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Prepare for non-stop excitement and pulse-pounding excitement in this “electrifying thrill ride" (Jeff Craig, Sixty second Preview). Colin Farrell stars as Douglas Quaid, a factory worker who visits Rekall, a revolutionary company that can turn his superspy fantasies into real memories. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, the line between fantasy and reality blurs as Quaid becomes a man on the run and the fate of his world hangs in the balance. Costarring Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston, TOTAL RECALL is bursting with mind-blowing action sequences and spectacular visual effects, the ultimate high-energy thrill-ride!
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As for the film itself, I really like this film for what it is: a fun popcorn movie with outstanding visual effects and great (but somewhat flawed) surround sound. Aside from the sync issue, the soundtrack is what you'd expect from an action/sci-fi/popcorn film: loud with lots of explosions and gunfire. Thankfully, the rear surround channels aren't forgotten or under used as there's plenty of sound coming from them throughout the film. The visual effects are jaw-dropping at times. You know a lot of it is CG but most of the time it looks pretty darn convincing. I wouldn't be surprised if it's nominated for an Oscar for its visual effects. (If only this movie had been filmed in 3D. It certainly looks like it was meant to be. I hope we can look forward to a Blu-ray 3D release with an upgraded soundtrack to 7.1 channels down the road some day.)
Not being a fan of the original film, I found this "Total Recall" to be a big improvement. I know some feel exactly the opposite, and that's ok. To each his own. Personally, I'm not a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger's acting in general (unless he's playing a cyborg), and I didn't care for the cheesy jokes sprinkled throughout the original film (lines like "consider dat a divorce"). And even back in the day, I thought some of the visual effects were really bad (like when Arnold's character, the woman and the bad guy are all exposed to the Martian atmosphere and their eyes bulge out of their heads). That's not to say the new film is perfect. It's not a deep movie, but it's highly entertaining eye candy, and it features a few cool ideas for future technology, such as a cell phone in the palm of your hand (literally) and turning any piece of glass into a computer screen with just the touch of your hand. I don't know how plausible they are, but they're interesting nonetheless. I think the Extended Version is the better film as it fills in some blanks. It's a shame the extra footage wasn't seen in theaters, and it's a shame the director over did it with lens flare. It's out of control in this movie! But Colin Farrell is a much better actor than Schwarzenegger, and I don't think Kate Beckinsale ever looked hotter than she does in this movie. She also proves she can play a good villain.
This disc set comes with the usual extras you find nowadays (behind-the-scenes documentaries, flubs, etc.) as well as a UV copy. I give the film itself: 4 out 5 stars; the video presentation: 5 Stars; the audio presentation: 4 out of 5 stars (would have been 5 if not for the dropouts and sync problems).
The film also takes idiotic liberties with the original Phillip K. Dick ("We Can Remember It for You Wholesale") short story upon which this film is (supposedly) based. In the original story and original film the protagonist had a yearning to go to Mars. Here, there is no Mars; just some ambiguous political setup between something called "The United Federation of Britain" and "the Colony." My son's reaction summed it up pretty well: "who cares?" I get it that the makers of this film felt a need to differentiate it from the original version. In my opinion this change to the storyline was a distinct failure.
The characterizations in this film left plenty to be desired as well. The actresses are all skinny, dirty, good-looking (did I say skinny?) women who look so much the same that I had trouble telling them apart. Evidently in the future they will not be taking showers or even washing their hands. There is no chemistry between anyone. By the last 30 minutes I was more than ready for this film to end, which it (mercifully) finally did.
This is a remake that should never have been made. My son and I watched this New Year's Day and we both agreed that our time would have been better spent watching the original version. RJB.
Say what you want about the original film, some hate it, some love it, but it was a ride. When it ended you felt like you had been on a larger than life adventure. With this film I felt as if I had been promised a ride, but then got lost in a long line waiting for the ride to start, sure I saw the roller coaster go by several times, but I never had a chance to get on. Arnold Schwarzenegger may not be the greatest actor, but he lends himself well to the part of the vehicle character in the 1990 version of this film. Colin Farrel, who is a great actor, plays a character who is a little chuckle headed. He is extremely bored and discontented with his life so he goes to Total Rekall where they attempt to implant fake memories of him being a special agent. After Farrel finds himself deeply emerged in this special agent fantasy he is unwilling to commit to it. When I put myself in his shoes I feel as if I would think either A. I'm a secret agent and a lot of people are counting on me so I need to stop whining and man up, or B. This is all part of the fake vacation which I paid for so I should stop whining and simply go for it.
By the end of the film the "Plot" was rather convoluted, and, as Michael Bay has proven in practically all of his films, extra explosions can't make up for bad writing.