on 12 September 2014
I remember going to see this at the pictures on its original release and was firstly blown away by the title sequence and music.The film itself was a perfect vehicle for Arnie, who at that time was the biggest star on the planet( Earth, not Mars),and he was riding a wave of great films, Commando, Predator etc.
Recall is just one big thrill ride of a sci fi movie, based on the short story by Philip K Dick, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale although truth be told, nothing like the short story, which you SHOULD read.
Recall had some of the latest technology available at hand, which with what can be done today looks dated.For me, that is its charm.Recall is still quite violent in parts, but never lags in pace from the get go.The remake with Colin Farell is a shadow of this classic.The blu ray is nice and sharp and certainly an improvement over the dvd.
So if you love sci fi, action, violence and Arnie , then this is for you . Obviously Arnie has a great fondness for this movie as he named his biography Recall, although that was probably a marketing ploy.Talk about schizoid embolisms!!Sheesh!!
on 10 November 2014
REVIEWED VERSION: 2005 Momentum Pictures 2 Disc Special Edition UK DVD
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside, Ronny Cox, Sharon Stone
Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) buys a 2 week virtual vacation from Rekall Inc., which is basically an implanted memory. He books the additional "ego trip" package, which gives him the identity of a secret agent.
Something goes horribly wrong though. When he snaps out of the "dream" the Rekall Inc. employees dump him in a cab. Then the real fun starts as everybody he knows (and some folks he doesn't) is trying to kill him.
THE PROS & CONS
Loosely based on Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", this 1990 production is a really good action/sci-fi movie directed by Paul Verhoeven.
The story is brilliant and quite intelligent (far above your average action flick), a secret agent/sci-fi story full of plot twists and surprises with lots of action. It plays with reality in a brilliant way, rather than a cheap way. More than once one asks the question, is this fake or reality.
Decent Schwarzenegger acting here, his typical one-liners are present as are his butt-kickings. He still is a larger-than-life action hero here. Baddies Cohaagen (Ronny Cox) and Richter (Michael Ironside) deliver GREAT performances as usual. Never a dull moment when Ironside's on screen. Sharon Stone has a minor role looking purdy and kicking some butt. Rachel Ticotin is fine as Schwarzenegger's ally, nothing special, though.
Director Verhoeven's unique talent and style are very present in Total Recall as well, the ultra violence and gore, the satirical humor, relentless and hard action scenes - it's a fast-paced, bloody rollercoaster ride, and a bloody good one at that.
The great and unusual score by Jerry Goldsmith matches the film's mood and theme perfectly.
I did enjoy the setting, a real treat for sci-fi fans here, especially the scenes on Mars,
As with most of Verhoeven's movies, this one had to be cut to achieve the R-rating from the MPAA, the uncut version remains unavailable. The R rated version is still quite violent though.
Avoid the crappy remake at all costs, though.
Feature running time: 108:36 mins. (MPAA cuts)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 15 (BBFC) (rerated in 2012)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 / 16:9
Audio: English 5.1, German 5.1, Spanish 2.0
Subtitles: English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
Extras: 2 Audio Commentaries, Making of Featurette (8:03), Imagining Total Recall Documentary (30:13), Visions of Mars Featurette (5:27), The World of Science Fiction Literature Featurette (9:09), Virtual Vacations: Dunes Of Mars (2:10), Mountain Expedition On Planet Lumina 3 (2:08), Earth Beach (2:11),
Storyboards to Film comparisons: Dream of Mars (1:24), Climax Part 1 (3:03), Climax Part 2 (2:37), Photo Gallery (25 images), Conceptual Art (20 images), Theatrical Trailer (2:03), Teaser Trailer (1:00), 6 TV Spots (3:10)
Region: 2 / PAL
Picture quality: 3/5
Audio quality: 3/5
I see this product has one review by a sadly misguided soul who thinks this is a bad grainy transfer. First of all, this is the same transfer as the excellent HD DVD version, also the pitch problem has been fixed too. I had owned the US artisan release on Blu-ray prior to this and this is a big improvement on that transfer. The disc is coded region A,B. The sound is 5.1 DTS HD master audio. Due to the lack of any extras it misses the final star for my review. However, in terms of image and sound quality, This is the best version available of this cracking film.
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.
Ah, the perils of reviewing a film on Amazon, with their ever-unhelpful tendency to lump reviews for all different editions and formats of a title together so that the poor reader doesn't know which version he's reading about. This review primarily refers to the US NTSC special edition DVD, but includes details on some of the other editions as well.
Future construction worker Doug Quaid, troubled by dreams of Mars, goes to Recall Inc. ('First class memories guaranteed') to have the memory of a Martian holiday implanted, only to find that he's been there already and that his wife and best friends are now desperate to kill him. Is he who he thinks he is, is he a Martian rebel, a government agent or is it all part of a malfunctioning Recall 'ego trip'?
This is the genuine article, and the one cult sci-fi writer Philip K.Dick's fans had been waiting for. A world away from Blade Runner, and just as far removed from the short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale it is nominally based on, it is actually far closer to his novel The Man Who Japed at times. This nonetheless cinematically mirrors the author's style and obsessions - psychic mutants, discompassionate capitalism and different planes of mental and physical existence plus some real stick-in-your-mind weird dialogue ("Look out, he's got a hologram!").
Verhoeven's preoccupations complement the novelist's perfectly, allowing him to explore his favourite theme of duality, most overt in the brainwashed Schwarzenegger's conversations with his former self and the deployment of a holographic mirror image to fool the villains, without ever tipping the balance away from entertainment. As with all his American films, he prefers to make his points through the narrative rather than subjugating the narrative to them.
Toning down his love of violence but not his maniacal black humour, he keeps us guessing with a compelling plot that shows the movie's brains while giving Schwartz plenty of opportunities to show us the extras' brains too, proving that such a thing as an intelligent, edge-of-seat action movie can exist and prosper.
Ironside and Stone offer terrific support, and if the model shots are decidely iffy, the film's intoxicating blend of raw action, satire (the villain sells air!) and alternative realities make it the most impressive sci-fi ride in years. As Arnie says, this is the best mind**** yet.
The multiple releases of the film on multiple formats in multiple territories make it hard to find a definitive version. Best of the DVD releases so far are the US NTSC special edition from Artisan that comes badly packaged in what looks like a tin of shoe polish and includes an audio commentary by Paul Verhoeven and Arnold Schwarzenegger (for which Arnie was controversially paid a huge amount of money that his comments never justify), 30-minute documentary Imagining Total Recall, featurette Visions of Mars, 3 storyboard comparisons, stills gallery and concept art gallery, 3 Rekall vacation backgrounds, production notes and filmographies, 6 TV spots and teaser trailer and full theatrical trailer. The UK 2-disc special edition from Momentum offers all those and an additional commentary with cinematographer Jost Vacano and Marko Kregel that's in German but has English subtitles, as well as two additional featurettes.
Blu-ray buyers have thus far not been treated so well, with movie-only versions in the UK and only a brief featurette on the US disc, though Optimum's new 'Ultimate Rekall' edition corrects that somewhat: only the Imagining Total Recall featurette and trailer have been carried over, but it does promise a new interview with Paul Verhoeven, special effects featurette, stills gallery and a trailer for the not-very-impressive-looking 2012 remake.
The adventure into older films on Blu Ray isn't always the greatest of experience. On occasion the transfers are not of the greatest quality and the feeling that you have been taken for a chump whilst watching what appears to be grainy and unloved.
Im happy to say this is not true of Total Recall. The picture for the vast majority of the film is crystal clear and pleasing to the eye. There are odd scenes with a grainy feel but these are few and far between and on the whole this version excellent.
Ironically for me the transfer to high definition creates its own foyalbles most noticeably for me in this film with the green screen scenes. The HD format at times stops the green screen blending into the background as much as it did on the DVD format due to the clarity and some of the special effects being done in a non CGI way loose a little magic. Having said special effects do tend to date a film along with hairstyles and clothes. You only have to think back to the film Jaws to realise that the shark eating the back of the boat doesn't look as impressive as it did back in the day :)
The film quality on this blu ray movie gets a 4/5 from me the audio scores the same. There is a distinct lack of features on the disc, in fact there aren't really any, but maybe hardcore fans may hope for a 20th anniversary edition this year if they choose to do one. For me this version is great and the price is very nice too
on 19 August 2008
Version: U.K / Optimum
VC-1 BD-50 / Region A & B / 1080p / 23.976fps / 16:9 / Advanced Profile 3
Running time: 1:53:33
Movie size: 27,470,180,352 bytes
Disc size: 27,855,845,274 bytes
Average video bit rate: 19.95 Mbps
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 2121Kbps (48kHz/16-bit) English
DTS-HD HR Audio 5.1 2046 kbps (48kHz/16-bit) French / German / Portuguese
DTS 2.0 1536 kbps (48kHz/16-bit) Spanish
Subtitles: English / Danish / Dutch / Finnish / German / Norwegian / French / Portuguese / Spanish
Number of chapters: 16
No pitch issues.
Version: U.S.A / Lionsgate
Running time: 1:53:20
Movie size: 23,919,777,792 bytes
Disc size: 24,975,593,362 bytes
Average video bit rate: 22.82 Mbps
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio 6.1 3039Kbps English
DD AC3 5.1-EX 640Kbps
Version: Studio Canal HD DVD (E.U)
Running time: 1:53:27
Movie size: 21,281,163,264 bytes
Disc size: 22,085,368,978 bytes
Average video bit rate: 20.47 Mbps
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
on 19 July 2012
Finally a worthy Blu-ray transfer for the excellent film, Total Recall. Previously the US (import) edition had less noise reduction but muted colours; the UK edition had stronger colours and sharper contrast, but heavy-handed noise reduction that resulted in 'smearing' in various places - particularly in the outdoor Mars scenes towards the end of the film. By and large this transfer bests the best of both these previous transfers. On no-FX scenes the picture is very sharp, retains grain, and has nice colour. Some problematic softness and slight trails persist on FX shots where layers have been used in the original. However they come across nowhere near as bad as the previous UK release. It seems they trace back to the original processes and may be impossible to fix - without completely recreating them (like was done for the original Star Trek TV series).
The sound is good, with clear dialogue and strong presence during action scenes - although the mix, by today's standards, is rather sparse in places so the action moments can rather blast out here and there.
If you are buying this on the strength of the commentary with Verhoven and Schwarzenegger, think twice! I've only listened to a portion of it so far, but insightful it isn't! For the most part, it's Verhoven and Schwarzenegger telling you what's happening on the screen (e.g. Arnie, 'this is where I'm taking the bug out of my nose'). Still given Arnie's character it's amusing enough - in a rather surreal way - and there's some filming info throughout about how the film was actually made. The 'making of' seems reasonable, and looks like it was made around 1990. It has interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and so on. There's also a newer interview with the Director and various other bits and pieces.
Be cautious if you are looking forward to the Digital Copy. I was - assuming it was going to be a standard iTunes affair. It's not. You have to (a) visit a website, (b) register (two screens not one), (c) download an installer programme, (d) find it won't install (on a Mac), (e) look at the leaflet to work out what else you can do, (f) try to get 'Flux Player' from the Mac App store, (g) find there's nothing there called 'Flux Player' then realise they meant the iTunes app store... (h) realise you probably have to go through the process on an iPad... etc. etc. etc. etc.
Update 1: Finally got the download going without an iPad as the installer package works so long as I have iTunes open in the background. The file is 1.4 GB! Joy! Judging by the reviews of the 'Flux Player' App though, my troubles may not be over yet. People have had difficulties transferring the file between devices, we'll see... Why so complicated? What was wrong with the digital copy being on a DVD in the package, entering a code, then it transfers to your computer? Useless... Update 2: Gosh. Wish I'd read the other review about Flux Player Digital Copy woes. Similarly I've got the Digital Copy locked on my Mac and am unable to transfer it to anything else to view it! GARBAGE!!! Why they would have a system like this is beyond me. Given it's a Triple Play, surely if I only wanted to view it on my Mac I'd watch the DVD, no???
Still, overall a worthwhile purchase on the strength of the picture, sound and extras - and, hopefully, if you can eventually get at the Digital Copy you're also paying for!
on 26 April 2013
now, if i was having a trip to Mars, with super-spy save-the-planet shenanigans implanted directly into my brain and i didn't get to not only see Sharon Stone's norks but play with them as well i would be very unhappy and demand my credits back. thats the only reason this brilliant Arnie film doesn't get 6 stars. it does have, however, 3 mutant boobages "baby, you make me wish i had 3 hands!!!" i saw this film 8 times at the cinema when it first came out because me and the lads used to get hammered and go every week and the alternatives at the time were "Another 48 Hours" or something equally awful. we loved it every time. and even today it has a lovingly gratuitous, garish idiocy to it. don't watch the re-make it is so bad it makes me angry.
on 13 February 2014
Some interesting special effects were tried out here, in order to gross people out, no doubt. The story is good enough and played well enough, though at some spots you just can imagine the director say: Don't move until the camera's are rolling! Lots of blood, bedroom scenes and athletic action.Those who enjoy this mix of attributes will greatly enjoy it. All in all, it is ok.