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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a head scratcher, but it's well made and worth a viewing
Sometimes a film comes along which doesn't quite add up and soon after watching it you hit the web looking for an explanation of the story and what really happened, even then it's not quite clear. Certainly a film that requires multiple viewings to get the most out of it.

**Spoiler Alert** (well even with the story explained you don't give much away)...
Published 2 months ago by Mr Baz

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Showers Approaching
In the end, for all the technological wizardry of 12 years ago, and the 'mind-blowing-style' editing and 'mystery', it's another one of those vacuous productions which are all about meaningful 'phrases' and a few homespun 'ideals' like 'the small things matter'; 'the next day is the first day of the rest of your life'; and 'don't be an arrogant love-rat as the chickens...
Published 6 months ago by Mario


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a head scratcher, but it's well made and worth a viewing, 2 July 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Sometimes a film comes along which doesn't quite add up and soon after watching it you hit the web looking for an explanation of the story and what really happened, even then it's not quite clear. Certainly a film that requires multiple viewings to get the most out of it.

**Spoiler Alert** (well even with the story explained you don't give much away)

Story wise we have Tom Cruise playing David Aames a thirty something rich and successful owner of a publishing company. Early on we see David in a cell with a mask on covering his face talking to psychologist Dr. Curtis McCabe (played by Kurt Russell). We get flashbacks to past events showing David and his fast paced care free love life with ex girlfriend "Julie" Gianni (Cameron Diaz) and his new love interest Sofia Serrano (Penélope Cruz)

When Julie hears about David's involvement with Sofia she crashes her car with David in it as a passenger, leaving him horribly disfigured and having to wear a mask.

Sounds simple enough to digest but things get a bit more "odd" as time moves on. David meets Sofia after the accident and starts to see her, she helps him come to terms with what has happened, physically and mentally. But on a night out David gets drunk and is left on the street where he sleeps until he wakes the next morning to see Sofia there again. After a while David gets his face repaired by some of the top plastic surgeons in medicine, but is experiencing strange thoughts and flashbacks. He sees an unusual man Edmund Ventura (Noah Taylor) who says strange things to him and he seems out of place with events.

Things take a turn for the worse when David is in bed with Sofia and think he sees Julie lying there, his hurt and anger means he strangles her (hence his appearance in the prison and the psychologist) David sees an advert for "Life Extension" a cryonic service which freezes people to bring back later on just after death. He later meets the same odd man (he saw earlier who looked out of place) he is "tech support" for the life extension.

The tech support man explains what happened to David during his life (evidently the real events that occurred) and tells him he's been in suspension for 150 years, offering him a choice of waking up now..or correcting the dream and putting him back into cryonic suspension. The film ends with the choice being made. (I won't spoil that part)

You can grasp some parts of the story by the presence of the tech support man (ie that David's dream is going wrong) On the the hand you're never really sure if the events even took place (or what events were real), and the final ending leaves the door wide open to the inevitable if school story ish "but was it all a dream" cliché.

It's not quite as cryptic and bizarre as "Mulholland Drive", but it's far from clear cut either. There are a number of interpretations of the story and ending, but I'll let you do the research on that. The film is well directed, with a good cast and script Cruise fits into the part well and the supporting cast are also strong. This is just one of the odd ball films out there you'll hate with a passion or really like.

I enjoyed watching it, but it's a bit like pickled onions with jam and Marmite on toast (all at the same time)..it's not really normal for breakfast :-) This is certainly not a normal film. If you fancy something a bit out there, this might be a film you'll really enjoy..sort of.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Showers Approaching, 17 Mar 2014
This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
In the end, for all the technological wizardry of 12 years ago, and the 'mind-blowing-style' editing and 'mystery', it's another one of those vacuous productions which are all about meaningful 'phrases' and a few homespun 'ideals' like 'the small things matter'; 'the next day is the first day of the rest of your life'; and 'don't be an arrogant love-rat as the chickens might come home to roost'. All of these 'philosophies' are certified to be followed by everyone responsible for the film no doubt. Next paragraph. The first lengthy half has a lot of product placement for top class dentistry so that you wonder why the four stars' mouths don't get cramp and get stuck in their respective grins. You will be sick of handsome (but really pretty weird looking aren't they?) 'A' list folk ogling one another every time they walk into a room or lie on a bed. (By the way Tom's squeaks a bit - how's that for the world's biggest playboy?) The next half seeks to 'explain it all'. Do we care? Probably the best bit is watching out for the allusions to films and songs and I suppose they're all justified in that they are in his 'cultural experience' so they get played on the soundtrack. But I reckon that any film which seems to put itself alongside Jules et Jim and other lasting cultural landmarks is setting itself up for a bit of a hubristic fall. It would be 'OK' if it weren't so self-important, but that's about it and I'm afraid none of the stars actually have star quality - but then who in film history could survive the director's order to smile very widely, snog annoyingly for tediously lengthy takes because the whole world thinks you are fantastic looking and we have to pad this out for what seems like hours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Confused...Was it all a Dream?, 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I hate plots with flashbacks and this has lots it will leave you totally confused if you watch it to the end, you will need to draw your own conclusion.I made my own decison atfer the final Wake Up.If there is anyone out there who can really explain please do inform me,
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film, 20 July 2011
This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Being a guy im not usually into romantic films, but this one blew me away the first time I saw it, because of its arty and sci-fi aspect.
I also liked the Penelope Cruz love triangle which heiped me get into it and the story and characters are interesting.
The idea of being frozen and living through your dreams and imagination is quite unique, as in the future this could possibly happen.
Maybe the fact that I am an emotional person and who has an imaginative/creative side and love music,photography and art is another aspect that made me like this film alot.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing but rather an anti-climax, 26 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film is similar to Jacob's Ladder in the sense that bizarre things happen for which there is no explanation.
However, the conclusion seems unworthy to the build up. I'm unsure whether this is due to the way in which its handled or because its simply unbeleivable.
I wasn't left with a shiver down my spine as I was with Jacob's Ladder, more a feeling of 'what?!' But aside from the ending I have to admit I was not bored for the two hours, captivated rather. With stunning visuals, more than satisfactory acting, especially fron cruise, infact it was mainly his portrayal of the confused and bewildered David that kept me watching to the end despite thinking 'where's this going?'.
You should see this film, you may feel perplexed afterwards but probarbly watch it again sometime.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly excellent! This film is a mindboggling masterpiece, 1 Jun 2005
By 
Bawno (Bristol, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I was genuinely surprised at how good this film was. I didn't know what to expect when I sat down to watch this but rest assured you WILL either LOVE it or HATE it. Vanilla Sky is one of those funny types of films people have mixed views on.
I liked it due to its original direction from Cameron Crowe and its unusual but brilliant storyline. I won't go into detail but Vanilla Sky is basically a story about Tom Cruise and how everything in his life is going great; new job, new girlfriend (Cruz), great money. However, it al goes pear-shaped after he meets up with his old girlfriend (Diaz) who persuades him to get into her car and then she tries to kill them both by running it off a bridge! From then on we see Cruise live his life with a deformed face and we go through his highs and lows after the accident until we learn that he is not living in reality and he has experienced nightmares and dreams!
As said, I loved Vanilla Sky due to its compelling and complex storyline and great direction. What got me was how Cameron Crowe tells the story through dreams, nightmares, flashbacks, visions and sub-consciousness (which I found brilliant) and then brilliantly ends the film with a great twist! In fact, most of the film doesn't actually happen at all (if that is understandable)!!!
Crowe also uses some great cinematography as well as beautiful film-making due to the picturesque use of colour and locations e.g. the subconscious scene where Cruise and Cruz are both in a beautiful park in Autumn time surrounded by dying trees all showing off vibrant oranges, yellows and reds!
I personally thought Vanilla Sky was amazingly excellent!
I really liked the original and complex storyline, great direction, vibrant colours and inventive cinematography. If you're into films that mess with your mind then I suggest no other than Vanilla Sky. I personally thought it was brilliant and whoever thinks like me will thoroughly enjoy this and be mind boggled by it. Others of you will hate it! One thing is certain though, the critics were indeed correct; this film is too clever for its own good!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bizarre, 16 Dec 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
This film is simply bizarre.Te acting is amazing, special effect superb, yet i have to ask: was the plot writer schizophrenic? If not then he certainly managed to convince me and my friends that he must be. This film is must-see in that it has to be seen to be understood. I personally loved it and the first time I saw it rewound to watch it again instantly. Definately the type of film everyone should own.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that improves with subsequent viewings., 23 Mar 2003
By 
Jason Parkes "We're all Frankies'" (Worcester, UK) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Fortunately it is possible to change your mind, which having watched this film for second and third times I now have (an earlier review of this is rather critical). Perhaps some of this can be put down to seeing Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) not long before this came out, the fact that the advert was mindblowing & the fact a person was talking on their mobile for pretty much the duration of the film when I saw it in the cinema.
I still have reservations- Cameron Crowe's major theme here is how we mould our lives around pop culture (something not present in the original)- this would have been enough for an original film & fused with the source material is a little overlong.
But this film really comes out with further viewings- Cruise playing that strange version of his on-screen persona, surrounded by an ostensibly perfect life in the material sense (as in Eyes Wide Shut), having issues with his father (as in Magnolia) & displaying hedonistic flaws (see his addiction in Minority Report). The guy does try- though he has not managed a performance of the intensity of that given in Born on the 4th of July. There are many small details that come out in subsequent viewings- the whirring on the soundtrack around the splice moment, the reconstruction of "The Freewheelin Bob Dylan", the dreamcar (Ferrari) versus the reality car (Thunderbird) etc
The idea that there is something beyond merely the acquisition of the material- which may explain why Sofia is such a stumbling block for David Aames: something he never had/ever could have...
The structure, which seems to be rambling & confused (I preferred the psychiatrist in the original) appears to have much more clarity when viewed again. From the various points of flashback (the Kurt Russell scenes, the occasional dream) we see a film made of (i) David Aames 'real life' (ii) His life post-car crash & (iii) a virtual life from a cyrogenic realm somewhere in the future.
The soundtrack is excellent, this is Cameron Crowe remember? So Radiohead & Sigur Ros happily sit next to The Monkees 'Porpoise Song' (from 60s mindbender 'Head', co-written by Jack Nicholson), Underworld's 'Rez' & their earlier incarnation Freur's 'Doot Doot', a new song by REM and the older 'Sweetness Follows', Leftfield's 'Africa Shox' etc. Of particular note is Jeff Buckley's 'Last Goodbye' (which should have been played in full) & the song Cameron Diaz performed as Julie G- which was co-written with Crowe's wife Nancy Wilson (who was in Heart & has provided music for earlier films such as Singles & Almost Famous). & how can a film that features a good song by Paul McCartney & such joys as Chemical Bros 'Where Do I Begin', Spiritualized's 'Ladies & Gentlemen...' & Beach Boys 'Good Vibrations' be even close to bad? As with David Lynch, Oliver Stone & Martin Scorsese, Crowe knows how music should be used in cinema.
I still don't quite buy ANYONE cheating on Cameron Diaz & think that Penelope Cruz isn't half as charming as she is in the original film (I'd have preferred the gorgeous Alicia Witt, who appears in a small role, in her place). Nice to see people like Jason Lee, Noah Taylor, Timothy Spall & Tilda Swinton in supporting roles (add to that a cameo from the singer of Red House Painters- who appeared in Almost Famous).
Let's face it, Hollywood for the most part avoids what is now seen as "art films"- so this is pretty bold & out there for Hollywood (remember that films like Mulholland Drive & Lost Highway are French-produced): give me this over ANY film with Brittany Murphy in anyday. It's not on a par with Lynch's work, Lost Highway being the film it most closely relates to (a man turns a dream into a nightmare, use of doubles etc), or close to the paranoia of films like Pi or Seconds. But Vanilla Sky is well worth persisting with & one that will reward in multiple viewings- which, again, is not something one can say of 'Dude, Where's My Car' or stock-thriller's like 'Swordfish'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this now, 23 Jun 2014
This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
Brilliant plot, great cast, well acted, great backdrop! I put off watching this film for years, due to negative reviews, my mistake. Watch this now!!!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 29 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Vanilla Sky [DVD] [2002] (DVD)
I study Philosophy and was advised to watch this. With the philosophical mind set this film is incredible. But there are several parts of this that are over clichéd and ruin the film.
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