The most underrated sci-fi/thriller of the 90's
Eric | Tennessee | 03/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Arrival is a little known science fiction thriller thatarrived in the early summer of 1996 a year that is much more wellknown for a little film called Independence Day. Both movies are about alien invasions, but are different in execution and style. As to where Independence Day is an action film about visuals and explosions, The Arrival focuses on paranoia, plausibility, and drawing the audience in with an intriguing and credible plot.Zane Ziminski (Charlie Sheen) and his partner Calvin (Richard Schiff) are radio astronomers who have picked up a signal from outer space, just around a star called Wolf 336, which is 14.6 light years away from Earth. Arrival is writer David Twohy's directorial debut (his other work is Pitch Black, another great sci-fi thriller) and he does a very good job. He makes the plot quite intelligent and keeps the pace moving quickly with a riveting finale. The underlying paranoia is one of the aspects that fuels this movie along. X-Files fans should definitely enjoy this film and get a kick out of it.Many critics seemed to think Charlie Sheen was miscast, though I find no credibility in that statement. He is superb in his role as a normal guy who gets caught up in a dangerous conspiracy. His entire performance is very believable and it's easy to feel sympathetic and root for him at the same time. The supporting performances are decent, with Teri Polo and Lindsay Cruise doing fine jobs as the women in Zane's life. Ron Silver is particularly menacing as a CEO executive of SETI and he plays his part with a lot of subtlety.There's a lot of scientific talk in this film with many ideas thrown around and developed but it's doubtful viewers will get lost in this film's plot. It may seem confusing at first but it starts to become clear by the middle and the end."
One of my favorite sci-fi thrillers.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Released around the same time as the moronic Independence Day, it's too bad The Arrival was killed at the box office. It's truly the vastly superior film, with an intelligent plot, strong performances, adroit direction, and a lightning pace. Independence Day needed souped-up action scenes to keep the audience awake, but writer/director David Twohy holds the audience's attention with an engaging story, filled with little surprises that unfold brilliantly. I actually saw this movie before Twohy become hot property with the equally great Pitch Black, so I can tell this man is going to be one of the most sought after writer/directors in Hollywood.The performances are stellar, with Charlie Sheen superb as the paranoid protagonist. Many felt he was miscast for some strange reason. I felt he fit the role perfectly. Teri Polo is good as the girlfriend who may be more than she seems. She's not in the movie nearly as much as Sheen, but she makes an impression with her beauty and solid performance. Ron Silver is utterly chilling as Sheen's boss, who knows more than he's saying. His underplaying of the role is a wise choice; an over-the-top performance would have been out of place.Twohy is also impressive in creating action scenes. The chases in The Arrival are true heart-pounders, but they work so well because of the intriguing story and the vested interest we have in Sheen, who creates a truly likeable character to root for. Those who want only mindless action sequences might as well go for Independence Day, but for those looking for sharper suspense, thrills and a plot, The Arrival is the obvious choice."
SCI-FI AS IT SHOULD BE...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 07/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was underrated when it was first released, and, as with all good, underrated movies, it has since become a cult favorite. Clever and imaginative, a lot was done on a limited budget to make it into a top notch sci-fi thriller. It has an intelligent and well reasoned story, and the special effects are imaginative. Charlie Sheen, clean and sober, plays radio astronomer, Zane Zaminski, who picks up radio signals that are not earthly. When he takes a copy of the tape of these signals, which he believes to be indicative of intelligent, alien life, to his boss, chillingly played by Ron Silver, he is summarily fired from his job. Suddenly, all is not right with the world.Smelling something real fishy, Zane sets up a home satellite and tries to zero in on the signal. He gets lucky, or unlucky, depending upon how one looks at it, and he picks up the same signal he previously had picked up. It crosses a signal given off by a Mexican radio station, which motivates him to go to Mexico and check it out. While in Mexico, he meets a fellow scientist (Lindsay Crouse), who is there on her own investigation, as she has noted major atmospheric changes, which indicate that global warming is occurring at an alarming rate, almost as if there were a greenhouse effect. Unbeknownst to Zane at the time, her concerns are connected to his.While at a power plant with her, he comes across a doppelganger for his former boss, which sets off alarms in his head. Returning undercover at night, he discovers that the entire plant is operated by aliens, and they are not here just to say hello. There, a series of events transpire to reveal to him an immense, alien plot. Yes, it's the old alien conspiracy story rearing its ugly head. Only this time, it is handled with surprising intelligence. Zane is now on a mission to convey what he knows to the world, but the aliens will stop at nothing to silence him. Will he make it? Watch the film and find out. If you love sci-fi films, you will not be disappointed."
Best transfer for this film to date, colors very subdued
:::DIGITAL BABE::: | 04/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a fan of this film in the 90's, I was excited to see this film receiving a blu-ray treatment. It was watched on a 42" Panasonic Plasma and Panasonic BD35 player. The film itself is very clear and has a marked improvement over the SD. However, I was surprised to see a very subdued color palette (the reason for the 4/5, overall). Perhaps the director intended it to look this way, but it was still a bit strange, especially in some scenes, where I expected colors to pop.
It felt like I had turned the color down (which I had not), and even the grass, trees and any other color rich items in scenes were just not very vivid. However, I must rave about the DTS sound! It is very powerful and I absolutely recommend renting or purchasing this disc if you're a fan of the film. There are several thunderous scenes where the DTS really shines, and is very enjoyable.
The film itself contains some poor acting, but the storyline is what has always attracted me to this film. I am a huge fan of space, exploration and alien films, and while a bit comical at times, this one offers some neat little surprises in the storyline. Since visual effects technology has progressed significantly, even over the last 10 years, it's worth noting that the effects of the actual creatures are eye candy for fans of this genre. Charlie Sheen's mission to prove the existence of extra-terrestrials, by constructing his own super antenna drives the film, and creates the "1 man against the world", theme that is very enjoyable. You want him to succeed, and watching the film unfold is fun. However, there are no special features on te disc, which was very disappointing for me. I Recommend this BD for clarity and sound, and a must if you're already a fan!"