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Vanilla Sky

2002-07-27 19:34:27+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

I was pretty brain-dead last night, so we watched Vanilla Sky. There's an hour forty five I'll never get back, but I kept thinking "Cameron Crowe wouldn't cop-out on this in that totally obvious way". Note to the film-maker: If you're not going to have a story, could you give me just one character I don't find despicable? I felt like I was talking to the drunk guy at the bar who thought he'd just made some incredible philosophical realization and was trying to explain it to me.

[Warning: Spoilers will appear in this thread]

[ related topics: Psychology, Psychiatry and Personality Movies ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-07-28 01:50:36+00 by: meuon

I walked out of the movie theatre on this one.. and I like mindless dreck.

#Comment made: 2002-07-28 18:14:38+00 by: jude

Stupid movie, but I loved the "Tech Support !!! Tech Support !!!" line.

#Comment made: 2002-07-28 19:37:38+00 by: Shawn

Thanks for validating my decision not to see this one. The commercials and trailers were enough for me. (That and the wife refuses to see anything with Tom Cruise in it - anything with any of the Scientology poster kids, actually. She says their eyes creep her out. And I have to admit that most of them do have really creepy eyes after coming out about it.)

#Comment made: 2002-07-29 18:31:38+00 by: Jerry Kindall [edit history]

You think they have creepy eyes largely because already you know they're Scientologists.

I saw this movie in the theater and had two main problems with it. First, you didn't really know it was a sci-fi flick until the last half-hour; it simply didn't follow the grammar of sci-fi films (though there were clues, like the freestanding holograph). Second, the few clues that were provided as to what was really going on were too easy to perceive as something else. Take, for example, the shot with Cruise and his girl walking down the street with old cars. Is this a critical clue, or is it just a random Dylan homage by the director, who after all used to write for Rolling Stone? Turns out it's a clue, but it was easy to write it off as the director just having a little fun, assuming you even noticed it. Crowe probably thought he was being clever using this form of misdirection, but it simply isn't playing fair with the audience. If you're going to try this, the audience needs to be misdirected to something else in the film, not in world outside the film. And they have to notice it, it can't be something that subtle! "The Thirteenth Floor" (spoiler ahead, stop if you haven't seen it) has a great example of this in the letter Fuller leaves with the bartender in the simulation. The bartender reads it and discovers the truth of the world he lives in, but only later do you realize that, since the letter was actually intended for Fuller's colleague Hall, it has bigger implications. This plays fair and is very effective, because you go, "D'oh! I should have figured that out" (or "I figured that out, aren't I smart"). But there's really no way to get the clues in "Vanilla Sky" to fit together even if you're trying, especially if you're assuming the answer won't turn out to be dumb.

#Comment made: 2002-07-29 18:43:56+00 by: Diane Reese

You think they have creepy eyes largely because already you know they're Scientologists.

Exactly true. Although I'm risking morphing this thread, I can't resist adding this. My dentist, an amazing, caring, gentle, human, connecting, fantastic woman in addition to being the best dentist I ever had, was killed tragically in a small plane crash last summer. Stunned, I went to her memorial service. The only people I knew there (at a private outdoors venue) were her office staff and my son's orthodontist, to whom she'd referred us. (I didn't expect to see him there, but wasn't terribly surprised.) Then as the service started, it became clear to me that... she'd been a Scientologist! They were talking about her thetan being and all sorts of stuff I'd thought just too goofy for words, and they were talking about MY WONDERFUL DENTIST! I realized suddenly that I might be one of the few people in the crowd (including everyone in her office...?????) who didn't share those beliefs. My reeling brain tried to reconcile things with this new finding, and as I sipped a water afterwards and chatted idly with the orthodontist, I told him that I was sorry I hadn't ever told her how much I'd admired her. He smiled serenely and said, "That's okay, you can tell her next time." !!! D'OH!

Anyway, I do wonder whether I would have looked at her much differently in life if I'd known she was a Scientologist. I truly don't know the answer to that. I know that I do look a little differently at the orthodontist now, so I guess I have to admit that it would have colored my approach to her, too. And maybe that's behind the "I can't look at Tom Cruise" phenomenon also. (PS: I'd forgotten he was a Scientologist, and I enjoyed "Minority Report". Now I want to see it again, watching for his creepy eyes. You know, the ones he has taken... um, no wait, I can't say that, that would be a spoiler, sorry...)

#Comment made: 2002-07-30 05:53:42+00 by: Shawn

You think they have creepy eyes largely because already you know they're Scientologists.

Actually, no. I am very capable of recognizing such a phenomenon in myself, and it doesn't apply in this case. There are other Scientologists that I know of that I don't think have creepy eyes. But Cruise and Travolta have started to look like absolute insane wild men over the last several years. (Although I'll admit that it doesn't manifest [in Cruise] as heavily in the bits I've seen from Minority Report - which I would like to see.) I actually don't know if it's the Scientology or not, but those two scare me.