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Solaris (2002)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Steven Soderbergh and producer James Cameron Rating:8.1/10 (29 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by mharding01 on August 24th, 2006:Find all reviews by mharding01
I was surprised to find the commentary by James Cameron and Steven Soderbergh so engaging. They are really "present" for the viewing/recording. Of course one could wish that some of the actors had taken part. But C & S cover casting, design and most of the relevant areas. I really like SOLARIS as a film and think it is sadly underrated in part because it is among other things a love story for emotional adults. Near the end of the commentary, Cameron says to the listener something to the effect that if you made it this far, he is impressed! It was not only not hard to listen to the end, it was rewarding and a good investment of my anything but abundant free time. I understand (not from the commentary) that the Clooney/Soberbergh creative partnership has ended. Too bad -- SOLARIS is a good example of their combined talents.
Reviewed by musíl65 on April 6th, 2010:Find all reviews by musíl65
Soderberg and Cameron are very good as a team for this commentary. There are a lot of details about the production and the script. Cameron’s point of view is interesting because he is the producer and a director himself. You get information about improvisation of some dialog. A big point is also the lightning and the design.

Sometimes they are talking about the reasons for the box office failure. The film has to been finished very fast. There was no time for test screenings.

A funny thing is also that Stanislaw Lew (writer of Solaris) haven’t seen a single movie since 30 years. His last movies had been 2001 and The Last Tango In Paris.

The commentary is a good one.
Reviewed by aderok on September 8th, 2021:Find all reviews by aderok
Soderbergh comms are always a treat; Soderbergh AND Cameron = Absolutely Necessary (worth your time)
Reviewed by grimjack on April 14th, 2023:Find all reviews by grimjack
In some ways, their commentary is as muted and deep as the film itself. They are both proud of it, while admitted its limitations as an entertainment piece. And Cameron is not at all shy to admit that he probably could not have made this type of a film.

Soderberg is always a detailed and informative commentator. I am not surprised that Cameron is too here. He speaks about references from older films, framing choices, background detail choices, editing, and even a lot of script revisions he was aware of.

They both talk a bit about the actors choices, and how hard some scenes must have been that read so easy on the page. And how you often have to convince an actor that they did it fine and do not need to shoot more takes.

Overall, this is a very interesting listen, if only to hear them talk about their directing styles and choices they like to try. Cameron will spend a year finishing and editing a film, and this film was released just 7 months after filming ended. And Cameron likes how Soderberg budgeted and planned for reshoots after the initial edit, as he knew there would be. Whereas Cameron certainly overshoots so he has all the possible choices to edit together.
Reviewed by grimjack on April 14th, 2023:Find all reviews by grimjack
Actually, one other thing is that during the start of the end credits, Soderberg talks about how important it was to get the largest style of a particular font he wanted to use, and how they had to pay a lot extra for it. And he and Cameron get in a talk about fonts, and Soderberg admits to being a snob about them, and Cameron laughs and says he will start having to pay attention to that.

And this was shot 7 years before Avatar, and the infamous Papyrus controversy!