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Remakes aren't such a bad thing dammit. Directer Steven oderbergh has been doing a good job of proving this. Traffic, based on an old miniseries was great, Oceans 11, the rat pack remake was enjoyable, and Solaris follows this trend, being a remake of a Russian sci-fi movie. I went to see this one because after seeing the ads, it was obvious that they weren't doing this one for the money. Not only is it sci-fi (there goes like 90% of your audience), but it's about some guy's dead wife? Yeah, this movie wont make one red cent, as good as it may be.


The story centers around a planet (Solaris) that is being studied. The people orbiting it are taking too long, so they send someone (George Clooney) to see whats up. (minor spoilers) Well, apparently, if you orbit this planet, it sends you a visitor, and that visitor takes the form of someone in your life who died. It constructs them from your memories. The movie centers around the nature of these visitors.


It's very well shot by Soderbergh,You can tell he's a veteran director. It's very dreamlike, and weaves in and out of different times and memories with ease. He did a fine job with the atmoshpere. The special effects are used only when needed, and the movie doesnt take place far enough into the future to be distracting. The music is excellent too, the theme is suitably haunting.


The acting was good too. I'm glad that Clooney makes such an effort picking good roles. This movie gives him lots of credibility as an actor. Some might say he's a bit cold, and there's very little humor in the movie, but the small cast did a good job altogether.


This one's certainly not for everyone though. There's no action, and it's not the romance movie that the ads make it out to be. It's all a bunch of conversations, flashbacks, and questions. Lots and lots of questions, few answers. It's very 2001-ish, not only in visual style, but in that it just kind of shows you what happens, and you decide what to make of it. For such an uncommercial, artsy movie, it sure was way too short though. They reportedly cut it a bit because audiences would fine it too boring, but I think that if somebody was going to find this boring, they'll be bored a half hour into it, for those of us who were won over by the movie, we'd rather have the slighty longer version so things work out better and make a bit more sense. Some things happen too fast, and, while I know that the point of this movie is to raise questions, some things made no sense, plotwise, they explained them, but too quickly for me to grasp. This movie deserved at least 15 more minutes. There's a different between a tightly made movie, and one that rushes through its plot. I can only hope that the DVD contains the full version.


I really liked this one in the end though. It's no 2001 or anything, but it's intelligent, it makes you think a bit, and it's been a while since I've seen something like this. It had a great overall feel to it too, Soderbergh has real talent and style when he wants to. So, if you're in the mood for something pensive, atmospheric, and interesting, I'd say check this one out.

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