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!
This weekend, Robert Downey, Jr. and Zach Galifianakis have a Due Date with a cross-country journey full of comedic screaming, vehicular damage, and at least one quote from a classic Ice Cube hit. It has all the makings of a classic wacky road trip comedy, in other words, which got us to thinking about some of the many other entries in the genre -- and before we knew it, we had this week?s super-sized Total Recall, containing 20 of the wackiest, trippiest cinematic journeys of them all. It?s by no means definitive, but with so many to choose from, some were bound to be left out. So which are your favorites? Which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments!
Another year, another Saw movie: This Friday, when the seventh installment in the series reaches theaters, it'll extend an annual tradition that stretches back to 2004. If you're wondering how much further Jigsaw's legacy can possibly go, you're not alone -- but this time around, the addition of 3-D introduces a new visual component, as well as adding yet another chapter to the long Hollywood saga of using gimmicks to sell movies. It got us thinking about some of the other would-be innovations introduced over the years -- and we figured if Smell-O-Vision, SignScope, and Sensurround were good enough for the studios that backed them, it's about time they got some recognition. So step right up, ladies and gents, for the most sensational, amazingly lifelike, thrillingly spellbinding Total Recall you've ever seen...or your money back!
Paranormal Activity made all kinds of money last year -- and it also launched the career of director Oren Peli, who used its $193 million worldwide gross as a gateway to projects like the upcoming Area 51. The jury is still out on Mr. Peli's career, but with Paranormal Activity 2 opening this week, we got to thinking about some of the other directors who got their start in horror, and it's a pretty impressive list. Though it isn't the most critically respected genre on the block, horror has often acted as a breeding ground for scary levels of Hollywood talent, and the seven directors profiled in this week's Total Recall are proof!
She's one of the most highly respected stars of the stage, television, and film, with an Oscar, four Emmys, and membership in the Order of the British Empire to her credit -- but Helen Mirren's eclectic filmography has always had room for more than serious arthouse fare. She's also appeared in plenty of popcorn flicks, including National Treasure 2, Inkheart, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- and this week's Red, which finds her toting a machine gun and blowing away bad guys alongside Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and John Malkovich. It's been a career worth celebrating, to say the least, and how better to pay tribute than a Total Recall dedicated to Dame Mirren's ten best films?
Acting demands intense dedication to craft, hard work, and plenty of luck -- but actors like John Malkovich make it look easy: He made his Broadway debut opposite Dustin Hoffman, earned an Oscar nomination for his first major movie role (in 1984's Places in the Heart), and has remained generally excellent throughout a career that currently includes more than 70 films. He'll add two more to that tally this month (this week's Secretariat and next week's Red), and in honor of all that activity, we decided to dedicate this week's feature to the ten best-reviewed movies in a filmography stacked with critical winners. It's time to forget Jonah Hex ever happened -- let's go Total Recall!
He's given us aliens, serial killers, cerebral thrillers, shocking endings, and a glimpse of Brad Pitt as an old man -- and now, with The Social Network, David Fincher has helped turn the story of Facebook into one of the most eagerly awaited (and best-reviewed) films of 2010. With that kind of track record, folks will bend the rules for you once in awhile, and in that spirit, we've decided to dedicate this week's feature to Mr. Fincher's filmography, presented in chronological order. He may not have enough movies to his credit to round out a Top Ten, but many of the ones he has made are among the most compelling of the last 20 years. But don't take our word for it -- let's see what the critics have to say, Total Recall style!
Born into Hollywood royalty, Michael Douglas started his career with easier access to casting directors than most budding actors -- but that will only get you so far, and it's certainly no guarantee that you'll put together a filmography that currently stands at four decades and counting, more than 40 films (and nearly $1.5 billion in lifetime grosses), three Golden Globes, two Oscars, and one AFI Life Achievement Award. We think you'll agree that's a pretty distinguished list of achievements -- and with Douglas' latest film, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, arriving in theaters this weekend, we decided to take the opportunity to look back on his finest moments... Total Recall style!