[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10294[/img]Title: Total Recall
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine, Bill Nighy, John Cho
Directed by: Len Wiseman
Written by: Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Main Audio: English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
Studio: Total Recall, Original Film
Runtime: 130 min
Blu-ray Release Date: December 18 2012
HTS Overall Score: 92
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10298[/img]After a frustrating day at work assembling synthetic police officers Douglas Quaid (Farrell) takes the recommendation of a co-worker and visits Rekall, a high-tech lounge specializing in escapism in the form of implanting memories that the customer can later recount. The only stipulation is the requested memories of the fake life can’t already have happened; which would lead to complications and confusion within the brain. Quaid picks the tantalizing memory of being a former secret agent and sits down in the apparatus to go forth with the procedure. As he’s being hooked up, including intravenously McLane (Cho), the operator starts to run a scan for any possible memory overlaps and although Quaid swore he’s never been a secret agent, a conflict pops up and McLane quickly orders the procedure to stop; why the scan wasn’t finished before the intravenous commenced didn’t make any sense. In any case there’s a bit of chaos before a squad of armed men forcefully enter the room and kill everyone but Quaid, who using tactics apparently learned prior swiftly dispenses of them. Leaving behind a mess and scattered dead police officers Quaid rushes home and tells his wife Lori (Beckinsale) of what just transpired.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10297[/img]She accepts the story as nonsense, but then as the two are embracing she starts to choke Quaid who fights back in a confused and bewildered state. He escapes from his apartment and becomes a hunted man as the media get a hold of his picture and the police blame him as the sole killer at the Rekall lounge. Is Quaid a traitor, a simple factory worker remembering Rekall memories, an actual highly trained intelligence agent, or a little from column A and a little from column B?
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10301[/img]As the nearly nonstop action continues Quaid starts to unravel the confusing situation he’s in using a few different methods, all which result in the fact that the secret he holds is very consequential to life on planet Earth, but the secret ingrained in his brain is just boring and far from cool and epic in scope, unlike the secret Arnold Schwarzenegger had in the 1990 original. After that disappointment the movie didn’t mean all that much to me and although I wasn’t actually bored I sort of fell into an autopilot zone until the very end.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10299[/img]As for the action, it’s pretty routine yet entertaining. There’s a lot of Farrell running and jumping to ledges, falling through awnings and roofs of different sorts, and constantly dodging and evading gunshots and waves of bullets fired by his enemies who, unsurprisingly are perpetually missing. There’s a good variety of camera angles that let you experience Quaid’s numerous falls from different perspectives. Quaid should have been a cyborg considering the amount of physical pain he takes and amount of seemingly endless energy he exerts fighting off whoever intends to do him harm. Despite the wild and crazy chase scenes and ridiculous escapes by Quaid, which there are plenty of, everything is orchestrated in a pretty slick manner, especially since the environments and CGI look amazing.
The performances from the actors aren’t going to garner any Academy Award nominations, but everyone involved does the best they can with the script and dialogue. Farrell does a great job as the lead and really commits to the role. The dialogue isn’t intense or corny, but plausible and well written. Beckinsale transfers her -kicking skills from the Underworld series and I liked bits of the physical performance, but for the most part I found it rather unconvincing. Add to that she never looked frazzled. There’s a moment where she gives a determined stare into the camera following an intense physical confrontation and her hair and makeup look as if she came off a runway shoot. Bryan Cranston is just good as Chancellor Cohaagen, Jessica Biel as Melina, a girl Quaid initially sees in a dream is completely forgettable, and Woodbine playing Harry Quaid’s friend is amiable, but also replaceable.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10300[/img]The storyline starts off confusing and doesn’t throttle back too much. I think this was predetermined, as a strategy to keep the audience guessing and more importantly interested. The haziness concerning what reality Quaid is living in leaves its mark, but appreciably not in a real ambiguous way. Toward the middle and especially at the end I felt indifferent toward the entire effect of Rekall. This could be problematic for some viewers because if you don’t care in what reality Quaid is in, in turn you might not care about the actual movie.
PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity, and language.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10296[/img]From the opening credits the sub-woofer comes to life and starts to rumble shaking the entire room. It never lets up and leaves a very impactful and lasting impression. The action is quick to start with rapid gunfire giving off a pronounced heavy sound. Rain, moving vehicles and people walking through the streets are nicely dispersed throughout all the speakers. Beeps, buzzes and other future computer familiar sounds are nicely integrated. Dialogue is prioritized to sound crisp despite the sometimes chaotic setting. Directional effects are used constantly and heavy, which is a good thing because it really immerses you in the fictional world. Punches, elbows to the face and other physical acts have that distinct over the top Hollywood flavour. The last act in Total Recall is a sonic delight. Explosions and huge things crashing against each other sound magnificent. The speakers and sub-woofer go into overtime emitting louds of lows. The score gets your adrenaline pumping as it swells to match the increasing level of action. I was blown away by the sonic atmosphere created on this Blu-ray. There is never a dull sounding moment.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=10295[/img]There was no expense spared when creating the futuristic world in Total Recall. Not only are the actual physical sets complex and expansive the CGI looks beautiful, especially the aerial shots of the city in the sky. There is a level of refinement in the towering buildings and other structures that you rarely see in movie heavily laden with computer generated cityscapes. The dwellings gleam and shine and have a polished look to them with texturing plainly visible. Interior portions of the city are dazzling with lights strewn through the pathways. Detail in clothing is very high and facial features like wrinkles and five o’clock shadows look great. Indoor scenes despite lacking a lot of light look fantastic. Total Recall has a distinct color palette using a variety of grays and greens. The dystopian world is bleak and rainy with black levels and contrasts representing that. The many explosions resulting in bright billowing fireballs and other minor booms also look fantastic and real. Every time something explodes it is a visual treat. The hallmark of Total Recall are the uncompromised visuals that blend perfectly with real physical sets. If the actual movie didn’t meet your standards or you though it wasn’t really a remake per se, you’ll have to agree that this 1080p is something to marvel at. Rent the movie for the looks if nothing else.
-Audio Commentary with director Len Wiseman
-Total Recall: Insight Mode
-Previews: Seven Psychopaths, Resident Evil: Retribution, Men in Black 3, Premium Rush
-Science Fiction vs. Science Fact
-Designing the Fall
-Stepping into Recall: Pre-Visualization Sequences
-Video Game Demo: God of War: Ascension for the Playstation 3
Total Recall on a large scope is a nearly two hour long (theatrical version), two hour plus (extended version) chase scene with Farrell narrowly escaping death a handful of times. It definitely falls under the category of a fun summer popcorn film. The immense detailed world created for this movie is truly topnotch, a real pleasure to look at and that’s the movie’s hallmark. The acting and dialogue are enjoyable. My only real lasting gripe is the unimaginative (for me that is) secret Quaid has. It’s linked to another rather vanilla aspect within the entire storyline and something previously seen (Will Smith – 2004) in a science-fiction action movie.
Total Recall pays homage by re-enacting scenes from its predecessor a few times (sort of), but overall I’d say it is a standalone movie very much worth renting and watching on a large screen with the volume turned up.
Buy Total Recall on Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Buy It!
Watch the Official Trailer
Recommendation: Buy It!
Watch the Official Trailer