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Thread: 28 Film Discussion Threads Later

  1. #71476
    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I thought it was pretty clear about the ending.
    Even though, if I had to put money on it, I would bet that [
    ]
    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    I agree that it's clear about the ending, but disagree "it's possible to read pretty much every detail one way or the other."

    For one, the movie doesn't take its premise too seriously. It's content to be dumb fun. It might make a weird suggestion here and there, but really it's just biding its time until the next 3-titted mutant appears or the next set piece gets rolling.

    For another, Arnold is too big a presence, both figuratively and literally, to sell the idea the character might be delusional, regardless of what's said in dialogue. This is the same guy from "Commando" and "Predator." He's a movie star. All of these qualities work against the movie's supposed ambiguity. Arnold's limitations as an actor don't help, either.

    Also, these strike me as wild assertions:

    The first makes action-suspense virtually impossible, ie, it matters because otherwise nobody would be caught up in the story.

    The second
    - depends too much on the word technically
    - only applies in certain narrow contexts (people absolutely care when it comes to true crime or biopics, for example)
    - brushes aside suspension of disbelief as an essential tool of fiction
    No, the movie doesn't take its tone too seriously; that doesn't mean that its treatment of the premise isn't serious, and the comic relief of "Consider that a divorce" doesn't cancel out the constant exposition dumps and double crosses that you have to pay close attention to in order to follow the plot, along with the overall ambiguity and thematic depth it contains as a whole. That's what makes it a clever movie; you can choose to look it as just another Arnie actioner on a surface level, where the only point is to be entertained by the constant automatic weaponry and shattering panes of sugar glass, but doing so would be dismissive of the intelligence underneath all that, and having a sense of humor doesn't automatically turn it into Snakes On A Plane; to bring another Verhoeven movie into the mix, that would be like saying Robocop has nothing to say about Capitalism because its fake commercials are so goofy. The humor in both movies is the sugar coating on the (red) pill to help them be fun and smart at the same time.

    Anyway, Arnie's screen presence is the reason why the film was able to sell the possibility of Quaid's delusion, because he was played by the biggest Action hero (and just one of the biggest stars period) of that era, and yet he's still claiming that [
    ] I don't care how big a star the guy is, if he's making arguments like that, then there's something seriously fishy about his general mindset.

    As for your first point about my assertions, that depends entirely on the specifics of the particular movie. I mean, if it was impossible to enjoy a movie featuring false narratives, then obviously no one would like Shutter Island [
    ]

    As for the second one...
    -What does that mean, depends "too much" on the use of technically? As in, my point would work better if it somehow depended on that word less? It's a binary choice, since the term is either 100% present in that sentence, or completely absent; there are no shades of grey in-between those two.
    -But it does apply here, since Total Recall is obviously a fictional story (along with a ton of other movies in that "narrow" context), and it even applies to true-life movies as well, because, regardless of what real basis a historical movie may have, they still feature actors pretending to do things and be other people just as much as any other work of fiction does (so, even though Abraham Lincoln was a real person, Daniel Day-Lewis pretending to be him is still just as false as Arnie playing Quaid).
    -No it doesn't, because whether a movie effectively wields suspension of disbelief in its specific context is a seperate issue from the artificial nature of cinematic storytelling, which is what I'm talking about.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 09-27-2021 at 08:13 AM.

  2. #71477
    Quote Quoting DFA1979 (view post)
    Total Recall is great and all but in the end it's a ultra violent sci-fi action movie that had a really Hollywood ending. I will say that the film is one of Arnold's best roles, or maybe even his best. I've been a fan of it for years. Not sure why a remake exists, although hey Hollywood loves to do that predictable sort of thing.
    A movie suggesting that [
    ]

  3. #71478
    Remember the dead DFA1979's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    A movie suggesting that [
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    [
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  4. #71479
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Hmm...I'd say both of you are right and wrong.

    Sorry I'm not spoilering for a 30 year old movie...

    Arnold does say at the end he's afraid this was all in his head because it was exactly the spy mind trip described by Recall (and the "doctor" who tries to make him take the pill says same), but while he was unconscious at Recall they say they never got around to implanting it. So from Arnold's POV it is a legit concern, but if we believe what the movie tells us, they didn't implant the fake spy trip and he "popped his memory cap" as they say.

    So it's a Hollywood ending for the audience, but a permanent nagging concern for Arnold lol
    Last edited by Skitch; 09-28-2021 at 08:31 AM.

  5. #71480
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Hmm...I'd say both of you are right and wrong.

    Sorry I'm not spoilering for a 30 year old movie...

    Arnold does say at the end he's afraid this was all in his head because it was exactly the spy mind trip described by Recall (and the "doctor" who tries to make him take the pill says same), but while he was unconscious at Recall they say they never got around to implanting it. So from Arnold's POV it is a legit concern, but if we believe what the movie tells us, they didn't implant the fake spy trip and he "popped his memory cap" as they say.

    So it's a Hollywood ending for the audience, but a permanent nagging concern for Arnold lol
    Well said.
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  6. #71481
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    No, the movie doesn't take its tone too seriously; that doesn't mean that its treatment of the premise isn't serious, and the comic relief of "Consider that a divorce" doesn't cancel out the constant exposition dumps and double crosses that you have to pay close attention to in order to follow the plot, along with the overall ambiguity and thematic depth it contains as a whole. That's what makes it a clever movie; you can choose to look it as just another Arnie actioner on a surface level, where the only point is to be entertained by the constant automatic weaponry and shattering panes of sugar glass, but doing so would be dismissive of the intelligence underneath all that, and having a sense of humor doesn't automatically turn it into Snakes On A Plane; to bring another Verhoeven movie into the mix, that would be like saying Robocop has nothing to say about Capitalism because its fake commercials are so goofy. The humor in both movies is the sugar coating on the (red) pill to help them be fun and smart at the same time.
    I rewatched the other night and I'm closer to DFA's opinion than yours. It's a fun movie. Insanely violent. Great special effects. But that's about it. It's not particularly clever or sophisticated. The plot isn't hard to follow; it's mostly 2 hours of run-and-gun action. So I think you're giving it more credit than it deserves.

    My biggest issue now with the so-called ambiguity is that Arnold-as-Quaid always expresses confidence in his present reality, in who he is and what he's doing. Anybody who contradicts that (Stone, Dr Edgemar, Cox) is either obviously unreliable or downright evil. Quaid doesn't believe Stone or the doctor, and he flat out rejects what Cox shows him. Since this is mostly an Arnold action movie, there's not a lot of incentive to interpret events differently than the hero does.

    Either way, it doesn't matter. The story Verhoeven told remains the same regardless of which interpretation you pick.

    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Arnold does say at the end he's afraid this was all in his head because it was exactly the spy mind trip described by Recall (and the "doctor" who tries to make him take the pill says same), but while he was unconscious at Recall they say they never got around to implanting it.
    I get what you're trying to say, but ... Quaid never expresses anxiety about his identity. He pushes back pretty hard whenever anyone tries to sell him on something other than the "Quaid" persona, and he stays that way throughout the film. He doesn't talk about his situation either, or reference anything anybody has told him. (I mean... he doesn't really have time, because the bad guys are constantly trying to kill him.)

    The closest he ever comes to what you're talking about is in the final scene, when Quaid and Melina look over the newly oxygenated Martian landscape.

    Her: "Wow, it's incredible. It's just like a dream."
    Him: "I just had a terrible thought. What if this is just a dream?"
    Her: "Then kiss me quick, before you wake up."

    It's played pretty light. Arnold isn't an actor with a lot of nuance to him. Like DFA said, it's a very Hollywood ending.

  7. #71482
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    I get what you're trying to say, but ... Quaid never expresses anxiety about his identity. He pushes back pretty hard whenever anyone tries to sell him on something other than the "Quaid" persona, and he stays that way throughout the film. He doesn't talk about his situation either, or reference anything anybody has told him. (I mean... he doesn't really have time, because the bad guys are constantly trying to kill him.)

    The closest he ever comes to what you're talking about is in the final scene, when Quaid and Melina look over the newly oxygenated Martian landscape.

    Her: "Wow, it's incredible. It's just like a dream."
    Him: "I just had a terrible thought. What if this is just a dream?"
    Her: "Then kiss me quick, before you wake up."

    It's played pretty light. Arnold isn't an actor with a lot of nuance to him. Like DFA said, it's a very Hollywood ending.
    I didn't say he expresses anxiety about his identity, he's very clear wants to be Quaid and that "Howser is an asshole".

    That end scene is what I was talking about, he pauses because he had a bad thought that maybe it was all a dream...I said, if we believe what the movie tells us, it clearly is not. But Quaid wasn't awake for that information.

  8. #71483
    Remember the dead DFA1979's Avatar
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    I really love Total Recall. But that's cause I'm a huge action movie fan. It does indeed have what could be considered Arnold's best performance though.
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    And all the politicians makin' crazy sounds
    And everybody puttin' everybody else down
    And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

  9. #71484
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Arnold does say at the end he's afraid this was all in his head
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    I didn't say he expresses anxiety about his identity,

    ???

    That end scene is what I was talking about, he pauses because he had a bad thought that maybe it was all a dream...I said, if we believe what the movie tells us, it clearly is not. But Quaid wasn't awake for that information.
    Quaid gets the same information we do and rejects it immediately, every time.

    Here's the final scene. Dialogue starts around 2:30. He doesn't pause. Arnold's line reading is flat, betraying no emotion. Neither character seems troubled by the idea they might be living in a fake reality.

    ETA: I think it's a fun idea to play around with but ultimately meaningless in the context of the film. Arnold really prohibits a deeper read, as does the movie's emphasis on near constant action and violence.
    Last edited by Irish; 09-28-2021 at 05:31 PM.

  10. #71485
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    You are misunderstanding everything I'm saying lol. "hes afraid its all in his head" I meant he's afraid hes at Recall, lobotomized as the "doctor" said, and that nothing after Recall was real, nothing to do with his identity.

    The pause I meant wasn't physical, or about his reading, I mean as a person he stopped for a sec and was like "oh shit what if isn't real". I don't see it as a real possibility within the film/plot/story as presented.

  11. #71486
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    You are misunderstanding everything I'm saying lol.
    lol I understood you just fine

    he's afraid hes at Recall, lobotomized as the "doctor" said, and that nothing after Recall was real, nothing to do with his identity.
    Whether he's actually still at Recall is connected to his identity, and everything he does in the movie is in some way an expression of that identity.

    He also never openly doubts he's Quaid. Even when Cox shows him proof he's not, he rejects the idea immediately.

    Either way, Quaid never really has an "oh shit" moment. He never even tells anybody about the weird shit that's happened to him (like shooting his wife and the creepy doctor in the head, after they tried to convince him he was having a psychotic break.)

    The pause I meant wasn't physical, or about his reading, I mean as a person he stopped for a sec and was like
    Sooooo ... where is this pause in the actual movie, then? Does it happen off screen or... in your imagination?

  12. #71487
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    lol aight, Irish...I've taken enough bait for today.

  13. #71488
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    lol aight, Irish...I've taken enough bait for today.
    ...

    Dude. Just fuck off.
    Last edited by Irish; 09-28-2021 at 06:50 PM. Reason: edited to be both more and less vulgar

  14. #71489
    Remember the dead DFA1979's Avatar
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    Hey now only I'm allowed to be an asshole around here. And mostly when I'm drunk.
    Blog!

    I really don't care anymore
    About all the Jim-Jim's in this town
    And all the politicians makin' crazy sounds
    And everybody puttin' everybody else down
    And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

  15. #71490
    Quote Quoting DFA1979 (view post)
    [
    ]
    [
    ]
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Hmm...I'd say both of you are right and wrong.


    Sorry I'm not spoilering for a 30 year old movie...


    [
    ]
    I wouldn't necessarily say that we disagree on this question, since, while I still think [
    ]
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 09-30-2021 at 07:09 AM.

  16. #71491
    Producer Yxklyx's Avatar
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    Is the original theatrical release of the Star Wars trilogy (from the 70s/80s) available anywhere on HD?
    Last Excellent Movie Seen For the Very First Time:
    Streetwise (1984, Martin Bell)
    Letterboxd

  17. #71492
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Yxklyx (view post)
    Is the original theatrical release of the Star Wars trilogy (from the 70s/80s) available anywhere on HD?
    Its been recreated by nerds online. Otherwise the closest you can get is laserdisc.

  18. #71493

  19. #71494
    Producer Yxklyx's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Its been recreated by nerds online. Otherwise the closest you can get is laserdisc.
    I think I ask this question every year and the answer is the same

    The CGI stands out like an eyesore (it does not mesh with the rest of the movie) - and they changed the early Solo shooting scene! One of my friends saw the first one like 30 times (back in the 70s) and could recite every single line of dialogue in the first movie.
    Last edited by Yxklyx; 10-02-2021 at 03:48 AM.
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  20. #71495
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    That's okay I love talking about it! And every time it's brought up, I'm told I'm wrong, there are dvds. Yeah but the dvds are either full screen or otherwise altered, be it new scenes or color grading. The laserdiscs are the last widescreen true releases of the original theatrical.

  21. #71496
    Is it just me or do Italian movies more often go by their Italian titles, whereas movies in other European languages more often go by their English translations? Antonioni's trilogy for instance: if someone asked me for my thoughts on The Adventure, The Night, and/or The Eclipse I wouldn't immediately know what they were talking about.

    "Have I seen The Sweet Life? Uh, don't think so... Oh! La Dolce Vita!"
    Alternately: "Have I seen Ą bout de souffle? Oh, you mean Breathless!"

    Can anyone explain why it is popular to translate certain titles but not others? Do directors, screenwriters, and distributors have any say in what people around the world ultimately call their films, or does the audience/critical community end up deciding organically? Why did people used to call it My Life to Live, but now call it Vivre Sa Vie?

  22. #71497
    Quote Quoting Idioteque Stalker (view post)
    Is it just me or do Italian movies more often go by their Italian titles, whereas movies in other European languages more often go by their English translations? Antonioni's trilogy for instance: if someone asked me for my thoughts on The Adventure, The Night, and/or The Eclipse I wouldn't immediately know what they were talking about.

    "Have I seen The Sweet Life? Uh, don't think so... Oh! La Dolce Vita!"
    Alternately: "Have I seen Ą bout de souffle? Oh, you mean Breathless!"

    Can anyone explain why it is popular to translate certain titles but not others? Do directors, screenwriters, and distributors have any say in what people around the world ultimately call their films, or does the audience/critical community end up deciding organically? Why did people used to call it My Life to Live, but now call it Vivre Sa Vie?
    The North American/British distributor picks the English title they think will sell best. (Duras' Le Camion was distributed as The Truck in the US and The Lorry in the UK.) When Criterion changes a title after acquiring a film--changing The Bicycle Thief to Bicycle Thieves, or My Life to Live back to Vivre sa vie (which still amputates the film's subtitle, Film en douze tableaux)--it's usually because the standard English title was inaccurate ("Vivre sa vie" literally means "to live one's life").
    Just because...
    Devi (Satyajit Ray, 1960) mild
    The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun (Wes Anderson, 2021) warm
    High Sierra (Raoul Walsh, 1941) mild

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  23. #71498
    Speaking of inaccurate foreign titles, I remember seeing this poster a Tokyo subway station and thinking this was a much better title than Furious 7.

    Just because...
    Devi (Satyajit Ray, 1960) mild
    The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun (Wes Anderson, 2021) warm
    High Sierra (Raoul Walsh, 1941) mild

    The last book I read was...
    The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontė


    The (New) World

  24. #71499
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    It is wild how great Jaws is.

    It's one of a small handful of films across history that, even with all its praise and legendary status as one of the GOAT's, it is still underappreciated.

    It's just... *chef kiss*
    "All right, that's too hot. Anything we can do about that heat?"

    "Rick...it's a flamethrower."

  25. #71500
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting megladon8 (view post)
    It is wild how great Jaws is.

    It's one of a small handful of films across history that, even with all its praise and legendary status as one of the GOAT's, it is still underappreciated.

    It's just... *chef kiss*
    It has so many wonderful moments that have nothing to do with a shark. The table scene where father and son make faces...

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