Abre los ojos

OK. So this movie shows up at my house from Netflix. It’s called Abre los ojos. Yeah. That’s what I’m thinking too. I scan the sleeve and see that it has Penélope Cruz. So yeah. That’s what I’m thinking too. It’s not that I don’t like Penélope Cruz, it’s more like I don’t like her enough to say – hey, you know what I want to see? a Penélope Cruz movie! Just not gonna happen.

I move the movie around a little, from my desk to a tray, from the tray to the DVD player. Somewhere in between I watch South Park. But I’m thinking, if I want to get this movie in the mail tomorrow today, I’d better watch it right now. Besides, I’ve seen this South Park already. I play the DVD hesitantly because I’m still wondering why it was in my queue. I check the Netflix label. I’m wondering if its like the Hugh Grant Incident where the mailman mistakenly put someone else’s Netflix in my box. But it wasn’t.

The Netflix sleeve says:

Open Your Eyes – Rated R – 1hr. 57 min. 1997
César (Eduardo Noriega) is a rich womanizer who prowls the parties and bars of Madrid, intent on bagging chicks. But when he falls for the beautiful Sofia (Penélope Cruz), he’s the one who’s bagged. It looks like a happy ending until a jealous and unstable old girlfriend, Nuria (Najwa Nimri), cajoles the young stud into taking one last drive with her.

That’s only the first half hour. The rest of the movie is spent with you wondering what is a dream and what’s real as César confronts his personal demons. Now disfigured, he’s no longer accepted by the beautiful people and his days of partying and being able to score chicks like Sofia, who now avoids him at every turn, are over. Alone, César seems to be descending into madness, imagining that he still has is looks and Sofia, all while still being stalked by Nuria.

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The movie climaxes with César standing on a roof, with a backdrop of a beautiful blue sky, while his psychiatrist tries to convince him that he’s been imagining pretty much everything since the accident. It’s at this point I realize I’ve seen this movie before or at least the scene. It looked like the end of Vanilla Sky.

After the movie ends I look it up on IMDB to see if this movie had the same writer as Vanilla Sky. Turns out it does because (drum roll please) it’s the same movie with one major difference. I enjoyed Abre los ojos. I might even go as far as to say that I understood it, which is ALOT more than I can say about Vanilla Sky.

And all of these brings me to the point… Why? If this movie was so good and made sense and Penélope Cruz got to speak Spanish beautifully and I got to look at some hot Latin guys… then why the need to whitify Americanize the movie and leave me with a hot mess, starring Tom Cruise and Penélope Cruz sounding like someone was feeding her her line phonetically?

Even though I enjoyed it, it was similar to remaking Infernal Affairs (Mou faan dou) into The Departed or Rec into Quarantine. It was just unnecessary when the originals were so good and were made only a few years prior. Is this about “Americans” being to lazy to read subtitles? Get over it. You miss a lot of good movies that way. Have you ever heard how beautiful Yun-Fat Chow’s voice sounds when he speaks Chinese? If not, see Curse of the Golden Flower and turn the English sound track off.

I heard that they’re making a sequel to The Departed, the movie where pretty much everyone dies except Marky Mark. If you want to know how they’re going to pull that off – watch Internal Affairs 2 and 3 or just wait around for Hollywood to whitify Americanize that for you.