'You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows,' but these days, a guide through the seemingly endless flurry of pop culture is just what we need. With that in mind, here is what's on the radar screen in TV, music and film for the coming week.
BIG RELEASE: Total Recall (Aug. 3)
BIG PICTURE: Rekall is a company that can implant ANY fake memory in a client's head and make the wildest dreams come to life. So, what do they come up with? A secret-agent fantasy in which Kate Beckinsale is their client's undercover wife, Jessica Biel is his new-found love interest and his brave new world includes three-breasted women? (I'm betting Rekall is secretly run by either a cabal of frat boys -- or Captain Kirk.) In this remake of the 1990 outing starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Colin Farrell loses the campiness and staccato delivery -- bringing a darker edge to the role of Douglas Quaid, a factory worker whose visit to Rekall goes terribly wrong. Quaid soon finds himself questioning not only his reality, but his very identity (confession: the same thing happens to me every dentist visit).
FORECAST: Farrell can act circles around Arnie, and Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) should bring added heft to the cast. Both Total Recall films are based on a story by Philip K. Dick, but there's no doubt director Len Wiseman is going for a darker, more dramatic tone in this update. The original film often played like a comedy -- even in the heat of the action.
But this whole reboot got me thinking. If Hollywood is already remaking movies from the '90s, what might the future bring? Showgirls starring Lindsay Lohan? Armageddon with Justin Bieber in Ben Affleck's spacesuit -- and Justin Timberlake taking on Bruce Willis's role as the grizzled, veteran oil-rig guru? The Mighty Ducks -- again starring Emilio Estevez, just to give him work -- but featuring British boy band One Direction as the team's star hockey players? The "recall" possibilities are endless.
BIG EVENT: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis on New.Music.Live (July 30, MuchMusic, 5 p.m.)
BIG PICTURE: "My hair could lift a car off a baby if it had to." That's funnyman Ferrell as fictional congressman and blowhard Cam Brady in his new movie The Campaign. Ferrell and co-star Galifianakis visit MuchMusic this week to promote their new movie The Campaign, which arrives in theatres Aug. 10. If these two comedians were running for the U.S. presidency, the level of debate might actually be raised. But we'll have to settle for a fictional congressional battle. Galifianakis plays Marty Huggins, the sweater-vest-wearing "Washington outsider" -- and director of the local tourism centre -- who ruins Brady's plans for an unopposed re-election. The irony is the two fictional oddballs would be a step up from the average Tea Party candidate in the U.S.
FORECAST: In a sleeper of a TV week, this comedic duo might be the week's most entertaining -- and outrageous -- small-screen event. It's either this, or watching more of the Olympics. And there's only so much synchronized swimming, water polo and gymnastics that one person can endure.
BIG RELEASE ON TUESDAY: Joss Stone (The Soul Sessions Vol. 2)
BIG PICTURE: Joss Stone's career has been uneven in recent years -- it even included a collaboration with the likes of Mick Jagger in a "supergroup" called Superheavy (I'm convinced Mick joined solely to try to have his own little "soul session" with Miss Stone). This week, Stone returns to the rich sonic landscape of her glorious 2003 debut, The Soul Sessions. The then 16-year-old's debut was a collection of powerful covers steeped in old soul, and Stone's latest effort is a similar homage. Covers include Womack & Womack's Teardrops and Eddie Floyd's I Don't Want to Be With Nobody But You.
FORECAST: Stone proves she's still got soul. She's had her stumbles over the years, but with Amy Winehouse's passing, she and the likes of Janelle Monae and Duffy offer a bright future for the genre.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Elvis Presley (I Am An Elvis Fan): Speaking of total recall, remember The King? Apparently, many do. Fans from around the world voted on their favourite songs to put together this first-ever fan-voted Elvis compilation. It's too bad fans couldn't have voted on their "favourite Elvis" back in the day -- we may have never suffered through "big-boned" Elvis. The 21-song collection also helps mark the 35th anniversary of the icon's passing. Hey, I've got an idea for you Hollywood: You're doing '90s films, how about re-doing Elvis's 1957 classic Jailhouse Rock? (I like Charlie Sheen for the role.)
-- Postmedia News