A film that initially received an inordinate amount of backlash, it continues its divisive streak, though I believe people have since softened up to it over the 8 (Eight?! Holy sh*t!) years post.
The chronology of my experience with this material:
-2002: Friends’ parents rent and watch Vanilla Sky while we battle it out on Smash Bros. Melee on the other side of the room. In between turns, I’d look over my shoulder to take a glimpse at the movie. “Weird as fuck,” I remember thinking. I brutally destroy my opponents with Kirby.
-2005: Tom Cruise cracks. I decide he’s still awesome in my book. I begin seriously exploring film. I unceremoniously retire Kirby and pick up Mario, Falco.
-2006: I successfully engineer a campaign in which area Melee players believe my abilities as Kirby to be legendary.
-2007: Sign up for Netflix and add Abre Los Ojos to my queue, both ideas recommended by my kickass cousin. Movie is vivid, trippy, and always interesting. He Who Wears Shorts all but completely overshadows the Kirby-myth with his god-mode-esque talent.
-A few weeks ago: Lord Frisby gives me a stack of dvds to watch which includes Vanilla Sky. I’m apprehensive. He explains it as Crowe’s loving cover, rather than an empty remake. I watch. I love. Nobody plays Smash Bros. anymore.
Technically, I’m just drafting Vanilla Sky, but in a cheating-sort-of-way, it’s really a companion selection. Separately, they’re each fine films. Together, they add up to something remarkable.
Watch first Abre Los Ojos, give it some time, and then follow up with Vanilla Sky. You’ll get lost in the beauty.
(Abre Los Ojos)