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Arrival Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by on Feb 14, 2017
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Arrival, the movie about a beneficial alien invasion is out on Blu-ray. Is it a thinking teen’s movie? Is it worth adding to your collection? Check Kidzworld’s Blu-ray review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Arrival when huge alien spacecraft station themselves around our world Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a famous linguist, is called in to figure out their language and what they want here.  Are they friendly? Turns out that the way they let us know is through Louise who has to take a painful personal journey that involves her own future.

Louise worries about the strange visions/dreams she is havingLouise worries about the strange visions/dreams she is havingCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

What Do They Want?

When the military has no luck communicating with weird aliens who have placed twelve huge spacecraft around the Earth, they bring in Dr. Louise Banks, a famous linguist, to translate the alien’s spoken or written words. What do they want on Earth? Finding out isn’t easy. Once in Montana where one of the ships hovers, Louise is paired with a mathematician Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) to try to “speak” the aliens’ unique language.

Louise (Amy Adams) suits up to talk to the aliensLouise (Amy Adams) suits up to talk to the aliensCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Humankind is Scared

Per usual, humans are afraid of anything different so many nations prepare to blast the aliens if we can’t communicate with them. Many teams worldwide try to break the code of their strange written language. Louise and Ian figure out that the Heptapods (what we name the creatures) have a written symbol language and they set out to teach them basic English words. As various countries study the aliens in their own areas, they all figure out a small piece of the puzzle but they all get paranoid and nationalistic and decide not to share any information!

Ian tries to explain the alien languageIan tries to explain the alien languageCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

It Gets Personal

Through dreams or visions, Louise sees the birth and childhood of a little daughter she doesn’t have….yet. When she is a young woman or teen, the daughter dies of some horrible disease. These dreams give Louise small clues to what the aliens want. She realizes that these visions are of her own future. The aliens don’t think or operate in linear time. They live in many time periods. In thousands of years, they will need our help and they really want Mankind to survive that long. Can we cooperate with each other long enough to survive? Will Louise’s future come true? Will she try to change it?

The huge egg-shaped alien spacecraftThe huge egg-shaped alien spacecraftCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Special Extra Features

  • Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival looks at the story developed from a book, challenges of bringing a complicated story to the screen, casting, ship and creature design, costumes, language and a bit about the director.  Interesting.
  • Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design talks about the movie’s use of weird sound as sort of its own character and what it means. Eerily interesting.
  • Eternal Recurrence: The Score lets us know how the soundtrack was made and why it gives a compliment to the story and its tone.
  • Nonlinear Thinking: The Editing Process explores the detailed process of editing a movie that jumps from present to future all over the place. This is helpful to watch.
  • Principles of Time, Memory, & Language – This might be the best extra to watch if you aren’t really clear on what is happening in the movie.

Amy on set with her director Denis VilleneuveAmy on set with her director Denis VilleneuveCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Wrapping Up

Arrival is not a shoot-em-up alien invasion movie. It would take a real thinking teen to really appreciate it. The basic message about the tendency we humans have to not trust each other and probably not a visiting alien either is interesting. They might be here for mutual help but would we blast them before we find out?  

Performances are really good, especially Amy as her personal future unfolds and she has to make really tough decisions.

Louise and Ian check out the weird alien symbolsLouise and Ian check out the weird alien symbolsCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Arrival is a bit “dark” in several ways, including how it actually looks. This Blu-ray seems a bit brighter than the movie projected in theaters and sound is fine.

Extras, like the movie, make you think and they do help better explain the story if you aren’t clear on it.  This film is certainly collectable but do not expect to whip it out to watch some gung-ho human spaceman punch an alien in the face. That’s another movie entirely.

Like we did for the film in theaters, for older teens, we go three stars.

Arrival Blu-ray Rating: 3

Arrival Blu-rayArrival Blu-rayCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

The Arrival Blu-ray is in stores now!


Have Your Say

If aliens landed, would you want to talk to them? How important is real communication with others anyway in our current world? Tell us what you think below.