Saturday, August 4, 2012
Total Recall, Recalled For You
Unless you're maintaining Unabomber levels of media isolation, you've probably heard that yesterday marked the opening of the newly remade Total Recall. That the movie is getting panned should go without saying. Also unworthy of mention are the pools of ink being spent on Shallow Articles About Philip K Dick which I'm too busy to chronicle.
The good news is that I saw the newly re-imagined Total Recall last night with Mr Hand from the PKD and Religion blog. I totally expected to hate the movie, and so I was surprised when I found myself enjoying it. You want schlock? This movie has schlock out the wazoo!
Now if you're poor and the price of admission will be missed, do not go see Total Recall in the theaters - while the set design and production values look great on the big screen, you can enjoy this one at home. But if you're flushed with cash and like movies, Total Recall is a good time.
This movie takes Dick's "bitch-wife" motif over the shark, and it's great fun to watch. You will groan out loud at some of the dialog and soundtrack cues - unbearable. But the whole thing takes itself just lightly enough to get a little Dickian. There is schlock, and there are claustrophobic entropic future settings, and together effect is far more Dickian than anything in Adjustment Bureau. There are also technological innovations (like an elevator through the earth) that make no sense. Don't get hung up on it, folks. Read it as metaphor.
Because that's the thing, I liked this movie on a metaphorical level. I thought it worked pretty nicely to literalize the figurative, and drive home the increased deprivations of Late Capitalism headed our way. Grab some pop-corn, leave your Heidegger at home, and have a blast!
Also, be forewarned, there are A LOT of dodgy chairs in the movie.