Blue Skies on Mars: A Total Recall Fanedit

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8.0
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*This will contain some spoilers*

I have always been a big fan of the original. Philip K. Dick has also always been my favorite author, and even though the original film deviates a great deal from the source story, when you sat down and contemplated the film, it did contain Dick’s sense of never knowing what is reality. That sense is much more heightened in Blue Skies on Mars, and being a PKD fan I really appreciate that.

The opening, as has been stated, was pretty well amazing. A perfect tone for opening up the story. The various memento cuts all worked extremely well, and if fact, my only concern would be that if a viewer was not versed in Total Recall, they might be lost.

Some people have complained about Johnny Cab. I didn't mind that scene. I never did. Actually, PKD was extremely good at writing obnoxious robots (the short stories Sales Pitch and The Exit Door Leads In are great examples), so this scene always fit right in for me.

On the totally unimportant side, Melina refers to Benny as a mutant, even though the scene we find out Benny is a mutant was cut. That was just a little jarring. But, like I said, totally unimportant.

At first I didn't get the color/black and white transitions. I first thought, oh, the "dream" will be in black and white, while reality is in color; and I realized that wasn't the case. Because of the color transitions, I couldn't figure out what they meant. For example, why it turned to black and white when Richter kills the rat, and why back to color when Quiad starts the reactor. Then, I sat back and thought about it, and thought wow, color could represent the atmosphere on Earth (all scenes on Earth are in color) and black and white could represent the absence of an atmosphere on Mars (like color scenes on Earth, all Mars scenes are in black and white) and then Quaid starts the reactor bringing BLUE skies to Mars, while the color returns to the film. If that was the intention, it was VERY clever.

The jury is still out with me on the end. I always liked the ambiguity of the original. And the flair from the sun kinda had leaning towards this direction, to be honest. I kinda felt like this version was more ambiguous, and should be less literal. It’s also a reality smacks you in the face moment, which is also very traditionally PKD, so, you make up your own mind. Technically, though, using that previous shot from the film in reverse was brilliant!

The film quality didn’t bother me, I thought the grainy washed out feel actually kinda worked in the film’s favor.

Overall, this is an extremely well made edit, and should be checked out by anybody who has an interest in Total Recall or Philip K. Dick.

8 out of 10.
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8.9
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9.0
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9.0
I’m not an Arnold fan. He’s never offered me anything other than OTT violence and one-liners, which is just not my thing. But I am a big fan of the Terminator films, because they are sci-fi films with Arnold in them, rather than the other way around.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about Total Recall. To me this is a movie that is both a sci-fi and Arnold film at the same time. I watch it for the sci-fi, but cringe at the Arnold. And so I was curious to see what Jorge planned for this film. When I read his thoughts on the film, I realized this fanedit was made just for me. And after watching it, I was thrilled to see that the Arnold factor was indeed greatly reduced.

Beyond that, I also really enjoyed the mementomixing of the film. This is an ideal movie to give this treatment to, and it works really well. In fact, I found myself disappointed when I realized the two narratives had joined and we would only be moving forward from that point on. Not that I would suggest anything different, but it was just a “awwww, too bad” kind of moment.

The change to color near the end was put in the perfect place, and the last shot of the edit left me with a big smile on my face.

Audio and video cuts were invisible. The video quality is a little rough as others have mentioned, but it wasn’t terribly distracting. I would be interested to see how this would look using the Blu source, however. I used headphones while watching so I didn’t get a chance to check out the 5.1 mix, but since I will definitely watch this again in the future, I will listen to it at some point.

I didn’t expect this to become my go-to version of Total Recall, but by turning this film into a sci-fi film rather than an Arnold film, Jorge has put his version on my shelf.

9/10
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8.4
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7.0
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9.0
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10.0
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9.0
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8.0
Blue Skies on Mars by Jorge

Review by Captain Khajiit

**Warning!**

**This review contains spoilers!**

I quite liked the original film, but always find alternate cuts fascinating. The faneditor’s way of reorganizing chronologies is not usually to my taste, but the subject matter of this film does lend itself to this approach and the faneditor constructed his new narrative skilfully, so I enjoyed the result.

Editing: The over-the-top action and humour of the original have never bothered me, but the new vision of the film worked better without them, so in removing them the faneditor exercised good judgment. The new narrative was well implemented and worked quite effectively. Overall, the editing is good. 9 out of 10

Entertainment: 8 out of 10 (theatrical – 8 out of 10)

Image and video quality: The video quality was disappointing and at times struggled to reach the average level of quality that I expect from a fanedit. 5 out of 10

Audio editing and audio quality: I listened on a 3.1 setup and was extremely impressed by the audio mix, which for a first attempt at 5.1 was superb. It went a long way towards making up for the video quality and greatly contributed to my enjoyment of this edit. 10 out of 10

Presentation: I prefer simpler menus and was more than happy with those provided. The cover art was superb. 9 out of 10

Overall: 8 out of 10

I recommend this alternative way to experience the films to everyone, whether they liked the original or not.
C
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