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on 22 February 2017
Enjoyable and absorbing. Very atmospheric. The dubbing into English was so well done it was hardly noticeable.
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on 10 August 2017
Солярис (Solaris) the original Russian release & the best. A piece of move sci-fi history. The questions of reality? Existence? What is Solaris? Watch & find out for yourself. Very enjoyable.
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on 27 September 2017
Outstanding presentation of a world-class sci-fi picture. Criterion have done it again! Now if only they would import more of their classic titles to the Uk...
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on 14 October 2017
I like this film. Part one is a bit tedious but overall great.
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on 15 June 2016
Good film.
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on 25 August 2005
I saw this as a kid. Double bill with a short called 'Cosmic Zoom'. Dumped in cinema three, but nowadays it would be unthinkable to have a Russian subtitled film out in the 'burbs. The reeds at the beginning and the music stuck in my mind and years later I saw it again as an adult, obviously. I immediately pronounced it the best film I had ever seen and my opinion has not changed to this day. An enduring masterpiece and a cross between visiting a church and going to an art gallery. Even the dated sci fi talk does not lessen it. Recently a new print was shown at the National Film Theatre. Someone opened a sweety wrapper through the final scene when he goes 'home'. Can you believe that? You may prefer to watch this in the comfort of your own home for that reason alone, although I do think the Tark should be viewed on the big screen.
We are not meant to discuss other reviews posted here, but I would like to point out that this is emphatically not the Criterion release and you will not get the deleted mirror room footage.
It is a scandal that Tarkovsky is habitually left off so many twenty greatest director lists on various sites, while Woody Allen (God help us) is usually there.
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on 20 August 2016
This is the fourth of Artificial Eye’s complete Tarkovsky feature films on blu-ray for the Region B market (see also my reviews of Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev & Mirror). As usual I am generally looking at the quality of the blu-ray – for those who are new to Tarkovsky, please see other reviews for details of the storyline etc.

We have the excellent booklet, and a second disc of extras which unfortunately, like Rublev, is back to a half-hour disc. There are two items from the original AE DVD release: a 5 minute interview with Natalya Bondarchuk, which is a delight, and a short film on the work of Donatas Banionis.

On the original DVD the Banionis film looked fine and played in 2.35:1 ratio. On the blu ray we seem to be stuck on a squeezed 1.37:1. I have tried every likely setting on 2 different players, but cannot unsqueeze it, so if you have the original DVD, you’d best view it again on that. A pity, because it is a very interesting film especially as we hear Banionis’s actual voice with his strong Lithuanian accent (he mentions that he is often dubbed because of this).

Never mind, the film itself is superb: a bit-rate that well exceeds the Criterion release, with a subsequently slightly sharper picture. Actually, I am inclined to think that this is the same transfer as the Criterion: the colours match, the subtitles are similar if not identical, and there are the same negative scratches (very slight, in one short scene) in both editions. As with Mirror, I found several times that the image quality gives a 3-D effect, such is the clarity of the picture.

Sound is LPCM 2.0 as all others so far. And as before, only director and title are sub-titled at the beginning.

There is one oddity: the chapters (there are 12) don’t recognise that this is a 2-part film, so part 2 starts in the middle of a chapter, which whilst of no consequence if you are watching the whole film in one sitting, is annoying if you want a mid-film break.

It is a shame that there is so much free space on the 2nd disc – the 30-odd minute interview with Natalya Bondarchuk from the Criterion edition along with the cinematographer, composer and art director interviews would have been a terrific addition. But here in region B land, we do now have a gorgeous print of Solaris for both discovery and rediscovery so, again, 5 stars for the film.
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on 6 October 2000
You can only watch Solaris once, on your own, when you've got the time to appreciate it. Only then can you be drawn into its hypnotic, glacially-paced other-worldliness.
Other reviewers have already described the plot. A few have commented on this film's length. It needs every minute of its three hours plus duration to cast its spell.
Looking for a quick fix of entertainment? Forget it. Looking for cinema that draws you inexorably out of your living room and into its strange and absorbing world - and then stays in your mind forever? This is it.
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on 3 August 2005
This is a superb DVD of Tarkovsky's great 1972 science fiction epic Solaris. It includes deleted scenes, although these are mainly just deleted sections from longer scenes or shots in the film. The main exception to this is the fascinating 'Mirror Room' scene, only a fraction of which surived into the finished film. There are also several interviews, including one with Natalya Bondarchuk, which is wonderful. The film also contains an interesting commentary track by Tarkovsky scholars Vida Johnson & Graham Petrie. The icing on the cake, however, is the film itself: the transfer is stunning and the soundtrack is the original Russian mono mix. Buy this instead of the Artificial Eye version, which is spread over two discs and has a 5.1 remix.
The film, needless to say, is one Tarkovsky's best, IMHO, and the nearest he ever came to making a love story. Stand out moments: the beginning, showing Kelvin contemplating, the drive into the city, the birthday party in the library and, perhaps best of all, the profoundly moving home movie, weightlessness and Breughel sequences. If 2001 could be said to be a cold movie, Solaris is its exact opposite: a deeply human, wise film about love, loss and conscience.
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on 6 June 2005
Solaris isn't easy going but it's worth the effort. Tarkovsky's method is very slow, building up an atmosphere, taking beautiful shots - and there's this horse which keeps on galloping around - and I'm thinking what's that about? In space you have a station where the other crew have gone mad and 'alien' life force which is making them go mad is doing so by making their memory come 'alive'. A scientist is sent to investigage and his past comes 'alive'. Some how he is able to resolve the conflict by showing 'love' and 'understanding' instead of 'fear' and 'violence'. Well that's what I made of it - you may read something different into it. After I had watched the film - I began to appreciated it - whereas while watching it, I was working hard to figure it out. If you like thought provoking films and intelligent scripts I think your enjoy this film. If on the other hand you like 1 1/2 hour, fast moving hollywood films then avoid this.
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