So what did you think of the movie?
It's an intellectual look at if aliens arrived on planet Earth with neutral intentions, which is refreshing considering so few movies attempt to portray aliens as peaceful: E.T. and Close Encounters are two of the few I know. I think if you compare to those two movies, this may come in third place for drama and action, since the ships are basically stationary for 95% of the film. In Close Encounters, you have a civilian's viewpoint on how they would get visions and somehow find the E.T. ship and in E.T. the alien hides out at a kid's place after getting stranded behind. For realism, its likely more realistic the 3rd movie with scientists examining the ship and keeping all civilians at bay and that the aliens are always on their ships since they are unsure of the outside friendliness of Earth people.
The story has a bizarre start from the viewer stance over the mother and her child. Its very poignant, but you are scratching your head in why it's in the movie. Only in the final scenes do the beginning come together. It seems in every sci-fi movie there is this massive 3rd dimension of imbelievableness. In Alien, the aliens literally have acid blood and apparently can survive in space without any type of air and not blow-up either. In Close Encounters, the guy has visions of the aliens though he has not clear evidence of their location. In E.T., we have to imagine Aliens would accidently leave one of their own behind for weeks without knowing or can make children fly. In this movie, Arrival, we have to suspend the belief of time being sequential and how hard it is to learn an alien language.
What flaws did you see in the movie?
Well, the movie is very intellectuall like say 2001, where you have all the cool equipment, but much of it follows the logic we know, plus a little space magic. In 2001, the astronaut is fighting the computer logic in order to survive literally. In this movie, the aliens apparently don't understand mathematics yet fly floating spacecraft shaped like eggs. The shape is illogical (based on 21st century technology/logic) since they float without apparent engines. Maybe there is some type of engine like this, but as a viewer you want to kind of see the jet engine comparison I think even Star Trek has warp drive that has a jet engjine comparison. Also the ships merely sit there and magically open every 16 hours or so due to the air difference. Another annoying thing is an audience member, I'm shouting, "Use the music display from Close Encounters!!" to no avail. These aliens only are understood via whiteboarding symbols. Its possible, but seems really far from reality that aliens could cross galaxies without understanding math equations and music, which is a mathematical language as well.
I think it is interesting from the combination of intellectuals to tackle how to communicate with aliens: a top linguist and a top mathematician/scientist. The scientist Ian fails to be able to connect with the aliens and only the lead actress Amy Adams playing Louise Banks makes headway. This part of the story seems flawed a bit although he eventually helps uncover the language as the world debates to keep communicating with the aliens or consider their arrival deadly.
Did you have any art that takes on alien life outside of Earth?
Sort of. I did one painting about the alignment of all the planets in our galaxy in my style Architectural Abstraction. Another work I did was on the largest Blackhole in the Unverse (discovered so far) called NGC-1277, I guess nobody gets to take credit for a massive destructive force.