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Continuing my plan to watch every Arnie movie in order, I come to Total
Plot In A Paragraph: in the future Doug Quaid (Arnie) is haunted by a recurring dream about being on Mars. He buys a holiday at Rekall Inc. where they sell implanted memories. But something goes wrong and he suddenly questions everyone he knows and everything he thinks is real.
Some of Arnies acting is awful here (see the scene where he first goes to Recall) it's not Raw Deal bad, but it's still bad, and the effects have not aged well at all, buy it's still very entertaining.
Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox make for entertaining villains, Sharon Stone (just shy of her infamous Basic Instinct role) is OK, as is Rachel Ticotin.
In his Autobiography, also named Total Recall, Arnie talks about how he always works better with a strong director, how this movie came about, and how it was almost a huge miss.
He always looks at the marketing data (tracking studies) from the studio which measures a movies buzz. Due to a poor trailer and weak TV spots (that just had it down as a routine action flick) three weeks away from release, hardly anyone knew it was coming out, and those that did, didn't care. The problem was Tri-Star and Colombia were being taken over by Sony, and we're all about to lose their jobs. So nobody cared, and they were willing to let the movie sink.
Arnie got in touch with someone at Sony, explaining "I have a one hundred and fifty million dollar movie here, and the trailer makes it look like a twenty million dollar picture." and arranged a meeting. He screened him Total Recall, then the trailer. Thankfully they agreed with him, and a marketing company was brought in to recut the trailer and handle promotion of the movie.
Following on from Twins, Total Recall was Arnie's second movie to Gross over $100 million at the Box Office ($119 million) and end the year amongst the Top 10 highest grossing movies of the year (7th) It actually grossed more (A new record for the oak) but finished the year lower than Twins.
The story is brilliant and quite intelligent (far above your average
action flick), a secret agent/sci-fi story full of plot twists and
surprises with lots of action. It plays with reality in a brilliant
way, rather than a cheap way. More than once one asks the question, is
this fake or reality.
Decent Schwarzenegger acting here, his typical one-liners are present as are his butt-kickings. The action scenes are very impressive. The blood is excessive to say the least, making this the most violent and extreme action i've seen from old Arnold in... forever! Fans of ultra violence step this way! He still is a larger-than-life action hero here. Baddies Cohaagen (Ronny Cox) and Richter (Michael Ironside) deliver Great performances as usual. Never a dull moment when Ironside's on screen. Sharon Stone has a minor role looking purdy and kicking some butt. Rachel Ticotin is fine as Schwarzenegger's ally, nothing special, though. Director Verhoeven's unique talent and style are very present in Total Recall as well, the ultra violence and gore, the satirical humor, relentless and hard action scenes - it's a fast-paced, bloody roller-coaster ride, and a bloody good one at that. The great and unusual score by Jerry Goldsmith matches the film's mood and theme perfectly.
Total Recall is still one of the most violent and relentless films I've seen, even compared to today's standards. But with all this violence comes a very interesting story which is for grown ups and is so worth the concentration needed to be invested in this brilliant Sci-Fi epic!
Overall rating: 9 out of 10.
Entertaining sci fi action-drama.
Set in the future, a man, Douglas Quaid (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger), is plagued by dreams that he is living an parallel life on Mars. (Mars has been colonised by Earth but is undergoing a civil war of sorts). Upon seeing an advert, he goes to Rekall Inc to take a virtual holiday on Mars through implanted memories in his brain. This sets off a chain of events, leading him to realise that he may have actually been on Mars before...
Clever and well thought out central plot, based on a short story by Philip K Dick, writer of books and short stories on which movies such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, Paycheck and The Adjustment Bureau have been based.
Direction by Paul Verhoeven is uneven. Special effects and action sequences are great and most scenes are decently directed. However, some plot developments feel a bit clumsy and contrived. Not the smoothest, most seamless direction.
With Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role, you know not expect too much in the acting stakes. However, despite having more dialogue than in the Terminator movies, Arnie does a reasonable job here. Hardly Brandoesque, but it'll do. Besides, he's there as an action hero and in the action scenes he does very well.
Solid performances from the main supporting cast: Sharon Stone, Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside, Ronny Cox. Some of the secondary supporting performances feel a bit hammy though, especially Mel Johnson Jr as Benny and Michael Champion as Helm.
Overall, good entertainment and far better than the 2012 remake.
Philip K. Dick's novel "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" was a
masterpiece in science fiction genre, an adaptation of it was an
expanse entertainer. Director Paul Verhoeven made every moment lively
and exciting throughout, with a stimulation screenplay the movie gets
high and high on every moment with its spark-tone of visuals and dark
humor of the actors. Arnold's expressive acting style and story's mind
bending lines make us not to leave it behind. Coming to the plot, it
was a elegant complex story which throws out some satirical snaps out
of it with leaving us to make out what was dream and what was reality.
Great movie in its genre, but it has the potential to go larger extent with its complex concept.
Man, what isn't memorable about "Total Recall"? Mars, Sharon Stone,
"two weeks", Kuato, Johnny Cab, the Rekall chair . . . to say that this
movie doesn't leave its visual mark is just denial. This is Philip K.
Dick by way of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and that probably shouldn't work
as well as it does. Couple those with Verhoeven's direction (and
violence) and Rob Bottin's makeup effects, and it's a heady mixture.
This is one of Schwarzenegger's great Summer movies, all wrapped up in
a tight package.
Highly quotable, too.
Doug Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a simple building worker in the
Earth of 2084, leads a quiet and fulfilling life. At least until he
decides to give himself a imaginary holiday thanks to Total Recall, a
company that implants fake memories to their customers. From that
moment the poor Doug has to understand what happened in his head, and
get out alive.
Very good science fiction late '80s, dialogues and plot are credible being inspired by a short story by Philip K.Dick. 1991 Academy Award for special effects still very realistic, almost more then the computer graphics in the remake of 2012. In some ways it reminded me a lot The Game, 1997, by David Fincher.
Recommended to all lovers of science fiction and Schwarzenegger's action style, but not only; not recommended for those who are easily impressed by the blood, even if fake ;-)
Overall: 7 ++. Hope you enjoy it,
More on recensissimo.blogspot.it
Now here's a curiosity - one of the last massive blockbusters made
before CGI properly came along and changed everything.
Again, it's Arnie. You've got the cheese, you've some excellent action, the ultra-violence we expect from Paul Verhoeven, a cracking scenery-chewing baddie from Michael Ironside
This film could only have been made in 1990, really. The effects were good enough for the idea to be plausible, but not so slick that they're no longer fun and pulpy. Imagine, for example, if the Mars suffocation scenes were done realistically. They wouldn't have been half as fun, and we wouldn't be blessed with Arnie's bizarre "GAAARRRRGGGRRRHAARRRNGHHHGGGGGAAA" noises.
Proper pulp sci-fi of the kind we'll probably never see again.
This was a very anticipated Arnie pic, in the waiting, and boy did it pay off. It's a very exciting, atmospheric and VIOLENT ride. Again, this Arnie pic, poses that question, what if this was really possible? And what other film, can we see a dwarf woman with three-gazoombies (boobs)? Answer: None. Paul Verhoeven's films never disappoint. They're big and largely and visually exciting, and of course, this one doesn't change that. Arnie, too, doesn't give a half bad performance, as a male beefcake, (Douglas Quaid) who has a hot wife (Sharon Stone, great here and sexy) where he keeps dreaming about Mars. And we ourselves, question, what's so great about Mars. His job is a construction worker, and even when a work associate warns him, not to go to this place, Recall, for what you could say a dream vacation, where they implant fictional memory inside of you, where you're someone else, what does Arnie do? I would never let these twats tamper with my mind. From here the story cracks an interesting thriller twist, as Arnie's implant, has a bad mishap, where suddenly bad guys are chasing him, led by a baddie, (Ironside) wonderful in the role an actor who after this, started to become noticed, where I knew about this guy, years before this, after seeing his great performance in 1983's Cross Country. Ronny Cox plays his boss, the one who owns Recall, and again plays such as bad arse so well, drawing parallels to his other baddie character in Robocop. Like Robocop, T.R, was trimmed for cinema for it's M rating where on video in it's fully restored R version, we get to indulge in all of it's violent glory. T.R. is well written by veteran pros, one of whom's Dan Bannon, co wrote Aliens and Dead And Buried. The dynamite music score stays in your head, sort of like a Basic Instinct'ish opening credit start. The Johnny cab line with a chafed Arnie, before dispersing, is the real tag line that sticks with me, but there is no getting over the one, "Get ready for a surprise". The same could be said for viewers who haven't this super exciting pic.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Total Recall (1990) is one of the most badass movies ever made full of
Arnold one liners, full of gore and action the cast is great you have
Sharon Stone you have Michael Ironside and Rachel Ticotin the film was
directed by Paul Verhoeven (Robocop).
There are many reasons why this film is great it came out on the 90's, Schwarzenegger is starring, the action scenes are amazing, it's R- Rated, you have a talented director and the whole rest of the cast does a great job too bad they had to remake it and ruin it. There's only one Total Recall and it's this one. Final Verdict a 10 out of 10 one of Arnold's Best!!!
The original Total Recall, starring Arnold "White Hercules"
Schwarzenegger, is Paul Verhoeven's cult classic that helped to
contextualize the style and aesthetic of science fiction in the 90s. It
has since gathered quite a following, thanks to its tremendous camp
value, surprisingly layered plot line, Arnold, interesting world design
and a great basic premise based on the Philip K. Dick story "We Can
Remember It for You Wholesale".
The mentioned premise goes like this. It's the future and the technology to implant memories into people has recently become reality. Thus it's perfectly possible to experience a whole vacation or journey by going and sitting on a chair in the company that fabricates these memories. Meet Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger), a quarry worker who has a dream of going to Mars, which has been colonized fairly recently and is currently undergoing an upheaval. Douglas cannot afford a trip to Mars so he decides to go and experience the eponymous total recall. Except, not all is as it seems to be. Or is it?
One of the strengths of the film is the fact that it knows what to explain and what to leave to the viewer to decide for himself. People are still arguing what aspects of the film are reality and what simply happen in Douglas's mind. There are arguments to be made for both sides, but it's much more satisfying to see the film and decide for yourself, so I shall not spoil it for you.
This is also one of Schwarzenegger's better performances and he shows a lot of range, while still doing the usual one-liners, action muscle stunts and general silliness that we love about him.
Total Recall is well worth a watch if you're looking for a scifi action film that still explores some deeper themes and challenges you to think.
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