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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.

VIDEO:

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)

AUDIO:

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)

TRIVIA:

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

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.
0Comment14 of 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VIDEO:

Total Recall (1990)(Mind-Bending Edition) 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 Mind-Bending 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)

AUDIO:

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)

TRIVIA:

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.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I am still very fond of the Mars-surfaced-colour tin-can of the Special Limited Edition DVD. But this latest Mind-Bending 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. But the most attractive part is the price…$10!!! IWhat a bargain. Get it before the price goes up. The blu ray disc is highly recommended.

As per the usual Amazon.ca tradition, reviews of the standard DVD edition and the 2007 blu ray editions are also included in this latest edition column. Please read the date of review before wasting time in reading out-dated materials.

I hope the above review is helpful to you.
0Comment9 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 29, 2003
Paul Verhoeven took it on the chin from fans of Philip K. Dick for this film (just as he did from Heinlein fans for his odd take on _Starship Troopers_).
But this nonstop SF action-thriller -- besides being, as its legion of fans will attest, a helluva lot of fun to watch -- is actually a fair translation to the screen of Dick's 'We Can Remember It For You Wholesale'. I won't give away any spoilers here, but watch it carefully: are you _sure_ that by the end of the movie you know what's real and what isn't?
Readers of Dick's brilliant short story probably wouldn't have cast Arnold in the lead role, either. But all that proves is that we aren't Paul Verhoeven. The movie works.
Arnold is in terrific form here as Douglas Quaid, a guy who wants to go to Mars so badly that the subject has become an obsession. He nips off to Rekal, Incorporated, to get a set of false memories implanted, and the rest is SF film history.
The special effects are extremely good and the Martian landscape is pretty well realized (although some portions of the 'science' part of the science fiction are decidedly lacking). The supporting cast is magnificent, from Sharon Stone and Rachel Ticotin to Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox. As we expect from Verhoeven, the dialogue includes quite a bit of profanity and the action includes a lot of gory violence. But if you weren't okay with that, you wouldn't be looking for an Arnold movie, would you?
I have the Special Limited Edition (the one with the Mars-shaped metal box). The 'special' features are nice; Schwarzenegger and Verhoeven provide some good commentary and the 'making-of' documentary is worth watching once.
But the real star is the movie itself, which (despite some cliches) manages to stay fresh after numerous repeated viewings. Pop it in and crank it up.
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on August 18, 2012
While I haven't taken a look at the Blu-ray version of this movie, I can however safely say that this is the best DVD version of the movie you can own. Not only does it feature crisp and clear audio and video, but it also comes with some pretty wonderful special features, including a hilarious and somewhat insightful commentary track with Arnie and Verhoeven.

If you love Total Recall, what can I say, buy this DVD.
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on October 30, 2012
This movie has an excellent quality! I totally recommend! Better than the non mind-bending version. And also much better than the 2012 one, but that's my opinion.
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on July 2, 2015
A classic. Always interesting to watch again once in a while. As usual, Arnold is not that good, but the vewer makes it it. The idea is most interesting. The psychological aspect of the situation is not bad. I like futuristic movies. The bad are very mean, Of course, the hero is too strong, even with his memory erased. The whole movie exacerbate the curiosity of the viewer.
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It's like a nightmare out of Kafka: everything you can remember is false, and everything you think you know about your life is a lie. Such is the dilemma at the heart of "Total Recall," which also has the honor of being one of the best movies Arnold Schwarzenegger has ever made. A lot of this comes from the plot, which is full of memorable twists and clever plotting -- not to mention the glorious depiction of a futuristic Mars.

Every night, Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger) is haunted by a dream of Mars and a strange woman (Rachel Ticotin). He even wants to visit Mars, but his wife Lori (Sharon Stone) is reluctant. After all, Mars is going through a nasty rebellion at the moment. On impulse, Quaid decides to go to Rekall, a company that implants false memories for entertainment, and selects a "secret agent" fantasy on Mars.

But things instantly go very wrong when he has a convulsive reaction, and ends up dumped in a taxi. As he tries to get home, his coworkers all try to kill him -- and at home, Lori also tries to murder him, revealing that their entire marriage is a false memory.

Quaid goes on the run, with only a cryptic message from his former self to guide him. But even if he can get to Mars and avoid being captured by Lori and the cops, he has to find the mysterious Melina (who turns out to be the lady from his dream). And as he seeks out the mysterious leader of the Resistance, Quaid finds that there may be things in his past he doesn't want to remember...

"Total Recall" doesn't stick very closely to Philip K. Dick's original story, but it doesn't shame it either. The story is delightfully unpredictable from beginning to end -- while you might be able to figure out quickly that Quaid is remembering lost memories of Mars, most of the plot twists after that are genuinely shocking. And underlying everything is the haunting question: Is any of this real?

This is Paul Verhoeven back when he was good, and "Total Recall" displays him at his best -- lots of action-packed fight scenes, gruesomeness (the removal of the tracker up Arnold's nose is especially gross), and an underlying current of humor that keeps things from ever getting too grim (" If things have gone wrong, I'm talking to myself and you don't have a wet towel around your head").

And lest anyone forget it's a sci-fi movie, most of the action takes place on a delightfully sleazy Mars colony where mutants walk amongst the normal humans. Example: Quaid speaks to a three-breasted hooker at a bar. And there's a subplot about a mysterious set of alien machines that only comes to fruition late in the story.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of those actors that is normally pretty mediocre, but is amazing when he's got a good script and direction. He overflows with humor and charisma in this role ("Consider that a divorce!") and he has excellent chemistry with Ticotin. This is a hero you can actually root for, but we're also constantly reminded that we don't know the real man.

"Total Recall" is a like taking a rollercoaster ride, with lots of wild action and thrills -- as well as one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's best performances ever. Definitely worth watching.
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on January 14, 2014
Even though the remake follows the novel a bit more closely, Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger's Total Recall is the best of both. Aggressive, hyper-violent, funny, weird, they only kept the premise of the writings and made a movie out of it... which could have tanked as violently as someone getting shot by ED-209.

But thankfully it didn't, and the movie is all the better with nice enough performances, though a few steps on the dodgy side of things and far less subtleties than in Robocop, but Verhoeven does make his point clear that industrialists and rich people do control everything... from the VERY 90s sets and production designs, to its (now dated) special effects, you only let go of all the time that passed (24 years at the time of writing) and give in the adventure...

Special features are interesting and provide nice enough information, and if you are one of those who enjoy MANY hours of special features, you can thank Ah-nold since back in 2000-ish, he asked to be paid close to $200,000 for his commentary on the first Total Recall DVD... and since then, everyone wants a piece and makes sure that special features are more and more scarce than ever before (watch the 3-disc edition of Black Hawk Down or Panic Room for that matter and compare with a "special edition" of "The Town" or "Argo"...
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on November 12, 2012
If "Blade Runner" and "The Running Man" started a family, "Total Recall" is their child. It has "Running Man"s plot line: a basically decent man struggles to survive a whirlwind of conspiracy. It adds the slightly paranoid speculations of the Philip K. Dick short story that wondered how you can trust anything when you can't trust your own memories. Is Douglas Quade a decent, innocent man caught up in a conspiracy beyond his control? Or is Quade's innocence a lie he created when he organized the conspiracy?

It has the straightforward action (and the body count) of "Running Man." This is not a subtle movie when it comes to the violence and conflict, but then neither were "Running Man" or "Blade Runner." "Total Recall" doesn't quite live up to the thoughtfulness of "Blade Runner." "Blade Runner" used its action plot as a vehicle to explore the question of what it means to be human. "Total Recall" uses its questions about memory and trust to keep the action plot moving. But the questions give the plot a depth that will reward a second or third viewing.

Certainly one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's better performances, and the Blu-ray is a nice looking presentation of the film. The few martian vistas look great in high def, but the claustrophobic underground interiors don't benefit as much. On the whole a good purchase if you're a fan of this kind of action adventure.
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on December 1, 2003
He may be governor of California now, but Arnold's past is studded with high points, and this is one of them.
The storyline, everybody knows by now; it's a tale of faulty memory and as Arnold finds out more about his past, so does the audience. The climax of the film is suitably epic, and this may be one of the last great films to use miniatures instead of CGI. In any event, the effects look fantastic, even to this day.
But the acting and casting is on par with the FX, thankfully. Ronny Cox continues his association with director Paul Verhoeven (from "Robocop" fame) to play the villain once more, and we've got Sharon Stone RIGHT before she broke big. Rachel Ticotin is capable, and thankfully, we've got veteran Canadian character actor Michael Ironside as Cohagen's chief henchman, Rictor.
Arnold would go on to replicate elements of this story in "The Sixth Day", but to less impressive effect. 15 years of advancement in CGI graphics can't replace a good story, and here's the proof.
As far as the DVD treatment goes, this one is almost as good as the "Conan The Barbarian" set; one of the finest on the market. I can't believe that in a film like this there aren't any deleted scenes, but in any event, the sound and picture quality are excellent.
One of my favourite movies to watch every now-and-then. A classic action/sci-fi movie that's aged pretty well.
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