Beelzebub. Ol' Scratch. The Lord of Darkness. The Dark Prince. The devil has no shortage of nicknames -- and no shortage of opportunities on the big screen, where he's surfaced repeatedly over the years, adding a dash of brimstone to some of our favorite (and not-so-favorite) dramas, comedies, and horror flicks. With the supernatural mockumentary The Devil Inside wending its way into theaters this weekend, we decided now would be a fine time to take a look back at some of Lucifer's previous adventures in Hollywood. Grab your Bible and unbutton your coat -- just in time for the January winter chill, it's time for a devilishly super-sized Total Recall!
by Jeff Giles
on Wednesday, Dec. 28 2011, 02:28 PM
She's earned seven Golden Globes, a pair of Oscars, two Emmys, and a Tony nomination -- almost a real-life EGOT! -- but Meryl Streep has somehow never gotten the Total Recall treatment. We're rectifying that this week, in honor of Meryl's star turn as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, Phyllida Lloyd's biopic about the former British Prime Minister that seems primed for a busy awards season run. From comedies to dramas, Meryl's done it all -- and tried on countless accents along the way. Let's take a look at the best-reviewed films from her illustrious career, Total Recall style!
After six years, Cameron Crowe has finally delivered his (non-doc, non-music video) follow-up to Elizabethtown -- and he's brought with him an impeccable cast that includes Matt Damon, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning, and... drum roll please... the subject of this week's feature, Scarlett Johansson! A multiple Golden Globe nominee, tabloid fixture, and object of desire for a sizable segment of the population, Johansson stars opposite Damon in We Bought a Zoo as a character who may nor may not be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. We aren't sure yet -- but we do know we like Scarlett, and it's about time we paid tribute to some of her finer film moments. Let's go Total Recall!
by Jeff Giles
on Wednesday, Dec. 14 2011, 03:55 PM
This weekend, Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law return to theaters in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, reuniting the duo that sleuthed up more than $520 million in worldwide box office receipts during their 2009 debut. But it isn't just Robert and Jude who deserve credit for all this blockbuster detecting -- there's a whole team behind Hollywood's latest incarnation of Holmes and Watson, including director Guy Ritchie and screenwriters Kieran and Michele Mulroney (not to mention the characters' creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). But today, we're here to pay tribute to someone else: Joel Silver, a co-producer on the Holmes franchise and someone whose instinct for developing major movie hits has made him one of the industry's most sought-after talents for the last 30 years. You know his name, you've seen it on the credits of countless films, and now it's time to take a look at some of the most critically successful of the bunch. It's time for Total Recall!
The words "from the makers of Valentine's Day" may not fill you with excitement, but judging from the star-studded cast of Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve, most of Hollywood felt differently: this weekend's biggest wide release features a Who's Who of famous faces, including Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Abigal Breslin, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Hilary Swank. Naturally, we knew we had to dedicate this week's list to New Year's Eve movies. Those of you with sharp memories may remember that we did a New Year's Eve list just a couple of years ago, but as a number of commenters were all too happy to remind us at the time, it only scratched the surface -- so here's another batch of films for your 12/31-centric viewing pleasure. From comedies to dramas, from sci-fi to romance, there's something here for cineastes of all tastes. Let's watch the ball drop together, Total Recall style!
In order to help differentiate between high art and cheap thrills, the MPAA introduced the NC-17 in 1990, and although it hasn't done anything to improve the box office prospects of films receiving the rating, it has given an alternative to filmmakers who want to create challenging and/or provocative movies for grown-ups without dealing with the "rated X" stigma. With Steve McQueen's Shame heading for limited release this weekend (and already courting controversy), we decided now would be the perfect time to pay tribute to the NC-17. Get ready for plenty of skin, violence, and broken taboos -- and bring your ID, because it's time for an adults-only Total Recall!
The Muppets isn't the only movie opening this week -- but it might as well be, at least for a generation of filmgoers who grew up watching Kermit and his pals on The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and at the movies. For a lot of people, the Muppets really mean something, and although nobody can reasonably expect the new Jason Segel-led Muppet movie to truly recapture the franchise's original magic, it seems like an awful lot of us are rooting for it to come close. (If the advance reviews are any indication, The Muppets will mark a very welcome return indeed.) In honor of all this Muppet love, we decided to spend this week's Total Recall paying tribute to the guy who brought them to life way back in the 1950s: writer, director, performer, and puppeteer Jim Henson. Although his role fluctuated from film to film, Henson's presence can be solidly felt in every Muppet-related movie -- even the ones made after his untimely death in 1990 -- and together, they form an enduring tribute to the power of imagination. Let's play the music, let's light the lights... it's time for Total Recall!
He's won five Grammys, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Emmys, and an Oscar -- not bad for a stand-up comedian who became a household name as the star of Mork and Mindy, a Happy Days spinoff sitcom about a goofball alien. We're talking, of course, about Robin Williams -- and given that he does double duty in this week's Happy Feet Two, we decided now would be the perfect time to pay tribute to one of Hollywood's busiest and most eclectic working actors by looking back at some of his many critical highlights. We focused on Williams' larger roles, which meant leaving out memorable-but-brief appearances in films like Hamlet, Dead Again, and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, but what ended up making the cut was still pretty darn impressive. Nanu-Nanu and Shazbot, it's time for Total Recall!
If we had to guess, we'd say more than a few of you probably aren't looking forward to this weekend's Jack and Jill, starring Adam Sandler as a Los Angeles ad exec... and as his obnoxious twin sister. But even if it most likely isn't destined to win any Golden Tomato awards, Jack and Jill is still part of the long Hollywood tradition of actors playing their own twins, and decided to take this opportunity to revisit a few examples from the genre. From action to comedy, critical darling to cult classic, twins are everywhere at the cineplex. It's it's time time to to Total Total Recall Recall!
Most of the fuss surrounding this weekend's Tower Heist has to do with Brett Ratner, Eddie Murphy, and/or Ben Stiller, and we totally get that -- but for our money, the real reason to get excited about the ensemble comedy is that it boasts a supporting turn from the ever-reliable Matthew Broderick. We don't see Broderick on the big screen as often as we used to, but he spent the 1980s as one of Hollywood's busiest leading men, displaying a knack for arch comedy as well as sensitive drama. To celebrate his latest role, we decided to take a fond look back at some of the many critical highlights from Broderick's filmography, and found a few surprises -- as well as plenty of classic hits. It's time for Total Recall!
To a lot of American filmgoers, Antonio Banderas is the suave Latin heartthrob who came out of nowhere in the 1990s to star in some hits (Desperado, Evita, The Mask of Zorro) and some big misses (Assassins, Never Talk to Strangers, Play It to the Bone). But as film buffs know, Banderas is more than just the guy who co-starred in the worst movie of the aughts. He's built up an admirably diverse filmography over the last 30 years, and with two movies -- his reunion with Pedro Almodóvar, The Skin I Live In, and this weekend's Shrek spinoff, Puss in Boots -- now playing in theaters, we decided this would be the perfect time to revisit some of the many critical highlights from his career. ˇEs tiempo para la Retirada Total!
Movie trends come and go, but filmgoers are pretty much always in the mood for a good spy thriller. And why not? Spies are suave, they lead lives of dashing high adventure, and they make their own rules. They're also pretty easy to make fun of, judging from the number of screwball spy spoofs Hollywood has given us over the last few decades. From Woody Allen and Mike Myers to Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase, the secret agent parody has been a hallowed rite of passage for some of our finest funnymen. This week, with Rowan Atkinson returning to the genre in Johnny English Reborn (tagline: "One Man. One Mission. No Chance"), we decided now would be the perfect time to take a fond look back at some of our favorite clueless, bumbling, and/or completely accidental spies. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is Total Recall!
Over the course of his long film career, Dennis Quaid has done a lot of things -- played piano like Jerry Lee Lewis, helped NASA make history, policed the wild west, battled a 3D shark, and piloted a teeny-tiny ship through Martin Short's innards, to name just a few. But he's never had his own Total Recall, so in honor of his supporting turn as the tight-seated Reverend Shaw Moore in Craig Brewer's Footloose remake, we decided to take a look at some of the brightest highlights from the DQ filmography. Which of your favorites made the list? Read on to find out!
Throughout Hollywood history, countless actors have played boxers: young ones, old ones, prize-winning champs, washed-up palookas, and everything in between. But never have audiences been treated to the sight of a down-on-his-luck pugilist who rebuilds his shattered dreams by coaching a boxing robot -- until now, that is. Yes, that's right, Real Steel is here, and in honor of his turn as the rockin'-est, sockin'-est corner man in celluloid history, we're dedicating this week's Total Recall to Hugh Jackman's greatest hits!
At the ripe old age of 30, Joseph Gordon-LevittJoseph Gordon-Levitt is already a grizzled Hollywood veteran, having made his film debut nearly 20 years ago in the slobbery family comedy Beethoven. And he's a busy guy, too -- when 50/50 debuts this weekend, it'll mark his ninth trip to theaters in the last two years, with a whopping four more films on tap for 2012. Clearly, the time has come for us to take a look at the critical highlights from Mr. Gordon-Levitt's growing filmography, and you know what that means: It's time for Total Recall!
Once, during a long-ago era called "the 1980s," Hollywood action heroes roamed the Earth with bulging biceps and names like Sly, Arnold, and Bruce. With a limitless supply of weapons and wisecracks, they saved the world countless times -- and they were exiled to the land of Direct to Video for their trouble, where they wandered lost throughout the '90s and much of the aughts. But they're fighting their way back from extinction now, thanks in large part to the tenacious efforts of steely-eyed roughnecks like Jason Statham -- and to thank him for his bravery in the face of indie dramas and romantic comedies, we've decided to dedicate this week's feature to a list of his finest films. Are you tough enough to Total Recall, Statham style?
Anyone who can claim the titles "ace poker player," "antiques dealer," and "MIT dropout" is bound to be a pretty interesting guy -- and two-time Academy Awards nominee James Woods is living proof. Over the course of his four decades in showbiz, Woods has cut an intriguingly eclectic path, popping up everywhere from Oliver Stone movies to family flicks (that's his voice you hear in Stuart Little 2 and Hercules), video games (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas), and TV (where he's tormented Family Guy's Peter Griffin for years). But he's never received the Total Recall treatment, and when we saw his name on the cast list for Straw Dogs, we knew we needed to repent. It's time to Total Recall, James Woods style!
Car chases are a classic element of action movies, and we've seen them since the Silent Era. A well-executed chase can be extremely thrilling, even in an otherwise crappy movie. Since the remake of Drive hits theaters soon, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of the greatest car chases to ever go careening across the silver screen.
As we approach Labor Day weekend, it's time to say goodbye to summer -- and thanks to director David R. Ellis (The Final Destination), we get to bid it adieu in the most appropriate fashion: by lining up to watch scantily clad twentysomethings futilely splash around in abject terror while trying to escape from bloodthirsty sharks. Yes, that's right, it's time for Shark Night 3D, and to celebrate its finny arrival, we decided to devote this week's list to Hollywood's hunters of the deep. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, it's time for Total Recall -- Deadly Sea Creatures edition!
By the time he turned 20, Guy Pearce had already been an award-winning amateur bodybuilder, fencing student, and Australian soap star -- the kind of career path that not only must make for great conversation at cocktail parties, but set the tone for an eclectic filmography that has seen Pearce go on to take roles in period dramas, Disney comedies, and neo-noir classics. This week, he returns to theaters with Katie Holmes and a house full of creepy-crawlies in the Guillermo del Toro-produced Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark, and we're celebrating by taking a look back at his critical highlights. It's time for Total Recall!