something to do with conscience…

There are three kinds of movies that you can rent. Those you are neutral on, those that you end up not wanting to own, and those few that watching them makes you want to buy the DVD. Luckily, most for me fall into the second category… Frequently, if I watch a movie that I really want to own, I no longer have the urge to own it. It makes renting a good edge towards saving some money (well, and lessening clutter). Rarely though, I do stumble upon a movie that as soon as I am done watching it, I feel the need to possess it. Yet it has occurred twice lately. Last month with, of course, The Creeping Flesh and then now, with Solaris. This is a really great film. And not only is a great film in its own right, it is also more so due to how it makes me think of other movies. Its pacing can be so slow, and some of the scenes are so action-free, I couldn’t even imagine being able to shoot them now (I really can’t imagine what the re-make must be like). And it is a very quiet movie, very little excess talk and what talk there is tends towards a philosophical nature. That is also nice, since I can’t stand too much exposition in films. If I can’t figure it out, I can watch it again or just not get it, it’s irritating when they go out of their way to make sure that you’ve picked up on everything. Also, interestingly, it flows seamlessly back and forth from black and white to color and back, and you hardly notice it.

Anyway, it is the story of Kris “the nowhere near a hero, but with a golden age name” Kelvin, a widowed psychiatrist sent to space to evaluate an ongoing mission aboard a space station that has been orbiting the planet Solaris for years. The crew are gone or dead except for two remaining scientists who are descending into a kind of quiet personal insanity. See, the thing is that the planet may be sentient. It seems that it reads their dreams at night and then manifests people out of those, this has led to some interesting effects on the crew and once Kris arrives, it begins for him too. Once this watery world sends along his late wife, the gist of the movie really begins. The science fiction element really is just there as a setting (though I do like the set design of the station), because the film is more a meditation on loss and longing as Kris loses sight of his mission and aims all of his his attention at his relationship with “his wife” who knows she isn’t really his wife and who isn’t really “real” anyway. But it is a very interesting subtle movie, with conflicts between him and the other scientists and him and his “wife” and he and himself as he tries to avoid the truth that he is oh so well aware of…

Solaris Station

my kind of place…

In a more grade-z vein, I’d been been wondering about this Ulli Lommel chap. He seems quite the character and he makes lots of movies, but his movies seem to be nearly universally frowned upon. Now I have seen and appreciated plenty of movies that are frowned upon, so I figured, well they can’t be all bad, not if he keeps making them. Well I finally saw one, and it is literally terrible, not terrible in a way that makes it campy or funny, but terrible like a movie with a dumb script filmed with no budget and production values that would appear to be similar to a porn movie shot on video tape (though with out any porn) or someones first high school zombie movie, but without any special makeup effects or gore. Zombie Nation is a cheap exploitation movie that only hints at scenes of exploitation. Sadly, the story idea had potential, a tough L.A. policeman, Joe, pulls over women at random, arrests them takes them to a furniture warehouse and kills them while his partner sits in the car wondering. And then, thanks to some voodoo stuff, those women come back from the dead seeking revenge! But instead it is a serial killer, zombie vengeance, bad cop movie with no nudity or scenes of violence and a bad script. The police precinct is a warehouse with fake walls, the actors are all terrible and it never seemed like the sound was synced right. A total piece of crap, and I mean that in a negative way, not the like the pieces of crap that I prefer.

2 Responses to “something to do with conscience…”

  1. Thud on July 21, 2007 20:03

    I’m glad to see you agree with our rating scheme at the Anvil and Sprocket: Bomb, Renter, and Keeper. I think that’s a much better than starred reviews.

    Even crappy movies can be keepers — if they’re crappy in just the right way.

  2. Ashley on July 22, 2007 15:28

    Yeah, personally I think it comes from being an “acquirer” of things. It’s not so much how great something is, it’s whether or not I want it that matters.

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