Director Denis Villeneuve's "SICARIO" was so impressive that this reviewer eagerly awaited "ARRIVAL." The story revolving around government, military and civil professionals working feverishly to determine if alien spacecraft that has suddenly popped up in various locations around the world, have friendly or nefarious goals, is told in a non-linear fashion. So, it's certain to be challenging for those fans of ID4 and the like expecting a tense, action-filled, sci-fi adventure.
The narrative unfolds at a deliberate pace and its non-linear narrative makes all the more sense after the film's climax and some thought. "ARRIVAL" is the kind of film meant to be discussed afterwards, thus making it better fare than most films out there in 2016, 2017 or virtually any year!
The acting is first-rate, although one could argue Adams's performance in "NOCTURNAL ANIMALS" would've been easily more justified than for the fine, but nothing spectacular performance offered here.
"ARRIVAL" is the kind of film that can easily be re-watched and it's easy to recommend for one's film collection.
PARAMOUNT has provided the standard blu-ray and a Digital HD UHD code(it ported over to VUDU in Full UHD) along with this 4K release. The blu-ray is exquisite in its own right, providing stunning contrast, color quality representative of its original theatrical presentation and often, stunning detail. The 4K, up-converted from a 2K DI, offers better color delineation thanks to the HDR provided over the blu-ray, but the overall detail is only slightly better.
Grain in the 4K provides a more film-like experience than in the standard blu-ray as well. Surprisingly, the contrast isn't notably different in 4K than in the blu-ray. There are plenty of dark scenes, so upping the ante in the 4K version would've been a notable game-changer.
As proven with Villeneuve's "SICARIO," this director pays great attention to sound, and this soundmix (same on blu-ray and 4K)offered in DTS-HD MA 7.1 won't disappoint. From the opening and throughout, this is a clever(without being flashy) mix! Ambient effects are impressive and immersive, while it never feels over-the-top. Numerous LFE effects blend flawlessly with the music and dialogue throughout. This is an outstanding mix!
5 featurettes are included on the blu-ray release.