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Total Recall
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This will be remembered for a long time...

10/10
Author: Nicolas F. Costoglou (nicolas@costoglou.de)
12 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

My favourite Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, and it's still as great as the first time i watched it.

This is also my favourite Paul Verhoeven movie, and i'm a big fan of this director.

It's the official last high budget Sci-Fi-movie made without the excessive use of CGI and it shows, the effects look amazing. The model shots of Mars and the make-up effects especially (which earned a special achievement Oscar).

The cinematography is great, as you might expect from a Verhoeven movie. His movies are always lit very naturally, which i'm normally no fan of because it looks like television, but Verhoeven uses this to let the settings feel more real, which makes his excessive (but mostly realistic) use of violence feel more shocking.

Jerry Goldsmiths soundtrack is amazing, a great theme tune (that always reminds me of Conan the Barbarian) and some other very special tracks which fit the movie very well.

The best part of the movie (apart from the action) is the story. It offers much room for interpretation if the things happening are actually real (the scene with the red pill also seems kinda familiar). Many twists and turns make it always hard to be sure, so that not just the action, but also the content makes us not wanna look away for a second, so that it feels like the movie would never stop, but always keep going, without getting cheap with it's twists, or losing momentum.

This science fiction-action movie is one of the best ever made...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Get ready for a SURPRISE !!!!

10/10
Author: Retro Renegade 79 from United States
22 December 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Total Recall is a very smart and well written science fiction movie with non-stop action. This movie gets the viewer involved and you might have to watch it a few times to pick up everything. This and Predator are my 2 favorite Arnie movies, both are well crafted and directed. Warning: Total Recall is an extremely violent movie compared to other Schwarzenegger films. But I personally love the gore and somewhat sleaziness of the film.

The movie takes place in the future(not sure the exact date). The main character, Doug Quaid, is your typical blue collar guy who lives an ordinary life. He has re-occurring dreams of him exploring Mars with another woman. Needless to say, his wife is very jealous and thinks he has an obsession with Mars. Doug wants to move to Mars because he feels his life is too ordinary and routine. Because his wife won't let him move to Mars, Doug becomes interested in visiting a place called Total Rekall. Total Rekall sells 'fake' memories and are implanted into the brain which can be quite dangerous. After everyone is telling him not to go to Total Rekall because of the dangers, he decides to go through with it anyway.

Doug goes to Total Rekall to get a 'Mars vacation' implanted into his brain. But the smooth talking salesman tries to up-sell Doug on his vacation package with the option of going to Mars with a different identity. One of the identities is an undercover special agent which immediately excites Doug. The salesman pretty much tells him the whole synopsis of the trip and his mission as a special agent. As Doug is getting prepped for the implantation something goes terribly wrong!... Now here is where the story gets really interesting.

The character of Quaid is a very relatable one. He plays the average Joe. I think everyone gets bored of their ordinary lives at some point and desire for an escape.

In the end of the movie we never know if it's a dream or not! Brilliant filmmaking by the director. To this day, I still don't know if it's a dream or not; i haven't decided. I just have too much fun watching this movie over and over. That's the beauty of this film.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Extremely Entertaining, Extremely Violent, and A lot of Fun.

Author: lyrafowlpotter from United States
17 December 2016

I have never read anything by Phillip K. Dick sadly, he is on a long list of authors I have not got to yet, but will someday before I die. To my understanding, this is one of the better adaptations of his works.

The only expectations I had of this film is that it was weird, and the only reason I knew that was because of a clip of the film I saw when my mom was watching it about 15 years ago with an ugly mutant psychic baby popping out of a dudes stomach. That wasn't a spoiler fortunately since I had no idea what mutant baby was talking about.

When I actually bought and watched the whole movie a few weeks back, I was a bit surprised at how violent the movie is, and a little irritated that all the shots to the head are not a bit more bloody, the wounds are pretty unrealistically bloodless, which is kind of bizarre given the gory finale.

The movie is decently campy, by today's standards, but this is a plus for me. I found this movie to be leaps and bounds ahead of the tepid remake, which I watched before this, in all regards. This movie had plenty of action, and it was extremely fun to watch, and it is full of mystery, intrigue, and many plot twist. The practical effects (sans the gun shot wounds to the head) are well done, and the mutant makeup is a lot of fun to look at. Three separate shots of the 3 boobed lady was a bit of overkill for me, one was already more than enough, and yet there she was, again, and again. If you enjoy pre-CGI effects, this movie is a treasure trove of them, and there is a lot to enjoy in this film, and it has a charm that the remake didn't even try to have.

The acting is appropriately hammy for this movie, and the supporting cast is what truly makes this film. Sharon Stone is pretty awesome, I understand why Paul Verheoven cast her in "Basic Instinct", she plays a wonderful femme fatal here with a good dose of humor and camp, she steals ever scene that she is in. Ronny Cox is also fun to watch, I enjoyed every time he was on screen and of course habitual scenery eater Michael Ironside didn't let me down either.

This is through and through an late 80's/early 90's action film, in the best way possible. There is a charm to older action films that the newer ones are often missing, they usually seem to take themselves just a bit to seriously.

God Bless ~Amy

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Amazing sci-fi action adventure just keeps on giving

10/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
15 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Much like his other hit movies ROBOCOP and STARSHIP TROOPERS, Dutch director Paul Verhoeven here delivers another exciting, entertaining and wholly fun slice of science fiction, packed to the brim with violence and gore. The premise on which the film is based is taken from a Philip K. Dick short story, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, and provides an engrossing look at the question of "what is reality?". Throughout the film, we are never sure if the events taking place are real, or a simple dream, and the ambiguity of the situation makes it all the more interesting.

Of course, on the surface, with all the psychological and metaphysical subtext aside, this is just another Schwarzenegger slam-blam action fest, but the fight scenes here are choreographed well and very stylised. The fight co-ordinators decided that due to Schwarzenegger's immense presence, all of his hits and kicks would be powerful blows capable of knocking out his enemies. Therefore it's a lot of fun watching Arnie beat his way through a huge army of bad guys, who all die screaming or shouting in agony.

The film also benefits from an above average cast. While Schwarzenegger gets to dig a little deeper into previously undiscovered acting skills, the film benefits from the early presence of Sharon Stone, before she made it big in Hollywood, as a hard-hitting, high-kicking secret agent posing as Arnie's wife. Her role also sets up a classic Schwarzenegger one liner, namely "consider that a divorce". Rachel Ticotin is the only person in the film who doesn't really gel into her role, being neither feisty nor powerful enough to assert herself, although part of the blame does lie within her underwritten role. The bad guys are played by Ronny Cox, who reprises his role as an evil dictator from ROBOCOP, and Michael Ironside who really gets his teeth into the role of a sociopathic murderer, forever hunting Arnie's character. In fact it is Ironside who steals the show as the ruthless villain of the piece.

Action fans will have a ball with the numerous set pieces in the film, from the subway shootout to the moment where Arnie is nearly crushed by a huge mining machine at the end. In between there is a memorable moment where Arnie chucks a bullet-riddled corpse at his pursuers down an escalator, and plenty of shootouts and battles. In fact the film is like a huge cat and mouse film, and there is action every five minutes. Almost so much, that it feels like an epic. The special effects, by Rob Bottin (THE THING) amongst others, are also excellent, and deservedly won an Oscar.

There is plenty of gore in the film for horror fans, as Arnie impales, shoots and battles the villains. A man gets drilled, Ironside gets his arms torn off in a unforgettable battle at the end of the film, and chief villain Cox has his eyes bulge out. Other effects include Arnie pulling a huge bug (the mechanical kind) out of his nose, numerous backdrops of futuristic settings and Mars, plenty of hi-tech machinery, and a whole race of mutants who are actually the good guys (echoing the classic horror of FREAKS). These mutants are a varied bunch, from radiation-scarred people to a man with a baby living on his chest, another man with a skeletal, monstrous arm and a woman with three breasts.

The script by Dan O'Bannon makes sure that things are always fun and never get too serious, and Arnie has plenty of one liners to entertain the audience with. In fact, TOTAL RECALL is so non-stop, it will leave you breathless at the end. TOTAL RECALL has to be one of my favourite science fiction films, and stands up to repeated viewing, whether you view it on a pure adrenaline level or as a crazy ride through drugs and fantasy.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An Excellent,Thrilling SCI-FI/Action Classic. Arnold Schwarznegger And Paul Verhoeven At Their Best.

10/10
Author: jcbutthead86 from United States
30 March 2016

Total Recall is an excellent,thrilling SCI-FI/Action classic that combines amazing direction,a terrific cast,intense Action,great special make-up and visual effects and a memorable score. All of those elements make Total Recall an unforgettable film that is Arnold Schwarnegger and Paul Verhoeven at their best.

Based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick and set on Earth and Mars,Total Recall tells the story of Douglas Quaid(Arnold Scwarzenegger),a construction worker who goes to a place called Rekall that sells made up vacations in a machine. When things go wrong at Rekall,Quaid is sent on a Adventure that takes him from Earth to Mars.

Total Recall is a brilliant and thrilling SCI-FI/Action film that teamed up Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger and Director Paul Verhoeven together and with the star power of Schwarzenegger and amazing over the the top Comic Book style of Verhoeven not only created a Box Office hit,but also created one of the most entertaining,memorable and unforgettable SCI-FI/Action movies ever made that re-watchable to this very day. For 113 minutes,Total Recall is an absolute blast and an Action packed thrill and roller coaster ride from start to finish,a movie that when the Action and Adventure starts it never ends and you as a viewer are going to have a ball. Total Recall is also futuristic film told in a big and large scale that is fast paced and never slows down going from Earth to Mars on a journey that is violent and bizarre,intense and mind blowing as well as awe-inspiring and at times darkly Humorous. We also have good guys,bad guys,deformed mutants and discussions of Alien civilization on Mars and everything in between. The movie is done in a style and way that only Vehoeven can do it. You can almost say that the style in Total Recall is pretty much an extension of Paul Verhoeven's early SCI-FI/Action classic Robocop(1987)which can make a great double bill with this film as both movies are dark and satirical visions of the future. I also love how the movie deals with themes such as identity,technology and dreams and also how the movie is questioning whether all of the events in Total Recall are really happening or are they in Quaid's mind. So while Total Recall is a Schwarzenegger film with a lot of Action it is much closer to other Phillip K. Dick adaptations such as Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Steven Spielberg's Minority Report than one might think. The Action scenes in Total Recall are amazing,fast and done with an energy that keeps going whether it's gunfights,fist fights,explosions foot or car chases every Action scene grabs you by the throat. The Action and violence is classic Verhoeven with plenty of blood and gore that comes off of the screen and you will be thrilled or horrified at what you see. The main character Douglas Quaid is very a character in the Schwarzenegger mold: a Hero that is a man of Action,puns and one-liners. But in Total Recall Quaid is a character with some depth because when things start to go wrong he's questioning who he really is and wants to find out about his past and his possible future. While the Douglas Quaid character is similar to other Schwarzenegger characters it's a little different with this film. The ending of Total Recall is fantastic and dazzling with great visuals and has you asking questions wanting more. A fantastic conclusion.

The cast is great. Arnold Schwarzenegger is excellent and at his best as Douglas Quaid,with Schwarzenegger bringing depth and charisma to the role. Rachel Ticotin is wonderful as Melina,a woman that helps Quaid. Sharon Stone is terrific as Lori,Doug's wife. Ronny Cox is delightful as Cohaagan,the ruler of Mars. Michael Ironside is fantastic as Ricther,a henchmen for Cohaagan. Marshall Bell(George/Kuato),Mel Johnson Jr.(Benny),Michael Champion(Helm),Dean Norris(Tony),Roy Brocksmith(Dr. Edgemar),Ray Baker(Bob McClane),Rosemary Dunsmore(Dr. Lull),David Knell(Ernie),Alexa Robinson(Tiffany),Robert Costanzo(Harry),Debbie Lee Carrington(Thumbelina),Lycia Naff(Mary),Marc Alamo(Everett)and Pricilla Allan(Fat Lady)give good performances as well.

The direction by Paul Verhoeven is terrific,with Verhoeven moving the camera and keeping the film flowing with energy. Outstanding direction,Verhoeven. TH

The score by Jerry Goldsmith is sensational,epic and powerful,with Goldsmith's score going with the Action perfectly. Amazing score,Goldsmith.

The Special and Practical Make-up Effects by Rob Bottin are stunning,well-done and is among his best work. Terrific make-up effects,Bottin. The Visual Effects are also incredible and truly adds to the film.

In final word,if you love Arnold Schwarzenegger,Paul Verhoeven,Action or SCI-FI,I highly suggest you see Total Recall,an excellent and thrilling SCI-FI/Action classic that you will watch again and again. Highly Recommended. 10/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Total Recall is one Arnold's best films and Paul Verhooven a cult Science Fiction action film

10/10
Author: ivo-cobra8 from Slovenia
15 October 2015

Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". and is definitely one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's best films from the early 90's. His acting performance is great and superb. Their is plenty of gore action and bloody violence in it.

There may be people who overlook the Arnold Schwarzenegger performance in "Total Recall" - who think he isn't really acting. But the performance is one of the reasons the movie works so well. He isn't a superman this time, although he fights like one. He's a confused and frightened innocent, a man betrayed by the structure of reality itself. And in his vulnerability, he opens the way for "Total Recall" to be more than simply an action, violence and special effects extravaganza.

There is a lot of action and violence in the movie, and almost every shot seems to embody some sort of special effect. This is one of the most complex and visually interesting science fiction movies in a long time. But the plot, based on a story by the great science fiction writer Phillip K. Dick, centers on an intriguing idea: What would happen if you could be supplied with memories? If your entire "past," right up until this moment, could be plugged into your brain, replacing the experiences you had really lived through? That's what seems to happen to Quaid, the Schwarzenegger character in "Total Recall," although at times neither he nor we can be quite sure. We meet him in a future world where he lives in a comfortable apartment with his loving blond wife, and goes off to work every day at a construction job. He life seems idyllic, but he keeps having these dreams about Mars - dreams that finally inspire him to sign up with a strange kind of travel agency that provides you with the memory of a vacation instead of a real one.

What they do is, they strap you into a machine and beam the memories into your mind, so that it seems utterly convincing to you that you've been to Mars and done some dangerous spying there, and fallen in love with the brunet of your specifications (Quaid specifies she be "athletic, sleazy and demure"). Before long, sure enough, Quaid seems to be on Mars, involved in some secret-spy stuff, and in the arms of his custom-ordered brunet (Rachel Ticotin).

Douglas Quaid is haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. He hopes to find out more about this dream and buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong with the memory implantation and he remembers being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator Cohaagen. Now the story really begins and it's a roller-coaster ride until the massive end of the movie.

Douglas Quaid is another solid memorable character played from Arnold Schwarzenegger he played the character like he was written on his skin. Beside playing Terminator James Cameron masterpiece The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) he gave us another best performance of his acting! This film is awesome and is my childhood favorite action Science Fiction flick about Mars and been double agent! They shouldn't make a remake and ruin it. There is the only one Total Recall that is from Total Recall (1990) and is Paul Verhoeven astonish masterpiece.

Grade: A+ Studio: TriStar Pictures, StudioCanal Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Ronny Cox Director: Paul Verhoeven Producers: Buzz Feitshans, Ronald Shusett, Mario Kassar, Andrew G. Vajna Screenplay: Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Gary Goldman Story: Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill Based: We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Phillip K. Dick Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hr. 53 Mins. Budget: $50-60 Million Box Office: $261,299,840

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

TOTAL RECALL is a Favorite!

9/10
Author: ceprise from United States
20 March 2006

OK, I love TOTAL RECALL.

I read the short story by Phillip K. Dick (We Can Remember It For You Wholesale) 'way before the movie.

I was in an OSHA HAZWOPER training class that used clips from the movie to illustrate numerous life-threatening hazards. COOL.

TOTAL RECALL is a movie with two BIG stars (Arnold and Sharon) before they were BIG, Paul Vanhoevan as director, and story inspired by Phillip K. Dick.

The production has a lot more "look" to it than you would expect from the period, pre-computer graphics.

TOTAL RECALL continue to echo today.

I just watched a SOUTH PARK with a reference: "Quaid, start the generators."

Philip K. Dick also inspired BLADE RUNNER, again one of my 5 favorite SF movies.

Of course, I own a copy!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

the ideology of total recall

Author: brian yaeck from toronto, ontario
10 December 2003

this is of course, one of arnold's best typical kind of films, contains lots of violence, lots of good one liners, beautiful women, and arnold saves the day.

at another level, it presents an interesting hollywood narrative that is rare as most hollywood films simply go on to say the system works or that the system is fine but individuals mess it up. the film presents rebels who are of course labelled as 'terrorists' by the media and the state (reminds me slightly of the situation in Chechnya and Central America in the 80's). However, through the course of the film we learn that the corporate presumably american interests are corrupt and evil and that the rebels are actually fighting for something meaningful. Bringing the atmosphere of Mars back so that the people can have freedom from Coohagen. In the end, the rebels suffer some defeat but achieve their victory, uncomprimised.

This narrative is quite radical for hollywood and I found it to be quite impressive. Much more than the conclusion of the Matrix Trilogy which basically concluded that social forces cannot achieve ultimate victory, and that the system eventually remains in place and that comprimise can only be achieved. This film is perhaps saying that dissent and rebellion can achieve something and make the world better. Something that is rarely a meaning in Hollywood films.

However, on another level, as someone else commented earlier, this could be all a dream as small hints were dropped throughout the film. In the end such ideas are just fantasies and unattainable, perhaps some recuperation could be existing there. Meaning that the film remains fail-safe in that the status-quo is maintained. In that case, quite sad.

Even in that case, it presents an interesting point of view that is not always present in Hollywood films. Perhaps critical thought can occur from watching these films, about, say corporate power? I'm definitely looking for the next film by Paul Verhoeven to see what social commentary is contained.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What I recall of the movie

Author: cinematic_aficionado (cinematokrisis@gmail.com) from London, England
6 December 2003

Total recall is a typical sci-fi movie packed with action and of course Arnie. I could just say a typical Arnie movie however there is some plot in there which will keep you interested throughout, and Sharon Stone does well too. Overall a good movie to watch on a Sunday night with a takeaway.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

action at its very best

10/10
Author: william (willsgb) from london
17 August 2003

Arnold really excels in this sci-fi thriller. director Paul Verhoeven spent $100 million on this i believe, but it was worth it. the film did ok in the box office i think, and has been praised thoroughly since.

Doug Quaid goes to a memory journey type place, where he is able to go on a holiday in his mind, virtual reality. anyway events conspire to reveal to him that the life he is living and believes is true, and his memories, are nothing more then a cover. He decides to go and find out why, and what the truth is and regain his memories. His search takes him to Mars!

the special effects make the world seem plastic but are also very good, and mars is great. the music is very apt for this film. It even adds to the fun. the one liners are great, the fighting scenes are fast paced and enjoyable, and the plot is interesting and keeps you guessing. the acting is good and the whole film is a classic. Verhoevens plastic world reappeared in Starship troopers, but that film, this and Robocop are three of the best action movies of all time. and this film really packs a punch! suspend your belief for 2 hours and enjoy!

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