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Arnold Schwarzenegger fans will want to immediately add TOTAL RECALL ($25) to their DVD collections. TOTAL RECALL is director Paul Verhoeven’s high octane modern science fiction classic very loosely based upon Philip K. Dick’s story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale." Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this futuristic tale as Doug Quaid, a man whose life turns out not to be his own. After having repeated dreams about Mars, Quaid goes to Recall Inc. to have the memories of a vacation to the red planet implanted in his mind. During the procedure, it is discovered that Quaid has had his memory erased and that he really has been to Mars. Quaid soon finds himself on the run from killers, which necessitates a trip to Mars so he can discover his true identity and why his memory has been erased. TOTAL RECALL is a slam dunk nonstop action extravaganza, filled with breathtaking special effects and tremendous stunt work. In addition to Schwarzenegger, the cast of TOTAL RECALL features Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell, Mel Johnson Jr., Michael Champion, Roy Brocksmith and Marc Alaimo.

Live Entertainment has given TOTAL RECALL a great looking Letterboxed transfer which restores the film to its proper 1.85:1 theatrical proportions, as well as offering a pan and scan presentation on the opposite side of the DVD. The pan and scan presentation crops the film only slightly, thus making for acceptable viewing for those opposed to Letterboxing. The cropped transfer has good detail and color, but is slightly grainy. The Letterboxed version is the preferred presentation, since it restores the film’s compositional focus and has a stronger dramatic impact. Everything is sharply focused and well defined on the Letterboxed version. Colors are vivid, with richly saturated hues. The color red, which exhibits frequent chroma noise problems on analog Laserdiscs appears rock solid on this DVD. Digital compression artifacts were never really bothersome on either the Letterboxed or pan and scan presentations.

For the first time, TOTAL RECALL has been made available with a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack. This new mix is impressive, since it offers great channel separation in the front. However, the rear channels seem to suffer from the frequency limitations of Dolby Surround. Jerry Goldsmith’s score for TOTAL RECALL is one of his best and sounds quite good on the DVD edition of the film. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround track as well as a French language track. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer and teaser, plus production notes as well as cast and crew biographies/filmographies.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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