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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

G   |    |  Adventure, Sci-Fi


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Poster

After discovering a mysterious artifact buried beneath the lunar surface, mankind sets off on a quest to find its origins with help from intelligent supercomputer HAL 9000.

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8.3/10
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  • Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Keir Dullea in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


5 January 2005 | Manthorpe
10
| A film of monolithic proportions.
A review I have put off for far too long....

Bluntly, 2001 is one of the best science-fiction films made to date, if not the very best. Stanley Kubrick was a genius of a film maker and this is one of his very best works. And although it is misunderstood by many, and respectively underrated, it is considered one of the best films of all time and I'll have to agree. Back in 1968, no one had done anything like this before, and no one has since. It was a marvel of a special effects breakthrough back then, and seeing how the effects hold up today, it is no wonder as to why. The film still looks marvelous after almost forty years! Take note CGI people. Through the use of large miniatures and realistic lighting, Kubrick created some of the best special effects ever put on celluloid. This aspect alone almost single-handedly created the chilling void of the space atmosphere which is also attributed to the music and realistic sound effects. I can't think of another film where you can't here anything in space, like it is in reality. Not only is the absence of sound effects in space realistic, it is used cleverly as a tool to establish mood, and it works flawlessly.

Aside from the magnificent display of ingenious special effects, there are other factors that play a part in establishing the feel of the film. The music played, all classical, compliment what the eyes are seeing and make you feel the significance of man's journey through his evolution from ape to space traveler.

The story, while seemingly simple, is profound. Sequentially, several mysterious black monoliths are discovered and basically trigger certain events integral to the film. What are they? Where did they come from? What do they do? These are all questions one asks oneself while watching the story develop and is asked to find his own way. While most come away with a general idea of what took place in the story, each individual will have to decide what it means to them. Any way one decides to answer these question results in profound solutions. It's not left entirely up to interpretation, but in some aspects it is. Experience it for more clarification. The end result is quite chilling, no matter your personal solution.

While it is a long film, and sometimes slows down, it has to be in order to accurately portray the journey of man. It's not a subject that would have faired well in a shorter film, faster paced feature. Those with short attention spans need not apply.

Last but not least, is the epitome of a remorseless antagonist, HAL 9000, the computer. Never has a machine held such a chilling screen presence. Which reminds me, for a film with such profound ambition and execution, there is surprisingly little dialogue. Another sign of Kubrick's genius.

All in all, one of the best films made to date and one of the very best science fiction films made. A personal favorite. Everyone must see this film at least once.

Very highly recommended.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the premiere screening, 241 people walked out of the theater, including Rock Hudson, who said, "Will someone tell me what the hell this is about?" Arthur C. Clarke once said, "If you understand '2001' completely, we failed. We wanted to raise far more questions than we answered." Clarke later expressed some concern that the film was too hard to follow, and explained things more fully in the novelization and subsequent sequels.


Quotes

Aries-1B stewardess: Here you are, sir, main level please.


Goofs

When the Earth Shuttle stewardess enters the passenger cabin and moves towards Heywood Floyd, she stumbles on the walkway. The nature of the misstep reveals that she is not weightless.


Crazy Credits

The traditional "roaring lion" logo for MGM was not used in this film. Instead, the newly designed corporate logo for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was used, along with the letters "MGM", all in white against a blue background.


Alternate Versions

The DVD version from MGM omits a few seconds of dialogue from the scene in which Dave is attempting to re-enter the Discovery through the pod bay doors. Dave asks several times, "Do you read me, HAL?" In the original release, HAL answers, "Affirmative, Dave. I read you." In the DVD version, HAL only answers "Affirmative, Dave," although the English subtitles still contains "I read you." The DVD release from Warner Bros. corrects this and HAL's full line of dialogue is heard.


Soundtracks

Gayaneh Ballet Suite
(1941-2)
Music by
Aram Khachaturyan
Performed by Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra (as the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra)
Conductor Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
Courtesy Deutsche Grammophon

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Adventure | Sci-Fi

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