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Old August 2 2012, 11:47 PM   #1
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Hey there. This film opens this week, and I like a good science fiction mystery (yes, I Robot and In Time are among some of my favorite types of films and they are underrated) so I'm willing to go along with a remake of a film I like so much... to see what I things stay the same and what things are different. I'm expecting to have a good time at a real science fiction movie, even if it's not real "hard" science fiction. I'm looking forward to a break from costumed heroes!

Ebert gave it three stars, and his review doesn't have anything in the way of spoilers. He pointed out the two big differences between this film and the original. One is that there is no Mars, which he didn't mined so much (I'll miss it), and that it's not Arnold. In his review of the original film, he points out that Arnold's performance was really quite good, and is the key that allows the film to work... so it should be interesting to see how the Quaid character plays here.
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Old August 2 2012, 11:56 PM   #2
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I watched the Arnold one again about a week ago and I agree, Arnold's performance in it actually is pretty good. You can see the differences between Quaid and the supposed "real ego." I'll certainly go see this remake Saturday night.

Rolling Stone gave it a negative review.
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Old August 3 2012, 12:27 AM   #3
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

A little treat before we see the new version:
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Old August 3 2012, 12:35 AM   #4
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS



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Old August 3 2012, 01:13 AM   #5
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Okay, I had to stick in the Total Recall DVD and listen to the Schwarzenegger/Verhoeven commentary as I've never realized there was one there and the YT video above prompted me to check it out. It's a barrage of terrible accents and Arnold pretty much doing the "vision impaired" version of the movie.

This is so terrible it's great!
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Old August 3 2012, 04:17 AM   #6
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

You left out the Grading feature.

Grade: A-

I just came back from a sneak showing and found it to be very good film. I've not read the short story but I read some commentary that this one follows the story much more closely. Apparently they never go to Mars, it's only mentioned in the story. So, in this film they never go. I honestly don't recall Mars being mentioned but I digress.
While watching it one can see where the films differ, yet also where they are very similar. The thrust of the movie is intact.

It has very solid action pieces, smooth f/x sequences and a really great cast. Thinking on it I don't instantly think of any plot holes, usually if it does and they are glaring it hits me while I'm in the theater(like when I saw TDKR for example). It wasn't screened for critics and those prima donnas will bash anything that doesn't cow-tow to their perceived sense of privilege to get a screening. Ergo, expect early low RT scores for those who actually still use that device. It's going to really be skewed unjustly low imo.

I'm not really prone to want to do a scene by scene review for this but I do want to say it's very much a summer popcorn action flick...in a good way. It's not brainless per se, I know that phrase usually means "check brain", just saying.

Hope it's given the fair shake it deserves.
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Old August 3 2012, 04:35 AM   #7
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I think the days when I would check out a remake purely out of curiosity are passed. Between the director's filmography and the super-average trailer, I think I'll just skip this one altogether.
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Old August 3 2012, 04:43 AM   #8
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Does Will Smith help him fight off the I Robots?
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Old August 3 2012, 09:12 PM   #9
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I'm giving it a B.

My usual staccato review:

-Kate Beckinsale is much sexier and more entertaining as a psycho bitch secret agent than she is as Kate, The Undead Werewolf Slayer.

-Speaking of more entertaining, sorry Colin and Kate, but Sharon Stone fighting Ah-nuld is much more entertaining than you guys fighting. There's nothing funnier and more awesome than having some petite blond beating the snot out of Conan The Barbarian, and there's also nothing better for making that petite blond look truly bad-ass. You guys, well...if Colin had gynecomastia you'd essentially have the same build.

-Speaking of Colin and Kate, Kate was rocking her American accent better than Colin, who spoke it like he just learned it for this movie, which I know couldn't possibly be true. Too bad she had to dump it when the action started...although it probably made it all the more WTF from Doug's perspective to hear his wife suddenly hurling The Queen's English at him.

-Once again, brother don't make it to the end of the movie. Peace, Bokeem.

-I gotta say, I'm impressed with Bryan Cranston's versatility. The first time I ever saw him was in Malcolm in The Middle and every time I see him in something else he proves he's left that part deep in the past.

-I'm calling bullshit on "The Fall." (Ooh, ahh, "The Fall enslaves us!" ) Unless the atmosphere is too thin to support aircraft and the oceans are filled with sulfuric acid there's no way in hell "The Fall" is "the only way" to get from one part of this world to the other, especially when you consider digging a tunnel through the Earth big enough to sink a subway car the size of the Citibank building into it could not possibly be cheaper and easier than just designing and building more robust ships and planes. "But A2," you say - come on, I know you're saying it - "all science fiction has some BS in it." True, but you're not supposed erect a metaphorical neon sign pointing to it that says "This is Utter Bullshit! We only did it 'cause we thought it looked cool!"

And if you do, it should actually look cool, not just stupid.
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Old August 3 2012, 09:58 PM   #10
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote: View Post
A little treat before we see the new version:

My local theatre screens old movies, and whenever they play an Arnold film, this video among others usually plays beforehand. This one always generates the most laughs.
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Old August 3 2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
I'm giving it a B.

My usual staccato review:

-Kate Beckinsale is much sexier and more entertaining as a psycho bitch secret agent than she is as Kate, The Undead Werewolf Slayer.

-Speaking of more entertaining, sorry Colin and Kate, but Sharon Stone fighting Ah-nuld is much more entertaining than you guys fighting. There's nothing funnier and more awesome than having some petite blond beating the snot out of Conan The Barbarian, and there's also nothing better for making that petite blond look truly bad-ass. You guys, well...if Colin had gynecomastia you'd essentially have the same build.

-Speaking of Colin and Kate, Kate was rocking her American accent better than Colin, who spoke it like he just learned it for this movie, which I know couldn't possibly be true. Too bad she had to dump it when the action started...although it probably made it all the more WTF from Doug's perspective to hear his wife suddenly hurling The Queen's English at him.

-Once again, brother don't make it to the end of the movie. Peace, Bokeem.

-I gotta say, I'm impressed with Bryan Cranston's versatility. The first time I ever saw him was in Malcolm in The Middle and every time I see him in something else he proves he's left that part deep in the past.

-I'm calling bullshit on "The Fall." (Ooh, ahh, "The Fall enslaves us!" ) Unless the atmosphere is too thin to support aircraft and the oceans are filled with sulfuric acid there's no way in hell "The Fall" is "the only way" to get from one part of this world to the other, especially when you consider digging a tunnel through the Earth big enough to sink a subway car the size of the Citibank building into it could not possibly be cheaper and easier than just designing and building more robust ships and planes. "But A2," you say - come on, I know you're saying it - "all science fiction has some BS in it." True, but you're not supposed erect a metaphorical neon sign pointing to it that says "This is Utter Bullshit! We only did it 'cause we thought it looked cool!"

And if you do, it should actually look cool, not just stupid.
I hate it when movies or fiction, especially in this day age, think going through the center of the Earth is as easy as cake and doesn't involve extreme pressures and heat that nothing man-made can survive. Being anywhere near the center of the Earth would create enormous pressures from the weight of the entire fucking planet pushing down on you from every direction and the 10,000F temperatures.
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Old August 3 2012, 11:55 PM   #12
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Tosk wrote: View Post
I think the days when I would check out a remake purely out of curiosity are passed. Between the director's filmography and the super-average trailer, I think I'll just skip this one altogether.
Same here. The trailers and reviews make it sound like just another tedious, FX-heavy chase movie with no charm whatsoever.

Which is pretty much what I would expect from the guy who made Underworld.
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Old August 4 2012, 01:16 AM   #13
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

[QUOTE=davejames;6750248]
Tosk wrote: View Post

Which is pretty much what I would expect from the guy who made Underworld.
I think Underworld is an underrated gem, but I suppose that's neither here nor there as this thread is about Total Recall

I always felt Underworld was a fluke as I felt Live Free or Die Hard was horrible (also directed by Wisemen), but Ebert gave this movie a good review, and I usually trust him (we differ, but not too often). Nevertheless, I am seeing this tomorrow with friends.
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Old August 4 2012, 02:14 AM   #14
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Sorry I didn't make a vote option here. I totally forgot. Maybe the Mods can tll me if I'd be able to open up a new thread and maybe the two threads can be merged??

Sounds doable, but what do I know?

I'm seeing this tomorrow. As much as I liked Avengers and TDKR, I'm ready to for some regular sci fi action!
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Old August 4 2012, 04:22 PM   #15
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I'm surprised there hasn't been more interest in this movie. I saw it last night and rather enjoyed it. I'd give it a B. It was a solid action film with some nice twists and good action. There were some minor plot holes, and at times I felt like a scene or two was cut, but overall I can't complain.

The effects in the film were incredibly solid, IMO, because it felt like they didn't make anything CGI that didn't have to be. For example, the android soldiers Quaid fights could have been made CGI, and probably would have been in any other film. However, other than scenes showing an army of them in formation I believe they were all actually there. As were most of the sets.

I also liked the art direction, which combined influences from several cultures seamlessly. The Rekall facility, for example, had a very Asian feel to it, along with a giant Buddha statue.

I caught a few homages to the original. Of course, the three breasted lady in the trailer (though they never bother to explain why she has an extra one), and in the airport. If you watch carefully, you will see someone suspiciously similar to the lady Arnold was disguised as in the original film.

I found the clip in it's entirety here. Pretty cool!

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
-I gotta say, I'm impressed with Bryan Cranston's versatility.
Oh, yeah. If you watch Breaking Bad, you wouldn't be too surprised. But he was great in this film. I wish they had gone into more detail about what his version of the bad guy had that allowed him to enslave the planet. Ronny Cox had control of the air. This guy... I don't know.
-I'm calling bullshit on "The Fall." (Ooh, ahh, "The Fall enslaves us!" )
I agree. That was one of the only major plot holes that I could find. The heat and pressure would be far too immense to go through the center of the Earth, but gravity wouldn't immediately switch orientations like in the movie. It would gradually cancel out and then increase in the opposite direction as you near the other surface.

Another issue with The Fall is it's destruction freeing the humans in Australia from enslavement. Why didn't the resistance simply blow the thing up years ago? It seemed fairly easy for Quaid to set up a few bombs on the thing and down she goes!
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