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Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on November 28, 2003
I really do adore this film, but I found it difficult to give it more than three stars, not only out of respect for myself, but for the many other films that deserve the full five. Sin-of-sins, I actually prefer it to "Blade Runner", but I'd still give Scott's sci-fi outing more stars than Verhoeven's. They are poles apart in terms of plot, pallette and directorial subtlety. This is mostly just nostalgia for my part (I watched this film a lot when I was a kid), but "Total Recall" is simply more FUN. Buy it if you're not out for anything too radical in the brain stakes.
The most interesting thing about this film is actually a piece of conjecture that I stumbled across in literary fiction that could drive a more suggestable person to a five star rating. What if the bad guy is not half as stupid as we're led to believe by the rather em...strange ending? Allow me to explain.
Mars is a remarkably large body, but after about twenty seconds worth of oxygen spurting from a mountain (I won't even go into the bad science behind that), it turns from the nasty vacuum packed red planet we know from the science books, into a rather pleasant looking national park kind of a place. That's exhibit one.
Before all this, Arnie and his mad-dog sqaw are thrown out into said vacuum where their eyes, as one would expect, begin to pop out of their head. Uch. Less expected though, is the miraculous recovery they make after all this excitement has past. They get up, dust themselves down, and head off to start a new life on the until-recently-red planet. That's Exhibit two. Need I go on?
The whole scenario's a bit crazy; a bit far fetched; a load of nonsense..."Ah-hah", he drawled triumphantly wagging his finger.
What if Co-Haagen, supposedly not so lucky with HIS dose of heamoragic eye trouble, isn't really dead? What if he's not even on Mars? What if even Arnie's not on Mars?
That horribly evil chap behind the whole starve-the-people-of-oxygen thing could still have Arnie in that nasty leather chair contraption. Arnie's character would just be lying there drooling, completely out of Co-Haagen's way. Not only that, but the last vestige of his conscience would actually think he'd WON!
Brilliant stuff. That little scenario could really boost the intellectual credability of this flick, and I hope you're all happy that I pointed it out.
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on January 3, 2002
I recieved this dvd for christmas and up to that point i had only ever seen it on tv. i'd never witnessed the cheezy glory of the 3 boobed lady or the sweet subtlty of over exaggerated gore and blood. The movie was almost a B movie on TV and now that i've seen the cinematic masterpiece in digital, it is definately a B movie. The disc itself looks beautiful and sounds great. the over saturated red tones on the vhs now play nicely with th evideo. The extras are entertaining enough and give you something to do if you really liked the film. In fact the disc is a 4 1/2 to 5 star disc. My gripe is actually of hte movie itself. THe dialogue grates on me after a while, somethng i never noticed on tv, b/c they bleep it. but the script write stuck hte F! word(can i say it in a review, into every sentence. Most of the time a threat or DAMN! would have been more appropraite and meancing, but they use FOOK instead (wink). i ain't against swearing, in fact i'm all for it. But this movie jsut uses it way to much and in inapropriate places. Also the blood is way overdone and looks like huge clumps of strawberry jam. But it is still a good sci fi flick. and the story is pretty interesting once you get past all the crappy dialogue. Watch it jsut for the 3 boobed chick and memorable lines such as "im gonna drill you sucka". If you love Arnold, buy it. Otherwise rent it first
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on May 6, 2001
I bought my first DVD sometime in 1998. At the time I had a DVD-ROM in my computer (one of the first on the market by Creative) but not in my home theater (I was still using laser discs). Total recall was among the first 10 DVDs or so that I bought. I saw this movie in the theater and I really liked it, not as much as the Terminator series or running man, but I was entertained nonetheless. I was excited to get it on DVD because I still like to watch it from time to time and I'm still entertained by the movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger is Douglas Quaid, a construction worker who is not happy in his mundane life and wants desperately to investigate his fascination (obsession really) with Mars. His wife Lori, played by Sharon Stone, acts as a deterrent to Douglas's fantasy; which causes him to go to a memory implant agency called Rekall to buy a false memory of a trip to Mars. All his problems seem to start as a direct result of going to Rekall for the memory implant. This is key because this is what keeps us guessing whether or not what's happening to him is real or part of his "Ego Trip" package that's supposed to give him the memory of a secret agent. Now, like I said, I've watched this movie many times and there are hints that support both sides, like: The tech that assists the doctor that is going to perform the implant says, "Blue skies on Mars, that's a new one". Also, his adventure does seem to follow that memory package to the "T". On the other side, there are plenty of clues that support the reality argument, such as the Director sweating when trying to convince him of his delusional fantasy, and Richter (played by Michael Ironside) trying to kill him through out the whole movie. These are the things that make this movie so much fun to watch and never let it get old. This is a good DVD that deserves an overhaul. After seeing and hearing what they did with the recent release of Superman, I would love to experience this movie with a re-mastered digital transference and soundtrack. The amount of action that this movie offers, I feel it's a prime candidate for a special release. I would also love to see a director's cut, I'm curios to see what they actually cut out of the film and if that footage could point the viewers to the correct side (fantasy or reality). As it stands now, the picture is good but could be smother and less grainy at times. The sound is where it needs it biggest improvement! The surround and LFE channel are minimally used (hard to believe in such an action packed movie) and the front 3 could be tightened up and not have the sounds "leak" into each channel as much. The vocals could be anchored more to the center channel and have the left and right fronts handle more of the action discreetly. This would be a 5 star movie if they re-released it with, if not all of them, some of these suggested improvements. The way it is, I gave it 3 stars. That being said, I do suggest you buy it, because you will continuously enjoy this movie of the years.
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on August 3, 1998
Paul Verhoeven has become among Hollywood's better known directors. His most recent work, Starship Troopers, did well at the box office thanks to its outstanding special effects, interesting premise, and surprisingly good cast.
Verhoeven first earned widespread movie fame with Robocop, but it was 1990's Total Recall that stands as his best work.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gives a genuinely great performance as Douglas Quaid, a construction worker in the late 21st Century who, out of an unconquerable fascination with Mars - now a colony run by vicious corporate dictator Vilhos Cohaagen - goes to Rekall, Inc., a company that implants "memories" of experiences in those willing to pay. But when Rekall implants a memory of a trip to Mars, it "pops a memory cap" in Quaid, who turns out not to be who he thinks he is. When his wife Lori (the overrated Sharon Stone in the only performance of hers that is truly worth watching) tries to kill him, Quaid forces! her to tell him that a supersecret Agency under the direction of Cohaagen erased his memory and implanted a new one.
Quaid dodges the guns of the murderous Richter (a delightfully insane performance by Michael Ironside) and gets help from a former buddy of his on Mars. He then travels to the Red Planet and gets mixed up in a bloody civil war between Cohaagen's goons and rebel followers of a being called Kuato. But seemingly nothing is as it appears to Quaid, until he learns from Kuato just what the secret is that Cohaagen wants.
It is fairly easy to point out what is wrong with this film - it is excessively violent and gory, and includes some action scenes - like a bloody bar brawl - that are unnecesary. The pivotal scene - when Quaid is strapped in an implant chair to have his memory erased again, but he rips free and slaughters the scientists performing the procedure - is effective, but ruined because it allows Quaid to pull off an absurd flexing of muscle - he rips ! a heavy arm restraint out, anchor and all, and rips it thro! ugh the throat of one Cohaagen scientist thug. There is also the usual absurdity of action films - the wholesale slaughter of enemy soldiers without so much as a scratch on the one or two good guys. There is also a PREPOSTEROUS speech by Cohaagen during the final act that is a glaring example of the cliche of the villian who has the hero cornered, but spends so much time talking it gives the hero an opportunity.
Nonetheless, it is a superior script, with many twists and a fascinating climax. END
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on August 6, 1999
I wish had half stars because I would give this movie 3 and 1/2 stars. Anyhow, overall, this is not a bad movie. It has a great plot, good acting, a decent script, great sets, lots of action, and great special effects for 1990. The only thing I had a problem with was the excessive violence. If you can see past that, which I couldn't, you should enjoy this film. But hey, that's just my opinion.
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on April 24, 1999
I heard a lot of praise on this movie so I decided to watch it. It was one of the most disappointing movies I've seen lately. I thought the plot was dumb and characters had no depth. I didn't like anything except perhaps music. Total Recall is probably destined to be a film which I will never enjoy. I'm giving it 3 stars because I can see some honest effort there. But I really think it deserves 2 stars.
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on July 3, 2003
Before Minority Report, there was Blade Runner. Between those, there was Total Recall. Sandwiched between two classic SciFi films, Total Recall seems to suffer from middle-child syndrome; a good story at the heart, but Verhoven's cliche' type violence poisons it a little. What is interesting is that Blade Runner's special effects hold up extremely well even when compared to Minority Report's state of the art technology (the Spinner flight thru the LA sky is still believable) but the cheezy "Free Mars" sfx of Total Recall is showing it's age. However, it remains an entertaining film and serves as a light escargot appetizer for the french onion soup that is Minority Report and the rare filet mignon that is Blade Runner.
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on September 24, 1999
Paranoid, lurid, violent, sensationalistic junk! But definitely worth a viewing. Not for the squeamish, but it has its moments - Ahnuld watching himself on the laptop telling himself who he really is; the Sharon Stone-Rachel Ticotin cat fight; and those typical Arnie one-liners -"Consider this a divorce!", and so on. But story line is confusing, as is identities of some of the characters, and just what is tribidium, anyway? Got to hand it to Director Verhoeven, though, who proves that you cannot underestimate the tastes (or intelligence) of the movie-going public - "Starship Troopers", "Showgirls", "Basic Instinct", and so on. Arnold brings this one above the others.
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on January 31, 2002
Okay, where do I start?
1. Great movie. Super violence though very disguting, brutal, ane extremely bloody. But what can you expect when you see a movie with Arnold Schwartzenegger. Schwartzenegger acts great and so does Michael Ironside, great villain.
2. HORRIBLE DIRECTING! It was just so plain. Again, what can you expect. VErhoeven is like 80 now. Still it was okay.
3. Dumb. Some ideas were completely idiotic and hard to understand. Watched it over 50 times and still don't understand some parts.
4. Kids and parents:
STRONG VIOLENCE, LANGUAGE, NUDITY(Sick idea with the women on mars having, you findout yourself.
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on January 16, 2002
Everyone who hates this movies seems to hate it because many of its scenes contain inprobabilities. Who cares, it's a movie and it never pretended to be factual!
The whole point was to enjoy the ride and if you're so worried about the 'reality' of it remember you never know if it is real or if it's a dream!
Nobody's dreams are 100% realistic either so just think of the whole movie as Quaids' dream that he paid for and enjoy it.
If you want "reality" than stay FAR AWAY from the Movie Theater!
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