on August 31, 2001
In a Hollywood culture that gives us such disappointing films as "American Pie II," "Highlander II," "and "Jurassic Park: The Lost World" the intelligent film viewer wisely looks at a sequel with a critical eye. This is even more so if the sequel is following up a movie that has become the arguably the most recognized science fiction film of all time.
Will "2010" ever rate higher than "2001"? Probably not, if a poll was taken. However, Hyams managed to make a thrilling and timely film that certainly stands up to the original while making its own specific statement. And for my money, I liked "2010" better than I liked "2001."
"2010" is a very DIFFERENT film from "2001." "2001" was almost an "art film." "2010" is a straight, intelligent, science-fiction drama. But what is different is not necessarily worse and "2010" proves that. One of the charms of "2001" is that it gave us mystery. Interestingly, one of the charms of "2010" is that it gives us answers.
Here we get to meet HALs father and sister. We meet the engineer who build the Discovery. And we get a rollocking good, solidly built film. And who knows, with the recent theories on Jupiter's moon Europa this film might be well turn into science-fact!
on June 10, 2001
One of the biggest reasons why I think the so-called purists had such an allergic reaction to 2010 was that it was such a departure from Kubrick's 1969 masterpiece. In 2001, the audience is largely a witness to events and then must reach their own conclusions. In 2010, the audience is told what is happening through a host of wonderful characters that simply were not present on 2001. Heywood Floyd (Roy Scheider) is a fantastic protagonist. He obviously a gifted scientist, but unlike his counterpart and HAL-9000 creator Richard Chandra (Bob Balaban), seems far more connected to the human race than his particular field of expertise. In the end they are two completely different films. 2001 is a landmark film, no doubt about it, nothing like it had ever been seen before, but it was made in the 60's and perhaps younger people feel disconnected from it for that reason.
2010 begins 8 years after the Discovery disaster. The massive ship had been dispatched to Io in orbit around Jupiter to investigate a second monolith, identical but larger than one found on the moon. A Russian scientist Moisevitch (Dana Elcar) informs Floyd that the Soviets will reach the Discovery almost a full year before the Americans will and that Floyd should check Discovery's orbit. When he does so Floyd learns that the ship's orbit has begun to decay and will fall towards Io unless it is recovered. Moisevitch convinces Floyd that having American scientists onboard would make the trip go much smoother. Now that the scientists agree it is the politicians who now must be convinced. Unfortunately, the Americans and the Soviets are headed for a showdown off the coast of Honduras which may lead to war.
Four months later aboard the Soviet ship the Alexei Leonov, the joint American-Soviet crew arrives at Jupiter and in a spectacular sequence must use a process known as aero-braking in order to slow down enough to put the ship in position to rendezvous with Discovery. After this we are introduced to Walter Curnow (John Lithgow), the engineer and brains behind the Discovery II, the ship the Americans were building to go to Jupiter. Curnow and Russian Maxim Brailovsky (Elya Baskin) must transit over from the Leonov to the Discovery with the violent moon of Io spinning dangerously beneath them. Once on board the spinning American ship, they get its systems operational and pull it out of the decaying orbit. It is then they release Chandra to see if he can recover the damaged HAL-9000 (Douglas Rain). (Interesting tidbit: Add one letter to HAL and you get IBM).
Once recovered both ships move towards the second monolith which is two kilometers long. Things sour back home on Earth and both crews are ordered by their governments to return to their respective ships It is here that Floyd, aboard Discovery's bridge, receives his first message from David Bowman (Kier Dullea), that he must leave the area within two days. Believing it a hoax, Floyd asks HAL who is sending the messages, to which the computer replies "...I was David Bowman." then, "Look behind you..." And we see David Bowman for the first time-still young and still wearing the orange spacesuit. Floyd follows him into the pod bay where Bowman is revealed to be an old man. Floyd is told that "...something wonderful is going to happen." and then watches dumbfounded as Bowman transforms once again into the starchild.
Back on the Leonov, Floyd argues with Captain Tanya Kirbuk (Helen Mirren) that perhaps they really ought to head back home. Kirbuk is skeptical and can't find any reason to go along with Floyd's crazy plan. Only after they concoct a plan to use the Discovery as a massive booster rocket that the large monolith vanishes is Kirbuk convinced. Only problem now is convincing HAL to go along with the plan- the AI was created to be curious, but also to look after the Discovery and if the ship is left behind it may be destroyed. It then becomes a race against time as a large black spot appears on Jupiter that seems to be consuming the planet. The massive gas giant begins to shrink.
Ultimately 2010 boils down into a wonderful science fiction movie- yes, it's 'science fiction' and not 'sci-fi'. The only reason I think that abbreviation is used is because most people have short attention spans. It is not 2001, as the movies are separated by a generation of directors who had different values and a different audience. Strangely enough, Arthur C. Clarke's book makes far more sense than Kubrick's film does and even the short story that the book and then the movie were drawn from is more conclusive. 2010 is a sequel and not the same film as 2001, if it were, Kubrick would have directed it and it would have been called 2001: Part II. Both films are excellent, but they aren't the same.
on June 5, 2001
If you're looking at this DVD, then the odds are pretty good that you've seen, or perhaps even own, 2001:A Space Odyssey.
You know who HAL is, and Dave Bowman ( "Open the pod bay doors, HAL" ). This is good. You have some background to this movie.
What's better though - is that you don't need that background. This film works even if you've never seen the classic "2001". It does a great job of giving you some background as part of the plot.
This is a very good, stand alone, film. It works on a lot of levels and is a great sci-fi story.
Yes, the monolith is back, and yes, it's doing some strange things. Roy Scheider is sent to check out some of the odd happenings. He's hitching a ride on a Russian ( It helps to remember that when this film came out, we were still pretty deep in the "Russian's Are Bad" mentality. ) Spacecraft, complete with a strong female captain and a ( english speaking ) crew. Scheider has his team along for the ride.
The interaction between the American Crew and the Russian Crew is wonderful. Roy Scheider, who can sometimes be a little overpowering in his acting style, is wonderful here. His main counterpart is the Russian Captain, played by the always watchable Helen Mirran ( of "Prime Suspect" fame ).
Also along for the ride is John Lithgow and Bob Balaban ( as the tender Dr.Chandra ).
The cast if first rate and the writing and storytelling are right on. I don't want to give away any plot points but the mystery of the monolith is still there.
This film probably isn't as "deep and meaningful" as the original but it does hold it's own as a sci-fi movie.
Oh, and yes, that's Candice Bergen as the voice of SAL 9000.
Give this movie a try. Go in without expectation and you'll be surprised. It's a good watch.
Best Regards, turtlex
on August 4, 2000
The other reviews of this film do a great job of describing how fantastic it is. But there's an important distinction between 2001 and 2010 that may help you understand why so many people like it, in spite of it being actually contradictory in filmmaking ethos to 2001.
2001 was one of the greatest examples of what cinema (movies as art) could do. It was abstract, compelling, engrossing and confrontational. It changed the way you thought for a little while, and changed what many people thought movies could do, forever.
2010 isn't cinema at all, it's a *play*. Everything compelling about this, except perhaps the special effects (which, while awesome, are tellingly static) happens between two people, through dialog. Two people sit on a park bench and decide the fate of the Discovery. Two people argue on the bridge of a soviet spaceship about the Monolith. Two people stand in the middle of the high desert of California and trade cold-war secrets about an alien encounter. And it's all *awesome*! Some of the best dialog and acting wev'e seen in science-fiction. I can prove, using algebra, that if you watch the first 10 minutes of this movie, you'll watch the whole thing.
on July 27, 2000
Director/Writer/Cinematographer (he wore all three hats on this film!) Peter Hyams continues the story of the mysterious monolith as a joint U.S.-Russian crew speeds toward the derelict spaceship Discovery and earth's destiny. Set against a backdrop of Soviet/US Central American tensions--quite tangible back in 1984, when this film hit screens--"2010" manages to rise above the cold war polemic to offer a new hope. Hyams' film manages to balance Star Wars-type action (Lucas's, not Reagan's) with the intellectual and moral implications first posed in Stanley Kubrick's "2001." An excellent cast is led by Roy Scheider and Helen Mirren, with Keir Dullea returning as Dave Bowman. This film is thrilling, frightening, touching, and even humorous. Highly recommended!
on March 28, 2004
This is not on the same level as 2001... but it is a good film for those who were mystified by 2001, since it answers some of the questions posed by the first film very nicely. Unfortunately, the silly cosmic greeting card from Europa at the end of the film is a major disappointment and the casting of an overly emotional Roy Scheider instead of William Sylvester (who played Heywood Floyd in 2001) was a major miscast in my opinion. William would have played the role with more "cool" and "control" as an authentic scientist-astronaut would have really been for such a mission. Still, the effects and visuals are good and the film is enjoyable. Keir looks great as Bowman and the metaphysical touches are interesting.
on May 1, 2009
What can I say? The book is always better than the movie. However, the movie does not have to be worse than the book. It can be different. This is the case with this movie. 2001 was a watershed in many ways in terms of science fiction both in book and film form. Either movie can stand on its own merits and terms. If you are a fan, watch both of them back to back. I don't know if anyone has the energy or desire to do it, but it would be fantastic if the rest of the books were turned into movies as well as the story does not end with 2010. Buy the books that continue the story to its conclusion and for that matter, buy the whole set and read them. They are well worth it. Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favourite authors.
on October 17, 2001
The visual effects are awesome. The storyline, although totally fictional, is exciting and dramatic. The acting is superb! The way that Peter Hyams envisioned the adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke's bestselling novel (which was written very well, and meant to be a sequel to both the novel AND the movie "2001: a space odyssey") is very unique, incorporating a possible nuclear war and re-working the ending to make this movie more exciting. The incredible film is, in my opinion, far superior to 2001. The DVD is interesting. It is well worth the price. Grade: A+
on April 22, 2001
Many of us were left scratching our heads after the first part, 2001. This movie not only explains that and pulls it together, but it expands on it as well. It has everything you hope for in a sequel and more. In fact, I'd say the sequel is better than the original. It's certainly more entertaining and fast paced. It's also a little more believable with post star wars effects. No question...important part of ANY sci-fi library.
on February 5, 2004
Obviously, this movie does not compare to 2001: A Space Odyssey. But I still greatly enjoyed it. It is better than the average movie. The movie has some very tense scenes and has some nice shots of Jupiter. I would give in ***1/2 stars out of four. Especially good for readers of the book. A very good movie!
(I just wrote a big, long review for 2001, so I'm too wiped out to write a good one for this one.)