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REVIEW: Solaris SUMMARY: Part suspense, part romance, and part sci-fi, this totally non-mainstream movie starring George Clooney surprisingly delivers some really interesting sci-fi. Written and directed by Steven Soderberg based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem (the second film to be based on that novel.)


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Chris is a psychologist who is coaxed by an old friend out to a remote space station orbiting the planet Solaris. Something odd is going on there – the corporate owners of the station have lost contact other than the request for Chris. He goes out and finds his friend missing, 2 crew members dead, one hiding in her room, and another clearly acting strangely. Chris finally finds out what has driven them to this, and has to deal with it – finding that he has to deal with his own troubled past as well.

PROS: This one honestly surprised the heck out of me. This is a tremendous risk taken by Clooney and Soderberg because the film isn’t traditional Hollywood in any way. Big kudos for that – and for pulling it off. The sci-fi elements are very interesting but I don’t want to give any of it away.
CONS: Parts of it are too slow, despite the fact that the film is only 99 minutes long. I almost felt like there was meant to be a connection between the tone of 2001: A Space Odyssey and this movie – interesting if true.
BOTTOM LINE: Worth a watch if you can catch this one on cable like I did.

2 Comments on REVIEW: Solaris

  1. Take a look for the original movie. Rumor has it that it started out something like 8 hours long, and was cut significantly (3 hours, IIRC) for the international release.

    That one was compared to 2001 when it came out, but then any “cerebral” SF movie of the period was compared to 2001.

  2. Fred Kiesche // March 26, 2005 at 8:41 pm //

    At this point I’ve watched the remake four times (three times without the commentary on the DVD, once with the commentary).

    I’ll probably end up really liking the movie; weirdly enough, given the number of times I’ve watched it, I’m still sitting on the fence.

    One thing I really like: the score. Excellent job by Cliff Martinez. That’s the main reason I keep watching it. That “other stuff” (the actors, etc.) is starting to grow on me, but the score hooked me from the start.

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