The Project: Total Recall
The Panel: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Jessica Biel, director Len Wiseman
The Big Revelations: With the film heading to theaters in exactly a month, there wasn’t much more to reveal that hasn’t already been revealed. But there were a few interesting tidbits featured in the footage screened. So…
Footage Screened: Wiseman unveiled a six-minute sizzle reel, which was essentially an expanded version of the most recent trailer. But I did pick out two key new moments: One, after Colin Farrell’s Douglas Quaid is plunged into his Rekall-driven spy adventure, he realizes he has to get rid of his phone, since that’s how he’s being tracked. One problem: It’s inside his hand.
There’s a great moment from the 1990 Total Recall when Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to get through a security checkpoint in an elaborate disguise as a red-headed woman dressed in bright orange dress. We got a brief glimpse of the same scene for the 2012 Total Recall, with Farrell trying to get through a checkpoint disguised instead as an Asian man. But right in front of him: A red-headed woman in a bright orange dress.
Snap Judgment: Even with tips of the hat to the 1990 Total Recall, if ever a movie remake tried its darndest to justify its existence, it’s this film. Heightened realism, with the tongue nowhere near the cheek, seems to be order of the day. Wiseman constructed a deeply elaborate sci-fi vision of the future, and Colin Farrell’s Quaid is, let’s face it, a much more believable character than Schwarzenegger’s Quaid could ever hope to be. Everyone on the panel was also refreshingly upfront about the comparisons. When asked what it was like “to fill Arnie’s shoes,” Farrell had a ready answer: “Airy.”
Most Pointed Audience Question: A British chap, perceiving some hints of England around the edges of the promotion for the film, asked, almost as if he was angry, “Is Britain [the stand in for] Mars?” And yes, apparently, it seems it is. “If there’s one nation that’s survived [in the future],” said Wiseman, who was then interupted by his British wife Beckinsale, “it would be the hearty Brits.”
Most Random Audience Shout Out: The tall and excitable man who, out of everything Bryan Cranston has done, singled out his role as Ted’s boss on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother when he took the the mic to ask his question of…Colin Farrell.