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Total Recall (R)
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This came out in 1990 (when I was 14), and I first saw it on VHS... probably sometime in the early 90s. I didn't remember much beyond the basic premise of a guy going to a company that implants fake memories as a virtual "vacation," and that somehow leading to an adventure where he might have actually been a secret agent from Mars, but with the viewer never quite sure if the adventure was real, or just the fake memory he'd purchased. Also I remembered that there was a hooker with three breasts. Anyway, the film is an adaptation of a Philip K. Dick story called "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale," which I've never read. The movie was remade in 2012, which I watched on DVD a couple of years before I re-watched the original movie on DVD, in 2017. Personally, I prefer the original, though I would understand if anyone else preferred the remake. I suppose they both have elements that are in some way better than the other. Whatever.

So, it's set sometime in the future, of course. (Wikipedia says it's 2084, but I don't recall a year being specified iny the movie.) There's this construction worker named Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger). He's been having a recurring dream (or nightmare, actually) where he's on Mars, with a woman he's apparently in love with, though when he wakes up he doesn't know who she is. In his "real" life, he's married to a woman named Lori (Sharon Stone), who is definitely not the woman in his dreams. One day, he sees an ad for a company called Rekall, and he later goes there, and orders a memory of being a secret agent on Mars. After he's sedated, something apparently goes wrong before the false memory can be implanted, and he kind of goes nuts. The Rekall people manage to sedate him again, and put him in a cab driven by an automaton that was voiced by Robert Picardo (whom I know best from Star Trek: Voyager). After he's dropped off, a friend from work and some other guys try to kill him. He manages to kill them instead, and goes back home, where Lori tries to kill him. He manages to get away, but he's pursued by still more people, led by a guy named Richter (Michael Ironside).

While evading the goons, Quaid receives a mysterious videophone call from someone who says they used to work together, and leaves him a case. The case has various useful stuff in it, including a video message from a guy named Hauser, who is apparently the real identity of Quaid. Hauser had worked for a guy named Cohaagen (Ronny Cox), who is the political leader of Mars. There's a rebellion there being led by someone named Kuato, though no one knows anything about his identity. Hauser's message says he switched sides and started working with the rebels, and tells Quaid to get his ass to Mars. Of course Richter continues to pursue him. But once on Mars, Quaid meets a cabbie named Benny, who is fairly helpful. And he goes to meet a woman named Melina, who was apparently Hauser's lover, and a member of the rebellion. (She also appears to be the woman from his recurring dreams.) Quaid and Melina will have to try to thwart Cohaagen and save Mars. And... I really don't want to reveal too much more. Except that there's a rumor that some evidence of an ancient alien civilization had been discovered in a mountain where an important ore is mined. And Cohaagen doesn't want anyone to learn the truth about what was discovered. (He will claim it could kill everyone on Mars, but an alternative possibility is that it could end his control of the planet.) And... there are various mindscrews throughout the movie. Which is pretty cool. As for whether or not any of this was real... I don't know, and it doesn't matter. It's a cool movie, either way.

I do also want to mention that a member of the staff at Rekall was played by Rosemary Dunsmore, a Canadian actress I know best from Mom, P.I. And I thought it was kind of cool to see her in this. Maybe there were some other vaguely familiar actors in the movie, but she's the one I thought it was coolest to see, maybe because I've hardly seen her in anything, and not for a long while, and seeing her was nostalgic for me. And... I guess that's all I have to say, about the movie or anything.


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