IRON MAN 3: Done it. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS: Done it. FAST AND FURIOUS 6: Not really genre (‘though we wish). THE HANGOVER PART III: Uh, no. Genre or not, no thank you. That leaves… oh shoot, EPIC, a CG animated fantasy that’s about as oh shoot as they come. This is doubly disappointing since it represents another cinematic betrayal of master children’s storyteller and illustrator William Joyce, but this time with visuals that, while lush, don’t do much to carry Joyce’s distinctive style to the screen. Cinefantastique managing editor Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons weigh the relative value of those sumptuous visuals and the film as a whole, and then San Francisco bureau chief Lawrence French joins the discussion to commemorate Peter Cushing’s 100th birthday and explore the actor’s contribution to the world of fantastic film. Plus: What’s coming to theaters next week.
What is reality? What is identity? How long can a soul survive when one’s perceptions and one’s self are subject to electronic editing at a moment’s whim? These and many other fascinating questions are raised and almost immediately dropped in TOTAL RECALL, director Len Wiseman’s retelling of the Philip K. Dick tale of an ordinary working Joe discovering his own secret life courtesy of a recreational brain reprogramming service. The story was previously brought to the screen by Paul Verhoeven, with Arnold Schwarzenegger starring, but does stripping the film of Verhoeven’s camp, satirical outlook and bringing in Colin Farrell as a more credible protagonist automatically mean the scenario regains the challenging, visionary paranoia of the Dick original?
Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons come together to explore thematic opportunities offered and missed in this latest remake, as well as dissecting the appeal of the film’s post-apocalyptic world and evaluating whether the core concept of the Rekall memory implant system makes any sense to begin with. Click on the player to hear the discussion.
Colin Farrell stars in the remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, inspired by the Phillip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.” This trailer (like the ones that preceded it) suggests that the story line follows the original film fairly closely, including the ramped up action that was added to turn Dick’s paranoid contemplation of the nature of identity into a blockbuster action film. Kate Beckinsale replaces Sharon Stone; Jessica Biel replaces Rachel Ticotin; and Bill Nighy is along for the ride.
TOTAL RECALL opens Friday, August 3, 2012.
Sony Pictures released the following synopsis of their new version of TOTAL RECALL.
“TOTAL RECALL is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick.
Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs.
But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police—controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world— Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen.
The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.”
Len Wiseman directs this new version of TOTAL RECALL, from a screenplay by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback. Due in theaters August 3rd from Sony/Columbia Pictures.
Genre fans will remember the 1990 Paul Verhoeven—Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner, which entailed a real or or imagined trip to Mars. Interesting that both film versions rename the character QUAID, rather than the story’s Douglas QUAIL, who may have done something truly amazing as a child.
There goes the neighborhood. Charismatically feral vampire Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves into a struggling Las Vegas suburb, and it’s up to teen lovers Charley (Anton Yelchin) and Amy (Imogen Poots) to keep property values from seriously bottoming out by curtailing his ongoing recruitment campaign. Enter indifferent magician Peter Vincent (David Tennant) and screenwriter Marti Noxon (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER) and you’ve got FRIGHT NIGHT, a retelling of the 1985 tongue-in-cheek mini-classic, modernized with CG effects and goosed with 3D gimmicks. Special guest Judith Furnari joins Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons (yes, the band is back together!) as they explore whether the outer reaches of Las Vegas carry more than a little whiff of Sunnydale, and if this remake is worth the literal and figurative blood that was spilled in its making.
Also: A discussion of Ridley Scott’s announced return to the BLADE RUNNER universe, and what’s coming in theaters and on home video.
According to The Hollywood Reporter,
Bryan Cranston (BREAKING BAD) is in serious talks to play the villain in Columbia’s remake of TOTAL RECALL.
Based on Philip K. Dick’s We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in 1966, the story was the inspiration for 1990’s TOTAL RECALL, directed byPaul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Colin Farrell is set to play the lead, Douglas Quaid (Quail in the original story) in the remake to be directed by Len Wiseman for Columbia Pictures.
In the 1990 film the storyline used the story’s tale of a man who has memories of being a secret agent on Mars, amping it up to an actual or imagined adventure on Mars.
The remake will forgo any trips to the red planet in favor of a futuristic spy thriller that sets Farrell real or imagined secret agent in New Shanghai against Cranston’s possible role, Vilos Cohaagen, head of the combined nations of Euromerica, intent on an invasion of the smaller country.
Byran Cranston will still get a trip to Mars in Walt Disney Pictures’ Edgar Rice Burroughs-inspired JOHN CARTER OF MARS.