Amoeblog

Total Recall Remake Begs the Question, Why? Why, Hollywood? Why?

Posted by Billyjam, May 23, 2012 02:02pm | Post a Comment
 
Total Recall 2012 trailer

Ever since word of the 2012 remake of the 1990 movie Total Recall (starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston) began circulating via various publicity vehicles including the above movie trailer, it begged (no screamed) the question, why? Why, Hollywood? Why do you need to remake already well-made movies like this one? The original Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox, and loosely based on the 1966 Philip K Dick short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, was made only 22 years ago and was just fine to begin with...better than fine in fact since any movie strong enough to distract from Arnold's poor acting is one very good movie!  Additionally, it is not like the original Total Recall was a foreign language film that needed an English language/Americanized version. Of course that excuse for remaking foreign language films based on the premise that Americans won't read subtitles is ridiculous anyway, but even so why not simply dub foreign movies into English for Stateside release? The rest of the world sits through American blockbusters dubbed in their native tongue, so why not the other way around?

Already, movie fans - all of whom have not seen the new version - are slamming the remake saying that Hollywood should have left well enough alone. Meanwhile, the new movie's makers contend that Total Recall Version 2012 is not simply a straight remake; it alters the storyline, leaving out all the Mars scenes and adding more of a modern era international political backdrop. Personally, I am with these other movie fans in believing that they should not have remade Total Recall. Why not just adapt another good SciFi story to the big screen? There are so many great SciFi novels that should be given the film treatment.

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Inception: A Borgesian Heist Film?

Posted by Charles Reece, July 18, 2010 08:34am | Post a Comment
He understood that the task of molding the incoherent and dizzying stuff that dreams are made of is the most difficult work a man can undertake, even if he fathom all the enigmas of the higher and lower spheres -- much more difficult than weaving a rope of sand or minting a coin of the faceless wind.
-- from "The Circular Ruins" by Jorge Luis Borges
 
 


Christopher Nolan's Inception is another one of those sci-fi tales confronting the problem of infinity lurking behind subjectivity. Because it uses dreams instead of virtual reality, the film is structurally closer to the short story quoted above than the cyberpunk-influenced Matrix (although the action puts it closer to the latter). In Borges' tale, a sorcerer spends years dreaming a man into reality only to learn that he, too, was given life via the same method. And it's just as likely that the dreamer of the sorcerer is himself being dreamed, etc., ad infinitum. This is the old phenomenological problem of the Transcendental Ego.

In order to have a collection of intentional states (which are always regarding some mental or physical object) cohere as a self (the 'I' that's doing the believing, desiring, etc.), Edmund Husserl posited a transcendent pure subject that couldn't be objectified. This I was pre-reflective, the guy who was there each time an intentional state was being reflected upon (the I thinking "it is I who likes pizza" at one time and "It is I who hates the rain" at another). As with all such metaphysical "buck stops here" explanations (cf. the final cause argument for God), the question soon arose as to why this Ego didn't require another, more transcendent one to ground its reflective relations.  And since then, many theorists from various disciplines have been perfectly happy with the notion of a fractured self, that the I is nothing but a comforting mask for deterministic forces (cf. the death of the author, social Darwinism, or connectionism). Causal language is more scientistic, but problematic for suggesting the possibility that we humans have free agency, that there is something of a self not purely reducible to objective control, or material determinations. Thus, philosophical libertarianism sounds suspicious to many, like a new agey charlatanry.

Dr. Seuss meets Philip K. Dick.

Posted by Whitmore, March 2, 2010 09:06pm | Post a Comment
Not only is March 2nd the 106th Birthday of Dr. Seuss but it is also the anniversary of the death of Philip K. Dick, who died in 1982. So why not combine the two? And that is what we have here below. Yes, this is a simple minded and profoundly idiotic, ill conceived attempt to combine almost every title written by a Dr. Seuss meets Philip K. Dick.  couple of the greatest writers of the 20th century, and why? I don't know. This is how I spend my days, blathering and dicking around, no wonder I get headaches ... anyway enjoy Dr. Seuss meets Philip K. Dick.
 
Gather yourselves together
Whether puttering about in a small land
Or playing hunches in bunches
With Yertle the Turtle and the Game-Players of Titan,
The eye in the sky playing Cat's Quizzer
And the Ganymede takeover shivers and cries,
While banging and clanging
The Vulcan's hammer is dangling, above
Daisy-Head Mayzie standing by.
Turning the wheel, Mary and the Giant,
No doubt slyly defiant,
Churns the broken bubble
Where the butter battle boils and toils into trouble.
The Seven Lady Godivas rides on beyond the Zebras
As for the man in the high castle,
He’s allergic and wheezes.
A streaking goat from the street speaks
“Do androids dream of electric sheep?”
And to think that I saw it all on Mulberry Street.Dr. Seuss
I hope I shall arrive here soon
To run a circus or a zoo
Say boo to the clans of the Alphane Moon 
Next door to Solla Sollew.
Oh, the places you'll go! And how! But will you please go now,
I know the crack in space lies beyond the Wub and that is how
The five hundred hats rub ol’Bartholomew Cubbins
In his stubby bathtub scrubbin’,
The eye of the Sibyl, liberal fun sizzles with a zap gun, stunning the sun,
And since the divine invasion has begun, I have but a question, just one.
Oh, say can you say wet pet, dry pet, your pet, my pet
The world Jones made is only a sublet
“But look how we got along after the bomb,”
he gets the tones of Jones, but once alone
“Flow my tears,” the Policeman said to the ducks in the pond,
“Say hey to the Lorax and Nick and the Glimmung,
And Bartholomew and the Oobleck.”
Tick tock never stops in a counter-clock world where the dark haired girl
Hops on Pop, and dances with the fox in socks on a little black box.
The Father-Thing sings, a great day for up!
And the cosmic puppets read with their eyes shut,
Did I ever tell you how lucky you are by the light of the stars?
I Can! You’re as variable as the Golden Man
Or Humpty Dumpty living in Oakland, with a folding fan,Philip K. Dick.
Dining and wining on green eggs and ham, unteleport the man,
Or undo the minority report of Sam I am.
We can remember it, every bit of it
For you, Philip K. Dick and you Dr. Seuss
From wholesale robots, and androids with flutes
And Wockets in a pocket! And Grinch in Santa suits
Mechanical oddities and Dr. Futurity winning the solar lottery
Radio free Albemuth, valis, our friends from frolix, frolicking in the mix
 
The ABC’s of Dr. S and Mr. D
A is for A Scanner Darkly but only partly
B is for Birthdays to you and he, me and we
C is for a certain Cat in a hat, that’s a fact,
And D is for the Maze of Death, and quite a test,
A handful of darkness, oh what a mess, but you're only old once,
So let’s do lunch, bunches of lunches, munching,
Maybe even twice or thrice if you’re nice at night, okay!
Hey! We’ll throw a fishing pole into the cool,
of McElligot's Pool with Marvin K. Mooneys 
And Dr. Bloodmoney, who can moo, can you?
Here by the pool is where Horton heard a Who
We can wish for one fish, or two fish,
Lessons and confessions of a crap artist
How he pulled out a red fish, blue fish by the fist full,
And foolishly a ship full, filling a Martian time-slip and King's Stilts lists too,
Oh! The thinks you can think at will
Ubik and Sneetches and Thidwick, Big-Hearted Mooses Dr. Seuss meets Philip K. Dick.
The thrill of the three stigmata of Palmer Eldritches
The man whose teeth were all exactly alike
He liked to ride bikes and race tikes on trikes
I can lick thirty tigers today he’d say
And why not, let’s yell hooray today for it's Diffendoofer’s Day.
Now wait for last year time out of joint, a rhyme about zoinks,
And a preserving machine’s mean and lean is moist and broke
Oh the short life of a bloke, Mister Brown he spoke
Who says he’s going down like a boat,
Oh well, what the hell, here’s to you and the days of Perky Pat
When he sat like a Cat in the Hat.
But wait on that, he and we will be back.

(In which Job clarifies the difference between the gay community and lunch.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 15, 2007 01:08pm | Post a Comment

Thursday night, after a sexy and glorious workday at Amoeba Music Hollywood, my boyfriend Corey picked me up and whisked me away to the premiere party for Outfest, held at the historic Orpheum Theatre in downtown LA.

Outfest is LA’s most popular film festival for the GLBT community. (GLBT stands for Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and should never be confused with the BLT, a popular sandwich.)


Know the difference - Bacon, lettuce, tomato vs. gay actor, Montgomery Clift

"Outfest is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that the extensive but threatened LGBT film heritage is preserved. Since the beginning of the struggle for LGBT equality, visionary filmmakers have recorded their lives, challenges and triumphs on film. Outfest is committed to saving, preserving and providing access to that precious, affirming heritage for generations to come." - quote from their website

Put another way, this is a chance to see lots of muscle hunks come to terms with bullies and remakes of “Pretty Woman” that could be called “Pretty Women”.

If I sound cynical, it’s because I am, a bit. But that’s not a reflection of Outfest, rather, a problem I often have with queer cinema. I’ve never been a fan of romantic comedies, and because the definition of gay is indicative of sex, so many gay films are “romantic”.

That’s just one issue I have. On the whole, queer cinema suffers from the same things that mainstream films do. Clichés and what-not. It’s particularly discouraging to see gay films that mimic straight films but, you know, with gay people in ‘em. It’s rare to find a film that is distinctively “gay” outside of the love scenes.

(In which Job flirts with science-fiction with, as yet, unknown results.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 9, 2007 12:08am | Post a Comment
I’m doing something I’ve always wanted to.

No, not renting out a room in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion (you would not believe what they’re asking for a studio, which doesn’t even include holograms of ghosts eating cake!)

I’ve begun watching “Doctor Who”, starting with the original series, which ran from 1963 to1966 and stared William Hartnell as a particularly unsexy lead.

Some of you know I am a sucker for British television, though the love is not unconditional. I would no sooner sit through an episode of “Are You Being Served?” than a lecture on safe-sex from a 19th century French poet.

Still, many of my favorites (“League of Gentlemen”, “Absolutely Fabulous”, “Black Adder” to name a few) hail from the Isles, and I do expect a certain sophistication from its programming. It’s not that I need obscure historical references in order to evoke a giggle, I just appreciate that, as opposed to many US shows, not every actor looks like they live at Hefner’s mansion, and not every joke is accentuated by obvious pauses, eye-rolling, and orchestrated laughter from a studio audience.

So far the show is good fun. Because of its spookiness and languid pace, I can only convince myself to watch it at bedtime, which is a minus.

It’s not uniformly entertaining. The scenes which focus on the core characters (the Doctor, his granddaughter Susan, and her school teachers, Barbara and Ian) are enjoyable and emotionally complex enough to be intriguing, though the actress playing the granddaughter seems to sometimes forget she’s on a TV show and not a West End production of Electra.

Inevitably there must be scenes which focus on the antagonists. In the first storyline, these happen to be a bunch of primitive cavemen, who may not know how to make fire, but manage to speak modern English better than most US high school students. These scenes tend to run long, so far.