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The Arrival

"The Arrival" on DVD

Spaced Out

Charlie Sheen is a radio astronomer looking for extraterrestrial life in this paranoid eco-adventure from writer/director David Twohy.

Sheen's Zane Zaminsky comes across just the type of signal for which he's been searching, and he gets ready to announce his discovery to the world. Unfortunately, it turns out that there's a vast conspiracy happening in which the aliens are already on Earth, and they've gone underground (and behind human masks) to bring their nasty plans to fruition.

Rather than give away the plot, which is pretty neat, suffice it to say that Zaminsky winds up being the proverbial voice in the wilderness as he tries to alert humanity to its potential peril.

Sheen is good as Zaminsky, the driven scientist. It's really his movie, and he carries it well. Supporting cast members include Teri Polo (whose name is misspelled in the cast/crew bio section of the DVD's "extras") as his girlfriend, and Lindsay Crouse as an atmospheric atmospheric scientist with whom Zaminsky comes into contact during this quest for the truth.

Ron Silver does a good job as Zaminsky's boss (and at least one other) who, as it turns out, appears to have a face chosen "off the rack."

There's paranoia, adventure, and intrigue in spades in "The Arrival," as well as some nifty CGI-crafted aliens and a huge underground alien base that's a real treat for the eyeballs.

The DVD picture, which is in widescreen and Pan&Scan on opposite sides of the disk, is a bit soft compared to the razor sharp images to which we've become accustomed, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is very good. Extras, such as they are, include the teaser/trailer and some minimal cast/crew bios and production notes.

On the whole, "The Arrival" is a better movie than it is an exercise in exploiting DVD technology, but isn't it the story for which we watch movies anyway?

The Arrival, from Live Home Video
105/115 min (the box lists both), widescreen (1.85:1)/Pan&Scan, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Crouse, Teri Polo and Ron Silver
Produced by Thomas G. Smith and Jim Steele,
Written and Directed by David Twohy


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Updated May 13, 2006