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Friday, 30 March 2012

Total Recall (2012)

So I guess my theme for March is complaining about movies due to come out this year, which are going to totally ruin things I previously liked. I intentionally stayed away from last year's adaptation of "The Thing" on the assumption that it would ruin both the original John Carpenter movie, as well as Warrior, because I would never be able to look at Joel Edgerton again without wanting him to die horribly for condoning (by starring in) such a remake. So, I've already complained about the cast of Les Miserables, now it's time to kick things up a notch and complain about the mere existence of a movie regardless of who is in it or who is at the helm: Why the fuck are they remaking Total Recall?

Now, the weird thing is, I'm not an overly massive fan of Total Recall. As far as Philip K. Dick adaptations go, it ranked behind both 'Blade Runner' and 'A Scanner Darkly'. As far as Schwarzenegger movies go, it wasn't close to 'Predator' or 'Terminator' - hell, it was more on a par with films like 'Commando' or 'Eraser'. And as far as Paul Verhoeven films in which Michael Ironside loses at least 2 limbs go, it was by far my least favourite.

Did you find that video I made about Prisoners rights funny, Rico? Because I'm not sure anyone got the fucking joke...

However, it was still an enjoyable 80s Sci-fi action romp, and it had a lot going for it. It had the classic Philip K. Dick mindfuck-style ending - what's real, and what isn't? (I still have trouble explaining to people that in Minority Report there's a good chance he's still in the prison having his brain pacified into thinking he solved everything so he doesn't want to escape, and I've only seen the fucking movie once). It has the political undertones which were present in Blade Runner, however they have been brought far more to the forefront, with a lot of the action revolving around the rights of the poor to have access to the most basic survival requirements without having to shell out for it (again, this ties back in with Les Miserables). Not only that, but it has Verhoeven's distinctive style, combined with classic Schwarzenegger - plus, Michael fucking Ironside is in it as the slimy bad guy! What's not to like?

Yes, I am just dumping my fap folder. You caught me.

And to top it all off - it was the very first movie I ever watched in which someone was shot through the head - and a woman at that! (I may have watched it at a sleepover sometime in the 90s without my parents knowing...) Seriously, up until I saw this film, I didn't think they were allowed to show that on film. I genuinely didn't.

It was also the first movie I watched which featured a woman with 3 boobs. Oh wait, the ONLY movie I've watched to feature that...

But watching the newly released teaser trailer for the 2012 "reboot" (why the fuck not call it a "remake"? Are they planning on making a whole series, or are people still trying to cash in on Batman Begins?), I really am not looking forward to this film. It looks as though it's going to be yet another CGI fest (something Verhoeven must have gone out of his way to avoid, making so much of the original using actual models and make-up effects - not that I mind when he goes CGI crazy, of course, Starship Troopers being my favourite of his films), this time taking the unused footage from "The Fifth Element" (great fucking movie) and muting the colours to make it seem "more dark and brooding"...

Tell me that's not the taxi chase scene from The Fifth Element. I dare you motherfucker, I double dare ya!

The "updated" vision of the future also looks far less interesting than Verhoeven's, with iRobot looking androids and Fifth-Element cars set over a Blade Runner backdrop, nothing here looks original. It looks as though they've just taken things they liked from decent sci-fi movies (implying iRobot is good) and tried to cram them all in, in the hopes they fit together nicely. Hell, I can even see a bit of "The One" in the gun we see Colin Farrell holding in the trailer (though the one in the poster is a little more Robocop, I'll give them that).

Unbelievably, whilst looking for an image of Robocop to add here, I stumbled across the fact they're remaking THAT film as well. un-fucking-believable.

And you know what? I know I said I wasn't gonna make this about the cast, but really? Colin Farrell in Arnold's place? That's gonna require the entire story be changed to fit around him, because there's no way he can fill Arnold's shoes. He may be a better actor on a technical level, but in a shoot-em up sci-fi action romp like this, we want our heroes to be the Arnold type character. We need Quaid to appear sympathetic towards the plight of the people struggling to live on Mars under the cruel dictatorship to the extent we can believe he would help the rebellion, true. But at the same time, we also need a guy who's happy to start a firefight on an escalator with 15 people between him and the guy he's shooting at. And you know what the absolute most ridiculous thing about this is? They considered offering the role to Tom Hardy, but cast Colin Farrell instead - because clearly Farrell will be better at taking over a Schwarzenegger role than Tom Hardy would have been.

luckily he's a bit more built now, and come out of his Michael Jackson phase...

And speaking of stuggling to fill another actor's shoes, I notice that no-one is yet credited on the IMDB page as playing Richter, which leads me to assume the part will either not exist, or will be played by the only actor to appear on the cast list who doesn't already have a designated character, Ethan Hawke:

Now don't get me wrong, even though he's a pretty boy, I accept Ethan Hawke can act. But to replace Michael Ironside? Unthinkable! Hell, since I've already used the "stepping into his shoes" analogy, I might as well wrap this up with a lame pun and say the only occasion when Ethan Hawke could possibly fill Michael Ironside's shoes is in this scene:

See, it's funny because he doesn't have legs...

As far as casting goes, I think Kate Beckinsale as Lori (Sharon Stone) is the only really interesting choice, and even then I note that the director of this new adaptation is HER FUCKING HUSBAND, which could explain why she got the part. Still, some of the other characters might yet come off, such as Bill Nighy as Kuato (same sort of territory here as we had with Baron Cohen in Les Mis, could be brilliant, could be terrible), and although I would rather see her as the three breasted woman, I suppose I can't knock Jessica Biel as Melina, since I did give the last Philip K. Dick adaptation she was in 3 stars based solely on the fact that I think she's hot.

I mean, seriously, this girl is retardedly hot, and not just because she's been photoshopped to fuck in this picture. Well, ok, maybe that is the reason. But still, it's hot, right?

The fact that the poster itself actually says "what is real?" as the tag line also really bothers me, because although that is the main theme of the film (Quaid trying to find out if he is actually Quaid, or is in fact Hauser), I preferred having this sneak up on me so you don't get the real revelation until he's sitting in the chair watching a recorded message of himself revealing the plan. Plus, it kind of hints at the twist ending as well, which you don't really want on the poster. Now, granted, it's still a step up from the tagline "Titans will Clash" on the "Clash of the Titans" poster, but what was wrong with the original tagline "Get Ready for the Ride of your Life?". Or, as an in-joke, why not put the tagline on the poster as "I'll see you at the party"?

And another thing. Here's the synopsis, straight from the IMDB page (look it up if you don't believe me): As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Farrell) begins to suspect that he's a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he's on.

>New Shanghai

For fuck's sake - why the fuck isn't it set on Mars? Enough with this corporations as states shit already. 1984 was enough, and Mutant Chronicles was certainly enough...

So to sum up, I don't know what they're thinking with this remake, and I'm starting to get really worried about what other films they're going to be ruining this year. I also notice that they've got no further with the Splinter Cell film which was announced over a year ago - but then again having seen what they've done to this film, I'm terrified as fuck they'd cast John Cena as Sam Fisher and Mos Def as Lambert....


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