Paris, Texas (1984).

February 21, 2017

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IMDb: Travis Henderson, an aimless drifter who has been missing for four years, wanders out of the desert and must reconnect with society, himself, his life, and his family.

 

As of this writing, I couldn’t think of any other movie that has given me so many heart-wrenching moments as much as Paris, Texas did to me. The whole film is set with a lingering quiet melancholy from start to end. Expect sweeping American desertscapes, tranquil train tracks, empty parking spaces, seedy motels, hushed suburbs, soft-neon lights, moody guitar sounds and simple but emotionally-charged dialogues take important roles in the totality of the story.

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Arrival (2016).

February 20, 2017

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IMDb: When twelve mysterious spacecraft appear around the world, linguistics professor Louise Banks is tasked with interpreting the language of the apparent alien visitors.

 

***Contains spoilers***

Saw it last night and left the cinema all confused and unhappy and in total disbelief the movie ended the way it did.

First part of the movie was very cool and exciting. You have your weird genius protagonist convincingly portrayed by the amazing Amy Adams. She’s a linguistics professor who decides to continue her daily routine amidst what was happening in her world. She appears to have no friends — she wound up alone in her campus the next day of the “arrival”, with a puzzled look that no one else is around. Clearly, none of her colleagues or students texted her anything that’s in the same vein of GIRL, ALIENS ARE HERE. DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL. But that was just a fun and flippant observation from me and my sister so whatever.

When we saw the spacecraft, I remember myself being awed. The design was extremely impressive.  It looks to me like this giant metal leech suspended in mid-air — very menacing and has this particular quiet sinister about it. That dramatic aerial shot of the wide American rural fields towards the spacecraft, made even more dramatic by those freaky rolling clouds and chilling af musical accompaniment, was flawless. It is, I think, the best introductory look of a spaceship in an alien-invasion movie so far.  The aliens look cool as well; I never thought tame giant squids could be potent replacement for the usual aggressive lizard-like aliens in movies.

So everything was going great and exciting, our lead is able to befriend the aliens and has made them respond to her in their own language through this ink-like substance. So yey that’s so cool they’re so cute was mostly my reaction. HOWEVER as the story progressed and the characters are still trying to figure out the aliens’ language a month after the initial back-and-forth communication, I felt that the movie was losing its charm swiftly thanks to Amy’s character having to deal with her dead daughter’s memories. At first we’d think they’re only flashbacks and you somehow empathize with the mother’s grief. But in the end it was revealed that they were actually memories from the future. FROM THE FUTURE. Like girl, why aren’t you freaking out big time from these recurring freaky ‘memories’? Aren’t you supposed to call your mom or any friend and tell her that something this level of freak is happening to you? Sheesh. And to think she would pass out almost every time she has these visions. Girl was def not freaked out at all.

So that part of the story was really emotionally vexing for me and it was already taking away so much emphasis from the other themes that the movie has introduced and needs to address more such as learning the Heptapod’s language, the different ways nations are dealing with the arrival, how everyone could arrive to the ever-elusive kumbaya moment or even why Jeremy Renner’s character all other characters there were rendered almost useless.

And that conversation with the Chinese General part….. lol. My sister and I were mentally screaming Google translate! We were definitely one of those who left the cinema pondering about it, clueless as a stone it felt hilarious.

The reviews I saw for this film were almost polar opposites. You either deem it as extraordinary and mind-blowing or boring and unsatisfying. Well, if you have read this uncharacteristically long review of mine in its entirety, you know where I stand.

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