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  • 4 Post By HD Goofnut

My take: Total Recall (2012)

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Old 12-22-2012, 08:11 AM   #1
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Default My take: Total Recall (2012)


Title: Total Recall (2012)
BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc / 2 Disc Set
Video: 1080p / AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, and Spanish
Run time: 130 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures
Rating: PG-13
Region Coding: Region Free

Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid / Carl Hauser
Kate Beckinsale as Lori Quaid
Jessica Biel as Melina
Bryan Cranston as Cohaagen
Bokeem Woodbine as Harry
Bill Nighy as Matthias
John Cho as McClane
Directed by Len Wiseman

In 1990 the world first saw Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" made into the film Total Recall, which featured a much different take from Paul Verhoeven when compared to the more recent film of the same name from Len Wiseman. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but I have to give a slight edge to the original for being slightly more raw and believable. Don't get me wrong, the remake is still a decent film, but it fails to capture the wonder that was part of the original film that took place on Mars. It is however a refreshing sight to see Wiseman tackling something other than an Underworld film.

It is near the of the 21st century and the world has descended into an uninhabitable wasteland due to chemical warfare, but two pieces of livable land remain: The United Federation of Britain (U.F.B.) and The Colony (Australia). The Colony consists of a large populace that manufactures many things for the U.F.B. including robotic sentries. The self-proclaimed leader of the U.F.B. (Cohaagen) wants to take over the Colony since they are constantly demanding that they have the same rights as citizens of the U.F.B. Cohaagen wants to wipe out the Resistance and it's leader that is rarely seen who is known only as Matthias. The only method of travel between the U.F.B. and the Colony is a transit system controlled by Cohaagen known as The Fall.

Douglas Quaid lives in the U.F.B. and works in a factory in the Colony. Each day he repeats the same routine of traveling across the globe to go to work and then come home. He believes his life to be simplistic, but wants more purpose and excitement in his life. He decides to turn to Rekall, which is a company that implants new memories into one's brain for a price.

When Quaid goes to Rekall he is confronted by U.F.B. soldiers, but has no idea why. Quaid soon discovers that he is really a U.F.B. agent who was named Hauser and has had his memory erased with a cap. What ensues is a race to find out who Quaid really is, but will he really want to be who he once was? Which life will he call his own and who can he trust?

The story is actually quite similar to the 1990 version, but it does have some obvious differences. For the most part the two films are about on par with each other, but I still think I prefer the original slightly more. It's a great popcorn sci-fi/action flick that's definitely worth watching, but I would definitely watch it before blindly purchasing it. Due to violence and brief nudity this one is not suitable for younger children.

If you are familiar with Wiseman's films you'll know that he likes them to look crisp and clean and Total Recall is no exception. Colors are well saturated and pop off the screen extremely well with flesh tones remaining accurate. Fine detail is superb as everything from pores, hairs, and various textures are all easily visible through a thin veil of grain. There is an occasional softer wide shot, but these are generally brief and I am quite certain that they are intentional. I am not going to deduct for this, but my one complaint is the overuse of lens flare. Ever since the release of Star Trek from Abrams a few years ago many directors have began copying this effect, but after awhile it just gets old and distracting. Most people probably won't even notice it, but to me I found it slightly distracting. This however is still an impeccable transfer that is worthy of a perfect score. My own screen captures from Total Recall can be found below.

















Total Recall blasts its way onto Blu-ray with an extremely pleasing Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. Dialogue is always clear and concise in the center channel even when the film explodes into action. The fronts and surrounds are used frequently for various effects whether they are louder or more discrete. The LFE sees plenty of attention as well as any scene involving The Fall or gunfire will make you sub come to life. I wasn't a huge fan of the film's musical score, but at least it was never overbearing. There really is no question that this is a reference quality lossless mix.

Total Recall comes to Blu-ray loaded with plenty of supplements. Disc 1 contains a feature length audio commentary with Wiseman where he covers just about everything about the film's production. There is also a PiP track that runs during the course of the theatrical cut of the film that is worth watching. If I had to pick one I'd probably go with Wiseman's commentary. Disc 2 contains an eight minute gag reel, a nine minute look at the physics of the film, a brief 3 minute look at designing The Fall, a seven piece feature that explores brief bits about different aspects of the film, a small collection of pre-visualization sequences that run about 25 minutes, and lastly there is a PS3 demo for God of War: Ascension. There is also an insert with a Ultraviolet Digital Copy code.

Movie: 7/10
PQ: 10/10
AQ: 10/10
Supplements: 8/10
Final Word: A Purchase for Fans
dsskid, ImRizzo, GLOW and 1 others like this.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:09 AM   #2
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great review.
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Old 12-22-2012, 03:36 PM   #3
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great review.
Thank you sir.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Great, can't wait until i can watch it.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:47 AM   #5
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I had a rental blu-ray and the sound kept stuttering no matter how much I cleaned the disc which appeared pristine as I got it on it's 2nd day of release. I too prefer the original. For some reason I thought D Quaid lived in the colony and worked in the UFB but for the purposes of the film it really doesn't matter.
This film is worth a blind buy just to see Kate Beckinsale (my dream woman) duking it out with Jessica Biel (Mrs. Timberlake is also a bit of a hottie). Thanks again for the review goofnut!
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Last edited by jkkyler; 12-26-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:12 PM   #6
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I had a rental blu-ray and the sound lept stuttering no matter how much I cleaned the disc which appeared pristine as I got it on it's 2nd day of release. I too prefer the original. For some reason I thought D Quaid lived in the colony and worked in the UFB but for the purposes of the film it really doesn't matter.
This film is worth a blind buy just to see Kate Beckinsale (my dream woman) duking it out with Jessica Biel (Mrs. Timberlake is also a bit of a hottie). Thanks again for the review goofnut!
watching this tonite, was reading on other forums of audio dropouts that are evidently inherient in the production. I saw where different blu ray players were tried and it repeated at the same place. You were the 1st to mention it here. Curious now, I'll use my Oppo 93ne and see what happens. anyone else get that from TR?
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jkkyler View Post
I had a rental blu-ray and the sound lept stuttering no matter how much I cleaned the disc which appeared pristine as I got it on it's 2nd day of release. I too prefer the original. For some reason I thought D Quaid lived in the colony and worked in the UFB but for the purposes of the film it really doesn't matter.
This film is worth a blind buy just to see Kate Beckinsale (my dream woman) duking it out with Jessica Biel (Mrs. Timberlake is also a bit of a hottie). Thanks again for the review goofnut!
You're quite welcome.

To those with audio dropouts, changing your BD player from bitstream to PCM output will fix this. Sony is apparently working on this.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for another of your brilliant reviews. And thanks for the PCM hint. I look forward to seeing this film, but can you replace Sharon Stone and Rachel Ticotin with Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel? Stone just has that very naughty appeal.

Thanks for your reviews.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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You're quite welcome.

To those with audio dropouts, changing your BD player from bitstream to PCM output will fix this. Sony is apparently working on this.
Great the first Dolby TrueHD title I have seen in prob a year or so (instead of dts hd-ma) and the sound is f'ed in production. Way to go geniuses. PS Thanks as well quad 4.0 for letting me know the disc is the prob. Thought maybe I needed a firmware update or my player was dying. It happened a lot and really hindered my enjoyment.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:53 PM   #10
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I'm such a huge fan of the original, I'm not sure if I want to see this but will probably end up renting it. I like Jessica Biel but Kate Beckinsale does nothing for me. Thanks for the review Goofnut.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:46 PM   #11
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I'm such a huge fan of the original, I'm not sure if I want to see this but will probably end up renting it. I like Jessica Biel but Kate Beckinsale does nothing for me. Thanks for the review Goofnut.
No problem GLOW.
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