2022 Blind Spot Series: 2001: A Space Odyssey


I think IMDb's description sums it up well: "The Monoliths push humanity to reach for the stars; after their discovery in Africa generations ago, the mysterious objects lead mankind on an awesome journey to Jupiter, with the help of H.A.L. 9000: the world's greatest supercomputer."

Oh boy... It's not often I don't write my own summaries of movies but I felt it was important to remind myself of the official one while writing my thoughts. It is way too easy to forget what this movie is about while you're watching it. Honestly, I think the best thing 2001: A Space Odyssey has done for cinema is be an inspiration to better sci fi writers.

It's harsh, I know. I've heard many a fan of this film state you need to see it multiple times to get its deeper meaning, but I'm sure there's a better movie out there for me to spend another 3 hours on. It's not that I hated this. I just wanted so badly to like it, and I found it dull and pretentious. The plot itself is interesting for about 30-40 minutes of its entire runtime, otherwise it feels like a series of still photographs.

It is a technical marvel, I won't take that away from it. The cinematography, the score, the production design, it's gorgeous, and I could see bits and pieces of sci fi movies I love far more than this in its bones. I just can't sit here and pretend it's a great movie. The story is barely there. The only reason I remember one of the main character's names is because HAL was begging him for its life at one point.

I tried. I'm sorry

Grade: C


Comments

  1. I'm with you on this. It's one of those films, like An American in Paris, whose reputation is so huge that it sort of sets itself up for disappointment. It felt like something I was supposed to love sight unseen and I expected to be blown away which I most definitely wasn't.

    To be fair I'm not the film's target audience. While there are some sci-fi films I adore (Aliens, Outland, The Andromeda Strain among others) it's far from my favorite genre. I did notice some landmark tropes that the film created but it was a slog and I found my attention wandering throughout.

    I've also heard that multiple views are required to glean all its parts but the very thought of even sitting through it one more time gives me the heebie-jeebies!!

    They was a much delayed sequel to this called 2010 with Helen Mirren and Roy Scheider that came out in 1984. I'm sure it's blasphemous to say but I liked it much more, though I've only watched it that one time in the theatre upon its release.

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    1. I don't see how a second viewing could even change my mind since so much of the movie is just watching scenery. No thank you lol

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  2. Actually, I would suggest a re-watch but in a few years. This is one of those films that didn't grab people immediately. Then again, this is Stanley Kubrick. Every film he did since The Killing was always polarizing and a lot of films weren't praised initially and some just didn't get it. I was in my teens when I first saw and was like "uh... what?" Woody Allen admitted to not liking the film when he first saw it but it took him a few re-watches to realize what Kubrick was doing all along.

    There's a lot to be said about what sci-fi cinema was before this film and what happened afterwards. The genre definitely changed after this film though not everyone was on board. If it still doesn't work for you. Try Solaris by Andrei Tarkovsky. Not the remake by Steven Soderbergh. It is a much slower film but it is worth watching.

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    1. I've had a few people mention Solaris to me. I might have to add that to my list next year.

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  3. .I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't particularly care for it. The second section is quite good; the first two, not so much.

    If the print you watch has the descriptive video service (I'm pretty certain the print TCM shows does), it helps for the third act.

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    1. Yeah, the second section is easily the most engaging but it doesn't go on long enough to save the movie for me. I watched it on HBO Max.

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