A Look Back at Wonder Woman #6 (1987)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Remember the final conflict between Wonder Woman and Ares in the 2017 movie? You will see their literary conflict in this old Wonder Woman comic book drawn by the legendary George Perez which I’m about to review.

Before getting to the review, Ares in real life is the Greek deity of war and one of the Twelve Olympians. Within the realm of DC Comics’ superhero universe, the character was very similar to the real-life counterpart and made the first literary appearance in Wonder Woman #1 way back in the early 1940s.

In 1987, when Wonder Woman got rebooted along with the rest of the superhero universe of DC Comics (the Post-Crisis era), George Perez led a revision of the Wonder Woman mythos with a stronger emphasis of Greek mythology in mind. In Wonder Woman #1 of the Post-Crisis era, the deities of Greece were introduced and Ares stood out clearly among them given his nature for conflict. As if that was not enough, Ares appeared in a dark battle armor with a helmet clearly hiding his face (with red-colored eyes) which easily made him the most menacing deity of them all in Olympus.

Having reviewed Wonder Woman #5 (1987) which showed how Ares and his forces influence people of man’s world to engage in war with each other, the stage is set for Wonder Woman and Ares’ featured encounter in Wonder Woman #6 published in 1987 by DC Comics with a story co-written by George Perez and Len Wein. Perez illustrated the story with ink work done by Bruce D. Patterson.

Cover
The cover.

Early story

The story opens with a television news broadcast about the brewing tension that could lead to a war. The public is informed about the sudden takeover of a federal missile base organized by renegade military personnel led by an Air Force general. Over at the Soviet Union, a similar takeover of a missile facility got reported.

The narrative then shifts at the American military base where Wonder Woman, Julia Kapatelis, Steve Trevor, Etta Candy and Matthew Michaelis just witnessed the arrival of Ares whom the traitorous general Samuel Tolliver referred to as master. Tolliver has several renegade soldiers carefully watching the heroes with guns pointed. Michaelis find the situation getting more insane which draws a response from Ares.

Julia (who researched a lot about foreign cultures and deities), Etta and Steve struggle to believe what they just witnessed. The presence of Ares, the deity of war in Olympus, is too much for them. As Diana whispers to Julia, Ares responds referring to her as Queen Hippolyte’s daughter. As soon as Areas disappears into thin air, Tolliver tells everyone that he will launch the doomsday missiles once he reaches the master control room.

Very quietly, Etta Candy opens a pouch behind Steve Trevor and pulls out to handy canisters. She passes one to Michaelis…

Quality

6
Follow Wonder Woman’s journey into the unknown!

I’m pleased to say that the high quality of storytelling, characterization, art and spectacle that started since issue #1 has been well maintained here. Like the previous issue, this one is loaded with spectacle as it is a continuing story about tackling Ares and his influence on people engaging more in conflict instead of being calm and reasonable. When it comes to spectacle, there is a nice mix of fantasy battles and military action.

The highlight here, as already made obvious by the cover of this comic book, is the battle between Wonder Woman and Ares. To make things clear without spoiling the story, I should say that their battle together was executed differently from what was showcased in the 2017 live-action movie. To describe it here, I’d say it has a strong fantasy approach on presentation plus emphasis on Greek mythology. If there were any similarities between the literary Wonder Woman-Ares battle and their cinematic battle, it would be exposition done by Ares explaining details to Wonder Woman why he is doing what he’s pursuing, complete with visuals of how his influence impacts the people of man’s world. Ares’ poison of conflict also has a Cold War flavor here which is not surprising since this comic book was published during the 1980s.

Conclusion

4
Wonder Woman acts before the situation grows worse.

Wonder Woman #6 is a great read! There simply was no slowdown nor a single hiccup with the engagement level of this comic book. With a little over twenty pages of content, this one was loaded with great stuff and its concept was indeed epic. If the battle between Wonder Woman and Ares in the 2017 movie astonished, then their conflict in this comic book will deliver the same impact to you. This one is a true Wonder Woman literary classic and its story even raised the stakes when it comes to Princess Diana’s existence and her mission in man’s world.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #6, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition and the newsstand edition cost $25 and $51 respectively.

Overall, Wonder Woman #6 (1987) is highly recommended! The conflict between Wonder Woman and Ares should encourage you to replay the acclaimed Wonder Woman movie of 2017.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: 2020 Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary celebration officially cancelled

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from the City Administrator of Parañaque. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

COVID-19 Crisis: 2020 Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary celebration officially cancelled

Just a few days ago, Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) announced via Facebook that it has officially postponed the Binibining Pilipinas 2020 Pageant indefinitely. The Bb. Pilipinas is a major beauty pageant and its annual event always draws a huge audience nationwide. As such, the postponement was a bummer for those who were anticipating it even though it is clear that the COVID-19 crisis is still in effect and the nation is slowly adjusting to move the economy forward. Clearly now is not a good time to organize live events with a huge physical audience in attendance. The Bb. Pilipinas organizers stated that it is essential to protect the health of their candidates and many others.

The above development reminded me of something – Parañaque City’s annual Cityhood Anniversary celebration which is traditionally done every February.

To put things in perspective, the 2020 edition of the Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary celebration saw only a few of its scheduled events push through (specifically events that did not involve a huge audience) due to COVID-19 fear.

Back then, the postponed events include the fun run, the Zumba and concert, the drum-and-lyre, the Sunduan exhibit, and most notably the city beauty pageants of Gandang Mamita and Bb. Parañaque. The mentioned pageants are often the most popular attractions of the Cityhood celebration.

That was back months ago.

Today I decided to approach the City Government of Parañaque to find out the status about the remaining events of their 2020 Cityhood Anniversary celebration that were postponed.

I inquired directly with Parañaque City Administrator Fernando “Ding” Soriano and he replied to me via text message as follows:

All events related to our Cityhood anniversary are now cancelled.

So there you have it, my readers. The 2020 Parañaque Cityhood Anniversary is officially no more as the City Government is focused on solving its COVID-19 problems and serving the local constituents. As of this writing, the City Government still has yet to release publicly a signed document by mayor Edwin Olivarez confirming the cancellation. Still, City Administrator Soriano’s words do confirm the cancellation of events.

Think about it carefully. As long as the COVID-19 Crisis continues and the new normal remains in effect, having a huge physical audience of spectators on competitions or special events is simply not doable and too risky for public health. No Parañaque fun run, no beauty pageants, no exhibitions, no parades and no contests. No Sunduan Festival as well.

While the COVID-19 Crisis is still here, it’s simply best to pray to Lord Jesus for the crisis to end, that cures and vaccines versus coronavirus will be realized, that the frontliners will be protected and rewarded for serving us for so long, and that life will return to normal.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

 

COVID-19 Crisis: Filinvest City Foundation donates over two thousand rapid test kits to Muntinlupa City Government

COVID-19 Crisis: Filinvest City Foundation donates over two thousand rapid test kits to Muntinlupa City Government

Recently the Filinvest City Foundation emphasized its generosity and care by donating two thousand and ten (2,010) of rapid test kits to the City Government of Muntinlupa. The donation was meant to augment the city’s mass testing efforts.

The donation was formally done on May 22 at the office of Mayor Jaime Fresnedi who expressed his gratitude to the foundation which was represented by its general manager Arch Lui Lava. Also present during the receiving of the rapid test kits were City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao, City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, and Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer Gary Llamas.

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Filinvest Corporate City Foundation has donated 2,010 rapid test kits to the local government of Muntinlupa to augment its targeted mass testing efforts. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (2nd from right) expressed his thanks to FCC Foundation as the local exec received the donation last May 22, together with City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao, City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, and Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer Gary Llamas. (photo contributed by Muntinlupa PIO)
Filinvest-Donation-3
A few of the many rapid test kits. (photo contributed by Muntinlupa PIO)

As of May 26, Muntinlupa City has 211 confirmed cases with 145 recoveries, 34 active cases, 32 reported deaths, 29 suspect cases, and 186 probable cases.


Information above was derived from an official photo release issued by the City Government of Muntinlupa. Some parts were edited for this website. 

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

 

 

A Look Back at Hardcase #5

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

I should say that Hardcase is truly a unique title and it also is one of the more defining titles of the Ultraverse. It features a super human being who has powers but remains constantly disturbed with guilt having survived a tragedy that killed two teammates and incapacitated his loved one. On moving forward, he worked in Hollywood movie productions until evil forces compelled him to get involved.

Previously I reviewed Hardcase’s crossover with the Strangers told in two comic books. Now we can focus more on him and his pretty companion choice in a standalone adventure in Hardcase #5, published in 1993 by Malibu Comics with a story written by James Hudnall and drawn by Scott Benefiel.

Cover1
The cover.

Early story

The story begins at a nice home in Dana Point, California, where a man named Jonny Wong is making love with a lady only to be disrupted by a telephone call. Upon answering the phone, Jonny is informed to get out as a killer has been sent to kill him. He does not realize that his bodyguards have been killed. Suddenly a man enters the bedroom and kills him and the lady.

A short time later, Hardcase and Choice arrive to meet with detective Chuck Brown who examines the photograph of the dead Jonny Wong and the woman. With the detective’s assistance, Hardcase and Choice proceed to meet Bob Dixon, the head of the Choice Corporation at its headquarters…

Quality

14
Meet Sandra Trent and Rex Mundi.

This is another well written story by James Hudnall. I like the way the mystery got established followed by Hardcase’s search for answers. This story, which was nicely illustrated by Scott Benefiel, further explored the Choice Corporation and its control on Choice. Hardcase was shown to really care for Choice which I enjoyed as part of witnessing how his personality developed. Furthermore, this story nicely reconnects to something particular from Hardcase’s last day with The Squad and it sure was presented with a strong horror flavor. As the corporate world in California is further explored, this comic book introduces Sandra Trent who is about to get involved with the dirty business of eliminating ultras.

Conclusion

6
Hardcase and Choice at the Choice Corporation HQ.

I really like Hardcase #5. Strong mystery element in the story mixed with intrigue and an unrelenting sense of suspense. When it comes to spectacle, this comic book does not have much but that is not a problem at all. This is still an enjoyable read.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Hardcase #5, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition and the newsstand edition cost $4 and $8 respectively.

Overall, Hardcase #5 is recommended.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: 4,174 tricycles in Muntinlupa City now allowed to operate amid MECQ

COVID-19 Crisis: 4,174 tricycles in Muntinlupa City now allowed to operate amid MECQ

Over four thousand tricycles in Muntinlupa City have been allowed to operate and transport authorized passengers provided that they follow sanitary measures amid the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Traffic Management Bureau chief Danidon Nolasco stated that the resumption of tricycle operations in the city starting May 25 aims to help at least 4,174 tricycle drivers who have renewed their permits.

Nolasco said tricycle drivers can only transport frontliners, workers of industries allowed to operate during MECQ, and heads of households buying essential goods to limit people’s movement.

An odd-even scheme will be implemented and tricycles can only operate from 5:00 AM – 12:00 MN.  MTMB has already distributed 2,761 official stickers and quarantine passes to tricycle drivers from 26 TODA.

The local traffic chief reminded tricycle drivers that the prohibition in entering highways and national road is still in effect, except for emergency health cases. Further, cross-over trips are not allowed, except for Rizal St. (Poblacion) and Bautista (Bayanan).

Only one passenger per tricycle will be allowed with an exemption for emergency cases. Due to limited passenger load, each trip will be considered a “special trip” and will amount not exceeding P25.00.

A transparent plastic sheet barrier shall be installed in tricycles to avoid physical contact. Tricycles are to be disinfected at least twice a day and must have alcohol-based sanitizers. Drivers and passengers must wear face masks at all times.

Mandatory temperature check will be conducted and disinfecting facility with soap and water, or sanitizers, will be made available in local terminals.

Tricycle drivers found in violation of the guidelines will be penalized with P1,000 for first offense, P2,000 for second offense, and revocation of permit for third offense.

Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi has approved Executive Order No. 15 s.2020 allowing the resumption of tricycle operations in the city during MECQ.

The resumption of tricycle operations in Muntinlupa is in accordance with the recommendation of Muntinlupa Traffic Management Bureau and Omnibus Public Transportation Guidelines as approved by the Department of Transportation.

As of May 25, Muntinlupa City has 207 confirmed cases with 144 recoveries, 32 active cases, 31 reported deaths, 36 suspect cases, and 192 probable cases.


This is an official Press Release issued by the City Government of Muntinlupa. Some parts were edited for this website. 

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

A Look Back at Spider-Man 2099 #36

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

It has been months since I last reviewed a Spider-Man 2099 comic book. In recent times, I’ve been reviewing the final issues of X-Men 2099 so I figured now is a good time to revisit Spidey of the far future.

To put things in perspective, my review of Spider-Man 2099 #35 explored the introduction of Venom 2099. Here we get to explore the super villain and discover more about him and how he impacts the this old monthly series.

Here’s a look back at Spider-Man 2099 #36, published in 1995 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Peter David and illustrated by Keith Pollard.

Cover
The cover drawn by Jae Lee.

Early story

Picking right after the end of issue #35, the comic book opens with a charging Venom 2099 hitting Spider-Man 2099, crashing out of a high level of a hospital. As they fall down, hospital personnel enter the hospital room to provide assistance to Dana and a recovering Tyler Stone. Dana urged the personnel to move Tyler to a new location fearing that Venom will return.

While falling down, Spider-Man hits Venom, manages to stop falling down and watches him hit the ground hard. To his shock, Venom survived and proved to be much stronger than he thought. Venom climbs up the building’s wall to go after Spider-Man…

Quality

10
Venom 2099 and the armed personnel.

Dramatic and gripping. That is how I describe the tone of Peter David’s script here. As this is Spider-Man’s first encounter with Venom (which started at the end of the last issue), David not only crafted a very compelling conflict between them but also maintained consistency on developing the supporting cast members. Unsurprisingly, the sufficient focus on Venom made clear to reader that he is not only very dangerous but also uncompromising with his acts which make him a menace not only to people but even to armed personnel. His obsession with Tyler Stone is really something.

Regarding the comic book’s art, guest illustrator Keith Pollard did a fine job capturing the looks of the characters and also maintained the storytelling pace that started with issue #35. He also scored nicely on making the action look dynamic and fun to see. He also paid close attention to key details on the costumes of Spider-Man and Venom. I also like the way Pollard drew Spider-Man when it comes to swinging positions, wall-crawling, etc.

Conclusion

3
Spider-Man hits Venom while falling down.

Spider-Man 2099 #36 is a very good, old comic book! As this is one of the early comic book appearances of Venom 2099, it is significant not just in terms of financial value but also in terms of developing Spider-Man as a character. Partly helped by the massive popularity of the mainstream Venom (Eddie Brock), Venom of 2099 become one of the most significant super villains of Marvel 2099.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Spider-Man 2099 #36, be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition (Spider-Man 2099 cover), the “Venom 2099” titled cover regular edition, and the “Venom 2099” titled newsstand edition cost $34, $85 and $255 respectively.

Overall, Spider-Man 2099 #36 is highly recommended!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

A Look Back at Total Recall (1990)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from watching the movie and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

I miss the old days when an R-rated action-packed science fiction movie can be passionately made with exceptional directing, clever writing, great camera work that’s consistently steady, solid performances from the actors, action that was not too choreographed, and visuals that heavily utilized practical effects and optical effects.

I’m talking about Total Recall, the 1990 sci-fi action movie that starred a much younger Arnold Schwarzenegger supported by Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin and Ronny Cox. Directed by Paul Verhoeven (who directed the 1987 classic RoboCop) with a screenplay (based on the Philip K. Dick short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale) by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon and Gary Goldman, Total Recall was a tremendous hit in the cinemas grossing more than $261 million worldwide with a production budget of over $60 million. To date, the film remains a favorite not only with fans of Schwarzenegger but also with people who love action movies, sci-fi movies, movies of the 1990s and geeks.

But before looking back at this movie, it is important to take note that Total Recall took several years of development before it finally got produced. The very first screenplay was written by O’Bannon and Shusett in the 1970s (after securing the film rights to Philip K. Dick’s short story when the author was still alive). Eventually prolific movie producer Dino De Laurentiis took the project for development. Years later, De Laurentiis’ company collapsed (due to failed projects) which provided Schwarzenegger the golden opportunity to get Total Recall by persuading Carolco to secure the rights for a few million dollars. After many screenplay drafts written and the hiring of Verhoeven as director (note: Schwarzenegger approached him personally) plus Gary Goldman, the rest became history.

Screenshot_20200524-002827_YouTube.jpg
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox in a memorable scene.

Now, here is a look back at Total Recall.

Early Story

The story begins at the surface of planet Mars where a man and a lady (both wearing space suits) travel on foot. Suddenly, the man slips down and breaks the frontal shield of his helmet exposing himself to Mars’ air. It turned out to be an intense nightmare for Douglas Quaid who was in bed with his beautiful wife Lori. Lori asked him about the unidentified woman who appeared in his dreams, but Quaid expresses his love for her. On his way to work, Quaid saw a TV ad inside the train about Rekall, a company that sells holidays and adventures in the form of memories. At work, his fellow construction worker discouraged him from availing of any services from Rekall. After work, Quaid visits Rekall and decides to avail of an ego trip as a secret agent. Just as the memory trip was about to start, Quaid wakes up violently…

Quality

This movie is still great to watch. Let me start first with the creative team of Paul Verhoeven and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Screenshot_20200524-002229_YouTube.jpg
A great action scene about to start…

When it comes to the synergy between the director and the lead player, Verhoeven and Schwarzenegger make a great creative team that made this movie very special! When asked during an interview what it was like for him to work with Schwarzenegger, Verhoeven said:  Arnold is great. Switching from Rutger Hauer to Arnold is not that big a step. It’s strange to say that, because he’s this crazy Austrian, with an accent—but, for me, Arnold is the American Rutger. I think if I did a few movies with Arnold, I could do as much with him as I did with Rutger. Now, this movie was the wrong thing . . . But I think you can do much more with Arnold, explore more possibilities, than was necessary for this movie.

Screenshot_20200523-235159_YouTube.jpg
Sharon Stone as Lori.

Now, it is a fact that Schwarzenegger lacks versatility when it comes to acting. Even so, Verhoeven succeeded in getting a deeper-than-expected performance from the star in this movie. Sure, we get to see Schwarzenegger fight bad guys with really rough action, fire guns, run and jump around here but what really stood out here was his portrayal of a man who discovers that the life he knew was all a lie and goes on to find the truth about himself. This role remains a standout role of Schwarzenegger’s among all the characters he played in his many other action films. What is also notable with Douglas Quaid is that the protagonist is always in danger and never invincible, very similar to how Bruce Willis played John McClane in Die Hard. If you watch this film after seeing Schwarzenegger play his invincible icon in the Terminator movies, you will feel his pain, tension and curiosity here! As if that was not enough, there is also the other role Schwarzenegger played in this movie that you should see.

Of course, Total Recall also drew greatness and depth from Verhoeven who also got strong performances from Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, Rachel Ticotin and Ronny Cox. Sharon Stone is the beautiful wife who will shock you. Michael Ironside is the henchman who will make you root for Schwarzenegger even more. Rachel Ticotin is the brave woman who is believable with the cause she is involved with.

Screenshot_20200524-002035_YouTube.jpg
Rachel Ticotin as Melina.

More notably, Ronny Cox is the all-powerful and ruthless executive who will get on your nerves and make you root for Schwarzenegger a lot, very similar to how his villainous role in RoboCop made moviegoers root for the cyborg policeman. It should be noted that the evil executive-henchman duo of Cohaagen (Cox) and Richter (Ironside) here is a directorial trademark of Verhoeven’s and it should bring back memories of the other evil duo in RoboCop. More than that, Ronny Cox succeeded in selling the concept that Cohaagen really had been the administrator of the colony in Mars exploiting the resources and the people for a long time.

More on getting the most out of the actors, Verhoeven and his team crafted a memorable hand-to-hand fight scene between Lori (Stone) and Melina (Ticotin) actually taking part in the action and stunts. Sharon Stone clearly got athletic in this movie and her efforts paid-off nicely, complete with another fight scene with Arnold Schwarzenegger (she actually even threw two high kicks at Schwarzenegger’s head) early in the film. Beyond the hard battle with Stone, Ticotin went on to take part in further action scenes in the film and she sure is believable as an action performer. To put things in perspective, Stone and Ticotin are not action stars but they excelled nicely in their work here and this also made Total Recall special.

When it comes to storytelling under the direction of Verhoeven, Total Recall moved at a medium-to-fast pace and there was never a single moment of rushing, nor a single boring moment at all. The film just kept going smoothly complete with true unpredictability which results lots of twists and surprises. I should also state that the dialogue from the finalized screenplay is still excellent, and they were nicely delivered by the actors. Verhoeven also added depth to the film by using mystery while also getting good performance from Schwarzenegger as Doug Quaid finds out that life is not what it seems. I should state that the sci-fi elements of altering (and adding) human memories with the use of computers and the business of selling virtual holidays and ego trips were strongly emphasized. These also add to the film’s mystery which should engage you to wonder and analyze as the story moves on.

Screenshot_20200524-003106_YouTube.jpg
The best view from an office on planet Mars.

On the spectacle, Total Recall is heavily loaded! The action is violent, plentiful and carries that particular aesthetic that only director Verhoeven has. It’s hard to explain in words but once you watch the action in this movie (plus comparing it to RoboCop and Starship Troopers), you will realize it. Even so, the action never turned this movie into a brainless affair. The action worked nicely to balance the mystery and suspense.

The visual effects here were mostly done by practical and optical ways. Special effects specialist Rob Bottin, who famously worked in John Carpenter’s The Thing and worked also with Verhoeven in RoboCop, came up with very memorable animatronics to simulate facial and physical changes on characters on key sequences involving sci-fi elements. The team also crafted really freaky looking makeup works on the Mars mutants, which really gave this film a strong sci-fi look. I also like the use of miniatures and physical sets that visualized the colony in Mars. By today’s standards, this movie’s visual effects still look great and I can only wish that filmmakers today would rely less on computers and go back to using practical effects (note: physical stuff) and, on certain occasions, optical effects.

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Really great movie makeup work by Rob Bottin.

When it comes to the physical environments, this movie was filmed a lot in Mexico, specifically on key locations and on the sound stages in an established movie production studio there. Years ago, when I first learned for the first time that the trains used in the film were real-life trains that actually operated in one of Mexico’s real-life transportation systems, I was astounded! Paul Verhoeven himself confirmed that the train sequences were not only shot on location with real trains (note: monitors were added by the filmmakers to achieve a futuristic look) but the place’s architectural design were very unique and fitted nicely with the sci-fi concept of the movie.

The Mars colony set does not look fake to me. In fact, it really looks like it has long been lived in by people and the filmmakers nicely designed it. The Venusville set looks very convincing and, within the story, it got decayed due to long-term businesses, constant vehicular traffic and people who always flocked the place. The Mars hotel meanwhile has that cleaner, nicer look with tourists who paid good money for pleasure and discovery.

I should mention that the cinematography here done by Jost Vacano is excellent. The set-ups of the camera to get great angles of the actors is special, and the same can be said about the capturing of the spectacle that happened on-screen. The flashback of Mars inside Quaid’s mind had great, floating views of the location complete with perfectly smooth movement! Vacano also worked with Verhoeven in RoboCop.

Finally, the musical score by the late Jerry Goldsmith is very memorable and this is my favorite among all his works. The music provided gave this movie a strong sci-fi feel and when suspense plays, the tunes added nicely to it. The most memorable music tracks here are the opening credits music (which is immersive) and the foot chase between Quaid and Richter on Earth (the music really keeps the pace high).

Conclusion

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Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid in a key scene.

Total Recall is a true, adulterated sci-fi action classic and easily it is still is one of the best ever movies I’ve seen from Schwarzenegger, Verhoeven and Stone. A few visual elements did not age well but its highly engaging story (combined with the strong performances and spectacle) remains its key selling point. There is a lot of ambiguity throughout the film and it will keep you wondering if the story (or at least portions of it) was reality or all a dream in Quaid’s mind. The way the story is structured combined with the excellent spectacle, this is a movie that is worth watching again and again! It remains an effective viewing experience for me until now.

As it contains the directorial trademarks of Verhoeven mixed with Schwarzenegger’s own style of expression and hard action, Total Recall is a very unique move of its own and it’s impossible to replicate nor match. Keep in mind that the 2012 remake of this movie was badly made (even though it had a big budget and highly advanced visual effects involving the use of computers) and ended up being a complete failure.

To put it short, Total Recall is more than just an action-packed thrill ride. It is also a mystery film that will keep viewers on the edge as the search for answers continues. Total Recall also explores the theme of what would you do when you realize that the life you remember turned to be an exceptional lie, and that you are literally caught in the middle of a web surrounded by dangerous, powerful people. I could never forget how my mind got motivated as I focused on the narrative the first time I ever saw this great movie decades ago. Total Recall was a sci-fi viewing experience like no other.

Overall, Total Recall (1990) is highly recommended! I urge you, my readers, to buy the movie on Blu-ray disc or watch it via streaming.


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