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2001: A Space Odyssey


2001 : A Space Odyssey (1 full and 2 half viewings)



I'm not sure why I would give this another shot , but since I'm giving Kubrick's films a second chance - why not this one. I'm surprised to say I actually enjoyed it this time around , even though many of my problems with the movie still keep it from ever being a favorite - I found this overly symbolic science fiction space film indeed "good".

I'll break my review down , for each chapter of the film

The first of four acts is described right from the moment you see the text preceding. "The Dawn of Man" follows a group of apes first intellectual breakthroughs. You can appreciate and compare the apes with how humans act , they have some intelligence and argue , bond , and pursue their enjoyment. Upon the discovery of weapons , a bone is tossed in the air and falls as a spaceship thousands of years later.

So starting the second act which is a simple introduction to the futuristic vision of 2001 - from the perspective of 1968. Then we see humans and their ability to communicate with words (not ape grunts) and all the marvelous things they have made. Video communication , space travel , and a mysterious discovery. When the small group of restricted personal find this black monolith (which was introduced in the first act) - it creates a piercing sound perhaps symbolizing an over abundance of information and the lack of human ability to understand our existence.

Now you arrive at the third act "The Jupiter Mission" , which is also the longest of them all. The "ghost in the machine" idea has been done so many times in film , but 2001 is special because it's machine the HAL-9000 has the strongest emotional pull of anything in the whole movie , more than the humans. Once HAL has apparently ruined the mission after a mathematical defect , the sole survivor on board's destiny is left in the hands of the viewer.

"Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" , one could assume Dave is stuck on his ship - unable to go back home or to Jupiter and spends the rest of his life contemplating life in general. You could assume he goes to Jupiter and discovers the monolith - sending him on a completely abstract experience similar to the viewers. Whatever is going on here , it doesn't appeal to me. A completely random mess , it's as engaging and thought provoking as a white piece of paper.

So my final opinion on this highly regarded film - it's masterfully framed and shot. There are numerous scenes that drag on far too long (I didn't really mind until the third act , where we see him take the communications thing off the ship) that test the patience of the most calm man. It's final act is ridiculous and lazy , but as for the rest it's pretty enjoyable.