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Total recall
Total recall
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Total Recall DVD


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DVD: 1 (US, CA)




Sci-Fi & Fantasy



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Paul Verhoeven

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Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film. The film features Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, based on the Philip K. Dick story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". The film was directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Jon Povill, and Gary Goldman. It won a Special Achievement Academy Award for its visual effects. The soundtrack composed by Jerry Goldsmith won the BMI Film Music Award. The story is set in the year 2084. Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger) is a construction worker who has been experiencing dreams about exploring the planet Mars with a brunette woman. After seeing an ad from Rekall, a company that sells imaginary adventures by implanting false memories, he decides to buy a “vacation” on Mars from them, one in which he will take a vacation from himself by becoming a spy in a cliched, "James Bond in space" scenario which promises lurid entertainment and thrills. Before buying the vacation, Quaid is cautioned by a co-worker that Rekall is risky, and failed memory implants can cause the recipients to suffer permanent brain damage. Quaid hesitates, but disregards this warning. Upon getting settled in Rekall's procedure room two notable discussions take place. After the procedure starts, Quaid has a violent outburst and tries to break free, yelling incoherently. At first, it seems as though he was merely acting out the “spy” portion of the memory implant, but the doctors claim they had not implanted the memories yet, and realize that the memories are already there, and someone else had previously erased his memory. After being subdued Quaid is returned home with no memories of ever going to Rekall, but his old friends try to kill him. His wife Lori (Stone) also attacks him; after he overpowers her, she tells him that everything he remembers, including their marriage, is a series of false memories implanted less than two months before. While evading assailants, Quaid receives a phone call from someone claiming to be a former friend of his agency from Mars who had been asked to deliver a briefcase if he ever disappeared. The briefcase contains fake IDs, money, weapons, and a video player with a video he left for himself. The "Quaid" on the video is named Hauser, who had worked for Mars administrator Vilos Cohaagen (Cox) as a secret agent. Pursued by a man working for Cohaagen, Richter (Ironside), Quaid travels to Mars to discover the truth. On Mars, Quaid finds out that Cohaagen rules an airtight city via his monopoly of air production on Mars, and that the poor workers in the city’s slums have been turned into mutants from cosmic rays, which the thin atmosphere of Mars cannot block. He makes allies, including a cabbie named Benny and the woman from his dreams, Melina (Rachel Ticotin) who works as a lady of the night on Mars. Quaid is confronted by Lori and Dr. Edgemar from Rekall, who attempt to convince him he is trapped within a hallucination brought on by a faulty memory implant at Rekall. Quaid sees how nervous the Dr. is and shoots Edgemar. Suddenly a group of hitmen storm Quaid's room, knock out and capture him. Melina arrives shortly after, and kills the hitmen but is disarmed by Lori. The two women engage in a fistfight which Lori wins by knocking out Melina. Lori is about to slit Melina's throat when Quaid, who has come to shoots her in the head. Melina and Quaid flee and eventually meet resistance leader Kuato, who is revealed to be a mutant growing out of his own brother's abdomen. With Kuato's psychic help, Quaid sees a mysterious alien machine in the Martian mines, but then Cohaagen's forces storm the resistance hideout and kill Kuato. Quaid and Melina are betrayed by the mutant Benny and captured, and Cohaagen then reveals that Hauser willingly had his mind wiped in order to gain Kuato’s trust, the only way the mutant psychic could be fooled. The whole incident, with the exception of Richter’s maniacal pursuit of Quaid and Quaid’s activation at Rekall, was planned, and Cohaagen provides another video from Quaid’s alter ego, Hauser, who congratulates Quaid on his performance and confirms Cohaagen's words. Cohaagen decides to eliminate the rebels by cutting off the air supply to their section of the city, and orders Quaid’s mind to be restored to Hauser’s and Melina’s mind be altered to be subservient to Quaid/Hauser. However, Quaid and Melina escape and hurry to the alien machine, killing Benny and Richter on the way. As they approach the machine, Quaid tells Melina that the device is a giant reactor meant to melt the frozen core of Mars, releasing oxygen from the ice and giving the planet an atmosphere. If Mars had oxygen, Cohaagen would lose his monopoly on Mars, which is why he has kept the machine's existence secret. Cohaagen arrives as Quaid tries to activate the machine, but is shot by Melina. He then attempts to set off a bomb via remote, but Quaid throws the bomb away, and the force blows out an unseen, adjacent wall of the reactor. This exposes their area to the much lower pressure of the Martian atmosphere. The decompression draws Cohaagen onto the surface of Mars, where he dies a painful death of asphyxiation and decompression. Quaid and Melina nearly suffer the same fate, similar to the dream Quaid had in the opening scene of the movie, but the alien machine creates fast enough a breathable atmosphere that saves them and the mutants just in time, and a blue sky forms over Mars. Quaid wonders if the whole thing has been real or if he is dreaming. He and Melina kiss each other as a bright flash of white light illuminates the screen like an opening eye, and the credits roll.

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