Arrival hits theaters November 11, and watching this trailer it looks like it could be a winner. Mankind is on the edge of global war thanks to the aliens prodding, forcing the team to race against time for answers to how to stop the war and greet their visitors. Amy Adams plays expert linguist Louise Banks, and this appears to be her vehicle; I will enjoy finding out where she drives it.

Monsters: Dark Continent is the sequel to 2010’s Monsters, about life on Earth during an alien invasion. This story opens a decade after the first one took place, and the aliens cover a lot of the globe, including the Middle East. The first one was about the most realistic depiction of alien invasion I have ever seen, so I will be in the theaters for this one.

Astrophysicist Geoffrey Marcy has managed to discover more extrasolar planets than anyone else, 70 out of the first 100 in fact. He also is the director of the Center for Integrative Planetary Science, an entire organization dedicated to extrasolar planet research. So it shouldn’t be any surprise he has received a grant to study the Kepler data for evidence of Dyson Spheres, the mark of a Type II civilization. A Type II civilization on the Kardashev scale utilizes close to the total energy output of their star to power their culture, and one way to do that is to build a Dyson Sphere around the star for both living surface and to capture that energy. Thanks to NASA’s Kepler mission we now have a huge amount of reconnaissance of other star systems already being sifted for evidence of other planets, to reexamine that data looking for Dyson Spheres only costs some additional computing power and man hours, all the capital outlay has already been made. And we might just discover some new neighbors!

It played a few weeks ago at Sci-Fi London, and now Monsters goes into limited release in the US this Friday. If it doesn’t play anywhere close to you, the web site says it goes into wide release on December 3rd. The buzz from the film fest circuit is positive, and the trailer looks great; I am so there. Also out this week, again in somewhat limited release, is the third film in the brilliant Swedish trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. This movie wraps up the story begun in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and since the second film, The Girl Who Played With Fire comes out on DVD tomorrow, I will be re-watching both of them before hitting the theater for the final chapter.