One of the worst film directors in resent memory Len Wiseman (Underworld, Die Hard 4) is remaking a 90s classic. The fact that Colin Farrell is replacing Arnold as the lead clues me in that this is a different interpretation (tho it says nothing of its quality since Colin recently did Fright Night). I have heard it is truer to Phillip K Dick’s story but I think I would take tailor made for Arnold over truer to Dick. My guess it will be less broad and less fun.
Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, David Bowers directs. He directed Astroboy (which was enjoyable) and the second film in this series (a massive improvement over the first). Summer is the best time for a kid’s movie to take place and I doubt it will be so bad (might have to replace those kids soon tho).
I saw that trailer for Total Recall last night, and at first I thought it was gonna be the sequel/prequel/whatever to Blade Runner, since it looks like they basically take place in the same universe. Anyway, it doesn’t look very good, although I haven’t even seen the original, so….
It looks crap imo, but at least Farrell is making interesting crap instead of the usual crap. same goes for Fright Night. and he was very funny in Horrible Bosses.
I’ll go see The Dark Knight Rises again or maybe finally see Beasts of the Southern Wild. This Total Recall looks shit.
I hope Farrell makes enough money off this to go back to making good movies again, like IN BRUGES.
Amen! He’s going to be in McDonagh’s next film though, Seven Psychopaths, so there ya go.
I’d give a lot to see McDonagh film his play THE LIEUTENANT OF INISHMORE with Farrell.
I wonder if HOL will be dragged to see the 3rd Diary of a Wimpy kid. He has kids (tho i don’t know if they are wimpy)
The original Total Recall was where I first saw Sharon Stone.
is that good or bad?
me too! ^ that was a fun scene
but i don’t think the film is in the league of robocop, terminator or certainly blade runner. i’ve little interest in seeing this and even less since kate beckinsale is involved
Good. I like her a lot. She was the only 90s actress who knew how to do the whole movie star trip right. (well, maybe Catherine Zeta-Jones, later)
agree with Ruby that Recall isnt in the same league as those aforementioned films and it certainly hasnt aged as well even though it blew minds at the time.
i met this guy in his early 20s recently that was going on about how cheesy the original was and how it is so bad it is good and i tried to explain to him that it didnt make that sort of impression on release and he found that hard to believe.
Total Recall looks alright. Not interested, however, in seeing a Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie ever again.
I had heard people saying they were really interested in the Total Recall remake and that things were looking a lot tighter than the first adaptation, but seeing the trailer before The Dark Knight Rises made me feel not as interested. Looks, weirdly enough, like a cheap repeat of Minority Report. Which… well…
Roscoe: you may get your wish sooner than you think. i just read that Farrell is going to be in a film with Harelson that is directed by the guy that made In Bruges. it is called Seven Psycopaths i think
no Len Wiseman hate
the guy rubs me the wrong way
JOKS — yeah, thanks. I’ve been looking forward to that one for a while. Hope McDonagh gets his mojo back, his last play was a disappointment.
If anything, the only thing amusing about the Total Recall remake is this:
And even that won’t get me off my couch to see it.
As far as Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days goes, I’ve read all the books, liked them enough, and sought out the first two films and hated them. They’re so incredibly childish and they drag even at around ninety minutes. But, like the dedicated moviegoer I am, I will slog through this one too.
“If anything, the only thing amusing about the Total Recall remake is this:”
But that’s already in the original!
But this one actually tries to make it seem sexy compared to the original. It almost succeeds.
Polarisdib, women with three breasts are never not amusing.
Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Eroticon 6.
so In Bruges is good eh? i think i ignored it at the time because Farrell was becoming like Nic Cage and releasing nothing but shit only with none of the joy!
I’ve heard mad kudos from various surprising sources about In Bruges.
I think In Bruges is probably good if you have low expectations, but I saw it after I heard mad kudos from various surprising sources and I thought it was pretty disappointing… I feel like I should watch it again though without the high expectations.
I saw In Bruges with zero expectations and it became one of my favorite films (after a few viewings). Not to hype it up or anything…
Slant Magazine called Total Recall “as superfluous as a third breast”. LOL
In honor of this sure-to-be shitty remake, I went and bought Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall on blu-ray and plan on rewatching that instead.
Crazy new gadgets, vigorous action sequences and a thorough production-design makeover aren’t enough to keep “Total Recall” from feeling like a near-total redundancy. Scrapping the mayhem-on-Mars angle from Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 sci-fi shoot-‘em-up, director Len Wiseman’s Earthbound, workmanlike remake sticks Colin Farrell in the Arnold Schwarzenegger role of a government-trained killing machine dealing with one bad case of selective amnesia. The persistence of memory is a funny theme for a picture that seems likely to fade almost immediately from the public consciousness, even if it cranks out a decent opening and respectable ancillary.
Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback’s screenplay arrives bearing the weight of multiple story credits, citing the first pic’s scribes as well as Philip K. Dick, whose short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” initially inspired this futuristic tale of a brainwashed secret agent trying to figure out who he is and which side he’s fighting on. That would be Douglas Quaid (Farrell), introduced awakening from an all-too-vivid nightmare, a remnant from a past he’s been forced to forget.
Chemical warfare has left the Earth uninhabitable except for the Colony (formerly known as Australia), where Quaid lives, and a cluster of European nations called the United Federation of Britain. The relationship between these two continents is fraught with tension (probably stemming from a debate over which one is more architecturally indebted to “Blade Runner”) and the UFB’s chancellor, Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), is hellbent on squashing an uprising Down Under by a mysterious revolutionary known as Matthias (Bill Nighy).
Quaid realizes he’s somehow connected to all this sociopolitical turmoil after an ill-fated trip to Rekall, a corporation whose artificial memory-implant services bring about several unpleasant revelations. Among these is the fact that his heretofore loving wife, Lori (Kate Beckinsale), is actually a cold-blooded killer with catlike reflexes and Energizer Bunny-like stamina, turning business into a personal grudge as she ruthlessly hunts down Quaid and Melina (Jessica Biel), the great love of his past life.
Gone is the first “Total Recall’s” concept of interplanetary travel; in this version, the hottest form of transit is a massive vessel that moves through the Earth’s core in minutes, toggling from one end to the other in one pleasurably gravity-defying sequence. Similarly, the pic’s other highlights are almost exclusively visual: The midsection is largely devoted to extended, elevated chase sequences involving first the Colony’s magnet-powered highway system, then a labyrinthine network of criss-crossing elevators that takes Patrick Tatopoulos’ production design to a mind-bendingly cubist extreme. The future, as rendered here, is crammed with all kinds of nifty technological wonders, from hand-embedded cell phones to identity-concealing neck rings.
Wiseman, who showed off his action chops to fine effect in 2007’s “Live Free or Die Hard,” takes advantage of the myriad staging possibilities offered up by this elaborate, neon-tinged dystopia, and he directs the film’s numerous fight scenes with speed and energy, even if those qualities never translate into sustained tension or exhilaration. Strangely, there’s no psychological underpinning to the violence; the crucial moment when Quaid realizes his superhuman fighting abilities is lensed in show-offy, videogame-like fashion, with the camera whooshing about the room like a hummingbird having a seizure.
Pic is considerably slicker than its predecessor but hardly sleeker, at an overlong 117 minutes, a fairly dubious accomplishment considering how little it brings to the story in terms of fresh twists and ideas. Above all, it lacks the overblown violence and grotesque vulgarity that made Verhoeven’s vision at once so incorrigible and so vital, though Wiseman does tip his hat to the original by throwing in a three-breasted prostitute.
Perfs are functional but fine. Absent Schwarzenegger’s imposing physicality, Farrell plays the role closer to that of a Jason Bourne 5.0, although the actor’s soft-eyed vulnerability makes sense for a character who finds the rug pulled out from him at every turn. Stepping into a role played in the 1990 pic by Sharon Stone, Beckinsale (Wiseman’s wife, whom he directed in the first two “Underworld” pics) is pure, one-note malevolence, though she and Biel make for a nicely matched pair of fierce femmes. Diverse supporting cast boasts an unusual number of Asian faces, from John Cho’s Rekall employee to various extras, perhaps as a speculative nod to a rapidly changing global order.
Camera (color, HD), Paul Cameron; editor, Christian Wagner; music, Harry Gregson-Williams; production designer, Patrick Tatopoulos; supervising art director, Brandt Gordon; art director, Patrick Banister; set designers, William Cheng, Tucker Doherty, Vladislav Fedorov, David G. Fremlin, Itsuko Kurono, Aleks Marinkovich, Russell Moore, Sorin Popescu, Doug Slater; set decorator, Carolyn Loucks; costume designer, Sanja Milkovic Hays; sound (Dolby Digital/SDDS/Datasat), Glen Gauthier; sound designer, Stephen Hunter Flick; re-recording mixers, Paul Massey, David Giammarco; special effects supervisors, Clay Pinney, Laird McMurray; visual effects supervisor, Peter Chiang; visual effects producers, Fay McConkey, Monette Dubin; visual effects, Double Negative, Prime Focus, MPC, the Senate VFX, Baseblack, BUF; stunt coordinators, John Stoneham Jr., Andy Gill; fight coordinators, Jeff Imada, Brad Martin; associate producer, Paulina Kucharski; assistant director, Luc Etienne; second unit camera, Joshua Bleibtreu; casting, Debra Zane. Reviewed at the Grove, Los Angeles, Aug. 1, 2012. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 117 MIN.
also from variety:
Just how much abuse can one kid take? Middle-schooler Greg Heffley is about to find out in “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,” the serviceable third installment in the franchise adapted from Jeff Kinney’s bestselling books. Formulaic in adhering to the sitcom-style tone of the first two films, pic finds the chronically underappreciated Greg (Zachary Gordon) facing a summer break replete with parental expectations and anxiety over his first crush. Result should, like its predecessors, satisfy “Wimpy Kid” fans, but a bigger problem — what to do when your young actors grow faster than your characters? — lies ahead for Fox.
Kinney’s seven “Wimpy Kid” books have become essential reading for disenfranchised tweens everywhere; certainly no one these days has had greater success exploring the indignities of adolescence. It was Kinney’s first book, published in 2003, that coined the enduring catchphrase “cheese touch,” a shorthand gross-out “you’re it” now deployed on playgrounds from coast to coast.
With a cast and crew culled from the first two pics, this third film has accelerated the timeline by blending elements from Kinney’s third and fourth books (“The Last Straw” and “Dog Days”.) With the author in place as exec producer overseeing a script by Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky, the compression is seamlessly handled. As usual, Gordon’s reliably sardonic narration and Kinney’s occasional onscreen animation lend the proceedings some context.
In the waning days of seventh grade, Greg announces his plans for summer vacation: to play a lot of videogames and woo the lovely Holly (Peyton List). But his parents, Frank and Susan (Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris), insist he should be more productive. So when Greg’s best friend, Rowley (Robert Capron), invites him to the country club where Holly teaches tennis, Greg opts to pose as an employee there. Mom and Dad seem pleased with his newly industrious streak (and Holly might just think he’s cute), but it’s just a matter of time before Greg accidentally blows his own cover.
It doesn’t help that Greg brags about his prowess with a racquet, but he’s mortified to learn that playing Wii Tennis isn’t the same as the real thing. Luckily, Holly is the understanding type, but there’s plenty more humiliation ahead as Greg seeks other ways to impress her: Struck with fear atop the high dive, Greg soon finds he’s in way over his head — and soon, somehow, swimming without his trunks.
Of course, Greg hails from a ridiculously dysfunctional family, so his parents can’t be too hard on him. Much of the humor in “Dog Days” springs from the screwball dynamics among the three Heffley boys — Greg is stuck between teenager Rodrick (Devon Bostick) and toddler Manny (Connor and Owen Fielding) — and Dad’s misguided attempts to manage the chaos. When the family’s new dog mistakes little Manny’s blanket for a chew toy, Greg tries to distract him with the pot roast Mom had broiled for dinner, inspiring a hilarious, if predictably icky, turn of events.
In a last-ditch attempt to cement their bond and to redress his own adolescent failings, Frank decides to enroll Greg in a father-son wilderness explorers camp. The final reel ups the gross-out ante, but kids will enjoy the pratfalls and the ever-so-slight possibility of Greg’s vindication. Parents will value the fact that there are a few lessons administered throughout, while the younger set will appreciate that those lessons are not at all preachy.
Tech package is adequate but, like David Bowers’ direction, rarely rises above standard sitcom fare; Vancouver stands in for U.S. locations as it did in the first two films. Obviously, there’s a formula in place: Working with the veteran “Wimpy Kid” cast and crew allows for a faster shoot, a presumably tighter budget and fewer surprises along the way, and as usual, the adult cast — comedians Zahn and Harris in particular — are reliably game.
But kid thesps can only stay young for so long; though Gordon is still appealing, his voice has deepened and his features have started to mature. That said, Greg Heffley’s struggles are universal, so at least for now, his fans ought not to object.
Camera (Deluxe color), Anthony B. Richmond; editor, Troy Takaki; music, Edward Shearmur; music supervisor, Julia Michels, production designer, Brent Thomas; set designer, John G. Burke; set decorator, Mary-Lou Storey; art director, Shannon Grover; costume designer, Monique Prudhomme; sound (Dolby Digital/SDDS), Darren Brisker; supervising sound editor, Donald Sylvester; re-recording mixers, Jim Bolt, Elliot Tyson; stunt coordinators, Dave Hospes; visual effects supervisor, Mark Dornfeld; visual effects and animation, Custom Film Effects; assistant director, Jim Brebner; casting, Ronna Kress, Coreen Mayrs, Heike Brandstatter. Reviewed at 20th Century Fox Studios, Los Angeles, July 28, 2012. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 94 MIN.