Total Recall was Perfect the First Time

That’s it, movie-producers! You done gone too far this time. I know you need asses-in-seats. I know you’ve become a decrepit, out-of-control monster a la Mothra in a vintage monster movie, desperately flapping synthetic wings that were never really meant to fly. But, dog-gone-it…. dog-gone-it? Who am I? Who say’s that? Dog-gone-it, Total Recall was perfect the first time around when Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger played the lead.

Dear Mega, Ten-Dollar-Bucket-O-Popcorn Hollywood,

I know you’re big. I know you’re slow and risk-averse. But the business of telling stories IS a business of risk. If you aren’t coming up with new stories and taking risks, you’re not doing your job, Mega-Hollywood. And this message is for you, too, Big Six Publishing. Both you guys need to get it together because, mark my words, not one red cent of my tax dollars is going toward a governmental bale-out of the arts. That’s not how show-bizz works suckazs, and you know this… MAN!     

Right now there’s a screaming baby and the Indian mother is in a tizzy trying to appease her child so I’m being distracted by the destructive potential of American culture.

Okay, it’s stopped. I’m back. And another thing, Mega-Woody or whatever your name is:  Enough with the CGI. Enough. You think we like it but we really don’t. Stop treating us like we’re idiots and you can brain-bash us into agreeing with you. Your movies are like the guy at the party that just keeps raising his voice to get more attention.

In respect to computer-generated imagery, the human eye is capable of perceiving things that your CGI artists aren’t even thinking about, like 1.) When a monster is OVER-ARTICULATED (It’s moving and squirming around, with a thousand different appendages in a thousand different directions and we’re sinking back into our seats, tuning out, thinking “what would really move that much?”) 2.)  When the relatively low cost of CGI effects causes you to totally do way too many effects and the pacing and timing of gosh-wow moments is way off-kilter. 

Bring back the puppeteers, the claymation artists and the goopy, cheesy special effects of the 80s. We loved that stuff. Horror movies and just movies in general had a heart and a soul back then. You could tell that an 80s movie had the capability to make it from the mind of a screenwriter without being waylaid by a committee of no-talent ass-kissers and make it to the screen untarnished. And then, when you sat down in the theatre, it felt cohesive. It felt like one heart communicating with another in the darkness. I know: It’s risky. But that’s YOUR business! 

About davidwallacefleming

David Wallace Fleming is a U.S. writer, living in Austin, Texas. He is the author of the coming-of-age, social media novel GROWING UP WIRED, and the satirical science fiction audiobook, NOT FROM CONCENTRATE.
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9 Responses to Total Recall was Perfect the First Time

  1. Brother Jon says:

    Yes. The face melting scene in Indiana Jones was awesome. On the other side, I went and saw Green Lantern at the theater. They spent about 80 million on effects and you could tell. I liked the movie, just not being taken out of it cause Ryan didn’t know how to fly the right way.

    • I don’t know if I can bear watching that Green Lantern movie. It didn’t get good reviews and now I’m hearing more bad things. On the other hand, I thought that the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls was surprisingly good.

  2. drewpan says:

    Sometimes, not being able to fully show what’s going on helps a lot with the movie. James Cameron only had the budget to make 6 alien suits or something, so using a combination of dark lighting and tight shots, he managed to give the impression of a hundred aliens in a much better way than a wide shot of a 100 CGI aliens could. Also, the movement was excellent for those aliens… and half the time they were just guys in black leotards with masks, chest plates and gloves. No CGI required!

    • Excellent point. Necessity is the mother of invention. Without enough necessity, these movies seem to fizzle. Perhaps this is why I enjoy the naive effects so much more. Just finish watching Galaxy of Terror (last night) for the first time which I hear was an Alien knock-off. Bad movie. But not bad in parts.

  3. Honie Briggs says:

    Well said David. You’ve been on a roll lately. You tell em!

  4. emtypes says:

    Yes! I was just saying this the other day! What is the point of remaking something like Total Recall? I just don’t understand it. I love 80s movies, and I agree, they lose all of their charm when they get remade.

  5. Nothing better than a little Wallace and Grommet to put a smile on my face. Forget the CGI.

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