Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

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

  1. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    The original Total Recall was too popular to be a cult movie. It was one of Arnold's biggest hits. Only Terminator sequels and True Lies have made more money out of all Arnie's movies.
     
  2. Ian Keldon

    Ian Keldon Fleet Captain

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    Agreed. TR (the original) is a classic sci-fi movie.

    The one thing I never got was the "is it real or Rekall" question. It's obvious from the structure of the film (first one) that the events are real as there are scenes that take place outside Quaid's perception.
     
  3. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That, plus Quaid dreams of Melina before going to Rekall. But that doesn't take away from the delicious "What If?"-ness of it all.
     
  4. Flying Spaghetti Monster

    Flying Spaghetti Monster Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Well, I sometimes have elaborate, story-like dreams with scenes that take place out of my perception. Sometimes, I'm not even a character in my dreams at all.
     
  5. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Me a B- for the reason you list above. The whole concept of the "Fall," was terrible and even as a sci-fi fan who can easily suspend my disbelief in such things this was a terrible plot device.

    I'd be curious to what British and Australian viewers thought of the film. The whole concept of "sticking to to the Brits" in the film the "British Federation," was absurd and a play on Australian nationality.
     
  6. Brikar99

    Brikar99 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I liked a lot of the nifty gadgets in the world that the movie created, and the designs of the sets and whatnot... but the barely-there script was annoying. Run, shoot, run, shoot, run, shoot, who am I, run, shoot, run, gas, brake, punch. I started getting tired of the action sequences after a while. That funky gravity lasso gun was cool, but most of the movie is your standard machine-gun-of-the-future. Why not play with some of the cool ideas you're introducing? The Schwarzenegger flick had better characters, and man it's really weird to write that statement.
     
  7. Icemizer

    Icemizer Commodore Commodore

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    Whats sad is the show on DIY on how they made the sets was far more entertaining than the movie.
     
  8. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So I'm hearing this film underperforms financially, even flops... can't say I'm not feeling spiteful. You don't try to cash in on a Schwarzenegger classic without getting some punishment. ;)
     
  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    "Things happening outside of the story teller's perception" is pretty common in these types of movies though. It can either be interpreted as information the story teller (or dreamer in this case) learned later and integrated into a better narrative in his mind, or simply "movie hand waving" where we accept that at times the "camera" leaves the perspective of the dreamer/story teller. We learn something the dreamer/story teller doesn't know. (For example, there's more than a few scenes that happen in "Titanic" that Rose wasn't around for or wouldn't know about yet the narrative of that movie is as if it's the story she's telling those in the "present." We can simply assume in these moments we've left her story and are exploring the period on our own.)

    I think that in the original "Total Recall" the events of the movie were part of the dream/implant. Including the ruse to get him to abort the dream half-way through. That Quaid dreamed Melina before going to Rekall is irrelevant. To quote the Rekall spokesman who tries to talk him out of the dream, "She's real because he dreamed her?" The woman he designed at Rekall was obviously based on this woman he had recurring dreams about.

    The biggest clue, for me, that the events of the original movie is a dream is the tech saying, "That's new. Blue sky on Mars!" when setting up the Rekall machine. That's a pretty big clue that things are a dream otherwise it'd be one hell of a coincidence that it's what ended up happening. Everything that happens to Quaid during the movie is exactly what he ordered and what is described to him at Rekall. The "flash to white" at the end also is a strong indicator to me. (Suggesting that Quaid was waking up and getting his vision blown out by the light in the recovery room.)

    It's my opinion it's a dream but it's an open-ended movie that's meant to be ambiguous. That's one of the problems I have with this movie, it doesn't play with that idea too much even at the end when supposedly the dream will either end or "real life" will continue.

    (In the commentary for the Total Recall (1990) DVD the director Verhoeven says that "[if it is a dream] it all starts the moment Quaid gets the injection -including the scene where we go back to the salesman's office trying to upsell a client. Where, again, this is simply the audience being able to experience things in the dream outside the perspective of the dreamer.

    All IMHO.

    The Cinema Snob does a Midnight Screening of the movie.
     
  10. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I agree Trekker, the one thing I was waiting for was the ambiguous, is it a dream or not ending. But we just never really got that.
     
  11. Set Harth

    Set Harth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Damn you, Inception! Damn you! :scream:
     
  12. OmahaStar

    OmahaStar Disrespectful of his betters Admiral

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    I saw it at a sneak preview on Thursday. After the fifth email from the company asking for a review, I sent them one. Not sure they got what they wanted, but ... neither did I.


    Good gods, what in the world were they thinking with this crapfest? If you're a big fan of the original movie, don't bother. There's only three things in common - the name of the film, the name of the lead character, and a three-breasted woman has a cameo. That's it.

    There are plotholes and logical failings here that make Plan 9 From Outer Space drool in envy.

    There are a few fight scenes, and more than an hour of characters simply running. I would compare it with Doctor Who's many "running through corridors" schtick, but Who threw in occasional bits of plot with the running. Total Recall never does.

    Frankly, I don't know which moron at the studio read this script and thought it would make a tentpole movie, with a budget that is greater than the yearly GDP of several thirdworld countries combined.

    The actors try their best with what little they are given. Colin, bless his heart, obviously worked out in anticipation, as he is in the best physical shape of his career. But, as with Twilight, a pretty face with a crap script does not make a good movie.

    The director, the scriptwriters, and every single one of the producers should immediately apologize, resign from whatever projects they are working on, and beg to be stockboys and stockgirls at their local supermarkets.
     
  13. Aldo

    Aldo Admiral Admiral

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    I'm not sure what Inception has anything to do with this movie. Do tell me though, as I haven't seen it.
     
  14. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    See, you brushed it off just like the film does...but how does he dream her before he meets her? The options he's given at Rekall are nowhere near specific enough to design her so perfectly. The novelization sneaks in an excuse for this one by having Quaid ask Melina about Rekall. She tells him she used to model for them. :lol:

    But that's why it's so brilliant! Unlike most films that tackle these kinds of ideas, TR isn't pretentious or precious with it. It's a kick-ass film even if you don't take in the details at all, so it works both ways. :)

    For the record though, if the white-out at the end of the film is to be taken as the "dream" coming to an end, it can't be Quaid waking up. It has to be his lobotomy. (If it's a dream, Dr Edgemar is telling the truth, so we have to take all his dialogue as truth surely?)

    P.S. I'm not actually trying to change your mind. I just love arguing the two sides of the film. Six months from now, I'd probably advocate the "None of it really happened." approach. :)
     
  15. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    So, your dreams are only cast by people you've actually met? I'm going on the premise the events of the movie (the Arnold one) are a dream. He modeled the woman for his "ego trip" dream after the woman from his actual dreams. Sure the information he gives Rekall isn't really enough to model the woman perfectly but that's hand-waved away in just saying that it would have been tedious for him to sit there talking to the woman for 45 minutes specifically designing the woman.

    But it's my theory the Dr. Edgemar scene was part of the "narrative" of the dream. He's supposed to not believe him, or his "wife", and shoot him.
     
  16. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    - Not as good as the original.

    - The trip to Mars in the original was better than what we got here.

    - Farell, Beckinsale and Biel were fun to watch.

    - Colin Farell has done a convincing american accent in the past. He did so in Minority Report. I didn't even know it was an accent then because I didn't know who he was.

    - Farell and Biel getting shot through their hands while holding hands... That was one of the most romantic things I've ever heard of.

    - Not used to seeing Bryan Cranston with hair.

    - Loved the fake-out at port security with that lady we thought was Quaid. Great homage to the original.

    - Liberation by sabotaging the fall didn't compare with the terraforming of Mars from the original.

    - Glad they kept the ambiguous ending eventhough it was a lot more subtle than in the original. If it was a dream though, his wife is going to be wondering why he's so pissy at her all the time.

    - People can in fact use their imaginations to conjure up people they've never met. That was realistic and doesn't take away from the ambiguity.
     
  17. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    At Rekall, McClane goes to great pains to describe how an implant is as real as real, that you won't know the difference. You even get souvenirs. How would Quaid go back to work the next week thinking it was in any way real if Mars now has an atmosphere and his wife is dead? ...I guess you could make the excuse that an "Ego Trip" package is not held up to the same selling points that a regular implant is. But again, that's an excuse outside of the film itself, like dreaming of Melina. Of course dreams aren't just populated with people you've met, but it's a curiosity that no one in the film itself gives a good excuse for the perfect-match Melina. :)

    Here's another one: (me switching sides) Doug is already drugged when he sees "Melina" on the monitor, so you could argue that an implant works with the travellers mind to create a unique adventure, rather than a static set of faces/choices plugged into each customer. He sees Melina on the monitor because he's hazy and going under, and that helps cement her likeness as part of the final implant. :shrug:
     
  18. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Something being "as real as any memory in your head" doesn't mean it has to be a memory of an actual event. I have strong memories of very, very, vivid dreams and I'm able to separate them from reality. (Unless I really did once get paired with a beautiful woman by aliens, taken to an underground bunker they had built and kept in protection during an earth-wide space disaster, and then used with her to repopulate the Earth.)

    So Quaid would have woken up with all of these memories of this stuff having happened but he still also remembers going into Rekall and ordering the "Ego Trip" and the various aspects of it so he also knows that everything that happened to him between entering Rekall and waking up there was a dream. A very good, very vivid, very relaxing dream, but not real all the same.
     
  19. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Relaxing? ;)
     
  20. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Have you never dreamed about a person that doesn't exist? Even multiple dreams scattered over weeks. Your brain combines features of different faces, or it's a face you happened to see sometimes.



    The more important about this dream vs. reality thing is, in the original film: if it is a dream implanted in Quaid's brain, why do we see scenes without Quaid? He wouldn't know about them, and if it's supposed to be a "realistic" vacation experience, he wouldn't dream those moments because he would not be there.