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Movie Review: ‘Arrival’ Delivers on Inspiring and Introspective Science Fiction

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Arrival Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Arrival could be the most innovative alien movie out there–read our movie review to find out why:

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he aliens that arrive in Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival have not come to blow us up (Independence Day), be our friends (E.T.), gas up (District 9) or eat us (War of the Worlds). Such alien ambitions are for simpler sci-fi pulp and Villeneuve never aims to lower the intelligence of his movies, even when the budget has been raised. He’s more interested in delving into the wondrous discoveries of life, the importance of communication and the engrossing observation of time. If we can ponder such grand themes, why not creatures from other galaxies?

Arrival Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

We’d freak out a little if we saw that.

The marketing for Arrival has done a great job at holding back nearly every clever twist and gorgeous display of visual splendor. To even talk about the plot is to give away most of the movie’s joy of discovery. Consider this fair warning for a few big spoilers ahead.

The visitors from outer space make their presence known by positioning twelve of their spaceships across the Earth at random locations. They are tall, black and curved ships, appearing as giant rocks that hover above the ground. Lying dormant with no contact, governments begin to venture inside the ships that grant them access. But the alien creatures, appearing as the children of Cthulhu with their octopus structure, they meet inside are shy and do not speak any known language, communicating only with strange symbols drawn through a fluid ink they create themselves.

Arrival Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

Amy Adams is tasked with communicating with the aliens.

The US military brings in two professionals for the job of making contact. The meek-yet-curious linguistics professor Louise (Amy Adams) and always-smiling mathematician expert Ian (Jeremy Renner) are called in for the mission. Both are tasked with comprehending and translating the language of the aliens in an attempt to find out why they’re here. A pensive Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) wants an answer soon as he holds back the brewing desire to open fire on these ships of unknown origin.

The majority of the picture is spent on uncovering the mystery, and it’s an engrossing slow burn. With each visit into the alien spacecraft, Louise learns a little more and it’s intriguing to watch her communication sessions. The language she becomes fluent with begins to take its toll on her mind as mastering any language can do, but not to the degree she was expecting. The more she learns from the aliens, the more we also learn about her tragic history with her daughter through her flashing memories.

Arrival Movie Review MovieSpoon.com

The aliens communicate with unique symbols.

There’s a sense of all-encompassing detail with Arrival’s story in how it takes in several angles. Though the majority of the movie takes place at the spacecraft landing in Montana, there’s a global sense of the impact from the other spaceships around the world. Through reports by both the military and the news, the world reacts towards these visitors in numerous ways. By default, there has to be the moment of panic and looting in the streets, but what’s more appealing is the strategy of other governments that have been communicating with the aliens as well.

Not all of the governments are on the same page, as the Chinese translate the messages as a threat. They become spooked and the world goes into a communications lockdown, with intent to recreate the battle of Independence Day. Some individuals are even inspired to buckle under the pressure to use deadly force after buying into media paranoia.

Read more to get the rest of the movie review for Arrival and watch the trailer:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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