Review: Arrival; Pug Man's 3 Wishes; Gordon and Tapir; SPN 12.21

Thoughts on Arrival: a) good movie; b) very good movie; c) this is kind of a much much better version of Contact (only with the premise flipped); d) gosh it's pretty; e) so lovely to finally have a movie where I'm not constantly distracted/annoyed by the soundtrack. I watched it with the family, and every time one of us pointed out some seemingly-overlooked detail, within five minutes the movie had addressed it more than satisfactorily. There's also a wonderful sense of scope--the enormity of their task is shown in how long it takes them to gain ground--they earn just about everything and don't ask the audience to handwave much, if anything. The only real negative aspect I can point to is diction: the actors are a little too realistic in their line-reading sometimes, and there were a few key moments where the dialog was hard to follow. But my recommendation would be to watch it if you get the chance, and make sure to do so on the largest screen you have available.

Pug Man's 3 Wishes is the perfect book for a Monday morning. Seriously. I have been Pug Man from time to time, and his actions at the end of the book are deeply satisfying. And Gordon and Tapir is a fun example of an 'odd couple' story that doesn't go at all in the direction you'd expect. Both are marvelously illustrated and rather funny in different ways. Perfect if you have a couple of kids around for reading to--or if you just feel like enjoying a couple of picture books that make the most of their medium.

Finally, did I love "Something About Mary"? Nope. But I almost never do when it comes to myth-arc episodes. But it seemed to be a fairly solidly constructed episode with some verynicely done bits.

  • Eileen's letter and Sam's reaction

  • Dean's reaction to Sam's reaction

  • The montage of them searching the bunker and finding the bug

  • Them being sneaky and once again working seamlessly as a team once they found it

  • Mary successfully getting the gun off Ketch

  • Her lack of hesitation in attempting to shoot herself, and her desperation as she tried to get Ketch to do it for her once he grabbed the gun back

  • Sam and Dean getting the drop on Toni and her team

  • Sam and Dean managing to take out Ketch's ambush (too bad about his backup)

  • Mary and Ketch's conversation in the car after they "entomb" Sam and Dean

  • The glorious cheese of Lucifer posing on that hilltop in the sunshine

There seems to be a running theme of people having their free will coerced or overwritten:
12.02: Toni mind-rapes Sam and uses a no-breathing mind trick on Mary
12.04: Magda accidentally overwrites people and causes them to die
12.05: Hitler successfully overwrites his minion
12.06: Demon possession
12.07: Lucifer convinces Vince's groupie to disfigure herself
[12.09: Cas deliberately acts against the Winchesters' wills in killing Billie; doesn't exactly fit, but is related]
12.11: This is actually an interesting twist, since Dean at the end sort of proves his own self-will despite losing his self (though it did include an intended soul-swap near the end--hm)
[12.12: Mary deliberately manipulates a situation so that Sam and Dean will do what she wants even though she knows they wouldn't had they known what was actually going on]
[12.15: Sam confesses to similarly manipulating Dean]
12.16: Lycanthropy being forced on Claire and the dead girl--a very clear case of their wills being overwritten, since not only was the bite unwanted, but they also appeared to be far enough down the "pure blood" ladder than they couldn't control the change
12.17: Mick gets killed for trying to follow his conscience
12.19: Kelly and Cas apparently have their wills overwritten by the nephilim
12.20: The twig dolls' wills are obedient to that of their creator's
12.21: Mary is having her will overwritten by the BMoL
I saw Arrival recently as well and totally agree with you. It was the most realistic/least scientifically offensive SF I've seen since The Martian, apart from the big paradox-hole involving the phone number, but the rest of the film was so excellent that I can forgive that. The politics are at least wishful thinking in a positive direction.
Seems like anytime there's time travel, you wind up with a paradox somewhere, so I simply took it as a given.

Would you recommend The Martian? I ask because I'm currently compiling a list of relatively-recent non-space-battle SF movies to watch.
I enjoyed it very much, because (a)the science was not offensively implausible/impossible (the spaceship particularly was excellent, as was the implied system by which it was run) and (b) it was all about sensible, resourceful, intelligent, highly-skilled people doing sensible, resourceful, intelligent things with their skills.
I enjoyed both the book and the film, partly because I like fictions that are not about The Struggle Of Good Against Evil.
That was a very refreshing aspect of Arrival as well--that the "villain" of the story was really just the inability to communicate.
Yes. Even the initial responses from the Chinese and the Russians were perfectly logical and reasonable based on what they thought they were hearing. It was even more obvious in The Martian, where Watney's only opponent was the planet itself, which was a perfectly OK planet, just not one that would support unaided human life. Everyone back on Earth was doing their best to help; at worst they were disagreeing about what the best way was.
I'm so glad you enjoyed the film hun, I haven't seen it but this makes me want to :) ♥
You have a point about SPN so far, it's interesting, a lot scary, and I wonder what it's leading to?
It's definitely a movie worth seeing--for some of the visuals alone, even if the story wasn't so solid.

It's hard to believe the season finale is this week! I'm trying not to speculate too much, because I don't want to set myself up for disappointment, but there are a couple of things that have me asking, "are they actually going to do X?" I don't really expect them to, but if they *do* do it, I'll be very impressed with the writing team for actually following through.
Owwww we shall see if your thoughts become reality :D I love when there might be just a sliver of a chance that what we thing might actually come to life!!
I'm glad you shared about Arrival, because I'd forgotten I was interested in seeing it! I started watching and it's been gorgeous and intriguing. I'm excited to see the rest of it when I get a chance. :)