Total Recall [2012] – Blu-ray Review

December 22, 2012 – 7:19 PM - Posted by: Justin Sluss

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Blu-ray Disc Review

3.5 out of 5 starsThe Movie Itself has an average rating of 6.3 on IMDb
5 out of 5 starsVideo Quality 1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
5 out of 5 starsAudio Quality
Dolby TrueHD 5.1
4 out of 5 starsBonus Materials are worthwhile with “Movie Touch
Rated:PG-13 & UNRATED
Year: – 2012
Length: – 118 minutes & 130 minutes (UNRATED)
Region:Region Free (A/B/C)
Disc 1 uses 46.5GB total.
Disc 2 uses 20.6GB for bonus materials.

Overall VerdictGood Film / Excellent Presentation

Buy it for $17.99 @
Buy it on Blu-ray for $19.96 @

or Buy the “Combo Pack” Blu-ray for $24.96

— Review written by: Justin Sluss


The Movie Itself is inspired by (based on) the original story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” written by Philip K. Dick. It could also be considered a remake of the 1990 film of the same title but the screenplay has been adapted and differs quite a bit — although it is credited. This 2012 film adaptation was directed by Len Wiseman whose previous credits include the films “Underworld” (2003), “Underworld: Evolution” (2006) and “Live Free or Die Hard” (2007).

This “remake” (of sorts) and its plot focuses roughly on similar circumstances as seen in the 1990 film of the same title. We’re told in the opening of the film that in the distant future a third World War has devastated the planet Earth and that there are only two major areas populated by humans: “The United Federation of Britain” (UFB) and “The Colony” (Australia). This all takes place in the distant future around the year 2123. Our protagonist is a man by the name of “Douglas Quaid” (played by Colin Farrell) who we are first introduced to as he awakes from a reoccurring violent dream that includes a mysterious attractive woman. The thing is that Doug’s married to a very attractive woman by the name of “Lori Quaid” (played by Kate Beckinsale) and she’s not the woman in his dream. She’s not that happy to hear that he’s had the same dream again but she manages to still give him some affection before she has to go to work. Doug next heads to work himself where he works in a factory assembling the robots that the federal police use. Earlier on his way to work Doug had seen some billboards for a company called “Rekall” that promises to turn your fantasies into real-life implanted memories — to let you go on a fake vacation of sorts. Doug asks his best friend about the place and hears some pretty disturbing warnings of why he shouldn’t visit the place. One of Doug’s other co-workers on the assembly line though tells him that he tried it and enjoyed it, even going as far as to give him a card.

Despite his warnings from his best friend Doug decides to make a visit to Rekall where he talks to a man named “McClane” (played by John Cho) who’s in charge of the process. He asks Doug a series of questions and it’s decided that he wants to go on a mission as a spy. Doug sits down in the chair and the staff starts to prepare him for the “Rekall” process but things manage to go horribly wrong. Let’s just say he doesn’t manage to go on his fake vacation. At this point he’s left wondering what exactly is real and what is just all part of one elaborate fantasy. He’s now on the run from the federal police, led by a man named “Cohaagen” (played by Bryan Cryanston). Along the way Doug will finally meet up with the beautiful woman from his reoccurring dreams, a member of the resistance by the name of “Melina” (played by Jessica Biel) who will help him escape the federal police. Lots of action will come along the way as well as some mystery and revealing clues as to what exactly is going on.

Total Recall [2012] on Blu-ray screenshot

The 2012 remake of “Total Recall” proves to be worthwhile but in no way even comes close to comparing to the original 1990 film. It’s a completely different version of the story with lots of changes, namely the fact there’s no trip to Mars or inclusion (glimpses) of the red planet. It all takes place on what remains of Earth this time around. There’s no “Johnny Cab” but there IS a prostitute with 3 breasts, however there aren’t any mutants (aside from her). “Melina” is way more attractive this time around and isn’t a sleazy hooker. We just know she’s part of the rebellion. She’s convenient. These differences are just a taste of many. One difference I wasn’t too fond of was the fact this film really doesn’t contain anywhere near as much gore as the 1990 film did, in fact it only carries a PG-13 rating where the original film was rated R. This just didn’t manage to offer up much in the gore and explosions department for me but it did have some cool visuals, futuristic designs, robots and nice action sequences. It looks cool and the acting isn’t all that bad. Still, Colin doesn’t even come close to comparing to Arnie and we all know that but he does manage to fill the large shoes somewhat enough to carry the film.

Total Recall [2012] on Blu-ray screenshot

Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio. According to the technical specifications listing on IMDb this was shot digitally in 5K resolution as well as partially on 35MM film and Super 35MM film using the Red Epic camera, Arriflex 35-III (as second unit crash camera) and Weisscam HS-2 (for high-speed shots) camera. This comes with a very solid black level, a vibrant color palette and accurate fleshtones in pretty much a cool tone. There’s lots of detail to be found here, especially in close-ups. The lens flares (helped by flashlights) totally sets the Sci-Fi mood perfectly in terms of visuals. The CG created environments and effects all look very impressive in Hi-Def. This Hi-Def presentation totally does the film’s production value and cinematography justice and looks very impressive. This earns itself a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall video quality.

Total Recall [2012] on Blu-ray screenshot

Audio Quality on this release is presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound. The film starts off with the original music (Score) by Harry Gregson-Williams and the sound effects both making excellent use of the lossless 5.1 mix; namely via the rear channel presence and LFE (bass). However the music and sound effects are primarily driven from the front left and right channels. Dialogue is distinctly driven from the center channel here and never once is overpowered by any of the intense action or music along the way. Speaking of intensity, this does start up pretty nicely but it really starts to pick up around the 22 minute mark via the music. This is just a taste of that to come. There are some other nice uses of the 5.1 such as 43 minutes in when the sound of rain completely surrounds you. Gunfights sound downright excellent in terms of sound effects, packing a very nice amount of “oomph” to them. All of the sound effects and music sound extremely impressive here and totally do the film justice. The climactic ending to the film makes for one awesome audio “demo” sequence of sorts. All and all this does not disappoint in terms of sound and earns itself a perfect “5 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.

Total Recall [2012] on Blu-ray screenshot

Bonus Materials on this release are presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @192kbps sound.

  • Audio Commentary on “Extended Director’s Cut” by Director Len Wiseman
  • Gag Reel” (8:00 – HD) proves that Collin Farrell, Bryan Cranston, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel had a fun time on the set.
  • Science Fiction or Science Fact” (9:28 – HD) consists of an interview with Michio Kaku (Professor of Theoretical Physics / Author of “Physics of the Future“) discussing all the technological aspects of the futuristic setting of the film. This proves to be very interesting.
  • Designing The Fall” (2:55 – HD) features concept art, on set footage, clips from the film and interviews with the following people: Bryan Cranston (“Cohaagen“), Toby Jaffe (Producer), Patrick Tatopoulos (Production Designer) and Adrian De Wet (Visual Effects Supervisor).
  • Blu-ray EXCLUSIVE bonus materials:

  • Total Action” (20:00 – HD) is comprised of seven total featurettes. Thankfully there is a “play all” option on the menu. Here you’ll get lots of on set footage, pre-viz sequences and interviews with the following people: Colin Farrell (“Douglas Quaid“/”Hauser“), Len Wiseman (Director), Neal H. Moritz (Producer), Jessica Biel (“Melina“), Kate Beckinsale (“Lori Quaid“), Bryan Cranston (“Cohaagen“) , Paul Cameron (Director of Photography), Clay Pinney (Special Effects Supervisor), Lee Alan McConnell (Special Effects Shop Supervisor), Toby Jaffe (Producer), Marty Dejczak (Location Manager) and Drew Longland (Special Effects).
  • Stepping Into Recall – Pre-Visualization Sequences” (25:30 – HD) gives you a total of five scenes from the film in pre-viz animation storyboards. There’s a “play all” option here on the menu.
  • A PS3 (PlayStation 3) DEMO for the “God of War: Ascension” game is included on the second Blu-ray Disc. This game is coming March 12th, 2013. To access the playable demo just insert the second Blu-ray Disc into a PS3 and go to the “Game” section of the XrossMediaBar where you’ll see the icon to install it.
  • Other bonus material:

  • An UltraViolet streaming and downloadable copy of the film is included which is in the “cloud” as it’s known. This is redeemable online via URL and code on a paper insert.
  • Total Recall Movie Touch” is an interactive app for iPad. This allows you to watch the film on your iPad and access bonus materials at your fingertips. Once you redeem your UltraViolet code to your online digital locker you’ll be able to login this application and be given the option to stream, both stream & download or download the film to your iPad local storage. This film takes 3.5GB total for the download via this app. You’ll get lots of content here such as the ability to toggle on/off certain aspects of the interactive film presentation such as “Fun Facts” (trivia), “Total Action” (videos), still images and 3D models. There’s a nice amount of videos here with on set footage and interviews with members of the cast & crew. These featurettes are EXCLUSIVE to this app and do not appear on the Blu-ray itself. There’s a feature to share socially with your friends via Facebook and Twitter your current status in the app as well as a “Clip & Share” feature on select parts of the film. Below you’ll find ten screenshots from the application — one of which shows what your digital locker will look like with the film redeemed on UltraViolet.

Total Recall Movie TouchScreenshots:
Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot
Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot Total Recall Movie Touch screenshot

More information about this feature can be found HERE on the official website and in a promotional video below.

Total Recall Movie TouchTrailer:

  • A DVD of the film in standard definition is included with Dolby Digital 5.1 @448kbps sound. This ONLY is included in the 3-disc “combo pack” version Blu-ray release.

Overall the bonus materials prove to be worthwhile with some nice Blu-ray EXCLUSIVES and a decent amount of supplemental material on the two Blu-ray Disc set. There’s also some great physical and digital bonus content here such as the DVD and UltraViolet digital copy of the film, the interactive iPad app “Total Recall Movie Touch” which gives you some exclusive content and interactivity. The “Movie Touch” app for this also offers you the ability to download the film to your iPad directly — without a Mac or PC. There’s enough here to keep you entertained, even if you don’t own an iPad to experience the “Movie Touch” application. Lastly, PS3 owners will be excited to try out the exclusive demo for the upcoming “God of War” game included on the second Blu-ray Disc.

Blu-ray Disc packaging:



NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.

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