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November 17, 2009 8:14 AM   Subscribe

Total Recall - All The Deaths (Including Johnny Cab) (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry (129 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
SCREW YOU BENNY! Totally awesome.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:22 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sharon Stone was pretty back when she was human.
posted by brain_drain at 8:22 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


See you at da pahty, Richtah!
posted by Prospero at 8:24 AM on November 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Heh, I saw this awhile back when looking for clips of the movie. Rumor has it that the movie was initially given an X rating before some violence was cut.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:25 AM on November 17, 2009


Funny, just watched the movie a few days ago.
posted by Goofyy at 8:25 AM on November 17, 2009


Watched it after not seeing it for years = what a GREAT pulp movie.
posted by jettloe at 8:26 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


From now on, all SLYT posts must contain dwarf hookers with machine guns.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:28 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's as if Philip K Dick's words flew right of the page and came to life in front of me.
posted by permafrost at 8:29 AM on November 17, 2009 [22 favorites]


Not violent enough to meet the current U.S. minimum requirement.
posted by Zambrano at 8:30 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Awesome. As a kid, I loved the weirdness of this movie before I even heard the tern 'sci-fi'
posted by gnutron at 8:33 AM on November 17, 2009


It seems stupid to be upset about now, but at the time I really, really hated the ending of TR. Cartoonish eye-bulging in a vacuum? And they survive? To me, the only rational explanation was that this was supposed to be proof that it really was all a dream, because seriously.
posted by DU at 8:34 AM on November 17, 2009


Now I remember why I have this on DVD.
Total Recall?? Should have called it Total Mayhem with 3 boobed hookers and little women with machine guns.
PKD would have been proud.
posted by djrock3k at 8:34 AM on November 17, 2009


Zambrano: "Not violent enough to meet the current U.S. minimum requirement."

oh man I wish this were true. sadly, action movies these days are milquetoast photo shoots where the whole point is to watch someone pose in front of an orbiting camera shot instead of actually performing an action sequence. Total Recall makes Transformers 2 look like Brideshead Revisited. Call me when Shia Leboeuf pulls a lojack out of his fucking brain through his nose with a glorified pipe cleaner.
posted by shmegegge at 8:34 AM on November 17, 2009 [23 favorites]


The Running Man is all I need to complete my set of Schwarzeneggar sci-fi laserdiscs.

Why, yes, the air is quite rarified up here on Connoisseur's Knob

THE HATE BOAT
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:36 AM on November 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


You know what -- make all the Ahnorhld accents you want, but tell me...

A great chair
A great screen/speaker setup
Your favorite food/snacks
Your favorite beverages

and a marathon of.. oh...
Total Recall
Predator
Commando
The Running Man


TELL ME.. that is not the most amazing Saturday ever. I will eat the fine straw hat sported by John Matrix's stiff, rigor'd plane escort in Commando..
posted by cavalier at 8:42 AM on November 17, 2009 [8 favorites]


Rat Spatula: "The Running Man is all I need to complete my set of Schwarzeneggar sci-fi laserdiscs."

End of Days is all I need to complete my set of Schwarzeneggar Rapture DVDs.
posted by shmegegge at 8:43 AM on November 17, 2009


SCREW YOU BENNY! Totally awesome.

Unintentional irony: PKD loved him some Bennies.
posted by googly at 8:43 AM on November 17, 2009


Zambrano: "Not violent enough to meet the current U.S. minimum requirement."

oh man I wish this were true. sadly, action movies these days are milquetoast photo shoots where the whole point is to watch someone pose in front of an orbiting camera shot instead of actually performing an action sequence. Total Recall makes Transformers 2 look like Brideshead Revisited. Call me when Shia Leboeuf pulls a lojack out of his fucking brain through his nose with a glorified pipe cleaner.
posted by shmegegge at 8:34 AM on November 17 [+] [!]


Which raises the question: what modern movies are in the vein of this Total Recall aesthetic? I just watched Ong Bak 2 which had some pretty brutal fighting - I've never seen so many throats cut; but what about in the sci-fi context? I can't think of anything recent....
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 8:44 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nearly 15 years later, I still get shit from my (medic, engineer, mathmo) friends for watching this film in the context of a third year politics degree module on postmodernism. A little Googling reveals that he's still teaching the same course and showing that film!!

'What is reality, how is it defined and what are the political ramifications of this' was an interesting question then as now. Only then I got to ponder it in a dressing gown, while eating Corn Flakes at three in the morning. It’s less fun in a suit at a desk in a Government department at quarter to five. My answers also seem to be a bit more prosaic these days. Sic transit…
posted by dmt at 8:48 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Unintentional irony: PKD loved him some Bennies.

From the wiki link:
Dick was a drug user for much of his life. According to a 1975 interview in Rolling Stone, Dick wrote all of his books published before 1970 while on amphetamines. "A Scanner Darkly (1977) was the first complete novel I had written without speed," said Dick in the interview. He also experimented briefly with psychedelics, but wrote The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, which Rolling Stone dubs "the classic LSD novel of all time," before he had ever tried them. Despite his heavy amphetamine use, however, Dick later said that doctors had told him that the amphetamines never actually affected him, that his liver had processed them before they reached his brain.
Really, the drugs never reached his brain?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:50 AM on November 17, 2009


Also: when I was in high school, I was thinking of what kind of website to create that would be unique and interesting (circa 1997). I was never a huge fan of gore, but I thought of making The Body Counter: tallying the deaths (and means of death) as shown in a given movie. The source of this brilliant idea? Total Recall. The farthest I got into this website was making an animated GIF.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:53 AM on November 17, 2009


Burhanistan: Rumor has it that the movie was initially given an X rating before some violence was cut.

Is there a Paul Verhoeven Hollywood movie that this isn't true of (substitute "sex" for "violence" where necessary)?

r_nebblesworthII: what modern movies are in the vein of this Total Recall aesthetic?

I don't think anyone quite matches the mixture of violence, wit, and (yes) brains like Verhoeven, but if you're looking for pure over-the-top action, I'd recommend Shoot 'Em Up and Sin City. Action sci-fi seems to have fallen out of vogue, though.
posted by mkultra at 8:54 AM on November 17, 2009


r_nebblesworthII: for a recent brutal sci-fi, check out Equilibrium (or as I call it, Fahrenheit 1984, for its extremely generic dystopian "plot"). Yes, it has its share of posing (in fact, a significant part of the movie is posing in special ways with guns), but it also has quite a bit of nasty hand-to-hand combat.
posted by Jpfed at 8:58 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


The end of TR bugged the shit out of me too, not just because of the stupid eye-bulging, but the conceit that you could fill an entire planet's atmosphere in time to save two people from suffocating. The winds from the newly-created atmosphere would need to travel at some insane speed, 1000mph+. When the first (of many) shockwaves hit the actors, they should have been either pulped or sandblasted. There would have been completely lethal storms on Mars for CENTURIES until it all settled down.

I remember enjoying it up to the end, but that part was so stupid that it wrecked the movie for me... so thoroughly, in fact, that I still complain about it, almost twenty years later. :)
posted by Malor at 8:58 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


filthy light thief: "Really, the drugs never reached his brain?"

You decide...

Throughout February and March 1974, he experienced a series of visions, which he referred to as "two-three-seventy four" (2-3-74), shorthand for February-March 1974. He described the initial visions as laser beams and geometric patterns, and, occasionally, brief pictures of Jesus and of ancient Rome. As the visions increased in length and frequency, Dick claimed he began to live a double life, one as himself, "Philip K. Dick", and one as "Thomas", a Christian persecuted by Romans in the 1st century A.D. Despite his history of drug use and elevated stroke risk, Dick began seeking other rationalist and religious explanations for these experiences.

posted by Joe Beese at 8:58 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Kill Them All," eh?

In my collection I have a VCD (Video CD) called "Arnold Schwarzenegger is Completely Insane" that is a compilation of every single person Arnold Schwarzenegger has killed during his entire film career (up until 2003, the year this compilation was made.) Strangely the only trace of this compilation I can find online is a link to Film Threat which doesn't seem to be working... surely this gem is on Teh Interwebs somewhere. filthy light thief-- this compilation does keep a running "death tally" onscreen. Watching the numbers climb during "Commando" was something else.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:59 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


oh man I wish this were true. sadly, action movies these days are milquetoast photo shoots...

Having only made it about 20 minutes into Wanted before giving up in extreme nausea, I shudder to think how much violence and gore you'd like in your movies.
posted by DU at 8:59 AM on November 17, 2009


...but the conceit that you could fill an entire planet's atmosphere in time to save two people from suffocating.

Oh yeah, that too. And I agree, it basically ruined the movie for me.
posted by DU at 9:01 AM on November 17, 2009


The winds from the newly-created atmosphere would need to travel at some insane speed, 1000mph+.

But, you had no problem believing that the leader of the Martian resistance was a mutant baby man with ESP who was conjoined to his host human?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:01 AM on November 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


Sharon Stone was pretty back when she was human.

That 80's hair was a strong argument for capital punishment.
posted by rokusan at 9:07 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I once rented a video of this movie, censored to fit in with local sensibilities, in Bangladesh. It was about 10 minutes long.
posted by Mocata at 9:08 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I once rented a video of this movie, censored to fit in with local sensibilities, in Bangladesh. It was about 10 minutes long.

I really, really hope this is serious. Because it is amazingly awesome.
posted by cavalier at 9:10 AM on November 17, 2009


r_nebblesworthII : but what about in the sci-fi context? I can't think of anything recent....

They may not fully rise to the level of Total Recall, but in terms of bodycount and blood sci-fi still can deliver: Equilibrium, District-9, and Ultraviolet come quickly to mind.
posted by quin at 9:11 AM on November 17, 2009


District-9 had a guy getting completely dismembered and eaten.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:12 AM on November 17, 2009


Oh, and

I remember enjoying it up to the end, but that part was so stupid that it wrecked the movie for me... so thoroughly, in fact, that I still complain about it, almost twenty years later. :)

DUDE. Three breasted hooker. THREE BREASTED HOOKER.

You still held your suspension of disbelief till the end...??

Just sayin'. :D
posted by cavalier at 9:14 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


But, you had no problem believing that the leader of the Martian resistance was a mutant baby man with ESP who was conjoined to his host human?

A nice homage to the Joe Bob Briggs favorite Basket Case
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:15 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


To me, the only rational explanation was that this was supposed to be proof that it really was all a dream, because seriously.

My position, after watching it a few times, was it was definitely a dream/schizoid break. There's that sequence at the beginning, where one of the technicians is looking at a screen behind Quaid and goes "Huh, blue skies on Mars. That's a new one." Then the ludicrousness of the rest of the film makes total sense.
posted by jscott at 9:18 AM on November 17, 2009


Anyway, I can understand the sentiment of disbelief. It's plausible to allow implausible things like mutants and perception distortion because that is central to the movie, but you want other things like basic physics and other ordinary, everyday mechanisms to remain intact. That's not really a bad thing, it just makes you painfully literal. Perhaps the life giving winds at the end were a metaphor, as was most of the movie.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:19 AM on November 17, 2009


DU: "Having only made it about 20 minutes into Wanted before giving up in extreme nausea, I shudder to think how much violence and gore you'd like in your movies."

one of these days I will ship you a DVD labeled "Wall*E" that will instead have Ichi The Killer inside.
posted by shmegegge at 9:20 AM on November 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


oh man I wish this were true. sadly, action movies these days are milquetoast photo shoots...

Having only made it about 20 minutes into Wanted before giving up in extreme nausea, I shudder to think how much violence and gore you'd like in your movies.


My memory tells me that I saw TOTAL RECALL and ROBOCOP 2 on consecutive days back in summer 1990. Both were films I approached with high hopes (I was a big Philip K. Dick fan; I was a big ROBOCOP fan).

They both appalled me; not because I'm squeamish but because they were both so FUCKING DUMB, violent to the point of boring, a waste of precious moments of my life. The term "murderporn" had not penetrated my vocabulary at that point in time, but I sure felt it. And I still do. To this day, when I'm watching some POP-action flick and the BIG DUMB CHASE OR BLOOD SPATTERED FIGHT sequence kicks in, I grab my remote and hit fast-forward.

I'm sure that this has added years to my life. Fun clip by the way. Interesting how STUPID becomes art when exaggerated, brought into sharp focus.
posted by philip-random at 9:21 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


cavalier: it's the truth! Alright, it was a bit longer than 10 minutes, but it was censored to heavily that it made almost no sense - no three-titted prostitutes, and not even a glipse of that small mutant who lives in the guy's stomach or whatever. The entire sequence featuring him was cut, I remember.
posted by Mocata at 9:23 AM on November 17, 2009


But, you had no problem believing that the leader of the Martian resistance was a mutant baby man with ESP who was conjoined to his host human?

There's suspension of disbelief where the story is asking you to accept an implausible premise, and there's suspension of disbelief where the story doesn't even realize its premise is implausible. Telepathy is in the former category; atmospheres violating compressible gas dynamics are in the latter. This even goes for genres where you expect *some* unnatural occurences. If your story needs Chekhov's gun in Act 3 it's a good idea to introduce it in Act 1; changes to the laws of physics likewise shouldn't be complete surprises, even in science fantasy.

To use an example someone brought up the other day: I don't wonder how Superman can fly, because that's magic and it's part of the setup for the story. But now I do wonder what happens to Clark Kent's wallet when he changes clothes. He can heat-vision the clothes to ash and slag and replace them later, but is he set up to forge replacement drivers' licenses? Does he risk his secret identity by leaving ID around for nosy people to find? Does he slip a credit card and license into his tights and burn/replace the rest? Does he just have some excuse for not carrying ID as Clark?

And for that matter, what's the explanation for the fact that this post sounded reasonable when I started, but I hear Comic Book Guy's voice in my head when I read past paragraph 2?
posted by roystgnr at 9:23 AM on November 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


(so heavily)
posted by Mocata at 9:24 AM on November 17, 2009


But, you had no problem believing that the leader of the Martian resistance was a mutant baby man with ESP who was conjoined to his host human?

Hey, it worked in A Canticle for Leibowitz, giving them a pass on that was hardly a stretch. :)

Plus, we see conjoined twins all the time on the news.... this is just an unusually freaky version. It's not impossible, just very unlikely. Well, the ESP was impossible, but that was twenty years ago, and I wasn't as well-educated then. :)

So yes, I was willing to swallow that, but balked at 2 minutes to planetary atmosphere.
posted by Malor at 9:26 AM on November 17, 2009


philip-random: "Interesting how STUPID becomes art when exaggerated, brought into sharp focus."

I think this has pretty much always been Vehoeven's point. I'm not going to go and insist he's an artist or anything, but if you see these things as intentionally stupid with tongue firmly planted in cheek, they're much more enjoyable. like the most underrated movie of the aughts: Shoot 'Em Up.
posted by shmegegge at 9:26 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ah! Total Recall. The film that dares to ask the question "If I'm not me den who de hell am I?"
posted by Jofus at 9:32 AM on November 17, 2009 [11 favorites]


My Governor.
posted by pianomover at 9:32 AM on November 17, 2009


But, you had no problem believing that the leader of the Martian resistance was a mutant baby man with ESP who was conjoined to his host human?

You sound a bit worked up about this. I'm going to have to recommend that you...

Let off some steeem, Burhanistaahn!

*rimshot*
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:36 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


what modern movies are in the vein of this Total Recall aesthetic?

Definitely Shoot 'Em Up. High body count, lots of shooting, and they play Motorhead for you to assist your enjoyment of the mayhem. Also there's a bit where Clive Owen is nailing Monica Belucci, who is like totally naked and shit, and bad guys break in so Clive picks up a gun, stands up taking Belucci with him, and starts waddling around the room with her strapped to his midsection like, well, like Kuato and he continues to perform his duty to her as he shoots the assailants.

If I were 14 it would be my new religion.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:36 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think this has pretty much always been Vehoeven's point. I'm not going to go and insist he's an artist or anything, but if you see these things as intentionally stupid with tongue firmly planted in cheek, they're much more enjoyable.

Actually, I have no problem viewing Verhoeven as a pop-sci-fi cinematic artist; certainly in the context of ROBOCOP and STARSHIP TROOPERS. But TOTAL RECALL is just a waste of time, money, talent, source material and fake blood. Start with Malor's comments about the sheer implausibility of it, throw in the murderporn and top it off with the WORST leading man in the history of cinema (Arnold always played a convincing cyborg and that's all I'll ever give him credit for); what you're left with is colossal mess that can only be laughed at, but even that's hard, for me, given the murderporn.
posted by philip-random at 9:38 AM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I never though about the shockwave aspect of the newly-created atmosphere but I didn't find the life saving aspect of it to be totally out of line. The partial pressure of the air right next to the air plant would have to be high if the plants worked at all.
posted by Mitheral at 9:39 AM on November 17, 2009


like the most underrated movie of the aughts: Shoot 'Em Up.

Just for fun, one drunken weekend, I decided to try to figure out the body count in this film without using any of the web pages dedicated to such an endeavor.

I gave up as soon as they reached his loft. All I could come up with was "a fucking lot".

The opening scene is still one of my go-to moments when I'm feeling stressed out about the world. Everything about it makes me smile.
posted by quin at 9:39 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: dwarf hookers with machine guns.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 9:43 AM on November 17, 2009


I never though about the shockwave aspect of the newly-created atmosphere but I didn't find the life saving aspect of it to be totally out of line. The partial pressure of the air right next to the air plant would have to be high if the plants worked at all.

Yeah, they did tumble down the same mountain that housed the reactor, so it's not like the winds had to travel 1000+ MPH to reach their location.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:45 AM on November 17, 2009


roystgnr: To use an example someone brought up the other day: I don't wonder how Superman can fly, because that's magic and it's part of the setup for the story. But now I do wonder what happens to Clark Kent's wallet when he changes clothes. He can heat-vision the clothes to ash and slag and replace them later, but is he set up to forge replacement drivers' licenses? Does he risk his secret identity by leaving ID around for nosy people to find? Does he slip a credit card and license into his tights and burn/replace the rest? Does he just have some excuse for not carrying ID as Clark?

If my Silver Age education taught me anything, it's that Supe's cape has a secret pocket where he stashes Kent's stuff. Why it doesn't make a gigantic bulge in his cape was not, to my knowledge, ever addressed.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:58 AM on November 17, 2009


Burhanistan: Yeah, they did tumble down the same mountain that housed the reactor, so it's not like the winds had to travel 1000+ MPH to reach their location.

Yeah, it's not that the movie is ridiculous or illogical or anything, it's that IT WAS WAY OVER YOUR HEAD!!!
posted by mkultra at 10:01 AM on November 17, 2009


The end of TR bugged the shit out of me too

I'm gonna go with "still a dream" on that one.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on November 17, 2009


Wooo, Equilibrium for the motherfucking win!
posted by adamdschneider at 10:25 AM on November 17, 2009


also, just to be clear, we're talking about a movie based on a story where the plot was that the dude had his mind erased by aliens because they gave him a magic wand that would save humanity so long as he never remembered that they had given it to him.
posted by shmegegge at 10:27 AM on November 17, 2009


aliens which promised that, should he remember their encounter, they would instead come and destroy the earth.
posted by shmegegge at 10:27 AM on November 17, 2009


I remember trekking out at midnight to watch the first preview screening of Total Recall... it was sold out. My, was I annoyed.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:45 AM on November 17, 2009


My mom took me to see this movie in the theater when I was not quite 11 years old. I remember seeing a contest related to it sponsored by Nintendo Power, where you would win a visit to the set. I had already rented the running man, and being a red-blooded suburban american kid, I of course wanted to see Total Recall. It was a really hot summer day, and the prospect of getting out of the oppressive heat and going to see an awesome action movie sounded so delightful to me.

I was horrified.

It was so gruesome that I found myself wondering if I had just watched the wrong movies (and I had seen plenty of R Rated movies by that point), and wondering if most action movies were this violent. I kept looking at my mom who was watching unflinchingly, but I wanted to be brave, so I didn't suggest leaving, even though I wanted to do so more than anything.

Imagine my relief when we were walking to the car and my mom said "That was horrible! I'm never going to see a schwarzenegger movie again...I feel like I need to take a shower."

I was with her on that sentiment until the next summer when T2 came out and all was forgiven.
posted by orville sash at 10:47 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


FWIW, thiough I still have undying love for the movie Dune and consider most of it's so called flaws to be part and parcel of it's overall artistic triumph, the bit at the end where it rains still seems fucking silly to me.
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on November 17, 2009


orville sash - wimp.
posted by Artw at 10:59 AM on November 17, 2009


In replying to the argument that baseball's designated hitter rule removes an element of strategy from the game, someone said, "Watching pitchers hit 50 times a week for the sake of two moments of strategy isn't enough fun."

Expecting plausibility - even consistency - from a movie like Total Recall isn't enough fun.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:02 AM on November 17, 2009


what modern movies are in the vein of this Total Recall aesthetic?

I'd give the new Deathrace a shot.

Actually anything with Jason Stratham in. He appears to be a good marker for a particular kind of movie experience.
posted by Artw at 11:09 AM on November 17, 2009


I remember when I saw this thing in its theatre run the guy sitting next to me in the crowded cinema kept making orgasmic little gasps at each new bit of bloodshed. Ewwwww..
posted by Paul Slade at 11:10 AM on November 17, 2009


The release of Total Recall was perfectly timed: Summer of 1990, when I was 15. I went to see it with my older brother and we both agreed it was a fine piece of cinema. When viewed with a slightly more grown-up eye it's ridiculous, but fun.

Ronnie Cox is so evil Total Recall (and Verhoven's Robocop before it) that it was a little like vertigo watching him play a guitar-playing peacenik when I first saw Deliverance.

(And seriously: yeah, the instant-atmosphere thing was totally far-fetched, but I wouldn't call the entire movie up to that point exactly believable either.)
posted by usonian at 11:20 AM on November 17, 2009


so evil in Total Recall.
posted by usonian at 11:22 AM on November 17, 2009


Actually anything with Jason Stratham in.

Not Transporter2.

Jason Statham movies also have compulsory shirtlessness* for the ladies.**

Director: Jason, in this scene you'll shirtless and you'll be covered in a thin layer of motor oil.
Statham: Why? What's my motivation?
Director: Ssssssh. Less talky, more shirt take offy.

* Statham may be the male equivalent of Milla Jovovich in that both seem to be utterly incapable of keeping their clothes on if you point a camera at them.

**Or gents, if that's your thing.

posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:23 AM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's as if Philip K Dick's words flew right of the page and came to life in front of me.

You know what? It actually does something with the Dick story whilst throwing all the action movie stuff at the screen, and though not exactly Bladerunner it's pretty far from the worst mangling of a PKD short story to hit the screens.

The default of late seems to be to start with Dick's premise, pad the hell out of it with chase scenes and then throw in some random awful ending. And so we get crap like Minority Report or Paycheck...
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not Transporter2.

Not seen that. But Crank is genius.

(Crank 2 is basically just random offcuts they couldn't get into Crank, and lacks the coherence and well-structuredness of the original. Crank 3, should such a thing come into being, will most likely be awful beyond words)
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on November 17, 2009


for a recent brutal sci-fi, check out Equilibrium

"More rounds of ammunition are expended in this film than in any film I can remember, and I remember The Transporter." -- Roger Ebert
posted by kirkaracha at 11:33 AM on November 17, 2009


I like how the boss in Equilibrium, who is supposedly this fascist enforcing a law against emotions by making everyone take pills, is a total rage-monkey.

Other than that I'm not sure I rate it that highly. Never really connected with it, and the action seemed a little dull.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on November 17, 2009


The default of late seems to be to start with Dick's premise, pad the hell out of it with chase scenes and then throw in some random awful ending...

Ruh-roh.
posted by Iridic at 11:36 AM on November 17, 2009


"Throughout February and March 1974, he experienced a series of visions, which he referred to as 'two-three-seventy four' (2-3-74), shorthand for February-March 1974. He described the initial visions as laser beams and geometric patterns, and, occasionally, brief pictures of Jesus and of ancient Rome. As the visions increased in length and frequency, Dick claimed he began to live a double life, one as himself, 'Philip K. Dick', and one as 'Thomas', a Christian persecuted by Romans in the 1st century A.D. Despite his history of drug use and elevated stroke risk, Dick began seeking other rationalist and religious explanations for these experiences. "

Well isn't it obvious? His brain was simply responding to the amazing event happening in Feb '74, namely my birth. Clearly my appearance on this planet was momentous enough to send shockwaves through reality for some time afterwards.

I honestly haven't done shit since then, but at least I made a splash on the way in, right?
posted by caution live frogs at 11:41 AM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Last I hear that one might be one of the exceptions.

We may still live to see John Woo's VALIS of course.
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on November 17, 2009


A Scanner Darkly is pretty much the book to read if you want to know about Dick and drugs. The movie isn't that bad either.
posted by Artw at 11:42 AM on November 17, 2009


The default of late seems to be to start with Dick's premise, pad the hell out of it with chase scenes and then throw in some random awful ending. And so we get crap like Minority Report or Paycheck...

That's mostly only true with the short stories that they adapt. Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck and Next were all from pretty short short stories. Scanner Darkly was made pretty faithfully from a novel and didn't have chase scenes and such.
posted by octothorpe at 11:49 AM on November 17, 2009


I think Total Recall is amazing, if only because, for most viewers, it gives them exactly what they want within the constraints of that experience. I'm going to repost something I wrote in the last Total Recall thread:

The scene with the doctor in Total Recall is fantastic because of what it does to the viewer. When you watch that sequence, you're doing the exact same thing Quaid is doing- looking for an excuse for the violent action fantasy to continue, even though the doctor actively points out the film's plot-holes. When you see that bead of sweat, you sort of relax- because it means that the movie isn't over yet, even though you realize that, if the Doctor is correct, the best ending for Doug would be to take the pill and wake up. The entire remainder of the film is a paean to believing in interesting fantasy over boring reality.


Also there's the fact that every time Arnold fights someone he goes, "AHHH! DAHHHH! DAHH DAH DAHHHH!"
posted by 235w103 at 11:50 AM on November 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


Screamers pretty much sticks to doing Second Variety, that ones pretty good, and its got Robocop (fuck you Rotten Tomatoes and your 28% rating).
posted by Artw at 11:54 AM on November 17, 2009


Get to de plo choppah!
posted by zippy at 11:56 AM on November 17, 2009


Artw : Crank 3, should such a thing come into being, will most likely be awful beyond words)

[SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW]

I love the franchise, but considering the way they ended the second one, with the fire and all, there is only one way I can see them making a third, and it would be the coolest fucking idea ever.

They need to turn Chev Chelios into the next Jason Vorheese. He's already proven himself to be an unstoppable killing machine, he's now horribly disfigured, so take it to the next level and make him into the boogie-man.

It would be, by and far, the most original origin story for a movie monster ever attempted; the one where the character who used drugs and had premarital sex actually turned into the monster, rather than being killed by it.

posted by quin at 12:05 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Total Recall - All The Deaths (Including Johnny Cab)

Truth in advertising.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:11 PM on November 17, 2009


Ronnie Cox is so evil Total Recall (and Verhoven's Robocop before it) that it was a little like vertigo watching him play a guitar-playing peacenik when I first saw Deliverance.

And there's Apple's Way.
posted by philip-random at 12:20 PM on November 17, 2009


Never really connected with it, and the action seemed a little dull.

Wow, for me the action is pretty much the only reason to watch that movie. Most creative, wireless, mostly-slow-motion-free action I have ever seen on screen.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:30 PM on November 17, 2009


Crank 2 is basically just random offcuts they couldn't get into Crank,

Yeah but it's got strippers getting their tits shot off. And Mai Ling. And actual honest to god shoot 'em up power-ups. Plus assorted random celeb/pornstar cameos. And a twist at the end I didn't expect, because it was so utterly ridiculous...

I love the franchise, but considering the way they ended the second one... I can see them making a third,

After watching my thoughts were basically he's gonna have to be a zombie in the next one
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:33 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Total Recall - All The Deaths (Including Johnny Cab)

Truth in advertising.


Was going to add 'Including the rat... and the fish' but didn't want to spoiler it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:34 PM on November 17, 2009


scarface: the short version.
posted by shmegegge at 12:41 PM on November 17, 2009


man i haven't seen that movie. that totally spoiled it for me.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 12:46 PM on November 17, 2009


Never mind all the deaths, how about editing together all of Arnie's amusing gurning? You know, that stupid face he pulls when in distress, and possibly uses more in Total Recall than any other movie.
posted by malevolent at 12:49 PM on November 17, 2009


“If my Silver Age education taught me anything, it's that Supe's cape has a secret pocket where he stashes Kent's stuff. Why it doesn't make a gigantic bulge in his cape was not, to my knowledge, ever addressed.”

Think anyone’s going to point that out to him?
Aquaman: “Yo, Kal-El. You crap your pants there or wh –“ *fifty thousand superhuman blows in a nanosecond*
Flash: “Uh…”
Green Lantern: “What? Where’d Aquaman go?”

“Also there's a bit where Clive Owen is nailing Monica Belucci, who is like totally naked and shit, and bad guys break in so Clive picks up a gun, stands up taking Belucci with him, and starts waddling around the room with her strapped to his midsection like, well, like Kuato and he continues to perform his duty to her as he shoots the assailants.”

Did that this morning before heading in to work. I’ve never really been into the action-y films. Total Recall seemed to have some interesting PK Dick concepts going for it, but it just dumped those. I liked the goofiness, but that can get too juvenile in the exposition (e.g. the cab driver saying “Now they’re after me!”) if the director isn’t careful. Goofiness is too important to not take seriously.
I mean – is he in the dream, isn’t he? And you immediately don’t care. Sometimes in a good way.

I like Statham. But he cannot match the raw power, the double clutch interlocked finger fist overhead hammer blow that is the shirtless Kirk.

I’ll see a movie based on VALIS if it’s beamed into my head from space and I’m not at all certain if I’ve seen it or I’m living it because I’m featured in the film after being threatened by the authorities not to view the film or expose others to it by writing short narratives in threads in metablogs discussing pop culture and … I have to go.
(Btw VALIS was will been a HELL of a movie)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:12 PM on November 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


action movies these days are milquetoast photo shoots where the whole point is to watch someone pose in front of an orbiting camera shot instead of actually performing an action sequence. Total Recall makes Transformers 2 look like Brideshead Revisited.

There may not have been any gore in Transformers 2, but I would almost guarantee that the (unconfirmed) body count is higher. In the first Transformers you had maybe a couple of cars and a bus destroyed, in the second one they went apeshit on destroying all kinds of things that obviously had people in it.

There's suspension of disbelief where the story is asking you to accept an implausible premise, and there's suspension of disbelief where the story doesn't even realize its premise is implausible.

Yeah, I kept getting into an argument with a friend about this. He seems to want to nitpick ridiculous things such as the way Spiderman swings with his webs, and I don't care what they show as long as they've sold it. My friend would say how stupid it is that Deadpool could block bullets with a sword and I kept saying I don't care as long as it looks like he could.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2009


On a side note; Equilibrium was a ridiculous movie and just plain sucked.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:30 PM on November 17, 2009


I like Statham. But he cannot match the raw power, the double clutch interlocked finger fist overhead hammer blow that is the shirtless Kirk.

Dude. Not even Ditka or AtomicMechaDitka could stand up to Shirtless Kirk and his Mjollnir-of-the-Hands.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:43 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


It did have Sean Bean sitting in a church crying at the powerful beauty of poetry though, so it wasn't all bad
posted by dng at 1:43 PM on November 17, 2009


CAN YOU FLY, BOBBY?

Wait, wrong Verhoven.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:52 PM on November 17, 2009


My friend would say how stupid it is that Deadpool could block bullets with a sword and I kept saying I don't care as long as it looks like he could.

My complaint was that the blades they put in Deadpool's arms were so long that he wouldn't have been able to bend his elbows when the blades were retracted.

That shit offends my nerd sensibilities! I accept Adamantium skeletons, and mutant powers, but not that for some reason.
posted by quin at 1:55 PM on November 17, 2009


I would like to see a clip of all the deaths in 2012.
posted by stargell at 1:55 PM on November 17, 2009


If at all possible, Total Recall should be watched in the DVD release that includes a commentary track with both Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger. Let's just say they do not mix well.

Typical Verhoeven commentary: Blah, blah, blah, metaphor for European colonialism, blah, blah, Hitchcock's camera angles, blah, blah, mise en scene, blah, blah, blah. (loosely paraphrased because it's been a while)

Typical Schwarzenegger commentary: "There's the thing that came out of my nose! That's how the bad guys could find me!" (Actual quote)
posted by Naberius at 2:07 PM on November 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


I would like to see a clip of all the deaths in 2012.

That clip would take two hours and twenty minutes to watch.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:24 PM on November 17, 2009


Conan commentary is like that "Here are the dogs, and people are running, now I have a sword..."

It's actually kind of awesome.
posted by Artw at 2:27 PM on November 17, 2009


Bai Ling is, as far as i can tell, some crazy person they just let wander onto the Crank 2 set and do whatever.
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on November 17, 2009


Considering Corey Feldman was in Crank 2, and was sort of awesome in it, I think they were specifically looking for crazy people to cast in the film.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:30 PM on November 17, 2009


Er, Corey Haim, rather.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:31 PM on November 17, 2009


Also John de Lancie as a slimy smug git that you want to punch, which is inspired casting given my visceral reaction to seeing Q onscreen.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on November 17, 2009


Bai Ling is, as far as i can tell, some crazy person they just let wander onto the Crank 2 set and do whatever.

FTFY.
posted by kmz at 2:43 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the First ex-Mrs. evilmidnightetc. and I had a Vegas Wedding and a Martian Divorce... the Second preferred a more traditional Church Wedding and Execution by Guillotine. #3 and I signed a pre-nup that specifies Lethal Injection, but I should've held out for Circular Firing Squad.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 2:43 PM on November 17, 2009


Conan commentary is like that "Here are the dogs, and people are running, now I have a sword..."

It's actually kind of awesome.


The other day I heard* Edgar Wright refer the Arnie Conan commentary track to Jon Ronson as good example of how not to do it

*on Twitter, the celeb stalkers friend
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:46 PM on November 17, 2009


UI think looking back on it i would characterize almost all of the time in my life I;ve spent listening to DVD commentaries as a waste, with the exception of two: The Thing, and the Arnie commentary on Conan.
posted by Artw at 2:49 PM on November 17, 2009


And am I the only person who noticed that Schwarzenegger totally recycled his DVD commentary tracks into his California State of the State Addresses? Total Recall was 2006, Running Man was this year and I hear rumors his last one coming up will be Kindergarden Cop.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 2:49 PM on November 17, 2009


Naberius: "If at all possible, Total Recall should be watched in the DVD release that includes a commentary track with both Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger. Let's just say they do not mix well."

In the commentary track of Heartbreakers, Sigourney Weaver notes the Gene Hackman character's resemblance to Malvolio in Twelfth Night. Jennifer Love Hewitt rues how large her butt appears in a pair of white pants.

malevolent: "Never mind all the deaths, how about editing together all of Arnie's amusing gurning? You know, that stupid face he pulls when in distress, and possibly uses more in Total Recall than any other movie."

Sure, I know what you mean. I always think of it as his "DAHHH!! face". [Or, if you prefer, his "Get To The Chopper! face".] Verhoeven's effects guys captured it perfectly.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:10 PM on November 17, 2009


If you're looking for a ridiculously violent movie thats come out somewhat recently I suggest Rambo (or Growth-Hormone Rage-Beast as my friends and I call it).

I loved Shoot Em Up and Crank for what they were, but if you want to see people being torn apart by machine guns, nothing compares to Rambo. It is absolutely brutal psychotic violence at its finest. I watched it and could not believe it got through with just an R rating.

And the message of the movie seems to be 'Violence solves everything'.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 3:14 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I always think of it as his "DAHHH!! face"

Describes nearly all of this Schwartenegger performance.
posted by zippy at 3:19 PM on November 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Somehow Rambo just doesn't look any fun. TBH Stallones always been lacking in the fun factor compared with Arnie.
posted by Artw at 3:22 PM on November 17, 2009


Nyarlathotep: "If you're looking for a ridiculously violent movie thats come out somewhat recently I suggest Rambo (or Growth-Hormone Rage-Beast as my friends and I call it) ... if you want to see people being torn apart by machine guns, nothing compares to Rambo. It is absolutely brutal psychotic violence at its finest. I watched it and could not believe it got through with just an R rating.."

Wow, you're not kidding. Even without sound, that's some visceral stuff - pardon the expression. Nice directing there, Sly.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:37 PM on November 17, 2009


I watched it and could not believe it got through with just an R rating.

And the message of the movie seems to be 'Violence solves everything'.


I think you've solved your own mystery here. As long as the message is a straight, uncomplicated "Violence Solves Everything", it's going to get its R.
posted by philip-random at 4:21 PM on November 17, 2009


And the message of the movie seems to be 'Violence solves everything'.
posted by Nyarlathotep


eponysterical?
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 4:51 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


That shit offends my nerd sensibilities!

I still kind of chuckle that we actually had an argument over some of the stuff in that movie. That movie offends everyone's sensibilities. Blah, it was just so bad!

The Arnie commentary on Conan is so awesome, if I recall correctly, as the credits roll you can hear him leaving the studio and he says "Hasta la vista, baby!" to John Milius. Also, the outtakes where the dogs actually catch the escaping slave Conan is hilarious.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:17 PM on November 17, 2009


As for the ending: when I first saw TR, the eye-bugging and the rapid atmosphere completion at the end bugged me, too. And my friends all mentioned that when we left the theater. But watch the movie again, it's all complete camp. It's not really supposed to have verisimilitude, it's a cartoon in live action mode. A cartoon for adults, unsettling and violent and silly to be sure, but the campiness is throughout the movie, not just the ending.
posted by zardoz at 8:23 PM on November 17, 2009


I loved Equilibrium, but bear in mind I saw it towards the end of a 24 hour science fiction movie marathon in Boston, and really, when you're that addled, any reasonably well-shot action anything with anything resembling an OK budget is going to look awesome. I bet if I watched it now, I'd not dig it as much.
posted by jscott at 8:34 PM on November 17, 2009


I just love the concept of Arnie having a personal existential crisis, "If I am not me, then who the hell am I?"
posted by octothorpe at 7:51 AM on November 18, 2009


oh man, Rambo... that movie. I have watched that movie a bunch of times, and the friend I've seen it with all these times and I agree about it.

1. It's awful
2. Can't. Stop. Watching.

Just one of the most brutal things I've ever seen that wasn't tongue in cheek in some way. Even Takashi Miike is mostly joking around by the time the real nasty shit shows up in his movies. But then you watch Silvester Stallone rip a guy's larynx out with his bare hands, and vaporize some dude at point blank range with a jeep-mounted turret gun... all this in a movie that clocks in at a whopping 15 minutes total run time. That they found room for any spoken lines at all in the movie is amazing.
posted by shmegegge at 8:19 AM on November 18, 2009


oh man, Rambo... that movie.

Don't forget the feeding the dead hostage to pigs. And, there's more to come.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:29 AM on November 18, 2009


I'm pretty sure he was alive when they fed him to the pigs. He was just dead by the time we saw him with his feet chewed off.

But I agree Rambo lacked that twisted humor you find in things like Total Recal or Shoot Em Up.

If you want exploding heads and all that wonderful stuff AND has that sense of humor to it, I'd suggest Punisher War Zone. There's a part in there where you think you're about to be dragged into a 10 minute parkour demonstration, but after only a minute in you're nicely rewarded with glorious violence.
posted by Nyarlathotep at 9:08 AM on November 18, 2009


I just love the concept of Arnie having a personal existential crisis, "If I am not me, then who the hell am I?"

I like to think the jerk persona on the tape is actually the one running California right now.
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Back in the day before you could look this sort of stuff up on the internet I tried doing a kill-count for Hard Boiled but gave up / lost count during the raid on the warehouse scene.

On and recent stupid violent film I enjoyed far more than I should have was The Tournament... The worlds 30 greatest assassins in a battle royle in of all places, Middlesborough. It walks a fine line but just stays on enjoyably stupid rather than just stupid.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:35 AM on November 18, 2009


Sounds kind of like Mean Guns, which is a B-movie fav.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:47 AM on November 18, 2009


I loved Equilibrium, but bear in mind I saw it towards the end of a 24 hour science fiction movie marathon in Boston, and really, when you're that addled, any reasonably well-shot action anything with anything resembling an OK budget is going to look awesome. I bet if I watched it now, I'd not dig it as much.
posted by jscott at 11:34 PM on November 17 [+] [!]


I really didn't care for Equilibrium, even though I really love kung fu movies. I think it's because the main character never faces any significant challenges; the whole thing is a systematic exercise of:

"Can we make the main character any more badass and untouchable?"

And then you get to the ending (spoiler alert kind of I guess), and it's like

"Oh, no, now he has to fight someone who might be as good as he is! Ha ha! Yoink! No, seriously guys, like we said, he's the most badass guy on the planet. Now here's some posing for you."
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:24 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


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