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Old August 4 2012, 05:38 PM   #16
stj
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I was thinking of seeing this because I'm not someone who thinks the Schwarzenegger movie was hugely entertaining. It had one powerful scene, which puts it ahead of lots of movies that have none. But no nostalgia here.

But, a tunnel through the center of the Earth? From what's written here I gather it's not supposed to be a device to tap energy from the Earth's core, with transportation a secondary function. Even though there's supposed to be a ravaged planet and human civilization which might need a nonfuel energy source to survive?

Cranston, Farrell and Nighy notwithstanding, this sounds to stupid to pay movie price for. Waiting for the DVD.
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Old August 4 2012, 06:40 PM   #17
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
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've seen a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad, I just haven't watched it regularly, but I included what I have seen in my assessment of Cranston. So I'm not really surprised. I just wanted to say I'm impressed. I think he's a very good actor, and he is good here, even with how little we see him.

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.
He's obviously meant to be a dictator, essentially micromanaging this post-apocalyptic Earth. The position must be a holdover from when drastic measures were needed to get the survivors through hard times, and no Chancellor ever relinquished power. That's my guess. But you're right...the creators never actually tell us.

-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!
Well, if you're gonna apply logic and junk...

But okay, let's say it's actually possible to build the thing and you build it. Someone wanting to destroy it wouldn't need to plant explosives on the car itself. Just schedule your attack for when it's boarding and blow up the clamps holding it in place. Uncontrolled fall into the tunnel, it derails and explodes in the core, hilarity ensues. The problem is the guys who built it likely know this kind of attack will work and increase security at departure and arrival times, which means you'd have to be Quaid - someone with enough innate knowledge of the enemy to defeat 20 guards and 10 robots at a time by himself - to pull it off, and a resistance led by a reclusive philosopher and made up of disgruntled factory workers simply wouldn't have someone like that in their ranks initially.

So I'm thinking they did try and failed a bunch of times.

stj wrote: View Post
But, a tunnel through the center of the Earth? From what's written here I gather it's not supposed to be a device to tap energy from the Earth's core, with transportation a secondary function. Even though there's supposed to be a ravaged planet and human civilization which might need a nonfuel energy source to survive?
Nope, just a big ol' subway.

Cranston, Farrell and Nighy notwithstanding, this sounds to stupid to pay movie price for. Waiting for the DVD.
Go with your gut. I only gave it a B for Kate and the robots.
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Old August 4 2012, 08:45 PM   #18
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Really, they should have kept the Mars angle the first movie had, it would have been interesting to see a new take on Mars. Anyway, a buddy and I are going to go see this movie here in about 20 minutes so I'll report back tonight with a review!
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Old August 4 2012, 09:34 PM   #19
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I rewatched the original this afternoon and I can't say I miss Mars or the mutants actually.
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Old August 4 2012, 10:39 PM   #20
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I enjoyed it a lot. I love Farrel and Kate Beckinsale has been a favorite actress of mine ever since she wowed me in Underworld. The action was really fun and Wiseman's directing was miles ahead of his work on Die Hard 4 (not sure what happened there).

I think I would have enjoyed this more had I not seen the original. All the major story beats of the first film were repeated here, but in the end the action was entertaining enough so it wasn't a huge issue.

Were there a poll here I'd probably rate it a solid B.
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Old August 5 2012, 12:09 AM   #21
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

stj wrote: View Post

Cranston, Farrell and Nighy notwithstanding, this sounds to stupid to pay movie price for. Waiting for the DVD.
Actually, other than that one transportation device, the movie is about 100x more likely than the original. After all, which is more likely - humans build a device that travels through the Earth, or radiation on Mars turns humans into a variety of mutants, and aliens build a machine that creates a breathable atmosphere on a planet with a fraction of Earth's gravity. Not to mention action scenes that wouldn't work with Mars level of gravity.

I'm assuming the tunnel was created before human civilization fell, so to speak. But then, assuming this is the case, it is quite a coincidence that the only two habitable areas on the Earth are connected by the thing.

Someone made a comment that this one follows the short story more than the original. I don't know if I agree. Yes, the story didn't have Quaid (actually Quail in the story, but understandably changed considering who the VP was at the time) go to Mars, but he did go there before his Rekal trip.

Synopsis for the story - so spoilers!
Quail is a lowly salaried worker in a future Chicago. The story never says he is some kind of clerk, I believe, but does not introduces any characters from work. He dreams of eventually going to Mars, and on a whim goes to Rekal for a spy adventure on Mars. Before the procedure is performed, Quail remembers actually being on Mars as a secret agent, and accuses the people at Rekal of blowing his cover and bringing back his buried memories. He doesn't kill everybody, though. Instead he goes back to his apartment and finds further evidence of his trip to Mars, like alien worms he brought back and hid away.

At his apartment he tries convincing his wife he has been to Mars, but she doesn't believe him. He is confronted by the government police, who explain that he is really a secret agent who went to Mars to assassinate a political leader and had his memories erased to cover up the incident. His desire to go to Mars and be a secret agent indicates that the memories cannot be entirely erased, and thus the police see no other option than to eliminate Quail. He also had an implant in his brain that allows the government to read his thoughts. Quail jumps the policeman and disarms them - the only real action scene in the story - and flees his apartment.

Once free, he discovers the government can communicate with him telepathically. Quail makes a deal with the police that he will turn himself in if they can replace his memories again, and this time a stronger fantasy be implanted in his mind. The government psychologists analyze Quail and discover a childhood fantasy of him foiling an alien invasion where the aliens agree to never return as long as Quail is alive. They plan to use this as the basis for the new implant when they again discover that the alien invasion is not merely a fantasy, but an actual memory. They let Quail go, realizing that by killing him they only invite the aliens to return and invade Earth.
As you can see, other than the very basic story points, neither movie really follows the short story.

Last edited by TremblingBluStar; August 5 2012 at 12:46 AM.
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Old August 5 2012, 01:13 AM   #22
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I actually think the original felt more real. The producers of this film created an impossible system of elevators and highways that could never operate and be maintained, and a colony that seemed ripped out of Blade Runner. Whereas thee colony on Mars may seem, at first, impossible - who knows (especially with Mars One moving along) what might happen in a hundred years, but what I think is evident was that the creators of the original film did was postulate a plausible human colony and then set chase sequences there, instead of creating environments simply for having good chase sequences.

This film did not have the personality of the original. Cohagen was a non- character until he appears at the last twenty minutes. Combining Lori and Richter into Lori did neither character favors, and dispelling Maleena's real connection to Quaid (not just that he dreamed her, but that he ordered her in his fantasy) did her no favors. There was no scene here that was quite as powerful as Quaid walking into the Last Resort and locking eyes the woman he either created himself or knew from the past.

I also didn't like the fact that Quaid didn't know anything useful. That was this movie's twist, and I didn't like it..

It was enjoyable movie. If that's what it was. It also felt like a bunch video game cut scenes smashed together using the threadbare elements of Total Recall....

Verhoven knew how to combine insane violence, with a future world that resembled our own (to comment on it), good one-liners (I'll be home in time for Corn Flakes") with actual science fiction to create a film that holds up. While a new-age lounge-like Rekall might do the trick for audiences now, somehow the whole Bob McClaine, Used Memory Salesman really was much smarter.
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Old August 5 2012, 01:45 AM   #23
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Total Recall

My Grade: B+

-----------------------------------

Total Recall is something or remake/different take on the 1990 pulp-classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie (itself a loose adaptation of a short story by Philip K. Dick.) In the Governorator movie Douglas Quaid a lowly construction work feels he needs something more out life and goes to a company called "Rekall" that can implant the mind with false memories hoping to be given the memory of a vacation to Mars where he was a secret agent. Things take a twist when during the procedure it turns out he actually IS a secret agent working to liberate the people living on Mars who are oppressed by a evil corporation unsurprisingly headed by Ronnie Cox (your 80s/90s go-to guy for evil corporation CEOs.) A fight with his wife a trip to Mars later he finds out more about his alternate persona and ends up saving the planet and the movie ends with a top spinning only seeming to wobble before we fade to black.

Or, rather, a fade to WHITE suggesting that the events in the movie were a dream.

The 2012 "remake" takes many of the same ideas of Ahnold movie and puts a slightly different spin on them leaving us with more of a remake of the 1990 movie than a closer adaptation of the source material. In the 1990 movie, for the most part, it seems the life on Earth is somewhat normal Sci-Fi future stuff, most of the tension and action takes place on the planet Mars where colonies are ran and supported by businesses and a rebellion is taking place by rebels wanting freedom, more resources (like air) and better environmental domes to shield people from mutating radiation. In the 2012 version all of the events take place on Earth where devastating wars in the 21st century has left the entire planet -save the Europe sub-continent and Australia- uninhabitable. Europe is a fairly futuristic, up-beat, mega-city supported by the lower-class workers living on Australia. (The two areas are directly connected by an elevator -"The Fall"- which runs through the Earth's crust, mantle and outer core.) The elevator seems to serve as the only way between the two areas, a simple 17-minute long trip.

Much like the Martian rebels in the original movie the Australian populace proves to be a constant source of irritation for the weller-to-do people living in Europe and plans are put into motion wipe-out the Australian population using an army of robots. But is all what it seems?

Quaid is a lowly factory worker, bored with his life, who goes into Rekall wanting a spark of excitement in his life but soon finds out that his life isn't what it seems and ends up in the middle of a battle that has the lives of millions of people at stake.

The new movie aside from the changes of setting mostly is a note-for-note remake. There's many elements you'll see and instantly connect them to the original (if you've seen it) and expect them. Some characters are combined into one (Kate Beckinsale's character a combination of Sharon Stone (Quaid's faux wife) and Michael Ironside's (the right-hand-man of Ronnie Cox), some are eliminated (Quaid's somewhat side-kick of a cab driver) and some are thrown in for fan service (3-breasted woman.)

It's a fun remake for sure and it explores some interesting themes and probably has some of the better depictions of future-technology that I've seen in a while. (Smart-phones that interact with display walls and are embedded in the palm your hand, Maglev "flying" cars.)

But, for me, it seems to miss a "spark" of something to make it really interesting. Like I was saying above I don't think the Mars element should have been removed because it was simply a more interesting setting than a rather stock futuristic city. And it struggles for me a bit in introducing the transportation system between the areas: The Fall. Where it seems a struggling humanity was able to create materials and then construct a device that can travel through the Earth, a huge part of being 9000-degree hot molten rock. Not to mention the problems of pressure at that enormous depth and how incorrectly the "gravity flip" is portrayed.

It's and odd thing to nit-pick on put its all in how far you're willing to suspend your disbelief and how well the movie gives you that leeway. This "Fall" device is pretty damn hard to swallow in a movie that's otherwise more-or-less "realistic" in some manner or another and doesn't even try to play lip-service to how this "The Fall" system works. We're just expected to accept it.

Still, it's a fun and enjoyable movie with some good sci-fi elements in it, some good action scenes and, hey, Kate Beckinsale. I'd say it's worth seeing though one might appreciate it more if you've seen the original. But, then again, if you've seen the original you already know pretty much exactly how this movie is going to play-out. It's almost a note-for-note remake. There are some nice nods and homages to the Schwarzenegger movie, though.

EDIT: On "The Fall" looking at a globe he "line" Between Europe and Australia isn't one that goes through the core. If you turn a globe on its side with Australia on one side and Eurasia on the other and equate this to a clock Australia would be at 10:00 and Europe at 2:00. The "through point" at most would skim the inner core but, mostly, just go through the outer core. Still not that much better than straight through the core as the pressure, heat and density differences aren't going to be that much different, but still.
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Last edited by WalkerBait; August 5 2012 at 02:05 AM.
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Old August 5 2012, 02:04 AM   #24
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

^
Douglas Quaid, not Dennis.
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Old August 5 2012, 02:05 AM   #25
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

TremblingBluStar wrote: View Post
^
Douglas Quaid, not Dennis.
Thanks
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Old August 5 2012, 04:26 AM   #26
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

B+

Wow, I liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I skimmed some of the terrible reviews, but I figured I would watch it and come out with my own opinion. The FX is fantastic in this movie. I haven't looked at the budget, but I imagine it was astronomical. The cast was really great. I didn't know who directed this movie going into it, but as soon as I saw Bill Nighy, I was like "that guy that did Underworld!" I was especially fond of the scene where they have to escape the apartment complex and also thought that the Fall was a neat concept.

I'm probably not in the minority here when I say that I think the ending is absolutely terrible. I just think they could have done something better there.
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Old August 5 2012, 04:32 AM   #27
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

I haven't seen this but it sounds like that "Fall" only exists to perpetuate the Mars/Earth dichotomy from the original movie which seems kind of odd, why not just keep Mars?
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Old August 5 2012, 05:20 AM   #28
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
I'm probably not in the minority here when I say that I think the ending is absolutely terrible. I just think they could have done something better there.
I am not sure which part. I was kind of annoyed by the fake out ending, with his wife pretending to be the other lady. It was a pointless add on.

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
I haven't seen this but it sounds like that "Fall" only exists to perpetuate the Mars/Earth dichotomy from the original movie which seems kind of odd, why not just keep Mars?
Yes. Even if Mars had to be left out, why go through the center of the Earth? Why not have a spaceship that can slingshot around the Earth and above the poisonous atmosphere. They could have explained that air craft don't work because of radiation or something so they need to go through space. This would have been visually much more exciting, and scientifically would make much more sense.

Another plot hole that I just realized - when Quaid meets the resistance, they are in the uninhabitable area of the Earth where people no longer live. Why is it uninhabitable? Because the air is bad and they have to wear gas masks outside. Hmm... So humans can colonize Mars, a planet where they have to wear entire space suits when outside, but can't recolonize their own planet because they would be forced to wear simple gas masks when outside???
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Old August 5 2012, 05:11 PM   #29
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

The Agony Booth just released a video comparing the Short story to the first Total Recall. Should be interesting!

According to Box Office Mojo, Total Recall is expected to make 25 to 26 million opening weekend. This is not good news for a movie with a $125 million budget!
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Old August 5 2012, 06:21 PM   #30
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Not sure about the remake, but this article totally makes me want to rewatch the original (hell, just for the actors alone).

http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,2048...618075,00.html
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