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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


Makes me want to fly into space right now.

While investigating the appearance of mysterious monoliths throughout the universe, astronauts David (Keir Dullea) and Frank (Gary Lockwood) battle their ship’s intelligent computer, HAL-9000.

Questions about space are never answered. Many people sit and wonder about the actual mysteries of space, and what is really out there. I can count myself as one of those people, but thinking about a new life out there? That is what mostly brings up my curiosity.

The one thing about 2001 is that this film, like many of Stanley Kubrick‘s others, confuse the hell out of people. And this film, is really no different. Kubrick films this project with great style. The way he uses almost no dialogue, and replaces it with either, orchestra music, or just the sound of silence or breathing, he is adding a lot more to the mystery of space. He is trying to take us away from the story and more towards the idea of humanity, and where we came from, and what is out there.

However, a lot his style may turn off a lot of viewers. At times, I did find myself a little challenged by everything that was going on, because it is so different. Literally, the first three minutes are just pitch black, with a creepy-ass score, and that’s when I knew I was in for a big-ass ride. People will not just be taken back from the minimal dialogue, but also the extraneous amount of symbolic images, that people have no idea what they mean. The film is open to viewer’s, and for me I understood most of the symbolism, however, some people will find a lot of this, totally out of their comfort zone, because I questioned it too, if whether or not I knew exactly what was going on. But, it’s just the fact that Kubrick keeps this film together with a script that brings out so many questions, and ideas that we, as a society, have never thought about. Where did the first murder occur? How did it occur? When will technology take over the world to a point of where it is practically turning against us? How far will it go, till the point of the end of humanity? All these questions are brought up, and although some are answered, and some are not, we all know one thing that as humans, we may never know, until it actually happens. Its not just about the one human, but just as the human species in general.

I was totally blown away by those special effects. Kubrick uses a lot of hand-crafted puppet materials, that we’re later used in a very similar movie, but you didn’t hear it from me. It still astonishes me that this film was made back in 1968, where images like this were unheard of, and Kubrick got every single image, and effect right, whereas many films, that spend almost $1,000,000 on CGI-special effects, and can’t get it close to even looking right. The images of space, and the numerous space crafts that inhabit, are just beautiful. Mixed with the sound it really does give you sense of isolation, and adds to the overall effect that the film was going for. By the end, Kubrick uses certain colors, that just totally boggle your mind, and actually make you think what drugs you took, however, all of it adds to the overall effect of a place, farther than where our imagination can stretch.

The acting here is highly sub-par but that’s because there’s barely any dialogue, that can show off these actors talents. I have to give it the most to Douglas Rain, who does the voice of that evil-ass red-dot computer, HAL-9000. The best thing about HAL 9000 is that it is one of the first “robots” to be used as a harmful thing in a film. We always see how robots help us out through almost every time, but we never see how, and what happens when this piece of technology turns on us. Rain does a great job of voicing HAL because, he doesn’t show too many emotions, and just sticks with one tone of voice the whole movie. The last couple of scenes with HAL, are just heart-wrenching and will have you totally feeling upset over a robot. This adds a lot more over the idea of technology over humanity.

Consensus: Though some viewers may find themselves catching some z’s, others will be astonished. 2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the most influential sci-fi films of all-time that brings up great questions about humanity, and space, but has an incredible direction from Kubrick, that holds a lot of symbolism, and great visuals, of outer space. It has to be seen to believed.

9.5/10=Full Pricee!!!

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18 responses to “2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

  1. Shubhajit Lahiri June 22, 2010 at 5:51 am

    “He is trying to take us away from the story and more towards the idea of humanity, and where we came from, and what is out there.” Well said. 2001 happens to be among my favourite movies, and for reasons you’ve mentioned in your exquisite review. Interestingly, I saw Tarkovsky’s Solaris a few days back – referred to, erroneously I fee, as the Soviet’s reply to 2001.

  2. Darren June 22, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Yep, it’s mindblowing. I’ve seen it a few times and even now I’m not sure I fully grasp it.

  3. Dan June 22, 2010 at 9:17 am

    No I don’t fully grasp it either. I think the beauty of it is in the different things each person can take from it. It’s beautiful and yet disturbing. Genius.

  4. mcarteratthemovies June 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I was sure I hated this the first time I saw it because there is no humanity in it. The human characters have no personality. Then I realized the most human character is not human at all, and I started to get the point. “2001: A Space Odyssey” is a technical masterpiece with amazing visuals, but it still leaves me cold at the end. Kubrick himself was a very cold, impersonal-seeming director, so it’s hard for me to get into his work.

    • CMrok93 June 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      He is a very challenging director, but most have to be in the right frame of mind, to actually handle a piece of his work.

    • mill1924 June 24, 2010 at 4:18 am

      I was the same as you, not really liking the project so much the first time I saw it. Mostly because I was not used to there being no character to relate with, care for or associate with, but as you said, that is really saying something not only about Kubrick, but it also says something about his work.

      Even more fitting for a movie about technological advancement, people are disconnected, especially with technology in the picture. But I think technology went in the other direction from what many people had thought back then. Instead of isolating ourselves, it brings us together and more connected with Facebook, this here blog on wordpress and millions of other amazing features.

      Kubrick is hard as a director, because even when he does get a character for the audience to invest in, they are often very detached, cold characters themselves. Good point you bring up.

      I agree with your review. People will find it boring, because it is. But it is also very important and a smart piece with its digging into humanity, even if that means refusing to bring humanity in the movie.

  5. Peter Eramo Jr. June 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Funny to read the reviews when this first came out totally panning it. And now look at it. I admit that I must be in the mood to sit back and appreciate this movie (as sci-fi is not my genre), but Kubrick was one of the handful of masters and like a few mention here, each person takes away something different. Movie Mobsters just did a nice posting on 2001. Kubrick love in the air!

    And hey – I think it’s about time the two of us show each other some Blogroll link love, huh?!

    • CMrok93 June 23, 2010 at 3:23 am

      Many people heated this film probably cause they weren’t ready for it, back in 1968, where John Wayne rained supreme. Also, my bad bro, I’ll def get you in there.

  6. Silver Emulsion June 23, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I love this movie so much. I had the chance to see it on the big screen in 70mm a few years back and it was even more amazing in its natural habitat.

    This was the first movie that made me notice the director’s influence on a film. During the spacewalk when the only sound is breathing, that was the moment it all clicked and I realized that every moment was a culmination of choices made by the director. It blew my teenage mind at the time and completely changed how I watched movies after that.

  7. Darwin June 24, 2010 at 3:57 am

    It is a superb film – a generous and mind-blowing vision from Kubrick. Glad you really really like it. Yeah, it’s not for everybody, like you say. But it’s their loss, really. I almost feel sorry for them. Almost.

  8. Pingback: Solaris (2002) | Dan The Man's Movie Reviews

  9. Ronan May 31, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I still have to see this on the big screen. That would be class.

  10. Thomas Ostrowski August 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    My theory on why the screen is black at the beginning for so long is that you are directly looking at the surface of the monolith. The music is a cue because it plays whenever it’s fully on screen. Took me many viewings to get that connection.

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