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Total Recall review

Posted : 1 year, 8 months ago on 12 April 2013 10:07

oh my god what were they thinking when they made this movie? this is another i just couldn't manage to make myself sit through. while i enjoyed the original, this movie didn't...well, anything, really. it all felt so...boring, i guess is about all i can manage here.

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Total Recall review

Posted : 2 years ago on 30 November 2012 09:09

Honestly, this is not as bad as a movie as some people would lead you to believe. This is a pretty generic movie but, it does have it's share of thrills and moments. I can't say if this remake is better or worse than the original since the last time I saw the remake was ten years ago and I don't really remember it. Based on what many people have said, the original is much better but, that shouldn't surprise you since that's case with 90% of all remakes today. Coming from someone who doesn't remember the original, this is just a generic movie.

This movie had the potiential to be a "mind fuck" kind of movie and Colin Farrell would have been perfect for it based on his performance here. However, it's clear that, that was not the filmmaker's idea. It's a dam shame because it could have been a great movie, and what's worse is that there are moments where this movie does toy with your mind, then gets interrupted. The script is pretty poor, the only times when it's good is during those moments when it plays with your mind, other than that it's sloppy and generic. The chemistry between Biel and Farrell isn't really believable even though they look like they would make a nice couple.

Kate Backinsale acts like she's still in the underworld movies and she even has less chemistry with Farrell than Biel. I guess that's because she was only pretending to be his wife, but it still wasn't convincing enough. She can kick ass at least. Farrell is good but, from what I remember in the original, he doesn't have the screen presnce to carry a movie like this out on his own. Biel just kind of phones in her performance, I guess that's because her character doesn't really have much use, she just runs along with Farrell and brings him to someone that he needs to see.

The world looks like bits and pieces from other sci-fi movies. Blade Runner and The Fifth Element come to mind. However, the Cgi is breathtaking, everything looks so real, kudos to the special effects team. It's probably the best Cgi I've seen to date, but that does not make up for the movies problems. The action does get the pulse-pounding and theres plenty of it. It's well choreographed and shot, so no shaky-cam except during the car chases, which ia understandable. The original took place on Mars, here it's on Earth, specifically Britain and Australia. Personally, I like this better and it's the only thing this remake gets right. Normally, when you make a remake, it gives you a chance to correct the problems of the original. That's the only thing it manages to correct, while making even more problems of it's own.

Overall, this would be a tv movie. The script is poor, the performances for the most part are dull(with the exception of Farrel), and the world looks like every other sci-fi world out there. The gorgous Cgi, impressive action sequences, and Farrell's performance save the movie. This is the second remake that Farrell has been in over the past year. Personally, I enjoyed Fright Night better. This movie is never boring but, unlike what the title says, I won't be remembering this movie anytime soon, I'll probably have forgotten this movie tomorrow.

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Fuck this movie!

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 29 August 2012 10:52

"The past is a construct of the mind. It blinds us. It fools us into believing it. But the heart wants to live in the present. Look there. You'll find your answer."

I have total recall of the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger/Paul Verhoeven action movie Total Recall. It has stood the test of time, and to this day stands as a deliriously fun blockbuster extravaganza with intelligence and subtext supplementing its awesome ultra-violence. 2012's Total Remake, on the other hand, is an unmitigated piece of shit; a generic big-budget actioner with confused plot motivations and little in the way of thrills or originality. Make no mistake: though it's supposed to be a fresh adaptation of Philip K. Dick's short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, this Len Wiseman-directed picture is just a straight remake of the Arnie movie. Hence, Total Rehash is the most uncreative remake in years - and that's saying something. There is not a single original thought or moment in this joyless two-hour catastrophe. Perhaps the most amusing thing about Totally Unnecessary is that it was produced by the company Original Film, the logo for which prominently appears at the picture's beginning. Oh the irony.



In the 22nd Century, Earth has been devastated by chemical warfare, leaving only two inhabitable regions: Britain and Australia (known as "The Colony"), which are connected via a huge elevator that travels through the planet's core. Blue-collar worker Douglas Quaid (Farrell) lives a dead-end existence, married to the beautiful Lori (Beckinsale) but plagued by dreams of a mystery woman who tries to save his life. Quaid's curiosity is piqued by a company called Rekall that sells implanted memory vacations, and he pays them a visit hoping for some excitement in his life. As it turns out, though, Quaid has had memories implanted before, and his entire life is actually a lie. Learning that his wife is actually an enforcer working for shady leader Cohaagen (Cranston), Quaid goes on the run to evade capture. It isn't long before Quaid meets Melina (Biel), a freedom fighter with ties to the enigmatic Matthias (Nighy) who wants to stop Cohaagen's evil scheme.

Once Quaid goes on the run, Total Shit is solely concerned with flashy but numbingly repetitive action beats, and the specifics of the plot soon become hazy. Wiseman's team were so intent on making cosmetic changes that the original premise no longer makes sense. See, Cohaagen sets up an elaborate plan involving Quaid to find Matthias, and suspects that Matthias may be hiding in the uninhabitable zones outside the city. But he has a limitless army of robotic soldiers to do his bidding and everyone knows what Matthias looks like, so why doesn't Cohaagen send out a huge search party? In the original Total Recall, the equivalent of Matthias (the character Quato) was a huge question mark - nobody knew who or what he was, or what he looked like. As a result, Cohaagen needed Quaid to infiltrate the resistance.

For its first 30 minutes, Total Retard is literally a scene-for-scene remake of the original film - it's the most flagrant rehashing since Gus Van Sant's Psycho debacle. The remainder of the film is a rhythmic and spiritual remake of Verhoeven's masterpiece, retaining the same beats but substituting different locations and switching a few things around. It's the screenwriting equivalent of stealing a Wikipedia article for your homework before using a thesaurus and rearranging words to disguise the plagiarism (at one stage, instead of a bead of sweat conveying something important to Quaid, it's a tear). Fucking hell, the plagiarism is so blatant that the screenwriters of 1990's Total Recall are even credited in the end titles.



Even the production design is derivative - it looks like the filmmakers just reused sets from every sci-fi movie from the past few decades, like Blade Runner and Minority Report. Furthermore, scenes and set-pieces within Total Ripoff seem to have been lifted from other, better films: the hovercar chase mirrors The Fifth Element, and Quaid has a conversation with a recording of himself in a scene stolen directly from I, Robot. While Totally Awful carried a hefty budget and thus looks handsome, there is no personality or panache to Wiseman's direction; it's all very banal and pedestrian. The filmmaking is flashy but soulless, with Wiseman mistaking CGI overload for genuine excitement. It's hard not to be impressed with the visuals, but you'll be hard-pressed to get swept up in anything that happens.

It's evident that a number of deviations from the Arnie movie were made to ensure that the content was PG-13-friendly. For instance, an early scene in the original Total Recall implies that Quaid and Lori have morning sex, but a similar scene in Total Failure ends with Lori being called into work before Quaid can get his rocks off. (Clearly, Wiseman was unwilling to let his ridiculously hot wife do much making out.) Additionally, soldiers are predominantly robotic, eliminating the need for blood. The script also minimises the brothel. In Verhoeven's original film, the brothel was where freedom fighters congregated and made a living, and Melina was a prostitute. The brothel in Total Flop is seen for all of one minute, and it isn't a station for freedom fighters. Instead, the freedom fighters resemble something from Half-Life 2 (they stole from video games as well?), and don't seem to have much of a cover or contingency plan. Admittedly, the iconic three-boob chick is glimpsed here and it's the best part of the film, but we saw the three-boob chick in the original film where she had more screen-time. This is the thing - even if you want to praise something about Total Reheat, you'd be better off praising the sources it stole from.



Worse, the script reduces a formerly colourful ensemble to a bunch of generic faces without much in the way of human emotion or feeling. Everyone carries their serious face here, and none of them seem to have even heard the word "humour" in their lives. Colin Farrell does what he can, but he's not an action hero - the actor works best as a hammy supporting character (see Fright Night and In Bruges). Likewise, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel are entirely unremarkable. The always-brilliant Bryan Cranston is also left to founder on-screen, while Bill Nighy's role in the flick is over as soon as it begins. What a way to waste a bunch of talented thespians...

Fuck me, Total Retard is a rancid piece of a shit; a joyless, empty assembly-line motion picture without any cinematic personality. It's the type of big-budget flick for which you sit there, numbed and bored, while shitloads of money is splashed on the screen, handled by a filmmaker who has no idea how to generate excitement or exhilaration. During the action scenes I kept departing my physical form, entering a state of limbo where I thought about places I'd rather be... And then I'd return to my body only to think "It's still going?" A reimagining of Total Recall was completely unnecessary, and the fact that this remake offers nothing worthwhile leaves it without a compelling reason to exist. Fuck this movie!

1.9/10



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An average movie

Posted : 2 years, 4 months ago on 11 August 2012 07:20

I wasn't really planning to see this flick but since there was nothing else really interesting to watch I thought why not? The first thing I thought while watching this remake is that I suddenly realized I just love movies dealing with amnesia. Indeed, 'Memento' is my favorite movie and I really loved 'The Bourne Identity' (much more than the sequels) and, of course, the original 'Total Recall'. What made those movies fascinating, at least, to me, is that they focused more on the pyschological and emotional turmoil lived by the main character and not so much on the action scenes. In my opinion, that was the big mistake made in this version. Indeed, the action stuff is pretty cool and entertaining but you never get the chance to root for Doug Quaid. Colin Farrell tries really hard and I don't think he should be blamed. It is like Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel. They are both pretty badass but they don't have anything else to offer, I'm afraid. Still, the whole thing is not a total failure. Indeed, the action scenes were pretty neat and it has been a while since I have seen such an impressive vision of the future. To conclude, it was honestly a nice try and even though it is not better or even as good as the original version, it is still worth a look though, especially if you like the genre.

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Total Recall review

Posted : 2 years, 4 months ago on 6 August 2012 01:03



The best thing that can be said about Len Wiseman's Total Recall is that it's a big departure from Paul Verhoeven's take on the same source material -- but while that means that fans of the previous version won't be able to scream "plagiarism!," it doesn't necessarily make this strobing, hyperfrenetic eyesore any easier to sit through.

The planet has been decimated by nuclear war in the late 21st century, leaving only two nations -- the United Federation of Britain and the Colony. Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is a factory worker with a stable job and a loving wife (Kate Beckinsale), but upon learning that a company named Rekall could grant him the memory of the ultimate espionage adventure, he decides that a virtual vacation is better than no vacation at all. But in the midst of having the new memories implanted, something goes haywire. Still strapped to the chair as the system breaks down, he's branded a spy as the authorities close in, and quickly flees for his life. Later, Quaid discovers that he has a secret identity, and he joins forces with rebel soldier Melina (Jessica Biel) on a mission to track down Matthias (Bill Nighy), the head of a fierce resistance movement that's been labeled a terrorist organization by the tyrannical Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston). Cohaagen seeks to control the entire free world, and now the harder Quaid fights to defeat him, the clearer it becomes that his memory had been altered long before he walked into Rekall.

As depressingly bleak, cluttered, and achromatic as its predecessor was colorful, quirky, and distinctive, Wiseman's Total Recall feels like one soulless, semicompetent scene placed after the next, with the occasional interesting plot point or inventive action beat injected into the mix. It all has the distinctive air of a dark and dreary cliché -- a movie so desperately busy that we never have the time to stop and realize that the most interesting ideas in the film are constantly being suffocated by hollow, drawn-out sequences set against a CG backdrop that never feels lived-in, despite the commendable attention to detail from the talented production designers.

Although the cast are competent enough to make the whole thing passably convincing, the two best actors (Cranston and Nighy) have very little screen time, and the two female leads are so bland and interchangeable that the only way to tell them apart is by who they're shooting at. Meanwhile, the dubstep sensibilities of the instantly forgettable soundtrack serve as the perfect audible complement to the jumbled mess unfolding before our eyes. Yes, Verhoeven's Total Recall may look hopelessly dated at this point, but at least it has outrageous special effects, clever social satire, and style to spare. Strip away all of that and throw in an army of I, Robots, and the result is Wiseman's vision -- a remake that's well-worth missing.


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