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5.0 out of 5 stars Differences between the Director's Cut and the Theatrical Cut, December 6, 2012
This review is from: Total Recall (Two Discs: Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I'm primarily interested in the storyline differences between the Director's Cut and its theatrical counterparts, so here are the differences between the two (NOTE: SPOILERS FOLLOW).

The Director's Cut runs about 12 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. No additional gore has been added although additional F-bombs have been added. Ethan Hawke makes a surprise appearance in a scene that was cut from the theatrical movie.

(1) Extra scene of Quaid meeting with a Human Resources Management representative from the Cohaagen administration who requests that he sign a non-disclosure agreement given that he works at a sensitive defense production factory. (I can see why this was cut as it didn't add much to the overall storyline.)

(2) Extra scene of scantily clad women in Rekall neighborhood. (The three mammary gland-ed lady still makes the same appearance with topless nudity.)

(3) In the scene where Quaid finds the hidden holographic piano recording in his apartment, it has been altered to show Ethan Hawke as the old Quaid, revealing that Cohaagen also gave Quaid facial reconstructive surgery. (This was an interesting twist which I wished they had left in. It explains why no one was able to recognize him.)

(4) When Quaid and Melina escape from Lori in the elevator action sequence, there is a re-inserted shot of the destroyed elevator plunging onto the roadway below and destroying a hover car. (Pretty neat CGI!)

(5) During the UFB assault on Matthias's base, there is an extra shot of a white combat synth gunning down some hapless Resistance members.

(6) Melina is revealed to be Matthias's daughter. Cohaagen also refers to Melina as Matthias's daughter, rather than lieutenant.

(7) Cohaagen talks a little more about his plan to use Quaid to lead to Matthias, revealing that it was Quaid's idea to have his memory wiped in order to feign allegiance to Matthias.

(8) When Cohaagen has Quaid strapped to the chair, Quaid instead yells an F-word laced expletive at Cohaagen.

(9) When Cohaagen ponders what to do with Melina, she spits in his face and screams the F-word, whereas in the theatrical cut she says "Never!"

(10) The climactic final fight is slightly longer, showing an additional shot of UFB black-clad special forces troops getting gunned down by Melina and the fight between Cohaagen's black painted super-synth bodyguard and Quaid is slightly longer.

And that's it. The biggest addition is Ethan Hawke's reinserted scene.

I enjoyed the Total Recall re-make, even if it lacked some of the campy humor and ridiculous gore of Paul Verhoeven's original. I give it five stars for completely shallow reasons- Kate Beckinsale! Hello. Heck if I were Quaid and married to Kate Beckinsale I'd forget about Rekall. Jessica Biel is easy on the eyes too. The re-make is darker and more serious, akin to Minority Report meets Total Recall. It seems to combine elements from both the Arnold film and Philip Dick's "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale".

In a nod to the Verhoeven film, Harry and Quaid talk about going to Mars, a synthetic thug loses his arm, a similar looking "two weeks" woman walks by customs, Quaid uses holograms, Federal police engage in a zero-G gunbattle with Quaid, and the iconic three breasted woman makes an appearance. Missing of course are the memorable Johnny Cab, Benny, the poor sap who gets perforated on the escalator, and Kuato.

The action scenes are well staged even if TDI Vector sporting Federal police are mowed down like stormtroopers. The technology is fascinating, especially "The Fall" and hand insertable phones. The Colony's populace has a distinct Asian overtone and is more Blade Runner-esque. The UFB is probably situated in England to make Beckinsale's native accent more convenient.

I only wish they had made a hard R-version rather than pander to the PG-13 desires of studio executives.
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 16 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 7, 2012 3:56:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2012 3:57:58 PM PST
I agree with you about the studio bowing to the studio execs and making this PG-13. This reminds me of Daredevil when the studio (Fox) took it and made the director cut certain scenes and added others. I gather studios make these movies and NOT directors. I am thankful that the complete R-rated version of Daredevil got released on blu ray and DVD (even though its silly). It has more menace with action and gore along with important points and not some important points (the Coolio character), but the director's vision was put before us.
I am wondering why the extended cut of Total Recall even exists when no action or gore put back into this action film? I felt let down seeing this in the theater. Thinking, "if only they were allowed an R-rating." Still would like to see this extended cut anyway, but I am sure I will still be growning because of what could have been...
Thanks for the review of the differences of the cuts. I won't get my hopes up too high.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 12:52:20 PM PST
An extended cut exists so that the studio can milk us consumers out of more money!

Posted on Dec 20, 2012 10:11:56 PM PST
Xen says:
Thanks for posting this. This is all I wanted to know. I saw it in theaters and was so very disappointed. It starts out great but becomes absolutely soulless and meaningless. It ended atrociously. It was a bad film.
That's why I was hoping a director's cut might be able to fix it. I was hoping for much more coverage of the relationship between Colin and Jessica's characters. I was hoping that it would fix the movie and also a whole different ending to replace the brutally awful one that was.
Thanks for being the one to give me the bad news.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2012 12:11:48 PM PST
You're welcome Xen! Overall, the director's cut is slightly better than the theatrical cut I think, some plot points are better flushed out.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 8:35:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2012 8:36:12 AM PST
I agree with your point about Beckinsale. She is some hottie. Worth the admission price. I think point 3 is major and shouldn't have been altered. The other differences are minor.

Whenever a remake is made there are always people dissatisfied with the remake. When i first saw the original version, I liked its orginalility. I watched it again on bluray (horrible transfer) and I was surprised to see that so many scenes shot like a made for TV movie. There must have a severe budget limitation. I also didn't like the campiness. Although not without imperfections, the remake is so much better.

Thanks for writing the review.

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 11:47:39 AM PST
David Schor says:
Thanks for the info. I bought the theatrical edition by mistake, but it's nice to know I'm not missing much by not having the extended version although I probably would still prefer it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2013 8:49:32 AM PST
" I watched it again on bluray (horrible transfer)".

The original has a horrible transfer? This is the first I've ever heard of it. What was horrible about it?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 24, 2013 6:28:06 PM PST
The original bluray transfer had many problems, the worst being the washed out color and poor dynamic range of the picture. The entire movie seemed nearly monochrome grey. It's the worst movie transfer I've seen. Others have complained about this, check out amazon review page.

Posted on May 17, 2013 7:37:13 AM PDT
Adamo says:
The biggest difference between the theatrical cut and the director's cut which you left out is the different ending. Right at the end Farrell looks down at the bandage on the inside of his elbow lifts it up and sees no Rekall stamp implying the whole thing is an implant. It gives the whole movie a different context. The alternate ending is on the film's wikipedia page.

Posted on Jun 22, 2013 8:51:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2013 8:53:41 AM PDT
. says:
HI - Since the comments are being tracked here, I just watched this movie....I never saw the original and I am completly confused about what your supposed to think of the end?

Call me stupid but I still don't know if Farrells' character was an 'ordinary joe' that went to Rekall or IS he this 'super spy Douglas'??

Can somebody please give me some insight here? I hate the fact that I watched this whole movie and could not figure out who he really was at the end....are we supposed to be confused and not really know? If so, than "mission accomplished"!

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