Total Recall

Total Recall is a must for Schwarzenegger
fans and fans of a good action yarn

Full sound DVDs come across extremely well with the Sci-Fi/Action genre. Total Recall is no exception. I had Total Recall film on VHS and greatly enjoyed it in that media but to see it in letterbox with Dolby 5.1 sound brought new life to this older classic.

Total Recall is about Doug Quade, a construction worker on earth that has a nice home and a beautiful, amorous wife. He keeps having dreams about Mars. Mars is the site of a major corporate mining settlement that is having problems with rebels. Quade goes to Recall, a place that for a price will implant memories of vacations into your mind. While there he goes into shock and remembers a life as a secret agent on Mars. Soon, everyone is trying to kill him, his friends, his wife and a posse of men tracking him down. He finds out that he was an agent and goes to Mars to recover his true identity. While there he see the woman that he dreams of every night and finds himself in a plot by the corporation to posses a strangle hold on Mars and it’s mineral deposits. Along the way there are numerous gunfights, hand to man combat and several very loud explosions.

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the main character with usual alacrity. His portrayal of Quade, although predictable, is never the less enjoyable. He maintains his spot as the best of the genre and works hard in this movie to keep that title. His two faced wife is played by Sharon Stone. She is as deadly as she is lovely. Stone even gets a few good battles and handles herself well in the scenes. Dialogue, typical but after all this is not Shakespeare . Rounding out the cast is Ronny Cox as the corporate man in charge of Mars. His role seems a clone of another time he worked for this director in Robocop. Michael Ironsides He is terrific as the main villain. He plays the role close to the edge without ever crossing the line. The other female action lead is Rachel Ticotin. Many may remember her as the female guard in Con Air and from her numerous TV appearances. Each actor plays his or her character well considering this genre is very prone to an almost comic book approach.

Director Paul Verhoeven is great at times and bombs with other movies. His track record is very impressive including such films as Robocop, Basic Instincts, Starship Troopers and the ever infamous, Showgirls. Verhoeven provides us with enough of the original Philip K. Dick story to keep our attention while balancing in enough Schwarzenegger stunts to make it a fun movie.

The Total Recall DVD is of excellent quality. The sound field does under utilize the surround speakers except for the explosions and a few ambient sounds but the soundtrack and dialogue is well balanced and clear throughout the movie. The video transfer does not suffer from the compression artifacts that have plagued many discs that have been made a little while back. (My how technology has changed in only a year). Artisan released this disc and it is a good direction for them to go into. They seem to concentrate on Dolby 2.0 independent flims but they seem to be branching out to include some lesser blockbusters. I hope they remember the indies since they do them so well. Total Recall is a must for Schwarzenegger fans and fans of a good action yarn.

Review by Doug MacLean of

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