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!