2001: A Space Odyssey Reviews
During the first however many minutes of ominous tones, I kept thinking I was seeing images on the blank screen. They turned out to be just retinal shadows, but the suspense was so awesomely claustrophobic. So many spoofs and homages of Kubrick's ethereal blend of airless space, kaleidoscopic frenzy, and classical music did not diminish this movie-watching experience for me, and what an experience it was. The story, while ponderingly slow and ham-fisted, is an epic fantasia full of cacophony and silence, peace and fear, primitive pasts and equally primitive futures.
The SFX were ridiculously advanced; images of Earth and space look just like recent representations in "Gravity" or "Interstellar." The "gravity boots" were an ingenious way to sidestep the weightlessness effect. Keir Dullea is remarkably good and understated as Dr. Dave Bowman, in all his heavy breathing and bottled-up rage. HAL, of course, is a freakish delight.
I wasn't quite sold on the symbolism of the monolith, and I expected the piercing noise that it emitted to have some kind of debilitating, foreshadowing effect, but alas, it was only just a biggest, blackest, metaphor.
Actual Rating: -10/5
1) It was made in 1968.
2) Its storytelling is drastically different from today's contemporary standards.
3) 2001 is, at its heart, an art-house movie that leaves much to open interpretation.
I, for one, absolutely dig art-house films but do not tend to enjoy open ended interpretations because, in the end, I want to see why the director placed such an open ended idea there in the first place. "Tree of Life"? Naw, not for me. "The Fountain"? What the hell happened in that? I still don't know. Nevertheless, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is one of those rare movies where it forces viewers into an artistic state of mind with enough interesting narrative twists to draw me into its universe coupled with breathtakingly, extraordinary cinematography.
Mind you, this was made in 1968. Yes, 1968. And with such age, it still manages to trump many of the contemporary films in terms of storytelling and superb cinematography. Yeah, the pacing is extremely patient and methodical, and it seems to marvel over certain sequences for way too long than it should, but nevertheless, once the pacing seemed unbearable, 2001 threw in a curve ball that drew me back in. For an avid film-goer, even 2001 pushed my patience, and this was mainly due to my familiarity with loud, fast-paced contemporary movies. Regardless of this, I can't help but to imagine how revolutionary "2001: A Space Odyssey" must've been during its time when filmmaking was restrained by technology, the lack of knowledge of the world outside of Earth, innovation, and mind-pondering questions about the roots of man never particularly being shared through a motion picture. And that's why whenever 2001 was brought up in conversation, words like "poetic" and "awe-inspiring" came up. It's not even because that it was revolutionary during its time, is the reason why I enjoyed it. I genuinely enjoyed the film for its narrative turns and artistic storytelling.
2001 is an ambitious film. Yes, it kinda did annoy me how open-ended it was, not because of the frustration of taking some time to sit down and interpret the movie myself, but simply because I wanna know what makes Stanley Kubrick tick. Regardless of this personal annoyance, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is definitely a poetic motion picture that is entertaining enough to draw me into its world, even though I don't agree with its message. It's fresh. Funny, I thought I would say that about a movie that came out in 2012. Sadly, the innovative films are those from the past, not in the hope of the future of filmmaking, that is, if Hollywood continues down its path that its on now.
almost an intergalactic space age opera or ballet for the senses.
The plot is also very good yet kinda minimalistic. Adapted from the Arthur C. Clarke novel, with his input, assistance and help from NASA this really put the film into the realms of pure reality and technological advancement to which no other films have bettered to this day.
It takes a good few viewings to catch everything and understand the plot fully, as you do the film grows on you emotionally.
Many don't understand the story and find it boring thus not enjoying the experience which is a shame, the same happened when it was first released, all I can say is read the book, read about the film, watch and learn.
Epic in scope and unbeatable in most every department even to this day, the effects are tremendous despite being viewed in total silence for the most part. Add to that one of the greatest scores ever devised and you really can understand how this rates so high.
What dissapoints me is we are now beyond this date and not up to the technology shown, even 2010 has been and gone and we're nowhere near Europa :( oh well.
Nevertheless, one does not need to see the film multiple times to appreciate the superb visual effects present in 2001. Though it's old enough that its premiere occurred during my father's first month of life, its visual effects, which won an Oscar so long ago, would still undoubtedly be nominated for and possibly win the award if it were released in this modern day. It's pretty impressive. Not hard to see why this is a classic of American cinema.