The Masked Reviewer

What happens when you mix the director of Traffic with the director of Titanic and throw in the star of Ocean's Eleven

Have you ever gone to the dentist to have a procedure done?  You sit in the chair, you put on the bib, they stick that suction thing in your mouth, and then they get to drillin'.  It hurts a bit, but you sit there, because you figure that the worst is probably over.  But they keep drilling.  It still hurts.  So you sit longer, trying not to squirm, staring at the clock on the wall.  "It's got to get better soon," you think to yourself.  "They must be almost done by now."  But they keep drilling and drilling.

Solaris, mercifully, isn't as long as Traffic or Titanic.  But, it is agony to sit through.  It's a remake of the highly acclaimed Russian film, but who cares?  It's torture to sit through.  Some people would find Solaris impossible to enjoy simply because it's sci-fi.  The Masked Reviewer has enjoyed many sci-fi films, but this isn't one of them.  It's reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as a few other sci-fi classics.  The only difference being that there's not much going on. 

The entire plot and point of the movie could be summarized in a paragraph.  This would've been a fine short story.  But there wasn't enough happening to make this worth a feature length film.  The pacing of the film is s-l-o-w.  Imagine the slowest moving film you've ever seen, then imagine if they re-shot it in slow-motion.  Take that film, watch it six times, and you'll have a feeling of the pace of Solaris

The slow pace gets off to a turtle's start right at the beginning.  It is, at least, consistent in its slow pacing.  They don't ruin the agonizing slowness with any bursts of activity or interest.  No, it's rock steady all the way through.  Imagine grass growing.  In space.



DVD Extra Features: Commentary by James Cameron and Steven Soderburgh, trailers, advertisements, and the final draft of the script.

Expectation from the Title: Something bright and lively, not dank and dysmal.

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  As long as you've got the oven on to kill yourself after this one, why not make some muffins?

The Pros: Clooney is Cloonerific.

The Cons: It isn't a good movie, despite what people say.  It's boring. 



Copyright 2003, Michael D. Lynn