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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Arrival
The Arrival
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 3, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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This title is being re-released on 7/25/00 for the lowered price of $14.98.

The Movie:

"The Arrival" plays like a longer "X-Files" episode, and although the film could have easily been a dull, lamely done thriller, the final product has good performances and dialogue, as well as an involving plot.

Charlie Sheen(overacting wonderfully - sort of the opposite of what David Duchovny does on "The X-Files") stars as Zane Zaminsky, a scientist who recieves a signal that he believes is from life on an another planet. Of course, like almost any paranoid thriller, not only does no one believe him, but things begin to happen to those around him.

Heading to Mexico to investigate further, he finds both an ally in a scientist played by Lindsay Crouse, and the clues to possibly what the aliens want with our planet. I remain vague about the final details and plot, because I don't want to ruin the film for those who have not seen it. The film's plot and themes are interesting and engaging, and it's a smartly written piece.

Charlie Sheen is not exactly Oscar-worthy, but he's suprisingly good here. He overacts, but overacts just right. Not many of the supporting players offer too much, but are fair. "The Arrival" isn't perfect, but it's certainly one of the better smaller sci-fi films to come out over the past few years.


The DVD

VIDEO: This is one of the first titles that Artisan had released and a very early title for the format. Where the studio has improved greatly since then in their releases, there's some distracting problems apparent with "The Arrival".

Images are adequately sharp - not crisp, but not soft either. The biggest flaw here are problems with the print used. There are quite a few marks on the print used; a lot of these are minor and not distracting, but there are some instances that are more mild and noticeable. Pixelation is apparent now and then, but not in major amounts.

Colors look good though, bold and nicely saturated with no problems. Colors are solid with no problems. This isn't too bad a transfer, and many scenes do boast good-looking image quality. There are some noticable flaws here, and thankfully the studio has improved quite a bit since this early release.

SOUND: "The Arrival" is a somewhat limited film in terms of audio; there are some great instances of sound when the alien signal arrives and goes around the room, but other than that, the film remains pretty much dialogue-driven. The musical score sounds solid and clear, mainly coming from the front.

Surrounds are used very well, but that's when they are used. For the most part, they remain subtle or simply silent. They could recieve slightly more work to do here, but when they were used they were used well, so I'm not complaining much. Dialogue is natural and easily understood. In terms of sound, a film with a few excellent sequences.

MENUS:: As an early release, the menus only offer basic options and not much in the way of choices or images.

EXTRAS: Teaser and theatrical trailer(Dolby Digital 5.1), cast&crew bios.

Final Thoughts: With the new $14.98(most online stores have it for $9.99 or $10.99), "The Arrival" is worth a look. The picture quality is not as good as it could be, but the sound quality is definitely enjoyable, and the movie is entertaining as well.

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