Ten Things to Remember About the Total Recall Remake

by Ethan Alter August 3, 2012 6:01 am
Ten Things to Remember About the <i>Total Recall</i> Remake

As I write this, it's been roughly 24 hours since I walked out of the Total Recall remake and damned if I can remember a thing about it. Actually, my memory started to fail me before the movie was even over; after a decent first half-hour, the Len Wiseman-update of Paul Verhoeven's enjoyably silly 1990 original grew less and less interesting. By the final act, I was so bored that I could barely remember what movie I was watching; based on what was happening onscreen, it may as well have been called Generic Sci- Fi Action Movie Starring Colin Farrell instead of Total Recall.

<I>Winter’s Tale</i>: If You Are Looking For Romance On Valentine’s Day… Look Elsewhere

Admittedly it's my fault that the only things I knew about this movie is what I'd garnered from the trailer, as I somehow missed this book when it came out in the early '80s, even though it is entirely the kind of story my pre-teen self would have adored. Perhaps if I'd even seen the book cover I'd have been more prepared for the fantasy elements of this story, as the trailer made it seem more like an epic love story about a man who stayed alive in order to see the woman he loved again. It also led me to believe this was a reincarnation tale, or something of that ilk, not a tale of a battle between good and evil. After sitting through the two hours of the movie, I feel like that time could have been better spent sitting down and reading the beloved book, because the special effects elements make this lofty tale into a silly parade through time.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

by Ethan Alter July 9, 2013 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Best Spring Break ever...

Seven Psychopaths: Psycho Killers, Qu’est-ce Que C’est?

by Ethan Alter October 12, 2012 11:21 am
<i>Seven Psychopaths</i>: Psycho Killers, Qu’est-ce Que C’est?

Ever had that experience where you've seen a comedy that made you laugh an awful lot, but you leave the theater not certain how much you actually liked it? That's the reaction I had coming out of Seven Psychopaths, the sophomore feature from acclaimed Irish playwright and filmmaker, Martin McDonagh. It was a strange feeling, because I enjoyed McDonagh's first film, the Colin Farrell/Brendan Gleeson hitman picture In Bruges, unreservedly. It was wonderfully written, impeccably acted and precise to the last gunshot and profanity-laced one-liner. Seven Psychopaths, in contrast, is almost deliberately messier -- a sprawling, intensely self-aware movie that is constantly commenting on its own narrative gamesmanship and even, to a certain extent, its shortcomings. The movie's meta-ness is a reliable source of laughs, but it's also somewhat exhausting; after a while, you kind of wish that McDonagh and his band of gun-toting psychopaths would stop being so cheeky about everything and just shoot straight.

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