THE ARRIVAL – movie review

            Do you ever remember things differently than maybe they happened? I mean, we all do it, right? With friendships. With love. With our heroic adventures where we’re the star. We all do it, exaggerating or blurring reality or not quite seeing a thing for how it was. I have that happen to me all the time.

ALL the time.

I recently had this happen with a film I SWORE I liked when I first saw it in theaters. Heck, I liked it when I saw it on home video and even upgraded to Blu-ray when I saw it for cheap.

Boy was I wrong.

I am not sure if I was under some sort of hypnosis or I just don’t have a taste for this stuff now. I certainly don’t have more refined film interests. I still like a lot of trash; I just have my standards.

Do you remember the Charlie Sheen starring vehicle called THE ARRIVAL?


OK, let’s dive in.

It was the 1990’s and the era of the the alien encounter movies where them old green doods were looking to get in touch with us. This was one of those times where a handful of the same sort of movie comes out, making you scratch your head as to how this happens.

So, let’s take a trip, shall we?

THE ARRIVAL follows a lout of an astronomer – I think that was his job, but who really cares? – who captures what he and his co-worker believe is a signal from outer space. While trying to make sure that the signal is real it disappears, living him with blue saucers. Good old Charlie Sheen’s character heads out the next day to talk to his boss and to play the sound and to try to get more support for the research he’s doing. Instead of excitement at the discovery he is offered a steaming cup of skeptical indifference and his walking papers.

See ya!
An upset whoever Charlie Sheen is playing takes his frustration out on his girlfriend and decides that he’ll prove that the signal was real and starts doing looking into how he can make this happen. He decides he’ll take control of the satellite dishes in his neighborhood to create an array that lets him snoop on space. As he’s getting things ready, he catches a neighbor kid spying on him and naturally invites the stranger into his place to watch him work, even though it’s later than either of them should be up.



Charlie Sheen’s character manages to catch the same signal as he had caught before but this time it’s coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE! Wait. No. It is coming from earth though.


The signal seems to be originating from a radio station in Mexico.



Once in Mexico Charlie Sheen’s character starts to enjoy the local color, which seems to include a ton of sketchy people who keep giving our favorite whatever he does guy the alien eye.

We quickly find out that the radio station shooting out the new signal mysteriously burned down.

Cut to Charlie Sheen’s character rub-a-dub-dubbing it up in the tub and POW a tub the floor above him smashes through the floor and nearly kills him.


One look up and lo and behold it’s one of the weirdos that was giving Charlie Sheen’s character the woogly-eye.


After him!

Charlie Sheen’s character loses him but decides to get some answers the next day, darn it!
On his way out for said answers he happens across a fellow American scientist that is having her equipment confiscated as she tries to study some manner of business about humans wrecking the earth.

With their powers of science combined these two start to slowly uncover what we find is a global conspiracy to terra-form the earth for a race of aliens intent on gentrifying our planet.

There is action.

There is adventure.

There is betrayal.

There is some really dodgy effects work.

Most of all there is a very sweaty Charlie Sheen acting as if he’s just coming down from a three-day bender and had to make his set call.

I was going to give a full rundown of the film but got bored and am already forgetting this utterly forgettable film.

This is SO bad.

SO ridiculous.

We’re talking fast zooms.

Fast pans.


Casual psychological abuse of a partner.

Naked Charlie Sheen with hints at his saucer region.


Falling tubs.

Dodgy effects work.

A silly finale.



And this movie is so bad.

1990’s bad where it’s ignorant and silly and OVER THE TOP and oft-times laughable. There’s a kernel of a good idea here and could be a good remake but this one?

Formaldehyde face.

Man alive is Charlie Sheen over the top.

Capital letters over the top.

And sweaty.

So sweaty.

Oh yeah, Ron Silver is in this as well chewing scenery like he’s been starved for days.

I really do remember liking this film once and thinking it was pretty fun but in retrospect I obviously had hit my head and was delusional.


Did I say, phew?

The shame of this movie is that it’s bad but not so bad that it’s fun to watch. It’s just long and plodding and doesn’t even offer a good resolution at the end. Hey, maybe you are dying to see a sweaty, screamy, abusive Charlie Sheen without his shirt.

If so, then this is your movie and I hope you have fun.

Me, I’d rather my brain not be tera-formed by this hot bag of garbage.

2 out of 5

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