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Blu-ray Review: Arrival

February 14, 2017

By John Corrado

arrival-blu-rayNominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture, Arrival follows linguistics professor Dr. Louise Banks (Amy Adams) who is recruited by the military to try and communicate with otherworldly visitors, after twelve giant egg-shaped alien spaceships land around the world.

Carried by a moving performance from Amy Adams, whose lack of an Oscar nomination is one of the year’s greatest snubs, Arrival is the sort of film that not only holds up well to multiple viewings, but practically demands them.  This is a piece of smart and ambitious science fiction that has a beating heart and keeps us engaged by making us think, and my full review can be found right here.

The Blu-ray also includes over eighty minutes of featurettes that collectively offer an excellent look at the amount of work that went into crafting the film, and the deeper themes that help the story resonate.  First up is the half-hour Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival, which features director Denis Villeneuve and the rest of the cast and crew discussing everything from the story to the production

Next up is Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design, which focuses on how they crafted the alien sounds of the film, Eternal Recurrence: The Score looks at Jòhann Jóhannsson’s hauntingly unconventional music, and Nonlinear Thinking: The Editing Process focuses on how they found the right pace for the film.  Last but not least, Principles of Time, Memory & Language is a very thought provoking piece that explores the big ideas at the centre of Ted Chiang’s original short story.  This is an excellent selection of bonus material, that helps strengthen our appreciation of the film.

Arrival is a Paramount Home Media Distribution release.  It’s 116 minutes and rated PG.

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