Arrival Review

Denis Villeneuve‘s Arrival begins with a premise we’ve seen in a hundred summer blockbusters. One day, aliens arrive on Earth, in the form of twelve mysterious ships scattered around the globe. Their purpose is unclear, and humanity is naturally both intrigued and terrified. Where it goes next, though, is a welcome return to grown-up sci-fi, more Contact or Interstellar than Independence Day.

For starters, the aliens don’t open with an attack. And we Earthlings don’t, either. Instead, the U.S. military calls upon Louise (Amy Adams), a linguistics professor, to try and make contact with the alien spaceship in Montana. From there, Villeneuve carefully unspools a story that’s equal parts heart and intellect, encompassing memory, language, loss, love, grief, and the passage of time.

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saw gerrera rogue one

A few months back it was revealed that Forest Whitaker‘s character in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is Saw Gerrera, the Onderon rebels leader who fought alongside Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series. In Rogue One the character has become “a battered veteran who leads a band of Rebel extremists” and wears an armored suit for flight and maintenance. So when I got a chance to talk with Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars showrunner Dave Filoni, I had to ask about how his creation ended up in the first Star Wars standalone movie.

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rogue one saw gerrera

In this edition of Rogue One Bits:

  • Details on the massive launch of the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer.
  • Forest Whitaker explains why Saw Gerrera is like Darth Vader.
  • Felicity Jones and Gareth Edwards talk Jyn Erso.
  • Two fan-made trailers have already arrived in the wake of the new official preview.
  • A very close look at one of Rogue One‘s most intriguing images.
  • Natalie Portman and screenwriter Gary Whitta visited the set.
  • A first look at the new U-Wing toy.

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Arrival trailers

What with all the Blade Runner 2 news swirling around, it’s been easy to forget that Denis Villeneuve has another, very different sort of sci-fi film coming out in the meantime. But over the past few weeks, Paramount has made a concentrated effort to get Arrival on moviegoers’ radars, and after seeing some intriguing footage earlier this month, we won’t be forgetting about this one again.

The hard sci-fi drama unfolds in the modern world, which is forever changed when a group of mysterious aliens touch down in various locations around the globe. Amy Adams leads the cast as a linguist tasked with making contact with these extraterrestrials, and Jeremy RennerForest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg also star. Those names alone are probably enough to sell this project to some moviegoers, but in case you need some more convincing — or in case you’re just curious to see more — a couple of new Arrival trailers have landed. Check ’em out below. Read More »

Arrival teaser

We’ll get to see Denis Villeneuve‘s vision of a dystopian future next year in Blade Runner 2, but before we get there he’s serving up a more grounded sort of sci-fi story. Arrival stars Amy Adams as a linguist tasked with communicating with mysterious aliens who’ve landed on Earth. Not some more futuristic, high-tech version of Earth — our Earth, as we currently know it. We got our first peek at some photos earlier this week, and today we’ve got the first Arrival teaser trailer. Check it out below.
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who is saw gerrera

Yesterday, a bunch of new info about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrived online, revealing (and confirming) a great deal about the upcoming spin-off film’s cast of characters. However, special attention was paid to the Rebel operative played by Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker and rightfully so – this isn’t the first time this particular character has had a role to play in the larger Star Wars saga.

It turns out that Whitaker is playing Saw Gerrera, a Rebel extremist who was first introduced in the fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a much younger man. This is the first piece of hard evidence that Lucasfilm was serious about strengthening the ties between the new movies and the various other pieces of Star Wars media floating about. You probably don’t need to know the entire history of Mr. Gerrera to appreciate whatever he does in Rogue One, but here’s everything we’ve gathered so far.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

roots trailer

Popular culture loves to tap dance around anything controversial. If it can upset anyone, if it can start conversations that end with someone being upset or challenged, it gets pushed to the wayside. But we’re only two months into 2016 and this looks like the year when pop culture has been fully and officially overtaken by questions and concerns that have long-since been avoided. Yes, we’re talking about race here.

The trailer for The History Channel‘s upcoming remake of Roots arrives at a very interesting time. Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar are embracing their heritage in ways that is making a certain sect of white people very uncomfortable. The Birth of a Nation became one of the most talked-about films in the history of the Sundance Film Festival and it’s expected to raise its fair share of ire once it’s released. A remake of a classic miniseries from the network responsible for Pawn Stars and Swamp People has suddenly arrived in the middle of a Much Bigger Thing. Whether they wanted to or not, The History Channel has stumbled into a much larger cultural conversation.

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Rogue One logo

Gareth EdwardsStar Wars: Rogue One is still over a year away, but thanks to D23 we have a tantalizing taste of the upcoming film today.

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New Southpaw Trailer

So far the marketing machine for Antoine Fuqua‘s boxing flick Southpaw has really hit hard. Driven by a pounding soundtrack provided by Eminem, the film starring Jake Gyllenhaal looks like a familiar but powerful drama.

Now yet another new trailer has arrived, fueled by another new track by Eminem. This one features Gwen Stefani, and is called ‘Kings Never Die.’ Will Gyllenhaal find redemption and become king of the ring again? At the very least, it seems like this might get him the Oscar nomination that he should have gotten for his performance in last year’s Nightcrawler.

Watch the new Southpaw trailer after the jump! Read More »