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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Arrival [Blu-ray]

 

(Denis Villeneuve, 2016)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Xenolinguistics

Video: Paramount

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:56:22.976

Disc Size: 46,681,916,320 bytes

Feature Size: 31,009,959,936 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.34 Mbps

Chapters: 14

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: February 14th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 4207 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4207 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DUBs:

Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Audio Descriptive:

Dolby Digital Audio English 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), English, French, Spanish, none

 

Extras:

• Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival (30:03)

Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design (13:59)

Eternal Recurrence: the Score (11:24)

• Nonlinear Thinking: The Editing Process (11:20)

• Principles of Time, Memory and Language (15:24)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker star in this sci-fi drama directed by Denis Villeneuve. After mysterious alien spacecraft land on Earth, American linguistics professor Dr Louise Banks (Adams) finds herself working with the army to decode the aliens' communications. Under the command of Colonel Weber (Whitaker), Louise and military scientist Ian Donnelly (Renner) try to learn more about the aliens' language so they can communicate with them and discover why they have come to Earth, before someone else across the globe decides to attack first. But with the CIA and global leaders monitoring their interactions, will they be able to make their breakthrough without any unwanted interference? The film was nominated for nine BAFTAs, including Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Leading Actress (Adams), and two Golden Globe Awards for Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama (Adams) and Best Original Score - Motion Picture (Jˇhann Jˇhannsson).

 

 

The Film:

Arrival is something special. A twisty, cerebral drama that just happens to involve aliens, Denis Villeneuve’s film is a truly beguiling take on both the sci-fi canon and what, exactly, a grown-up Hollywood film is supposed to be. Like the aforementioned titles, Arrival plays with big stars (Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker), big set-pieces (extraterrestrial motherships mysteriously arrive on Earth) and bigger ideas (the universe, time itself). But unlike its genre mates, Arrival resists the expectations of a mature audience. It is not merely an easy salve to the more juvenile blockbusters crowding the marketplace – it is something much more important, even if it’s also occasionally confounding.

Just as Villeneuve’s Sicario was a drug-war film that explored notions of moral accountability, and his Prisoners was a kidnapping thriller that toyed with themes of faith and damnation, the Quebec director’s Arrival is a genre exercise with something much more profound on its mind.

Excerpt from GlobeandMail located HERE

 

Klaatu Barada Nikto. Every science-fiction nerd knows the famous phrase from The Day the Earth Stood Still, and how it caused the robot Gort not to destroy our planet.

But imagine how fantastically difficult it would be to translate an extraterrestrial language from a standing start. We can’t even talk to whales and dolphins, and they’re from Earth.

Even among speakers of English, language is a challenge. The word “cleave” can mean “to cling together” or “to split apart.” If I trim a tree, am I removing branches or adding decorations?

Arrival, the newest from Quebec director Denis Villeneuve (last years’s Sicario; next year’s Blade Runner 2049) is, on the one hand, a thoughtful, even somewhat dry exploration of language and translation. (There’s another hand, the one that caused me to tweet “I have seen something amazing” after my first time through the film, so stick with me.)

Excerpt from TheNationalPost located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Arrival looks impressive on Blu-ray from Paramount and has a simultaneous UHD edition being released. Arrival uses a number of cameras and lenses including the popular Arri Alexa XT. The image quality looks super on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate.  You don't expect any anomalies from such a modern film - and there are none. Arrival is fairly dark but the 1080P supports that aspect of the film's cinematography adeptly. The effects are non-transparent in the higher resolution and detail is pleasing in occasional close-ups. It is in the 2.39:1 aspect ratio and the transfer produces a rewarding presentation.  This Blu-ray probably looks like the film The Arrival did theatrically. Nothing to complain about at all.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Paramount utilize a powerful DTS-HD Master 7.1 track at a whopping 4207 kbps (24-bit). The effects are notable including the alien vessel sounds that export a floor-rattling bass. Separations and abundant depth are rife within this audio transfer. Jˇhann Jˇhannsson does the score (Villeneuve's Prisoners and Sicario). He is an Icelandic composer who has been releasing solo albums since 2002 as well as composing music for a wide array of media including theatre, dance, TV and, of course, films. There is a supplement with him describing some of the process of creating the score - in this, his first, science-fiction film. His subtle, or at times overt, score shapes moods and atmosphere about as well as anyone in modern film today. His music evokes larger-than-life expressions and it sound tremendous in the lossless - really adding to, and adeptly supporting, the film experience.  There are foreign-language DUBs - optional subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

Paramount add about 1.5 hours worth of 4 production featurettes, Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival runs over 1/2 hour while there are two on the film's impressive sound - Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design running just shy of 1/4 hour and Eternal Recurrence: the Score spending time with composer Jˇhann Jˇhannsson. Nonlinear Thinking: The Editing Process goes through the function of editing this complex film and Principles of Time, Memory and Language reflect on the meaning and themes of the story. They all have merit.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I was so excited to see another Denis Villeneuve film after having my socks knocked-off by  Polytechnique, Incendies, Enemy, Prisoners and Sicario... to add to my anticipation I am a big fan of both Amy Adams (Junebug, Sunshine Cleaning, Enchanted) and Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy, The Hurt Locker, American Hustle). The good news - even with all the build-up in my mind - I LOVED Arrival! A brilliant, cerebral, science-fiction that evokes the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. No spoilers - just see it! The Blu-ray is more than worthy with great a/v and a handful of production extras. A very strong recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

February 4th, 2017

 

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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