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Showing 1-10 of 874 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,237 reviews
on May 24, 2016
You know all those reviews claiming this to be the most underrated scifi film? Well they're right. This is an awesome science fiction gem, scifi as it should be and so often isn't. What's important about this film aren't the special effects, though their not bad but the audacity of the script to stick to a completely outlandish yet speculativly plausible theme crouching it all in contemporary scientific explanations of greenhouse gasses and global warming, satellite telemetry and fantastical notions such as 'terraforming' and body trans-species formation. There is a love story in the film but it doesn't take up a large part of the storyline, no soap opera in this baby. There's nothing but pure science fiction and good pacing to keep the viewer from being bored and a conspiracy theory that puts the X Files to shame. I purposely didn't add one spoiler. I'll just say that the people who didn't like this probably also wouldn't like Encounters of a Third Kind and I preferred this to Encounters (though I love Encounters too but for different reasons).
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on July 27, 2017
This movie is awesome…but bad. But it’s not a bad movie really…yet it is bad like a 90s Schwarzenegger movie…but one of the better 90s Schwarzenegger movies. There, now you understand, right?

Writer and director David Twohy (the Pitch Black/Riddick trilogy, A Perfect Getaway) is no stranger to thrillers, having written The Fugitive (1993) and Waterworld (1995) as well as Warlock (1989). He’s had experience with horror, suspense, and fantastic worlds littered with post-apocalyptic jet skis. Combining many such notions (but no jet skis), this might just by Twohy’s most zany film ever.

Climate researcher Ilana (Lindsay Crouse; Mr. Brooks, Imposter) discovers a green grassy meadow lush with wildflowers in the middle of the arctic, as if the sun picked that one spot to turn up the heat and melt the snow. One problem: even if it was preternaturally warmed in that single patch of land, it’s the arctic! Where did the seeds for those 15 species of plants come from!?!?! How about the nutrients needed to grow? But whatever, Twohy did make write a horror movie about a time-traveling male witch modeled after The Terminator (1984). So we need not be so critical. LOL
Meanwhile across the globe, astronomers Zane (Charlie Sheen; Machete Kills, The Chase) and Calvin (Richard Schiff; Man of Steel, The West Wing) stumble across the discovery of a lifetime when they record an alien radio signal from another galaxy. They know they’re on to something major, but their administrative superior Phil Gordian (Ron Silver; Timecop, The Entity) is understandably skeptical. Worse yet, due to suspiciously timed budget cuts, Zane gets laid off.

Despite getting fired and failing to confirm the signal with colleagues managing other satellite stations, Gordian agrees to pass the signal recording to decoding analysists…but instead destroys it as soon as Zane is out the door and sets him up as a fraud. Oh, and his love life has been getting rocky with his girlfriend Char (Teri Polo; Meet the Parents). Things just aren’t going very well for Zane.

Now blacklisted from astronomy and working as a satellite cable technician, Zane highjacks an entire county’s dish service to search for his alien radio signal. I’m safely going to assume this is not plausible, and that we have wandered into a bonkers movie. After a trip to radio shack and some shady “free upgrades” for cable subscribers, Zane has created a NASA SETI-capable radio analysis lab above his garage. I’m happy to afford the movie some leeway, but somewhere between the attempted assassination-by-bathtub scene and the knee-popping grasshopper jump I think all reason has been thrown out the window.

Climatologist Ilana has been looking into more strange things as well, like impossible predictions that global warming will cook the planet in 10 years. Oh, remember when I said all reason was thrown out the window? Well, Zane sees a now mustached and “more ethnic-looking” Gordian-clone working as a security guard at a Mexican power facility! And, of course, there was the subsequent assassination attempt, this time using a pair of perfectly harmless scorpions that your kids could buy at a pet store in New Jersey. Way to utilize that alien super-technology!

Twohy really tried to make this story global. Zane starts in the southwestern United States and Ilana in the arctic, both ending up tracking the alien signal and global warming trends (respectively) to Oaxaca, Mexico. Despite this global aim, the $25 million budget film only grossed $14 million box office. Bummer. Because, although I’m admittedly making fun of this movie quite a bit, it was a BLAST and I was happy to buy this on blu-ray! This is the kind of silly movie that maintains a strong sense of urgency—like True Lies (1994), Timecop (1994) or Total Recall (1990).

The alien CGI effects are clearly dated, but not bad. They may not stand up to Jurassic Park (1993) or Independence Day (1996), but they also didn’t enjoy such a big budget. Despite the more humble financing, the diversity of effects is ambitious! Lots of alien future tech, numerous alien scenes, and the most joyously silly effect was when Zane used the alien transformation chamber and became “Latin Charlie Sheen.”

Yes, the aliens have been living among us. And much like They Live (1988), they have commandeered industry to use our economy and environment against us. But no one should fear, for as long as there’s a shirtless Charlie Sheen (freshly waxed, as you would expect any astronomer to be), humanity will persevere. You’ve gotta’ hand it to Sheen. He’s no Hugh Jackman, but he’s trying!

If you haven’t seen this, you should.
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on August 5, 2017
I had this movie on DVD - not widescreen and not good quality. Just purchased the BluRay restoration - it's really beautiful and excellent quality in widescreen. Sound is great. The is a true upgrade - not just a transfer to BluRay with sometimes disappointing results. Highly recommend.
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on April 26, 2016
It's an interesting concept, but could have been so much better. I felt like the movie was just an introduction to a sequel. You aren't really given any compelling reason why the 'aliens' are here, why they chose earth, any tell on how to identify them or distinguish them from real humans, to what extent will they go, etc.

I do plan on watching the sequel. I'm hoping that answers some of the questions. But, for now I can only give this movie 3-stars.
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on May 4, 2016
I watched this movie thinking it had been a while since I watched a sci-fi movie. It was actually entertaining, and thrilling at times. The movie is good, not great, but keeps you interested for the 90 minutes or so that it runs. There are some flaws, and very predictable moments, like most sci-fi films, but as I said, the movie is good, not perfect. If you are looking to kick back and have 90 or so minutes you might just consider this one.
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on May 18, 2016
Might have been one of the good movies in it's days. However, with all the more recent movies, and not to forget some spectacular TV series like Falling Skies, this movie would be put into an average movie. Still an OK one time watch. Also, one of the good things about this movies is, it very clearly lays down a good plot and well explained reasoning about why did the aliens invade the earth, and why would they want to take it over.
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on August 17, 2017
Great movie, I love 1990 scifis like this. Worth watching!
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on October 22, 2010
I've had this double movie DVD in my Shopping Cart for a while and I decided it was time to get it - and I am SO glad that I did!

I thought both movies were very good in their different ways. I don't want to write a "spoiler" type of review, so I will keep things general.

In "Arrival" with Charlie Sheen, you get a look at someone driven to distraction partly from paranoia and partly from learning the truth. I thought the movie did a great job revealing the storyline at the proper pace - without dragging or rushing. The movie also did a good job at keeping me guessing who were the "good guys" and who were the "bad guys" - with some unanticipated surprises along the way. Also, I liked the progress of Zane's (Charlie Sheen's) urgency throughout. My main complaint is that there are no special features with "Arrival."

I thought "Arrival II" was a decent sequel. In the first movie there is a question that takes the full movie to be answered. But we begin the sequel already knowing the answer to the first movie's question, so the tone of the sequel is different. I thought Patrick Muldoon was OK, but for continuity's sake, I wish it could have been Charlie Sheen. My main complaint with the sequel is that, considering all of the technology available to the "bad guys" (who were aliens, governments and federal and local government agencies), much too much time was spent in simple one-on-one car chases with only the same two "bad guys" constantly in pursuit. It got a little old. "Arrival II" did have some special features.

I would recommend the purchase of this double movie (double sided) DVD. It's not spectacular, but it is very good.
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on March 25, 2017
GREAT MOVIE A WHOLE LOT BETTER THAN THE LATEST RELEASE
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on March 2, 2009
WHAT'S THE 411 ON THIS MOVIE?

I'm an avid fan of sch-fi /horror movies and TV shows! I just caught wind of this movie not too long ago, and wanted to see it, since I haven't seen it at the time. I just happened to watch it last night.

Since I have a huge collection of sco-fi movies that date back to the early '50s, I thought well, one more sci-fi film wouldn't hurt. I find this film to be reminiscent of the old '50s classic Invation of the Body Snatchers as well as both '70s films Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Polderguiest where aliens decend on earth to try to take over the population and disguise themselves as normal human beings!

WHAT IS THE STORY LINE?

The story line begins with Charlie Sheen (from the TV sitom Two and a Half Men) playing radio astronmer Zane Zaminsky who has a ton of radio / satelite equipment and believes that he's picked up cosmic noises that signal the possibility of extra terrestrial intelligence. He investigates further to make sure that his findings are accurate.

He then turns the tape over to his boss Phil Gordian (played by Ron Silver) who then fires him. He demands it back, but he doesn't get it back. His girlfriend (Teri Polo) gets transfered and his partner is found dead from a supposed suicide. And after being denied access to the labratory grounds, Zane breaks through the securiy cofinements of the place with his truck anyway to try to do some investigating of his own. After finding out what he wants to know, he heads back to the house to do some more reseach. Strange noises coming from his window has him suspecting that he's being watched. He is startled by someone making a little noise outside! It's Kiki who has been spying on him!

Enter Kiki; an Afro-American street-wise smart-mouth 13-year-old boy who is making smirky remarks and lives next door (played by Tony T. Johnson, who also was the nosey getting-into-everyone's- business, asking-nosey- questions smart-mouthed smirky-comment-spewing little boy Chris who lives next door to Deacon Earnest Frye in the TV sitcom Amen). After being told by Zane to wait downstairs, Kiki somehow sneaks upstairs to the lab room and wants to know what's going on and why Zane is so wrapped up in his research on the possibility that aliens may be invading Earth. So when Kiki bombards Zane with a mountain of questions, Zane has no choice but to let the always nosey and curious but crazy and friendly Kiki work with him for a while because he was afraid that Kiki might blow his cover.

Zane's desparate search for answers leads him to Mexico and into a mysterious power plant, generating more than just electricity and is run by people who are not what they appear to be. He then gets arrested for the murder of a scientist (Lindsay Crouse) while investigating an impending ecological disaster.

Back at home, Zane finds out that his lab room in the attic has been mysteriously robbed of his equipment and happens to see Kiki again. He and his female assistant goes back over to the huge satelite dish with Kiki in tow behind them.

Zane learns the sad truth about Kiki having become an alien when Kiki stares at him mysteriously,then he stops trying to help him and gives the tape to Phil instead.

When they are attacked by the people disguised as aliens, the lab there begins to self-destruct and the giant satelite dish begins to callapse seemingly with Zane and his assistant trying to run for their lives!

There's a shot of Kiki from behind standing outside watching. As they manage to escape the collapsing satelite dish, they notice Kiki staring at then again. Angered and disappointed because Kiki turned his back on him on him, Zane gives him a message to take back to the other aliens. Kiki then bends his knees and hips backward (into his alien configuration) and then he runs off into the surrounding dessert.

Can they save earth from being taken over by these hostile alians? Who will rise and who will fall? Who's mind will be poison and taken over by the aliens?

Tony T. Johnson adds a bit of eccentric humor and comedy to the movie with his street-smart talking and smirky remarks. Just about ALL of his roles in TV and films has him making sarcastic smirky remarks and belittling,treating adults as though he's more superior to them than they are!!

Not particularly fond of the ending though. Would have given the film 5 stars if not for the unhappy ending. I was very disappointed with the way that it turned out, but at least no one else was killed. But I'll let YOU decide.

~Daquan13.
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