Solaris

Er, so did anyone else see this one? Part of me says it’s Soderbergh and Clooney saying, “Hah, look at the shit we can pull off… $50 million for an art film with exactly no action.”

And part of me liked it… I like the philosophical implication of recreating the people that mean something to use using our memories, but then realizing that our memories are based on our perceptions. And our perceptions create flawed people.

But the whole “god” angle was underdeveloped, and I think Clooney’s character accepted the return of his wife way too easily.

But I did chat up three women outside the theater after it to discuss it, so I guess that’s a good thing.

You are smooth with the ladies, Bauman.

Also: Solaris was written by Stanislaw Lem, one of my favorite SF authors. I hear there was a 1972 Russian film, too?

Yeah, it was first made as a Soviet sci-fi movie, and it shows it in the remake. The entire god conversation seemed very commie.

Man, oh man. This is a SLOW movie, though. I couldn’t get into it as Steve did, mainly because we’ve seen this plot in a bunch of other bad sci-fi movies (Sphere, anyone?), not to mention Trek episodes. Of course, they all took the idea from Lem’s novel, but this doesn’t change the fact that this is a SLOOOOOOOOW movie.

Heh, I can see just how the movie studio musta had nightmares trying to market this movie. The entire “ratings scandal” seems nothing more than trying to drum up some kind of publicity for the money. See George Clooney’s ass!!! While I’m sure that works for the women and 10-percent of all men, I don’t fall into that demographic. Ughhhh.

Solaris was a Calvin Klein perfume ad set in outer space.

 -Tom

Yeah, oddly enough it’s called Solaris… actually, the DVD is for rent at this local store, and the star looks exactly like George Clooney gone slightly to seed. It’s weird.

But the question is whether you’d rather see George Clooney’s ass or Kate Moss’ breasts. That’s the big difference.

And yes, this a glacially paced movie. As I said, there was zero action.

As I said, there was zero action.

Inside the theater, that is.

Yeah, oddly enough it’s called Solaris… actually, the DVD is for rent at this local store, and the star looks exactly like George Clooney gone slightly to seed. It’s weird.[/quote]

They played the Russian version sometime in the last couple of days on the AMC or TCM cable network. Paused on it for two minutes and kept on surfing.

-DavidCPA

Tarkovsky did the first one. And I don’t think Soderbergh is a Tarkovsky. Tarkovsky is one of the classics of cinema with a ‘c’! I remember having to watch his films in college getting bored by them, but AFTER college I rewatched them in another context (the contemplative life is mysterious existential post college slacker ‘I’m an artist’ mode) they are good! Andrei Rubylev and Stalker are both great movies once you get into them. Solaris is the least favorite of the movies I’ve seen of his.

I think there should be a remake of Kubricks 2001 or Welles Citizen Kane, made by our great american directors of Soderbergh and PT Anderson. They are clearly ‘masters of there own domain’ (hint hint masturbate to there own self conceit as ‘great directors’). Soderbergh… I’d take a Sam Raimi over Soderbergh any day!

to add, i havent seen the soderbergh movie, so i am wrong.

etc

Maybe as a 1/2 hour or hour long Twilight Zone/Outer Limits episode it could have been descent but geez I can only take so much of people doing nothing but standing around and talking or long shots of someones face with this bewildered look on it.

I ended up seeing it twice (meh!) over the weekend. I was hoping the second time through I’d catch something deeper or more profound I didn’t the first time, but no luck.

It tried to be deep, but they didn’t seem to develop anything deeper than just beneath what was going on. And there was a lot of unexplained stuff, like the security crew disappearing for no reason, and the fact no one ever saw the black lady’s guest except her. Lord knows they had enough time to explain it.

Did anyone else think it was George Clooney’s character’s son with him the very last minutes on the space station?

like the security crew disappearing for no reason

I’m pretty sure this was mentioned briefly in George Clooney’s first conversation with Jeremy Davies. When Clooney asks about the blood, I believe Davies tells him that one of the other crew members killed the secrity team before commiting suicide. I think?

Did anyone else think it was George Clooney’s character’s son with him the very last minutes on the space station?

I don’t recall there ever being a reference to his having a son. The little boy was the “visitor version” of the son of the doctor who called Clooney to the space station. He’s introduced earlier in the movie and explained at one point.

I do wonder if he has anything to do with this.

I do think more movies should end with a nearby planet, star, or space anomoly getting really fat and pink and then swallowing the main character. We don’t see enough of that in today’s movies. Well, today’s non-anime movies, at any rate.

 -Tom

SPOILER

I know that saying the vistor is Chris’ (Clooney) and Raya’s son is a far stretch, but it kind of makes sense. Raya was having visions on the station that seemed to involve her guilt in aborting their child…and who knows whether it was actually a boy or a girl. But it made sense to me, because when the dead doctor visits Chris, he says “that’s not my son.” Also, when Chris first tells the phsyco guy about seeing a child, the phsyco says something to the effect of “I think that’s why you’re here.” Which you assume at the time it’s to fix the hallucinations people are having, but maybe it was instead to reconcile some deep-seated guilt Chris was having over the whole thing.

But I could be reading way too far into it. There needed to be more mysteriously blown out blood-covered sections of the ship. And lasers.

But I could be reading way too far into it.

You’re right. You’re reading way too much into it. :)

There needed to be more mysteriously blown out blood-covered sections of the ship. And lasers.

You’re right again. :)

To be fair, I really liked the look of it. I liked how Soderbergh didn’t hit you over the head, a la Minority Report, with all this OH MY FUCKING GOD YOU’RE IN THE FUTURE AND ITS SOOOO UNBELIEVEABLY COOL!!! stuff. Solaris has a very austere and effective production design (from the same guy who did 8 Mile, by the way) that Soderbergh’s camera proceeded to ignore in the pursuit of telling his story. Bravo on that front. Shame about the movie.

I used to say we needed more character-driven science fiction, but I’m afraid someone heard me and now we’re getting stuff like Solaris and Signs. Apologies to everyone if I’m in any way responsible.

 -Tom

I occasionally tried to read novels by Stanislav Lem. I couldn’t. Maybe it’s the translation but I was unable to detect any saving grace, be it style or story or subject matter, that could have made me endure those endless ramblings with absolutely nothing happening. There’s something horrible about science fiction that tries to be literature…

Yeah, I can think of a lot of movies that would be improved with that ending, and most of them aren’t even SF movies.

There’s something horrible about science fiction that tries to be literature…

I haven’t read any of his novels per se, but I’ve read plenty of his short stories, some of which are loosely enough connected to be collected as ersatz novels. None of it struck me as Literature so much as clever constructs, sometimes with biting social satire and sometimes with playful whimsy.

You might give some of his shorter fiction a shot, Christoph. I have to admit Lem was the main reason I wanted to see Solaris. Which is now the main reason I probably won’t be reading any of his novels.

 -Tom

“I believe Davies tells him that one of the other crew members killed the secrity team before commiting suicide. I think?”

If thats whats supposed to have happened thats one pathetic ‘security team’.

Yeah, that security team musta sucked really hard. I wondered what the hell happened to their bodies, if they were killed.

As for Gordon’s never-seen imaginary friend, I thought that’s cause she vaporized her friend with the TECHNOBABBLE™ beam.

Oh yeah… this movie was so slow that by the time they started spouting TECHNOBABBLE™, I swear the folks sitting around me nearly left early in disgust.

Is TECHNOBABBLE™ from the makers of Photon Milk?