Ok. So perhaps you've been to see Vanilla Sky at the cinema. Perhaps you enjoyed it. I went last week and enjoyed it too. Then Channel 4 showed 'Open Your Eyes' (or, to give it its proper name 'Abre los Ojos'), the film of which Vanilla Sky was a remake.

Now, As I have said I enjoyed Vanilla Sky. But i felt that for a large part of the film (roughly the third quarter) I (and none of my companions) understood what the hell was going on. This frustrated us. Now look away if you dont want to know the ending to either film. It annoyed me in Vanilla Sky that the ending (the Tom Cruise character David realises he has been cryogenically frozen and has been living a large part of the film as a dream) seemed so unfeasible when it was explained at the end. No one could have guessed this and isnt that a major part of a film with a twist?

In Open Your Eyes, the same ending is hinted at throughout and we hear a lot more about the company (L.E., or 'Eli') that freezes him and what they do. Basically the story leads on much better. It seems more feasible and I enjoyed it more because of it. This isnt the only reason why I enjoyed it more. Here is my comparison of the two films:

Why they are the Same:
- Same plot and story, in fact the two films are extremely similar, with some of the same lines!
- Penelope Cruz plays the same character (Sofia), very well, in both films

How is Vanilla Sky different:
- Its in English rather than Spanish with subtitles
- Its got Tom Cruise rather than Eduardo Noriega as the main character (David/Cesar)
- Its much more unrealistic, for example Sofia's flat (and she is supposed to be fairly poor) is amazingly decorated and exquisite in Vanilla Sky.
- As I have said the ending is much less expected and seems much less feasible.
- Vanilla Sky is a massive Hollywood blockbuster, making lots of money indeed, and shown in most cinemas across the UK. Open Your Eyes was very popular amongst film critics but it never received the popularity of its remake. It was never (as far as I know) shown in any cinemas in the UK.
- Vanilla Sky (understandably because of its greater investment) has a much better soundtrack, including a song written for the film by Paul McCartney, and all the skies are done in nice colours (hence the name), like a Monet painting.
- The bottom line is, Vanilla Sky made a lot of money for its rich main actor and famous director, Cameron Crowe. Open Your Eyes made a lot less for its (in my opinion) equally talented but less famous main actor and director.

So. There you have it. I must admit I am no film expert. There may be something much better about the acting or directing in Vanilla Sky that I have not seen. However an awful lot of the shots and script seemed identical from one film to the other.

Why is it then that a remake which is worse than its original can become more popular? Well the answer is that it had the right sponsors and people working on it. I urge you therefore to stick with the original, and, for goodness sake, open your eyes.