Arnie’s wild sci-fi outing Total Recall has made its way to 4K Ultra HD in a lavish three-disc set. But is it totally memorable, or totally forgettable?
The story: It’s 30 years since Paul Verhoeven – straight off the success of RoboCop – adapted Philip K. Dick’s short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale into what has gone on to become a sci-fi action classic. Having also been responsible for the stories that became Blade Runner, Minority Report and The Adjustment Bureau, that’s one serious sci-fi legacy from Mr. Dick.
Total Recall saw Arnold Schwarzenegger returning to sci-fi after a dalliance with comedy alongside Danny De Vito in Twins, bringing his own special brand of life and heart to the role of Douglas Quaid, a man who’s haunted by a recurring dream of a trip to Mars. When he purchases an implanted holiday memory, something goes awry and what may actually be genuine memories to do with the red planet surface, and it’s no pleasant vacation.
“Consider that a divorce!”
The 4K disc: No expense has been spared bringing this 4K restoration to us, with Verhoeven himself supervising the transfer.Presented in native 4K, and with Dolby Vision HDR enhancement, Total Recall is a joy to watch. The picture is sharp and detailed, with even the then primitive computer effects having made the transition well. While there’s an ever-present field of film grain, it goes about its business without distracting you from the main event.
A new Dolby Atmos sound mix has also been created, and it’s certainly no half-baked effort. Height channels are employed regularly, but not to gimmicky effect. Dialogue sits nice and central, and never has to fight with either the score or the sometimes quite fervent bass.
We mentioned that this is a three disc set, and the three rings of plastic have been used quite well. The 4K disc features a commentary track with Arnie and Verhoeven, as well as two featurettes and the superb ~60 minute documentary feature Total Excess: How Carolco Changed Hollywood. The film, commentary and first two featurettes are included on the first standard Blu-ray, while the Carolco feature kicks off the second standard Blu-ray. That also gives us over an hour more of goodies, including a making of, a special effects featurette, interviews and a trailer.
Release date: December 9, 2020
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.