A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
How far will you go for a second chance?
Upon arrival at the space station orbiting an ocean world called Solaris a psychologist discovers that the commander of an expedition to the planet has died mysteriously. Other strange events soon start happening as well, such as the appearance of old acquaintances of the crew, including some who are dead.
An alien of unknowable intention, indefensible power, and indefinable reach. An invasion story without a single Stan Winston creature, annihilated city-center, or large-caliber gun. I'd happily place Lem's tale up there with Odyssey and Alien as top-tier sci-fi stories, without even having read the source material and based only on the adaptations. Solaris is one of the few examples of truly 'alien' aliens I can think of, and as stated previously, any depiction of intelligent life which eschews an anthropic bias is more than OK as a jumping off point in my book.
Tale of the tape, at least for me - Clooney does space madness better than Banionis, Soderbergh's efficiency and visuals make his take more palatable for spur-of-the-moment…
I don't really know if I should call this a remake from Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris (1972), or just another adaptation from Stanislaw Lem's acclaimed novel, so I am just going to call it a remake to simplify my writing. What I am going to do will be more a comparison between the two Solaris (Tarkovky's and Soderbergh's) than a review over the 2002 film. The plot of this movie may already be well known among moviegoers, but I'll still expose it. A psychiatrist is called to a space station orbiting an oceanic world called Solaris, and is surprised by the death of the expedition's commander. As other events begin to occur they start suspecting that the cause of these events…
With a much faster pace, only half the original's runtime, and released 30 years apart, Steven Soderbergh's Solaris is just as excellent as Andrei Tarkovsky's Solyaris. Or dare I say, the remake is actually an improvement.
That's what I think, at least. Just hear me out.
Solyaris is a great, great film, notice I used great twice because that's just how great the film is. But I won't go as far as to say that the film is impossible to be duplicated. There is a flaw, and that would be its unusually slow pace. Now I'm not complaining, I enjoyed every minute of it. (though my mind did wander off a bit during the car scene) It's just that, if…
Clooney looks as gorgeous as ever and the cinematography is beautifully composed. In fact, everything looks immaculate to the point of sterilisation. Which may be a perfect recreation of zero atmosphere in space but in cinematic terms it becomes a draining chore to sit through. The film has too much time on its hands and a painfully slow way of expressing its point.
This second adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's novel is a strange choice for Soderbergh. Praise for Tarkovsky's version typically hails the faithfulness to the source material, the metaphysical and intellectually blurred lines between reality and the subconscious. This version doesn't go all in to explore similar themes so its purpose is something of a mystery, delivering none of…
"There are no answers, only choices." ~ Gibarian
Director Steven Soderbergh would insist that this NOT a remake of Andrei Tarkovsky's 1972 Russian version of "Solaris." Instead, it is a new adaptation of the original 1961 book by Polish novelist Stanislaw Lem, upon which both films are based. I think I have to agree with that interpretation. Apart from the updating of the language, social norms and special effects, this telling emphasizes some very different themes, but it still misses the point that Lem wanted to drive home in his writing about the moral dilemmas raised by "first contact" with non-Earthly sentience. In fact, I think Tarkovsky did a better job in that regard, even if Lem might not agree.…
“I’m not the person I remember, or at least I’m not sure I am. I do remember things but I don’t remember being there. I don’t remember experiencing those things.”
Firstly let us begin with the obligatory statement of how Soderbergh’s Solaris does not reach the sheer brilliance of the Tarkovsky film of the same name. I've truly never understood the appeal of remaking a ‘classic’. By doing this, Soderbergh has subjected himself to a no-win situation. Unless it was a film with a great concept that was not executed to its full potential, or technological advancements have since been made that could assist in the fundamental telling of the story; such as, Cronenberg’s The Fly, there doesn't seem to…
Luckily we were saved from the pile of shit that would have been James Cameron's Solaris and we were given a film of Solaris that actually has consistently worthwhile lighting (of course with this being Soderbergh the lighting far surpasses "worthwhile"). Soderbergh's use of the filter that's tinted at the top to indicate when a shot takes place on Earth is purposefully fantastical in effect. My biggest problem with Tarkovsky's Solaris was that the film wasn't clear in what it was saying and its relation of that to what it was doing and though I still haven't read Lem's novel (I have seen him say what the story/intent is) Soderbergh is able to make his vision for the film streamlined in a way that it greatly benefits from (especially visually). 8.8/10.
“If you keep thinking there’s a solution, you’ll die here."
despite soderbergh's dependably solid direction, great performances from clooney and davis, and a few captivating sequences, i wasn't quite as taken by this as i thought i'd be. the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts
I'm not a huge fan of the last 15+ years of remakes being churned out at a breakneck speed, but this is a remake that kind of worked for me. I became a little more interested in this when I realized that it was directed by Steven Soderbergh, and decided to begrudgingly avail myself of this remake at that point. That being said, I did find this to be rather enjoyable! It didn't have the stamina to last quite as long as the original, in fact in fell a bit short of that stamina at about the mid-point of this movie. The opening and ending two thirds of this did keep it above water for me, however.
I wouldn't suggest necessarily that if you liked the original that you would like this. If you're looking for a relatively cerebral film about isolation that takes place in space, this will work, although I'd suggest something like Moon over this any day.
I'm only a few minutes in but I need everyone to know that very early on in this, Jeremy Davies is on a space station listening to Insane Clown Posse.
Alright! So actual review, why remake Solaris? Or, why say you're readapting the book and then make it even less like the book? I think this movie should work in theory but I just couldn't help comparing it to Tarkovsky's and in almost every single regard it comes up short.
Maybe not Soderbergh's best film, but it's got to be his most beautiful. Jezzus this thing is gorgeous!
To be honest, I fell asleep while watching Tarkorvsky's Solaris. The Film had an very interesting plot, but I just could not follow through, the movie just did not match my viewing habits, and the camera work seemed just to plain. And that's from someone who loves Stalker to no End!
Lucky for me, there's this Remake. And from what I've seen from the Original, this movie is faithful to Tarkorvsky's Style, while Transitioning the Plot to a format that's easier to access. I was enthralled from the moment Clooney enters the Ship, and although I would have liked to see more from some characters who were named, but not or just shortly shown over the course of the Film, the 4 Core Actors did a good job, and their characters felt real and developed a lot during the Film.
Considering how good the original is, this version is pleasantly unoffensive. No, seriously, this is competent and easier than Tarkovski's although its faults make you appreciate the other one much more.
I'm posting this list earlier than normal as I'm not sure I'll be around much next week.
For the purposes…