Feb 092017

Although I didn’t think Arrival was a masterpiece critics, and audiences, claimed it to be, there’s no denying that it is one of the more unique sci-fi films I’ve come across in that it’s less sci-fi and far more character driven with a positive message behind it.




Genre(s): Science Fiction, Drama
Paramount | PG13 – 116 min. – $48.99 | February 14, 2017

Date Published: 02/09/2017 | Author: The Movieman


Directed by:
Denis Villeneuve
Writer(s): Ted Chiang (“Story of Your Life” story); Eric Heisserer (screenplay)
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlberg, Tzi Ma
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: UHD, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (UHD): 2160p/Widescreen 2.39
Video (BD): 1080p/Widescreen 2.39
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: NA
Codec: HEVC/H.265 (UHD), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C


THE MOVIE — 4.0/5

Plot Synopsis: When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team – led by expert translator Louise Banks (AMY ADAMS), along with physicist Ian Donnelly (JEREMY RENNER) – races against time to decipher their intent. As tensions mount between fearful governments, including the Chinese and their general (TZI MA), Banks discovers the aliens’ true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity.

Quick Hit Review: Arrival was one of the best reviewed movies of a, to me, lackluster 2016. My take on this sci-fi drama: it’s good, but not great. I actually found this to be more on the disappointing side with Denis Villeneuve at the helm following the fantastic Sicario which didn’t get the same award accolades (still steams me Benicio Del Toro didn’t get a nod).

Back on Arrival, although I didn’t feel the greatness, it’s still a well done film that’s less about an alien invasion, as demonstrated that we not only don’t get a good view of the aliens but that we don’t even see the ship through the first act, setting up characters and reaction to the invasion rather than the invasion itself.

The acting, for the most part, was fine though despite all of the praise, and some dismay over an Oscar snub, I actually didn’t think Amy Adams turned in a transformative performance. She had a couple good scenes and evoked believable emotion, and yet I can’t say it was all that memorable nor better than her peers who did get the nomination. Renner meanwhile for his part was adequate but hardly noteworthy while Forest Whitaker is there to show some

Helmed by Denis Villeneuve, whose style makes the movie standout over a thin story, Arrival may be overhyped but it’s still compelling as well as entertaining in telling an old story used as an allegory for communication and humanity as well as love and loss. The performances by the leads were adequate but not entirely memorable. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a well made film adapted from a novel, “The Story of Your Life” that would seem to be unadaptable and unlike many movies today, it does make you think.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is a code for the Digital HD copy.

Featurettes (TRT 1:22:10; HD):

  • Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival (30:03)
  • Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design (13:59)
  • Eternal Recurrence: The Score (11:24)
  • Nonlinear Thinking: The Editing Process (11:20)
  • Principles of Time, Memory and Language (15:24)

These five featurettes gives insights into various aspects of the filmmaking process with the first an all-encompassing making-of and all provide behind-the-scenes footage mixed in with interviews.


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 4.75/5

Paramount releases Arrival onto Ultra High-Definition presented in with a 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and a 2160p UHD transfer (HEVC/H.265 codec). This is a rather dark looking picture, even the daylight sequences, so there’s not exactly lots of color, but detail is incredibly sharp and well defined and the splashes of color to pop out here and there. The Blu-ray meanwhile, in my testing, is good with fine detail and no apparent flaws like aliasing, artifacts or pixilation. In comparison, the Ultra High-Definition disc transfer is a tad better than its Blu-ray counterpart.

AUDIO – 4.75/5

Not sure why, but Paramount still hasn’t come on board with the new audio codecs but the 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track is still more than sufficient for a movie that is mostly dialogue driven but still shows some nice depth during one action scene (explosion), and alarms, helicopter sounds and inside the alien ship where you can hear ambient noises. The music, as it was in Sicario, provides a nice lift to this lossless track making large usage of the rear channels.


OVERALL – 4.5/5

Overall, although I didn’t think Arrival was a masterpiece critics, and audiences, claimed it to be, there’s no denying that it is one of the more unique sci-fi films I’ve come across in that it’s less sci-fi and far more character driven with a positive message behind it. This UHD released by Paramount includes excellent video/audio transfers and a good quality selection of bonus material.





Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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