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Tags: Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Len Wiseman, Total Recall
Categories : Movie Reviews
I was fully strapped into the 2012 remake of “Total Recall” – which, by the way, is probably the first of many frightening remakes of ’90s films that will make me feel old and nostalgic – for the first two acts. It was working a bullet-riddled “Inception” or “Shutter Island” angle, and I was preparing for a climax that had a cerebral twist on the average adrenaline rush.
Well, I waited in vain. While people tend to blame Christopher Nolan for the sorry state of action films that are not in the “Batman” franchise, he’s hardly the most influential figure in the genre these days. Few try to emulate his dark twist on the familiar because even an ambitious failure requires some ambition and effort. The Nolan-inspired blockbusters are still few and far between.
“Total Recall” winds up in the Michael Bay category of action flick, adhering to his “there’s nothing like a good destruction scene” principle. Every time Len Wiseman’s movie seems to be taking a turn towards the intelligent or the thoughtful, someone starts getting chased, someone fires a gun, or something just gets blown towards the heavens. It’s not quite as bad in the beginning as you attempt to puzzle out whether Colin Farrell’s Douglas Quaid is just a normal man thrown into extraordinary circumstances like a Hitchcock hero … or a cold-blooded mercenary brainwashed into believing he’s average like Liam Neeson in last year’s dull thriller “Unknown.”
But in the end, Wiseman decides that it’s better to just blow people up rather than provide answers or catharsis. Who needs to tie up storylines when you can just sever their heads instead? Moreover, who needs to blow our minds with a statement on the subjectivity of reality when you can blow our minds and some buildings with pyrotechnics? As such, “Total Recall” makes for an intellectually unfulfilled experience. Though on the bright side, he does give us the ridiculously awesome Kate Beckinsale as the best female gunslinger since Chloe Moretz’s Hit Girl in “Kick-Ass.” Her unstoppable ruthlessness is as hilarious as it awesome … well, probably more on the hilarious side since her hair manages to stay so perfect even as she gets the snot kicked out of her. B- /
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Tags: Adam Sandler, Bed Bath and Beyond, Christopher Walken, Click, David Hasselhoff, Kate Beckinsale
Categories : Movie Reviews
PREFACE: I mentioned back in Random Factoid #42 that I had gone through a stint of reviewing movies when I was 13. After rummaging through my old home computer, I managed to find some of these reviews. In a special five day mini-series, I will reveal these reviews in their unadulterated form. I leave it up to you to comment, see how my style has changed (or maybe hasn’t). The third part in the series concerns Adam Sandler’s “Click.”
All great comedians have a style of humor. Adam Sandler’s involves having every character curse at one time or another (kids included), overly long gags, and half-hearted attempts at having a heart. Although Click still fits the Adam Sandler stereotype, you walk out of the theater feeling something…a first for the marvelous comedian. Sandler plays architect Michael Newman who is torn between being with his family and working hard to give his family everything. Kate Beckinsale plays his wife, who looks gorgeous but does not show enough emotion to be convincing. One day, he is fed up with his frustrating and seemingly mediocre life. To make matters worse, he can’t find the remote for the TV. He goes to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to look for a universal remote, where Morty (hint: there’s something in the name) gives him the top of the line. Soon, Michael figures out how to control his universe using the remote. He can turn down the volume on his dog, mute his sister-in-law, and do picture in picture. Life is all good for Michael. He can finally give his scumbucket boss (marvelously played by David Hasselhoff) a piece of his fist. However, the remote has a mind of its own. It begins to program itself by things that Michael has been doing a lot. While he fast-forwards, Michael is on auto-pilot where he is there but doesn’t talk. As he fast-forwards to his next promotion, he discovers a year has passed by and that his marriage is on the rocks. The remote fast-forwards ten years to which he is CEO of the company. His wife ran off with the swimming instructor who sports a Speedo at all times, he is incredibly obese from bad eating habits, and things are out of control. Click is hysterical, but isn’t afraid to be melancholy to get across the message. This is the best Adam Sandler movie yet, and without a doubt the only one with a relevant theme. There is incredibly mindless humor at times, but it made the audience think…something new for this genre.