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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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Not Quite Total Recall: Taking the Paul Verhoeven out of Paul Verhoeven Films…

I’m actually a pretty forgiving guy when it comes to Hollywood rebooting and remaking older films. After all, these newer films don’t diminish the original. It’s fantastic if a writer and director can boldly reimagine an established property like Christopher Nolan did with Batman Begins, but there’s no big loss if the film fails. We’ll just collectively forget about, return to our cherished DVD copy of the original and there’s no real problem. So I actually don’t mind Hollywood returning to familiar themes, plots, characters, settings and ideas. However, with Hollywood producing a spate of blockbuster remakes of cult Paul Verhoeven films, I can’t help but wonder if they are completely missing the point.

Head wrecking…

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Just Not My Hype of Thing: Countdown to Teaser Trailers, Hype Build-Up and Other Pre-Release Concerns…

There is a tendency to romanticise the past, to engage in nostalgia for an era that never really was. Still, I can’t help but wonder if the internet has been a bit of a mixed blessing for movie fans looking forward to the next big Hollywood release. Sure, it’s full of commentaries and interviews and trailers. Occasionally, a film like Tron: Legacy or The Dark Knight will do something utterly wonderful to grab the attention of various film fans. However, it also feels, sometimes, that there’s a conscious attempt to push the hype machine into overdrive. I have no problem with anticipation, but I think making a teaser trailer for an actual trailer or even staging a countdown to a release date of a trailer might be a bit much, even to me.

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Non-Review Review: Total Recall

Total Recall, to quote the lead character, whoever or whatever he may actually be, might just be “the best mind%&@! yet.”

"Dammit Cohagen, give these people some air!"

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The Joy of Movie Fest…

So, the inaugural Movie Fest is over. It was an amazing (and successful) attempt to bring pop film to Dublin, organised by Vince Donnelly and the team at movies.ie. Vince should really and honestly be proud of what he accomplished, because spending the weekend at the festival was the most enjoyable weekends I’ve had in quite some time. There’s something about that sort of communal celebration of cinema that makes these sorts of festivals and conventions so popular, the idea of drawing together movie fans of all ages and backgrounds to share in a unique experience. As a huge film nerd, I do have to concede a giddy thrill at the idea that this is “hardcore.”

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Non-Review Review: The Adjustment Bureau

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

One of the joys of a film festival like the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival is that you get to see films that take you by surprise. Sometimes they are small foreign dramas which will never get a major release here, and thus haven’t been discussed to death on-line or in-print, but occasionally it’s a movie premiere of a big upcoming release which will impress. The Adjustment Bureau is hitting screens around the world next Friday, but film fanatics in Dublin were treated to a sneak peek (the movie’s second public screening and the first in Europe). As a movie that I honestly wasn’t expecting too much of, based on the trailers in front of every major release since last August that seemingly couldn’t decide on the genre of the film, what did I make of it?

A bathroom break...

I loved it.

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Fly Me to the Moon…

I’m back…

Science-fiction film Moon, starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey is opening in the States next week. It actually looks quite good – with reviews seemingly spanning the divide from “it’s solidly entertaining with a great performance” to “it’s classic science-fiction”. It looks likely to be one of those films I will really try to get to see over the Summer (when it eventually opens here in Ireland), and the trailer is well worth a look. Still, this got me thinking about how the fictional fascination with life on other worlds has been embraced by the genre, and whether that has really changed in recent years.

Sam Rockwell's many jobs on the lunar station include changing lightbulbs when needs be...

Sam Rockwell's many jobs on the lunar station include changing lightbulbs when needs be...

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