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Posted : 1 year, 7 months ago on 1 February 2013 05:13

2hrs of gut wrenching, mind numbing, head melting boredom.
If you value two hours of your life then do not watch this film.
The only people I've found who actually watched this and say they liked it is people who thought Razorhead and films of that ilk was good cinema.
2 stars simply for the eye candy.
Go and paint the garden fence, you'll have way more fun, trust me!

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Solaris review

Posted : 2 years, 3 months ago on 24 May 2012 07:14

Rarely does a film entrance me with the kind of atmosphere and ideas that Tarkovsky’s films do. He is the master of nostalgia, of the great struggles with reality and memory, of morality and selfishness. Can one escape a mistake from the past? How do you possibly learn from a mistake like that while simultaneously putting it behind you and out of your mind? At what point does tragedy lose its impact? In this film, Tarkovsky shows how real these memories can be for people, despite the decades that have passed. Dr. Kelvin is sent on a mission to go to the space station docked at the mysterious planetary object dubbed Solaris, which seems to be having peculiar effects on its inhabitants. Of the team sent there to research the planet's great oceans, only two remain. The rest have either left or succumbed to their ailments, tormented by apparitions conjured by Solaris. But not just any apparitions, these are personal ghosts of the individuals on-board the space station—in fact, the most personal. Kelvin, who never really got over his ex-girlfriend Hari’s suicide, now seems to have a chance to start anew, or at least find some sort of closure in this apparition… but what exactly is it? “It” knows that it is not Hari, that it looks and feels and talks and remembers just like Hari, but it is not human and cannot age and cannot die. There is a memorable scene where Kris Kelvin, stricken by a fever, begins to see Hari everywhere he looks. He cannot imagine ever leaving Hari, nor loving someone like he loves her now. But this is not Hari. Who is Hari? Did he love Hari? If Hari is dead, the only thing left of her is Kelvin’s memory of her, which is what this apparition seems to be… so is she not Hari? Is this apparition part of Kelvin himself? As Kelvin slowly becomes an island of a man, the film wraps up with what is one of the greatest closing shots I’ve seen, cementing itself as a true masterpiece that reveals the emotional and moral power of science fiction.

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Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 28 February 2012 02:48

In "Solaris" Russian director glances from the cosmos to the earth, to man. Tarkovsky does not make a trip "to infinity and beyond", but to the inner world of man. "I consider it my duty to encourage reflection on the specifically human and the eternal that lives within each of us," wrote Tarkovsky. It is no coincidence nor a matter of "resources", that special effects have been reduced to a minimum in the film, and the space station that hovers over the ocean presents a neglected aspect intelligent "home" very earthy, which presented a house whose owner is absorbed by other issues and never found the time to fix the leaky faucet or light socket ... Ironically, no other film has so many traces of Tarkovsky humanly mundane as "Solaris" (Vera Ivanova).

Tarkovsky adapted a novel by Stanislav Lem's sci-fi, and does so in his day many thought the Russian response to Kubrick's 2001. I do not think that I and my brain are prepared to say whether or not there is a relationship between these two films. It is sufficiently dense, hard, intense and interesting to also compare them. In any case, beyond science fiction, Solaris is a deep study of human nature, love and loneliness.
Solaris has, in short, the story of a man who travels to a space station to investigate the death of one of the inhabitants of the station, and look for strange phenomena that occur there.
The story presents us perfectly, in about forty minutes long, which gives us some keys to understanding what happens next. Tarkovsky's camera is accurate, but deeply cold and distant. During the next two hours we see a dense sampling of the Solaris effects in humans. Here Tarkovsky shows at times intense and at times impenetrable. I personally am interested in what I see, but I am unable to draw any conclusions about what I've seen. It's all too tight.
Solaris is almost three hours of film difficult, personal, and definitely interesting, but that challenges deeply assimilative capacity of the viewer.

Special mention, of course, the dialogues, which are essential parts of a script flawless, like all great films of Russian director (at least until "Stalker"). The world of "Solaris" is not aseptic and clean the world of "2001: A Space Odyssey" with its wide array of special effects and dazzling display of ships and flying machines (some impossible), with a striking design, convincing and realistic than almost anything you see on the screen there today...

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You Don't Need Lasers to Make A Good Sci-Fi Flick

Posted : 5 years, 4 months ago on 16 April 2009 05:33

This film is an excellent example of what can happen when all of the effort of special effects is replaced with maximum effort into the script.
Definitely a thinking man's science fiction film whose intellect sacrifice none of the science nor none of the fiction.
The plot utilizes the fantasy element of the genre to delve intricately into themes of the pysche such as regret, love, pity, self-inflection & even the most monumental of these concepts, the justification of life and death. It does so with enough room to allow the viewer with no other answer other than the store of reflection which he or she carries into film, before & after.
Despite an incrimately moving pace that many of today movie-watchers may at first be uncomfortable with, once you settle into it's richly layered rythym, Solaris is a great film whose provocation of thought is as richly satisfying as is the grandest world-demolishing visuals of any other more explosive sci-fi films.

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Well worth the almost 3 hours

Posted : 7 years, 7 months ago on 17 January 2007 11:39

I looked up the review for this in an old movie guide I used to use (Video Hound) and I was surprised that it gave it a fairly low rating. It focused on a negative comparison with 2001 and complained that there was too much talking in the film. This strikes me as a strong indication of cultural bias, as thought the Russians weren't allowed to have their own investigation of memory and the symbolic place of outer space. Which is to say that if you just want to compare movies to 2001 this isn't the movie for you.

That review couldn't have been any more misleading. This film is loaded with long saturated shots that make you feel like you're watching someone's old family photos come to life.

--semi spoiler warning--

The plot is simple but captivating: a dead loved one comes back to life. This is equal parts curse and blessing. This movie fleshes out most of the nuances of this scenario while maintaining a sustained mediation on memory and visual reproduction. A must for those who like Videodrome type movies.

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