This morning while drinking my coffee and watching TV I happened on a showing of the 1990 movie Total Recall (Sci-fi movie about a guy who’s memory was erased and ends up going to Mars to kick butt) as I was perusing the guide. I clicked on it to record for later then my super smart TV advised me that the movie was currently showing on Netflix– so I watched it, uncut with all the blood and swearing and triple-boob scene. I loved this movie in 1990 (saw it at the theater with Mistake #1) and I love it now. Some of the effects are perhaps a bit cheesy by today’s standards but overall the script is great, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s one-liners are perfectly delivered and the entire film is well-edited and it flows seamlessly.
Last year I watched the 2012 remake version with Colin Farrell and Kate Beckensale. What a piece of shit. It has NOTHING to do with Mars and is basically a platform to showcase some too-skinny actors, primarily Kate Beckensale in a tight outfit, running about somersaulting while shooting (probably, I really don’t remember as I was likely ranting at the time.)
Worse, the screenplay was not adapted not from the original short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick, but straight from the 1990 screenplay (adapted from said orignial story.)
After I saw this horrifying trainwreck of a movie I thought, hmmm, maybe this WAS the original story line from Dick story? So I read it, and it’s not even close. Sham. This is why I hate movies, they tend to mostly suck and then I’m wishing for that two hours of my life back. I could have been binge watching House Hunters.
So that’s my rant about this remake and most remakes of movies from the 80’s and 90’s. The value of a film isn’t degraded by the fact that the characters are wearing shoulder pads and acid wash jeans up to their sternums. Leave them alone, write something new, for crying out loud. I do however approve a short list of acceptable remakes which include but are not limited to:
Clash of the Titans
The Bird Cage (La Cage aux Folles)
Cheaper by the Dozen
Okay, so clearly I’m not an intellectual. Sue me. You get the idea.
Anyhoo, getting to my second subject.
Watching this movie with characters sporting 90’s (late 80’s really) hair and high waisted pants took me back in time to my early 20’s, living with roommates in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of my roommates had a somewhat strained relationship with her mother who had been a drug addict and alcoholic for most of my roommate’s youth, but had of late (with her current husband) become sober and very smug about it. As if all the years of neglect and abuse didn’t happen, and “Come on! We’re living in the present now, ancient history, la la la la la la live for to-day!” Peace! Love! Native American icons!
And that’s what we said about them as a joke, “Clean and Serene! Sober and loving life!”
Back then we also laughed at the other “betties” who got trashed at rock clubs, made asses of themselves and asked, “Where’s the after-party??” at 1am. We laughed at one of my roommate’s boyfriend’s friends who was IN FACT AN ACTUAL ALCOHOLIC and proved this by drinking all of my cooking sherry one evening. We were amused by the guy I went to high school with who, whenever we happened to see him around town, stated that he was 3 months sober. Literally every time, it could be years later but he was always 3 months sober. Get it? These people did not have their SHIT TOGETHER.
I did not indulge in too much of the chaotic, free-love neo-hippie, rave-type behavior in my youth. I was employed, I had an apartment and credit cards, showed up for family gatherings. I had my shit together. I mean, yah, I PARTIED and all, don’t get me wrong. But it was really in more of a Weekend Warrior capacity, and I went years barely drinking at all.
And it’s not that I didn’t have stress back then, life with Mistake #1 was a soap opera, a veritable whirlwind of drama. Changing jobs, car breaking down constantly, moving every 6 months. 90’s me somehow got through it all without significant or debilitating addictions.
Some of those people grew out of it, got married, got jobs, went bald, had affairs, the usual. And some of them died young, but all of them had nothing to do with me, or so I supposed at the time.
So now, I am trying to marry the best parts of 90’s me with the me of today to see I can give her some of my empathy and she can give me some of her sass and tell me, “WTF is wrong with you? Get your shit together!”