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Arrival [Blu-ray] [Import]

 PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
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Calling this 1996 science fiction thriller "a glorified B movie," isn't a criticism. Writer-director David Twohy managed to get interesting material on the screen despite a limited budget, and the film is just believable enough to be satisfying as a tale of paranoid conspiracy. If you can ignore the hokey parts and accept Charlie Sheen as noted radio astronomer Zane Ziminski, you'll get thoroughly involved when the reception of an alien radio signal leads him to Mexico and to a huge underground power plant operated by aliens bent on the eventual takeover of Earth. Ron Silver is suitably chilling as the astronomer's boss, whose real identity is more horrifying than Ziminski ever imagined. The underground alien lair is memorably creepy, and Twohy's film is just smart enough to qualify as more than a guilty pleasure. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Eric
(warning: review will give spoilers for the original The Arrival, a great sci-fi thriller that I enthusiastically recommend)
The Arrival II is an unnecessary follow-up to the original, an inventive and suspenseful sci-fi thriller. Of course, unnecessary follow-ups are a rule of thumb, so a sequel to The Arrival seemed pretty inevitable, especially when you consider its ending. Too bad this "continuation" lacks all the qualities of its predecessors, namely in good writing, acting, and inspired direction. I actually purchased the Arrival II on DVD...as it was a double feature with the original. Before I even popped the film in, I was expecting ...from the first minute, so the best thing I can say is that the movie turned out to be a bit more watchable than I expected.
The Arrival II is set in Montreal, two months after the events of the original. Radio astronomer Zane Zaminski has died of an apparent heart attack, but he did manage to send out info of the alien invasion to his most trusted colleagues, as well as to his stepbrother, Jack Addison (Patrick Muldoon), and a news reporter (Jane Sibbett, Ross' lesbian ex-wife from Friends). This group becomes the targets of the aliens, until the only survivors are Muldoon and Sibbett, who go on the run together and try to expose the aliens' nefarious plans.
The Arrival II suffers distinctly from a lack of freshness, which is much needed in a sequel that's meant to continue a running story. All the material we have here is pretty much repeat. Basically, we know there are aliens out there disguised as human beings and they're whole goal is to terraform the Earth and mold it into an environment suitable for their own colonization. Oh, and let's not forget that spherical object with a strong vacuum pull.
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By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
This movie was underrated when it was first released, and, as with all good, underrated movies, it has since become a cult favorite. Clever and imaginative, a lot was done on a limited budget to make it into a top notch sci-fi thriller. It has an intelligent and well reasoned story, and the special effects are imaginative.

Charlie Sheen, clean and sober, plays radio astronomer, Zane Zaminski, who picks up radio signals that are not earthly. When he takes a copy of the tape of these signals, which he believes to be indicative of intelligent, alien life, to his boss, chillingly played by Ron Silver, he is summarily fired from his job. Suddenly, all is not right with the world.

Smelling something real fishy, Zane sets up a home satellite and tries to zero in on the signal. He gets lucky, or unlucky, depending upon how one looks at it, and he picks up the same signal he previously had picked up. It crosses a signal given off by a Mexican radio station, which motivates him to go to Mexico and check it out.

While in Mexico, he meets a fellow scientist (Lindsay Crouse), who is there on her own investigation, as she has noted major atmospheric changes, which indicate that global warming is occurring at an alarming rate, almost as if there were a greenhouse effect. Unbeknownst to Zane at the time, her concerns are connected to his.

While at a power plant with her, he comes across a doppelganger for his former boss, which sets off alarms in his head. Returning undercover at night, he discovers that the entire plant is operated by aliens, and they are not here just to say hello. There, a series of events transpire to reveal to him an immense, alien plot. Yes, it's the old alien conspiracy story rearing its ugly head.
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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
I think they put "The Arrival" (4 stars) and "Arrival 2" (2 stars) on the two sides of the same DVD because they knew that was the only way anybody would ever get around to watching the lame sequel to a pretty good science fiction film. In "The Arrival" writer-director David Twohy comes up with an interesting culprit to explain global warming. The 1996 thriller begins with scientist Ilana Green (Lindsay Crouse) finding something in Antarctica that should not be there. Meanwhile, the hero of our tale, radio astronomer named Zane Zaminski (Charlie Sheen with a goatee), is working on a S.E.T.I. project by looking where nobody in their right mind should be looking, in the FM band. To his surprise and the shock of his colleague, Cal (Richard Schiff), he finds something there. This could be the biggest scientific discovery of the 20th century by Zane's boss, Phil Gordian (Ron Silver), not only refuses to get excited, he destroys the evidence. Then some strange guys in suits show up to make sure they have all of the evidence.
Clearly Zane has discovered something he is not supposed to know about. But part of the problem is that he has no clue what he has stumbled upon or why it should get people killed. The other key part of the problem is that Zane is now unemployed and no longer has access to a gigantic radio telescope. So he has to, basically, build one, which is how "The Arrival" lets you know that Twohy has paid attention to the science of the story (okay, I know nothing about science and this could all be nonsense, but there is an effort being made to connect the scientific dots).
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Want to know the cause of global warming? Look to the skies
I have heard a lot of speculation regarding the causes of global warming. Burning fossil fuels, spraying aerosol cans, and the destruction of the rain forests have all been... Read more
Published on May 11 2004 by Lawrance M. Bernabo
5.0 out of 5 stars Ranks among the best sci-fi thrillers (maybe it IS the best)
Writer/director David Twohy accomplished the near-impossible in the summer of 1996; he delivered a fun, fast-paced AND intelligent sci-fi thriller with The Arrival, an intriguing,... Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2002 by Eric
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best alien movies out there
I've been reading a bunch of lists of the best 10 sci-fi movies of all time and not one poll mentioned this movie. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Arrival - 3 stars...Arrival II - junk! NOT PG13~~ RATED R!
...these two movies are distinctly different, and only Arrival I is PG13. Arrival II, however, is rated R and contains an unecessary and EXPLICIT SEX scene with full frontal... Read more
Published on June 3 2002 by "ktherrell2"
5.0 out of 5 stars SCI-FI AS IT SHOULD BE...
"The Arrival" was underrated when it was first released, and, as with all good, underrated movies, it has since become a cult favorite. Read more
Published on March 2 2002 by Lawyeraau
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised !
After reading the other reviews, I almost did not buy this DVD.
But I am glad I did, in spite of all the criticism, I think ARRIVAL 2 is a GOOD picture, perhaps even better... Read more
Published on Nov. 23 2001 by Stephen Mendes
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 GOOD FILMS [...]!!!
Real Sci-Fi movies. Nice audio/video effects in both films (great sound at the end of the second film). Films are 4 stars, [inexpensive] edition - 5 stars. "Buy it" deal.
Published on July 30 2001 by Vitalijs Kuzmins
5.0 out of 5 stars SCI-FI AS IT SHOULD BE...
This movie was underrated when it was first released, and, as with all good, underrated movies, it has since become a cult favorite. Read more
Published on July 8 2001 by Lawyeraau
3.0 out of 5 stars arrival/arrival 2 pretty good
i must say that after reading the reviews of the other people that have seen these movies i thought both movies were going to suck. i have to said that they did not suck. Read more
Published on July 2 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Alien Invasion Thriller...
THE ARRIVAL is solid sci-fi. It is an Alien Invasion thriller combining good plot with believable acting, suspense and very respectable special effects. Read more
Published on March 3 2001 by Arthur F. McVarish
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