Total Recall

Friday, Apr. 20 2012, 09:59 AM

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!

Thursday, Apr. 12 2012, 11:47 AM

The poster for this weekend's Lockout shouts "Brought to you by the producers of Taken" -- a list that includes a certain Luc Besson, who might be best known as a director and screenwriter, but who's also stayed surprisingly busy behind the scenes of a long and impressively eclectic list of films over the years. Naturally, we decided now would be the perfect time to take an appreciative look back at some of the best Besson productions, so grab a bucket of popcorn and your finest French dictionary -- it's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Apr. 05 2012, 03:31 AM

Friday, Mar. 30 2012, 03:21 PM

As many movie lovers are frequently wont to complain, Hollywood's been on a recycling binge for quite awhile now, with studios raiding the vaults for films and franchises that they can dust off for a new generation. Whether you call them remakes, reboots, or re-imaginings, they're ever more common -- but what's slightly less common is to see one of them getting a sequel, so when Wrath of the Titans popped up on the schedule for this weekend, we thought it might be fun to take a look back at some other examples of movies whose do-overs were popular enough to warrant a follow-up. Get ready to see a lot of Steve Martin, because it's time to Total Recall -- requel style!

Thursday, Mar. 22 2012, 02:41 PM

Jennifer Lawrence hits the ground running this weekend with The Hunger Games, carrying a teen-friendly franchise-in-waiting that Hollywood's hoping will pick up where Harry Potter (and, later this year, Twilight) left off. And as a contestant in the titular games, she also joins a long film tradition of protagonists playing fictional sports -- one we decided would be perfect to discuss in this week's list. From action to fantasy, comedy to drama, it's time to play some fake games... Total Recall style! We've got BASEketball, Death Race, Quidditch, Rollerball, and plenty more cinematic athletic competitions that you should definitely not try at home!

Thursday, Mar. 15 2012, 04:15 PM

When Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum take to the screen with 21 Jump Street this weekend, it will mark the first time a television series that once starred Richard Grieco has ever been turned into a movie. But that doesn't mean this adaptation is wholly without precedent -- from cops to spies to bootleggers and everything in between, action series like Jump Street have been crossing over to the big screen for decades, and this week, we're holstering our weapons, revving our tricked-out custom wheels, and striking a series of "spontaneous" poses during the opening credits before we count down some noteworthy examples of TV action heroes who got their own movies. It's time for Total Recall!

Wednesday, Mar. 07 2012, 04:20 PM

It's Taylor Kitsch's handsome mug that's plastered all over the John Carter trailers and posters, but he isn't going to Mars all by his lonesome this weekend -- he's surrounded by a great supporting cast that includes Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Haden Church, Dominic West, and... drum roll, please... two-time Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe, whose appearance as the brave Barsoomian warrior Tars Tarkas was just the excuse we needed to devote this week's list to the critical highlights from one of the more admirably eclectic filmographies among today's working actors. Action blockbusters, dramas, even animation -- as we're about to demonstrate. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Mar. 01 2012, 05:28 PM

Danny DeVito has been in a pair of long-running sitcoms, produced and directed some major hit movies, and turned in notable cameos in some of the most critically adored films of all time (including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment) -- and all those achievements don't even include most of his filmography, which expands this week to include his turn as the grumpy title character in The Lorax. Clearly, it's high time that we paid him tribute, and that's exactly why we decided to (ahem) DeVote this list to the irascible, irrepressible Mr. DeVito. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Feb. 16 2012, 01:55 PM

Nicolas Cage and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance might be getting most of the press this week, but for animation lovers, it's no contest -- the biggest release of the week is The Secret World of Arrietty, Studio Ghibli's spin on the classic children's book The Borrowers. Stateside fans have been waiting for Arrietty to reach these shores since the movie came out in Japan way back in July of 2010, and to celebrate its arrival, we're taking a fond look back at every other Ghibli movie that's received an American release. Get ready for lots of strange creatures, magic spells, and mysterious journeys -- it's time for Total Recall!

Friday, Feb. 10 2012, 09:53 AM

Ready or not, it's time for another 3D Journey. Only this time instead of Brendan Fraser making his way to the center of the earth, we've got Dwayne Johnson muscling to the shores of The Mysterious Island in the company of Michael Caine, Vanessa Hudgens, and the inimitable Luis Guzmán -- who's been stealing scenes throughout his career, and now gets his first chance to upstage some giant bees. In honor of Luis' latest role, we decided to dedicate this week's list to some of the best films in a résumé filled with memorable moments. It's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Feb. 02 2012, 02:49 PM

Superhero movies, how do they work? For decades, the only answer seemed to be "license a popular comic book franchise, then add cheesy special effects and loads of camp," but there were occasional exceptions to the rule -- and over the last decade and change, a growing number of filmmakers have gone beyond corny humor and F/X flash to explore other areas of the superhero mythos. With the found-footage/superhero hybrid Chronicle heading to theaters this weekend, we decided now would be the perfect time to draw up a supersized list of other non-traditional entries in the genre. We hope you're ready to take flight, because it's time for Total Recall!

Thursday, Jan. 19 2012, 04:04 PM

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!

Wednesday, Jan. 11 2012, 04:02 PM

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!

Thursday, Jan. 05 2012, 03:04 PM

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!

Wednesday, Dec. 14 2011, 03:55 PM

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!

Thursday, Dec. 08 2011, 02:59 PM

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!

Thursday, Dec. 01 2011, 01:29 PM

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!

Thursday, Nov. 10 2011, 03:53 PM

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!

Thursday, Nov. 03 2011, 12:38 PM

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!

Thursday, Oct. 27 2011, 04:45 PM

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!


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