Moviecrazed
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SOLARIS

"As bad movies go, a dismal catastrophe called 'Solaris' can't go away fast enough to suit me. This fiasco of infuriating pretentiousness and numbing incoherence is the first science-fiction film by the overrated Steven Soderbergh. Let's hope it's his last...Despite the lure of George Clooney in his birthday suit, you're on your own. Don't say I didn't warn you....None of it makes one lick of sense, and if George Clooney can act there is no evidence of it here...'Dead men naked, they shall be one ... and death shall have no dominion,' mumbles Mr. Clooney over and over, like he actually knows what he's talking about...If you figure out what this laughable and tedious stinker is about, send me a postcard." --Rex Reed, The New York Observer

"Retooled into a sleek pop fable that doesn't bother to connect all its dots, the movie aspires to fuse the mystical intellectual gamesmanship of '2001: A Space Odyssey' with the love-beyond-the-grave romantic schmaltz of 'Titanic,' without losing its cool. It's a tricky balancing act that doesn't quite come off... Its insistence on remaining cerebral and somber to the end may be a sign of integrity, but it should cost it dearly at the box office." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"I should report that it drives about a quarter of the audience out of the theater before it is half over. That's because it's slower than molasses in Siberia...You can't quite call it a meditation, because the film itself does no meditating: It watches somebody meditate (Clooney), but whatever conclusions he reaches, he keeps to himself...'Solaris' is one for the graduate students who know everything about movies except how to enjoy them." -- Stephen Hunter, The Washington Post

"As the director of a focused five-person cast, Soderbergh creates a tight, ensemble feeling that helps the futuristic scenario seem plausible. Yet, though it is adept at creating an inescapably haunting mood, the one effect that turns out to be beyond 'Solaris'' grasp is making its core story as moving as it needs to be...'Solaris' ends up more challenging and intriguing than personally involving, and while these are far from small things, it is only human to hope for more." --Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"Until now, George Clooney has always seemed a present-day version of Cary Grant or Clark Gable--an old-school movie star better known for virile charm than inner depth. He's taken a big chance with Kelvin, a role that forces him to an impressive new level of emotionalism: For a guy who's spent his career playing cool, he's strikingly good at acting scared, freaked-out, shattered...While I could tell the love story was supposed to be moving, I kept feeling the characters' passion struggling against the virtuosity of Soderbergh's direction, which is so tight, so gorgeously lit, so worked that even when he wants scenes to be emotionally incandescent, they wind up detached, even chilly." --John Powers, L.A. Weekly

"When I saw Tarkovsky's original film, I felt absorbed in it, as if it were a sponge. It was slow, mysterious, confusing, and I have never forgotten it. Soderbergh's version is more clean and spare, more easily readable, but it pays full attention to the ideas and doesn't compromise. Tarkovsky was a genius, but one who demanded great patience from his audience as he ponderously marched toward his goals. The Soderbergh version is like the same story freed from the weight of Tarkovsky's solemnity. And it evokes one of the rarest of movie emotions, ironic regret." --Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times