Vanilla Sky

Following the latest Hollywood trend of remakes arrives Vanilla Sky, "the equivilent of doing a cover to a great song", as Paula Wagner, co-producer (with Tom Cruise of Vinyl Films Production) notes in the press kit. The original she is referring to is Alejandro Amenábar's 1997 psychological thriller, Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes), starring Penélope Cruz. She reprises her role as Sofia (this time round in English), and co-stars with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. The plot reproduces the original: playboy protagonist David Aames (Tom Cruise) jilts his current lover Julie (Cameron Diaz), for the newly-met Sofia (Penélope Cruz) with dire consequences. It gets confusing after that, figuring out the alternate reality sequences, and audiences may get mired in the incoherent plot twists and turns. The spectacular dreamlike opening shot of a terrorized Tom Cruise running through a completely deserted Times Square is brilliantly orchestrated and merits the ticket price, but make the effort to see the Spanish film, if o­nly to compare. Helmer Cameron Crowe's expertise in fabricating a pop pastiche of the sights and sounds of a generation is well-known, as in Almost Famous, and Vanilla Sky continues in that tradition. His is a glossy, supersized version, made expressly for a young, hip American demographic. It works fine as a superstar draw, but begs the query: why can't monied American filmmakers think up their own original ideas anymore? As Bob Dylan o­nce said, "money doesn't talk; it swears"…

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