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What to watch and play this week

Total Recall: Mind-Bending Edition

Just in time for the sorta-remake hitting theaters on Friday (see below), the original movie version of Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" finally makes its Blu-ray debut. Director Paul Verhoeven's 1990 followup to RoboCop stars Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his best movies (only the first two Terminators and Predator are better) as a working-class dude whose virtual memories of Mars turn deadly when it turns out he may not be who he thinks he is. Even wife Sharon Stone turns on him. At times the movie plays like a standard '90s action pic, but it's brainier than most of the star's blockbusters from the era. This new Mind-Bending Edition contains lots of behind-the-scenes extras, like an interview with Verhoeven, commentary by Schwarzenegger, and a look at the movie's Oscar-winning special effects.

Mystery Science Theater 3000: XXIV

The latest four-DVD box from the '90s cult TV show comes out this week, and like most of the sets, it's half good-bad and half bad-bad. The robots and their human pal skewer the crappy movies they (and we) watch with tons of smart-ass quips and pop culture references, at their best on the cheap fantasies The Sword and the Dragon and Samson vs. the Vampire Women. The Fugitive Alien movies aren't as much fun.

Le Havre

Director Aki Kaurismäki's latest movie comes to home video this week in a typically elegant Blu-ray set from Criterion. The 2011 movie plays like one of Charlie Chaplin's silent classics, combining equal doses of comedy and sentimentality as an old shoe-shiner takes in a young African refugee stranded in a French harbor town. Extras include footage and interviews from last year's Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered.

Total Recall

Not a complete remake of Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1990 sci-fi hit (see above), this new take on Philip K. Dick's short story — which opens in multiplexes on Friday — stars Colin Farrell as a factory worker who learns that his memories may not be totally his own. Kate Beckinsale and Bryan Cranston costar in this future-shock political thriller directed by the guy who made all of those crappy Underworld movies you didn't see.

One Potato, Two Potato

Bronx-born director Larry Peerce — who later made Goodbye, Columbus and Two-Minute Warning — shot his first movie in Painesville with little money and less star power. But his 1964 drama about an interracial marriage was the first to seriously explore the subject and remains a daring effort of '60s independent film. Peerce will field your questions after the movie's 5:30 p.m. screening at the Cinematheque on Saturday.

Neil Young Journeys

Jonathan Demme's third Neil Young movie in six years once again juggles interviews and concert footage. This one comes from Young's 2011 solo stop at Toronto's Massey Hall, the hometown venue where the singer-songwriter honed his chops in the early days. It's a laid-back set – more "I Believe in You" than "Cortez the Killer" – focusing on 2010's Le Noise. It opens at the Cedar Lee Theatre on Friday.

La Grande Illusion

One of the greatest movies ever made comes to Blu-ray this week. And while Jean Renoir's 1937 film shows its age at times, the story is timeless: A group of disparate French soldiers in a World War I prison camp plan their escape from a seemingly inescapable situation. Best bonus features are a pair of historical appreciations filled with insight, perception, and admiration. Basically, they tell you why it's so damn good.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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