Sci-Fi December: Solaris (USA)

Solaris USA illustration by Jeff SchwartzbauerSolaris (USA) – 2002

Dir: Steven Soderbergh | Starring: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone, Jeremy Davis

Year: Not too distant Future

Review: The plot is the same as I had detailed in yesterdays review of the USSR film, and I am not positive if Soderbergh is re-making that film or is basing it off of the book, but I would assume its a remake since 2002 was the 30th anniversary of the Russian film. The main plot points are the same, however in this version of the story several things are glossed over and skipped altogether to advance the plot and get the Psychologist into space much faster than Tarkovsky’s telling. That portion of Tarkovsky’s film is one that could have used some trimming so its not an unwelcome change. However the rest of the film is where you’re going to have to decide for yourself the superior way to handle the drama of this situation. This version gives you a lot more explanation and flashbacks and drums in their exact feelings and intentions, while Tarkovsky wants you to read into things and is slower on peeling back the curtain and creates far more mystery and a haunting experience. Tarkovsky doesn’t implement much heart string pulling, and Soderbergh is much more willing to enter that area. Jeremy Davis is maybe the highlight performance from these two films and his character that overlaps with the Russian film is a tad more intriguing in this version. I enjoy and think its a worthwhile viewing and much more “fun” in the science fiction arena. However, watching them back to back, I would say Tarkovsky’s is a superior and a more satisfying experience.

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One thought on “Sci-Fi December: Solaris (USA)

  1. This movie never ceases to amaze me. I still remember it being one of the most tense movies I’ve seen when watching it. Keeps me on the edge of my seat in a different kind of way.

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