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"Abre Los Ojos"...Makes "Vanilla Sky" look very bland...
on November 29, 2002
I saw "Abre Los Ojos" quite a while before I saw "Vanilla Sky," and to me it is far superior. Cameron Crowe's version of this dark and twisted dreamscape is so prettied up and sanitized that much of the impact of the story is lost--as is the case with many Americanized versions of foreign-language films. Eduardo Noriega is amazing (and beautiful)in "Abre Los Ojos," giving the character of Cesar a sense of darkness as well as vulnerability, not to mention the egocentricity of a spoiled child that is expected in the character--Tom Cruise, on the other hand, just seems like a movie star throughout his entire performance in "Vanilla Sky." Penelope Cruz's performance in this original version is much more believable...ironic, considering she and Cruise became a couple. The chemistry between Cruz and Noriega is much more palpable. The Madrid scenery is amazing, and there is a dreamlike quality to the film that comes from excellent cinematography and just plain good film-making...not Hollywood "magic". The characters are believable, and the ending is not as "sugar coated," so that it has an even bigger impact on the audience. Skip the Vanilla...and open your eyes.