Tag Archives: Total Recall

Inception, the Journey Through The Mind

Inception

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Much can be said, and has been, about Christopher Nolan’s Inception. I may be a little late to the game but I would like to voice my opinion about such an incredible and thought-provoking film. With Inception you are transported to the world of the dream and the concept of entering the dreamt manipulate the person that is dreaming, originally conceived to be a horror movie but Christopher Nolan changed it up before production began. With a premise like that it would have been tough movie to bring to life but Christopher Nolan, who is known for making movie on such a level, is able to elevate the concept of the movie and create something that is an extraordinary movie that makes the audience think and invest their time in a deep thought-provoking way. Not many movies have had the same effect on me like Inception did, it was a well put together film that, during my first viewing, was mind-blowing. After many viewings the realization that there was more to the movie than what I had perceived. Was the entire movie a dream? Did the top fall at the end or was that what we were meant to believe? Like most movies it is totally open to interpretation and not everyone will thin the same as I do, which is what Christopher Nolan set out to do i the first place and I applaud him for making the movie the way that he did and that he has become one  of Hollywood’s best directors working today.

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In the future, the military designs the ability to transport people in the dream space, created as training mechanism. Extractors, otherwise known as thieves, use it to acquire secrets that were otherwise impossible to obtain. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), regarded as the best extractor but is haunted by the death of his wife and was forced to on the run, because the government believes he killed his wife, is hired by Mr Saito (Ken Watanabe) to plant an idea, regarded as inception hence the title, into Robert Michael Fischer (Cillian Murphy) , the son of a wealthy businessman, to break up his vast energy conglomerate so he can have it all to himself, Saito not Fischer. Dom enlists the best architect Ariadne (Ellen Page), chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao), forger Eames (Tom Hardy), and the pointman and close friend Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Everything turns dangerous when things don’t go according to plan, causing the dream to become a difficult venture, and Dom’s haunted past comes back to him and causes their own difficulties along the way.

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When I originally saw this movie in the summer of 2010 I was completely awed by what I saw and just had to see it again and so I did, and since then it has been one of my favorite movies of all time. First off the movie completely redefined the mind-bending movie by connecting it with the heist and science fiction genre, even though science fiction can be mind-bending the majority of the time. Like all good mind bending films, this one makes you question what is reality or imagination, similar to Total Recall, The Matrix, and World on a Wire, and the answer is never clear to the audience, which, makes the think and spend time questioning what is going on. With people the solution is never the same, it all relies on how the person perceived the film, with Christopher Nolan not disclosing any information on the ending what so ever, which is a good thing because it would ruin the integrity of the movie. What Christopher Nolan did is simply incredible, to say the least, he used top-notch special effects to convey the world of the dream and created something that will live on though the genius storytelling and the a plot that never stop turning no matter the situation. It is a movie that needs to be handled with patience, only if you are trying to analysis it, to understand just what route he intended on taking. The ending is one of the most talked about scene of the entire movie, it was a clever way of handling it since it can neither confirm nor deny whether it is a dream or not, and everyone has their own opinions on it and I think that it relies totally on the viewer to decide on what it means but I think that the ending means something completely different from the movie itself.

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The ending can easily be interpreted many ways, did the top stop spinning or did it keep join but, honestly it can go either way. I, think that it is all just a dream because throughout the entire movie there are slight signs that may hint at it being a dream entirely but the ending is more of a character moment than anything, it shows that Cobb doesn’t care if he is dreaming or not, hence him walking away from the top while it is spinning something that he doesn’t do at any other moment in the movie, he finally receives the one thing that he has been striving for, to see his children again and move on from the fact that his wife killed herself and that he has been on the run since then. To the character it doesn’t matter but to the viewer may feel differently, I know I do. Like all good science fiction films that are rooted in philosophy, such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall, or pretty much anything that has been written by the author Philip K. Dick, who I feel is a big influence to the film and Christopher Nolan. This is where the difference lays, people will many different meanings for the movie and interpret it in many ways, which is all good but there is usually never a right answer, while the ending itself is just the final arch in the development of Dom Cobb, he is happy and has fulfilled his goals, be it a dream or not. Though I have my set beliefs about the film and it’s ending, I think that the ending accomplished what it set out to do, end the story arch of the main protagonist, and it completes the movie in a whole and satisfying way, any other ending I don’t think would have worked on the same level as this one.

Inception-Explained

It is difficult to come to a rational and logical conclusion about the movie, I personally think that it is all a dream and there are many indicators that it may be a dream that I noticed not to long ago while watching the movie. First of all will be the totems, which are not always as a reliable indicator, as the movie makes them out to be, about the state of the dreamer. It is said during the movie that totems provide the means to indicator whether the dreamer is dreaming or not but you tell or show another dream how the totems works you destroy the integrity of the totem and compromise its power to deduce the state of the dreamer and they may not be able to indicate whether what they are experiencing is a dream or it is real to them. At one point in the movie Dom reveals to Ariadne the purpose of his totem, how in the dream state the top will keep spinning and if the he is in reality the top will fall over, and that it originally didn’t belong to him but instead to his dead wife Mal (Marion Cotillard). If I am to believe that totems are supposed to work then these two reasons would ruin the ability for him since the totem’s powers were revealed to a fellow dreamer. To me I don’t think this is a reliable indicator to what Dom is actually perceiving. I don’t know if this is a flaw in the film or a device that Chris Nolan set up to make people, such as myself, question what is truly going on, which is another reason I think it is such a great movie because it is constantly deceiving the audience.

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Christopher Nolan has created a spectacle that is completely different from any other blockbuster that has come out in recent years. Everything from the cinematography to the sound is perfect at displaying the spectacle at hand. I went a little overboard with this review but I think that it perfectly encapsulate how I feel about the movie.

10 out of 10

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Total Recall a flawed yet entertaining remake of a classic

Total Recall

Directed by: Len Wiseman

Starring: Colin Ferrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston

With school and work taking up most of my time lately, I haven’t been able to blog as much as I want. When it comes to the new Total Recall I have to say that I really had low expectations and I didn’t expect it to be good because my love for the original, my favorite action movie of all time by the way, really didn’t want me to like this movie at all. I was somewhat surprised by the outcome, not by the actual product but how much I really enjoyed it. I have to say that it is really a bad movie that tried way to hard to be something that it wasn’t but it managed to be somewhat of a Bourne hybrid that is lacking any substance but definitely was visually thrilling and entertaining. Sometimes the special effects managed to be too much and made the film a little more corny than it already was. What I do admire about the movie is the performances, Colin Ferrell manages to lead a pretty grounded performance and Kate Beckinsale definitely is having a blast playing the villain, and an extremely hot one at that. The only thing that bothered me was how criminally underused Byran Cranston was as Cohaagen, I have to say that his performance is by far the best performance in the movie but didn’t last as long as I was hoping. As much as I was hoping to love this movie I knew afterwards that it will never live up to the first film and the biggest flaw of the film is that it doesn’t take place on Mars which really takes away from the overall experience of the film.

Originally adapted by director Paul Verhoeven in 1990, author Philip K. Dick‘s classic sci-fi short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale returns to the big screen in this remake starring Colin Farrell, Bryan Cranston, and Kate Beckinsale, and directed by Underworld’s Len Wiseman. The planet has been decimated by nuclear war in the late 21st century, leaving only two nations — the United Federation of Britain and the Colony. Douglas Quaid (Farrell) is a factory worker with a stable job and a loving wife (Beckinsale), but upon learning that a company named Rekall could grant him the memory of the ultimate espionage adventure, he decides that a virtual vacation is better than no vacation at all. But in the midst of having the new memories implanted, something goes haywire. Still strapped to the chair as the system breaks down, he’s branded a spy as the authorities close in, and quickly flees for his life. Later, Quaid discovers that he has a secret identity, and he joins forces with rebel soldier Melina (Jessica Biel) on a mission to track down Matthias (Bill Nighy), the head of a fierce resistance movement that’s been labeled a terrorist organization by the tyrannical Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston). Cohaagen seeks to control the entire free world, and now the harder Quaid fights to defeat him, the clearer it becomes that his memory had been altered long before he walked into Rekall.

Though it doesn’t ask the question of what is reality or what is all a dream, like the original did, it ended with everything being happy though for a second I really thought that it was going to end with him waking up in Rekall but it didn’t and ended with Colin Ferrell and Jessica Biel being together somewhat familiar to the end of the original. I feel that this movie had a lot of big ideas that it never live up to but it is still an entertaining action movie that is not as bad as people say it is.

6 out of 10

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I quit reporting about the box office number because nothing looked to outpace The Dark Knight Rises but this weekend is the first time a movie looks to be able to beat it. The Bourne Legacy may be a sequel to the Bourne Trilogy but it is lacking the main character which I feel is really going to make this movie a bit different from the rest. I have some hope for the movie but it never really sparked my interest like the other film, is it that Matt Damon is no long the lead I think so. It is going to be tough to tell if this movie is going to be any where close to the others. Another release this week is The Campaign which really sparked my interest since I tend to enjoy Will Ferrell comedies and this looks to follow in line with the rest of his movie. The Other Guys opened around the same time two years ago and I can see The Campaign replicating some of the same success. It is not going to be nearly as successful as as the surprise hit Ted that opened earlier this summer but I know it will be more successful then both That’s My Boy and The Watch, both were considered failures and both were R-rated comedies with big stars leading both movies. It looks to me that The Dark Knight Rises is not going to be as successful as it’s predecessor or The Avengers, which is sad since I thought it was a solid movie and probably the best of the summer. I don’t if the Aurora shooting had an effect or people just didn’t flock out to see this like The Dark Knight. I still see it at least making a billion dollars worldwide, more than the Dark Knight internationally but not domestically which i think will be close to 450-500 million. In my eyes The Dark Knight Rises is still a success and the second best movie in the trilogy, which is difficult to decide since it is such a fantastic trilogy with no weak links in the trilogy. This weekend is going to be a big one for me since I have to see Total Recall, Bourne Legacy, and The Campaign and it is hard to decide which one I’ll see during the weekend and what two I’ll see during the week. With summer coming to an end I would like to see what movie in August can make it big and which don’t (sorry Total Recall you are going into the bomb category following the likes of Battleship and John Carter).

Total Recall Trailer

Now what can I say about this film other than AWESOME. I am a huge fan of the original one and it is quite possibly one of Arnold Schwarzenegger and my all time favorite action movie, sorry Die Hard but you are a close second. This time around it looks as though they are focusing more on the original book by Philip K. Dick instead a full on reboot, so in another term a re-interpretation of the novel. With a movie of this caliber and the great actor in front of the camera it may turn out to be one of the best of the year, complete speculation right now, and may actually be a better version of the classic action film. Euroamerica (formerly the United States and the European Union) and New Shanghai (formerly China and South East Asia) fight for political power in the far dystopian future. A simple factory worker suffering from violent nightmares (Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy whose memory and personality were erased and replaced — though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on and how important his lost memories will be in its outcome. What matters to him the most is that he must team up with a young female freedom fighter (Biel) in order for both of them to change the political system in their own country, Euroamerica, which is currently controlled by Euroamerican President Vilos Cohaagen (Cranston) and his government that rules with extreme austerity. There is a lot different in this version, including the setting of Mars but that does not bother me it actually makes it better since it is going a different route than the original and it seems like a better setting of a future than can and someday may actually happen.

UPDATE

I still feel that this movie will be good and may be a remake, though unnecessary, may actually turn out to be good. This trailer is able to bring more of a narrative to the already released trailer which focused mostly on the business Rekall and what happen to Douglas Quaid afterwards, this one focuses on what actually happen within the story.