Saturday, August 4, 2012

Total Recall

No I'm not reviewing the new at-best mediocre movie! This is a time for Arnold, for classics, for awesome quotes and fantastic memories. Total Recall is one of the best action movies ever made, but alongside the action is an extraordinarily interesting premise: what if your whole life was a false memory? There's quite a few ways the remake could have gone with it, but trying to make a carbon copy of the original is kind of doomed. Douglas Quaid finds himself in this situation, he's an average man's average man; after all who couldn't relate to Arnold and Sharon Stone.

I wouldn't quite say Stone is the ultimate femme fatale but she certainly makes a huge impact in only a handful of scenes in the film. I think the combination of her and Michael Ironside is next to impossible to beat, so they decided to put it all on Kate Beckinsale's shoulders instead. She's an okay actress but I don't think she has much campy entertainment value nor is she just plain as attractive as Sharon Stone was in the early 90s. But its egregious not including Michael Ironside in some way, he's in essentially every Science Fiction movie ever made so why not put him in the remake? No Richter? No Benny? Outrageous.

I think Arnold and Ronny Cox are basically unbeatable in their roles, but you could potentially have just remade the character of Douglas Quaid differently so it fit a decent modern action star. Jeremy Renner or even Tom Cruise could carry a solid divergent design of this plot; but instead they try to copy it with a supporting actor at best in Colin Farrell. Ronny Cox is the ultimate corporate asshole and I think you do need that sort of character regardless, so why not bring him back as well? Throwbacks are fine, making a trailer that copies a whole bunch of scenes and fails is not.

All in all there was very little chance of a remake being better than the original but we could have had a decent enough addition to the Sci-fi action genre. Instead we got a bad imitation that cost an absurd amount and will probably break even due to the all powerful overseas market. (Remember, Pirates 4 grossed over a billion solely due to worldwide audiences, the new Ice Age is even worse). All things considered the original Total Recall isn't even that old and is still absolutely spectacular so I don't really see the need for a remake of any kind, though maybe a differently title film based on the same short story would work.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Ah well here's an interesting and vaguely political topic. Rest assured I have no intention of politicizing it however, I do believe there is a certain value in diversity, or more specifically it is one of the characteristics of a truly utopian society. This is the sort of diversity where all kinds of people wield power on a relatively equal basis, a converse of the society described in Ayn Rand's Anthem, total and absolute acceptance of others yes, but also a continual need to investigate and understand why a different culture does what it does. Naturally this probably wouldn't include things like human sacrifice or cannibalism, cultures are allowed to operate as long as those ceremonies and traditions don't conflict directly with other cultures in a society. This might seem impossible but that's why its utopian.

I firmly believe it is always possible to strive for a better, improved society. But the basis of that improvement is never going to be diversity by itself, diversity is something that you can come to embrace but it can not be forced upon you. There is a lot of diversity in America, sure, but there damn well isn't much diversity in those that actually wield power. Effectively diversity is yet another divisive politically abused thing to distract from overall issues. In essence, political correctness negates any usefulness that diversity might have provided on a societal scale. Now, I would much rather live in a multicultural society as opposed to a Mandarin uniculture, if only for having intellectual discussions and light conflicts.

On the Internet, land of infinite wisdom, is where you'll find uniculture after uniculture more or less; every forum and subculture tends to become a whole bunch of people obsessed with their own opinions congregating and circle jerking one another. The existence of the almighty "moderators" merely serves to reinforce this, a moderator doesn't like you? Banned. Disagrees with how you approach a situation? Banned. Doesn't like your posting style? Banned. I'm sure every moderator likes to see themselves as the judge of magnificent wisdom who only decides on such hefty actions when it is truly required, because in their omnipotent wisdom they surely don't make any mistakes. However, even in a situation where the mods are light on the banning there's a lot of situations where one dominant train of thought pretty much shuns all truly diverse opinions. People have small insignificant arguments over small insignificant things to be sure, but any thing that challenges on a grander scale leads to immediate repercussions. This is why its so easy to troll people, disguising a salient opinion in order to irritate and perhaps actually get a point across is quite functional.

So, diversity doesn't work on the Internet, the one society on earth where people are theoretically equal. But does it work in reality? Well... it's better to live in a situation where you have a large variety of different opinions if only for the entertainment of watching people argue with one another over both trifling and actually interesting matters. Living in a small rural town is basically like living on an internet forum. But, more important than diversity is the spreading of a more logical, functional train of societal thought; we will likely never reach utopia but we can certainly do a hell of a lot better than the present state of both American society and the world as a whole. Of course, idle words don't cause this to happen, and neither do idle movements. External forces are what will cause dramatic changes in this society; but be ready to embrace something other than idiotic political correctness, 1984/Facebook, "Likes", +1's, and the faulty belief that success has any correlation with merit in a Merchant-class society.