Total Recall

Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Total Recall"

Vegas on Mars: Recalling ‘Total Recall’ 25 Years Later

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Philip K. Dick has enjoyed a surprisingly active and commercial afterlife considering the decidedly non-commercial nature of his output and the fact that, from a sales perspective, he was never more than a cult success during his lifetime. Then again, Dick’s posthumous popularity as the source for big-budget science fiction movies both revered (Total Recall, Minority Report) and not so revered (Paycheck, Next, The Adjustment Bureau) should perhaps not come as a surprise because Dick trafficked in the kind of sexy, hooky, accessible ideas movies love.

Dick has been adapted extensively in part because his work is so adaptable. Filmmakers can take the core of an idea explored in a Dick short story and adapt it any way they see fit, secure in the knowledge that if they take as many liberties with Dick’s work as filmmakers have tended to take, they only risk alienating a small core of Dick cultists. Sure enough, by the time the Dick short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” was adapted into 1990’s Total Recall a quarter-century ago by a divisive satirist with a uniquely bloody, extreme take on the grotesque excesses of American culture named Paul Verhoeven, it had already been through several different strikingly different iterations.
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dark-star

Why Colonizing Outer Space Is a Bad Idea: 9 Lessons From Pop Culture

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Here’s the ultimate good-bad idea: the Dutch aerospace project is planning to send four humans to Mars in 2023 … and keep them there. Permanently. As of yesterday, 20,000 people had applied for a spot on the mission, and 24 to 40 of the applicants will duke it out on reality TV to be among the first humans to colonize a planet. Clearly, they haven’t seen enough space movies to realize that this is a horrible idea. If these applicants just took the time to watch the following movies and TV shows, they’d surely think twice about hopping into a spaceship.
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10 Movies You Didn’t Realize Were Based on Books

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With the reboot of Total Recall hitting theaters this week, and Cloud Atlas on the horizon we’ve been thinking a lot about the way films are adapted from books, and how often people totally miss the books in favor of the movies that spring from them — including us.  With film adaptations of Philip K. Dick stories like Total Recall, which tend to veer so wildly that you might not recognize even if you had read the source material, we understand. But as it turns out, there are a lot more movies that we didn’t realize were based on books — until now. Click through to see our list, and let us know which movies surprised you (or which ones you totally knew about, smarty pantses) in the comments.
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10 Simulated Realities That Messed with Movie Characters’ Memories

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Tomorrow we’ll finally be able to see Underworld series director Len Wiseman’s update of Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 cult film, Total Recall. The mind-bending, action-packed cultural satire features Colin Farrell in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s former role as Quaid. His encounter with a corporation that implants artificial memories into their clients sets off a chain of confusing and deadly events, forcing him to unravel the secrets lost in his own mind. Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston plays the villain, and the original film’s mutant prostitute with three breasts also makes an appearance — in case you were worried about the super important details.

To get you in the mood for memory-based movies featuring surreal, simulated realities that mess with your mind, we’ve compiled a list of films you may want to watch this weekend. Drop your favorites in the comments below.
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10 Movies We’d Actually Like to See Remade

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In his 1996 review of Cop Land, Roger Ebert wrote that a reader once asked him “why they only remake the good movies, not bad ones. Good films don’t require remaking… but what about ‘promising concepts which were poorly executed for one reason or another?’” It’s a question we ask ourselves every time Hollywood decides to remake a perfectly good movie. This week, for example, we have the big-budget, Colin Farrell-fronted remake of Total Recall, a perfectly good Schwarzenegger/Verhoeven picture from 1990 that marries Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” to the boom-crash action aesthetic of the period, and which stands up just fine these days, thank you very much.

But Ebert and his reader might be on to something — if the suits are going to insist on spending all of their time and money developing remakes, why not remake some movies that didn’t turn out so well, and try to get them right this time? Or better yet, good movies that no one saw, so you’re not doing the original any damage by taking a chance on a copy? With those parameters in mind, we put together this list of movies we frankly wouldn’t mind seeing remade; check it out after the jump, and contribute yours in the comments.
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Bryan Cranston Is Terrifying in New ‘Total Recall’ Clip

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Anyone who has ever drunkenly enjoyed the masterpiece of cheesy retro futurism that is Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 cult classic Total Recall already knows that it should not have been remade. But since the new version of Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” is coming whether we like it or not, we can at least appreciate that Bryan Cranston is playing Chancellor Vilos Cohagen. With the movie due out August 3rd, io9 points us to the first clip of Cohagen, which may actually convince us that Total Recall 2.0 is worth watching. It finds Cranston — who looks more like Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black than Walter White — giving some tense orders to Kate Beckinsale’s Lori Quaid. See the short video after the jump, and let us know whether it affects your position on an Arnold-free Total Recall.
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Kaleidoscopic Posters Inspired by Contemporary Sci-Fi Films

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Today’s sci-fi film posters can be baffling, their shadowy silhouettes lending no clues about the movie’s premise. Artist Dean Walton, aka Mr. Shabba, realized this and set out to create a series of illustrations that utilized the main characters’ outlines in a different, more illuminating way. The result is a collection of five kaleidoscopic works of art that hint at the cinematic narratives of films such as Avatar, The Matrix, and District 9 by recreating scenes from each film’s plot within the main character’s silhouette.  Check out Walton’s visually stunning collection below, and purchase the limited-edition prints over at his website.
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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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1. Starting next Monday, Lady Gaga will be streaming her new album, Born This Way, in FarmVille; players will have to complete tasks for access to each of the tracks. Says Gaga: “I want to celebrate and share Born This Way with my little monsters in a special way that’s never been done before. Zynga… Read More