Category Archives: Movies

Arrival, The Movie

A writer-friend gave her stamp of approval to this movie that would’ve missed my radar. I took a look at the preview and closed the window in the first few seconds. FYI, that’s a good thing. I’m not a big fan of watching previews because they can spoil the movie for me. (Too much to get into here.) I relayed that I planned to go see it within the week, and she expressed curiosity as to what I thought. This preamble is to say that this movie/story breakdown was written to fulfill her request.


So, the ‘this week’ turned into next week which is now this week. Anyhow was finally able to make the time to see Arrival. It was quite cerebral, and I enjoyed it.

As a fan of non-linear storytelling, the opening line clued me in and I was glad to have gone for the ride. There were parts that I felt were a bit longish, but–purely–that came from wanting to get to the (presumed) payoff.

That said, since you inquired about what I thought; here it is. When it comes to movies that encourage thinking, I tend to. I had a: really dig, two didn’t like, one would’ve been nice, and one hold-on (which is a super nit).

— The Really Dig —

I really dug The Heroine telling her kangaroo story. It spoke volumes about the character and her understanding of the type of people she was dealing with. And her coming clean to The Scientist to address the slice of the audience who’d say, “That’s not right” was right on point.

— Didn’t Like, The First —

I didn’t like my spacial awareness saying, that if they were going up on a lift and jumped to get onto the wall, they should be walking up a wall in the alien chamber which, effectively, would’ve been the new floor. And the same would hold true for any of the other walls they could’ve jumped on to from the lift. Though gravity was control in the alien ship, I was very aware that I was watching a movie when they did the walking on the ceiling bit. [“It’ll be a cool effect” I hear ya Hollywood.] They would’ve had to make a turn to be on a horizontal surface of any sort. [“I said ‘cool effect,’ bro.” Sorry Hollywood. I get it.] I actually needed the extra time they took to set up the equipment, so that I could have that little fight in my head and tell myself, “Shut up, and watch.”

— Didn’t Like, The Second —

I didn’t like The Father as being to have said that The Heroine had made the ‘wrong’ choice. With The Heroine’s ability, I could see her not going the distance with any semi d-bag dude. However once I knew The Father was The Scientist, I thought about the times when The Scientist showed an appreciation for the moment. Yes, for the story to work, I get why it was said and why they weren’t together, but it didn’t sound like The Scientist character.

— The Would’ve Been Nice —

It would’ve been nice if The General would’ve taken ten seconds to ask The Heroine a word definition from the other linguistics candidate. (She would’ve knocked it out of the park, of course.) But knowing the definition to a word you propose as a test doesn’t cinch it for me, particularly when The General asked her what it meant. [“Save on time!” I hear ya’ Hollywood.]

— The Hold-On —

Hold-on! Did we just time travel? Did we miss the scene where she met Big Domino in an alternate future where things didn’t work out with the aliens and she asked, “What could I have said to change your mind?” And he replied with, something seemingly outlandish like, “Calling me on my personal cell during the stand off and telling me my wife’s dying words where were (strings of Manderin).” She’d then get his number in the same scene or from a thrown-out note that was scratched while she was translating his phone call. Then, that timeline being erased when she told him those words and then being befuddle about knowing what to say. Or. Or! Did she originally read the words in Big Domino’s biography in the future so that she’d know what to say the first time?

To me, there’s an unresolved loop there. A real missed chance by Hollywood to make an elegant time-line-sensitive solution. Because {pardon me while I adjust my geek-hat}, even if she knew her entire life, there wouldn’t have been a moment in the future for him to tell her his wife’s dying words if she wasn’t somehow successful in the first place. I get what they cemented with the Non-Zero Sum Game. Once she knew information, she could apply it to any point in her life, but that party meeting with Big Domino wouldn’t have happened without an alternate alien success of some sort (doesn’t have to be another timeline) in the first place.

— Summary —

Even with the Hold On and Didn’t Likes, I still enjoyed the story, the storytelling, The Heroine’s arc, decisions, and sympathized for her coming battles. More so, I thoroughly enjoyed the near complete emersion into the film [I’m looking at you cool effect]. It’s not a pay-for-a-second-viewing-in-the-theater for me, but I will watch it again when it comes out to see if I can minimize my Didn’t Likes and possibly tear apart my Hold On.

 

Movie: Big Hero 6

Big_Hero_(film)_poster_003Talk about an excellent (and really fun) movie! Several of my friends raved about this adaption, a couple even paid to see it in 3D on subsequent visits.

They prompted me to go. I didn’t have the time. They promised to buy my ticket if I went and didn’t like it, which was a nice offer, but I still didn’t have the time.

Then, the stars aligned and I finally got a chance to go see what had everyone talking…

Man, oh man, I can’t wait for this to come out on disc so I can add it to my home library! Since it’s still in the theaters, and I’m not one for possibly spoiling a movie, I’ll simply echo the encouragement to go see this movie before it’s out of the theaters.

(I have drafted a review. It will be posted once the movie is released for home consumption and I get a chance to watch it again to see if I missed anything worth raving about.)

By the way, go see it.