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With some directors, you pretty much always know what you're going to get (paging Michael Bay to the red awesome button next to the white courtesy phone); with others, you can depend on certain stylistic sensibilities regardless of the genre they're exploring (come on down, Danny Boyle!). And then there's Steven Soderbergh: restless, eclectic, award-winning, and equally at home in the arthouse and the megaplex. With Haywire, Soderbergh is aiming squarely for the latter, but bringing his own unique style to the ever-popular action genre -- and making this week's Total Recall the perfect place to look back at some of his brightest critical highlights!
Having a hard time shaking off the post-holiday blues? Alcon Entertainment has just the thing for you: Joyful Noise, the Queen Latifah/Dolly Parton musical drama about a newly instated small-town choir director (Latifah) whose battles with the former director's widow (Parton) threaten to derail the choir's performance in the annual Joyful Noise competition. In other words, we'll get to see a rafter-raising musical number in the final act -- which means we had no choice but to dedicate this week's feature to a look back at some other movies that culminated in a Really Big Show. Whether they're saving the orphanage or chasing a dream, the characters in these films have one thing in common: they all ended up on stage. Take your seats and turn off your cell phones, because it's time for Total Recall!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!