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||IMDB Rating: 6.2/10 from 12 votes
||Release: 27 February 2003 (Netherlands) /
||Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
||Director: Stanislaw Lem,
||Stars: Donna Kimball, Elpidia Carrillo, George Clooney, Jeremy Davies, John Cho, Kent Faulcon, Lauren Cohn, Michael Ensign, Morgan Rusler, Natascha McElhone, Shane Skelton, Tony Clemons, Ulrich Tukur, Viola Davis
||Synopsis: Dr. Gibarian, part of a team at a space station studying Solaris, makes an urgent and self-described bizarre video request to his friend, civilian psychiatrist Dr. Chris Kelvin, to come to the station to deal with an unspecified phenomenon aboard, that phenomenon with which Chris' experience and background may be able to explain and solve. Chris learns that his trip is sanctioned by the space program as a security force had been sent to the station to investigate, that security team which is now missing. When Chris arrives at the station, he finds only two surviving team members, Drs. Gordon and Snow (Dr. Gibarian committed suicide), who are both acting nervously. Chris also finds two unexpected people there, the first, who Chris only sees fleetingly, being Dr. Gibarian's adolescent son Michael, and the second being Chris' deceased wife, Rheya. Chris and Rheya had a passionate relationship in all its good and bad before she committed suicide. Apparently, these appearances of loved ... Written by Huggo
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Watch Solaris - Alternative Versions.
Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick decided to make the 'proverbial
good sci-fi movie' when they jointly created the film and novel 2001: A
Space Odyssey. There have been few comparably good sci-fi films since.
Solaris is, however, one of them.
Whilst the Russian original is an epic and demanding film, Soderbergh's
work should not be considered a remake. The director himself considers
it his own interpretation of the book, quite apart from the earlier
film. Because of this, the two should not be compared.
If you hated Alien 3 because it didn't have any guns or 2001 because
the ending was confusing, do not waste your time with Solaris. It is
not for you.
Conceptually, the story is standard psychological sci-fi fare, with
simple but effective theological and philosophical themes. In this
respect it breaks little or no new ground over the Tarkovsky
predecessor. It has elements of romance, thriller, and drama, all
necessarily set in sci-fi land, as the setting is integral to the
Visually, the Solaris future is a conservative, believable vision,
reminiscent in look to that of Gatacca. Solaris space is a minimal,
beautiful place to be. Not dirty and used like the celebrated Alien
'space trucker' look, Solaris vessels are gleaming, intricate and
stylish, but seem to have been designed by engineers rather than
artists, such is the practical realism. Their design is complemented by
some of the best CG spaceship effects I have seen (incredible that it
has taken this long for computer graphics to look as good as the
model-based technology of 2001, Star Wars and Aliens in the 1960s and
Solaris, the planet itself, is a clever piece of art, seemingly
evidencing a degree of emotion by its colouring and detail, as no doubt
was the intention. In the commentary to the DVD it is mentioned that
many of the lingering shots of the planet were cut, which may have been
necessary for the pacing of the film, but I found every shot an
absorbing spectacle and would have enjoyed more.
The sets and costumes also retain the sense of engineering realism
combined with beauty. Soderbergh's eye for detail is evident here, as
everything has a purpose and look that fits perfectly with the overall
feel. Somehow, this look is original and avoids many of the clichés we
come to expect of sci-fi mise-en-scene.
Channel Four recently showed this on UK television and billed it along
the lines of a 'George Clooney Sci-Fi Romance'. A tenuous
interpretation, perhaps, but you can see why they did it. Whilst
Clooney adds Hollywood star appeal, fans will be slightly disappointed,
not because his work here is in anyway weak, but because he is
understated, convincing and very un-Hollywood. With Solaris he adds
another fine performance to an already commendably diverse filmography.
Natascha McElhone too plays a difficult, emotive role without resorting
to melodrama. The small supporting cast doesn't put a foot wrong, with
a delightfully odd but subtly creepy performance from Jeremy Davies
worthy of note.
Solaris is slow, abstract, haunting stuff. The direction is subtle,
dare I say almost Kubrick-esquire. The camera work is non-intrusive,
solid stuff without gimmick (apart from a touch of shaky-cam in the
restaurant scene where Kelvin meets Rheya) or overstatement.
Add to this a beautiful, timeless score by Cliff Martinez and you have
one of the better psychological sci-fi movies ever made.
The majority of people will hate Solaris. Let them. Let them have
instead the mindless Hollywood trash released every week and keep this
treasure for yourself.
Tags for Solaris Full Movie
, Elpidia Carrillo
, George Clooney
, Jeremy Davies
, John Cho
, Kent Faulcon
, Lauren Cohn
, Michael Ensign
, Morgan Rusler
, Natascha McElhone
, Shane Skelton
, Tony Clemons
, Ulrich Tukur
, Viola Davis
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