For his part, director Paul Verhoeven joyously showcases ultra-violence in Total Recall, sticking it in the audience's face. Indeed, the entire milieu of the film is as downbeat as it is shot through with glee.
Last night at the at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences they screened a new 70 mm print of Spartacus. Producer/Star Kirk Douglas, 95, was present with wife Anne, and engaged in a vigorous Q&A session.
When the parties have been seated, the food has been served, and the time-honored tradition of "dinner conversation" has commenced, the pinging of incoming texts and the private giggles and mad key tapping in response are not remotely what "dinner conversation" had in mind.
El Boyfo was being sweet. He wanted us "to discover it together." I, on the other hand had little interest in sweet mutual discovery. Our first Prometheus spat launched when he realised that I had no intention of allowing days to go by with me twitching until our iMax trip.
What is missing is a sales pitch -- like the arms race but ideally less grim -- that made possible the Apollo program. Time will tell when and how the 2001 vision will be realized, and if it will be human or robotic. In the meantime, we all can dream.
It does not seem quite possible that Jack Nicholson could be turning 75 today. He seems ageless, particularly when you revisit his best films. And that's just what we should all do to mark the occasion.
The NC-17 will continue to be a 'scarlet letter' until a major studio is willing to risk releasing a major genre film with that adults-only rating and basically dare chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark not to carry it.