- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
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2001: A Space Odyssey
- Michael Whitty
A visually stunning and groundbreaking film experience that took 4 years to make "2001:A Space Odyssey" is one of the greats of science-fiction. While the meaning of it all is somewhat elusive but the visuals keep you awestruck. There is the computer HAL who sees all and knows all and can amaze the on-board astronauts. HAL also talks and becomes a difficult opponent later for the astronauts who plot to destroy him when they find he isn't perfect. This is Stanley kubrick's masterwork showing outer space vistas along with some human meaning that can't comprehend the environment of it all. Here is a movie where the human characters take a backseat to the world they see. The HAL computer and the black Monolith, in which time flies each time we see it, overrule the humans. All we can do is enjoy the ride.
2001: the undercurrent of 'love interesst'
- Stan Ochocki
Yes, many fellow reviewers are on the mark concerning the visually stunning and in CINERAMA, nearly overwhelming spectacle; However, either via 'over-looked' or 'not aware' of the central core of Interaction between HAL and his 'beloved' Dave. Yes, HAL was given 'instructions'; but it was HAL's emotional attachment to Dave that lead him to terminate the others. Just look at the verbal and visual clues in both the tone and demeanor of both. You can clearly see Dave's uncertainty at these 'unwanted'(?) attentions. Nes Pas, subtle sexual harrassment in Space? Mr. Clark, avoided giving 'any' clear-cut denials of this issue, that was brought up during its initial release. And supposedly, to a close confident, did begrudgingly give a nod to such, as well as what some seen as an allegory of Lucifer and Adam's relationship in the Garden of Eden; "..and Lucifer became Enamoured of Adam' & "..eat of this Apple and you will have knowledge like a Gad, (a New Messiah). Hence, Touch the Monolith and be 're-born', 'Enlightened as a God'. Also, in the subsequent books, " 2010" & "3001". Mr. Clark CLEARLY shows the ultimate interlacing of Man & Machine as Dave and HAL are now One, both physically and Spiritually. And for the 'poor' frozen in Deep, Deep Space protagonist of "3001"; he finds upon 're-awakening' that this 'brave new world' is only survivable, if you Relinquish a part of your 'Humanity' and have a 'neuro-net' attached to your brain in order to function in this now Hyper-Tech Society, and of the 'sencient' vegetable life-forms on Jupiter's Moon.
- kevin sellers
When the director starts to regard him or herself as an intellectual, rather than a storyteller, you should run, not walk, to the exit.
Grand Music Video
- Kirsten I.
This is one movie I think you can watch out of order and still enjoy what it does best--present beautiful images, sometimes along with classical music. I first watched the movie on a sea cruise, and the ship's theater showed the picture multiple times, so I saw the last half first and the first half last. I didn't even try to make sense of the story--I just sat mesmerized by what is, essentially, a grand music video. It's not exciting. It's not fast-paced. It's not one of my favorite movies. But it's uniquely soothing, and I'm glad to sit and watch it once in awhile. I recommend 2001 for that experience. We can watch it now with the knowledge that this was a vision of 2001 in 1968, when a troubled America didn't foresee 9/11.
Help with the meaning
- Terry Ahlstedt
If you are having trouble figuring out the meaning of the picture I suggest you find a companion piece written by Arthur C. Clark. It comes up with great explanations for Hal 9000's motive for killing the crew (he was asked to lie by the mission control people and he had a sort of mechanical nervous breakdown and concluded that the crew were the cause of his troubles. Strangely logical and crazy). The long ending process is were the guy is transported across the galaxy to the home of the race that built the monolith. There he is reborn and goes back to earth as a messiah figure who will save man from destroying himself.
Saw this on the Big Screen when I was a pilot in the USAF. Seeing films was one the alert crews diversions. Admittedly our group was perhaps more clued in to flying and the Space program, and most looked forward to seeing it. However there is no plot, a general problem with most sci-fi films. We thought the Director' s use of the available means of making this film exceptional. However as I recall leaving the theater, most of my companions asked "what was that all about, especially the ending. Did the Director and or Writers run out of ideas. Or was it a "religious or philosophical end that can only be understood by Ph.D philosophy profs. As a group of physical looking men (No female pilots at that time). We joked how good looking and young the two stars were. In real life, pilots are chosen for t heir flying ability, and we doubted whether they would have enough experience to be in charge of such a mission. Of course we did not foresee that computers would do all of our thinking in 2015. For myself, I enjoyed the technology used. But as for "entertainment" I thought I wasted my .35 cents. (Military received a break on the price). Since the film is going for the cut rate price on TCM, I would guess that like Citizen Kane, it did not connect with the public at the time of its filming, and apparently is outdated by today's techinal standdards. Funny how films with great plots and acting still demand high prices from the TCM store. Sorry to be so negative about this film, but accept it as something written from a different perspective.
A Game Changer
- Graham Thomas
Kubrick threw out most of the previously accepted rules of filmmaking with this one. Pre-production, sets, effects, plot, character, you name it. Still mysterious and impressive despite its elusive " meaning", it is the beginning of his journey into "meta" filmmaking, where symbolism and allegory shut out the average viewer's enjoyment and understanding. Good double feature with Paths of Glory.
- james johnson
Since I saw the film in CINERAMA in 1968 Remember for we viewers this was a year before we landed on the moon. If you have not viewed this in the very large format then you have missed the real impact of the film. At that time I was in my 20's graduating and starting my graphic art career and having also finished time in the army and since I had read science fiction from the age of 6 I was very receptive to the film. The mystery of Life and possible choices many of which are only now being explored not as science fiction but possible science future. Nothing before or since approach the message in this film, also missing in the discussion of this film is the large format and the ties with the sound, the vision and sound seems to wrap around you the things that seem slow are surprises when they come in all directions.If you expect a answer from this film remember it is in fact only a question, If all of this had really happened in 2001 in the end we now would still only know more questions. In 1968 I saw for the first time a very large computer and a wire frame animation of a aircraft and the aircraft landing and taxing into a wireframe hanger. Look at the details and how they still standup the food could be manufactured on demand, the video screens could be modern. If you are young remember most of the technology that looks familiar in the film is only 15 or less years old. Remember the digital revolution started as a means to send information and photos back to earth. I can only say I hope you all find it possible to see the film in the size it was envisioned to be see in.And if you do the beginning will still be worth the wait.
2001-A Space Odyssey
Overall-5/5Lead Performers-3 1/2 out of 5Supporting Cast-5/5 (for Douglas Rain as HAL)Director-5/5Score-5/5Titles-5/5Screenplay-4/5Cinematography-5/5Importance-5/5Recommendation for fans of the genre-5/5
The greatest science fiction movie to date
- Randy Alford
The viewer is taken to the origins of man with compelling views of landscapes and a sensational music score.The idea that an intelligence several million years more advanced than our own could be watching us has never been developed so adroitly in any film that I am aware of. 2010 was a let down as a follow up to this movie. I liked the theme of our technology going from the bone used by homo habilis or his precursor to Hal. It is also compelling to have our idea of life and death become irrelevant as Dave Bowman moves through the stages of life in only moments and then back again. Perhaps the greatest aspect of the movie is how it makes the viewer expand their mind and think about the issues laid out in the film.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Mr. Blandings
Kudos for this being one of the first science-fiction motion picture to be based more in realism than goofiness (although it owes A LOT to the Star Trek television series, which was the first to break away from the space monsters and alien saucers tainting the genre and actually have characterization and theme). But outside of that this film is an overly long, dragged out affair with a pretty weak story. It's also a fairly pretentious piece of filmmaking. You know, the kind that have those enigmatic, undecipherable endings that even the filmmakers themselves don't understand but hope viewers will read something revelatory into it for them. Though overrated, the film remains a highly-regarded piece of serious cinema. Although, for this reason, it has cursed many later productions trying to buy into the same ponderous, colorless pomposity--Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Alien, Silent Running, and the recent Lord the Rings Trilogy are a few such yawn-fests that come to mind. FX-wise (although such things aren't anywhere near as important as story, theme, and characterization) , the movie has some good parts (the jogging upside-down, for example), but many other times it's a cheat (as seen in the endless shots of 2-dimensional picture postcards of various spacecraft being dragged across the screen). The "Citizen Kane of Sci-Fi films, this movie is definitely not for all tastes. Good classical music score though.
- Gregg Hill
If there is one science fiction movie (actually there are several others) that should require TCM to expand its movie genre categories to include science fiction (a suitable icon would be an astronaut) it is this one, perhaps the best thinking person's science fiction movie ever made.
once in a lifetime
They just don't make movies like that any more... too bad. Even with all the special effects, ear blasting sound, etc.. films since that tried to imitate it, just keep missing the point, even in 2010 - 2001 wasn't really a film about space it was a poem and a visual dream sewn together with a groundbreaking story in a backdrop of space - exquisitely done. My words can not convey the beauty and depth it has to offer.
The cinematography is the greatest ever! The remarkable thing is that they did it without computers. I saw this at the Cinemadome in Hollywood and was completely blown away. If you have the chance to see this on a large screen with theater sound do it! WOW!
An Adventure of Astronomical Proportions
I remember my first time watching this. I was around 11 and skeptical of its quality. I sat through the first 10 minutes before I decided it was nothing important (after all, for thirty minutes, the first images we see are just apes wandering around an empty horizon, fighting for necessities with Darwinism at large). I never really understood film as an art back then which I am greatly ashamed of now, but I gave it another chance. That's when it all came together for what it was worth. The common complaint is how boring and silent it is for the initial time it runs, not to mention an ending which leads to much confusion. What disturbs me is that people can't look past this and judge it as a whole; acting (particularly with Douglas Rain as HAL, in an eerily unhuman perforance which should be considered as the best voice-over in cinema, or maybe the best villian in cinema; I say both), cinematography (which captures the vast horizons of the moon, outer space, or in the Earth-like areas, both in the past and future), the special effects (which Kubrick won his only Oscar for), the incredible direction of Stanley Kubrick (whose work spans from works including "Dr. Strangelove", "Spartacus", "A Clockwork Orange", and "Full Metal Jacket") and most importantly, the silence. This isn't like any other Sci-fi movie, glistening with Planets populated by other life, war between planets, or a highly developed society; it's almost real. In space, no one can hear a thing in such a vacuum, that's why it's only right to say it should be as quiet as it is. The only time where we really hear anything is the score during the title sequence which unveils life and the Sun, the "Blue Danube" which plays while the spacecrafts drift through a sea of space and weightlessness, and what can only be described as a fearful wail while the apes fight for power. As of now, I am 17. I recommend this to deep thinkers and devout Kubrick fans. 4 Stars.
- Max Waller
I enjoy this movie a lot.
Form Follows Function
Another interesting cross-thematic dimension to this film, revealed since my last review her on TCM, is even if viewing it sans consideration of its artistic elements and values, and viewing purely from a scientist (or even Scientological) perspective, the ART, as it is applied to the SCIENCE is superimposed against the backdrop of PROGRESS. This is a progressive film in every way, and will continue to be so in perpetuity until we, as a species, evolve and develop paralleling the deep-space travel and ENLIGHTENMENT congruence shown here. This is necessary to accomplish those goals as a species, but most intriguing is the realization of the viewer/listener of the importance of creativity in the scientific process, into which ART is an indispensable component: vis-a-vis Wayne Shorter, 1968, Downbeat magazine, 'Creativity and Change'. Thus, form follows function in CONCEPTION, DESIGN, PRODUCTION, and APPLICATION [of science]. Note the seating and interior aspects of the spacecraft. All these were approached in real-life production with the idea: form follows function; an actual PRECEPT of any designer applying science to real-world conditions (transportation for instance). The approach to Science as and with Art. Without the musical elements here, and in our world, it would not be possible for this film to convey, as effectively, this truth. A very well thought out screenplay in these regards!
Modernism, Technical Mastery! FUTURISM?
- Rodney Golden
From the Herman Miller, Karttell, Russell Wright, etc. inspired ergonomic seating and spacecraft interiors as props, to the reality-consulted hi-tech kitchen of the future, to Video telephoning, this film certainly deserves it's due as a modern masterpiece. Scientifically accurate to some extent, it challenges the mind to process and unravel the profound philos/ethos of this and all great art. It evokes the IMPORTANCE of art . The music is of course fabulous and well recorded even by today's standards, and hurtles forward with the space travel, from Baroque and Neo classics to the most advanced synthesized jazz textures near the end. The montages of 'classicism-vs-modernity' produce astounding visual counterpoint re-dawn the question of the sacredness and timelessness of life itself, and the fragility of our earth are all brought to bold relief here, almost delicately carved for the senses like a chiaroscuro. Musician icon Wayne Shorter's erudite essay alluding to this movie in Downbeat in 1968 contemporaneously, of then was prescient as was the movie itself. It flow-charts the advance of man from the primitive, to the pushing of the technology envelope. Definitely for the thinkers of the world, ahead of its time, not for the average viewer. Reminds one of avant garde JAZZ music. Avant garde in its own right.
Are you looking for the meaning of life?
"2001: A Space Odyssey" has been marveled as a cinematic masterpiece since its release in 1968.Yet, this film defies just being only a film. It is one of the most intelligent, thought provoking pieces of a work that mankind ever created to probe the ultimate questions poets, painters, composers, and all the hoi-polloi throughout all human history have had regarding the question of humanity's existence, purpose, and destiny.This film redefines art. It starts by taking the classic literature of Homer, the music of Strauss, the philosophy of Nietzsche, the studies of Joseph Campbell, and studies of all religion, sociology, psychology, politics, and technology; it then examines these studies that are devoted to finding and realizing man's meaning to existence; and applies the findings to a cinematic experience that is as eye-popping as it is subtle - and sublime - in its presentation.The greatness of this movie is that it never pronounces to the audience its motives or its view. The film demands intelligence from the viewer; also, patience and analysis. The pretty images crafted and the beautiful music employed by the top talents in filmmaking are actually the natural evolution of the guts and brain power that created this film. It is hard, if not impossible, to imagine a more intelligent, more evocative method to depict a study of mankind's meaning without resorting to the literal exposition so easy to use and then to achieve the success of its communication in less than two and a half hours of moving pictures and sound.This movie is not intended necessarily for geniuses or idiots. It's simply for people who want to discover - and every person is capable of doing it -- just how "2001: A Space Odyssey" deserves to be mentioned and considered seriously in a discussion of mankind's all-time greatest and most important artistic achievements.Arguably, the greatest motion picture ever made- perhaps, the greatest artistic achievement ever.
Awewome & Visonary Sci-Fi
- Bruce Reber
I saw "2001" for the first time when I was 12 years old and ever since this landmark sci-fi film has never ceased to amaze me. The visual effects are quite striking, and although they were created over 40 years ago they are still very passable compared with today's CGI film effects. Director Stanley Kubrick expanded Arthur C. Clarke's short stories into a breathtaking vision of 21st century space travel (although we all know that most of what is depicted in the film did not happen by 2001). "2001" set the standard for sci-fi epics to follow, such as the "Star Wars" films and "Close Encounters of The Third Kind". The most interesting character in the "2001" is not a human, but a computer, HAL 9000, that talks and has a human personality. At first HAL seems to be benevolent, interacting with Bowman and Poole and overseeing the Discovery's mission. Later however, HAL's true agenda is revealed when he kills Poole and the hibernating scientists, and tries to prevent Bowman from returning to the ship because he believes that what will eventually be discovered is too significant and important to be endangered by an inferior entity (humans). Bowman disables HAL and leaves the ship on a visually stunning journey beyond the limits of time and the maybe the universe itself.
Super Computers; another planet 2001
- Super Computers
I really enjoyed the movie but the music was at times annoying so I turned it down. Enjoyed the thought of evolution but thought it jumped too fast to the space station. Thinking of Lanning thought I heard the name mentioned not sure is your synopsis mentioned this or was I imagining I heard this--thinking of other movies as Irobot and movie to be of Brad Pitt with being born as old to infant. Reverse logic makes me wonder what was the intent of seeing the astronaunt being midage to old to young. Still would like to know how he was able to enter the emergency hatch and override the computer and was this a Super Computer if it had the capibilities of talking figuring by eye scans, mouth movement and contiplating future happenings is it possible for a computer to have such logic--do not think so and Dicovery is this a Space Station of today and past movie has become our today's present and what will be the future (Jupiter--the red planet very interesting the galaxies views almost look real but if see with a naked eye from a space ship won't it be too bright for the astronaut to look at it. Is there anymore Space Odessey movies? I enjoyed watching Star Trek when a teenager. More....
Two genius minds:one great movie
Science & creativity blending to create the most thought provoking SF movie ever made. I saw this movie in a heightened state of consciousness in 1968 when I was 18 years old. At the time I didn't fully understand it but I knew that I wanted to. Over the years I read several articles and books about this film and I'm still amazed by it. The sense of wonder and hope of an exciting future where space travel would fulfill the dreams of reaching out into the infinite skies; what strange and marvelous unknowns we would encounter fit in so well with the beliefs in the 1960's that anything was possible. But the genius of the Kubrick/Clarke collaboration brought out so much more. Evolution, adventure, spirituality, consciousness, technology and a villain for the ages; all in one movie. It saddens me that so much of the promise for space travel has taken a back seat to the tools of destruction.
Keir Dullea flung through space
One of my all time favorite movie momentsis when Bowman is not allowed into the space ship by EVIL HAL (IBM with each letter moved forward once). He has "no space helmet." Kubrick creates traveling through space into the ship so well. Tremendous tension.
Greatest Sciece-Fiction film of all-time
Stanley Kubrick succeeded brilliantly in his attempt to bring hard science-fiction to the cinema. I first saw this film when I was six, nearly seven years old in 1968, Manhattan, NY in HUGE aspect-ratio CINERAMA (which required I think three sychronised projectors, in a very-large slightly curved screen. KRAKATOA: EAST OF JAVA, was also in 3-projector CINERAMA I saw that the next year) and I was blown away. I had already been a huge Sci-Fi fan since BIRTH, and also my entire family. Now, the technological-marvels depicted in the movie (as projections of then-current-trends in technology) are commonplace: international space stations, space-shuttles, superfast computers. Only thing missing now is the lunar-bases, and ships for interplanetary exploration, even though the technology is way-better today than what was depicted in the film. Much of the tech in the film looks just like 1980s designs. Now we have Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, giant flat screens in hi-def, cellphones, satellite-positioning, nano-technology. Soon, we will have cheap-clean energy and superfast, supersafe interplanetary-travel. 40-years of wait have come to fruition, the future is NOW, and Kubrick would be pleased about everything but the lack of a manned presence on the moon, and manned space-probes using the fantastically successfully tested NERVA Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle application(1960s fission, 1970s FUSION, technolgy abandoned even though it was very successful), that was supposed to be the main-drive for spaceship DISCOVERY-ONE.
One of the greatest films of all time
Whether Kubrick consciously knew it or not, this is a seminal cultural artifiact that critiques the modern and emerging postmodern alienation of the soul, and envisions a re-union with a paradoxically ever-present and evolving Spirit. Masterful minimalist image and sound (including score selection) by Kubrick. One of the gr4at films as film of all time, also. Brilliant!
I am not a big fan of sci-fi movies, but this one is well acted and scientifically acceptable. Although many of the innovations proposed now are commonplace, they must have been deemed unlikely in 1968. And, even though the premise at the start is rather long and tedious, it does tie some universal themes together--the development of human culture and the need to explore and expand knowledge and the rather competitive nature of man and machine. I think you could cut that first 20 minutes and still have a movie that is extremely well crafted.
2001 Space Odyssey
this is the Base Line for all space movies. Actors were great to. would would quess talking computers will be commoon every day soon! I wonder how they got Congress to do the opening scenes chimps were great.