The Arrival

on May 31, 1996 by Dwayne E. Leslie
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   In his directorial debut, screenwriter David Twohy ("The Fugitive" and "Waterworld") seamlessly mixes scientific facts with state-of-the-art special effects. Extensive research with the national SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program and radio astronomy provides a backdrop for realism that makes the audience believe in the possibility of life existing outside our solar system.
After many years of dedication, radio astronomer Zane Ziminski ("Terminal Velocity's" Charlie Sheen) finally hears and records a shockwave from the deep reaches of space. When he takes his proof ofthe existence of another intelligent lifeform to his supervisor ("Timecop's" Ron Silver), his life becomes a chaotic mess and he ends up following clues that lead him to a powerplant in Mexico and searching through underground catacombs that are not manmade. What he finds is more than anything he was ever prepared for.
Sheen is working outside of his element, but the energy he puts into his multidimensional character helps keep the story moving. this suspense thriller is a little light on the suspense, but it makes up for it in the sci-fi department. SF fans will enjoy seeing a new breed of extraterrestrial, equipped with skull flaps to cool their brains, morph into humans, and have back-bending legs. (The computer-generated aliens were done by Pacific Data Images.) Along with PDI, nine other FX companies (most except Industrial Light & Magic) collaborated in splicing animation and digital visual effects with actors to make scenes look extremely realistic. At times, you can tell parts of a scene have digital enhancements, but there are very few.
This film starts out slow, but it builds and twists into something worthwhile. Because of highly advertised summer competition, this smaller film will need a lot of word of mouth to inform people that this is not an "Independence Day" ripoff.    Starring Charlie Sheen, Ron Silver and Lindsey Crouse. Directed and written by David Twohy. Produced by Thomas G. Smith and Jim Steele. An Orion release. SF/thriller. Rated PG-13 for some sci-fi violence and terror, and for brief language. Running time: 111 min.
Tags: harlie Sheen, Ron Silver and Lindsey Crouse. Directed and written by David Twohy. Produced by Thomas G. Smith and Jim Steele. An Orion release. SF/thriller, chatoic, powerplant, Mexico, scientific, special effects
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