Total Recall (2012): Review

Total Recall
Production year: 2012
Country: USA
Director: Len Wiseman
Cast:  Colin Farrel, Kate Beckinsale,
Jessica  Biel

Plot: A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall – a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led – goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.

Review:
This film was released elsewhere before it hit UK cinemas, so there was already quite a few people who have voiced their view of Wiseman’s remake of the 1990 Arnie flick of the same name. Many have slammed this film and why do you think that is? because its a remake of course. Now, I’m not a fan of remakes, especially if the original was up to scratch in the first place. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the latest incarnation of ‘Total Recall’, that’s not me supporting the fact it is a remake and of course this film has it’s flaws,  but it is a decent film which is definitely worth a watch.

Now, in some cases of franchises/films being remade or rebooted the studio can become super lazy and make an exact copy of the original with added CGI. People have been calling this film ‘Total Ripoff’, many of these people have not actually seen this film and have come to this conclusion by watching the trailer alone. Sure, the general idea of the story is the same and the characters are the same, but for me, this is where the similarities end.

For a start the film does not involve Quaid (Colin Farrell) going to Mars, instead the film takes place on Earth. The locations used are the last two inhabitable places on Earth, The United Federation of Britain (UFB) and The Colony (Formerly Australia). Quaid lives in  The Colony and travels to the UFB where he works in a factory building robots. He travels to the UFB via The Fall, which is a pod that makes it’s way through the Earths core from the Colony in seventeen minutes. This seems like a very interesting mode of transport which plays with gravity as it travels through the Earth’s core, parts of which are reminiscent of ‘Inception’. However the thing that does not make sense is how, later on in the film, Quiad and Melina are able to fight with the enemy as if they are travelling on a number 7 bus.

Total Recall poser

As a fan of the original i was pleased to see that Wiseman had included a few subtle nods to the original film. These act as a homage to the 1990 film and are easter-eggs for fanboys of Verhoeven’s ‘Total Recall’. These included the mutant with three breasts (although she was an inhabitant of Mars so I am not completely sure how she fits in this re-imagined universe) and there was also the old lady bomb who Arnie used as a disguise to get through  border control on Mars. However this time the woman was not a bomb or a disguise either, but fans of the original would instantly recognise this scene.

Visually ‘Total Recall’ is out of this world, obviously CGI and effects in general have come on leaps and bounds since the original film twenty-two years ago and the film has definitely benefited from this. The United Federation of Britain is a feast for the eyes, you really want to be part of the film, and become an inhabitant of this futuristic landscape and take a look around. However, sadly you do not get the opportunity to do this, not only this but I cannot help but feel that the CGI graphics take over in this film. By this I mean I feel like the CGI takes away from the ‘Total Recall’ storyline, I just feel as if Wiseman took a little more effort improving the story and not on improving graphics, the film would be even better than it already is. I suppose if you look at the films that have become blockbusting hits over the past decade it is clear that most audiences nowadays go to be wowed visually than having to actually watch a story pan out and to totally understand what is going on on the screen.

Which brings me to another negative for this remake of ‘Total Recall’. The original was all about feeling and understanding how Douglas Quaid felt. Neither the audience, nor Quaid himself knew if he was dreaming or not. Sadly, I felt like this element of the film was removed in the remake. There is no real twist and basically every intricate element of the ‘dream’ world is spoon-fed to the audience. Why bother asking ‘What is real?’ if you are going to tell us anyway, for me this was a major letdown for Total Recall.

I am not taking anything away from the new look ‘Total Recall’ storyline that Wiseman and Co. have delivered to us. It is an interesting change to the story and like previously mentioned it is nice to see that a remake has not literally been a complete play-by-play of the original. Whilst it was nice to see a different vision of the story I still felt like it was not strong enough as the original, do not get me wrong, it had the potential to be, it just failed to deliver.

The cast is not fantastic and in many ways easily forgettable. I have never rated Collin Farrel as an actor but to be fair he impressed me. Like I say this may be just because the rest of the cast were so lacking. I felt that perhaps it was not the cast that let the film down but the script itself. I think Wiseman tries to take your attention away from this with the over the top use of CGI in the film. Sadly the film felt like one big game of cat and mouse, if the film was not just one big chase scene (which it is), then maybe the cast and the storyline could have been used to their full potential.

If this was a standalone, original film I would be quite impressed with it. However, to me the original will always be better, I know when reviewing this film I should not be comparing it to the original but it is near impossible. The script let the cast down, whilst I was slightly impressed by Colin Farrell’s performance I feel that perhaps if the studio toned down the CGI and spent more money improving the script, then the film would improve greatly overall. Although I may have moaned quite a bit during this review I still enjoyed watching this film. It is definitely worth going to watch but please check-out the original if you already haven’t. My only fear is that the majority of people nowadays are used to slick, glossy, CGI-filled films and will not appreciate the original enough.

Not far off the original – Not a ‘Total Reboot’ either –  visually fantastic but sadly lacking in substance – 6.5/10

Catch The Cut’s review for the 1990 original here.

Total Recall (2012) is in cinemas now : watch the trailer below – 

Batman reboot and the Justice League film: My thoughts

Here are my thoughts on the recent rumours that the ‘Batman’ franchise will not get a reboot until after the ‘Justice League’ film.

I am sure most people probably hold a similar opinion to me in that I believe the previously completed ‘Batman’ trilogy was quite possibly the best series of ‘Batman’ films to date. You know what they say, if it’s not broken don’t fix it. I am aware that Nolan’s ‘Batman’ franchise completed Bruce’s story, and I am not entirely sure how you could continue from there, but i would prefer to see the ‘Batman’ franchise continue from Nolan’s series. Sure, it could continue with Joseph Goron-Levitt’s ‘Robin/Blake’ (which would be pretty amazing), I just do not think it will be the same.

Whilst Marvel’s characters such as ‘Ironman’ and ‘Captain America’ have had decent solo outings and them being in ‘The Avengers’ film has quite possibly amplified this, I do not believe  a group film such as ‘Justice League’ will have the same benefits for the ‘Batman’ universe.

As previously mentioned in the post about the rumoured reboot, if the ‘Batman’ franchise is rebooted after the JL film, this would no doubt mean the director/writer of the next instalment would be tied down to strict story-lines laid out by Warner. I am on the fence with this one, this could go either way. It could mean story-lines true to the comic book or something terrible. However, I just fear that the creative freedom that directors/writers such as Christopher Nolan has had would be completely removed and I cannot see the plus side from this.

If the reboot of ‘Batman’ was to be completely separate from the JL universe then I would be a little more pleased. Unless of course the JL incarnation of ‘Batman’ was out of this world.  At this moment in time however, I would prefer that ‘Batman’ was left alone and not rebooted at all, but sadly I seriously doubt this would ever happen.

In my opinion Batman is enough of an established character that he does not need a group of heroes beside him. Lets be honest, in film him being paired with Robin has never really worked. I know it would not be the Justice League without Batman, but I for one, would not be fussed at all if Batman did not feature, let Superman take all the glory!

Before Nolan’s series of ‘Batman’ films were completed I was really looking forward to a JL film. However, at this moment in time I am not all that excited about it at all. Perhaps when things start to take shape and more information is released about the film my excitement will rise. Until that point though I think I will just sit back and wait to see how this all unfolds.

What are your thoughts on the Justice League film/Batman reboot?

Metal Gear Solid to get film adaption

Solid SnakeAvi Arad, who has worked as producer on the ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy, ‘X-Men’ and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ (to name a few) has announced that ‘Metal Gear Solid’ will finally become a motion-picture.

Although it was previously announced by ‘Metal Gear’ designer Hideo Kojima, that the series was not quite ready to make the step onto the big screen, it now appears that the time is right. Arad broke the news as a special guest at the Metal Gear Solid 25th Anniversary event in Japan.

I’ve personally been wishing for this to happen since I first played ‘Metal Gear Solid’, the stories are so rich with well thought-out plots and characters, I fail to see how this franchise could go the same way as other game franchises that have been turned into films such as ‘Mario Bros’, ‘Street Fighter’ and ‘Hitman’.

To me, the game has never been just that, it has always been an interactive movie or a playable movie, this for me is another reason why I have loved the franchise so much. But of course with something that is so perfect in one platform there is always the worry that Sony Pictures could completely ruin a well established and very successful title.

If Sony are to do ‘Metal Gear Solid’ justice they really need to pull out all the stops with getting a director and a fantastic cast to really get the world of Solid Snake, Big Boss, Liquid Snake and Ocelot come to life.

As this news has only recently broke, there is no information as to a storyline that will be used or who will star as the main protagonist of the series, Solid Snake. Depending on when the film would go into production I am guessing someone such as Christian Bale or the likes of Tom Hardy, Chris Hemsworth etc would be suitable (for me, Bale would be perfect).

Are there any game franchises you would like to see hit the big screen, are you as excited as I am about seeing Solid Snake finally hit Hollywood? – Comment below

Source: CVG UK.

Justice League due 2015 – Batman reboot to follow

BatmanOriginally it was believed that ‘Batman’ would be rebooted in time for a ‘Justice League’ movie, however it is now rumoured that a reboot will start filming after the ‘Justice League’ movie is released.

‘Batman’ has normally stood alone in terms of the DC movie universe, but the fact that the franchise will not be rebooted until after the JL film suggests that The Dark Knight will finally take place in the same universe as the likes of Superman.

If these rumours are true it would mean whoever is to write and/or direct the next series of Batman films will not have the same amount of creative freedom as previous directors/writers, most notably Christopher Nolan.

Will Beall is currently writing the ‘Justice League’ film which is believed to include DC heroes such as The Flash, Batman, Wonder-Woman, Superman and The Green Lantern.’Man of Steel’ is DC’s next blockbuster to hit our screens in 2013, it is not known if Henry Cavill will reprise his role as Clark/Superman in the JL film.

A release date of 2015 is believed to be accurate and for DC this would mean going up against Marvel’s ‘The Avengers 2’. It looks like 2015 will be a fantastic year for super hero movies, personally I cannot wait to see who will come up on top.

Source: BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM 

CONFIRMED – Whedon to write and direct live-action series based on ‘The Avengers’

Joss Whedon The rumoured live-action television series based on ‘The Avengers’ is looking to take more shape with news that Joss Whedon will write the series and direct the pilot. However, it is less based on ‘The Avengers’ and more based within ‘The Avengers’ universe.

The Marvel/Disney series, which will be shown on ABC, will be based on S.H.I.E.LD and therefore will more than likely have the same name or at least have S.H.I.E.L.D in the title.  Production on the project, which will be written by Whedon, his brother Jed and Jed’s wife Maurissa Tancharoen, will begin immediately.

We still do not know who will star in the live-action series, the fact that it will be based on S.H.I.E.L.D tells me that it is unlikely that any of the Avengers will make an appearance. Whether or not Samuel L. Jackson or Cobie Smulders will reprise their roles is unknown. Personally I think it is more likely that Cobie Smulders would, but this of course would mean that her stint as Robin in ‘How I Met Your Mother’ would have to end.

I think I’m on the fence with this, it will either be fantastic or a mediocre series. What I’m trying to say is I do not think it will be a flop, there is clearly an audience out for this but Marvel may be going a bit overkill with the whole ‘Avengers’ thing.

There is no doubt that Whedon has the ability to write and direct on the small screen (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly), I just think that who stars in the project will make a huge difference.

This is exciting news no doubt, but what do you think now that the S.H.I.E.LD live-action television series has been confirmed?

Source: Deadline.

To see an alternate opening for ‘The Avengers’, have a look at The Cut’s post here.

Marvel ‘The Avengers’ alternate opening scene released.

This is just one of the many deleted scenes that will be included in the DVD and Blu-ray copies of the Marvel epic, due to hit stores September 17, 2012.

The alternate opening shows New York after the events of the film, this of course meaning that if this version was to be used ‘The Avengers’ would have been an entire flashback. From the war zone of New York the clip then cuts to S.H.I.E.L.D HQ, where agent Maria Hill is being interviewed about the death toll. We then find out how she feels about Nick Fury, which gives us more of an insight into the friction that occurs between the two in the film.

Personally i prefer the original opening scene to the film, I’m not entirely fussed about finding out why Agent Hill and Nick Fury do not get on and feel that this could have been explained more during the film itself. Whilst there is not really anything wrong with the film opening this way, I’m glad Joss Whedon decided not to use this opening.

Watch the alternate opening below and tell us what you think.

The Avengers is due for release on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK September 17, 2012.

Source: MarvelUK Youtube

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ sequel will not be released in 2013

TGWADT

The sequel to the American remake of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ will not make the planned release date of 2013. This is because Steven Zaillian, the writer of the first screenplay, is still working on the script.

Not only that, but there is still no director for the second instalment, although it is believed that David Fincher, who directed the ‘The Dragon Tattoo’, is heavily linked with the sequel.

One thing we do know is that ‘James Bond’ star, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara will reprise their roles. Both stars have been signed on for all three of movies in the ‘Millennium Trilogy’.

Although a date has not been set for the release of ‘The Girl Who Played with Fire’, progress for the film adaption of the Stieg Larsson’s novel is said to be moving forward.

The original Swedish ‘Millennium Trilogy’ series is out on DVD now as is the David Fincher remake of ‘The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo’

Source: Digital Spy.