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.…
Why I watched this one? I had tried a few times to make it through this movie the entire way....but I never finished watching it. Well I was determined to finally watch this movie from beginning to end.
What is this one about? George Clooney plays a troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.
My thoughts on this one? This is one confusing movie. It is based on a book....and is actually the second movie to take on that book. Like Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey this one seems to ask more questions than it answers. The special effects are believable....the actors are fine....but I am sure many will ask…
I have read a lot of people who seemed dissatisfied with this film, and for a certain personality type that demands answers, certainty, action and excitement this film would be dissatisfying. I, however, do not fall into this category.
This film carries a very different tone from that of the 1972 original and only focuses on one aspect of the novel and in doing so many "purists" dislike this film. However, by focussing on the personal relationship between Chris and Rheya this gives the film a hardcore emotional grounding that might not have been there by examine the Solaris purely as an alien entity. Clooney portrays intellectually curious, depressed and desperate simultaneously providing a performance that still is up in…
Not to be saying bad words about gorgeous George, who very generously serves up his peachy behind for our viewing pleasure no fewer than two times here, but he's oft-emblematic of Soderbergh's Solaris' uneasy tensions between heady and Hollywood sci-fi styles: wandering about this space station to the eerie accompaniment of Cliff Martinez's excellent score, he's got an ideally expressive face to communicate the strange sense of aimless isolation the story so well evokes; as a mouthpiece for some of the clunkier luvvy-duvvy dialogue, he's about as convincingly human as the peculiar projections that give Lem's source novel its unsettling edge—which is to say very, until the uncanny valley effect starts to settle in. If perhaps a little too beholden…
This version of Solaris more closely resembles Stanislaw Lem's terrifying novel about being trapped in space with Natasha McElhone's head.
THIS was supposed to be a "love story"???
A more stripped back version of the story, Soderbergh doesn't take the time that Tarkovsky did, so you don't get that slow-burn that I think you need to really let the issues and concept at hand take a hold of you, and to readily accept that the characters are seduced by what's going on. The narrative lines are cleaner, but this doesn't do anything to help the film hit home in any more significant - or different - ways than its predecessor. And whilst the film looks good, it's not visually spectacular despite 30 years having passed since Tarkovsky made his film with 70s technology at his disposal (I actually missed the grubbiness of his film a little bit). Not…
Suddenly had an urge to watch this, and reckon Soderbergh did a pretty good job here (as did Clooney).
I've still not seen the original Tarkovsky film in its entirety due to a lack of availability of his films in the UK (I believe that is Artificial Eye's fault for not reissuing their DVD releases), but can definitely get the essence of Tarkovsky in this film. Of course, it's done in a more glossy and moody way as is Soderbergh's general style...and is a decent update of the story.
This ranks alongside Andrew Niccol's Gattaca as a perfectly pristine science fiction parable. You could see that Danny Boyle tried to ape Soderbergh's film with his own Sunshine (at least in…
This is the best movie Soderbergh DoP'ed for himself.
Basically a glorified Gravity
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
- Dead Man's Letters
- The Ugly Swans
- Morel's Invention
- The Man from Earth
I'm posting this list earlier than normal as I'm not sure I'll be around much next week.
For the purposes…
- Pulp Fiction
- Fight Club
- Blade Runner
- The Big Lebowski
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of…