Continuing The Harold & Maudecast's movie review series, 2016 Award Season Contenders, ARRIVAL, starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (PRISONERS, SICARIO) written by Eric Heisserer (WARRIOR).
Linguistics Professor, Louise Banks (Adams) and Mathematician
Ian Donnelly (Renner) reporting to US Army Colonel Weber (Whitaker) must race to find a way to communicate with Aliens who have touched down in sphere-like vessels at 12 points across the globe. When global participation breaks down leading to a potential world war, Banks takes a dangerous chance that could destroy mankind, or save it. Here's hopin for the latter.
This sci fi/alien film aint what it seems. It's far more complex and will lead you to many false conclusions or none at all as you scratch your head when it's finally revealed. Adams once again proves worthy of her many Oscar nominations. It has elements of early Ridley Scott with its somber, gritty production design mirroring some of the same textures of the original ALIEN and odes to CONTACT and even CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. Yet, this film is very much it's own story with a new vision of what we think of as Aliens.
Verdict - Justice 8.5/10 - put it on your list.
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Now Streaming the Netflix original series, Stranger Things. This is our review of Season 1 -- and it KILLS, literally and superlatively. The series created by The Duffer Brothers (Wayward Pines), stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Matthew Modine. It is set in small town Indiana in 1983. Winona Ryder is a single mom who's son goes missing. Meanwhile his buddies discover a mysterious new resident "Eleven" a young girl with some super special powers who aids them in their quest to find their lost friend. An unapologetic homage to all things 80 movies particularly Spielberg, it finds it's modern sensibilities amongst its tribute spirit. It's brilliant, engaging, the casting is incredible particularly with Millie Bobby Brown who plays Eleven - this kid is a star in the making. If you see nothing else on TV or VOD this Summer, see this one. 10/10