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.


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 – Captain America: Civil War


I’m gonna hate myself for it, but I have to make a direct film comparison here. Captain America: Civil War had everything that Dawn of Justice lacked: heart, humour and humanity. Without the raw, destructive power of someone like Superman or Wonder Woman, and with Hulk missing in action, Civil War had to rely on brilliantly choreographed (and often brutal) action sequences to keep the audience engaged through the whole two-and-a-half hours. On its own that wouldn’t have been enough, but woven through the mass destruction of property and a fairly impressive body count, we had a story of friendship, guilt, sacrifice and betrayal.


The stoic relationship between the Captain and the Winter Soldier; the confusion of emotion suffered by the Vision; the erosion of friendship and trust between the Captain and Tony Stark; Stark’s loss of faith in himself: it was all surprisingly deep stuff that was as equally gripping as the superhuman wrecking show going on around it.

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