Hi, everyone. In addition to the review this week, we also have a special addendum piece. Hope you enjoy!

"From Dusk 'Till Dawn"

Starring George Clooney, Harvey Keitel, Quentin, Juliette Lewis.
Written by Quentin.
Directed by Robert Rodriguez.
Genre: Action / Horror / Comedy
Released: 1996
Running time: 108 min.

Rated: R (American rating for language, strong violence, gore and nudity).

IMDb link: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0116367/

Now, here is one movie that kicks arse - big-time. Ill admit, when I
first saw it, I didnt really get "From Dusk Till Dawn." I took it as
being a fairly stupid, misguided effort back then, I didnt get the idea
of enjoying a movie just because you have fun enjoying it. That said,
there are a lot of people who think its crappy. Thats cool theres no
such thing as an objective opinion, anyway. But for my money, there
arent very many movies that are more fun to watch than "From Dusk Till


Quentin and Rodriguez are infamous
for how much they love cinema, and specifically trash cinema. What
theyve made here is one of the greatest B-grade films of all time. Its
an action flick, a monster movie, an exploitation piece. I dont want to
elaborate too much on it one of the greatest things about the movie is
the sudden and bizarre twist it takes around the halfway mark, where it
goes straight from being one genre to another. I kind of blew it last
week with the teaser at the end of the column, so if you want to remain
unspoiled, dont check the archives, and certainly dont read about the
movie beyond this paragraph. Just go out, rent it now, and prepare
yourself for a surprise that you might love, or you might hate.

Salma Hayek. And snake.

I think the reason I like "From Dusk Till Dawn" so much is that its
just a great movie to watch with a group of friends. I have a very fond
memory where I sat down with some beers and butterscotch popcorn and
introduced my housemates to it. They laughed, they gasped, they got a
little weirded out. And isnt that what a fun movie is all about?'

word of warning: don't watch it if you cant handle a bit of gore. The
amount of crap that happens to someones hand in this movie is enough to
make you cringe with sympathy, even if he is playing a psychotic serial
killer rapist. And thats just a small amount of the bloodshed.


So remember a few weeks ago where I reviewed "Vanilla Sky," I mentioned
how it was based on the Spanish film "Abre Los Ojos," and said how Id
take a look at "Abre Los Ojos" when I got my hands on a copy? Well, I
did so, for your reading pleasure

Cover to "Abre Los Ojos"

"Abre Los Ojos"

Starring Eduardo Noriega, Penlope Cruz, Chete Lera.
Written by Alejandro Amenbar & Mateo Gil.
Directed by Alejandro Amenbar.
Genre: Drama / Thriller
Released: 1997
Running time: 117 min.
Rated: R (American rating for for some strong sexuality, language and some violence).

IMDb link: http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0125659/

If I'd have seen "Abre Los Ojos" on its own terms, back in 1997, I
think Id have really, really dug it. But I cant help but feel that it
pales in comparison to "Vanilla Sky." Granted, its easier to take
somebody elses work and add to it, rather than generate your own, but I
think what Cameron Crowe did with "Vanilla Sky" was take an already
good movie and made it into a great one.

I didn't have the same
amount of sympathy for the characters in "Abre Los Ojos" as I did for
those in "Vanilla Sky" (which is funny, considering that one of the
characters, Sofia, is played by the exact same actress in both
versions). I didnt find the characters as endearing, as witty, or as
humane. In "Vanilla Sky" they were people in "Abre Los Ojos," they feel
a lot more like ciphers.

Then there's Crowes use of music,
which was just astounding. I own this CD called The Tarantino
Connection. It has a number of tracks on it used in his films, but in
addition to this theres a couple of interviews with Tarantino where he
says that using the right song in a movie is about the most cinematic
thing you can do, and I agree with that. Crowe, a former journalist for
"Rolling Stone," has pop music running through his veins, and he is
just about as renowned for that as he is for the choices of songs he
uses in his movies. With his use of Radiohead, U2 and the Beach Boys,
amongst many others, Crowe really managed to pump an energy into his
"cover version" of "Abre Los Ojos" an energy that the original was

I suppose, in the end, it's unfair to compare them,
and I can't help but feel that I'm being unnecessarily harsh to "Abre
Los Ojos," the original film and one that many would argue is the
better. I still recommend you check it out. In fact, maybe watch it
before you watch "Vanilla Sky." Then you can tell me how you think they
compare, or if they should be compared at all.

Next week: A
lesbian film noir thriller from the creators of "The Matrix." It aint
quite a masterpiece, but with a description like that, how can you fail?