Burton_apes

Hollywood keeps trying to reinvent the future, but are audiences buying it?

That's certainly a question every studio should be asking itself following the underwhelming opening of Sony's Total Recall this weekend. With its $25.6 million debut, poor critical reception, and a disappointing "C+" CinemaScore, there's little doubt that the big budget remake of Ahnold's 1990 blockbuster isn't heading for a successful theatrical run at the box office.

This begs the question: how successful is Hollywood's trend of remaking classic science-fiction flicks?  Let's find out.

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Terry_crews

Football players have been hilarious long before Chad Johnson honored his jersey by changing his name to Chad Ochocinco. (Um, shouldn't that be Ochenta y cinco?) But few of them have gotten to make their living off of making people laugh long after they hung up their cleats. After seven seasons in the NFL, Linebacker Terry Crews took a couple serious, scary guy roles in Arnold Schwarzenneger's The 6th Day and in Training Day, the film that won Denzel Washignton an Oscar. Still, there was more—a lot more—to Crews than his muscles, and he made sure Hollywood knew...

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Mars

No doubt Total Recall will be a modest hit for Colin Farrell, though it won't be as beloved as the Paul Verhoeven/Arnold Schwarzenegger original, the apotheosis of glorious, antisocial violence in '80s cinema. But whether or not the film is good—see our review—its look is at least staking out some original ground. But in doing so, is it revealing an uncomfortable truth about how our feelings about space have changed over the last two decades?

The original Total Recall is a perfect photograph of its era. It was released during a very interesting time: months after the fall of the Berlin Wall and just over a year before the Soviet Union disbanded and the Cold War officially came to an end. The U.S.

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Total_recall

The rebooted Total Recall has a lot to recommend it over its predecessor: a lead actor who can actually act (Colin Farrell), two action queens at the top of their game (Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel), and stunning, state-of-the-art effects. But for all its slick craftmanship, the remake lacks the unabashed sleaze and imaginative trashiness that made director Paul Verhoeven's original a pop classic. As the director of B-movie masterpieces like Basic Instinct, RoboCop, Showgirls and Starship Troopers, Verhoeven isn't a household name and isn't likely to be one anytime soon, but he's behind some of the most unforgettable scenes in modern movies. After all, nobody does prurient spectacle like Paul Verhoeven.

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Friedkin

Friedkin [right] and his KILLER JOE star Emile Hirsch

There's no pea soup in William Friedkin's Killer Joe, but there is a soon-to-be-infamous bucket of fried chicken. Based on the play by Pulitzer-winning playwright Tracy Letts—author of August: Osage County and of Friedkin's last film, Bug, a motel psychodrama starring Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon—Killer Joe is named after Matthew McConaughey's Killer Joe Cooper, a Texas cop who's also a hitman for hire. Calm, polite and severe, McConaughey agrees to whack Emile Hirsch's drunk mom for her insurance money, a paltry fortune of a few thousand dollars.

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Total_time_warp

It's been 22 years since Arnold Schwarzenegger blew up the box office with Total Recall, and now Colin Farrell aims to do the same. History repeats itself—yet this year, the repetition is uncanny with Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise and even a pack of wolves making it feel like it's 1990 all over again. Have we gone back in time? We draw our extremely scientific parallels below.

1. Tom Cruise Divorces
The Tom Cruise of 1990 looks a lot like the Tom Cruise of 2012. His abs are still iron, his movies are still action-tastic (his characters in Jack Reacher and Days of Thunder could be drinking buddies), and his wives are still rotating. Twenty-two years ago, Cruise dropped Mimi Rogers, his wife of six years, in February of 1990.

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Tdkr_rises_hope

"Welcome to a world without rules." read the tagline on the poster of 2008's The Dark Knight. It may just as well have read "Welcome to a movie series without rules."

This column usually delves into the study of theatrical profitability. But these aren't "usual" times. And as the country begins to pick up the pieces left behind from last week's tragic events in Aurora, Colorado, the once palpable and near-deafening buzz of The Dark Knight Rises has understandably been softened to a murmur.

As they say, the show must go on. Given the appropriate time to grieve, it is perhaps just as important to honor the victims by moving forward and not letting the actions of one selfish individual negatively impact any more lives than he already has.

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