The Red Pen of Doom

Conventional wisdom about writing is conventionally wrong.

ARRIVAL hits you like a giant space rock right in the feels

 

So we rushed to this giant building where popped corn with a fake butter costs $9 a bag, trying to see DOCTOR STRANGE, except we were crazy late. Instead, we watched ARRIVAL.

Didn’t expect much. Wasn’t hankering to see it.

Had to be convinced to see the thing at all.

Except, except, except … this movie rocked.

Warning: this post doesn’t contain spoilers, except for fake spoilers I’ll throw in, just for fun. 

Unlike 99.9 percent of Aliens Invade movies, there are no massive battles featuring (a) aircraft carriers getting blown out of the water by amazing alien ray guns, (b) jet fighters flown by proud Americans getting shot out of the sky by alien ray guns, (c) Michael-Bay style explosions as the Statue of Liberty, the White House and another random landmark get vaporized, (d) valiant efforts by the nerdy scientist and the jock warrior, teaming up to defeat the aliens using (e) a laptop, USB sticks and a stolen alien spaceships and/or ray gun.

ARRIVAL simply features Lois Lane and Hawkeye trying to figure out how these aliens talk.

And it works.

This is a brainy movie, which I’m sure was a hard sell down in Hollywood, where studio execs had to read the script and say, “Are you sure about spending five bazillion dollars to hire Lois Lane and Hawkeye, then not use them in chase scenes, fight scenes and a fight scene during a chase? They’re gonna argue about linguistic theory instead?”

Yeah, it sounds dull. Except it’s not.

This is a brainy movie, an unusual one that makes you think AND feel, all the while caring deeply about the characters, who are typically cardboard–if we’re lucky–in the typical Aliens Invade So Let’s Blow Things Up blockbuster.

TL;DR–Aliens show up, why? Lois Lane and Hawkeye are on it. 10 of 10 would watch again, despite the fact dust may get in your eyes.

###

This is Guy Bergstrom the writer, not the Guy Bergstrom in Stockholm or the guy in Minnesota who sells real estate or whatever. Separate guys. Kthxbai.

Guy Bergstrom. Photo by Suhyoon Cho.

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot. Represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.

About Guy Bergstrom

Reformed journalist. Scribbler of speeches and whatnot.

10 comments on “ARRIVAL hits you like a giant space rock right in the feels

  1. George Fripley
    November 22, 2016

    Guy – I saw the movie a couple of weeks ago – I agree with you. This movie was magnificent – at the end I was left in quiet contemplation as the credits rolled. I thought the story was well put together. It started slowly and I was a bit doubtful, but it sucked me in really quickly to the point where I was enveloped by it. Lost track of time, just went with it. I don’t think it was hugely smart, but it was different enough to be interesting, but that wasn’t the point. The point was the human story, and the central choice that lay at the heart of the story. Very emotionally engaging as that choice became clear. A very human story in the sci-fi genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. juliabarrett
    November 22, 2016

    No. No. Just no. The film makers thought it was smarter than it was. The critics think it’s smarter than it is. Could boil it down to one thematic statement but that would spoil too much. I’m sorry I paid good money to see it. Regardless, I’m glad you enjoyed the film. But for me? Nope. 😉

    Like

    • Guy Bergstrom
      November 23, 2016

      How are you, Julia?

      Liked by 1 person

      • juliabarrett
        November 23, 2016

        Still recovering. Good god! Longest recovery in history! Dead foot. Swollen knee. Six more months. I swear, no more than six months. I’ve managed one 1-mile hike. However it could always be worse! Painting instead of writing. You?

        Like

      • Guy Bergstrom
        November 25, 2016

        Crazy busy. Sorry to hear about your foot. What are you painting with?

        Liked by 1 person

      • juliabarrett
        November 25, 2016

        Acrylics. I’ll post photos as I progress. Or maybe when I finish. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Holly Jahangiri
    November 22, 2016

    I talked my son into going with me – we have tickets for later this morning. I was sold at female protagonist arguing linguistic theory – sounds like the ultimate “relatable character” to me! 😀

    Like

    • Guy Bergstrom
      November 22, 2016

      You’ll have a good time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Holly Jahangiri
        November 23, 2016

        We did. I enjoyed it more, but my son didn’t feel like it was revenge for “Yu-Gi-Oh:The Movie”. He gave it a 6/10. I gave it 9/10.

        Like

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This entry was posted on November 22, 2016 by in 3 Tinseltown Tuesday, The Big Screen and tagged , , , , , , .
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