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Thread: Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)

  1. #76
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    The 1/12 the data bit was equally annoying. If the heptapods needed our help in 3000 years, why the fuck would they split up the data needed to understand the language across the planet, only to want humanity to work together to achieve that goal??

    Shouldn't they have just made it easier for humanity to understand? If Earth had gone into World War III against the Aliens, then the heptapods would be screwed. (presumably).

    This is some Damon Lindelof shit right here. How is MC eating this up?

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  2. #77
    Quote Quoting Lazlo (view post)
    I don't buy her as being special beyond her skills as a linguist allowing her to start to unlock the heptapods' gift. I don't think that's in there. She's then able to pass that knowledge and ability along through teaching and writing her book. The heptapods don't expect her to be alive in thousands of years to help them. They expect future humans to learn and grow in their language and ability. If she's special it's because they know she gives them the best chance of teaching humans, but that doesn't mean that she has some innate ability to visualize time before she learns the language.

  3. #78
    Piss off, ghost! number8's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Well, there is always a chosen one element in all bootstrap paradox narratives. Not in the traditional "gifted person" way, but in the sense that the characters are inexplicably and perhaps randomly just is the person to undergo that narrative. If time is unchanging, and what happens happens, then whoever you see in your vision it happening to has been "chosen" to be the person it happens to, since cause and effect are infinitely looped. In other words, the heptapods "chose" her because they could see the future and in it they see that she's the one they talk to, the same way Louise "chooses" to tell something specific to the Chinese general because she sees in her future that the general said she said it. I think you can definitely take issue with this form of storytelling in general, but I don't think this film wavers from what it's establishing at all.
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  4. #79
    Shocking Seductive Spiral Thirdmango's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Fun movie. Not really seeing how it's mind blowing. I liked it and when the twist hit I was like, "ah that's fun."

  5. #80
    There be spoilers below:

    It's weird how the audience will accept that the jumbled chronology of, say, Pulp Fiction as just the way the director chose to construct it, but the second you make time travel part of the story, basic Film 101 non-chronological editing becomes some kind of unfathomable mystery. The flashback/flashforward thing is just the film doing a bit of a dance; I don't understand why so many people in here are trying to decipher it through the plot.

    Overall, I liked the tone and the atmosphere, but thought the plotting was kind of half-arsed, which is pretty much Villenueve in a nutshell. I don't think the race against time with the phone really makes a lick of sense, because once she understands the language, she can simply teach it to others, so what's the hurry? Oh yeah, some poorly explained war thing that the aliens can pretty much avoid whenever they want. However, despite all that, it managed to strike an emotional chord with me, if only briefly near the end.
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  6. #81
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    First of all, after reading this thread I have to agree with trans in that a lot of you guys seem mystified by the flash-forwards simply because they're in a sci-fi movie and you attempt to second guess something that's pretty straight-forward even when it's cinematic trickery. They are just flash-forwards. Their position at the beginning of the film makes you think they happened sometime before the first act when in fact they didn't. That's all there is to it if you ask me. I think the notion that there's something special about Space Margaret Mead is also misguided. She's a brilliant linguist and she understands the intrincacies of the Alien language to an extent the more number-oriented guy doesn't.

    All things considered I found this a solid science-fiction film and, even if I guessed what was going on early, the conclusion still packed a huge emotional punch and made sense to me, both thematically and emotionally, with everything we'd seen before. I had problems with other aspects of the film. I found the geopolitics of it kind of dumb. Villeneuve did a brilliant job dissecting the contradictions of US foreign criminal policies in Sicario, and here, he gives us what can only be described an utopian version of a space-landing scenario, where Americans run a minimum security Roswell in which scientists are allowed to do whatever they want and a group of renegade soldiers just bring in C-4 to what should be the most guarded field in the planet, except maybe the similar one in Russia. Even as I'm writing this, though, I am warming up to the idea of the film as a humanitarian fable and so I won't hold this point too strongly. The Chinese subplot is still the weak link in the chain.

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  7. #82
    The Pan
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    Nov 2007
    Ottawa, Canada
    This was pretty wonderful.

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