Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes

4.4 7
Director: Alejandro Amenábar, Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera

Cast: Alejandro Amenábar, Eduardo Noriega, Penélope Cruz, Chete Lera

     
 

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Artisan Entertainment's release of Alejandro Amenabar's surreal thriller Abre Los Ojos offers a passable presentation of this masterful psychological thriller, even if it does fall slightly short in terms of extras and a more insightful view into a film that certainly invites the closer inspection that the DVD format offers. Presented in the original 1.85:1

Overview

Artisan Entertainment's release of Alejandro Amenabar's surreal thriller Abre Los Ojos offers a passable presentation of this masterful psychological thriller, even if it does fall slightly short in terms of extras and a more insightful view into a film that certainly invites the closer inspection that the DVD format offers. Presented in the original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio (and enhanced for 16 x 9 televisions), the image is sharp and detailed, offering solid blacks, realistic skin tones, and no notable edge enhancement or artifacting. The rich greens of the park sequences, the darker images of Cesar's increasingly disturbing voyage, and the beautifully filmed dream sequences all shine on this format, offering a rich visual presentation that serves to draw the viewer into the increasingly bizarre story. Large, white subtitles are translated well, not overly intrusive, and easy to read with bold outlines. The audio presentation, unfortunately, leaves a little more to be desired in terms of effectiveness and creativity. The low and undistinguished Dolby Surround mix only makes one wonder what could have been accomplished with a more involving Dolby Digital or DTS audio scheme. With voices, music, and sound effects not fully utilizing directional effects and the full capabilities of the format, viewers are not as drawn into Cesar's disturbing experience as they may be if more attention had been focused on creating a more involving audio mix. Also sadly lacking is a director's audio commentary track. Amenabar has crafted a complex story of reality versus fantasy with many twists that also deals with many sensitive subjects such as personal perception and loss of identity. It's a shame that viewers are not offered the insight that would no doubt lay the grounds for a fascinating peek inside the director's motivations in regards to story and presentation. Production notes and a brief insert only serve to whet ones appetite for such insight, and though they are well presented, they only provide an exclamation to the disc's few shortcomings. The menu screen is a beautiful and easily navigable combination of the film's more seductive imagery and offers easy access to the disc's all-too-few special features. Though Artisan's disc's shortcomings are sometimes frustrating in light of what could have been, Abre Los Ojos was, at the time of the DVD's release, only a small foreign release by a relatively unknown talent. With the director gaining prominence and Hollywood momentum with The Others, and a big-budget remake starring Tom Cruise hitting theaters in late 2001, maybe Abre Los Ojos will get a more suitable DVD presentation somewhere down the road.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Open Your Eyes opened doors in Hollywood for its Spanish director, Alejandro Amenabar. Amenabar and screenwriter Mateo Gil created an odd and compelling film that is by turns unsettling and somewhat silly. The film is at its strongest when dramatizing how the narcissistic womanizer Cesar (Eduardo Noriega, who also starred in Amenabar's first film, Thesis) deals with his disfigurement. His obsession with his appearance is so severe that he even stops to look in the mirror while fleeing the scene of a brutal murder. Certainly, the makeup job makes the once handsome Cesar look somewhat monstrous, but no one is nearly as repulsed by his looks as he is. The audience is in a position to recognize that Cesar's hideous disfigurement is an accurate reflection of the ugliness inside of him, having seen the way he's treated his best friend, Pelayo (Fele Martinez), and his erstwhile girlfriend, Nuria (Najwa Nimri of Before Night Falls). The interchangeableness of Nuria and Sofia (Penelope Cruz) in his "dream" life (if it is a dream) suggests a clear analogy for Cesar's archaic view of women, and further intimates that Cesar is subconsciously aware of, and repulsed by, his inner self. It's clear that even if he is whole physically, that ugliness will find a way to manifest itself. The film works brilliantly on this metaphorical level, but its science fiction underpinnings are not quite convincing. The ending is entertaining in a roundabout way, but its fancifulness dampens some of the movie's intriguing power. The film was not widely distributed in the U.S., but it got the attention of actor Tom Cruise, who in turn showed it to writer/director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous), and the two collaborated on a Hollywood remake, Vanilla Sky. Cruise also produced Amenabar's first Hollywood production, The Others.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/21/2001
UPC:
0012236121596
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:57:00
Sales rank:
13,853

Special Features

16:9 widescreen version; Spanish dolby 2.0 surround; English subtitles; Cast and crew information; Production notes; Digitally mastered; Scene access; Interactive menus

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Un gran sueño/Wonderful Dream [8:00]
2. Déjame ver tu cara/Let Me See Your Face [4:22]
3. Feliz cumpleaños/Happy Birthday [8:53]
4. Traficante de armas/Arms Dealer [5:58]
5. Prefiero dormir/I Would Rather Sleep [4:01]
6. No te acuerdas/You Don't Remember [6:16]
7. Terapia/Therapy [6:34]
8. No puedes esconder tu cara/You Cannot Hide Your Face [8:01]
9. Memoria olvidada/Forgotten Memory [3:58]
10. Dibujos/Drawings [7:13]
11. Amor curioso/Curious Love [4:50]
12. Acostado/Asleep [4:10]
13. Consejo sobre Sofia/Advice on Sofia [4:14]
14. Problemas?/Problems? [3:58]
15. Ipnotizado/Hypnotized [2:11]
16. Duscubrimiento/Discovery [6:42]
17. Extensión de la vida/Life Extension [5:33]
18. Nuestra vida no existe/Our Lives Do Not Exist [10:04]
19. Realización final/Final Realization [13:49]

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Open Your Eyes 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Abre Los Ojos was a good movie. I enjoyed it but I appreciated Vanilla Sky much more. They had virtually the same script in different languages but Eduardo was much better than Tom. If you saw Vanilla Sky you sont have to see this movie. It was really a waste of two hours to see the same thing again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Abre los Ojos is perhaps the best movie I have ever seen. Vanilla Sky is simply a second-rate ripoff. The acting here is superb and the director doesn't do things to give away the story half-way through the movie like Crowe did in the American version of the film. The only wise decision Crowe made was to recast Cruz in the same role she played in the original film. She should have turned him down though. Why mess with success.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Watching this movie was the most wonderfull experience I have ever had. The person who wrote the script is (in my opinion)the closest to the point of life!Film has a big message and it's very strong. I have to mention also the actors who are a full hit! Eduardo and Penelope are so beautiful!Thank You on this adventure!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie Vanilla Sky first before seeing this movie, but it was a good move. Abre los ojos was the better version, but i cant understand spanish that well. The movie Vanilla sky is my favorite, but abre los ojos is right next to Vanilla Sky in my ratings! Abre Los Ojos is a great movie to watch for inspiration (ideas for making movies or writing stories), and entertainment!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you liked VANILLA SKY, you will love ABRE LOS OJOS. The stories are virtually indentical but although the cinematography in VANILLA SKY is much more appreciated, the acting in ABRE LOS OJOS is far more commendable. What makes this DVD great is the ability to watch the movie with or without the English subtitles. Understanding the Spanish can be difficult at times, especially for those of us who do not hear Spanish Spanish frequently. In any case, this is a great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Be still and have a lover in your arms when you see Abres los Ojos. Can't read? Try Vanilla Sky. Abres los Ojos needs to be seen BEFORE Vanilla Sky. Props to the remake but High Honors to the original.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago