Tag Archives: films

New Hobbit trailer

Well, the new trailer is here and rather predictably it looks astounding. I’m still not sure how they are going to split the Hobbit into three films given that the original book was shorter than any of the individual Lord of the Rings books. But what do I know?

Without further ado, here is the trailer:

Is Total Recall a dream or reality?

Quaid getting brain zapped

It is one of the greatest debates of modern times and one that has plagued the thoughts and discussions of the world’s most brilliant minds for 20 years. In the classic 1990 film Total Recall, was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character Quaid actually a spy or was it all a dream? Did he really ‘Get his ass to Mars’?

The movie is genius and I have written about it and the upcoming remake in this gripping post. If you are reading this, it is probably safe to assume that you have seen it. It is also safe to assume you have debated whether it was real or if it was all a dream. Unless you are braindead or boring or something. Well here is the answer. You’re welcome.

It is all a dream. Definitely. Here is the proof.

The crucial evidence all comes from the scene where he is put under at Rekall.

1/ The spy option is brand new and he just goes for it on a whim. At first he specifically states ‘No options’ but the guy convinces him to go as a spy. And lo and behold, he actually is a spy. A bit of a coincidence. Especially if he was supposed to be a sleeper agent designed to meet the rebels and expose their leader Kuato. What if Rekall had never decided to do the spy option at all? What if Quaid had never gone to Rekall? It’s a bit of a flimsy plan if he really is a spy.

Brunette and athletic. Only parameters given. Just saying.

2/ When Quaid is choosing the love interest for his spy adventure he chooses simply: Brunette, athletic, sleazy, and demure. (Good choices!) Given the level of technology, it is likely they have 1000s of virtual women on their books. Physically, he only asks for a brunette that’s athletic. Even Warcraft has tons of avatars that would fit that description. But the picture you see before he goes under is of Melina. Are we supposed to believe that with just those two physical parameters the virtual lady is coincidentally the exact doppelganger of a real resistance fighter on Mars? Way too big a coincidence.

3/ The big one. Before Quaid goes under, one of the assistants who is inputting data for the dream says: ‘Oh this is a new one, blue skies on Mars.’ Now either he is talking about the dream and final bit of the adventure or it is just yet another mad coincidence of epic proportions.  Here is how the dream was supposed to pan out according to the guy at Rekall: ‘You are a top operative under deep cover, on your most important mission. People are trying to kill you. You meet this beautiful, exotic woman…’ then: ‘by the time the trip is over you get the girl, kill the bad guys, and save the entire planet.’ This is exactly what happens. Not only that but the exotic girl’s photo is on their records as in point 2 above. AND he saves the whole planet by accessing Martian technology, whose purpose is actually unknown, that coincidentally turns the sky blue on Mars.

So there you go. Like a lot of people I wanted it to be real because it makes the narrative all the more exciting, but the evidence really is against it. I know it is just a film but it was a thoughtful one and the guys writing it wanted it to be ambiguous but possibly left some clues. Also, if you listen to the voice overs by Schwarzenegger and Verhoeven on the DVD, it seems pretty likely it was a dream.

Sorry but there you go! It will be interesting to pedantic nerds like myself how they will deal with this in the new one. Or maybe it won’t.

Blue sky on Mars. That's a new one.

Total Recall

Original Total Recall

They are remaking Total Recall! With Colin Farrell! There is even a new trailer, which I have to say looks pretty brilliant and can be seen at the bottom of this post. First though, a bit of intro in case you have wasted your life and not seen it.

Total Recall was a 1990 film wherein a heavily musled construction worker (Schwarzenegger) who is dissatisfied with his tedious life goes to a company that implants memories so that he can at least have something of interest to look back on. Unfortunately the implant goes wrong as there some messed up implants in there already. Violence and mayhem ensues.

Total Recall has Schwarzenegger in one of his greatest ever roles. It also has Paul Verhoeven directing a violent scifi epic – what he’s best at (see Starship Troopers too). It even has Michael Ironside as the baddie, which is always good as the man is a legend, especially as a baddie. As a bonus there is even Sharon Stone showing a nipple and a triple breasted mutant Martian whore, which is something you don’t see in most films . And it is all based on a Philip K. Dick story. Absolutely brilliant.

Total Recall is based on the story We can remember it for you wholesale. Philip K. Dick tales are nearly always awesome as the man was a genius and one of the greatest science fiction writers ever. Like a lot of his work, the principal theme being dealt with is reality and our perceptions of it. If it seems 100% real does it actually matter that it isn’t?

Schwarzenegger’s protagonist Quaid has no life. (Although he does have an inexplicably hot wife – Sharon Stone.) He always dreams of adventures on Mars in much the same way that I always dream of zombie apocalypse or being abducted by fun, sexy aliens. To rectify this, he goes to a company called Rekall that can implant the memory of the most perfect holiday on Mars – one that will be indistinguishable from other memories. They also have a new option: you don’t even have to go as you. You can be a sports star, playboy, or even a spy. Quaid opts for spy because let’s face it, that is what most red blooded males would do. He picks a randomly generated love interest from Rekall’s databanks and they begin the procedure. But there is something already implanted and that fucks things up.

It turns out that Quaid was already a spy from Mars and that his current life has all been a fake. Or has it? Is the spy bit the Rekall dream? Or isn’t it? Perhaps it is? Maybe not though. This has been much debated and it is answered here.

From what I can see from the new trailer, the new Total Recall follows a pretty identical story. Which is cool. It’s a shame that it won’t have Michael Ironside as the bad guy (that guy is just class) but you can’t have everything. Hopefully it will be ambiguous and leave things open and not have the Hollywood need for wrapping things up nicely (I’m looking at you, Spielberg).

Anyway, here is the trailer: