Someone would have done it eventually. Gus Van Sant adapted Psycho. The Coen Brothers tried their hand at The Ladykillers. Naturally, someone, somehow, would try Solaris. A classic space-going arthouse piece from Andrei Tarkovsky is not exactly easy to adapt. Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney take one for the team, in much the same shape as Vince Vaughn did back when he brought Norman Bateman to life for Van Sant. Not every remake has to be dreadful. As long as the story is intact and the message is still reciprocated by audiences, then Solaris could coast through its Hollywood lifespan. That is what it needs to do, and it succeeds where so many other remakes have failed. Those simple moments are done well. Simple is simple.
Mob flicks may have dominated a portion of culture for some time, but their influence has ebbed away. Not entirely, and considering how many are still made, we should take note of their style and their impact. But the glory days are over. These are not the days of Scarface and Goodfellas. No Sudden Move, the latest feature from Steven Soderbergh, does not wish to be like those former examples, nor does it wish to cultivate a new direction for the genre. By setting itself and its impressive ensemble long before the days of mainstream crime, Soderbergh enjoys the ability to come clean with engaging realisations of trope-worthy characters.
Unhappy marriages await us all, apparently. No point resisting it, it’ll happen to you, me and everyone you know. If it happens to those in the escapism that cinema provides, surely, it’ll be an inevitability for the real world too. Sex, Lies, and Videotape opens with an unhappy marriage of sorts. There is security and faithfulness for a time, but that isn’t enough to stop the mind from wandering. Those horrid questions of “what could have been?” are asked without consequence. Steven Soderbergh marks his first feature film with authority and competency but reflects the unfocused style he would utilise for years to come.
My personal dislike for the latter-day efforts of director Steven Soderbergh comes from a part of me that can’t shake the feeling that his stories are often empty. A burst of interest in Contagion (for obvious reasons), led me to the conclusion that he can certainly make some interesting premises but following through on those ideas to create interesting conclusions or depth is something I don’t believe his direction can bring. Ocean’s Eleven is perhaps his most famous piece of work, and if not it’s by far his most famous trilogy (solely because this is his only trilogy). Although littered with the tropes that I dislike from his direction, I find Ocean’s Eleven to be a completely amicable heist movie.
Before glitzy, high profile biopics of superstar singers and songwriters became the norm for Hollywood, director Steven Soderbergh set out to pick apart several years from the very busy, interesting life of piano player Liberace. I’m not all that familiar with the work of Liberace, all I know is he played piano and had an extreme fondness for chandeliers. That alone is more than enough background information that you need for Behind the Candelabra, which documents Liberace’s six-year relationship with Scott Thorson.
Seems quite topical really, doesn’t it? The first film I watch on the beginning of a new mini project while I spend my time in self-isolation, sitting on a throne of toilet paper and surrounded by cans of chilli should be a film that gives me a glimpse of the outside world. The closest I will come to seeing the light of day ever again having sealed the door to my bunker, Contagion looks to demonstrate the effective measures a competent government would put into place when a global pandemic starts bumping off the population at an alarming rate. Continue reading Contagion (2011) Review