Starring: George Clooney, Jeremy Davies, Natascha McElphone,
Viola Davis, and Ulrich Tukur.
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Rated: PG 13
volleys between genius and garbage for the first half an hour
then the odious reality of where we are heading becomes sadly
If Solaris tried a little less to be clever and worked
on character development a bit it would have been great. As
is however, it's about an hour too long and even the naked shots
of an incredibly handsome man (George Clooney) don't make this
sterile sci-fi goobly gop more palatable.
Goes, Dr. Chris Kelvin (George Clooney) is requested to visit
a space station in trouble. He's a psychologist with apparently
- though we are never really told - a history as a space cop
(Um - ???).
station is orbiting Solaris; a sea of energy. The station is
there to see about potentially harvesting its energy source.
When Dr. Kildare, er Dr. Kelvin, arrives he discovers several
of the crewmembers are dead. Two rather mad remain; Dr. Gordon
(Viola Davis) and Snow (Jeremy Davies). Snow seems a tad strung
out. His description of the goings on sketchy and annoying.
Dr. Gordon bewildered is in some inner turmoil and scared half
nuts. Surviving Space Ship Crew Sci-fi 101.
but the successful psychiatrist is about to meet someone from
his past aboard the craft. But what's this? She's not on the
manifest...in fact she's been dead for years? Hmm...
where the genius part - shortly - rears its head. Anyone with
a heart will be torn as Dr. Chris is. The alien "energy's"
creating physical memories:If you were given a second chance
. or more time with a loved one no longer with
would it matter they may by figments drawn up by an
energy source? Hardly. The premise is fantastic and very
thought provoking. Dare I say brilliant (it's a remake so don't
get too happied up). But the film just has too much time on
its hands and nothing to distract us - aside from Clooney's
repetitive bum shots natch.
dialog was stunted to keep the slower audience members guessing,
the acting often a Polanski parody and the sets make Star Trek
circa 1969 look extravagant. At one point Dr. Chris snuggles
into what appears to be the most uncomfortable aesthetically
dull bedding in the solar system. So in the future we can harvest
energy from other planets and travel about the solar system
freely, but Linen's and Things is gone and there will
be no fluffy puffs and blankies for our ancestors! The whole
set is dull-o-rama and makes Aliens look like Moulin
Rouge in comparison.
on George! You're better than this snorefest
buddy. Though I did thoroughly enjoy his recurring
naked-n-frolicking scenes (she said wiping the residual sweat
from her moistened brow in visual recall of the manlyberry studmuffin's
of reduction...director extraordinaire, Steven Soderbergh, reduces
natural talent Jeremy Davies to a kinetic
puppet. His mannerisms down right repellent! Stevo a bit of
"subtle" as described in the UCLA Directing Feature
Films Manual would have helped. Yech.
love interest of Dr. Kelvin, Rheya played by Natascha McElphone,
was plastic and mannequin like from the get go. I can't really
blame the actor...as my mom always says "if you don't have
anything nice to say blame the director!" I do in spades.
even die-hard sci-fi fans will be able to sink their teeth into
this. There's not enough information and the whole shindig is
deleted of energy - too bad they didn't siphon a tad of Solaris'
bubbling brew and infuse in into their lame sleepy-woo-woo inducing
Recommendation: Dinner and another film...