Total Recall Extended Director's Cut [Blu-ray]
I would consider the original Total Recall as one of my top five favorite films of all time. I gave the movie five stars. You can even read about it, if you have the time. So, you already know the original film is very close to my heart. And, as with most films that are close to my heart, it was of course redone into a super glossy, vapid remake.
Just how super glossy and vapid is it? Well, pretty much as super glossy and as vapid as you could get. Where the original was the thinking manís sci-fi film (yes, even with Arnold Schwarzenegger), this is science fiction for dummies. It stinks, and worse, itís a colossal waste of time. The original is just so much better--dated special effects and all.
The biggest problem with this film is that itís all action and no thought, and the action isnít even that enjoyable. When this remake came out earlier this year, a lot of people noted that it was like a video game. But you know what? I love video games, and many of the video games of today can be very thoughtful and introspective (just play Journey if you donít believe me). In reality, this movie is actually an insult to modern-day gaming. If anything, itís like video games from the early 90s, which feature a lot of bang bang and who gives a shit? Whereas the original film was ambiguous and made audiences really question whether scenes were reality or recall, this movie isnít smart enough to be ambiguous, making pretty obvious which is which. Iím not going to spoil the film for you, but by the end of the movie, you just might find yourself shaking your head. Itís all so contrived that it makes me sick.
But I digress. For those who havenít seen the original, the story in this one is about a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) who isnít pleased with life, even with a smoking hot wife (Kate Beckinsale). So he visits Rekall, a company where your dreams can become reality through implanted memories. But something goes terribly wrong, and Quaid becomes hunted because of something unlocked in his brain during the procedure. Plotwise, itís very similar to the original.
Despite the similarities, this movie takes place on Earth instead of Mars. But it doesnít really make any difference, since Earth is such a fantasy world in this film that it might as well take place on Mars. I mean, really, what was the point of keeping the film on Earth? The only reason I could think of that the filmmaker made the decision is because he wanted to separate this film from the original. But there are so many homages to the original that you kind of wonder if director Len Wiseman got confused along the way. It doesnít make any sense. Is this a remake or a reimagining? Either way it sucks.
The biggest offense, though, is that thereís no charm to this film whatsoever. There are no cheesy (but endearing) one-liners. None of the characters have any personality, not even the wonderful, Bryan Cranston. And the chemistry between Farrell and Jessica Biel's characters is as about as plastic as the box this disc comes in. The whole production is just blah, and I really can't recommend this film to anybody.
Ok, so as you can tell, I hated the film. But Iíll try to be as objective as possible on these special features, since there are quite a bit of them. First, letís look at the extended directorís cut of the film. Itís weak. All the added stuff is so miniscule that you wonít even notice it unless youíre listening to the audio commentary. Itís useless. And speaking of useless, the commentary is terrible, too. The director, Len Wiseman, seriously doesnít think much of his audience, as he constantly talks about whether the audience will be confused by the plot. He seriously thinks weíre dumbasses. Hello, most of us saw the original. If we understood that one, weíll understand this one. Stop belittling us.
ďTotal Recall with InsightĒ is your typical, behind-the-scenes look at how key scenes were shot. It features everything from discussions on action scenes and shots of the orchestra playing the score, all while the movie is playing. ItísÖjust whatever. ďScience Fiction vs. Science FactĒ features a guy who goes on a tangent about nonsense, and itís all drawn-out and ridiculous. He sounds like I used to sound when Iíd bullshit in my college papers. Itís laughable.
You know whatís not funny, though? The gag reel. Itís boring. ďDesigning the FallĒ features a discussion on the creation of the CG heavy world in this movie, and itís uninteresting, to say the least. ďTotal ActionĒ features actors and the production team talking about the lackluster fight scenes. And ďStepping into Recall-Pre-Visualization sequenceĒ shows key action scenes in their early phase when they were still just pre-rendered models. It practically put me to sleep.
In fact, the only moderately good special feature on here is the early demo of the upcoming Playstation 3 game, God of War: Ascension. Itís pretty much just a playable version of the trailer we gamers have already seen. Itís fine and all, but itís also unimpressive. I mean, itís God of War, which is getting tired, just like this Blu-Ray itself.
Reviewed By: Rich Knight