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If you're an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan like myself, then Total Recall is a must. For a long time now, I have been hoping for a blu ray release to do the film true justice, and now, in 2012 - coinciding with the cinematic release of the remake - we at last have a decent release to celebrate. I can safely say... the film has never looked better. A crisp new transfer bringing the film to life in a way that only a quality blu ray can.
There are also a great bunch of extras, including a new in depth interview with director Paul Verhoeven.
A commentary track featuring him and Arnie is included, as are various pieces on the making of the film, and a comparison between the new director approved transfer, and the last release, showing the higher quality on offer here.
As for the film itself, its a sci-fi classic, that is full of the usual Arnie one liners, and features his character Doug Quaid set in a futuristic world visiting Rekall, a place to bring your wildest aspirations to life. Thus, he gets to fulfil his dream of visiting Mars, as a secret agent... except the line gets blurred between what is real and what is fantasy.
Excellent stuff. A must on blu ray.
In 1990, Schwarzenegger blasted onto movie screens with 'Total Recall', a violent, action sci-fi chase from Earth to Mars with a stellar cast. This is regarded as one of the Austrian Oak's best films, the pairing with Paul Verhoeven (of Starship Troopers and Robocop fame) providing the perfect match of blood 'n' bullet showdowns, and over the top visuals.
So what is this latest Blu-Ray like? Previous release have been little more than transfers straight from the DVD and haven't taken advantage of the benefits of HD. Fortunately, this release takes care of that. The transfer has been personally overseen by the director and looks 100% better. Whilst this isn't the shiny perfect picture you might expect from a modern blockbuster (or something DNR'd to death), it looks as good as it did back on the silver screen. Similarly the soundtrack has been given a DTS-HD makeover and it sounds superb. My only gripe is that the rear speakers didn't seem to have much going on, but from the front the gunfire and booming score sounded as clear as the dialogue. Again, the best we've heard from this title. The release is a triple play, so you get a separate DVD and digital copy but I haven't looked at these.
It doesn't skimp on extras either, we get the same commentary from the star and director which the special edition DVD had. This can be a little dry sometimes, Arnold seems to be treating it a little like an audio description track on occasion. However, there are moments of banter which make it worth a listen.
There's a 30 minute documentary on the making of the film as well as a shorter featurette. Both of these are interesting to watch but are presented in Standard Definition. There's a photo gallery and trailers which won't take long to go through.
For the Blu-Ray, we have some new HD content. An interview with the director which provides some insight into the various issues in the making of the film, a short feature focussing on the special effects and a brief look at the restoration process.
As a big fan of this film, I had been holding out for a decent HD release and this is the one to get. My only gripe is that I'd like to have seen the deleted scenes which were trimmed originally to get the rating in the US down from NC-17 to an R. But for now, this release should be the fans choice.