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Total Recall (1990)(Ultimate Rekall Edition)(blu ray)…significant improvement over earlier edition!
on August 20, 2012
There are two versions of Total Recall (blu ray): The Mind-Bending Edition with one disc, and the Ultimate Rekall Edition (blu ray + DVD combo). I bought the Ultimate Rekall Edition for $10 when it was first announced, but now the price has gone up to $23.99 from seller, while the one disc Mind-Bending Edition is still $10. The two versions are apparently the same.
Total Recall (1990) arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.85:1 encode. The original Total Recall blu ray was released in 2007 with disastrous results. This new Rekall Edition is much improved, supposedly taken from the original elements according to information from Lionsgate and approved by director Paul Verhoeven as the way he intended the film to look. As evidenced by the restoration comparison included on this Blu-ray as a supplement, the results are rather dramatic. Contrast is markedly better in this presentation, as is colour timing and especially saturation. We can see more of the finer details in the background. Besides, this goes back to the deliberate photography of Jost Vacano ('Das Boot,' 'Robocop') and Verhoeven, wanting the feel of a dystopic, lifeless and morose future. The colour palette is severely affected by these artistic decisions, also looking fairly glum and downcast, but primaries are cleanly rendered and stable. (4.0/5)
This DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless track is also an improvement from the last edition. It has a wide dynamic range. The English track is an incredibly visceral experience, completely immersive and wonderfully nuanced. Dialogue and Jerry Goldsmith's nicely bombastic score are well prioritized and are delivered cleanly and clearly. (4.0/5)
Total Recall (1990) has an estimated budget of $65 million, but grossed $261 million worldwide.
Arnold Schwarzenegger suffered several hand-related injuries during the shoot. When filming the scene where Quaid smashes a train window, a tiny explosive in the glass was supposed to shatter the glass a fraction of a second before Schwarzenegger struck it, but it didn't go off and Schwarzenegger hit the glass for real, badly cutting himself. When filming the fight scene inside Quaid's Hilton suite (immediately after Quaid shoots Dr. Edgemar), Schwarzenegger broke a finger on his right hand and had to get a cast fitted. As a result, most of his scenes shot afterward kept his injured hand off-screen.
The subway scenes were filmed in the Mexico City subway system, specifically, the Insurgentes station of the Line 1: Constituyentes-Pantitlan.
Some of the large ads seen after Quaid gets off the subway were real signs featured above the Insurgentes subway station in Mexico City, most noticeable the Fuji Film and Coca Cola signs, the Coca Cola sign still stands today.
All of the crew fell ill due to food poisoning during production in Mexican City, with the exception of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronald Shusett (Screenplay writer). Schwarzenegger escaped because he always had his food catered from the US. This was because three years earlier, he had fallen ill due to drinking tap water in Mexico during production of Predator. As for Shusett, he took extreme health precautions, such as only brushing his teeth with boiled or bottled water and insisting on getting a weekly vitamin B12 shot. Shusett was even mocked by the crew until they all got sick themselves.
I am still very fond of the Mars-surfaced-colour tin-can of the Special Limited Edition DVD. But this latest Ultimate Rekall Edition, being released to coincide with the 2012 Total Recall, is significantly improved over the 2007 release, and is the definitive version of this movie as far as video and audio are concerned. The blu ray disc is highly recommended.
I hope the above review is helpful to you.