When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
Incarcerated and charged with murder, David Aames Jr. is telling the story of how he got to where he is to McCabe, the police psychologist. That story includes: being the 51% shareholder of a major publishing firm, which he inherited from his long deceased parents; the firm's board, appointed by David Aames Sr., being the 49% shareholders who would probably like to see him gone as they see him as being too irresponsible and immature to run the company; his best bro friendship with author, Brian Shelby; his "friends with benefits" relationship with Julie Gianni, who saw their relationship in a slightly different light; his budding romance with Sofia Serrano, who Brian brought to David's party as his own date and who Brian saw as his own possible life mate; and being in an accident which disfigured his face and killed the person who caused the accident. But as the story proceeds, David isn't sure what is real and what is a dream/nightmare as many facets of the story are incompatible to ...Written by
When David awakes after sleeping in the street, the camera and equipment are reflected in the street puddles. See more »
Open your eyes.
Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open your eyes. Open you...
[David wakes up and pushes the snooze button on his alarm]
See more »
There are no opening credits for the film. See more »
A scene near the end of the film where David Aames shoots a gun in front of the L.E. building is shown in one of the previews but not in the theatrical version. See more »
From the point of view of pure cinema, it is quite impossible to make any review of this film: `Vanilla sky' is the carbon copy of the Spanish film `Abre los ojos,' translated practically verbatim, and with the only difference of a higher percentage of in-your-face special effects (including the typical never-ending fall from a building) that, if they don't add anything to the film, they certainly add a lot to the budget of Digital Domain, the company responsible for most of the special effects. What is left for us to do is to reflect on the meaning of such an operation. We can't honestly call it a remake because of the temporal closeness of its antecedent (Abre los ojos was released in 1997), and of the consequent lack of the `cultural distance' necessary to any reinterpretation operation. We can't call it an homage to a genre (a la Brain de Palma in `Blow Out,' just to make an example) because the referent is too specific, and the carbon copy quality of `Vanilla Sky' too evident.
So, what is left? The producers, obviously, believed that the story would appeal to the American public, for otherwise they wouldn't have spent a considerable amount of money filming it but, in this case, wouldn't have been simpler to release the original in AMC theaters around the country? The only explanation I can find, one that is rather insulting for the American public, is the following. Hollywood producers believe that the mainstream spectator will not see a film unless it falls completely within the expected (and very restricted, Hollywood canons). So, the setting has to be a familiar American setting (New York instead of Madrid) and there has to be the usual sprinkle of known American actors (Tom Cruise). But, most important, the dialog has an undefinable Hollywood quality: just the mix of witty, sad, and sugary to which Hollywood films have accustomed the American public.
This film, in other words, is an explicit insult: Hollywood is telling us that they got us so use to their style of crap that the only way for us to go see a film is to make it into crap.
What is truly sad is that they might be right: Vanilla Sky was a discrete success. On the other hand (and I quote Barnum paraphrasing Mencken): `Nobody ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the American public.'
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