‘Total Recall’ Review: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

“Grim ‘n’ gritty” is the roiling cloud that settled over the comics industry after Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns became a runaway success. Like a resolute storm front, it has moved on to menace other media. Miller used grim as satire, and gritty as provocation, but for so many others they’re empty buzzwords, dull style guidelines with scant meaning and stunted wit. Total Recall, 2012 edition, is the grim ‘n’ gritty version of Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 movie of the same name, this time from director Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard). Wiseman applies the style with little apparent intent or discretion, and in doing so creates little more than a visual exercise.

Verhoeven rendered Philip K. Dick‘s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale with a goofy, gooey spirit, and spat out broadly satirical economic jabs as he kept tongue planted firmly in cheek. His film kept our interest by coming back to one question: what is reality, and what only imagined? Is there are difference?

Wiseman’s Total Recall has a few rudimentary thoughts in its head: “Economic disparity sucks! So does the abuse of power!” But it would rather make Kate Beckinsale look tough and sexy than do the legwork required to make bigger concepts into more than taglines. That’s not the worst intention, and Wiseman’s movie is at least energetic and sleek. But as it recites the twists and turns of the ’90 version, at times beat for beat, it replaces intriguing ambiguity with straightforward and forgettable action. Read More »

.

Please Recommend /Film on Facebook

Through the Ice Age movies, Blue Sky Studios has become one of the premier CG animation houses for feature films, and the company’s new effort is a whimsical forest battle called Epic. Chris Wedge, who directed the first Ice Age film and has voiced the Scrat character throughout that franchise, is directing.

This one features Josh Hutcherson as the voice of the lead character, a diminutive forest warrior who rides a hummingbird, but all you’ll hear of him in the first trailer is a bunch of grunts and exclamations. Most of the audio in this trailer is Snow Patrol’s song ‘The Lightning Strike,’ though there is a bit of dialogue from Aziz Ansari (as a slug) and Amanda Seyfried as a teenage girl who finds herself in the midst of a strange forest war.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

It seems like biopics and other similar true life stories are exploding in development right now, and we’ve got casting for three big ones. First up, the Jimi Hendrix film All is By My Side has just added a young Keith Richards. British actor Ashley Charles will play the Rolling Stones songwriter and guitarist.

John Ridley is directing the film now, with Andre Benjamin as Hendrix, and Hayley Atwell as Linda Keith, who during the story’s time frame was dating Richards. She ‘discovered’ Hendrix and tried to get the Stones management to work with him, to no avail. Keith Richards likely won’t play a big part in the film, which chronicles the days before Hendrix made it big.

Fun fact checking: let’s see how people refer to Richards in this film. In ’63 the Stones manager started listing the guitarist as Keith Richard, and it wasn’t until the ’70s that he once again became Richards.  [THR]

After the break, Donal Logue plays an important figure in the New York music scene, and Colin Farrell is in talks for the Mary Poppins film Saving Mr. Banks. Read More »

Adding to the big day over at 20th Century Fox, they’ve just announced the full voice cast for their latest CG 3D animated film called Epic. Created by Blue Sky Studios, Epic (formerly called Leafmen) “tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil.  When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world…and ours.”

The voice cast is impressive. It includes Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Blake Anderson and Judah Friedlander.

Directed by Chris Wedge, Epic is scheduled for release May 24, 2013. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Here’s the trailer for the best sci-fi movie of the summer! Oh, wait… er, April Fools? This is actually the trailer for Len Wiseman‘s remake of Total Recall. Or one might call it the trailer for Len Wiseman’s new adaptation of the Philip K. Dick story We Can Remember it For You Wholesale, which just happens to use the same title used the last time someone made an adaptation of that story. However you want to look at it.

Regardless, Colin Farrell stars in a version of the role made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he is caught (maybe) between his memory and true past, as well as between Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, in the sci-fi action thriller.

Check out the trailer below. Read More »

Warner Bros. is still trying to make Arthur & Lancelot, based on a script by David Dobkin that the studio bought for a couple million bucks last year. Dobkin, who directed Wedding Crashers and The Change-Up, will direct the film that is an action-oriented take on the classic Arthurian story, with a modern feel.

The film was put on hold a while back, but reactivated when Colin Farrell was attached to play Lancelot. But the actor has dropped out, and so WB has to put together a cast from scratch again. Read More »

‘Total Recall’ Teaser Trailer

I guess this should really be called the Total Recall Trailer Teaser Trailer, because once again this is essentially a trailer for a trailer. But at thirty seconds, this clip features enough footage to count as a standalone teaser. The full Total Recall trailer, showing off what director Len Wiseman has done with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston, will be shown during the Celtics/Heat game on ABC Sunday April 1, and will then appear on Apple in extended form.

In the meantime, check out this trailer tease below, and begin your predictions about whether Wiseman’s take on the Paul Verhoeven / Arnold Schwarzenegger film will be a summer gift, or an April Fools prank. Read More »

It seems like just yesterday that Warner Bros. had deemed David Dobkin‘s Arthur & Lancelot too expensive to live. (In fact it was January.) The film, meant to be a big action-oriented take on the Arthurian legend, was taken off the studio’s production schedule after budget concerns arose and attached actors Kit Harington and Joel Kinnaman were freed to do other projects. (The latter took the lead in RoboCop.)

Now Arthur & Lancelot is back amongst the living, and one change has been made to ease studio concerns over the film’s budget and potential returns: rather than going with up and coming talent, the studio is now in talks with Colin Farrell to play one of the title roles. Read More »

Click Here To Read Older Movie News
Cool Posts From Around the Web: