Out in cinemas this week: It's amnesia/blackout week! A man with missing memory tries to sort out who he's spying for, while another guy with things he can't remember is actually being controlled by an alien.
Total Recall (2012)
Film versions of Philip K. Dick short stories are tricky affairs, and so are remakes of iconic sci-fi blockbusters. And then there's casting Colin Farrell as your lead. But if anyone can pull off a smart new way of looking at Total Recall, the director who reinvented vamps and werewolves for Underworld was a smart choice, backed up by writer of Ultraviolet and a remarkable cast.
The story: As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Farrell) begins to suspect that he's a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he's on.
Starring: Kate Beckinsale (Lori), Colin Farrell (Doug Quaid/Hauser), Jessica Biel (Melina), Bryan Cranston (Vilos Cohaagen), Bill Nighy (Kuato), Ethan Hawke, John Cho (McClane), Bokeem Woodbine (Harry), Steve Byers (Henry Reed), Will Yun Lee (Marek), Currie Graham (Bergen), Jesse Bond (Lead Federal Police), Brooks Darnell (Stevens), Michael Therriault (Anderson), Stephen MacDonald (Slacker), Joe Vercillo (Synth).
Directed by: Len Wiseman.
Alien Inhabitant (2011)
The writer-director has described this very low-budget indie film as an edgy thriller that combines the likes of Trainspotting, Memento, Requiem for a Dream, and Donny Darko, citing David Cronenberg as his greatest influence--all of which seems to be setting the bar rather high; but what he's saying is that the emphasis is on developing a dynamic between the supernatural and the psychological, which is always to be preferred to the standard action sci-fi thriller motif of monsters popping up from behind things. Awarded Best Feature Film at the 2011 Northern California Film Festival.
The story: Mark struggles with drug addiction following the war. An Alien that only Mark can see manipulates his will, forcing him to commit acts that he cannot recall. As his mind spirals out of control, his closest friends seek to have him committed. But Mark will do anything to stop them, and so will the Alien.
Starring: James Howarth (Mark Jones), Eva Swan (Abby Myers), Jean Louise O'Sullivan (Alana), Brandon Fisher (Ray), Edward Lee Johnson (Officer Jacobs), Mika Walter (Jimmy), Lana Troy (Carol), Ingrid Bloom (Stacy), Will Rian (Officer Drake).
Directed by: James Howarth.