Total Recall

Thursday, Oct. 20 2011, 01:17 PM

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!

Thursday, Oct. 13 2011, 02:14 PM

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!

Thursday, Oct. 06 2011, 09:32 AM

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!

Thursday, Sep. 29 2011, 07:46 AM

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!

Friday, Sep. 23 2011, 02:24 PM

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?

Thursday, Sep. 15 2011, 02:28 PM

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!

Thursday, Sep. 08 2011, 03:01 PM

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.

Thursday, Sep. 01 2011, 02:45 PM

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!

Thursday, Aug. 25 2011, 02:43 PM

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!

Thursday, Aug. 11 2011, 01:34 PM

Cue another round of "truth in advertising" jokes, film fans: the fifth Final Destination hits theaters this week, bringing moviegoers one more round of screaming teenagers meeting their doom in a variety of fiendishly clever ways. Like the romantic comedy, we love to disparage the "dead teenager" movie (the term was famously coined by Roger Ebert as a pejorative for 1980s slasher flicks), but we clearly can't get enough: some of Hollywood's longest-lasting franchises (not to mention a few horror classics) have been built on the fresh corpses of teen characters who ran afoul of supernatural forces or homicidal maniacs. For this week's Total Recall, we decided to take a look back at a few noteworthy examples from an often critically maligned -- yet always quite popular -- subgenre. Which ones made the (ahem) cut? Read on to find out!

Thursday, Aug. 04 2011, 03:44 PM

When Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds pee in a magic fountain and switch bodies during this weekend's The Change-Up, they won't just be setting up a bunch of wacky jokes about how being married with kids is different from the single life, they'll be extending a long Hollywood tradition. For decades, filmmakers have been fascinated with the possibilities of body-switching, and it's easy to see why: it's a premise that's equally useful for comedies, dramas, and sci-fi thrillers. For this week's Total Recall, we decided to take a look at some noteworthy examples, including a few from each of the genres mentioned above -- and some that aren't so easily categorized. Which are your favorites? Which movies would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, Jul. 27 2011, 02:36 PM

There aren't many actors who have the depth and sensitivity to carry indie fare and enough charisma to lead a blockbuster franchise, but with one foot in the art house and the other firmly planted at the multiplex, Daniel Craig is one star who can have his Layer Cake and eat it too. With a slew of films on the horizon -- including Dream House, David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Bond 23, and this weekend's Cowboys and Aliens -- Craig is busier than ever, so we decided now would be the perfect time to take a look at some of his critical highlights, Total Recall style!

Thursday, Jul. 21 2011, 09:08 AM

Woody Harrelson has come an awfully long way since he joined the cast of Cheers in 1985, originating the role of hayseed bartender Woody Boyd and kicking off a career that has grown to encompass one of the more eclectic, unusual, and just plain interesting filmographies in modern Hollywood. Comedies? Dramas? Thrillers? Harrelson's done 'em all -- and with his supporting turn in Friends with Benefits making its way to theaters this weekend, we figured now was the perfect time to take a look back at some of the critical highlights in the Harrelson oeuvre, Total Recall style!

Thursday, Jul. 14 2011, 04:19 PM

After 10 years and several billion dollars, the Harry Potter film franchise is finally drawing to a close this week with the eighth installment in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. With the kind of deafening buzz that goes with being one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year -- not to mention almost universally positive early reviews from critics -- the final Potter is the undisputed film of the week, so when it came time to put together this week's Total Recall, we knew what we had to do. While you're counting down the hours to the big premiere, join us for a look back at some of the critical highlights from one of the most successful franchises of all time!

Thursday, Jul. 07 2011, 06:04 PM

Most of us spend a pretty big portion of our lives at work, and a lot of that time isn't exactly exciting -- which probably has a lot to do with why most characters in the movies don't spend much of their screen time on the clock. But that isn't to say Hollywood hasn't produced its share of cinematic statements about work -- and with Seth Gordon's Horrible Bosses opening this weekend, we decided now would be a fine time to look back on some of the most noteworthy entries in the genre. Whether you're looking for inspirational dramas, thoughtful statements on what it means to be truly gainfully employed, or just a few laughs, this week's Total Recall has something that (ahem) works for everyone!

Monday, Jun. 27 2011, 02:05 PM

Co-starring in a short-lived sitcom about cross-dressing friends generally isn't the most direct path to superstardom, but there's an exception to prove every rule -- only one, though; sorry, Peter Scolari -- and after racking up over $3 billion in domestic ticket receipts, winning a mantel full of awards (including back-to-back Best Actor Oscars), and starring in some of the best-reviewed films of the last 25 years, Tom Hanks has demonstrated that he's pretty darned exceptional. With his latest project, the grown-up romantic comedy Larry Crowne, arriving in theaters this weekend, we decided now was the perfect time to pay tribute to an impressive body of work by twirling the dials on the Tomatometer, making a list of Hanks' best-reviewed films, and playing Total Recall!

Friday, Jun. 24 2011, 07:49 AM

Once upon a time, animation could be neatly divided into two eras: BD and AD, or before and after Disney. That all changed, however, with the release of 1995's Toy Story, a movie that -- although it bore the Disney logo -- marked the feature-length debut of an upstart studio named Pixar, one which signaled the imminent discovery of brand new, computer-generated vistas for kids of all ages. Pixar has released nine films since then, all of them remarkably Certified Fresh -- and with the studio's twelfth outing, Cars 2, landing in theaters this weekend, we thought now would be an opportune time to take a fond look back at the studio's extraordinary full-length filmography in chronological order.

Friday, Jun. 17 2011, 02:23 PM

Attention, people who are not fans of pencils, books, teachers, and/or dirty looks: This is your time of year. The mercury is rising, schools are closing their doors, wardrobes are shrinking, and folks all across this great nation are getting ready to go on -- you guessed it -- summer vacation! In honor of our collective yearning to clock out of work, buckle the family into the minivan, and head off for sunny adventures, we've decided to dedicate this week's Total Recall to movies that revolve in some way around summer vacation. We picked a few classics, but we tried to include a few surprises, too -- all in the name of giving you a well-rounded list with room for comedy, drama, dancing, and even a little sci-fi. Are you ready for the summer?

Friday, Jun. 10 2011, 04:51 AM

Much has been made of the fact that Steven Spielberg produced J.J. Abrams' Super 8 -- and rightly so, given how strongly it seems to evoke memories of Spielberg's classic past. But even though we think of Spielberg as a director first, he's also had a very busy (and fairly distinguished) career as a producer -- and to show you what we mean, we decided to dedicate this week's Total Recall to films he didn't direct. We ended up with a varied list that includes some huge hits, a handful of modern classics, and maybe even a few surprises. Read on!

Wednesday, Jun. 01 2011, 03:55 PM

Since breaking into the film business in the mid-1990s, James McAvoy has collected a pile of positive reviews and award nominations, and he's done it while dividing his time between thoughtful independent fare (like The Last King of Scotland) and big-budget blockbusters (such as Wanted). But all that was merely a prelude for this weekend, when McAvoy suits up as the mighty (and decidedly wheelchair-free) Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class. With a starring role in one of the summer's most highly anticipated films under his belt, we thought it was about time to take a look at some of the brightest spots in McAvoy's filmography, Total Recall style. Let's get started!


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