Just in time for your Academy Awards catch up, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival arrives on 4k Ultra HD and Blu-ray combo packs today courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution. A science fiction tale that explores language and time, Villenueve’s Academy Award nominated film questions whether one would make the same choices in life if the outcome was already known.
When twelve alien ships land around the globe without warning, countries race to be the first to communicate with these extraterrestrial visitors. Fearing that the beings might be hostile, the U.S. military led by Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) enlists the help of linguistics expert Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) in hopes of decoding what the aliens’ purpose on Earth is.
As Dr. Banks attempts to decipher both the meaning of the images the aliens use to communicate, and the link between the aliens’ presence and her recurring memories of her deceased daughter, the film subtly forces the viewer to ponder the reliability of memory, and our experience of time.
Proving once again that he is a director who defies convention, Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is a thinking person’s science fiction film. Those looking for mankind versus alien spectacle will not find it here. Arrival is more concerned with the global paranoia and fears that come with being human. It could be argued that the aliens themselves are secondary to the central narrative at play. Like any good procedural, the film takes its time when it comes to revealing its true nature. As the audience observes Dr. Banks and Donnelly going through this shared experience, they slowly become aware of the intricate way Villeneuve has constructed his head-spinning tale.
Transferring well from the theatre to home viewing, Bradford Young’s stark and haunting cinematography is still lush to look at, Arrival‘s Blu-ray has several intriguing feature that will bring viewers deeper into the film. The highlight being the insightful “Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival” in which Villeneuve, the producers and cast talk about the lengthy and intricate journey that came with bringing Ted Chaing’s “Story of Your Life” short story to the screen. Part of which included how a professional linguist helped to bring authenticity to the proceedings. Audiophiles will also find the two featurettes on the films score and sound design intriguing as well. Fans of the film will want to add this Blu-ray to their collection.
Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival
Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design
Eternal Recurrence: The Score
Nonlinear Thinking: The Editorial Process
Principles of Time, Memory & Language