Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes (1997)
Artisan Entertainment
Cast: Edurado Noriega, Penelope Cruz
Extras: Cast & Crew Biographies, Production Notes

Hot on the heels of the impressive box-office performance of ’The Others’, Artisan Home Entertainment brings director Alejandro Amenabar’s second film ’Open Your Eyes’ to DVD. Unlike ’The Others’, which is a period piece, ’Open Your Eyes’ is an ultra-modern film, set in an undisclosed Spanish city. Eduardo Noriega stars as Cesar, a rich playboy who is both handsome and conceited. When his best friend Pelayo (Fele Martinez) introduces him to Sofia (Penelope Cruz), he can’t resist her charms and Cesar pursues her. But, before he can close the deal, Cesar is involved in a car accident with a jealous ex-lover and his face is disfigured. After that, Cesar’s life is turned upside down. He doesn’t know who he is anymore and he suddenly finds himself accused of murder. Can Cesar learn the truth behind these strange occurrences, and what really lies behind this new face of his?

’Open Your Eyes’ is an incredible film, which blends suspense, Science Fiction, and romance into one film, which rises above genre classification. Amenabar and co-writer Mateo Gil have created a complex thriller that will leave the audience guessing up until the very end. And despite the fact that the film is basically a sci-fi epic (not unlike ’The Matrix), Amenabar has made ’Open Your Eyes’ extremely lo-tech and we only see one ’gadget’ in the film. Instead, he lets the impressive performance of Noriega, Cruz, and Martinez carry the film. You’ve probably heard that Tom Cruise and Cameron Crowe are remaking this film as ’Vanilla Sky’. I urge you to see the original, as Amenabar’s vision is very complete and totally engrossing.

Artisan has given us a nice transfer with this release. The film is presented in an anamorphic widescreen, and is letterboxed at 1.85:1. The image is very sharp and clear, showing only a very fine grain in some scenes. At times, the image is a bit soft, but that is really the only flaw here. The colors are quite nice, although Amenabar doesn’t use many bright colors in the film, choosing instead to go with a sterile look.

The audio on this disc is a Spanish Dolby 2.0 Surround track, which offers clear and audible dialogue, with no hissing. The score sounds nice and there is a good bass response during a dance-club scene. The sound from the rear speakers isn’t as impressive, as it seems to be mimicking the audio from the front right and left. The only extras included on the DVD are cast & crew bios and very detailed production notes. Seeing this DVD should ’Open Your Eyes’ to the genius, which is Alejandro Amenabar.