Winning Cinema: The Best of Charlie Sheen – Part 3

I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.

– Charlie Sheen

In spite of his warning, Charlie Sheen is safe in small doses, filtered by celluloid and time. At least, that’s been my experience. I’ve yet to O.D.

The next stop on my tour de Chuck: The Arrival (1996)

Charlie Sheen plays Zane Zaminsky, a radio astronomer who intercepts a signal he believes to be of an extraterrestrial origin. After reporting the signal to his superiors, he is summarily fired and the entire incident is covered up. Sure of what he heard, Zane attempts to uncover the truth about the signal and reveal what he believes to be a conspiracy to deny the existence of extraterrestrial life. In doing so, not only does he discover the existence of extraterrestrials, he finds that they’re already living among us.

Say what you will about Charlie Sheen, but the man plays paranoia well. Zane isn’t some muscle-bound action hero. He’s just an average Joe, a scientist in over his head. No six-pack abs or five-minute long fight scenes here. Zane is pretty firmly grounded in reality. He’s a little eccentric and definitely intense, but he doesn’t seem like an invincible superhero.

The Arrival is an interesting alien invasion mystery, not quite as good, but in the vein as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and They Live. It’s got some thrills, some surprises. The special effects are a little dated, but it’s a 15-year-old movie. I still enjoy it.


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