CRUISE TO CRUISE AGAIN: The Internet Movie Database is reporting that Tom Cruise will be remaking that hoary old Roger Corman 1970s exploitation flick, Death Race 2000. In a way, this sounds like a smart move by Cruise, returning to a racing film after Vanilla Sky got pounded by both the critics, and has yet to crack the magic $100 million mark at the the US box office. (And cost $68 million to make, so probably needed two or three times that amount to turn a profit, once advertising, promotion, etc. is factored into the equation)
Back when Vanilla Sky came out, I wrote, on Stuart Robinson’s terrific home theater Web site:
Vanilla Sky puts Tom Cruise firmly in Dark City, The Matrix, The Truman Show, etc., ‘what is reality’ land. And while I’ve enjoyed all of the above films, this film seemed like a mess, with awful dialog, a silly subplot involving plastic surgery, and pacing that makes Eyes Wide Shut (which I really liked incidentally, but then I’ve drunk gallons of Kubrick Kool-Aid in my college days) seem like Star Wars.
One underlying theme of the film seems to be “choose your cultural references carefully”–Cruise’s life seems to be endless cliches of pop culture icons. He owns a publishing company ala Jann Wenner, drives a boss Mustang ala Steve McQueen in Bullit, walks through scenes that look like Dylan-esque album covers, at one point, wears a mask that looks like the one he wore in Eyes Wide Shut, etc.
Vanilla Sky is a remake of the Spanish/French film Abre los ojos (“Open Your Eyes”), which also starred Pen