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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Once upon a time, when the year 2001 seemed aeons away, director Stanley Kubruck (Dr. Strangelove) contacted author Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End) to discuss making "the proverbial good science fiction movie". Both were sick of films that passed for science fiction, but were actually monster movies set in space, or were fiction films with the science replaced by fantasy.

The result was 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film, and a companion book of the same name which is actually a completely different animal. The film -- striking, innovative, visually engrossing, ambiguous, and scientifically solid -- is as good today as it was in 1968, even if many of the "predictions" of the film have failed to come to pass. (Perhaps if the shuttle didn't explode in '86, we'd be closer to having moon bases today?)

Separated into four chapters (The Dawn Of Man, TMA-1, Jupiter Mission (and an intermission with music), and finally Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite), 2001 has no dialogue at all for the entire first quarter of the film. Beginning with a blank screen and "Atmospheres" by Ligeti, this is a film paradoxically anchored by both music and silence. The screen changes to the Earth rising over the moon, and the sun rising over the Earth (an important clue and recurring symbol) accompanied by "Thus Spoke Zarathustra". We are then introduced to a tribe of pre-human apes (Australopithecus, perhaps), starving and on the verge of extinction. Other tribes are stronger and out-competing them. There is no dialogue here but the barking of the apes, yet that and the scenery speak volumes. Suddenly one morning, the game has changed: A mysterious black monolith has appeared. The apes are drawn to it, and soon find that they are now able to compete with predators thanks to a new discovery: weapons.

The TMA-1 chapter begins with what Clarke has called "the longest jump-cut in history" and we see that humanity has evolved into a spacegoing race. Orbital weapons platforms orbit the earth as a shuttle is making way to an under-construction space station. The Blue Danube plays as the spacecraft dance in calculated perfection. Our first main character, Dr. Heywood Floyd, arrives on the station and we are given some tantalizing clues as to why he's made this trip: Rumours of a plague outbreak on the moon. Yet this is just a cover story. As Floyd makes his way to the moon in another beautifully choreographed sequence, we learn that a magnetic anomoly was discovered in the crater Tycho (named after astronomer Tycho Brahe) -- Tycho Magnetic Anomoly 1, or TMA-1. This discovery is so important, that the cover story was created to keep everyone far away from Tycho.

The discover of TMA-1 leads to another jump forward in time, to a mission to Jupiter helmed by David Bowman (the perpetually young Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood of the second Star Trek pilot episode). Aboard their ship the Discovery are three sleeping astronauts and the most famous computer of all time, H.A.L. 9000 (voiced by Stratford resident Douglas Rain). Bowman and Poole do not know why they are going to Jupiter, but we are given a glipse into the possible life of two men with nothing but a computer for company, in space for years as they make the long transit to the biggest planet in our solar system. H.A.L. is a character to himself, perhaps the one with the most emotion onboard the Discovery.

Things go wrong when an antenna is predicted to fail by H.A.L., requiring one of the astronauts to go outside and repair it. H.A.L., who controls the life support and every function of Discovery, begins to show signs of what humans call mistakes. Yet no 9000-series computer has ever failed, or found to be in error. You will be haunted by the song "Daisy" by the end of this chapter.

After an intermission, Discovery finally arrives at Jupiter and its true mission is revealed. This chapter too has no dialogue, bringing us full circle. David Bowman once again must venture outside the ship and find out just what was discovered on the moon, how it relates to Jupiter, and perhaps even how it related to our millenia-dead ancestors. What follows is one of the most baffling and strange sequences in movie history, one which will require dozens of viewings to appreciate, let alone understand. The beauty of this final sequence is that there is no right or wrong interpretation. While on the surface it may appear to be a psychedelic caleidoscope of colour followed by a bizarre dialogue-less encounter with a being that seems to have no bearing on reality, it is actually Kubrick's way of showing the audience something that is beyond anyone's imagination. Like the audience, David Bowman and humanity have come full circle.

Lacking what modern audiences might call action, lacking typical space sound effects (there is no sound in space!), lacking dialogue for most of the movie, and lacking any sort of warm human characters (except maybe H.A.L. who is not human), this movie was a challenge to watch in 1968 and is still a challenge today. It is, however, a piece of art that trancends its genre and is a landmark in film making. Kubrick, always a visionary and always breaking through boundaries of what could not be done in film, outdid himself and made a science fiction film that still has not been topped 40 years later. Nobody has made anything this epic, this beautiful, this deep or this scientifically sound since. The special effects -- all practical effects and mostly in-camera, as CG did not yet exist -- still stand up today. Nobody will ever forget the rotating Dicovery set that allowed one character to be seated while another seemingly walked from the top of the cylinder, down the side, and sat down next to him.

Sure -- we don't have a moon base. We haven't sent anyone to Jupiter. However, we do talk to each other via video conference. We do have a space station. We have created computers that can beat the best humans at chess. This is not that far off. If they had named this film 2031: A Space Odyssey, we might be in the right ballpark. In the end, the year does not matter. You never see modern Earth in the movie at all.

This blu-ray release is loaded with special features and has a beautiful transfer in 2.20:1, as Kubrick shot it and intended it to be. Both Dullea and Lockwood provide an audio commentary. There are documentaries about Kubrick, about the predictions of the film, and about the effects. The only thing missing is the Arthur C. Clarke lecture from the first issue DVD.

2001: A Space Odyssey is, without any doubt or any argument, the greatest science fiction film of all time. With Kubrick and Clarke now both gone, I doubt we will ever see anything like it again. 5 stars is not enough of a rating. I give this movie 200 billion stars, one for each star in our galaxy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Once upon a time, when the year 2001 seemed aeons away, director Stanley Kubruck (Dr. Strangelove) contacted author Arthur C. Clarke (Childhood's End) to discuss making "the proverbial good science fiction movie". Both were sick of films that passed for science fiction, but were actually monster movies set in space, or were fiction films with the science replaced by fantasy.

The result was 2001: A Space Odyssey, the film, and a companion book of the same name which is actually a completely different animal. The film -- striking, innovative, visually engrossing, ambiguous, and scientifically solid -- is as good today as it was in 1968, even if many of the "predictions" of the film have failed to come to pass. (Perhaps if the shuttle didn't explode in '86, we'd be closer to having moon bases today?)

Separated into four chapters (The Dawn Of Man, TMA-1, Jupiter Mission (and an intermission with music), and finally Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite), 2001 has no dialogue at all for the entire first quarter of the film. Beginning with a blank screen and "Atmospheres" by Ligeti, this is a film paradoxically anchored by both music and silence. The screen changes to the Earth rising over the moon, and the sun rising over the Earth (an important clue and recurring symbol) accompanied by "Thus Spoke Zarathustra". We are then introduced to a tribe of pre-human apes (Australopithecus, perhaps), starving and on the verge of extinction. Other tribes are stronger and out-competing them. There is no dialogue here but the barking of the apes, yet that and the scenery speak volumes. Suddenly one morning, the game has changed: A mysterious black monolith has appeared. The apes are drawn to it, and soon find that they are now able to compete with predators thanks to a new discovery: weapons.

The TMA-1 chapter begins with what Clarke has called "the longest jump-cut in history" and we see that humanity has evolved into a spacegoing race. Orbital weapons platforms orbit the earth as a shuttle is making way to an under-construction space station. The Blue Danube plays as the spacecraft dance in calculated perfection. Our first main character, Dr. Heywood Floyd, arrives on the station and we are given some tantalizing clues as to why he's made this trip: Rumours of a plague outbreak on the moon. Yet this is just a cover story. As Floyd makes his way to the moon in another beautifully choreographed sequence, we learn that a magnetic anomoly was discovered in the crater Tycho (named after astronomer Tycho Brahe) -- Tycho Magnetic Anomoly 1, or TMA-1. This discovery is so important, that the cover story was created to keep everyone far away from Tycho.

The discover of TMA-1 leads to another jump forward in time, to a mission to Jupiter helmed by David Bowman (the perpetually young Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood of the second Star Trek pilot episode). Aboard their ship the Discovery are three sleeping astronauts and the most famous computer of all time, H.A.L. 9000 (voiced by Stratford resident Douglas Rain). Bowman and Poole do not know why they are going to Jupiter, but we are given a glipse into the possible life of two men with nothing but a computer for company, in space for years as they make the long transit to the biggest planet in our solar system. H.A.L. is a character to himself, perhaps the one with the most emotion onboard the Discovery.

Things go wrong when an antenna is predicted to fail by H.A.L., requiring one of the astronauts to go outside and repair it. H.A.L., who controls the life support and every function of Discovery, begins to show signs of what humans call mistakes. Yet no 9000-series computer has ever failed, or found to be in error. You will be haunted by the song "Daisy" by the end of this chapter.

After an intermission, Discovery finally arrives at Jupiter and its true mission is revealed. This chapter too has no dialogue, bringing us full circle. David Bowman once again must venture outside the ship and find out just what was discovered on the moon, how it relates to Jupiter, and perhaps even how it related to our millenia-dead ancestors. What follows is one of the most baffling and strange sequences in movie history, one which will require dozens of viewings to appreciate, let alone understand. The beauty of this final sequence is that there is no right or wrong interpretation. While on the surface it may appear to be a psychedelic caleidoscope of colour followed by a bizarre dialogue-less encounter with a being that seems to have no bearing on reality, it is actually Kubrick's way of showing the audience something that is beyond anyone's imagination. Like the audience, David Bowman and humanity have come full circle.

Lacking what modern audiences might call action, lacking typical space sound effects (there is no sound in space!), lacking dialogue for most of the movie, and lacking any sort of warm human characters (except maybe H.A.L. who is not human), this movie was a challenge to watch in 1968 and is still a challenge today. It is, however, a piece of art that trancends its genre and is a landmark in film making. Kubrick, always a visionary and always breaking through boundaries of what could not be done in film, outdid himself and made a science fiction film that still has not been topped 40 years later. Nobody has made anything this epic, this beautiful, this deep or this scientifically sound since. The special effects -- all practical effects and mostly in-camera, as CG did not yet exist -- still stand up today. Nobody will ever forget the rotating Dicovery set that allowed one character to be seated while another seemingly walked from the top of the cylinder, down the side, and sat down next to him.

Sure -- we don't have a moon base. We haven't sent anyone to Jupiter. However, we do talk to each other via video conference. We do have a space station. We have created computers that can beat the best humans at chess. This is not that far off. If they had named this film 2031: A Space Odyssey, we might be in the right ballpark. In the end, the year does not matter. You never see modern Earth in the movie at all.

This DVD release is loaded with special features and has a beautiful transfer in 2.20:1, as Kubrick shot it and intended it to be. Both Dullea and Lockwood provide an audio commentary. There are documentaries about Kubrick, about the predictions of the film, and about the effects. The only thing missing is the Arthur C. Clarke lecture from the first issue DVD.

2001: A Space Odyssey is, without any doubt or any argument, the greatest science fiction film of all time. With Kubrick and Clarke now both gone, I doubt we will ever see anything like it again. 5 stars is not enough of a rating. I give this movie 200 billion stars, one for each star in our galaxy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 1, 2015
The story is not easy to tell. It starts out with a group of apes struggling to survive until they realize they can use animal bones as weapons to fight the other gangs. It would be reasonable to conclude this group that survives and learns from its environment is our ancestor. From there, the story suddenly jumps to thousands of years in time, and shows the story of Dave, an astronaut in a spacecraft. The rest of the movie is his struggle with HAL, the computer that controls the spacecraft. The movie ends up with a trippy sequence that critics and viewers are still trying to make sense of today, after several decades of the release of the movie. Nobody can agree on what it means. And, that is a testament to the power of this sci-fi movie. It still makes people think what the story means, what it is suggesting at, and how to make sense of the colors, imagery and that trippy ending sequence. All this has meant that critics and viewers contend that this is probably the best sci-fi movie that will ever be made.

This movie was made in 1968, a year before humans set foot on the moon. And, we know what the stage of technology was back then. The computer that landed our astronauts on the moon had less RAM than what we have in our calculators today. Therefore, the fact that this movie was able to convincingly show us a futuristic vision so believable that we still use the special effects in this movie as a template for showing space scenes in movies even today speaks to the impact this movie has had on filmmaking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2012
The first time I watched this movie, I was a little bit tired and I fell asleep 20 minutes in, concluding that it was the most boring movie I had ever seen. A few years later, in a more energetic state, I decided to give it a try, this time lowering my expectations and bracing myself for the slow pace. This time, I still found the slow pace bothersome, but I found that the movie was so wonderful in every other aspect that I could look past some of the (excrusiatingly) long sequences and enjoy the masterful visuals, music, tension, and mystery that Kubrick assembled. Honestly, this might be the most beautiful film ever made. Every shot looks like it could be an award-winning photograph. Technically, it appears superior to many current films. The movie's ending is highly perplexing, but it didn't bother me too much since it is obviously meant to be pondered by the audience. Overall, it's easy to see why this is considered one of the greatest films ever made and I consider it my favourite of Kubrick's. The only problem I have with it (I say this at the risk of receiving some negative reviews) is the pacing in parts. I feel that 20 minutes or more could be easily shaved off if some of the sequences were shortened slightly. For example, there are numerous times in the movie where we watch a person or object float slowly in space for minutes at a time. While I can appreciate the devotion to realism, I'm still tempted to press the 1.3x feature on my remote for such parts. But overall this is a fantastic work of science fiction and shouldn't be passed by simply because it is slow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2004
in 68,this movie was the best sci fi film ever.in it there is this force referred to as the monolith.it shows up at different points in time.finaly,a space crew goes to check it out.it is too intellectual for children.stanley kubrik directs so you know-since hes the greatest directer ever and all-that this movie is a classic!it is better than the sequel.thinkers will like it.in 68 there wasnt a computer paranoia like today.in this film,kubrik explores what would happen if the computer decided to just take the hell over.an idea not toyed with for years to come.he was a visionary.the music in it is very good too.for you wrestling fans,ric flairs theme song begins it.an abselute must for sci fi fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2014
What can be said that hasn't been said before about this classic. People either love it or hate it. I of course love it. Kubrick was a genius. Its perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon or late night Saturday.
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2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [Special Edition] [Blu-ray] [US Import] The Most Awesome And Mental Stimulating Science-Fiction Film Of All Time!

Stanley Kubrick’s dazzling, Academy Award® winning achievement in this very compelling drama of a man vs. machine, with a stunning meld of music and motion images. Stanley Kubrick [who co-wrote the screenplay with Sir Arthur C. Clark]. We first visit our prehistoric ape-ancestry’s past. Then leaps millennia [via one of the most mind-blowing jump cuts ever] into colonised space, and ultimately whisks astronaut Dave Bowman [Keir Dullea] into unchartered space, perhaps even into immortality. Let this film embark you on an awesome interplanetary voyage of discovery.

FILM FACT: ‘2001’ earned Stanley Kubrick an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, as well as nominations for Best Director and Original Screenplay (shared with Sir Arthur C. Clarke). Anthony Masters was also nominated for Best Art Direction. An honorary award was made to John Chambers in that year for his make-up work on ‘Planet of the Apes’ and Sir Arthur C. Clarke reports that he “wondered, as loudly as possible, whether the judges had passed over ‘2001’ because they thought we had used real ape-men.” The film won four BAFTAS, for Art Direction, Cinematography, and Sound Track as Best Road Show, and was one of nominees in the Best Film category. Stanley Kubrick earned the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation and was nominated for both the Directors Guild of America Award.

Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, Douglas Rain (Voice HAL 9000), Frank Miller Daniel Richter, Leonard Rossiter, Margaret Tyzack, Robert Beatty, Sean Sullivan, Edward Bishop, Edwina Carroll, Penny Brahms, Heather Downham, Maggie d'Abo (uncredited stewardess), Chela Matthison (uncredited stewardess), Judy Keirn (uncredited Voiceprint identification girl), Alan Gifford, Ann Gillis, Vivian Kubrick (uncredited Floyd's daughter) and Kenneth Kendall (uncredited BBC announcer)

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Producers: Stanley Kubrick and Victor Lyndon

Screenplay: Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick

Cinematography: Douglas Trumball and Geoffrey Unsworth

Video Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.20:1 [Super Panavision 70]

Audio: English: 5.1 LPCM, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital, German: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Italian: 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, German SDH, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Italian SDH, Korean, Norwegian and Swedish

Running Time: 148 minutes

Region: Region A/1

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Warner Home Entertainment

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: I first experienced '2001: A Space Odyssey' during my early years while attending school. Watching the film was an awesome experience, especially with a sense of excitement in the cinema I was completely taken on an amazing journey by some of the most arresting stunning visions that have ever been committed to film. By the time the credits rolled, I was almost dumbstruck with same feeling that I felt I had just seen something truly special and I had to attend the cinema to try to fathom out what I had just witnessed. But in the end I had to read the actual novel of “2001” to really understand what Sir Arthur C. Clarke was trying to inform us what the film was all about and of course again seeing why Stanley Kubrick decided his personal vision in turning the intelligent novel into a visual feast for all of us fans of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’

Developed by author/writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke and director Stanley Kubrick, '2001: A Space Odyssey' begins with an extended vignette about human evolution. A bestial group of pre-humans live their daily lives in fear until they stumble upon a black, rectangular monolith. After encountering this otherworldly device, one of the creatures inexplicably invents the first tool and uses it as a club to protect his tribe. The film suddenly leaps forward to the future where man inhabits space in ships and orbiting stations. On the surface of the moon, a dig uncovers a deliberately buried monolith that's identical to the one the man-apes found at the beginning of the film.

Two years later, two pilots Dave Bowman [Keir Dullea] and Frank Poole [Gary Lockwood] escorts three scientists to Jupiter on the spaceship Discovery One. The ship is run by HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain), a supercomputer that represents the pinnacle in human-created artificial intelligence. Treated like any other crew member, HAL talks to the pilots and mimics human behaviour and intelligence. Everything is seemingly routine, until HAL stumbles upon information on the secret excavation on the moon. When Dave questions HAL 9000's reliability, the computer stages a mutiny.

Like many Stanley Kubrick films, '2001: A Space Odyssey' is best approached as a cerebral endeavour rather than as outright entertainment, as Stanley Kubrick uses the trappings of the sci-fi genre to pose genuine questions of sentience, existence, and intelligence. Action fans won't find any gunfights or explosions here; instead, this is a deliberately paced adventure of the mind that requires patience, thought, and introspection. The director famously refused to explain his interpretation of the film, preferring that his audience draw their own conclusions. To be blunt, the film demands a level of engagement and intelligence from its audience that's truly rare in modern filmmaking.

It is safe to say that almost everything about '2001: A Space Odyssey' is challenging and atypical. The characters are painfully naturalistic, relationships are cold and unnerving, and the ending is vague and experimental. Stanley Kubrick decided early on that he wanted the film to be a primarily non-verbal experience, and the result is an eerily quiet film. The silence is punctuated by classical music, technical banter between the astronauts, the hums and rumbles of the ship, and HAL 9000's soothing voice.

In fact, the only segment of the film that relies on a familiar genre scenario, especially HAL 9000's mutiny that doesn't gain momentum until the final act. But even then, this classic clash of wills doesn't constitute the climax of the story, that comes a bit later as Dave is confronted with a metaphysical journey across time and space that makes for a most intriguing twist in the story.

Stanley Kubrick is the only director who makes me feel like a puppet on strings, and this is the only film that manages to leave my head spinning no matter how many times I watch it. Every time I think I've got my finger on the pulse of Kubrick's methodical madness, I realise there are ideas in this film that I'll probably never completely wrap my head around. It astounds me in our age of technological advancement that a futuristic film made in 1968 remains one of the most compelling cinematic labyrinths of all time.

Years ago, I gave up trying to argue the merits of the film with those who find it tedious and slow going. I've come to accept the fact that '2001' is a definitive love-it-or-hate-it film that will forever split audiences. Still, whatever you may ultimately think of the film itself, '2001: A Space Odyssey' will literally haunt your brain after you watch it. In my opinion, every film fan owes it to themselves to experience '2001' at least once in their lives. But to understand the films complexities even more, it is best to read the novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” as it will give you a much better understanding of what the film is all about and when I read the book it really explained so much that film did not explain to the people who have seen the film and those that are still confused in what the film is all about.

Blu-ray Video Quality – '2001: A Space Odyssey' is presented with a stunning 1080p encoded image transfer on this Blu-ray and this re-mastered release of '2001: A Space Odyssey' features a revelatory upgrade in picture quality that's likely to leave fans buzzing with excitement. Colours are magnificent, rich, and stable from beginning to end. Skin tones are perfectly saturated and primary hues are bold and vibrant. Blues and reds receive the most noticeable improvement from past DVD edition releases, but the entire palette is striking. I'm also happy to report that contrast is dead-on, black levels are inky, and shadow delineation reveals a variety of elements formerly cloaked in darkness.

Fine detail sets a new bar for high definition catalogue releases. Facial imperfections are a cinch to spot, hair is crisply defined, and the star fields are flawless. I paused on several occasions to note actors' naturally splotchy skin and chipped fingernails. There are even scenes in this transfer that I completely re-watched just to have another chance to explore the intricacies of the sets and props. For the first time, I was able to read all of the small text Stanley Kubrick strategically placed across the film. Call me obsessed, but I found myself completely fascinated by these minor details that I'd previously been unable to enjoy. Pay close attention to the barren wilderness in the opening scenes, the space station electronics, and the slightest etchings on the ships floating above Earth, this transfer is just that beautiful. The print is in excellent condition and isn't marred by softness, edge enhancement, scratches, or any distracting instances of source noise. As I watched this Blu-ray, I searched for something to complain about, but I'm happy to report that I failed to find a single thing. '2001: A Space Odyssey' has set a new bar for high quality transfers in high definition. For a film that's well over fifty years old, this high-definition release is nothing short of an awesome experience that will leave you breathless by the end credits.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – This Blu-ray edition of '2001: A Space Odyssey' features an uncompressed 5.1 LPCM surround track and a standard 5.1 Dolby Digital mix. While I didn't notice much of a difference between the two tracks, both sound better than ever and provides that extra faithful experience that still manages to enhance Stanley Kubrick's original vision.

The classical music in the film opening certainly upped the sound field and resonates with solid bass and stable trebles. Dialogue is crisp and perfectly prioritised, especially with HAL 9000's soothing tones dominating the soundscape to good effect. Sharp sounds like bestial grunts and mechanical hisses have a distinct impact, while quiet scenes on the ship are layered with a careful level of naturalistic ambiance. This was the first time I'd noticed the subtle and comprehensive intricacies of the sound design, especially with the small whirs, echoes throughout the ship, and the cooling fans inside the heavy space machinery were new to my ears. Like the clarity of fine elements in the 1080p transfer, this high definition audio package revealed details that had escaped me so many times before on my home video 2-disc Special Edition DVD release and it pleased me to hear that the tracks sound so much fuller than the mix on the inferior DVD release.

The only thing that modern film fans may be disappointed by is the generally front-heavy sound field. The original 6-channel stereo sound track has been remixed for 5.1 surround, but the rear channels have a limited presence that bolsters acoustics more than anything. The tone of the sound design is a clear product of the '60s, particularly evident in the tenor of the voices (which can be attributed to the original recording more than anything else). Having said all that, it's hard to fathom that '2001: A Space Odyssey' could ever sound much better than it does here.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Audio Commentary by Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood: Both actors avoid diving headlong into discussions about the cultural ramifications of the film or its interpretations, but instead have an engaging conversation about Kubrick, the production, the on-set atmosphere, and reaction to the film. They share plenty of fun anecdotes and prove themselves to be generally affable gents. I didn't really learn anything new about the film per se, but it was interesting to hear their personal accounts from the trenches. The only downside is that the two actor’s clearly aren't old hands at recorded commentaries, and as a result seem to skip over some obvious scenes and topics that I would have loved to hear them discuss.

2001: The Making of a Myth [43:04] Here is a Channel Four TV documentary that is hosted by James Cameron, along with actor Keir Dullea, co-author Sir Arthur C. Clarke and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumball goes behind the scenes into the making of Stanley Kubrick’s classic space opera. This is a really compelling glimpse into the impact the film has made in Hollywood and the world over the decades. It documents the initial critical reaction, the eventual declaration of '2001' as a masterpiece, and a miscellaneous of other facts that kept me riveted from beginning to end.

Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001 [21:23] Takes a hypnotic journey with filmmakers whose own careers were inspired by this cinematic landmark. It includes interviews with notable filmmakers like George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg. This is a tight journey through a cult phenomenon that James Cameron calls "a film that shouldn't work, but does."

Visions of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001 [21:30] Stanley Kubrick and co-author Sir Arthur C. Clarke created a finely detailed vision of the future. In this documentary, filmmakers, writers and Sir Arthur C. Clarke reflect on the accuracy of their predictions. This is an entertaining look at the technologies that the film predicted (or inspired) and the visions that have yet to transpire.

2001: A Space Odyssey: A Look Behind the Future [4:3] [23:10] Look in on LOOK magazine’s charmingly retro tour of the London film set of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’

What is Out There? [20:40] Examines the philosophical themes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, including discussion of the possibilities of Extra-terrestrial life, the concept of God and the intersection of two possibilities if intelligent life is existing somewhere else other than on Earth.

2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork [9:26] A retrospective of the art and visual effects designs, that led to the mind-bending visions of Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey.

Look: Stanley Kubrick [3:14] Stanley Kubrick’s early work as a photographer, chronicling 1940s America for the LOOK magazine and reflected his natural talent for visual storytelling. You get a montage of Stanley Kubrick's photography.

11/27/1966 Interview with Stanley Kubrick [1:16:24] The best feature on this release in my opinion is with director Stanley Kubrick with physicist and writer Jeremy Bernstein, discusses the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey, in this 1966 audio interview. The notoriously elusive director remains true to form, but Jeremy Bernstein (a veteran writer for the "New Yorker") keeps Stanley Kubrick chatting. He emphasises the importance of problem solving, his relief at not having gone to college, the significance of photography as a training ground for filmmaking and his various experiences on different types of films. He explains how he worked with United Artists using James B. Harris’ money as a completion guarantee, describes the second half of Spartacus as “a bit silly”, talks about the nuclear holocaust and denial in relation to Dr Strangelove and says of his comments, at one point, “You’re gonna have to fix this up because this is gonna sound crap!” I was surprised to find that Stanley Kubrick doesn't come off anything like the hard person he would be accused of being in later years. His answers are thoughtful and polite for the most part, and he divulges a bit more information than I expected. This is a true gem for Stanley Kubrick fans that shouldn't be missed and I think that the 76 minutes of this interview are as fascinating an insight into Stanley Kubrick as I’ve ever encountered and I enjoyed it immensely.

Theatrical Trailer

Finally, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is one of THE greatest classics of Science-Fiction cinema and it is a most welcome addition to my growing library of Blu-ray releases. I'm a huge massive fan of this classic film, personally, so this was a release that I've been eagerly anticipating for quite some time. Fortunately, this Blu-ray release from Warner doesn't disappoint in any way. The film has been given the utmost of attention and the resulting video quality is of reference grade. Audio is also similarly spectacular, if not slightly limited simply by the film's age. Warner Home Video has also really opened up the vaults with the disc's excellent supplementary features. In the end, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ is a must own title and this Blu-ray title release. Very Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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This 1968 science fiction will always be a classic. It is a story starting 4 million years ago, lasting to infinity. No movie on earth has had that length of time.

But does time matter?

With extraterrestrial help, apes learned how to use tools. Having made his great leap (it was so vividly and beautifully illustrated in the movie ' the leap from the animal bone to spaceship! Visually stunning!), man has relied on technology. We made computers intelligent enough to think for us; and emotional enough to fee for us; so that there isn't much left for us to do but to eat warm-up food while watching TV; get tanned in artificial sun while hearing our parents video message wishing us 'happy birthday'; being bored and boring; lying down in a coffin like container virtually 'dead' in order to get around' It seems at the end of evolution, tools(computers) don't need us anymore to fulfill a mission.

Yet, in space, we still need to breathe ' there was a three minute space walk in the movie when we don't see much going on but hear heavy breathing from David's space suit. This almost upset me as the breathing becomes heavier and heavier (maybe not really. It's just that I became less and less patient without much happening there and being left, as an audience, to feel that in the ultimate space, man is so fragile.)

Stanley Kubrick shows us the master of earth is only a child in the space. We see spaceship attendants walk slowly and mechanically like a child learning how to walk; we eat baby liquid food; we need retraining to use zero gravity toilet'

And we almost lose control of our tool ' Hal 9000 the super computer. In the fight between man and his computer, ironically man used only one small tool, a screwdriver, again an amimal bone shape, to finish Hal 9000.

Some days later after I saw the movie, I was still reflecting on it. To some degree, Hal 9000 is like human ego. In going through earth life, we make up this identity, for the purpose of helping and protecting us navigating through life. However, as it goes, the more power we give to it, the more controlling it becomes, to the point it thinks it can override us ' so 'Jupiter Mission' is not human's mission. It becomes Hal's mission, and humans are in his way. It needs to be always right ' 'I never make mistakes.' Hal 9000 claims. It constantly feels threatened, to the point it kills. It collapses and is ready to re-negotiate when facing its inevatible death'

We have to grow. We can't let ego take over our lives forever. However, without his tool the super computer, in the space, what becomes man? Unknown is what he has to face. And that almost certianly means death.

But that force, that supernatual force which deliberatedly planted a monolith on earth near a tribe of sleeping apes and the moon 4 million years ago draws man to, not just Jupiter, but beyond the infinity. Is it not God?

Man has his last supper. And a glass is broken.

Is this the end?

But the wine is still there ' container; content ' body; spirit.

Man, are we ready for our next evolutionary leap?

In the end of the moving, a starchild is born.
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on August 15, 2007
2001: A Space Odyssey Very few films deal with humanity in an abstract
verb very well, often despite trying to give a universal message about
humans they end up giving a message about individuals. This is
perfectly fine, and many of the truly great films deal with people this
way, it is natural because we relate more deeply with individuals.
However, Stanley Kubrick's crowning achievement is one of the
best-regarded films at showing humans not in an individual sense, but
rather as a species.

The film basically comes down to the core philosophy of evolution,
about our need as a species to keep going, despite where we get
ourselves. A short cut scene at the beginning of the film shows us as
apes, wherein a black monolith (possible God allegory) reveals itself
to us as we first begin to comprehend tools as hunting mechanisms. We
proceed to separate ourselves from the apes that don't comprehend tools
through harassing them and ultimately separate ourselves as unique. We
then jump many years later to a theoretical 2001, wherein people have
become lazy; they lack emotion and have mechanical usages for almost
any regular job. What's implied is that we have evolved to a point of
slothfulness due to a lack of this theoretical God. Most of the
conventional story isn't the point; it is put in largely to begin the
plot where the truly insightful message on human beings is revealed. An
alien signal is picked up and a crew with a computer (Hal 9000) is sent
to investigate. What is shown is that Hal 9000 is more human then the
human beings, a creature stuck in a world void of life in a
metaphysical sense. Ultimately he destroys all but one crewmember in an
attempt to keep things safe, through his own poorly figured sense of
the situation. When the last member finally succeeds in unplugging him,
he regains what it means to be human and what follows is one of the
most impressive sequences ever revealed in any film.

What struck me at first with 2001 was its cold lifeless nature; though
this comes off as the films nature it truly is only the coldness of
space that gives it the sense. 2001 is a life affirming film because it
shows that humans will keep going, we are still evolving and we will
never really die. I don't connect with it like some individuals,
because as a believer my theology is different, but the film is a
moving sense of life and color, and it is affirming in many ways to
know that were not done. We as a species have a long way to go, but we
will ultimately make it.

2001 often lacks the philosophical qualities that make people connect
with the cinema. It isn't easy relating to an abstract verb as oppose
to an individual, but this quality alone separates 2001 as a truly
significant piece of the cinema. Regardless as to how deeply anybody
relates to the plot, the use of sound and color is unrivalled in any
film, and lovers of the cinema will inherently appreciate this aspect
alone. Truly nothing has ever surpassed it in terms of raw energy and
beauty and any admirer of film will be impressed with this aspect
regardless of philosophical merit to one's personal life.

Kubrick has left us with a masterpiece I think we will all grow to
further appreciate in time, just as we will further evolve, our tastes
will as well, and I see further recognition ahead of 2001. A true
masterpiece and the film that defined a genius, I give 2001: A Space
Odyssey a deserving 10/10.
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on July 17, 2006
Look at the far future with optimism.

This review contains possibly a spoiler. I explain what happens at the end of the film. I do this because the end is confusing if you don't know something about the ideas of Arthur C.Clarke, an English scientist and SF writer who wrote the script for this movie along with Stanley Kubrick.

The basic idea of the film is that the 'Homo Sapiens' evolved from the apes (Darwin) and the 'Homo Cosmos' will in time evolve from the 'Homo Sapiens'(A.C.Clarke). The 'Homo Cosmos' will be a human creature that is able to live in outer space like we are able to live on Earth. Space will be his natural environment.

Arthur C.Clarke writes about this idea ( and many other scientific speculations ) in his book 'Profiles of the Future', first published in 1962 - he calls it 'An inquiry into the limits of the possible' - and revised in 1999 for millennial edition published by Indigo.

Before I carry on I have to say that the characters in this film are very cold and distant (all of them with perhaps the exception of the six year old daughter of one of the scientists.)They are polite but they could be mindless robots. I don't know if this was on purpose or that the scriptwriters didn't care about human psychology.

The movie has four parts.

First is the long winded part where you can witness the daily life of large apes. I presume that stunt men crawled almost literally in the skin of those apes. The special make-up must have cost a fortune. I give the film 4 stars because this first part is extremely slow-paced and is of very little importance for the rest of the film.

You start wondering if you are watching the wrong movie but at the end of that first part, you understand that the basic idea was that the apes are climbing up the ladder of evolution by using large bones as a tool or a weapon.

In the second part some scientists travel to the moon (there are already several colonies on the moon), to visit a mysterious artifact dug up in the vicinity of one of the colonies. We are told that the artifact points toward Jupiter where possibly another artifact can be found, floating like a satellite around the giant planet.

The third part is the mission to Jupiter. Something happens and the only survivor of the mission takes one of the space-capsules. He uses the gravity of Jupiter to gain speed and he makes a discovery voyage beyond Jupiter. The enormous speed he has is one of the most impressive scenes of the film.

In the fourth and last part of the movie, we witness the decay of the Homo Sapiens and we look at the foetus of the Homo Cosmos, floating in outer space.

A professional reviewer called The Space Odyssey a movie with a pessimistic vision. He apparently didn't read 'Profiles of the Future' because if there is one SF movie that is optimistic and welcomes the future with open arms (so to speak) it's The Space Odyssey.

After all, a whole new kind of humans with different and powerful possibilities is about to be born.
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