- News - Reviews
- Interviews - Mistresses
Talk - Quizzes - Links
- Movie Malls
Trailers - Screensavers
- Scripts - Wallpapers
- Who is The Arrow - Contact
Total Recall (1990)
| Directed by:
Douglas Quaid’s (Arnie) world
goes to hell when he heads to Rekall Inc. to get a memory “vacation”
implant for a trip to Mars. After his rendez-vous, everybody he knows
suddenly tries to kill him and he might not be who he thinks he is after
all. Is Quaid living his Rekall implant or is the craziness really
happening to him?
Loosely based on a Phillip K.
Dick short story that goes by the name of
“We Will Remember It For You Wholesale”, Total Recall is one of
the most excessive and relentless action/sci-fi flicks on the block.
It’s a far cry from Dick’s low-key story, that’s fer sure. Having
said that, I can’t deny that I had an incredible good time watching this
piece of bloody candy.
Before I get into anything, I
have to put this on the map: I love Paul Verhoeven.
I love his “in your face” approach, his “exploitation”
tendencies, his satirical humor (it's more prominent in
"Robocop" and "Starship Troopers" but we get some of
it here too) and his high enthusiasm when it comes to film (I’ve met the
man and he’s just like his movies: loud and exciting). Here, Verhoeven
tries to have his cake and eat it too. Does he pull it off? Yes and no.
The script for Total Recall has
a certain amount of depth. It tackles “identity”, plays with reality
and tries to make you think further than the average action movie.
That’s one side of the coin. The other side is that it stars bigger than
life Arnold Schwarzenegger who’s known for destroying small countries by
himself in his previous films ("Commando", for example) and
subtlety is not really his thang. Couple that with nutso Verhoeven and you
can imagine what this movie is filled with: rivers of blood, dismemberment
and witty one-liners.
And there’s the rub. For the
film's first 45 minutes, I was using my brain and was totally absorbed by
the story. The whole “is it reality or is it a dream” angle fascinated
me and kept the whole noggin working. The movie offers many foreshadowing
moments early on (little hints of things to come, clues about what’s
going on) and those little bits kept me intrigued. But then something
happened. My "fun times" spirit (bare with me here) took over
and my grey matter shut off. I didn’t really care if Arnie’s world was
a dream or not anymore, all I cared about was the next gruesome fight
sequence, the next Arnie one-liner or the next Sharon Stone kickboxing
Now is that wrong? I guess on a
certain level it is. The script is obviously superior to the average
action flick and its novel storyline deserved my full attention the whole
way through. But how the hell am I supposed to keep thinking when
Verhoeven and Arnie keep slapping all kinds of gruesome violent goodies my
way? I mean, we get it all here! Over-the-top shootouts (all about the
escalator scene), crazy chase sequences (the cab chase…fun times), wild
special effects (that thing up his nose…ouch), psychotic hit-men (lead
by bad ass Ironside), exciting cat fights (Stone and Ticotin go meow),
slick gadgets (loved that hologram thang and the way Arnie used it) and to
top it off, all that yummy stuff takes place on impressively detailed sets
of a futuristic city or on planet Mars! And you expect me to think with
all that! Fuck that!
Recall borders the line of intelligent Sci-Fi and crowd-pleasing Arnie
blood-fest constantly. The latter eventually took over for me but that’s
not necessarily a bad thing. And even though the film does lose a bit of
steam by the end (I didn’t really care about the mutants, their leader
and that whole conspiracy about the air machine subplot) the film still
packs a wallop. If you like your Sci-Fi heavy with violence, fast on the
pace and fun to the last drops of blood, then strap yourself in your chair
and hold on for a messy ride! It doesn’t get more entertaining than
this! Go Verhoeven go!
Although Arnold Schwarzenegger (Doug) has a bigger
than life personality, he lets some it go here and actually shows
vulnerability and confusion. That made me care about the character more.
But Arnie fans do not fear: the one-liners and the ass kickings are still
there as well. Rachel Ticotin (Melina) does okay as the tough brunette and
delivers an adequate performance. Sharon Stone (Lori) is at her prime
here. She’s sexy, brutal and also seductive. Much like her part in
"Basic Instinct". I love Ronnie Cox (Cohaagen) and although he
can play this part in his sleep, I still loved watching him. Michael
Ironside (Richter) does what he does best: play a psychotic villain. Here
he goes "all out" and is definitely NOT on autopilot. Great
show! Mel Johnson Jr. (Benny) does fine but his character got on my
This a Paul Verhoeven flick, what do you think? We get
bodies getting mangled up by bullets; we get a spike in the neck, a weird
instrument through the nose and ripped off arms. Yes, it’s a blood bath
and yes, the effects are on the ball.
A letdown for a Verhoeven flick. Arnold shows us his
pumped upper body early on and we get a glimpse at his butt crack (yes,
the ladies will drool). Us dudes get to see a mutant chick with 3 tits.
It’s sad that Sharon Stone kept her talents hidden.
But like Verhoeven says in the commentary, “he got even with
Paul Verhoeven gives the film just the right amount of
style. He doesn’t overdo it so the directing never distracts us away
from the story. The movie looks good, moves at lightning speed (except for
the end) and Verhoeven sure knows how to shoot mayhem. I can imagine him
behind the camera loving every second of violence he was slapping in the
film, smiling widely. I love this guy!
The score by Jerry Goldsmith rocks the house! It's
aggressive and badass when it needs to be and other times it has a
“dream like” quality that augments the ambiguous images that it backs
Special Limited Edition DVD released
by Artisan Home Entertainment
Image: 16:9 Newly remastered
Widescreen Version (the only way to see the film, the image is crisp and the
colors are vibrant)
Sound: 2.0 English Dolby Digital
Audio (the sound is clear, the bone cracks, the bullet hits and the imposing
score comes through gangbusters)
Extras: You like extras? You’ll be
well served here. Check out what the DVD has to offer!
Rare Audio Commentary with
Arnie and Verhoeven: This
commentary with Arnold and Paul (yep, they’re in the same room) is
very entertaining. Both men have great senses of humor and whenever
things begin to go quiet, Verhoeven jumps in and talks about something.
They blab about the effects, the subtext of scenes (is it a dream or
not?) but my fav thing is when they talk about behind the scenes stuff
(like for example, Arnold and Stone rehearsed their opening scene in bed
in a hotel room with Verhoeven present…kinky). This commentary is a
Imagining Total Recall
Documentary (~ 30 minutes):
fascinating look on how Total Recall finally made it to the screen.
This documentary made especially for this DVD talks about the
“Phillip K. Dick” origins of the story, goes into the special
effects and how they were accomplished, has Arnold, Verhoeven (the man
is so interesting), screenwriters Ron Shusett and Gary Goldman talk
about the production. The only thing missing was Sharon Stone’s and
Rachel Ticotin’s two cents (although they do show up via 1989 stock
footage to talk about the fight sequences). And where was Michael
Ironside?? He’s not in here. Overall though, this documentary still
kicks major arse!
Rekall Virtual Vacations
(repeats itself continually): Imitating
the film where you can put a “nature” background on your TV, here
the DVD gives you 3 options. You want to have the “Dunes Of Mars” in
the back or maybe “Planet Lumina 3”? Then have a blast! But if
you’re like The Arrow and love the beach, you’ll slap on “Earth
Beach” on your screen to relish the sounds of waves crashing in, the
birds chirping and marvel at the computer enhanced scenery before you. A
cute idea that keeps with the spirit of the film.
“Visions Of Mars”
featurette (~ 5 minutes): Dan
McCleese (Chief Scientist Mars Programs, Jet Propulsions Laboratories)
gives us his opinion as to why Mars is so fascinating, on its initial
source of conception, the evidence that water once flowed on the planet
and the ongoing Mars explorations still going on today through probes.
This little documentary backed up with kool computer created images of
the red planet kept me interested and is yet another slick extra on this
1 ˝ minutes to 3 minutes each): This extra shows us storyboards for
3 specific scenes unravelling at the same time as the scene they were
drawn for (which plays in a little box at the bottom right corner of the
screen). The three scenes are “the initial dream sequence on Mars”,
“Arnie and all being sucked in the air vent at the end with the
subsequent release of Mars air” and the “finale” where Mars has
air and Arnie and Ticotin smooch. Storyboards always fascinated me. They
are so detailed and well drawn. I would say the first scene is the more
interesting one since the storyboard is almost identical to the scene it
was drawn for. Seeing then unravel together at the same time was way
slide show of designs for the movie’s various costumes, effects, cars,
Rekall machine and Mars landscapes. The drawings are groovy but the FF
button can’t be used here so you have to watch the slide show at the
speed they chose, a bit too slow for my taste.
Photo Gallery: Miscellaneous
pictures of Arnie on set, makeup being applied to the mutants and
various special effects being tested or created. Interesting but again
the FF button didn’t work here so you have to go with their flow.
production notes mainly cover the effects and the creation of the sets.
Interesting but basic.
Theatrical Trailers and TV
spots (8 in all): We get to see all the TV spots and the “initial teaser”
that was used to promote the film. Is it me or did the TV spots give too
much away? This section is worth it just to check out the
“ambiguous” first teaser.
Cast and Crew information:
info about everybody in front and behind the camera. We get a mini-bio
for everyone plus their filmographies. My fav to read about were Arnie,
Verhoeven, Ironside and Phillip K Dick. Did you know that Michael
Ironside was nominated for a Genie Award (Canadian Oscar) for his
prestation in “Scanners”? You’ll know now and find out much more
about each respective personality.
that enough for you? To top it off, the menu animation this DVD shows off is
awesome! We travel through a corridor with scenes from the film playing on
the walls, until we get to the “hand key hole” like in the movie. The
DVD itself is packaged in a “Mars” like canister that stands on a
cardboard half box. Yes, it won't fit in your library properly but it
doesn’t belong there! This is the kind of DVD you show off on your
bookcase or something (that’s where mine is). This DVD is a major treat
for all Total Recall fans out there.
If you’re in the mood for an extremely intelligent
Sci-Fi flick that explores the theme of “identity” in full depth then
hit “Blade Runner” (another adaptation of a Phillip K. Dick story).
But if you’re craving a fast-paced, wall-to-wall action blood bath, that
showcases more smarts than the average “bang, bang” flick then implant
"Total Recall" into your mind and have a rollicking good time!
“Hope you enjoy the ride!”
At one point, Patrick Swayze was cast as Quaid and
Bruce Beresford was hired as the director. But Dino DeLaurentis (who owned
the rights at the time) lost lots of money and had to do some cuts. Total
Recall was cancelled. At another point, David Cronenberg was attached to
the project and Richard Dreyfuss was set to star.
The budget for this film was
between $55-60 million dollars.
this movie on The Arrow's HORROR BOARD
back to the Arrow in the Head Homestead...
Fallon All Rights Reserved JoBlo.com