A Total Recall of 3 Versions
“He awoke – and wanted Mars. The valleys, he thought. What would it be like to trudge among them? Great and greater yet: the dream grew as he became fully conscious, the dream and the yearning. He could almost feel the enveloping presence of the other world, which only Government agents and high officials had seen. A clerk like himself? Not likely.”— Philip K. Dick, (from the original short story, We Can Remember it For You Wholesale)
The story of Douglas Quaid was simple but strong. A factory worker unhappy with his boring life fantasizes about visiting Mars and having a cool purpose, like, maybe being a cool spy that saves the world. So he decides to… [MORE] purchase a fake memory implant, only to discover (through a mistake at the lab) that he truly is an elite spy killer. Arnold Schwarzenegger took the book to a whole new stratosphere 22 years ago, with car chases, Mars trips, and shoot-outs — most of which was not in the book.
The new Total Recall starring Colin Farrell was released over a week ago (Note: Kate Beckinsale is the new Sharon Stone). The reviews are in. Some hate it. Some love it. The most resounding note is that Colin’s version is more grounded and down to earth (Quaid never visits Mars in this remake of a remake) while Arnold’s version was an over-the-top-Sci-Fi-planet-hopping-circus-for-the-eye. You decide.
My best suggestion is to read the original short story. Philip K Dick’s 1966 version is complex, nuanced, intellectual and has a mind-blowing ending (no spoiler alerts here). The book, We Can Remember it For You Wholesale sells for roughly $10 on eBay. Get the real deal.
(Photo: Sharon Stone in Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall 1990. Courtesy of Carolco/TriStar Pictures)
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