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  Film Reviews: Two Bits Two Hours Twenty-Five Minutes: Vanilla Sky  
 

Monday, April 15
Two Bits Two Hours Twenty-Five Minutes: Vanilla Sky
VanillaSky
First, to everyone that attended this year’s Oscar Party, I must formally apologize for offering my “hey, they’ll give a Beatle an Oscar for Best Song!” Not only did the Paul McCartney Song kinda suck, but I made the mistake of making this proclamation without having seen the film. Last year, Bob Dylan won for the song he did for “Wonder Boys.” See, “Wonder Boys” was the kind of film that was really good. Husband and I went to see “Vanilla Sky” at the second run theater – it was only 50 cents since we saw this before 5 on a Sunday. This was the highlight of the movie, my friends.

First, to everyone that ever heard that this film was “so twisted and warped that you’d have to see it more than once just to figure out what it was about!” – welcome to Film Marketing 101. Keep in mind that the director, Cameron Crowe, has a decent talent as a writer and a director (kids, this is the guy that wrote the BOOK Fast Times At Ridgemont High) – Almost Famous and Jerry McGuire to name a few. Keep in mind that Cameron chose to remake a well-received 1997 Spanish film “Abre Los Ojos” (Open Your Eyes) that came in at a scant 1 hour, 47 minutes. In order to improve this film, he called it “Vanilla Sky” (which led to the song), kept the same leading actress (Penlope Cruz) in the same role, and then decide to add on a mind-boggling 38 minutes to a film that should be kept in the “less is more” category! Why? Why? Why?

“As a vehicle for Tom Cruise,” is the Film Marketing 101 answer. Tom Cruise (David Aames) has everything by way of stuff in life – great job, great apartment, great car, great money – but is missing what his ever-annoying friend (why the hell do people keep hiring Jason Lee to “act” in movies anyway) refers to as “the sweet and the sour.” Blah, blah, blah, you’re filthy stinking rich, you can have anything you want, but you don’t have true love. Uh-huh. Did I mention that he gets to sleep with Cameron Diaz whenever he feels like it? There’s a car accident and David’s face is horribly disfigured (or is it?). Is it a conspiracy against him? Did he kill someone? Will the plastic surgeons ever be able to rebuild his face? Will Sophia deliver true love to him? Why the hell is Kurt Russell this man’s psychiatrist? Seriously, you had me lost at latex mask. There is a twist to the film, but the additional 38 minutes that Cameron added to the original story managed to crush any desire to find out what the twist was – and when it happened, it wasn’t that much of a twist. Unless, of course, you’re a Film Marketing guru, and then you try to convince half the country that they need to see the movie more than once just to make sure they got what it was really all about! I do, however, have a desire to see the original – I left the theater thinking that if they could have cut about a half hour that the film would have been great. Oh, and if they would have cut that horrible song…

The Usual:

Recommendation: Worth the 50 cents, if you have the time.

Annoying Theater Goer: Okay, constant chatterers behind us – on and on, how cute Tom was, etc. Did not respond to fake coughing many fellow theater-goers tried to use. BONUS – Dumb Parenting present! We saw the 4:00 show – at the same time, Harry Potter & Snow Dogs were scheduled to start, but were sold out. Most smart parents opted to kill an hour and wait for Jimmy Neutron to start – oh, but not our neighbors who thought Vanilla Sky was great for 8-year olds! Yeah, there will be a few questions – unless that was how you do the birds and bees lecture nowadays.

Main Reason To See This Film: The cinematography is great, and there are some amazing shots of David in New York (don’t want to give a lot away). If you’ve avoided the “mind-blowing” hype, it will be an okay view.

Main Reason Not To See This Film: Jason Lee – he never really so much speaks his lines as he screams them. Perhaps someone should let him know that we can hear what he says through those new-fangled microphones all the hip film kids are using.

Nudity: Yes.

   
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