Cinecast Episode 462 – A Miracle to Come

Yes, 2016 has been shitty from just about any angle you can look at it from. Yet here at the Cinecast we try to remain hopeful and optimistic for the future. In movie world, the last two months of the year are looking to shape up quite nicely and it seems an understatement to say that the arrival of Arrival was fortuitous in its timing. The themes are probably exactly what the world needs right now. We discuss at length (SPOILERS!). In the Watch List, it’s not surprisingly just comfort food for the boys; i.e. movies we’ve discussed many times in the past, but felt the need to revisit over the past week.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

We’re now available on Google Play!

 

 


TIME TRACKS:

See comments for time track listings – thanks to Ultimolee for the extra elbow grease!

Opening/Closing Music:
Leonard Cohen – The Future
Leonard Cohen – Waiting for the Miracle

 

MAIN REVIEWS:

Arrival

 

THE WATCH LIST:

 

KURT
Ronin
The Shining
Sexy Beast

ANDREW
Apollo 13
JFK
Train to Busan

 

OTHER THINGS:

Pride and Prejudice Podcast – Available now!
The Great Albums Podcast (“Dark Side of the Moon”)
Director’s Club – (“Brian Glazer” coming soon!)
Reel Asian Film Festival

 

RSS AND CONTACT INFO:

show content

 

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Sean Kelly
Guest

There was a hybrid documentary that played at Hot Docs last year called THE VISIT, which is a constructed simulation of how we plan to react to extraterrestrial encounters.

If you can find it, it would be a nice companion to ARRIVAL

Andrew James
Admin

Will be watching tonight.

Sean Kelly
Guest

Just confirmed that THE VISIT is on iTunes (in Canada at least) – https://itun.es/ca/fh9Zcb

Sean Kelly
Guest

Natascha McElhone has been doing mostly TV work for the last decade, particularly a 7 year stint on the Showtime series Californication.

UltimoLee
Guest

A Miracle to Come aka The Many Pronunciations of Natascha McElhone

Opening / Greeting: 00:35
Arrival (Spoilers!): 14:05
The Watch List: 1:30:44
Next Week / Closing: 2:23:54
Outro Music: 2:32:54

Andrew James
Admin

Watched the first episode of MARS on the Nat’l Geographic channel.

One big meh. A sleepy doc/drama for simpletons. I’ll probably watch the next one but unless it’s a big swing, I doubt I’ll keep going.

Kurt Halfyard
Guest

I liked the first episode, I like the ‘mundane’ and the ‘amazing’ see-saw that they are riding in this episode.

Andrew James
Guest

I didn’t like it much. Neat idea, but they just harp on how human society won’t be able to deal with an arrival for most of the movie.

Andrew James
Guest

And just to continue with being a dick, after reading some more reviews, listening to Film Junk and just thinking about some things, I’m getting less impressed with ARRIVAL all the time. Some holes and laziness and lack of clarity is starting to show through.

Kurt Halfyard
Guest

The danger of ‘small big stories’ is the balance of the personal and the profound. I do not believe that is a big problem in ARRIVAL and very much like the ARRIVAL all-in on what it is about — deep understanding, and difficult choices that result from that…

I look forward to seeing in Arrival grows in my estimation or shrinks upon multiple viewings. I fully expect the former. There is a wealth of great information and emotion in the film. See also: ENEMY.

Also I don’t believe I mentioned it on the CINECAST, but I highly recommend China Mieville’s novel EMBASSEY TOWN which deals with A LOT of the same concepts and ideas of language and communication (and understanding)

La Menthe
Guest

Have not listened to the podcast yet. But I will say that I absolutely loved Arrival, and Villeneuve is quickly turning into one of my favorite directors out there. Four movies since 2013 and all of them have been great.

If I were to formulate this movie in one sentence, it would be “How Interstellar should have been.” It is nice to see a science fiction film present some fresh, yet very real, scientific theories for once. One that does not get lost in constantly trying to impress from a technical level (like Interstellar, The Martian and Gravity). As the rest of Villeneuve’s films, Arrival has a resigned portrayal of the world it is set in. Amy Adams and her surroundings are subdued and confrontational, and most expressions of innocence and compassion has lost its existence/presence; like an old scar best forgotten (Adams’ lost child). But unlike Sicario, Arrival has faith in the world and its problems. It embraces the scar as a part of ambivalent circumstances worthy our yearning like any other emotion. It shows that even the cold can be soothing. “Come back to me” is one of the first, upsetting sentences we hear in the beginning, and it lingers in our head throughout the whole movie. Villeneuve drives his themes and messages forward through skillful and elusive figurative shots, like Amy Adams’ looking out at the distant and unknown ocean from her house, with her face reflected on the glass window. Or the constant visual representations of time as a linear form.

Arrival is kind of a counterbalance to Sicario from a political perspective; from a principally pro-Trump propaganda film, Villeneuve has this time around made an anti-war film (although war is never present). It is a movie about humankind’s instinctive frailties from a larger perspective, as well as its emotional desires from an individual level. The film is outrageously miserable and negative, but it is also very gripping in this pessimism. The film managed to convery these ideas so effectively and so intimately that I was tearing up like a little bitch near the end of the film.

Andrew James
Admin

While I agree Arrival is way better than the bullshit, roller-coaster rides such as Gravity or The Martian, I think Interstellar does a terrific job of playing with the consequences of messing with the laws of physics and time and a similar notion about time not necessarily being linear. Yet at the same time, it goes into some “out of the box” thinking – I still love Anne Hathaway’s speech about how emotion and love might actually transcend physics (scientifically even). It does all of this along with some great spectacle. It doesn’t sacrifice one for the other.

Interstellar is not a perfect film, but every time I watch it I’m reminded of how fantastic it is.

Kurt
Guest

I like the roller coaster rides of THE MARTIAN and GRAVITY. I do like Interstellar better than both of those films, however! 🙂

Andrew James
Admin

Well yes, agreed. I like those films too. But Gravity was a one-time watch on the big screen in ATMOS and The Martian strips away two of the best things about the book and was really disappointing overall. Interstellar is fascinating and rewatchable as hell.

La Menthe
Guest

My problem with Interstallar is one that I often have with Nolan, where his films are vast and exaggerated in scale and are manipulative on an emotional level. His films simulate the idea of being grandiose “big picture” events, and they always end up falling short of that. It is certainly a good, solid movie, but is, as is common with Nolan, only truly impressive on a technical level. The whole “love transcends physics” thing was also one of the weakest points of the film in my opinion.

Kurt
Guest

I brought up the Trump thing, way back when Sicario first came out: http://www.rowthree.com/2015/09/18/review-sicario/

Now, that being said, the ‘go with the plan’ acceptance of Amy Adams’ character at the crux of the film feels a wee bit conservative, even religious, to me. So I am not entirely sure that Arrival is 180 degrees from Sicario. They’re both great films, whatever the politics or beliefs (or interpretations of those beliefs)

La Menthe
Guest

I did not necessarily see it as a “go with the plan”, but rather a tragically romantic concept of Adams wanting to re-experience the destitutions of a cancer-ridden child, as long as it allowed her to experience life with her daughter again. When she asks “If you could see your whole life laid out in front of you, would you change things?”, she was referring to the fact that she could avoid producing a child who would eventually end up dying and creating a life of suffering for herself and her future husband. However, it would also mean that she would miss all the joy of her daughter (hence the “come back to me” line) would bring.

I don’t know about you guys, but it certainly hit me very hard on an emotional level, as I’ve undergone many difficulties in my own life, and many times over wondered how my life would have been if I did this or did that. It does in a way give a soothing acceptance of one’s problematic past and life decisions.

devolutionary
Guest

In Grand Prix, the camera angles, close-ups, split-diopters, and cinematography during the racing scenes are amazing [Saul Bass]. Still blows my mind that this was made in 1966. I could watch that stuff for hours! Unfortunately the non-racing drama takes up 60% of the film and is rather quaint and forgettable. I was reminded of Ron Howard’s Rush for that. They wanted Steve McQueen but had to settle for James Garner instead (generic role). Mifune is good but heavily underused.

Andrew James
Admin

If anyone cares, my podcast on Pink Floyd’s DARK SIDE OF THE MOON just dropped:

http://www.thegreatalbums.com/podcast-episodes/pink-floyd-andrew-james

wpDiscuz