Philip K. Dick

Total Recall

Here we are, the downturn of one of the most hyped cinematic summers in recent memory. Now, we’ll be getting all the films the studios weren’t quite sure would make it during the May-July run. We’ll be seeing a lot of these titles over the next two weeks…two weeks…two weeks. To kick off the Gilligan’s-Island-worthy “and the rest” season is Len Wiseman‘s remake of Paul Verhoeven‘s Total Recall. Based on the book, “The Future Hates You And Will Kill Your Face” by Philip K. FunnyLastName. No, it was actually (of course) Philip K. Dick‘s ‘We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.” The basic premise is largely the same as it was in the before time, the Schwarzenegger longlong ago. A man trudging through a humdrum existence (Colin Farrell‘s Quaid), realizes he lives in futurey times and can have memories of a more exciting existences slam-packed into his brain via a company called Rekall. Trouble is that in so slam-packing, the company accidentally pops the top on a whole pickle jar of new skill sets and suggests that the life he currently knows may be a lie. The big difference of course between the original Total Recall movie and the remake is a profound reduction in the set pieces that take place on the planet Mars. That is to say, no part of the remake takes place on the planet Mars. This is where geeks like me would usually throw a conniption, or at the very least a strongly-worded hissy fit. […]

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Drinking Games

This week, Colin Farrell tries to fill Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sizeable shoes in the remake of Total Recall. If you’re not a fan of Farrell or director Len Wiseman, or if you’re just angry about a PG-13 remake of an R-rated film, why not check out Paul Verhoeven’s original? Lionsgate releases the new Blu-ray in the “Mind Bending Edition” this week, which basically means a new edition to sell the week of the remake’s release. But that shouldn’t stop you from visiting a bar in Venusville where you can drink yourself silly while watching this slice of R-rated 90s silliness.

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A sequel to Ridley Scott‘s ground-breaking take on Philip K. Dick‘s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (that would be Blade Runner) has been bandied about for years and years, to the point that most people assumed it would never get made. But with Scott having one hell of a sci-fi resurgence as of late, thanks to his upcoming Prometheus, Blade Runner 2 is no longer just a dream. And it’s getting more firepower behind it than we could have ever hoped for. According to a new press release from Warner Bros. (via ComingSoon), Hampton Fancher is in talks to reunite with Scott to “develop the idea for the original screenplay” for the sequel. Fancher, of course, first conceived of what would become Blade Runner with Scott years ago, but back then, they envisioned it as the first in a series of films, not just a single film. How funny that their idea has finally come around. Fancher is also an actor and a fiction writer, and he’s penned some other screenplays, such as The Minus Man. The release also confirms that the new film will indeed be a sequel to the first, and that it will take place “some years after” the original Blade Runner. With Fancher’s return nearly secured, who else might we expect to come back for more?

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It’s taken 33 Commentary Commentaries, 33 different movies we’ve heard all kinds of people from directors to actors to whatever was going on with Cannibal: The Musical, but we’ve finally gotten to AH-NOLD. That’s right. This week we’re looking into Total Recall, that mind-melting actioner from 1990 wherein Arnold Schwarzenegger uses a completely innocent bystander as a human shield, loses his memory, and saves just about every mutant living on Mars. He doesn’t save the girl with three breasts, though. That probably deserves a spoiler alert. But it’s time to hear what Schwarzenegger and director Paul Verhoeven have to say about the whole experience. With the remake headed our way this Summer, we felt it was time to find out everything we could about this modern classic. Maybe this time next year we’ll have a Total Recall 2012 commentary from Colin Farrell and Len Wiseman. Wiseman has already offered a commentary for his film’s trailer, but there’s no way in the world it’s going to be as entertaining as listening to Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger. No way. Let’s get our asses to Mars, shall we?

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This Sunday! There will be a thing on the Internet! That we all might be interested to see! But here is some of it now! The teaser trailer has somewhat recently become quite the en vogue way to heighten anticipation for films – throw up a few splashy title cards, dice in some scenes that could (or could not) be important to the film, bate viewers for the full trailer. It’s a fair way to market stuff, and when it works, it really works – like in this teaser trailer for Len Wiseman‘s take on Total Recall. Wiseman’s film is “inspired anew” by Philip K. Dick’s short story, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” and it stars Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston. While it’s hard to get too much of a feel for an entire production from a thirty-second spot that’s peppered with reminders to watch for the full trailer this Sunday, Wiseman’s film at least looks to be a bit more serious and hardcore than Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 film. And, of course, it appears to come complete with Farrell jumping on stuff, like, all the time. The teaser trailer won’t make you wish you had three hands, but it will certainly make you want to see more.

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Bullhead is a Foreign Oscar Finalist

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is currently incensed with its own author, as it has determined that he is a giant wuss. Seriously? You almost let a little stomach bug get in the way of doing the news?! Pansy. Now, on with the good stuff. The shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Oscar has been released. Among the contenders listed in notes from Jeff Wells is Bullhead, a recent pickup of Drafthouse Films and standout film of this year’s Fantastic Fest line-up. Our own Luke Mullen called it “damn near a masterpiece.” That’s high praise, if I’ve ever seen it.

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Drinking Games

Would you vote for Matt Damon for Congress? The people of fake New York sure seem to be ready to do so, as long as his toothy-grin politician character in The Adjustment Bureau can keep his pants on… and with Emily Blunt running around in high heels, that’s not an easy task. But something tells us that a mysterious force might keep him in check to make that happen. One of this spring’s speculative fiction films comes to DVD and Blu-ray, based on a story by Phillip K. Dick, and we give it a $1000-a-plate treatment with our latest drinking game.

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The Adjustment Bureau, loosely adapted from a Philip K. Dick story, takes on one of science fiction’s stock themes. Fans of Lost, for example, or Minority Report or The Matrix will recognize the classic struggle between fate and free will at the heart of the picture, the clash between the universe’s plan for us and our desire to carve out our own destiny. It’s familiar, quasi-religious territory rendered with stylish flair by writer-director George Nolfi and cinematographer John Toll. Set in a Manhattan rife with dapper henchmen in fedoras and swanky buildings with long marble foyers, captured in sweeping camera movements and symmetrical compositions, the film has the look of a production of weighty, spiritual import. Yet that stylistic edge services a love story that starts flat and never gets going. It’s a forced and altogether empty conjoining of two moderately likable, exceedingly bland individuals that inspires none of the deep, transcendent passion required of a narrative so immersed in spirituality.

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EmilyBlunt

The newest adaptation of a Phillip K. Dick novel just added a stellar actress to the project. Either that or she’s way too young for Matt Damon. Whatever you think.

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damon-header

The story, with action, romance and sci-fi overtones, sees Matt Damon playing a politician who falls for a ballerina only to find mysterious forces keeping the two apart. That sounds about right when you add that it is loosely based on the work of Philip K. Dick.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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