Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Since the adoption of Shep, our moving going had come to a screeching halt.

The last time we ventured out to theater was over two months ago  - two weeks before the arrival of one Mr. Shep.

I kind of thought we'd hit 30 movies this year, way surpassing the goal of 21. And we might have, but now I'm hoping to eke out 25.

We finally took the deep dive on Sunday and went to see Arrival.

I knew very little about the movie - other than who the two main "stars" and that it has good word of mouth.

Yes, stars is in quotes. While I know some of you have great accolades for Amy Adams, for the life of me I cannot figure it out. She's fine and all, but more often then not, her presence and performance is "meh" (and a downright suck-fest in Man of Steel!). And Jeremey Renner - a second (if not third) rate Avenger and a second (if not third) rate Bourne.

I get the good word of mouth part. The movie was well done. A space story that never leaves earth. A potential suspense movie that intrigues and doesn't rely on high intensity drama or over the top special effects. And a storyline that - for the most part - is clever and until far into it, is not what it seems.

Yes, it's science fiction, but I have a hard time suspending some disbelief, though little of it due to science fiction itself - just stupid oversights in moviemaking  - such as a military Chinook helicopter landing in Adams character's front yard. You see the residence in an earlier scene and it's not helipad ready.

Then there is Renner as an experimental physicist  - though there is zero in his character that does one bit of science, let alone physics. At least the guys on Big Bang Theory say stuff a physicist would say. Without too much spoiler - there was one reason he was needed in the movie at all.

Then of course there is the way a civilian seems to get around the military at every level with little to no consequences.

And don't get me started on countries where the spaceships land are thinking of blowing them off the face of the planet.  China? Sure.  Russia? Why not?  USA? Of course.  the Sudan or Sierra Leone?  ummmmm.  They can't even feed themselves and / or have Ebola. I'm not sure they have fire power to defeat aliens that look like Dementors.  (but hey - if it makes a kid looks up 'Sierra Leone', more power to them.)

There is also the typical good guy (Forrest Whitaker), the bad guy and the subversive guy. You just can't do a movie like this without those predictables.

Still - it's the telling of the story - it might not be what it seems. The director (Denis Villeneuve) did a highly underrated job with last year's Sicario and an equally good job here.  He is understated throughout the entire movie and as it turns out hired a great editor - but that goes along with the story.

As sci-fi goes, Arrival is closer to quality with Gravity or the Martian and way better than Interstellar.  As with other movies, it has stronger parts than others - and one horribly cheesy line I saw coming a mile away.

Arrival won't make my top 5 list for they year, but it was solid.

2016 Movie Count / Goal:  21 of 18

Song by: Sting


Raybeard said...

Seeing it later today, Blobby - and your review tells me it won't be a waste of time, especially since you feel that it's better than the over-hyped 'Interstellar', and that can only be to the good.

Bob said...

Amy Adams is beige ... neither here nor there.
Renner is just plain skeevey.
Still, I wanna see the movie so, yeah, there's that.

Professor Batty said...

You are one of the few reviewers who mentioned the editor, who was really responsible for making this moebius strip of a movie work.I thought the soundtrack was excellent as well. I think they picked Adams for the lead because she is somewhat bland.