What has two long ears, a pair of drumsticks, a vendetta against Easter chicks, and a habit of pooping jelly beans? Why, it's E.B., the Russell Brand-voiced star of the brand new Easter comedy Hop -- and the latest example of Hollywood's long-standing fascination with rabbits. As main characters and supporting players, they've shown up in comedies and dramas, children's animation, and even a horror movie or two. With that in mind, we decided to take a cue from this weekend's release schedule and honor rabbits in the movies with a very special cottontailed edition of Total Recall!
Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, opening this weekend, is a state-of-the-art action thriller featuring the latest advancements in special effects and cleavage-baring underthings -- but underneath all that 21st-century gimcrackery, it's also a throwback to one of the most time-honored tales in film: the prison break movie. We decided to celebrate this nod to tradition by compiling a list of some other noteworthy examples from the genre, from 75-year-old classics to more recent (and more big-budget) blockbusters. Sharpen that nail file, keep an eye out for the warden, and get ready to bust out of the slammer Total Recall style!
When Bradley Cooper achieves super-genius status thanks to an experimental drug in this weekend's Limitless, he'll attract some Oscar-winning attention in the form of the one and only Robert De Niro. He's had a rough few years at the box office, what with stuff like Hide and Seek and Righteous Kill, but De Niro is still one of the most respected actors of his (or any) generation, and even though he isn't the star of Limitless, we decided now would be the perfect time to give his incredible filmography the attention it deserves. Ten movies, and every single one of them over 90 percent on the Tomatometer -- now that's what we call a Total Recall!
Brace yourselves, Earthlings -- this weekend, when Battle: Los Angeles lands in theaters, we'll be defending ourselves from another wave of invading extraterrestrials, with only Aaron Eckhart and his plucky platoon of hard-charging Marines standing between us and utter destruction. This has been a recurring theme at the box office lately, and we certainly haven't seen the last of it -- so we decided to dedicate this week's feature to a random sampling of cinematic alien invasions of the past. We narrowed the list by focusing on movies featuring groups of intergalactic visitors (sorry Starman, E.T., and Predator), but still only scratched the surface of a time-honored Hollywood tradition. Which of your favorites made (or missed) the cut?
For (ahem) some of your Rotten Tomatoes editors, 1988 might seem like it was only yesterday -- but the painful truth is that it was actually almost a quarter century ago, and thus fair game for gleefully retro comedies like this weekend's Take Me Home Tonight, which takes us (and a cast that includes Topher Grace and Anna Faris) back to the year of perestroika, the Seoul Summer Olympics, and the Bush/Dukakis election. In that spirit, we decided to take our own trip back in time for this week's list, and revisit the year's biggest box office hits (according to Box Office Mojo). Grab your Walkman, break out your NES, and Total Recall like it's 1988
He may not be a household name, but David Morse is one of America's most recognizable actors, thanks to a 30-year career that has taken him from the stage (including an Obie-winning performance in How I Learned to Drive) to the TV screen (where his résumé includes a six-year run on St. Elsewhere) and more than 40 films. This weekend, Morse will appear as Nicolas Cage's shotgun-toting buddy in Drive Angry, which naturally got us thinking about the many highlights in one of Hollywood's preeminent "that guy" filmographies. From supporting roles to starring turns, here's the best of David Morse!
After a five-year break, Martin Lawrence is back for another round as the perpetually cross-dressing cop Malcolm "Big Momma" Turner, and this time he's got company: in Friday's Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Brandon T. Jackson joins Martin as his equally frock-friendly stepson, Trent "Charmaine Daisy" Pierce. All these fellas running around in wigs and dresses got us thinking about some of the many other films that required their male stars to put on a little makeup, flash a little leg, and bat a few eyelashes. From comedies to dramas, Oscar winners to cult classics, this week's Total Recall is a total drag!
This weekend, Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell strap on their swords and sandals for Kevin Macdonald's adventure epic The Eagle, adding another chapter to Hollywood's decades-long fascination with the Roman Empire. The genre has had its ups and downs over the years, but it's never really gone away completely, and for good reason -- from goofy comedies to sweeping romances and blockbuster action adventures, it's a time period with something to offer film fans of all persuasions. To prove it, here's this week's feature: a fond (but by no means comprehensive) look back at some of our favorite films inspired by ancient Rome. We came, we saw, we Total Recalled!
Humans are social creatures, but we also need our privacy, and having it invaded is one of the more unpleasant things a person can be forced to deal with. Ironically, we sort of seem to love watching other people go through it -- just ask Hollywood, where stalker movies have been raking in the dough for decades. This weekend brings us another entry in the genre: The Roommate, starring Leighton Meester as a college co-ed who develops a psychotic obsession with Minka Kelly, and it got us thinking about previous stalkers on the silver screen. From bunny boilers to former rappers, this week's list has something for everyone who enjoys watching someone's life infiltrated by a crazy person. It's time for Total Recall!
During the 1980s, the action thriller genre soared to absurd new heights, only to retreat into direct-to-video cheese -- and Rutger Hauer's career went right along with it, from early cult favorites (Nighthawks, Blade Runner) to, well, less memorable fare (pretty much anything Hauer filmed in the 1990s). But even if the scripts got worse, Hauer's steely glare and commanding screen presence only improved with age -- and he's put them to use in a recent string of successful films, including Sin City and Batman Begins. With Rutger appearing alongside Anthony Hopkins in this weekend's The Rite, we knew now was the perfect time to take a look back at his brightest critical highlights. It's time for Total Recall!
Seemingly overnight at the turn of the century, Colin Farrell went from just another struggling actor to a major Hollywood star -- only to retreat into semi-obscurity less than a decade later, after cluttering his filmography with a handful of big-budget turkeys. But while misguided efforts like Daredevil and Miami Vice obscured Farrell's gifts, he remained capable of superlative work -- and he's proved it with a string of critically lauded appearances in recent films. The latest chapter in Farrell's reinvention, Peter Weir's The Way Back, reaches American shores this weekend, and we decided now would be the perfect time to take a look back at the critical highlights of an often underrated career. It's time for Total Recall!
Winona Ryder was one of the more prolific film stars of the late 1980s and early 1990s, appearing in almost 20 movies over the space of a decade and working with some of the industry's most respected actors and directors along the way. Her pace has slowed in recent years, but with roles in Black Swan and this weekend's The Dilemma, Winona's pulling double duty at the box office -- which, naturally, got us thinking about the many highlights of an eclectic filmography that includes teen comedies, period dramas, and plenty in between. How do your favorites stack up against the critics'? It's time to find out!
When Nicolas Cage goes up against the forces of the supernatural in Season of the Witch this weekend, he'll have another awesome wig and his very best intense/befuddled stare in his arsenal. But to really improve his odds of victory, he'll need something more -- like the imposing menace of Ron Perlman, occasional Hellboy and character actor supreme. Whether he's appeared au naturel or under makeup, worked live action or voiced animated characters, Perlman's distinctive talent has been entertaining audiences for 30 years, and he's assembled an eclectic filmography along the way. It's about time Ron Perlman received the Total Recall treatment, wouldn't you say?
Though he's primarily known for playing guys who have a hard time doing anything right, Ben Stiller is one of the most successful talents in Hollywood -- a writer/director/actor whose occasional wanderings into critically rotten territory haven't put a dent into his incredible bankability. Stiller's films have grossed more than $2.1 billion, a total that includes the more than $800 million racked up by Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers -- and with the third installment in the franchise, Little Fockers, arriving in theaters this weekend, we decided now would be the perfect time to take a look back at his critical highlights. (Spoiler alert: Envy will not be covered.) It's time for another round of Total Recall!
Well, Tron fans, your wait for a sequel is finally almost over: this Friday, nearly three decades after puzzled filmgoers shrugged off the Disney cult classic, we get our long-delayed second dose of lightcycles, deadly discs, and skin-tight glowing bodysuits in the form of Tron Legacy. Of course, our concept of the computer (and our knowledge of what it can actually do) has changed quite a bit since 1982, but Tron actually got a lot of things right -- and to put it all in perspective, we thought it would be fun to spend this week's feature taking a look back at some other computer-driven films. Which ones came closest to reality? Which ones got things most hilariously wrong? And which ones gave us glimpses at a future we're still waiting for? It's time to boot up another edition of Total Recall!
What's better than a movie with one huge star? A movie with two huge stars, of course -- and this weekend, when Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie give filmgoers a double shot of celebrity charisma with The Tourist, they'll become the latest in a long line of superstar duos who have combined their talents (and box office power) to make Hollywood history. Naturally, we couldn't fit them all into this week's feature, but the ten pair-ups listed here include some of cinema's biggest hits (and at least one truly noteworthy miss). It's time to double your pleasure, double your Total Recall!
This Friday, the martial arts western The Warrior's Way saunters into theaters, offering one of the most delightfully unhinged genre mashups we've seen in some time -- and boasting an incredible cast that includes South Korean superstar Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, and Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush. Once we rubbed our eyes and blinked a few times to make sure we weren't reading those names wrong, we got to thinking about other unexpected choices made by Academy-approved actors, and before we knew it, we had a whole Total Recall full of them. From box office hits to ignoble flops, from critics' favorites to the lowest depths of the Tomatometer, it's time to celebrate weird post-Oscar roles. Add your favorites in the comments!
by Jeff Giles
on Wednesday, Nov. 24 2010, 02:13 PM
When Burlesque struts into theaters this week, it won't just be the latest in a chorus line of movies about moneymaker shakin' -- it'll also join the long, occasionally proud tradition of films starring singers who stepped out of the recording studio and in front of the cameras. In fact, Burlesque stars two of them: musical legend/Oscar winner Cher and -- making her big-screen debut -- Christina Aguilera. To celebrate all this girl power, we decided to spend this week's feature taking a look back at some of of the most noteworthy female double threats in Hollywood history. From the Billboard charts to the box office, it's time for Total Recall!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I arrives in theaters this week, and you know what that means -- lots and lots of red carpet coverage of those adorable Hogwarts kids as they begin their march toward the end of one of the most successful film franchises in history. But while Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint enjoy the spotlight, we decided to focus on the talents of a cast member whose Oscar-nominated talent has been hidden behind freaky makeup and special effects: Ralph "Lord Voldemort" Fiennes. A veteran of stage and screen, Fiennes has amassed an admirably eclectic filmography since making his breakthrough with Schindler's List in 1993, and while we did draw the line at minor cameo roles (sorry, The Hurt Locker), we think you'll find a lot to love. Let's Total Recall, Fiennes style!
We don't see them produced as often as we used to, but Hollywood has been making movies about trains since the dawn of cinema. It's a long, rich tradition that stretches back to the silent era, so when we saw that Tony Scott and Denzel Washington's latest collaboration, Unstoppable, was an action thriller about a killer runaway train loaded with nuclear explosives... well, naturally, we decided to dedicate this week's Total Recall to some of the most noteworthy entries in the long list of railroad movies. At a mere dozen entries, this chronologically-arranged list is obviously far from complete, but we think you'll find some of your favorites (and at least one unnecessary sequel). Which movies would you add? Let us know in the comments!