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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 11 August 2008
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.
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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

SYNOPSIS

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.

DVD DETAILS

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
Extras: 5/5
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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
MPEG-2 BD-25
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)
VC-1 HD-30
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
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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!!
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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!
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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.
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on 22 January 2016
Arnold Schwarzenegger is Douglas Quaid, a lowly construction worker who's nightly dreams are filled of Mars and a mysterious woman, much to his wife's annoyance. After seeing an advert on his journey to work for fake memories of outer space trips by ReKall Inc he decide to embrace his fragmented dreams with a full memory. However when the implant goes wrong a darker secret from Quaid's mind is released causing a chain reaction of events that leaves Quaid questioning what are dreams and reality...

Bought to replace the early 2000's bluray release which unfortunately had a hit and miss playback history on PS3 systems. This new edition is a worthy reason to upgrade, crystal clear picture and audio range, good colouring which can be noticed most in the Mars scenes compared to the previous releases. Not many new features from the older release but contains a few.
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on 22 July 2015
Very funny, and even though dated still sophisticated. Never understood how Schwarzenegger got the star posting, with his accent a friction to the American manner of speech, but he tried very hard and did very well. If you want to know why I bought it, and why I gave it a four star, see the succeeding Total Recall, which was truly awful, even though it had a bigger budget and more sophisticated sci fi background. The main difference was in the comic element. Schwarzenegger's Total Recall had just the right amount of comical element, while the next one was trying too little and failed as a sic fi and a comical sci fi.
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on 3 May 2014
From the time when Arnold Schwarzenegger was a king of the movie world.

There is a sense of black humour that the remake cannot match. Schwarzenegger is on top form in a film that is both a action film and a film that makes you think. (Behind the gunfire and the explosions there is a question about the nature of reality, which was famously explored ten years later in the matrix).

I must have seen this film dozens of times now, but still enjoy it every time.
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Arnie is Doug Quaid, a simple construction worker who is bored with his uneventful life and wishes to be more and to do something meaningful. He's fascinated with going to Mars and meeting the mysterious woman of his dreams (that would be Melina) despite the civil war brewing withing the colonies. His wife Lori (Sharon Stone, looking gorgeous) is appalled with all things Martian and quickly nixes that idea. The only way Quaid is going to come close to the red planet is if he takes a Rekall vacation, a company that literally offers you a 'dream' vacation memory implant. Quaid wishes to go as a secret agent and all seems well until they send him to sleep.

As soon as he's unconscious Quaid seems to wake up in a rage, claiming his name is not Quaid but Hauser. And it's not just the dream going wrong since the Rekall technicians have not even implanted the dream yet. Blacking out again and waking up in a cab, Quaid has totally no recollection of anything that has happened and is confused to find his life turned upside down. His wife and colleagues are trying to kill him, dozens of armed henchmen are after him, he seems to have acquired lethal killing skills from nowhere and he apparently has some unfinished business back on Mars, despite the fact that he's never been there. Or has he?

Once on Mars for real (or is it?) he finds himself involved with the beautiful Melina (Rachel Ticotin, even prettier than Sharon Stone), the underground resistance and battling their arch-nemesis Vilos Cohaagen, a bureaucrat who has the entire planet under his control. It seems that Hauser was Cohaagen's right hand man and left clues for the fabricated Quaid persona to topple Cohaagen's regime.

Total Recall is certainly one of Arnie's and Verhoeven's most imaginative and creative movies. The Mars town of Venusville is basically Amsterdam's Red Light District with booze, drugs and sex everywhere, the violence is so ridiculously over-the-top that one cannot help but laugh at it (despite a lot of the gorier bits being censored by the evil MPAA), the vision of the future is incongruously bleak but colorful and fanciful yet primitive. The contrasts between Earth and Mars are similar to Western and Third World comparisons.

The visual effects, if slightly dated, are simply amazing. Jerry Goldsmith's awesome score is, at once, atmospheric and action-packed. The set-pieces, especially Quaid's vision of the alien furnaces, are just ludicrously entertaining and the 'is it a dream or is it real' premise puts such a wonderfully surreal twist on the whole thing. Sci-Fi has never been so outrageous. What do you expect with mad genius Dutchman directing? And I do believe that it IS real.

The Blu-ray looks absolutely gorgeous in 1.85:1 1080p and has brilliant DTS HD-MA sound. There are lots of extras included.
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