Inside Pulse » Colin Farrell http://insidepulse.com A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:09:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Colin Farrell http://insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://insidepulse.com True Detective News: Colin Farrell Confirms He Will Star In Show’s Second Season http://insidepulse.com/2014/09/22/true-detective-news-colin-farrell-confirms-he-will-star-in-shows-second-season/ http://insidepulse.com/2014/09/22/true-detective-news-colin-farrell-confirms-he-will-star-in-shows-second-season/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 19:00:35 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=367303 True Detective, the actor has apparently confirmed the news himself.]]> After months of speculation that Colin Farrell would replace Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey on True Detective, the actor has apparently confirmed the news himself.

TVLine reports that Colin Farrell told an Irish newspaper that he will appear in the sophomore season of the HBO drama.

The Irish actor reportedly told Ireland’s Sunday World, “I’m doing the second series. I’m so excited. I know it will be eight episodes and take around four or five months to shoot.”

An HBO spokesperson could not confirm Farrell’s casting at this time.

Farrell also confirmed that shooting for the series would take place in Los Angeles.
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Blu-ray Review: Dead Man Down http://insidepulse.com/2013/09/14/blu-ray-review-dead-man-down/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/09/14/blu-ray-review-dead-man-down/#comments Sat, 14 Sep 2013 19:00:19 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=338899 Dead Man Down worth watching is how well the characters of Victor (Farrell) and Beatrice (Rapace) are written, and how beautifully they’re brought to life by those embodying them. ]]> Colin Farrell is one of those great actors who just can’t seem to catch a break in terms of a breakout role that makes him a box-office draw. No matter how many great films he does, they all seem to fly under the radar or get overshadowed by his big budget films that miss the mark. Dead Man Down is a film that is elevated to another level by having both Farrell on board as a strong leading man and Noomi Rapace sharing the screen alongside him.

What makes Dead Man Down worth watching is how well the characters of Victor (Farrell) and Beatrice (Rapace) are written, and how beautifully they’re brought to life by those embodying them. The script itself is a fairly by the book story about revenge; however, the way the relationship between Victor and Beatrice grows is what helps give this film its own voice.

This is a story about two people set on taking revenge on those who destroyed their lives. Victor is a capable killer who’s infiltrated the gang of a ruthless crime lord named Alphonse (Terrance Howard) in hopes of making the kingpin pay for his past crimes. Beatrice, on the other hand, is a woman who had her entire life turned upside down when she was hit by a drunk driver and needed multiple reconstructive surgeries to make her even somewhat recognizable once again. The emotional scares, however, weren’t nearly as easy to fix, and with the help of Victor, she hopes to make the man who hit her suffer as much as she has.

The film has a run time of two hours and it’s paced quite nicely. While some may find it slow, with the action coming in spurts until the final act, it’s the growing bond between Victor and Beatrice that the story is really about, and their burning desire deep down to be happy once again – even if all they can see at the moment is darkness. They have some wonderfully awkward conversations together, which show how recluse they’ve been since their individual life altering incidents. Their interactions all seem natural, which goes a long way in selling them to the audience as characters we want to see happy.

The pacing and cooler stylistic approach is thanks to the vision of director Niels Arden Oplev, who also directed Rapace in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That was another character-centric film with sporadic action sequences throughout, though Oplev definitely gets to play in the action genre sandbox a lot more this time around. The good thing is that the action never really feels forced, as it flows naturally into the story and helps keep things moving forward nicely.

If there was one scene I really disliked, it was near the start when Beatrice is trying to convince Victor that he needs to kill this man for her. The two are driving together and Victor is against helping her, insisting that killing someone isn’t that easy, and Beatrice angrily grabs the wheel of Victor’s truck and yanks on it, causing it to spin out into the intersection before coming to a stop. Granted, she’s angry and I suppose it may be meant to show she doesn’t care if she lives or dies; however, it’s rather extreme and seems out of place for someone whose life was destroyed because of a car accident to put others at risk for the same fate. It was just something that jumped out at me instantly, and I’m curious why nobody really brought it up during the filmmaking process.

Dead Man Down
is an average revenge flick with some above average characters behind it. While lesser actors may not have brought as much to the table, Farrell and Rapace have the perfect chemistry for these two troubled souls, and that spark – while not overly romanticized – helps carry the film a long way.

The Blu-ray transfer of the film looks great, with crisp, sharp images throughout and mood setting tones that really boost the atmosphere. The sound mixes also come through nicely, with strong dialogue and soundtrack mixes as well.

Revenge and Redemption – This featurette comes in at under 12 minutes in length and sees the cast and crew talking about the film, the chemistry with Oplev and such. It’s a quick piece that fans of the film may enjoy.

Revenge Technique – This piece is under seven minutes in length and sees the look of the film, various settings as well as cinematography.

Staging the Action – This featurette is under six minutes in length and sees the cast and crew talk about filming the various action scenes within the film.

IM Global and WWE Studios Present Dead Man Down. Directed by: Niels Arden Oplev. Written by: J.H. Wyman. Starring: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Dominic Cooper, Terrence Howard. Running time: 120 minutes. Rating: 14A. Released on Blu-ray: July 9, 2013.
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Blu-ray Review: Seven Psychopaths http://insidepulse.com/2013/03/07/blu-ray-review-seven-psychopaths/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/03/07/blu-ray-review-seven-psychopaths/#comments Thu, 07 Mar 2013 21:22:27 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=326334 I could make this an incredibly short review and simple write: Go buy Seven Psychopaths and enjoy it for eternity. That, of course, wouldn’t be enough for most people, so I’ll continue forward with this review for those who wish to read on, because those who have already heard enough are likely tying their shoes right now before heading out to pick up this comedic gem. Don’t worry – there are plenty of copies for everybody, so you can safely go pick yours up once you’ve finished reading.

Seven Psychopaths
is the latest film from writer-director Martin McDonagh, of In Bruges previously. While this film wasn’t shown any love from the Academy, that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a quality film; McDonagh has a knack for writing quirky characters who get wrapped up in many entertaining – and often hilarious – situations, which Seven Psychopaths has plenty of.

The film stars Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken as a trio who wind up the targets of a high-ranking psychotic mafia man named Charlie (Woody Harrelson) after they inadvertently steal his dog. Now this is about as far as any advertisements go when it comes to describing the plot, and while it doesn’t really do the film any favours in terms of making it seem overly engrossing, it’s pretty understandable that so much of the other stuff was left out in order to keep the story fun and surprising, and the jokes fresh. The problem is that it doesn’t matter how fun and surprising your story is, or how fresh the jokes are if people aren’t inclined to go see it.

So what I’ll say is ignore the advertisements and just watch the movie, as there’s so much going on within it that the dog kidnapping – while the inciting incident to why the trio are hunted by Charlie – is really just the one background constant throughout story that keeps things moving forward. McDonagh really knows how to tie together a tight story, and the quick, sharp dialogue passed between characters is nothing short of perfection.

This is the kind of movie where you’ll find yourself laughing out loud repeatedly, even if you’re watching it alone, simply due to the wonderful comedic delivery of all involved. It’s really hard to have a favourite character, as each have their own moments where they shine; although some moments are more memorable than others.

Farrell is spot on as Marty, a struggling screenwriter, and the “normal” one of the group who is used to keep the story somewhat grounded in reality. I use the term normal lightly here, as even he’s got his own quirky characteristics and problems that make him fit right in with everyone else in the story instead of being a fish out of water guide for the audience.

Rockwell is amazing once again, really showcasing his range that helps make him one of the more versatile actors around at the moment. He plays Marty’s best friend Billy, and it’s clear he had loads of fun with bringing his character Billy to life. Even though I just said it’s hard to have a favourite, I slightly lean towards enjoying the work of Rockwell most, just because of some of the ideas that Billy comes up with. The thing is, his ideas are that much funnier because of the reactions of Marty and Hans (Walken), so it really is a group dynamic that helps keep things entertaining throughout.

Hans rounds out the main trio, and unsurprisingly, Walken is a joy to watch. This sounds like a big praise-fest, and that’s because it is. The film is extremely fun to watch, and while the strong script helps, it takes quality actors to bring it to its full potential, and that’s what McDonagh has found in this group. Hans is Billy’s partner in the dog kidnapping business, which makes him money to help pay for his wife Myra’s (Linda Bright Clay) cancer treatment. McDonagh does a good job of keeping such a heavy topic from ever slowing down the fast, comedic flow of the film, and it’s mainly used to give some character depth and motivation.

On the supporting front, Harrelson’s turn as the psychopathic mob boss is a great one, as he continues to prove his worth in the comedy genre time and time again with varying character portrayals. Charlie is crazy, but he’s also got a heart – at least when it comes to his Shih Tzu, Bonny. Then there’s Tom Waits, who plays Zachariah, a psychopath who responds to a personal ad placed by Billy, which was done to help Marty write his screenplay (see, I told you there was more to all this than just a dog-napping!). Waits has a great screen presence, and his character leaves a mark that audiences will likely remember as the credits start to roll. Just a hint: keep watching into the credits for a few seconds.

McDonagh really nailed it once again, bringing to life such a finely crafted meta screenplay that’s packed with hilarity. The film is so engaging that even though it comes in at just under two hours (rather hefty for a comedy) it never feels like it’s dragging at any point. This is greatly in part due to the swift pacing McDonagh sets right from the start, as well as an indicator to just how strong his script is.

Seven Psychopaths has so much going for it that it very likely would have slipped into my top ten films of 2012 (much like it did for fellow Inside Pulse critic Travis Leamons) had I seen it last year. It’s one of those movies that can be watched time and time again and never truly lose its comedic touch, as there’s both so much to love and the delivery is so strong that you can’t help but laugh. To paraphrase Marty, it’s just f#%kin’ great!

The video and audio transfers are both really well done here, as the sound mixes come through beautifully, and the dialogue is clear and strong. The picture looks great, and is full of bright, sharp colours throughout most of the film, but when the night hits, the darks and shadows come through beautifully.

Unfortunately the film lacks in extras, but I can’t really allow that to detract from such a great film. While a commentary, or larger behind-the-scenes feature would’ve been nice, what we end up with are six featurettes that are more promotional pieces than actual bonus features.

Six Featurettes – They’re all under two minutes in length and it would take me longer to describe them than it would for you to watch them, so it’s easier for me to just touch on them as a whole here instead of breaking them down individually. They’re just quick interview pieces mixed with clips from the film in order to promote it.

Gag reel — This reel is actually surprisingly unfunny and short considering all the material they likely had lying around. It won’t hurt to check it out as it only lasts a couple of minutes.

Deleted and Extended Scenes – The usual is found in this department, with the best stuff making it into the film, and the things that would throw off the pacing left by the wayside.

Lack of bonus material aside, Seven Psychopaths is a must-own Blu-ray that you should go out and purchase at your earliest convenience. It’s got loads of laughs; superb acting on all fronts, and a high amount of replay value that really makes bringing this one home a no brainer. Highly recommended.

CBS Films presents Seven Psychopaths. Written and Directed by: Martin McDonagh. Starring: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko. Running time: 130 minutes. Rating: R. Released on Blu-ray: February 19, 2013. Available at Amazon.com.

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Seven Psychopaths – Review http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/13/seven-psychopaths-review/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/10/13/seven-psychopaths-review/#comments Sat, 13 Oct 2012 12:00:07 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=314334
It’s actually six, but who’s counting?

Normally, I dislike movie titles that are too simplistic or generic-sounding. This year alone we’ve had The Dictator and The Campaign, and a few films that could have been misconstrued if released in the same month (i.e., End of Watch and The Watch, or Safe and Safe House).

Seven Psychopaths is direct in its insinuation – this is a movie about a certain number of psychopaths. How they manage to meet is unclear; it’s not like there are Psychopaths Anonymous meetings (are there?). Some of them aren’t even real. They are figments of Martin Faranan’s (Colin Farrell) imagination. He’s in the process of writing a screenplay but he lacks all the characters and a story. But he’s got a great title (“Seven Psychopaths”).

Arriving the same weekend as Ben Affleck’s Argo, which involves a fake movie ruse, Psychopaths is another movie that’s trying to find a script. That’s not a knock against it; writer/director Martin McDonagh is too self-aware in what he’s trying to accomplish. The film is a moviemaking meta tale that’s also a send up to the hipster crime movies of late, while also making a profound statement about violence. That’s one way to look at it. Or, it could be about one man’s misadventures with a pair of friends that screw with the wrong mid-level mob boss (read: Psychopath No. 3)

It doesn’t take much of a leap to figure out that Martin is an alcoholic. He’s already got two strikes against him. He’s a writer and he’s Irish. His best buddy, Billy Bickle (Sam Rockwell), acknowledges Martin’s drinking problem and is eager to assist in writing the screenplay. He even has a great idea for psychopath. Actually, his psycho is ripped from the headlines as if it were fodder for a very special episode of Law & Order. Martin could have done the same but he was too busy finishing the drink in his hand.

If Billy were a deck of cards he wouldn’t be a full deck. He’s more than an eccentric. Billy is off-the-wall Troy Duffy loopy. He even talks to himself in a mirror. Sounds about right; his last name is Bickle after all. (For those that don’t get the reference watch Taxi Driver when you have the chance.) And for whatever reason Billy’s got issues with Martin’s latest girlfriend. Let’s just say when she leaves the room he calls her a word that rhymes with “punt.”

Christopher Walken completes the trio playing Hans, a mild-mannered, carvet-wearing gentleman, and also Billy’s partner in a dog-napping business. His cancer-stricken wife doesn’t approve of his current job, feeling that Hans would be better off making an honest living with a government job. As if there’s much difference between swindling marks in Los Angeles versus working for Uncle Sam.

The dog-napping business takes a turn for the worse when Billy takes Bonny, a Shih Tzu belonging to trigger-happy gangster Charlie Costello (Woody Harrelson). Now Billy and Hans, along with Martin, find themselves wanted. All of this because, as Charlie puts it, “a beautiful f#(C)king perfect dog.” He loves that dog just as much as Buffalo Bill loved his poodle.

As for the rest of the nutcases, they aren’t central to story, instead staying along the periphery. This would include musician Tom Waits who plays Zachariah, half of an interracial psycho-killing duo who only murder other psychos. (Dexter would be proud.) When he shows up on Martin’s doorsteps, cradling a white bunny in his arms, it’s on account of Billy posting an ad in the Los Angeles Times looking for all psychopaths to volunteer and tell their stories. And boy does he have a whopper of a tale, including one episode that would make for an interesting epilogue for a certain David Fincher film.

In Martin McDonagh’s feature film debut, In Bruges, Colin Farrell played one of the eccentrics with Brendan Gleeson playing the straight man. This time Farrell is the comedic straight man; leaving Sam Rockwell to go so over the top he might as well be taking a rocket to the moon. This is nothing new for Rockwell who had his big break playing a prison loon in The Green Mile.

Hans is easily Christopher Walken’s best role in years. Here is an actor who has played more than his fair share of psychos. Who could forget his character in True Romance and that conversation he had with Dennis Hopper? Actually, that film also correlates with Martin’s character. Whereas Romance’s Christian Slater was an embodiment of the film’s screenwriter Quentin Tarantino, Colin Farrell’s character is just Martin McDonagh going through an extreme case of writer’s block.

McDonagh is an original voice even if his films are likely going to be met with Tarantino-esque comparisons. Though, McDonagh insists that his influences cinematically are Terrence Malick and Sam Peckinpah. That’s as a filmmaker. For writing I could see where Shane Black may have inspired McDonagh. Both are talented when comes to scripting good dialogue and having characters worth remembering way past the end credits. Considering his penchant for dark comedy, hairy situations and quotable dialogue, and that fact that he hails from Ireland, I could go all hyperbolic and say that McDonagh is “Irish (Shane) Black Coffee.” But that’s lame, so I won’t.

What I will say is that outside of calamitous hijinks revolving a stolen Shih Tzu is the conflict a writer goes through when he wants to create something original and that has meaning versus plotting out a guns-blazing, bloody finale we are all accustomed to with stories about psychos. It would be like writing a film called Habeas Corpus with the intent that it would have a cast of unknowns and getting Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts to star instead.

Seven Psychopaths gives us the best of both worlds.

Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Notable Cast: Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Tom Waits

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Seven Psychopaths Gets Red Band Trailer http://insidepulse.com/2012/09/04/seven-psychopaths-gets-red-band-trailer/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/09/04/seven-psychopaths-gets-red-band-trailer/#comments Tue, 04 Sep 2012 10:00:23 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=310868 Seven Psychopaths has a red band trailer; you can view it below.

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Demythify: The Dark Knight Rises Ending & Sequel, Total Recall 2012, 1990, 2070 & NASA Mars Mission (Spoilers) http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/06/demythify-the-dark-knight-rises-ending-spoilers-sequel-total-recall-2012-1990-2070-nasas-mars-mission/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/06/demythify-the-dark-knight-rises-ending-spoilers-sequel-total-recall-2012-1990-2070-nasas-mars-mission/#comments Mon, 06 Aug 2012 04:01:31 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=307890 It has been a tragic few weeks in the United States.

First, we had the senseless shooting rampage in Colorado at the film debut of The Dark Knight Rises.

Now, this past Sunday, there was a senseless shooting rampage in Wisconsin by another crazed gunman at a place of worship, a temple of the peaceful Sikh faith. Up-to-date information available at Time.com.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of those killed in Wisconsin and I pray for a speedy recovery to those injured. I also continue to mourn with those impacted by the Colorado shootings.

Tragic. Sad.


This week’s Demythify column is a potpourri edition tackling bits about The Dark Knight Rises, Total Recall, and NASA’s current Mission to Mars.

And, fear not, I’ll be explaining why it makes sense to include these two films in the same column.

Read on…


The Dark Knight Rises Novelization Answers Key Question?

Since The Dark Knight Rises hit theatres and marked the end of Director Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale‘s work with the franchise, questions have been raised about whether Warner Bros. will reboot the movie franchise or continue the Dark Knight continuity. The discussion about a The Dark Knight Rises movie sequel gained more ground based on the ending of the film.

Not sure if I need a spoiler warning, but I did include one in the title of this column.

Anyhow, in it, ex-Detective John Blake played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose real name is Robin John Blake, is guided to the Batcave behind the waterfall. There is no dialogue or exposition in the movie scene. That left many to wonder whether Blake would become Batman, Nightwing or Robin. It also led to a debate whether a sequel featuring Blake in a lead role could or would be next.

The possibilities, teases, and words of the creative team were dissected and led to heated online chatter.

With all that, it would appear that the official The Dark Knight Rises novelization penned by acclaimed writer Greg Cox for Titan Books, enhances that movie scene with some interesting internal monologue by John Blake. He is in the Batcave contemplating the future.

    The bats were everywhere, screeching in the dark. [John] Blake crouched defensively as their wings and bodies swirled around him like a living cyclone. An instinctive sense of panic bubbled up inside him, but he forced it back down.

    He knew why [Bruce] Wayne brought him here.

    Bats were more than symbols of fear. In Gotham, they had come to stand for hope and justice and a legend that was bigger than just one man. A hero who could be anyone. He raised his head as the bats welcomed him to their abode.

    He rose and was swallowed up by the darkness of their wings.

It would appear that the definative intention of Christopher Nolan’s ending for The Dark Knight Rises film would have Robin John Blake assuming the cowl of the Batman. Will this see the light of day on film? I hope so, but it seems unlikely. What does seem likely is that a John Blake as Batman could be continued in novel and/or comic book form. DC Comics is doing this kind of thing already with Smallville Season 11 – following the TV series characters post finale – as an online comic first and print comic too.

Time will tell, but I certainly hope to experience the next chapter in John Blake’s pop culture existence somewhere. I also think he’d be a great addition to the Batman Family – in costume or not – as part of the DC Comics Relaunch’s New 52.

Interestingly, beyond the enhancement of that John Blake / Batcave scene, the novel also alludes to the Joker as has been reported across the internet. The novel noted the following.

    The worst of the worst were sent here, except for the Joker, who, rumour had it, was locked away as Arkham’s sole remaining inmate.

    Or perhaps he escaped. Nobody was really sure. Not even Selina [Kyle].

Despite the tragedy surrounding Joker actor Heath Ledger’s death, his interpretation of the Clown Prince of Crime could return to any John Blake as Batman adventure in novel or comic book form, with a silver screen return unlikely.


Total Recall 2012, 1990 and the TV Prequel – Does Mars Matter?

I just watched the Total Recall: Ultimate Rekall Edition on Blu-Ray. I remember why I enjoyed the film when I saw it 20 or so years ago. We get sci-fi and action, the latter in a way that only Arnold Schwarzeneggar and director Paul Verhoeven of Robocop can deliver. It was also nice exeriencing actress Sharon Stone in her prime dishing out action and exuding massive amounts of sexiness.

What got me as well was how integral to the movie plot the planet Mars was for the 1990 film. In fact, the TV series that spun-off from the movie – the TV series was a prequel set in 2070 (actually called Total Recall: 2070) while the film was set in 2084 – also had a core element of it being Mars.

Why is this a concern in 2012?

Well, Total Recall’s 2012 installment by Director Len Wiseman does NOT involve Mars at all! In Total Film #196 magazine, Wiseman notes the below as it relates to his initial reading of the new Total Recall’s script.

    “I was like, ‘Holy Sh*t, if it doesn’t go to Mars, then what’s happening?’ I was turning the pages so fast that by the time I got done, I was almost leaving the offices going, ‘Call my agents, I have to do this.'”

I haven’t seen the new Total Recall movie yet, but it is on agenda for this week. Since my wife and I enjoyed the Blu-Ray edition of the 1990 film, we’re both intrigued by what a Mars-less Recall film would be like. Plus, for me, I have enjoyed Wiseman’s Underworld films, so his sci-fi / fantasy geek credentials are established for me.

In the new film, Colin Farrell plays the role(s) of bored blue-collar grunt Douglas Quaid who, after a Rekall memory vacation mishap, believes he is a former spy Hauser. And, as the tag lien of the film goes, the whole raison d’etre of the film is to determine: “What is Real? What is Rekall?”.

Farrell’s Quaid is married to Lori, played by Kate Beckinsale, whose character in the original film was an enemy spy who becomes at odds with Quaid / Hauser after his Rekall mishap.

The third wheel in this relationship is Jessica Biel‘s Melina who was a love interest for Quaid’s Hauser personality and whose character in the earlier film was part of revolutionary forces against a politico businessman Cohaagen, played in the 2012 film by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston.

Actress Kate Beckinsale describes the new film and the absence of Mars in the film as noted below.

    “That was one of the things we made differently from the original… Arnold [Schwarzeneggar] and Sharon [Stone] have this extremely sexy marriage that seems, like, why would anyone need a mission to Mars when you have that? We wanted to give more of a sense of two people who were nor in love.”

And, to ensure that lumping Total Recall and The Dark Knight Rises together in one column can make some sense to you, below is how actress Jessica Biel describes 2012’s Total Recall film with particular attention to a more significant political backdrop than the original film.

    “I feel kind of what [Christopher] Nolan did for Batman, Len [Wiseman] is doing for Total Recall.”

Big props and bigger comparisons indeed!

I’m intrigued by Cranston’s Cohaagen, who is the head of Euromerica in the new film not the Mars colony the character led in the original film, and other supporting actors that pop up in the 2012 Total Recall offering: John Cho as a Rekall employee McClane, Bill Nighy as rebel leader Matthias and Ethan Hawke in a cameo as a scientist.

I’m glad I saw the original film recently, in advance of my viewing of the new film iteration this week. I may have to pull out my Philip K. Dick anthology to see how integral the source material, his “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” short story, is to the new and old Total Recall films.

While Mars may be absent from Total Recall’s 2012 film edition, it is interesting on the same weekend that the film debuts, NASA was planning on landing a rover on the red planet!


NASA’s 2012 Mars Mission!

Total Recall 2012’s loss is NASA’s gain? :)

In November 2011, NASA sent the rover Curiosity on its mission to Mars. The last status update, as of the writing of this column, from NASA on their mission was as follows:

    Curiosity Closes in on its New ‘Home’
    Sat, 04 Aug 2012 07:20:24 PM EDT

    With Mars looming ever larger in front of it, NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft and its Curiosity rover are in the final stages of preparing for entry, descent and landing on the Red Planet at 10:31 p.m. PDT Aug. 5 (1:31 a.m. EDT Aug. 6). Curiosity remains in good health with all systems operating as expected. Today, the flight team uplinked and confirmed commands to make minor corrections to the spacecraft’s navigation reference point parameters. This afternoon, as part of the onboard sequence of autonomous activities leading to the landing, catalyst bed heaters are being turned on to prepare the eight Mars Lander Engines that are part of MSL’s descent propulsion system. As of 2:25 p.m. PDT (5:25 p.m. EDT), MSL was approximately 261,000 miles (420,039 kilometers) from Mars, closing in at a little more than 8,000 mph (about 3,600 meters per second).

At the time of the writing of this column, the results on the landing were not known.

For updates on the NASA mission, check out their dedicated official webpage here.

For those of you that will stay up late into Monday morning and want to watch history in action, NASA will be streaming live here.

UPDATED (2 a.m. Eastern Standard Time)

It looks like the Curiosity Rover landed in the Gale Crater as planned. Below are the first two images from 2012’s Mars landing released by NASA!

Congratulations to the fine folks at NASA for a job well done! Anything is possible.



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Total Recall – Review (2) http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/04/total-recall-review-2/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/04/total-recall-review-2/#comments Sat, 04 Aug 2012 16:00:03 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=307850
Misfire of epic proportions

When it comes to establishing mood and tone, Len Wiseman is one of the best when it comes to genre films. It’s never difficult to find yourself immersed in one of his worlds; from Underworld to the last Die Hard sequel Wiseman has a particular knack for allowing oneself to be immersed in his cinematic world. Even the latter two Underworld sequels were marked by his producer’s touch as they felt like his work, despite his lack of directorial authority over them, and could almost reasonably pass as something he’d done.

Unfortunately the one thing Wiseman doesn’t do all that well is actually tell a story once the plot kicks in. And it is at its worst in his reboot/remake of Total Recall.

Scripted off “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” by Philip K. Dick and a quasi-remake of the classic Schwarzenegger film of the same name, Total Recall follows Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) as he goes through a life crisis of sorts. Having nightmares of a woman (Jessica Biel) he’s never met, his machinist position is unfulfilling. He has a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) and a decent life, if not one he always dreamed of for himself.

Thus it leads him to Rekall, a place that gives you a fantasy memory that feels real. The problem begins when his selected fantasy, of a secret agent, turns out to be his actual identity. When his wife turns out to be a government agent keeping tabs on him, and the dream woman all too real, Quaid finds himself trying to figure out who he is with people constantly waving guns in his face.

As a visual work Total Recall is an absolute splendor. Jettisoning the Mars aspect of the Schwarzenegger film, keeping the film set on an Earth divided into two areas (Britain and Australia respectively), Wiseman instead creates this magnificently dystopian future. Ravaged by chemical warfare leaving most of the world uninhabitable, the world of the future is a slightly different version of the Mega City of Judge Dredd lore.

Wiseman has spent a reported $125 million budget well; this is easily his most involved world. And he shoots in remarkably well to boot; this is a world you can get lost in easily. He hasn’t created a dystopian version of today; he’s crafted an entirely interesting and unique new world evolving from major events. Everything makes sense in its way from the flying car system eventually winding up in a traditional highway but with some unique new features to it. Everything looks great but there’s one small problem.

It feels like the collection of other film’s parts as opposed to anything unique and original.

There’s enough recognizable elements in his film from Minority Report, Blade Runner, The Fifth Element and every other major science fiction film of the past 20 years or so approximately. Wiseman has spent well recreating other people’s ideas but there’s nothing wholly original to it; it’s gussied up versions of other people’s visions. One credits Wiseman in a way for taking other people’s visual and stylistic elements and incorporating them all together, of course, but it’s not creative to rip off the look of other films for your own without adding anything to them.

Even his own film has enough callbacks to the prior adaptation of the novel that you have to wonder if any original thought was put into this film. It’s a perfectly acceptable action thriller otherwise; it knows which notes to hit and hits them solidly. Unfortunately there isn’t anything that he does that looks original; it’d be one thing to give him credit for crafting a solid action thriller that looks spectacular in a new and unique way.

The 2012 Total Recall is just Len Wiseman adapting the story again but with the look of other people’s films.

Director: Len Wiseman
Writers: Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback, based on “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” by Philip K. Dick
Notable Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho and Bill Nighy
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Total Recall – Review http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/03/total-recall-review/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/03/total-recall-review/#comments Fri, 03 Aug 2012 16:24:30 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=307810
Remake should have gotten its ass to Mars

In the future foretold by Len Wiseman’s remake of Total Recall, geeks haven’t just inherited the earth, they’ve remade it in their image. The movie exists in a world reminiscent of a video game. The plot is simplistic, the architecture is detailed from a distance (though curiously devoid of life upon closer inspection) and, most telling, the characters exist only to drive the plot forward through their actions and words but never though anything struck deeper than a string of 0s and 1s. Total Recall is a soulless, joyless return to the ideas and plot points of Paul Verhoeven’s deceptively thoughtful actioner. Without the satiric edge or playful tugs of ambiguity of the original, though, Wiseman’s film is a chore to slog through but is, by no means, a terrible film.

Despite earlier claims from the production team that this new version of Total Recall would pay more debt to the Philip K. Dick story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” that inspired the original film, it is fairly obvious right away that Wiseman’s remake is a flopping lizard tale – cut from the vibrant animal that was Verhoeven’s film and expected to survive on its own without a head or heart to guide it.

Colin Farrell plays Douglas Quaid, a factory worker stuck in a life he never dreamed of. Despite being married to the impossibly beautiful Kate Beckinsale and being in what appears to be great health, Doug Quaid is unhappy with where his life is at and seeks more. Unfortunately, in the future Earth that Doug calls home, there just isn’t much room left for those who seek. Decimated by World War III, Earth has only two remaining geographical locations left inhabitable. Each location is on the opposite side of the world and the working class must commute by literally falling through a hole in the world. An admittedly clever way to replace the original film’s Mars setting, this vision of the future is perhaps the only truly original idea this version of Total Recall has to offer – and it’s a good one. As commuters ride a bullet train through the Earth’s core, they must strap in to giant harnesses due to the reversal of gravity halfway through the trip – causing the train’s inhabitants to experience momentary weightlessness. This, of course, provides ample opportunity to explore some great action set pieces later in the film but – unfortunately – to get there audiences are going to have to wade through a listless recounting of the first film’s story beats.

Unhappy with his life, Quaid visits Rekall, a company that specializes in providing their customers with false memories of vacations that would be impossible to experience. For those with the right amount of cash (an undetermined amount but apparently the process is cheap enough that a factory worker forced to live in a hovel with his wife can afford to impulsively partake), Rekall can send you to Mars (wink, wink), beaches that assumedly no longer exists or, if you’re feeling extra frisky, they can let you cosplay inside of your mind as a spy. Seen reading an Ian Fleming James Bond novel early into the film, Quaid naturally chooses the spy mission and, in the process, encapsulates everything misguided about this film.

The original Total Recall was memorable for two things: an extreme amount of violence and a sense of joy and humor that permeated the film. The future wasn’t pleasant (as is the case with most futures) but there was still room for people to smile. Schwarzenegger’s Quaid, upon being thrust into his fantasy, was hunted by his wife, shot at, blown up and generally mistreated (as is Farrell’s Quaid). Despite all this, Schwarzenegger never forgot that this was his character’s fantasy. He wanted to be a spy. He enjoyed the thrill, the danger, the close encounters with death and he took to it like a duck in water – finding time for one-liners and romantic entanglements with femme fatales. Farrell’s Quaid spends the entirety of Total Recall moping about and acting super dour. This is completely out of synch with the character and his motivations. But Wiseman has no room for the ambiguity that Verhoeven wove so well. He doesn’t want to tease audiences with the idea of whether or not Quaid is truly a spy or if he is just experiencing the fantasy he purchased at Rekall. Wiseman is much more concerned with creating stunning action set pieces and at that, at least, he is halfway competent.

Kate Beckinsale (Wiseman’s wife and star of his Underworld series) is given most of the heavy lilting when it comes to action scenes. Made to kick, leap, slide and squeeze her way through an hour and a half of nonstop chase scenes and close encounters with the husband she’s chasing, Beckinsale’s character is an unstoppable assassin and, thankfully, she is the only actor involved with the project who sees the film as a chance to have some fun. It is Beckinsale that has all the one-liners and she is the only one with true life coursing through her eyes.

Jessica Biel, as a resistance fighter who teams with Quaid, is the opposite. Like a ragdoll being lifelessly tossed around by the director, Biel is playing a paint-by-numbers character who serves the plot instead of the other way around. There is nothing memorable about her performance nor is she given any room to shine. She’s not alone, though, Wiseman’s Total Recall manages to waste performances by Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy and John Cho with equal abandon.

Besides Beckinsale, there is another shining light. Bokeem Woodbine, as a factory worker who is friends with Quaid, takes charge of his character by force and, through sheer willpower, makes it his own. There’s something magnetic and powerful about Woodbine’s performance – and something gleefully self-aware. If only Colin Farrell had shown the same kind of enthusiasm. Farrell has proved in the past that he is a charismatic actor but in Total Recall he is a black hole of audience interest – sucking in any trace of curiosity and leaving behind absolutely no evidence of an audience connection. There is no rooting for Farrell’s Quaid because ne never proves to the audience that he is anything more than a character in a video game. We are never shown evidence that, should Quaid die, he won’t just respawn in the last save point. He follows the beats of the film as outlined by the script of the original, but without the excitement and joy Schwarzenegger provided with ease.

Wiseman’s Total Recall is a PG-13 film, a shock considering the original’s reputation as one of the bloodiest films ever made. Despite the lower rating, Wiseman manages to squeeze in copious amounts of gunplay (and, yes, even a three-breasted alien). Despite this, the film’s violence is very much lacking any real depth. Critics complained that the original Total Recall displayed cartoon amounts of violence but at least the film showed the true consequences of gunplay – blood, death and dismemberment. The remake glosses over any real consequences of violence – never showing the deviation that comes with the film’s heavy artillery count. A robotic army exists to dehumanize the violence even more – allowing Quaid to have plenty of faceless, emotionless goons to dispose of without the film having to get bloody. This whitewashing of the film’s violence leaves the audience no choice but to gloss over the rest of the film’s action scenes. There’s no weight to the choreography as there are never any consequences shown to the actions of the characters. Cars crash, trains explode and bystanders are sniped at but the movie never takes a moment to stop and reflect on what’s happening. The audience is too busy being bussed along to the next action scene and the whole experience can be a bit exhausting.

Total Recall has no mutants, no mars, no real violence and no humor. It is Verhoeven’s Total Recall in name and story only – like a coma patient who has shriveled up into a shell of its former self. Despite all this, Wiseman’s slick sense of scale and the beautiful set design help make sure Total Recall at least isn’t a terrible movie. It’s inoffensive and unfun, a dangerous combination if you have a refined taste in action films, but it is more than up to the task of entertaining those that seek bland and generic action films to chew through and immediately digest without a moment of reflection.

If the 1990 version of Total Recall was a groundbreaking action epic (and it was), Wiseman’s version of the film is the cheap video game adaptation – designed to milk a few extra bucks out of fans and be quickly forgotten about a few months later.

Director: Len Wiseman
Writers: Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback, based on “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale,” by Philip K. Dick
Notable Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho and Bill Nighy
http://media.insidepulse.com/zones/insidepulse/uploads/2012/08/Total-Recall-250×250.jpg

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Total Recall (2012) Extended International Trailer Wants You To Get Your Ass To Mars http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/01/total-recall-2012-extended-international-trailer-wants-you-to-get-your-ass-to-mars/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/01/total-recall-2012-extended-international-trailer-wants-you-to-get-your-ass-to-mars/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 13:00:38 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=307667 A new international trailer for Total Recall has been released. You can view it below

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New Total Recall Trailer Debuts http://insidepulse.com/2012/06/29/new-total-recall-trailer-debuts/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/06/29/new-total-recall-trailer-debuts/#comments Fri, 29 Jun 2012 08:00:42 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=303767 The latest trailer for Total Recall has been released. You can watch it below.

Plot Summary: “Total Recall” is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.

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