been a boon for a genre that was largely ignored by the organization prior to the 21st Century.

In Arrival, when a mysterious spacecraft touches down across the globe, and an elite team – lead 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.

Also starring Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, Arrival is based upon the acclaimed short story by Ted Chiang titled Story of Your Life.

Opening across the Philippines on February 15, 2017, Arrival is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

‘Arrival’ gets nine British Academy Award nominations

Columbia Pictures’ provocative science-fiction thriller Arrival continues its illustrious awards season run as the Denis Villeneuve film has just scored nine British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.

It also landed Best Adapted Screenplay nod for screenwriter Eric Heisserer and Best Actress for lead star Amy Adams.

arrival-movie-amy-adams

Rounding out the categories Arrival got nominated for are Music, Cinematography, Editing, Sound and Special Visual Effects. The winners will be known on February 12, 2017.

In Arrival, a mysterious spacecraft touches down across the globe, and an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (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.

Also starring Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, Arrival is based upon the acclaimed short story by Ted Chiang titled Story of Your Life.

Opening across the Philippines on February 15, 2017, Arrival is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Amy Adams wins Best Actress from National Board of Review for ‘Arrival’

Amy Adams has just been proclaimed Best Actress by The National Board of Review (NBR), one of the most prestigious award-giving bodies in the US, during the group’s announcement of its choices for outstanding achievement in film for 2016.

Adams won for her portrayal of a linguist tasked to communicate with aliens in Columbia Pictures’ Arrival, which has also been selected by NBR as one of the Ten Best Films of 2016.

Arrival is a provocative science fiction thriller from acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners). When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (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.

Denis Villanueve has mentioned in an interview that Adams was his only choice to play the lead character. “Amy Adams was the actress I was dreaming of for this part because I knew that the audience would believe in this movie if the actress believed in it—everything is happening through her eyes.”

Opening across the Philippines in February 2017, “Arrival” is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner face the unknown in ‘Arrival’ character posters

Columbia Pictures has launched the character posters of lead cast members Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner for its upcoming thriller Arrival. The individual one-sheets of Adams and Renner show close-ups of their faces while clad in space suits.

Arrival is a provocative science fiction thriller from acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners). When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead by expert linguist Louise Banks (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.

“Casting [ARRIVAL} was the easiest thing in my career,” says Villeneuve, “because everybody fell in love with the screenplay. Amy Adams was the actress I was dreaming of for this part because I knew that the audience would believe in this movie if the actress believed in it—everything is happening through her eyes.”

Meanwhile, Villeneuve says that the role of Ian Donnelly was a bit different than the usual roles Renner is offered. “It’s very unusual to cast Jeremy Renner, who is more of a James Bond or Jason Bourne type of an actor, into [the role of] an intellectual,” says the director. “I think he liked that challenge. He came full of generosity, because he’s there to support Amy, I was amazed by his talent and strong instincts. He was able to bring that dimension of a scientist in a very dynamic and funny way. The movie owes him a lot.”

Opening across the Philippines on December 7, 2016, Arrival is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

‘Sicario’ acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve returns with ‘Arrival’

One of the most highly regarded directors working today in Hollywood, Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, upcoming Blade Runner 2049) promises to mesmerize audiences once again with Columbia Pictures’ provocative science-fiction thriller Arrival.

In the film, a mysterious spacecraft touches down across the globe, and an elite team – lead 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.

Also starring Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker, Arrival is based upon the acclaimed short story by Ted Chiang titled “Story of Your Life.”

“What I love about the short story is that it has a lot of layers,” explains Villeneuve. “One of them that deeply touched me is this idea that someone is in contact with death. What would happen if you know how you will die, when you will die? What will your relationship with life, love, your family and friends, and with your society be? That’s what this beautiful short story was for me—a way to get back into a relationship with death and nature, and the mystery of life.”

Producer Dan Levine says, “What always stood out to me about Denis was he has these visions, or he wakes up with these thoughts, as if things are almost ordained. There’s a certainty to him in the gentlest way that makes you feel so confident with him directing. He’s a master at suspense and tension, but the key component to him is he gets the human component of a script, the deep emotion, the dramatic depth of each character. There’s a deep soul to him. He’s an artist. Every single time I see a film of his, it’s the greatest experience.”

“It’s a very suspenseful film, there’s something about it that’s Hitchcockian to me,” says cast member Mark O’Brien, “because we don’t know what’s going to happen completely. It’s stretched out in that Hitchcock way. Because it’s so mysterious and other worldly, audiences are going to be totally gripped to the screen the entire time.”

“I can’t wait to see this movie with an audience,” enthuses Levine, “because the floor will drop out of the theater. People will gasp, because you are so caught up in this story. You think you’re figuring it out and then you realize it’s something else completely, but it works perfectly. It’s a deeply emotional, powerful ending that I can’t wait to experience through other people’s eyes.”

Opening across the Philippines on December 7, 2016, Arrival is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Sci-fi thriller ‘Arrival,’ based on acclaimed short story

In Columbia Pictures’ provocative science-fiction thriller Arrival, a mysterious spacecraft touches down across the globe, and an elite team – lead 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. Also starring Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker.

“I’ve dreamed of doing science fiction since I was ten years old,” explains director Denis Villeneuve, who fell deeply in love with the short story Arrival is based upon, Ted Chiang’s ‘Story of Your Life.’ “It’s a genre that I feel has a lot of power and the tools to explore our reality in a very dynamic way.”

“After producers Dan Levine and Dan Cohen first contacted me about doing a movie,” says Chiang, “they sent me a DVD of Denis’ film, Incendies (2010), to give me an idea of what they had in mind. That played a big part in my taking them seriously. If they had sent me a copy of a conventional Hollywood science-fiction movie, I probably would have ignored them. It wasn’t until a few years later that Denis was actually attached to direct, but he was the director they had in mind from the beginning.”

Villeneuve approached Arrival differently for a number of reasons. Even though he thought ‘Story of Your Life’ was “fantastic material” he simply didn’t have time to write the screenplay because he was in the middle of shooting Prisoners (2013). “I had no time to write a screenplay,” says Villeneuve, “and, to be honest, I didn’t know how to crack that short story because it’s very intellectual, in a strong and beautiful way, but from a dramatic point of view it’s a bit difficult to articulate because it’s about process.”

Villeneuve left it with the producers, including executive producer and screenwriter Eric Heisserer, who had already been working on an adaptation of the short story from early on in the production process. “They came back a few months later with a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer that was surprisingly good,” says Villeneuve. “I say surprising because Eric was able to crack it and create a sense of tension and a drama inside of that process of translation.” Villeneuve was on board.

Heisserer was equally taken by Chiang’s story. “Ted’s short story gripped me in a way that very few stories do,” recounts Heisserer. “It wasn’t that I felt that the qualities of the story were inherently cinematic, but it gave me something that I hadn’t had in a long time. It fed my brain and my heart. It made me think and feel, and it treated me with a lot of respect as an intelligent reader. At the end of the day I felt it gave an optimistic message about humanity, and in turn about myself.”

“Eric and I didn’t talk about the script as it was being written,” explains Chiang. “He pitched me his idea for the script early on in order to get me to grant permission. I should note that when I wrote the story, I never envisioned it being made into a film and I had difficulty imagining what a film adaptation of it would look like. When I heard Eric’s pitch I was able to visualize the film he had in mind and I liked it, so I let him go ahead and write a script. After he had finished it, I read it and offered a few comments. Over the years the script has undergone some changes, but in most ways it’s still what Eric originally pitched.”

Opening across the Philippines on December 7, 2016, Arrival is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

WATCH: New trailer for mystery thriller ‘Arrival’ has landed

Columbia Pictures has just launched the teaser trailer for acclaimed director Denis Villenueve’s much anticipated new film after “Sicario” – the mystery thriller “Arrival” starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. Watch the trailer here below.

Synopsis: When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – lead 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.

Opening soon across the Philippines, “Arrival” is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.