Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Flying Spaghetti Monster, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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!
    As you can see, other than the very basic story points, neither movie really follows the short story.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  2. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  3. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Total Recall

    My Grade: B+

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  4. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^
    Douglas Quaid, not Dennis. ;)
     
  5. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Thanks
     
  6. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  7. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  8. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    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???
     
  9. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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!
     
  10. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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  11. Admiral2

    Admiral2 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    This scene is the only reason I need:

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txact2tMNGU[/yt]
     
  12. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I read that Len Wiseman only took the job because he couldn't get any studios to finance an original science fiction idea of his. I guess he'll still be waiting.
     
  13. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I really enjoyed it, I liked the flying car and elevator car chase scenes both were awesome, I didn't mind The Fall the science behind it is iffy but it was still a lot of fun. And I really iked the nods and references and in some cases lines taken directly from the original. I especially liked the new three breasted woman and I liked the big woman in customs, I knew the first words out of mouth would be "two weeks" but I liked the twist in that scene with the hologram.
     
  14. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    It was okay. Not what I'd call a masterpiece, but decent entertainment. I've never read the original novel or short story or whatever or even seen the Arnold movie. I actually found myself more interested in the world created than in the psychological shit.

    I'm sure I'm probably missing something, but what is the deal with UFB and "the Colony"? We know Earth's atmosphere is unbreathable, given the no-zones, and that these two areas are the only hospitable areas left on Earth. IFB has clear skies, despite the no-zone being constantly cloudy. Is this in a dome of some sort? Or is it underground, which is actually the impression I got about the Colony?

    I take it UFB is not the entire UK, since the no-zone is clearly supposed to be in London (the subway station has London Underground signs). I'm guessing the Colony is not all Australia either, since how else could the citizens be able to flee to no-zones?

    So at the end the Colony is celebrating about how they're liberated from the UFB. However, were they not as dependant on the UFB as the UFB was on the Colony? EG, the UFB seemed to cover law enforcement and I'm guessing they must have had some sort of resource control to hold over them, otherwise how else did they convince so many to leave the Colony to work in the UFB?

    And why was the UFB so damn insistent on conquering the Colony anyway, other than because they're the villains?

    I found it odd that a movie set partly in Britain casts so many British actors only to have them speak with American accents. I get they're trying to represent many cultures living in this area. But it just seemed odd to me At least with Kate Beckinsale they got clever and had her switch accents.

    Did anyone else find Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel look similar? I never thought so before, but I was actually confusing the two of them throughout this movie.

    I liked the Fall. I don't care if it's bad science, it is a cool idea.

    Finally, what the hell is with all the lens flares? I felt like I was watching Trek XI.
     
  15. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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  16. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Looking at them separately no, I don't think they look similar. But in this movie the makeup, hair and costuming DID make them look pretty similar. Though Biel's face more constantly had a "taking a dump and pissed about it" look where Beckinsale was doing her usual "breathy sex kitten" look.

    Well, it's hard for me to see something as a "cool idea" when the idea is completely ludicrous and could never work.

    Yeah, that's something I noticed too and forgot to mention in my review. Way too many damn lens flares and use of light in this movie. Much of the tension in the scene where his friend tried to talk him "out of the dream" was undercut by all of the freaking light shining in through the windows flaring on the damn camera!
     
  17. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Get your ass to Mars!

    I mean... see the original Arnold movie already. It's a classic for a reason.:)
     
  18. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    I'd hardly call the original movie a classic, but it is worth seeing.
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Mmmmm. I might say it's "classic" only so far as 80s/90s action movie cheese goes. It's not a classic in the same vain as, say, Casablanca and it's not an "untouchable classic" that shouldn't have been remade. But it's certainly a movie that's very much a symbol of times it was made in.
     
  20. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Cult classic if it's one at all.