2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey: or oddity! (Blu Ray) Apes and astronauts try to solve a 4 million year old secret of our universe. Be under no illusion, this is more about the (then) ground-breaking special effects than story – and considering what the standards were, they’re beyond impressive. The landscapes and space ships are astonishingly Intricate, and the complex ‘gravity-defying’ set-pieces are mind-blowing, many have become iconic through the years. The picture and sound are definitely reference material: particularly the epic orchestrated pieces that pump through all speakers & work the bass. The physics are also spot on, which you can’t say about many sci-fi films! But then there’s the down-side… The first 25 minutes is just a bizarre ape racket, there are several long ‘space ballet’ type scenes, loads of ridiculously dragged-out & slow shots, minutes of pure blackness with ominous sounds, and a few chunks of painfully unwatchable psychedelia. The ‘Jupiter Mission’ section was the only part that I enjoyed as it actually had some story and drama: the camp / murderous / paranoid computer Hal and Keir Dullea’s intensity, which stole the show for me. The ending is incoherent, illogical and disappointing. I fully appreciate that in 1968 (before the original moon landing!) this would have been a ground-breaking awe-inspiring epic extravaganza – and despite advances in effects, it still fares well – but it doesn’t make up for the lack of story or substance. 2001 is constantly lauded as one of the best films ever, which maybe raised my expectations too high but to me this would be best enjoyed on drugs. Lots of drugs.
Only four out of ten! I guess I can see that. I love this movie a lot. Really. But no matter how many essays I read, or times I watch it, I’ll never understand that ending.
I can fully understand why it was one of the greatest films of all time but there seems to be a bizarre nostalgic “best film ever” title that it’s kept for decades. Must be something I’m not getting. I can appreciate it, but would find it hard to enjoy.