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Sequels! We love to complain about them, but clearly, we can't get enough of 'em -- or at least that's the message we keep sending at the box office, where they seem to take up a greater percentage of the grosses every year. Of course, nothing lasts forever, and when it comes to film franchises, the audience's fondness for the characters tends to run out around the third film -- but there are some notable exceptions, such as the Resident Evil series, which makes its fifth(!) trip to the big screen this weekend with Resident Evil: Retribution. In honor of this momentous achievement, we decided to take a look at other fifth installments, and came up with a list that's more impressive (and less reliant on horror sequels) than you might think. One, two, three, four, five: this Total Recall's working overtime!
In this weekend's The Words, Bradley Cooper plays a struggling young writer who stumbles across a terrific unpublished manuscript and makes the fateful decision to pass it off as his own -- an impulsively dishonest act that brings him the career success he's dreamed of, but triggers major consequences along the way. Of course, Cooper's character isn't the first to pretend to be something he isn't -- and with that in mind, we decided to dedicate this week's list to some of the many noteworthy plagiarists, imposters, liars, and frauds from films of the past. Lock up your valuables and don't believe everything you're told, because it's time for Total Recall!
Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy are the stars of this weekend's Prohibition drama Lawless, and we don't have anything against either of them -- but we're just as intrigued by the involvement of a certain Mr. Gary Oldman, whose (by most accounts too-brief) appearance adds another chapter to one of Hollywood's most fascinating careers. From indie flicks to blockbuster franchises, Oldman's done it all, and we knew we couldn't pass up the opportunity to look back on some of his filmography's brightest critical highlights. It's time for Total Recall!
Like the Pink Floyd song says, "I've got a bike/You can ride it if you like." With Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who was the subject of his very own Total Recall recently) pedaling like crazy for this weekend's Premium Rush, we decided now would be the perfect time to peer into the cinematic past and find some other pedal-powered films. It's probably no surprise that bicycles aren't exactly the greatest source of screenwriting inspiration, but that doesn't mean there haven't been a few noteworthy entries in the genre -- and besides, it's hard to complain when a list gives us the opportunity to write about Rad. Grab your helmet -- it's time for Total Recall!
He's been a bodybuilder, a bricklayer, a politician, and a restaurateur -- but for our purposes, Arnold Schwarzenegger has always been at his best when he's blowing stuff up in front of a camera, so it's with great enthusiasm that we greet his return to action in this weekend's The Expendables 2. Sure, Arnie isn't really the star of the movie, but with his political career putting his acting ambitions on hold for most of the last decade, we haven't had many chances to celebrate his greatness, and we couldn't resist taking the opportunity here. It's not a tumor, it's Total Recall!
Since making his big-screen debut in Love Story more than 40 years ago, Tommy Lee Jones has carved out one of the most eclectic, idiosyncratic career paths in Hollywood, going from soap opera star to cinematic leading man -- and appearing in an impressive array of critical and commercial successes along the way. He helped kick off the summer of 2012 with Men in Black 3, and now, with this week's decidedly more mature Hope Springs, he's helping usher it out; in appreciation of his efforts, we decided to dedicate this week's list to some of the many critical highlights from Jones' distinguished filmography. Get ready to squint into the distance and give us your best world-weary sigh, because it's time to Total Recall, Tommy Lee Jones style!
After many months of examining cinematic history under the Total Recall banner, our column meets its destiny this week with the release of Len Wiseman's Total Recall remake. Of course, we knew we needed to dedicate this week's list to recall -- specifically, movies featuring protagonists who have lost their memory. Amnesia is a popular topic for filmmakers, leaving us with enough material to make this a special super-sized edition that features examples from pretty much every genre -- and we're still sure we managed to (ahem) "forget" at least one of your favorites. It's the total partial recall you've been waiting for!
Vegas, martinis, and the words "baby" and "money" helped launch Vince Vaughn's film career -- and helped established him as an extraordinarily compelling cinematic scoundrel, a role he's played repeatedly over the last decade and change. But that isn't all Vaughn can do, as he's proven while assembling an admirably eclectic filmography, moving from comedy to horror to action thrillers and back again, turning in memorable cameoes in films as diverse as Into the Wild, and Anchorman, and sharing screens with everyone from Richard Attenborough to Jennifer Lopez in the process. When HBO's hit drama True Detective returns next year, Vaughn will take his place as one of the new season's lead actors, and to celebrate, we decided to revisit his best-reviewed films, Total Recall style!
The Masked Manhunter. The Caped Crusader. Bats. You know who we're talking about, film fans, and chances are you've had this Friday circled on your calendar since Warner Bros. announced that July 20, 2012 was the day The Dark Knight Rises would be arriving in theaters. The conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, Rises is one of the year's most anticipated releases, and in honor of this momentous occasion, we decided to dedicate this week's list to a (mostly) fond look back at the Bat in all of his cinematic guises. With the Bat-signal blazing, it's time for Total Recall!
Nerds! Geeks! For years, they bore the brunt of hostility from all the cool kids -- but now, in a turn of events that would have infuriated Fred "The Ogre" Palowakski, they are the cool kids, and this week they're celebrating their ascendance with the ultimate annual pilgrimage of nerddom and geekitude. Yes, friends, we're talking about Comic-Con, and in honor of the total geekout scheduled to take place in San Diego between tomorrow and Sunday, we decided to devote this week's list to some of our favorite nerd- and geek-dedicated films. Hike up those floodwaters, Poindexter, because it's time for Total Recall!
He's won 10 Golden Globes, nine Oscars, and four BAFTAs during his long and illustrious career -- but Oliver Stone has somehow never been the focus of his own Total Recall, so we decided to change that in honor of this weekend's Savages, an intriguingly cast drug drama based on the Don Winslow novel about a pair of pot farmers racing to free the woman they love from a Mexican drug cartel. Given his lengthy filmography, you know Stone's got some good stuff in his filmography -- and the cream of the crop is right here in this week's list.
It takes guts to shake your moneymaker in public, let alone for a filmmaker as talented as Steven Soderbergh, so give Channing Tatum points for courage: That's exactly what he did in Magic Mike, the stripper drama that's thrusting its well-oiled abs into theaters this week. In honor of Channing's chutzpah, we decided to dedicate this week's list to his up-and-coming career -- which is still young, but contains more noteworthy films than you might initially suspect. It's time for Total Recall!
He worked his way up from his humble log cabin roots to become an entrepreneur, a lawyer, and finally the President of the United States -- and now Abraham Lincoln is an action hero, courtesy of this weekend's supremely silly-sounding Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In honor of Honest Abe's return to the big screen, we decided to take a look at some other films about real-life Presidents -- and although none of them feature commanders-in-chief slaying the undead, we think you'll still find a few classics in the bunch. Hail to the Total Recall!
Over the course of his 35-year filmmaking career, Ridley Scott has dabbled in pretty much every genre: from historical epics to action flicks, fantasy to heartwarming drama, he's done it all -- and he's racked up an impressive pile of awards and nominations along the way. But since 1982's Blade Runner, sci-fi has been conspicuously absent from Scott's filmography -- until now, that is. With the decidedly Alien-ish Prometheus landing in theaters this weekend, we decided now would be the perfect time to take a fond look back at 10 of the brightest critical highlights from the Ridley Scott oeuvre, and you know what that means: It's time for Total Recall!
Snow White and the Huntsman opens this weekend, following closely behind Mirror Mirror and marking the second trip to theaters for the Fairest of Them All in 2012. With plenty of other folkloric fantasy adaptations in our recent past (Red Riding Hood, Beastly) and plenty more on the horizon (including Jack the Giant Killer and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), fairy tales are having something of a moment right now -- but as any film fan could tell you, and as this week's list demonstrates, this is nothing new in Hollywood. There are countless examples of filmmakers turning to fairy tales for inspiration, but we couldn't possibly fit all those once upon a times and happily ever afters into a single feature. Which of your favorites made the cut? Find out in the latest Total Recall!
Summer's almost here, and you know what that means -- from now until Labor Day, the Earth will be in near-constant danger of utter destruction every single weekend. At the box office, anyway. This week, we're under attack from a crew of nasty aliens, and only Taylor Kitsch and Rihanna stand between us and certain doom. We're talking about Battleship, of course, and all that aquatic derring-do got us thinking about other movies featuring thrilling peril, men and women of valor, and lots and lots of water. It's time to celebrate some Victory at Sea -- the Total Recall way!
He once seemed destined for nothing better or worse than simple teen idolhood, but since escaping from 21 Jump Street in 1990, Johnny Depp has proven himself to be a brave (and mostly pretty astute) chooser of scripts, building an impressive filmography that encompasses everything from black-and-white arthouse fare (Dead Man) to blockbuster Disney trilogies (Pirates of the Caribbean). This weekend, he returns to theaters as the bloodsucking Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, so we thought now would be a fine time to devote a fresh installment of Total Recall to counting down the 10 best-reviewed releases of Depp's 25-year film career.
The Avengers isn't just the title of this weekend's hotly-anticipated superhero extravaganza, it's also the name of a critically panned adaptation of a 1960s TV show starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman. This isn't the first time multiple movies have shared a title, of course -- last week's action thriller Safe shared a title with a Todd Haynes drama. But noticing the latest example on the release schedule got us thinking -- and by the time we'd finished thinking, we had ourselves yet another list. From Oscar nominees to infamous duds, here are 25 movies with only a dozen titles between them. It's time for Total Recall!
Safe isn't just the title of this weekend's Jason Statham MMA action thriller, it's also the name of a critically acclaimed Todd Haynes drama starring Julianne Moore. This isn't the first time multiple movies have shared a title, of course, but noticing the latest example on the release schedule got us thinking -- and by the time we'd finished thinking, we had ourselves a list. From Oscar winners to infamous duds, here are 24 movies with only a dozen titles between them. It's time for Total Recall!
In what's becoming an adorable annual Earth Day tradition, Disney will release the latest installment in its series of Disneynature documentaries this weekend: Chimpanzee, which follows the cute and cuddly adventures of an orphaned chimp who finds a new family in the jungle. Critics thus far have expressed the usual annoyance for the de rigueur goofy narration (supplied by Tim Allen), but everyone loves chimps, so we decided this week would be the perfect time to take a look at some other films featuring stars from this particular branch of the simian family. Forget about gorillas, apes, monkeys, and orangutans -- this week we're doing Total Recall chimpanzee style!