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Non-Review Review: Total Recall (2012)

Len Wiseman’s Total Recall is a total mess. While the film features some superb production design and some passable action sequences, with an obvious affection for the design of contemporary science-fiction classics, the direction is muddled,the pacing is awkward and the script is constantly tripping over itself. At one point it’s suggested that the lead might have had has memory scrambled during a muddled recall session, the result of procedure started and yet not quite finished. In many ways, that feels a lot like what happens here – a choppy, uneven and unsatisfying movie that is a result of a muddled production and post-production process. “We can remember it for you,” an advertisement for the Rekall service boasts, homaging the classic short story that inspired the film. Unfortunately, they omitted “wholesale”, which is about the only price I could recommend this at.

Where’s your head at?

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Non-Review Review: Total Recall (2012)

Len Wiseman’s Total Recall is a total mess. While the film features some superb production design and some passable action sequences, with an obvious affection for the design of contemporary science-fiction classics, the direction is muddled,the pacing is awkward and the script is constantly tripping over itself. At one point it’s suggested that the lead might have had has memory scrambled during a muddled recall session, the result of procedure started and yet not quite finished. In many ways, that feels a lot like what happens here – a choppy, uneven and unsatisfying movie that is a result of a muddled production and post-production process. “We can remember it for you,” an advertisement for the Rekall service boasts, homaging the classic short story that inspired the film. Unfortunately, they omitted “wholesale”, which is about the only price I could recommend this at.

Where’s your head at?

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Non-Review Review: Infernal Affairs

We’re currently blogging as part of the “For the Love of Film Noir” blogathon (hosted by Ferdy on Films and The Self-Styled Siren) to raise money to help restore the 1950’s film noir The Sound of Fury (aka Try and Get Me). It’s a good cause which’ll help preserve our rich cinematic heritage for the ages, and you can donate by clicking here. Over the course of the event, running from 14th through 21st February, I’m taking a look at the more modern films that have been inspired or shaped by noir. Today’s theme is “foreign noir” – a look at some of the neo-noir films from outside America.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Hong Kong classic, Infernal Affairs is perhaps most recognisable to Western audiences as the film which inspired Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. The film finally won Scorsese a long overdue Oscar, but the raw materials he found himself working with certainly contributed in some manner. The movie succeeds by taking a wonderfully original plot that still fits within the themes of the best crime stories, and telling it in a wonderfully engaging manner.

Go to Hell...

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Non-Review Review: London Boulevard

The British criminal underworld has provided a background for countless movies over the past few decades, a rich cinematic tapestry drawing from classics like Brighton Rock through to neo noir like The Long Good Friday to modern pop classics like Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. However, London Boulevard isn’t a masterpiece like the earlier examples. It tries to find a niche balance between gritty urban violence and surreal bizarre quirkiness, but ends up just positioning itself awkwardly between comedy and action, never really finding its own footing.

Facing up to the past...

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Non-Review Review: The Other Guys

Have you ever watched Lethal Weapon and wondered what the cops in that precinct who aren’t Riggs and Murtagh get up to? Or watched Die Hard and wondered what John McClane’s deskmate might have been like? Well then, The Other Guys is the movie for you.

Top of the cops?

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