Film review: Arrival

Okay, I can’t really say too much about this film, other than go see it. Arrival is a slow-burning Sci-fi flick about twelve vast alien ships that  appear from nowhere. The job of learning the aliens’ complex language falls to a young linguist with attachment issues and a theoretical physicist who believes the problem of communication with minds so different from our own can be solved through mathematics. The answer is halfway between, with a little ingenuity and intuition thrown in for good measure.

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This is thinking Science-Fiction, a bit like Interstellar. The script is sparse, very much pared to bone actually, which is odd when you think about it because this film is very much about language and what it can reveal about the universe around us. The acting is superbly understated with Amy Adams and Forest Whitaker delivering creditable performances, and Jeremy Renner proving he’s more than just a superhero bowman.

I loved it. One of these films tha leaves you thinking for days after, and wanting to see it again just in case there’s something you missed.

If you only like your sci-fi with gunfights and star battles then Arrival is probably not for you. But if you’re looking for a killer, thought-provoking story with a little excitement along the way  then it’s most definitely worth a punt.

Easily ten out of ten.

Film Review: Suicide Squad

Well, it’s here: the most hyped superhero movie of the past decade. Having faced critical drubbings for its last few outings, DC had to make Suicide Squad work. The premise was slightly different from the usual superhero flicks (or so we were told): the squad is made up of criminals and sociopaths brought together to form an expendable, deniable team designed to fight ‘metahuman’ threats in return for money and/or time off their multiple life sentences.What can possibly go wrong?

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Well, let’s start with the script…

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Star Trek Beyond: a tale of two trailers

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In a long history of Star Trek movies, going all the way back to the original Motion Picture, this was the first one that I seriously thought about skipping:

I hate to see a good franchise shoot itself in the head, and by the looks of the trailer, Star Trek Beyond was going to do exactly that. The movie was directed by Justin Lin, who is partially responsible for the never-ending Fast & Furious series. Trekkies across the globe were a little worried about the director, given his track record to date, and the trailer didn’t help: I thought I was watching Fast & Furious 15 – Romulan Drift.  It looked like the film makers had missed their target audience by a light year. But rather than release the film and accuse the fanbase of being alien-hating mysognists (like the makers of the new Ghostbusters flick would have done), they revamped the trailer and tried again.

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