Comparison – Total Recall old and new

Ok, so finally here is the Total Recall review, I warn you now, this will contain spoilers, so if you don’t want any, watch the movie first.

Total-Recall1

I decided to make this a comparison, because I watched a review from Doug Walker as The Nostalgia Critic and That SciFi Guy (Leo Thompson). As such, I’m going to illustrate why the original with Schwarzenegger is a much better piece of writing, compared to the new one. I don’t like doing that, but I feel because simply the review of the new one would be kind of considered snobbish, without context of relating it to its predecessor, as some people have not watched the old one. The problems with the old one, are that it has tropes, like many of Arnold’s movies, but its one of the few gems that not only has a fantastic story adapted from Phillip K. Dick’s story “We can remember it for you, wholesale”, but that it’s still a great movie to watch and be entertained.

Being that I enjoy most of Arnold’s movies, I might have a slight skew on this, but its negligible compared to the issues the new movie has. While they removed the tropes that made the old movie cliché in ways, they didn’t give enough depth to specific scenes and characters to let the story develop. They focused on making bigger and better scenes in the movie, and letting the writing slip. This is because, the movie suffers from opposing ideas of 2 different screenwriters. Sometimes this can happen within a movie, where the movie seems like its bi-polar. We start to tread down the path of explanation and exposition, then boom we get whipped back into the other direction to have more action scenes to move the pace along.

This becomes a problem, where there is one pivotal moment in the story, that both movies have. Quaid is presented with the mental conundrum that what he is seeing and doing may not be reality as he knows it. Both times he went to Recall (Rekall in the new one), to have the super spy treatment on Mars. Where things differ between movies is that in Arnold’s movie, we’re actually on Mars and he is being shot at like he’s a super spy, and is having an adventure as per what he paid for at Recall.

So everything is believable including the point in the movie where they have someone try to use psychology to trick Quaid into surrendering. In the old movie, Quaid is able to see through this ploy because if it were merely an illusion and it were in his head, why would the image of someone important, like a doctor with confidence be showing fear in his eyes and sweating visibly? So Quaid rejects the false pretence given to him and kills the man.

In the new one, we have Quaid’s friend being in this role, and its all wasted because Colin Farrell overacts and the friend shows so much confidence and no subtle hint that he’s lying, that we don’t truly know why Quaid rejects his friend’s claims. He just rejects it because that’s what he’s supposed to do, to move the plot along. It’s the problem with remakes, they want to retell the same story, but they miss the point of the way the old movie is written. Similar to how Dick himself wrote in other stories, to give the reader a subtle hint as where the story is heading, and those able to pick up on it, can see WHY people do things.

With that major point being out-of-the-way, I’m going to move on to acting. I find everyone in the movie does an excellent job with what they are given, with a few exceptions. I really don’t like Colin Farrell as Douglas Quaid in this movie, I can see why they put him in this role, but when his other self is played by Ethan Hawke; a much better character actor, it makes me want this movie to star him in the leading role. Jessica Biel does a great job for someone whom isn’t totally an action star, granted she did have an action role in Blade Trinity. She did fine with the role she was given, she didn’t really make it her own and roll with it, like in Blade 3, but she didn’t phone it in.

Now we come to the role of Doug’s fake wife in the movie, Lori. Played by the Director’s wife, Kate Beckinsale, I enjoy the character in this movie, I don’t know why they let her keep her accent in the movie, but I guess it’s because she sometimes has trouble with others. Lori to me is better portrayed in Arnold’s Recall, because who wouldn’t want to wake up next to a hot and young Sharon Stone in the morning. Putting that thought aside for a moment, the new version of Lori is fantastic, mainly because she is a combination of 2 characters from the old movie. In the old one we had Michael Ironside as the lead pursuer after Quaid as Richter, the overzealous bad ass. In the new one, Lori is the lead pursuer in charge of taking down Quaid.

They probably changed it because in the old one, Richter had a lackey that was just there, and didn’t really need to be. As such we get someone who’s just as good in the action scenes. I don’t want to bring about a bigger spoiler involving Beckinsale’s Lori that shows up later, I’d rather you find out that yourself. As its one of the few good scenes in the movie. Now onto Cohaagen, this character does go through a change, but it’s a good one. Both Ronny Cox and Bryan Cranston are awesome actors to have as villains, as such in the new movie, Cohaagen has even more moxy compared to Cox’s version. Every movie I see with Cranston, I tend to enjoy, especially if he’s in a major role. I really liked him as the villain in this one.

The only nitpick I have to say about Ronny Cox’s version of Cohaagen, is something that tended to happen to Ronny throughout the years in movies and TV shows… Is that he tends to play the same basic character for every villain and some semi-good characters. So he is a bit typecast in his villains. One of the exceptions is the Beverly Hills Cop movies. Which is for a different type of blog entry. Now with the Leader of the resistance, as this is a revolution sort of story; is played by Bill Nighy, who does a good job, but his character is cut very short in this movie. Even more so than in the old one.

In terms of premise of story basis, both movies are a revolutionary tale, as such the old movie does this better, in that it’s a corporation wanting to cash in on Mars inhabitants needing air. Where as this one is a dystopian plot involving a calamity which makes land valuable with the government, all on earth. Which brings me to 2 major plot devices in this movie, one of which is a glaring plothole the size of… oh I don’t know, say the planet!

This is brought up in other people’s reviews, one of which is Noah Antwiler’s, where there is a giant Elevator through the planet, going right through the Earth’s mantle and core. This isn’t explained in any way, it’s just there, and used as a big plot device later in the movie. The other plot device is related to Doug’s job. In the old one, he was a construction worker so it was short and simple. This one, he’s a technician helping to assemble and inspect robots, that later are found to be an army made for the government (Way to recycle I, Robot’s plot there, guys).

Special Effects: What can I say, it’s basically what I wanted from the trailer that they showed, and since it was Len Wiseman, we had his usual moving camera and stylized vision.

Noteworthy items: In the movies, the company Recall is portrayed differently. In the old one, it’s a very clean, and professional company. In the new one, it’s a black market dealer, played by John Cho, who (to me) does a better sales pitch than the old movie’s sales guy. In the old movie, we had the seedy bar featuring the 3 boob hooker. This one also has said woman, played by a new person this time, and instead of a bar, its outside Rekall, haha. It’s a blatant throwback, but at least its good fan service.

Final Thoughts on the new one: The movie isn’t bad, mostly. It just needed a rewrite by a third screen writer, so he could blend the ideas of both previous screenwriters and give us more depth and exposition where it really needed it. I consider it a good re-hash of the same ideas and elements of the old movie without the tropes and with really nice special effects. Also a couple of twists that weren’t in the old one.

Advertisements

Conventioning… A Walk Around Con Bravo Part 3

Sorry about the long wait people, been dealing with personal issues lately. Being jobless during a record time for unemployment, makes things difficult. One of the few luxuries I have at the moment, that doesn’t cost me money, is the internet, for now.

Act 3 – Sunday July 29th, 2012

So, on Sunday, Brent and I packed our stuff, so we could check out of our room at the motel we were staying at. Heading back to the Con for the final day. Running on ice caps and bagels,  and also getting a party pack of timbits for a certain someone’s timbit party, (Details on that below).

Atop Of The 4th Wall 200 Episode Screening!

I went to the 200th episode screening, while Brent went to get another picture with Doug Walker, and get Lindsey and Todd to sign his stuff. After a few technical issues with the audio, Linkara showed us what he had in store for Episode 200. Something he’d vowed to never touch, but said “To hell with it, let’s do One More Day.” A comic most spider-man fans and comic book fanatics know, or at least  should know for making Peter look about as deep as a kiddy pool. The man responsible: Joe Quesada. Some people want his head on a stick for this, but some of us hating this comic, can at least forgive, as he’s done some good work previously. I’m not going to go into One More Day’s details, just watch Linkara’s video, he says it all.

Part 1 and Part 2

There is also a Q&A special he has listed on his blip.tv as well.

Brent was at the signings in the Atrium, before popping back for a few minutes before the timbit party next door got underway. The hilarious-ness and general bashing of One More Day is definitely a favourite of mine, as I’ve seen others tackle the giant turd from Spider-man’s past.

 

here are a couple of images, Brent managed to capture.

After the screening, which did run for longer than a normal episode. I ducked out early during the Q &A, to catch the last bit of…

Spoony’s Timbit Party!

Fun was had by all, as people had literally filled the entire table, that Noah sat at, with boxes of Timbits, his new favourite addiction that he has from Canada.

Spoony loves his timbits!

Pretty simple stuff at the party, Spoony shared the vast quantity of timbits people gave him. I imagine it would’ve been a funny story telling the TSA that all those timbits are for him, when crossing the border.

After the timbit party, I went into the Atrium, while Brent got in line for the following event.

The event I saw, when sitting in a seat was…

How to Create a Webshow

Hosted by Lindsay “Nostalgia Chick” Ellis, Todd (In The Shadows) Nathanson, and Joey “Roo” Desena. The panel was a bit of them talking about what they do, and opened it up for some Q&A, as they’re not exactly organized. Todd intentionally goes for the low quality look, and Lindsay apparently bought him his first real tripod. Previously, he was using a tv dinner tray.

Here’s a couple of shots I got from the cell.

 

After the webshow/Q&A panel, it was time for…

Nerd Vs Critic

It was a bit of a fiasco, Brent got onto the floor and took some shots, I was on the second floor, watching from above. I did get a video, it’s not a great video, but it has the action, and I’ll upload it to YouTube when possible. After the Fiasco, it was a Q&A. Fun times were had by all, as the hilarious puppets were a sight in themselves. As a result of me being at this panel, I missed the Final Fantasy VIII panel, which I was kind of looking forward to, as I’m a huge fan of the game, but this was important too.

     

Some of Brent’s action shots of the battle and Q&A.

After the Nerd Vs Critic panel of hilarity, I headed over to the…

Geek Squares: Celebrity Edition

A game hosted by Natalie, of the ConBravo staff, First Officer, as it were. (Yes, I’m a Star Trek nerd). Guests featured in the squares were: The 3 Mikes, Jon Lee, and Christine of the 404’s, Joey “Roo” Desena, Doctor Holocaust, and Doug Walker, wielding a Teddy Ruxpin. Spoony also joined later on, taking over for Little Mike. They also had a couple of audience members, to fill the vacant squares, as one in particular took over for Doug, whom had to pack and get ready for his next panel. The game is tic, tac, toe with people, much like Hollywood Squares used to do back in the 90’s. Doug was using the Ruxpin to freak out Natalie and everyone else at the panel with its menacing stare and creepy voice Doug used.

Here’s a few shots from my cell.

   

Doug creeping people out with Ruxpin.

After the funniness of the Geek Squares, it was time to head over to…

Channel Awesome Q&A Part Deux

Hosting the panel, were Doug Walker, Lindsay Ellis, Todd Nathanson, Paw Dugan and making her convention debut, Elisa “Maven” Hansen. A lot of the usual Geeky-ness, questions and random things, including an odd occurrence. Linkara decided at one point to ask a question, so he lined up, like everyone else.

*Also, some sad, but kinda funny story happened with Todd and his car. He, Lindsay, Maven and Paw were on the bridge, trying to get to the border crossing, when his car decided to have a meltdown and destroyed its radiator. So after pushing the poor car across the border to get a tow into town, he mentioned the story during the panel. After Derek The Bard stepped up and started passing his top hat around, people donated some money to help cover the cost of the repair to the car. After Doug had left, he left his Teddy Ruxpin with Lindsay, so she and the others signed it and auctioned it off for a 100 dollar bill, to also help pay for the car. Awesome job people!*

  

Linkara in line asking a question at the panel.

Here are some shots of the panel from Brent’s DSLR.

   

Doug attempts to “Jump the Shark”, and had his suitcase with him, as he had an early flight.

After the antics of the Channel Awesome Q&A, the set up for the next event to happen.

Closing Ceremonies

Some news, some views and some suggestions were said at the ceremonies, including another note from Mark Tjan, the chairman. A NEW Venue has been selected for next year, due to the overwhelming numbers this year, probably just over 2000, I’d say. The convention will be held at the Hamilton Convention Centre, for the foreseeable future. Some suggestions were made, about scheduling, and possible future guests. I suggested the grand group at Rooster Teeth, creators of Red Vs Blue and Achievement Hunter. I suggested this, as I know they do go to Fan Expo, but that convention is ridiculously expensive, and WAY over crowded. TeamFourStar was also suggested, a good choice, I don’t really see it being a problem for one of them, as Takahata101 voice of Nappa and Guru in DBZA- is from Toronto, is he not? BrentalFloss was also mentioned, and the Staff took note, so that they can try to get everyone mentioned for coming conventions.

There was even a group hug for Mark, awe.

I was also able to get a couple of shots with Lindsay and Linkara, as well as some autographs. Thanks to Brent for the photos.

  

And with that, I’ll sign off, I had a great time at the convention, and wish to do so more.

Also, look forward to some pieces of my own written work in the future, as well as my thoughts on the Marvel Anime mini series’, and a return of movie reviews!

Men In Black 3, I’ll write about soon.

Conventioning – A Walk Around Con Bravo.

So, as promised, a walk-around with me, and my friend Brent, on our journey through the Con Bravo convention in Burlington, Ontario. Some of the photos are mine, and I do apologise for the lack of quality on them, as I used my android phone for them, other photos are from Brent’s DSLR. Thanks to him for some of the shots.

Act 1 – Friday, July 27th, 2012

For this year, they added a third day, although it was more so evening, as it started at 5pm EST. Con Bravo previously just had Saturday, and Sunday, with the addition of Friday, it allowed for more panels to be showcased. This convention has grown considerably, last year, they had only 60 people pre-register, but over 1200 show up, as it was the first time they showcased people from Channel Awesome. This time around, they added more, last year was just 3 – Doug Walker “The Nostalgia Critic”, Joe Vargas – Angry Joe, Mike “Birdman” Dodd, Tom White, and Noah Antwiler “The Spoony One”.

This year, most were representing Channel Awesome, except for Noah, who recently left Channel Awesome. So returning this year were Doug Walker, Tom White, Mike Dodd, and Noah Antwiler. New additions for the panels this year on the guest list included the following from the Channel Awesome team: James Rolfe aka The Angry Video Game Nerd (Formerly Angry Nintendo Nerd), Lewis Lovhaug aka Linkara, Lindsey Ellis aka The Nostalgia Chick, Joey “Roo” Desena, Todd Nathanson of “Todd In The Shadows”, Paul Schuler aka Paw, and making her first ever Con, Elisa Hansen aka Maven.

Brent and I showed up for the opening ceremony on Friday, and half of the VIPs did show up for the ceremony, but some had some issues with transportation. Linkara, Spoony, Doug and Tom White showed for opening ceremonies, Mike Dodd was wandering somewhere, and some of the others were passed out. Lindsey, Todd, Maven and Paw were travelling by Todd’s car, which would’ve been there earlier, had the car’s radiator not catastrophically failed on the bridge at the border of Canada and the US. AVGN also had some issues when his flight got cancelled, so he decided to also drive all the way as well. Here are some photos of the opening ceremonies as taken from Brent’s DSLR, as mine turned out terrible.

If you have a Facebook account, you can view more of Brent’s ConBravo 2012 photos Here

Onto the first of many panels, Game Of Thrones Discussion Panel-

It was basically a spoiler-thon, granted I’ve only just scratched the surface of Game Of Thrones, it does pique my interest. Thanks to Brent for a photo.

Afterward, while Brent and I wandered for a bit before having dinner, here is a photo of some random cosplay at the front of the hotel.

Photo is from my android, sorry about the quality

Afterward, we wandered some more, through the music show, tons of photos on that from Brent on Facebook. I stood in line for the 4Chan panel, and saw both it and the My Little Panel: Fandom is Magic panel lines were starting to get long, so I managed to get a good spot while I did. When I saw that there would be a 4Chan panel, I knew I had to get in line, as comedy memes would ensue. While there, I met more and more people, as one does at a convention, you socialize with your fellow geek. The panel of course had hilarity from the site of memories of past memes and people representing different boards on 4Chan, running the panel were 2 regulars and a moderator from the site.

Ah the memories of random crap on the site. For those who don’t know, 4Chan was created to serve as an english version of 2Chan, a japanese forum for everything Geek, essentially. These days you will have every walk of humanity on there, so remember to bring your metaphorical umbrellas, rubber boots, and probably a gas mask if you value your sanity. Those whom can survive, live on and enjoy the hilarity that is 4Chan.

Photo credit to Brent, as I forgot to take some photos on my phone.

Later, after the hilarity that was the 4Chan panel, Brent got in line for the Audition for the Worst Movie Ever panel, I went down to wait for the Late Night 404s 18+ panel. The 404s, for those of you who don’t know, are a geek comedy troop that perform their variation on the Whose Line Is It Anyway? show, and damn they do it well. Members of the 404s include: Big Mike, Medium Mike, Little Mike, Jon, Dany and Christine. As it was the 18+ panel, no whips were spared, no jokes pulled, and things we should not see at Con Bravo, we did. Note for next time, Dany, for the love of god, no Green Lantern boxers that enhance the package dude!

404’s from left to right- little Mike, Medium Mike, Jon Lee, Christine, Big Mike and Dany.

They even saved a seat, just for Mark Tjan- Chairman. Rock on Princess Celestia, haha.

Mark not enjoying his spot- photo credit to Brent.

After the side-splitting comedy of the 404s with the Pants-less O’clock antics, and Dany’s green lantern boxers, we called it a night for Friday, as the end of their show, marked the end of the first day of Con Bravo. We retired to the motel we were staying in, and after a bit of Civilization 5, I went to sleep, to have a fresh start for Saturday.

With that, marks the end of the first act of my 3 blog entry for Con Bravo, as it is very early in the morning, and I could use some sleep, look for the second half within the next day or so.