Sunday, August 5, 2012

TOTAL RECALL - indelible no, pleasing yes

I wandered into the theater anticipating this movie to be another bland science fiction remake. Did we really need another Total Recall so soon? I found Paul Verhoeven's version of Philip K Dick's short story, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, to be utterly riveting. Arnold Schwarzenegger  on Mars, sidekicked by Sharon Stone, from the director of Robocop and Showgirls - what more could you ask for? High camp with splendiferous special effects and stellar non stop gruesome action. A deep love and affection - I still - have for this film. The new version, entirely different in story and style, was... remarkably enjoyable.    

First off, the science fiction. Numerous instances of rather ingenious practical devices such as the hand implanted cell phone, were commonplace. As cool as that is, with translucent phone station walls non the less, they still made the harborer of such a device put it up to their ear. You would think our future would contain the technology to implant a phone in your palm and cleverly devise the receiver in an unnoticeable cochlear implant! Oh well. The characters still wear watches 100 years in the future too, I guess. The magnetic levitating cars were awesome, I thought, but still no autonomy? One other cool device was the gun shot load of little robot camera eyeballs that transferred data back to the receiver - very nifty indeed. The drones seemed rather realistic, still a bit inept as functioning machines but powerful and capable. Furnished by humans, though? I think not. Robots of the future will surely build themselves. As for the tunnel through the Earth from Great Britain to Australia - I would do well to guess this will never be possible - the Earth just gets too bloody hot nearer we get to the center. Guns haven't changed, except for design, and body armor hasn't either for that matter. Two things I imagine will be vastly different in 100 years. The 3D head changing device is maybe possible but rather unlikely to fool anyone in reality. As for Recall itself, we have just begun to map the human mind with all it's 100 trillion cells and therefore are quite a ways from being able to implant false memories. Will this be possible ever? It seems to me via current scientific breakthroughs every single week that yes, maybe some form of brian wave alteration may become reality. If you don't believe me just hop on over to and just look over the last month worth of blog entries (all of which come from reputable sources of science discovery like Nature and so forth). In the last two weeks alone we have developed the lightest material on Earth called aerographite, have found an exoplanet that seems to be habitable and most similar to Earth, sequenced the genome of human sperm and have mapped the entire mouse brain! Enough with the gadgets already. Take heed, the next two years are going to be chalk full of sci-fi movies!

Colin Farrell is no Arnold but this was not an Arnold type of movie per se. This, essentially, was a chase film with characters always running to places you know they shouldn't go because someone will soon be after them. But of course they had to anyway. The action is almost non stop, but somehow, via the editing and direction, the pacing felt right. A movie dealing with the reality of ones mind is bound to be incomprehensible but I felt Total Recall did a decent job of keeping us informed of the plot without being too too expository and too over complicated. Generally speaking, a proper sci-fi movie and yes - Jessica Biel wasn't atrocious, Kate Beckinsale was kick ass awesome, Bill Nighy was hardly noticeable (unfortunately), Bryan Cranston was an apt mastermind and, of course, the female creature with three tits was present. 

Recommended Viewing: Total Recall (1990) - Minority Report - A Scanner Darkly

              Bob Scale: Objective: 6.5   -   Subjective: 7.4
             MetaCritic: 44
 Rotten Tomatoes: 31
                    IMDB: 6.4

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