And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Open Your Eyes (1997)
"So...am I 'legend' yet, or do I have to kill a brace of vampires? Is it three or more? Is there a minimum to beat? A Buffy quotient?"

“So…am I ‘legend’ yet, or do I have to kill a brace of vampires? Is it three or more? Is there a minimum to beat? A Buffy quotient?”

Alejandro Amenabar was another one of those film school drop outs who said “screw it” and began writing, producing, directing and staring in his own films in the mid-90s. There’s a good chance you haven’t heard of him because he went to school at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid instead of UCLA or whatever the hot New York film school is this season. (Really should ask my New York friends about that at some point when I start caring.)

Amenabar’s first movie, Thesis, was about a Universidad Complutense student Nancy Drewing her way towards a snuff film ring. Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos) is his sophomore movie, the kind that proves you can avoid the stereotypical sophomore slump if you’re smart and/or talented enough. Not only is Open Your Eyes better than Thesis, it’s more interesting and seems a bit more personal. As you’d expect from any movie born out of a flu-based fever dream. Continue reading

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Stargate (1994)

Pretty...If you have Showtime, you know the basics of Stargate. But just in case you don’t…After a brief prologue set in 8,000 B.c., we open in 1928. A team of archeologists working in Egypt uncover huge burial stones, ornately-carved with untranslatable hieroglyphs. And under the stones, they find something even more ornate and interesting…

Fast forwarding to the ’90s, we meet Dr. Daniel Jackson (James Spader), who holds a few…unpopular theories regarding the Great Pyramid of Giza, mostly concerning how the Pharaohs of the fourth dynasty did not and could not possibly have built it. This thesis is bold enough to win Dr. Jackson the ostracism of his peers. Want to meet a close-minded person? Talk to a scientist. Thankfully, before he’s tossed into the rainy, New York streets, Dr. Jackson gets a super-secret job offer from the Air Force: fly out to NORAD and translate a bunch of untranslatable hieroglyphs someone apparently carved into a gigantic, 10,000 year-old burial stone, discovered in Egypt back in the 20s. {More}