Arrival Review

As much of a hardcore gamer that I am, it’s nice every once in a while to take a break and sit down and watch an actual movie from time to time. I try to do this at least once a week and while it sometimes works, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s been working out great recently with all the new releases that I’ve been more than eager to see so for the moment it’s working out pretty damn well. This Saturday’s movie? Arrival. Keep reading to find out what I thought about it.

Arrival centers around linguist Dr. Louise Banks, played by Amy Adams. Her services are requested after the arrival of 12 alien space crafts that have touched down around the globe. Each targeting a different area, it’ll be up to Louise and scientist Ian Donnelly, played by Jeremy Renner, to find out if they’re the friendly type of aliens or if they’re here to take over the world and possibly end it. It’s a race against time and both of them will take some huge risks in order to find out exactly what these aliens are here for.

KUDOS: A really big kudos goes out to the people that made this movie because they didn’t have the typical aliens that you see in every single alien movie. These aliens were completely different and original for this movie. I really enjoyed that part and thought it was creative to see aliens in a different perspective.

Sometimes it’s hard to do these reviews without the obvious spoilers, but the beginning of the movie makes you believe that Louise as recently lost her daughter and is now coping with that fact. Truth is none of this actually happened yet and she doesn’t even have a daughter, isn’t married, and basically lives by herself in a secluded area where she teaches languages to a college before she is recruited by the military to work with the aliens in order to break the language barrier. She’ll have some different methods opposed to how the military wants her to work and she’ll also face some opposition as the desire to blow these aliens out of the sky and show them who’s boss creates a group of independent military members putting the whole operation at risk.

Ugh… I so want to talk about spoilers for this movie especially the ending because it was just mind blowing. It’s definitely one of those movie endings that needs to be explained and needs to be talked about because there’s just so much to decipher. These reviews aren’t for that though so I’ll just stop right here.

The main characters of this movie are clearly Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, but the supporting cast of this movie with actors like Forest Whitaker really add to the movie as a whole. I thought that Amy Adams did an amazing job in this role and it was nice to see her in a little bit of a different role than she normally plays. I like that she’s one of those versatile actresses that can basically play in anything. This is a pretty rare thing to find as, without naming names, some actresses are content playing one type of role and it shows.

Boo: It was a little disappointing that while Arrival was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, Best Actress wasn’t one of them. Granted, I haven’t seen the actresses who were nominated in their respected movies, but still. This was a stellar performance for Amy Adams and it feels like she was snubbed this year.

Overall I give this movie a 5 out of 5.

After last week’s utter fail of a movie, this one was exactly the opposite and it was one of those thought provoking movies that was truly interesting and got the wheels turning as you actually had to think about the things that you had seen in the span of the two hours that the movie played for. I would give this movie a definite recommendation as it shouldn’t be missed. If you’re a huge sci-fi fan who loves alien movies without it being an actual horror movie, then you’ll love this movie. Even if you’re looking for something different, something thought provoking, you’ll enjoy this movie. This is one of those movies that I would watch again and it really shouldn’t be missed.

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Throwback Thursday Review – DLC Remix – Mass Effect 2 – Arrival

If you know me then you probably already know that I’m a BioWare fan girl and that their games are some of my favorite games. Dragon Age of course comes in first with Mass Effect coming in as a very close second. If I had to count each game point wise to distinguish who got first place and who got second in my mind it’s separated by half a point. Seriously, these are my games and I know them inside and out. That being said, I also know the DLC inside and out because I’ve played so much. Arrival was one of those DLC’s that I waited to buy just about until Mass Effect 3 was coming out. I wasn’t big into DLC at the time, even though I loved Mass Effect 2 but I figured I wanted the whole story before Mass Effect 3. Was it worth it? Keep reading to find out.

Arrival can be played anywhere throughout the course of the game, but for my own cannon, I like to play it right after the suicide mission, assuming that my Shepard comes out alive. Let’s face it though, she’s Shepard so of course she makes it out along with her whole damn team because she’s that good. Anyway, you’ll do a special mission for Admiral Hackett to rescue a friend of his, Dr. Amanda Kenson. She’s being held in a Batarian prison for her deep undercover mission that basically pin points the arrival of the Reapers. Shepard of course wants to stop the Reapers, it’s been her mission through the series so she’ll save this doctor and hopefully help in saving the universe, but will she be in time? Turns out that she’s really not and no matter what she does the Reapers are coming. It doesn’t help that when she safely returns Dr. Kenson that she along with her whole team are basically indoctrinated. In the end, Shepard will have to make the hard choice of saving a colony of Batarians or destroying their relay to delay the Reapers.

OooOoo… I’m a really strong believer of the Indoctrination Theory when it comes to this trilogy. This DLC kind of goes with it because if you think about it, look at how indoctrinated those people were in the DLC just from being around the Reaper artifact. If by the end of this DLC Shepard isn’t indoctrinated then it’s kind of impossible considering how much Reaper tech she’s been around in the span of two games. I am interested to hear how many of you believe in the Indoctrination Theory as well so let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

I really did not like this DLC. It was a complete waste of money to me and I hate saying that because Mass Effect 2 is an awesome game. The DLC lasts about 90 minutes and really only serves as a reason to put Shepard in jail no matter what she does in the beginning of Mass Effect 3. That’s the only purpose of this DLC as well as to expose her to even more Reaper tech. (The Indoctrination Theory is real!) I didn’t like that after playing a whole game that depended on Shepard trusting her squad and her squad trusting her that she had to do this alone making it even less interesting because let’s face it, some of the more exciting and fun moments of this game comes with Shepard being paired off with two of her squad members. Other than that the only thing this DLC pointed out was the fact that “the Reapers are coming” which we already knew.

The playability of this DLC, which is the same as the rest of the game, is a little different because you now have to play differently since it’s only you. You no longer have a squad and can tell them where they need to be for the best line of defense because you’re the only line of defense. This lead to a few frustrating moments depending on what class you were playing. I found it most frustrating as a biotic since I feel that biotics depend heavily on other people. Anyway, that’s just me. Everything else for this DLC worked perfectly though and played right into the game without a problem.

The graphics for this DLC were the same as the rest of the game itself. The area’s you’ll get to explore are new and fully fleshed out. That being said, I like the overall graphics for Mass Effect 2. I will say that I have played this DLC recently, about a year ago, and I still think that they hold up today and if this is your first time playing that there shouldn’t be a problem.

Trophies, there are an additional three trophies added to Mass Effect 2 thanks to this DLC. Two of them are unmissable and just require you to play the DLC, the third on the other hand is a pain. There is a point in the game where you’ll be attacked by five waves of enemies. No matter how you look at it it’s going to end the same way, so die right away or fight your way through five waves. Here’s a tip though, if you want the trophy you’ll fight your way through the five waves of bad guys that isn’t easy considering you’ll have to do it alone.

There’s no multiplayer for this game and I have to say that when I first heard that multiplayer was going to be introduced into Mass Effect 3 I rebelled against it. Little did I know that I would be spending 100’s of hours playing it. Anyway, this game and DLC are multiplayer free and that’s just fine.

Overall I give this DLC a 1 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ The end of Mass Effect 2 and basically the beginning of Mass Effect 3.

What’s Not So Great:
A 90 minute game play that no matter how you play results in the same outcome for the beginning of Mass Effect 3.
Gone are the squad mates that you got so used to playing over 50 hours with them in the main campaign and Shepard will do this one Solo.
This DLC let’s you know that the Reapers are coming, as if you didn’t already know that.

As much as I love this game and this franchise, I’m going to tell you to give this DLC a huge pass. It’s really not worth the money ($6.99) since it’s not going to change the outcome of anything. No matter what you do you’ll always be wrong and this is getting to the point that got a lot of people frustrated which was that your choices don’t matter. I would say that if you’re new to Mass Effect then you really don’t need this DLC and can just skip over it. If you’re a Mass Effect super fan you’re going to want to play it because it has some extra lore in it that you’ll probably enjoy.

Now for next week, I have to let you know that sadly this series is coming to an end as I only have an additional 3 DLC that I have completed to 100% and never reviewed them. Sad I know because I really liked this series and being able to go back and talk about some DLC that I finished. Anyway, we’ll be ending this series with Mass Effect 3 and we’ll start with the first DLC that was released from the game From Ashes. I’ll let you know what I thought about this DLC next week.

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