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Total Recall 4K UHD Review

“Total Recall” is pure Paul Verhoeven.

Based on the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It For Your Wholesale,” “Total Recall” is a sci-fi-action film that revolves around a construction worker named Douglas Quaid. Quaid is a married working man who dreams of going to Mars. He gets his opportunity to do so when he learns of the Recall program which implants fake memories that feel real. He goes through with the program (which also makes him a secret agent), but an error occurs which erases his memory. Recall tries to cover it up, but now Doug finds that people are trying to kill him and he doesn’t know who he is (or what’s real). In his quest to discover who he is and what his real past is, Doug ventures to Mars which is essentially run by the villainous Governor Cohaagen. A group of rebels led by Kuato are trying to reclaim the planet from Cohaagen who only cares about extracting ore. Is Doug’s past tied to Mars somehow? Is he even Doug or is that another alter-ego?

Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a lot of action heavy movies that didn’t have a lot to say, but 1990’s R-rated “Total Recall” is one of the films with something on its mind as it explores concepts about reality, virtual reality, memory, technology, dictatorships, among other thoughtful subject matters. This is in large part due to  original author Philip K. Dick and writers Dan O’Bannon, Gary Goldman and Ronald Shusett but also director Paul Verhoeven who also brings a satirical bite to the material much like he did with “Robocop” and “Starship Troopers.” Sure, there’s still plenty of shootouts, quotable one-liners and action sequences to be had here, but it wouldn’t be an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie without it (at least in those days). 

One of the most impressive aspects of “Total Recall” is the world building that is present here. With its sizable budget, the production team created a lot of detailed sets, cars, along with some wild practical (and visual) special effects ala the JohnnyCab, the female disguise, the mutant make-up, Kuato, the X-Ray sequence, etc. It felt like a fully realized future world.

As for the cast, Arnold Schwarzenegger is very much the star here and he manages to do more than just blow bad guys away and wreak havoc on baddies. He has some quality dramatic character moments here. Supporting cast wise, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox deliver memorable performances in their respective roles.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1 2160p. How does it look? The exteriors really pop on this 4K release particularly with the Mars sequences.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? The Atmos delivers (especially with the action scenes).

Extras:
* Blu-ray Copy and Digital copy
* Commentary by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Paul Verhoeven
* “Total Recall” trailer
* A featurette on the score titled “Open Your Mind: Scoring Total Recall.”
* “Total Excess: How CarolCo Changed Hollywood”- A nearly hour-long documentary on the studio.
* “Dreamers Within The Dream: Developing Total Recall”- A featurette on the concept art and production design
* The aptly named featurette “Total Recall: The Special Effects.”
* A short archival making of featurette.
* The half-hour archival “Imagining Total Recall” featurette which contains cast and crew interviews
 

December 23, 2020 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , ,

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