Vanilla Sky: Cameron Crowe’s Overblown Remake of Amenabar Spanish Thriller, Starring Tom Cruise

Cameron Crowe’s Vanilla Sky provides a case study of what happens when a mainstream studio, Paramount, and a major Hollywood star, Tom Cruise, take a Spanish thriller, Open Your Eyes, and turn it into a spectacularly glossy, big-budget, effects-ridden star vehicle that’s overwhelming artistically but underwhelming in any other way.

Using the arthouse hit of Alejandro Amenabar (who recently made a splash with The Others), writer-director Crowe has turned the 1997 metaphysical suspenser into an overblown production, a mishmash of a movie that’s part sci-fi, part supernatural drama, part sexual thriller a la Fatal Attraction, part erotic romance–and not really satisfying on any level.

Paramount’s marketing campaign uses the tag line LoveHateDreamsLifeWorkPlayFriendshipSex, which pretty much sums up the hodgepodge nature of their product. The beautiful Penelope Cruz (who played the same part in the original film) and Cameron Diaz should help Cruise position the film at home and abroad as a major league player, guaranteeing a strong opening weekend. However, Vanilla Sky may be the one Cruise movie to test the boundaries of his stardom and box-office power–it’s doubtful that it will score as high as the 1996 feel-good sports comedy, Jerry Maguire, Cruise’s previous effort with Crowe.

Retitled Vanilla Sky, Crowe’s remake forfeits the ironic bite of the Spanish film’s title, Open Your Eyes (Abre Los Ojos), which signaled two different yet interrelated meanings: the physical act of waking up and looking, and the metaphysical one of being alert and watchful of what goes around. Crowe doesn’t dismiss the idea completely, and throughout the film, a sexy female voice tells the hero, “open his eyes.”

In the film’s visually stunning opening (orchestrated by ace lenser John Toll), David Aames (Cruise) wakes up, looks at himself in the mirror, plucks a few gray hairs from his bushy mane, and jumps into his sports car. Speeding down on Broadway, he suddenly stops at an empty Times Square and begins to run hysterically between 48th and 42nd street. Nothing that follows this breathtaking scene, in which the camera follows David all alone in the world, matches it in imagery or impact.

Snowboarding through life, the handsome and wealthy David, a successful publishing exec, leads a charmed, freewheeling existence, yet something crucial is missing from it. Accustomed to one-night stands, David has casual sex with Julie (Cameron Diaz), a satisfying act for him but one that fails to acknowledge her needs. At his birthday party, he flirts with a mysterious stranger, Sofia (Penelope Cruz), who’s the girlfriend of his buddy, Brian (Jason Lee), a writer who’s financially supported by David.

Their flirtation is observed with alarm by the jealous Julie and insecure yet still loyal Brian. The next morning, David accepts a lift from Julie, who begins tormenting him in a manner that recalls Glenn Close’s turbulent character in Fatal Attraction. Their ride turns out to be fatal, when Julie crashes the car across a bridge, seemingly committing suicide. The traumatic experience turns David into a bitter man, leaving his face horribly disfigured. Rushing from one plastic surgeon to another, David appears to be beyond cosmetic repair.

Drunk and disillusioned with what he perceives as Sofia’s betrayal and her favoring again Brian, David collapses on the street. Waking up the next day, he realizes that the entire world around him has changed: Among other things, Julie returns to his life, now claiming she’s Sofia.

Accused of committing a murder he doesn’t remember, David tells in flashbacks his twists-and-turns yarn to a sympathetic psychiatrist, McCabe (Kurt Russell). Indeed, changing gears, and relying on David’s selective memory, a convoluted yarn then recounts his fateful encounter with a company called Life Extension. Under strict supervision from his prison’s ward, David returns to the company’s offices, where he finally unravels their scary futuristic specialty, Cryogenics.

About half of the movie is set in a bleak prison, with David wearing a prosthetic mask, which he adamantly refuses to remove. However, an opportunity to explore a kind of “Beauty and the Beast” relationship, via his affair with Sofia, is sadly missed. And unfortunately, Vanilla Sky gets more baffling as it goes along, and it doesn’t know how and when to end.

Possessing a wonderful command of film language, Amenabar is highly adept at creating a atmosphere of fear, tension, and unease, most recently evident in The Others. In contrast, Crowe is a generous director, usually attracted to uniquely American sunny and optimistic material (Say Anything, Jerry MaGuire, Almost Famous). Ultimately, Crowe might be the wrong director for rendering dark, disturbing tones onscreen.

Cinephiles are urged to examine Amenabar’s film, which was set in an abstract, modern Metropolis. His Open Your Eyes paid homage to Hitchcock, specifically Vertigo, a masterpiece of surreal cinema that dealt with the inseparability of reality and illusion, the obsession with physical looks, the need to shape and control another person’s identity in the name of love. Moreover, the Spanish film displayed an indelibly haunting imagery, such as Madrid’s traffic-jammed streets suddenly emptied of cars, or a crowded and noisy disco shockingly turned silent.

With the exception of the splendid Times Square prologue, no sequence in Crowe’s film matches in power the Spanish film’s imagery and mood. Narratively and visually, Crowe treats the text as if he were doing the equivalent of a colorful cover to an expensive music album. Indeed, music has always been an integral part of Crowe’s strategy, here using an impressively eclectic array of disco music and edgier fare, such as techno beats.

Overall, Vanilla Sky works most effectively as a pop culture ride, which is one of the film’s themes, particularly how culture affects us as a standard of evaluation of self and others. Under these circumstances, the best way to endure the film is to marvel at the production design, which doesn’t always serve well the narrative, but is rich and busy enough to keeps the eyes open.

Hence David’s office was shot at the Conde Nast Building, where the high-profile Vanity Fair, itself a pop culture icon, is housed. And his Upper West Side penthouse is a sprawling, impeccably appointed space, dominated by muted blues and dark wood. Since artwork is a key in conveying David’s flair and exquisite taste, his residence is decorated with Balthus, Rothko, Matisse, and cool contemporary artists. Crowe even pays homage to his own rock & roll past in the presence of several guitars, including a smashed one (lovingly framed behind glass) and a skateboard emblazoned with the image of David Bowie.

Meant to be a cautionary morality tale, Vanilla Sky unfolds as an emotional journey in which a young, self-absorbed womanizer looks deep into his soul and finds new meaning of love and sex. However, pushing 40, Cruise is too old to play a careless and heartless yuppie; in Amenabar’s film, the protagonist was 25! As an actor, Cruise is proficient, but, like the other thesps, his turn suffers from a film that’s plot rather than character-driven.

Indeed, the two women in David’s life represent types, and not just in their physicality. Optimistic and guileless, the brunette Sofia exudes a warm, down-to-earth life force and healthy sexuality that cuts through David’s rarefied world of sycophants and opportunists. In contrast, the blonde Julie is a quintessentially New York single woman, demanding, neurotic, and deranged.

One of Vanilla Sky’s biggest problems is Cruise’s lack of chemistry with either of his glamorous co-stars: Diaz and Cruz (which is peculiar, considering their well-publicized off-screen affair). With few exceptions, this has been a recurrent obstacle in Cruise’s films, from Top Gun (with Kelly McGillis), all the way to Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, in which he failed to generate onscreen steam or rapport with his then wife, Nicole Kidman.

This is the third consecutive American film, following All the Pretty Horses and Captain Correlli’s Mandolin, in which Cruz is disappointing, a possible result of her lack of command of English; many distinguished foreign actresses before her have suffered from this quandary. Diaz looks sexy, but her role is too narrowly conceived as a vulnerable and disconnected woman desperate to find her white knight. Lee and Russell have some good moments, but they too fall victims to a movie that’s weak on characterization.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter