Solaris (1972) vs. Solaris (2002)

Foxbat

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I prefer the Tarkovsky version.

On the whole, I do agree that certain movies have become so iconic, they should be left alone. Hitchcock's Psycho for one. I never understood the need to remake this almost frame by frame. I don't know what Gus Van Sant (the director) was trying to achieve or even thinking with such an undertaking.

Having said all that, there are always exceptions that take me by surprise. An example being Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu (how much more iconic can a film get?).

Most remakes (in my opinion) fail to hit the mark, but every now and then something good comes along and puts a smile on my face:)
 

Bick

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My buddy Vance wrote this--and I completely agree: some films just don't need to be remade.
I've only seen Tarkovsky's original so I cannot compare, but while films never *need* to be remade, I'm not too damning of the idea when the film in question is a 1972 Russian art film. Not that many people outside of SF and art-house film fans will have seen the original I'd have thought.
 

Nerds_feather

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I prefer the Tarkovsky version.

On the whole, I do agree that certain movies have become so iconic, they should be left alone. Hitchcock's Psycho for one. I never understood the need to remake this almost frame by frame. I don't know what Gus Van Sant (the director) was trying to achieve or even thinking with such an undertaking.

Having said all that, there are always exceptions that take me by surprise. An example being Werner Herzog's remake of Nosferatu (how much more iconic can a film get?).

Most remakes (in my opinion) fail to hit the mark, but every now and then something good comes along and puts a smile on my face:)

I agree--ocassionally there is a good one. The Donald Sutherland version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is excellent.
 

Moonbat

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I think I have watched both, which is a sign that the remake is completely forgettable. I know that I didn't really like the original it was a bit (make that a lot) too long and although it looked impressive it was very slow.
Hollywood always liked to remake foreign films because the standard American audience wouldn't watch a film with subtitles, but it does seem that now they seem to remake their own films - Total Recall, Robocop, Mad max to mention a few.


But we could say that Casino Royale was a remake and I'm sure most people (not me) prefer the remake. The Departed is a remake of Infernal Affairs and it is a very good remake, but mainly because the original is so raw and the remake is done by a master who has learned the skill required.
There are films like Cape Fear that were remade and, for some, the remake eclipses the original. Also there are great stories that can be made and remade several times (maybe Solaris comes under this heading) like Brighton Rock or Little Women


I think we have a new Frankenstein coming - I Frankenstein, so it is not something that should automatically be judged with distain but taken on its merits.
 

Foxbat

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I think we have a new Frankenstein coming - I Frankenstein, so it is not something that should automatically be judged with distain but taken on its merits.


True. Unfortunately, I can be extremely judgmental when it comes to remakes - especially when we have such a fine James Whale version to compare it with. It's one of my many (many, many, many, many) faults.
 

Jesse412

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I generally avoid remakes and it's hard to imagine anything could even come close to the Andrei Tarkovsky version.
 

steelyglint

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I generally avoid remakes and it's hard to imagine anything could even come close to the Andrei Tarkovsky version.

I'd guess falling asleep or maybe dying of boredom kicks the crap out of anything Tarkovsky had anything to do with. He's the world's leading tedium manufacturer and the top time-waster in the field.

I think he's the leader of a communist conspiracy to make the entire planetary population waste their whole lives watching a screen where nothing ever happens.

I've got a great idea for a project for him - my landlord just had the outside door painted. I think he could crown his career with the movie 'Watching Paint Dry'.

I'd have suggested something on the lines of 'Watching Grass Grow', but that actually has some action in it if you wait long enough. That's not his bag at all.

.
 

Jesse412

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I'd guess falling asleep or maybe dying of boredom kicks the crap out of anything Tarkovsky had anything to do with. He's the world's leading tedium manufacturer and the top time-waster in the field.

I think he's the leader of a communist conspiracy to make the entire planetary population waste their whole lives watching a screen where nothing ever happens.

I've got a great idea for a project for him - my landlord just had the outside door painted. I think he could crown his career with the movie 'Watching Paint Dry'.

I'd have suggested something on the lines of 'Watching Grass Grow', but that actually has some action in it if you wait long enough. That's not his bag at all.

Maybe Michael Bay's Transformers movies are more your speed?
 

Lenny

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Oh man, I cannot wait to see what they do with the 2021 remake of Transformers! To be fair, the first film wasn't actually that terrible. The fun will come when they remake the sequels...

---

In the case of Solaris vs. Solaris, I've only seen the Soderbergh remake, and it was before I had a real appreciation for Sci-Fi, so all I can remember is Clooney sat down looking depressed. I need to watch it again, and find the original.

In the wider argument about remakes, whilst I will groan and grumble on cue like a good boy, I do find that there are a lot of remakes that I don't actually mind. Shot-for-shot remakes are a pointless exercise, and will never have the same magic as the original, so I'll agree that they should be avoided, but reimaginings, such as the new Total Recall, the new Robocop, and the new Dredd, can actually be decent films in their own right. The new Total Recall, for example, wasn't wacky like Verhoeven's original, but there were some neat ideas in it, and to be honest, it was pretty awesome to see the source material interpreted after thirty more years of technological advancement. The same goes for the new Robocop, which took some of the ideas from the original film, and applied them to the current state of the world. And Dredd, well, the new Dredd was simply all kinds of mindless fun, and Karl Urban chinned the hell out of the role.

It might be worth keeping in mind that the remake doesn't simply apply to Hollywood. Take Japanese anime, for example - in 2003, we had an anime series of Fullmetal Alchemist, adapted from the manga of the same name. In 2009, we got a second adaptation, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which covered a lot of the same material, but in much different ways - they may be the same characters, for instance, but you react to them, and think of them as separate people. Alternatively, look at Ghost in the Shell, an absolute classic, with at least three versions - two films in one universe, the Standalone Complex series and film in a second, and a third, new newly created universe, Arise. All three work from the same source material, but all three offer different interpretations.

My opinions on the matter:
  • Are remakes necessary? Not at all.
  • Are remakes evil? Not at all.
  • Would it be nice to only have original content? Well, I guess.
  • Is it cool to see something you're familiar with interpreted in a different way, that gives you a different perspective? Why yes, yes it is. Unless it stinks. Like Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes.
 

tinkerdan

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I had the pleasure of having this recommended to me by a co worker who comes from Italy and I watched it sometime in the early 90's on one of those rather large lazer disks that came with the original disk players that were the size of a suitcase.

Anyway-that set the whole thing in my mind in one way and so when I watched the later movie in the theater I was disappointed because it didn't come near as close to the raw image that the original was and it was a poor attempt that seemed mostly lost in translation.
 

Rodders

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I haven't seen either version, but I do want to pick up the original at some stage.
 

BAYLOR

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No contest , the 1972 film is far better.
 

JunkMonkey

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I agree--ocassionally there is a good one. The Donald Sutherland version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is excellent.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers has been remade three times (so four versions in all).

I have this theory which I have expounded before and often - so I apologise if you have heard me on this before - but I think The Invasion of the Body Snatchers needs to be remade every 15 - 20 years to give future film historians some sort of calibration from which to judge the preoccupations and paranoias of the generation that made it.

The first one is a masterpiece of cold war paranoia, the second is a pretty damn good movie about cults and the alienation of modern cities (and it has that great downbeat ending with Donald Sutherland doing 'The Point'), the third was made in 1993 and directed by Abel 'Driller Killer' Ferrara - I haven't seen but is highly regarded by some and appears to be about the power of the industrial / military combine, and then there's The Invasion (2007) - which is about bugger all but Nicole Kidman getting 17 million dollars to appear in a movie.

The first two adaptation ditch the novels pretty crappy WTF? cop out ending (the invading pods get fed up for some unexplained reason and float back off into space) and are better for it, the third (from what I've read) has an unsettlingly ambiguous "where're you going to run to?" ending, and the fourth has the combined scientists of the world pulling a vaccine out of their collective arses (in the nick of time) and crop spraying the world back to unhappiness once again.

Maybe it's about time someone remade Solaris (one of my all time favourite films) maybe this time we could make Chris have superpowers and get Charlize Theron to play her and we could up-to-dateish it up a bit by casting Jennifer Lawrence as her wife, Hari.
 

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