The Movie Critique
2001: A Space Odyssey

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
North By Northwest
Taxi Driver
Wild Things
Kindergarten Cop
The Godfather
The Shining
Gone with the wind
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Maltese Falcon


Date: 13 November 2001
Summary: An allegorical space opera masterpiece.

Good Points: Absolutely everything. The lovely mating of Arthur C. Clarke's story with (da Man) Stanley Kubrick's directing gives birth to a classic film with a life all its own. And here we have an interesting case of 'nobody got it, but in a COOL way.' The meaning behind 2001: A Space Odyssey has been debated since the day it first hit the screen, and this is, without argument, part of its charm. Clarke and Kubrick take the road less travelled and refuse to spell it out for us. If asked what it means, no doubt they would with a steely gaze reply, "What do YOU think it means?" Absolutely fantastic film in every way.

Bad Points: The only complaint I have about this movie is Kubrick's penchant for stretching things out. Usually it's appropriate and well-placed, but sometimes not. I think most would agree that sitting there watching spaceships flit about to classical music is neat for the first three minutes, tiresome by the seventh, and downright boring by the tenth. And if we were going to be forced to watch every move Frank made getting to the A.E.35 unit, could we at least hear something besides that annoying hiss? Don't get me wrong. I love Kubrick's work and the man is a genius. But even genuises do something stupid now and again.

Bottom Line: 2001 is one of the finest movies we hairless apes have ever made. The fact that it was made in 1968 only serves to further astound the viewer. Fantastic story. Masterful directing. This is what filmmaking is all about, people. Watch it or die.



Date: 12 November 2001
Summary: See it on the BIG screen and take your kids with you :o)

Just saw it for the first time on screen, had seen it on TV years back. Not the same movie! If there ever was a movie for the big screen, this is it. Totally brilliant, one of the best movies I've ever seen.

Took my 9 year old son with me, he understands very little spoken English (it was not subtitled as it was shown at a festival, practically unscratched copy :-), is used to the boombangcrash of Starwars and computer games and it was shown late in the afternoon so he was a bit tired too. He liked it a lot, especially the slow scenes in space, the ones that I'd thought might tire him. So don't hesitate to take your kids along, just expect to have to explain occasional parts of the plot, but take care not to explain until the movie explains it.

And if you have a chance to see it in a cinema instead of TV - DO IT!

Thank you Kubrick

P.S (non 2001): And remember, you owe it to your kids to show them the movies you liked at their age, because if you don't do it nobody will! And that would be a shame, Neverending Story is a case in point.


Ulset, Norway

Date: 13 November 2001
Summary: I still don't get it...

It has been 24 years since I first saw this movie, that is labeled as "the best movie ever made." Now, I don't consider myself neither stupid nor super-intelligent, but I have to say that I still don't get the point of this movie, other than the fact that it purports a lie known as the theory of evolution.


Vancouver, British Columbia

Date: 5 November 2001
Summary: Transcendent Imagery

There is a school of thought out there that pooh-poohs the work of Stanley Kubrick, and specifically 2001: A Space Odyssey (along with Felini's 8 1/2, Roeg's Walkabout, any just about any film by Cocteau, Gilliam or David Lynch) as naively emphasizing the importance of screen visuals (and, in the case of Kubrick, soundtrack) above the coherent exposition of the film's storyline or the filmmaker's ultimate message. In essense, the knock on Kubrick is that he focuses too much on surface and images.

Such criticisms are wholly off the mark, of course, because cinema is an inherently visual medium where dialogue and other forms of exposition will always take a back seat to the image on the screen. The genius of Kubrick in 2001 is that he has the confidence to let his pictures do the talking for him - and they prove more eloquent than 99.9999% of the scripts out there.

Now, the trick about a cinema of images is that it takes a little bit more time to sink in that your standard expository crime drama. The solution won't be spoon fed to you by Peter Falk or some lesser stand-in during the final scene, and you'll need some time to mull over what you've seen and reach your own conclusions. In short, this is not a film for the impatient. But, if you give the film some time, come to it with an open mind and (most importantly) take the time afterwards to think about the precise meaning of what you just witnessed, viewing the images of 2001 can become the same sort of transcendent experience that you might experience listening to a great Mozart symphony, viewing the Winged Victory of Samothrace at the Louvre for several hours, or peering into a majestic and humbling landscape such as the Grand Canyon.

Not many films can be said to have accomplished that.

If you haven't yet seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, I'd strongly recommend that you give it a try.



Date: 1 November 2001
Summary: my little insignificant summary of 2001

I will admit right away that I'm one of those idiots that hadn't seen Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY before this re-release in occasion of the real year 2001. I was very surprised by the film in the way it wasn't boring at all like some people I knew had told me. It is a truly thought-provoking, awe-ispiring work, always intriguing and unpredictable, standing head and shoulders above almost every other sci-fi film ever made. No other film I have ever seen captured my sense of wonder and my subconscious so deeply. I still can't keep it away from my thoughts. It is without a doubt Kubrick's most accomplished work to date (I have seen most of his movies). Using tremendously impressive effects portraying the starkness and silence of space, Kubrick made an unparalelled masterpiece, that immensely rewarded those with attention spans longer than five seconds.

After a majestic opening title scene showing the sun rise up from the moon and using the enchanting 'Also Sprach Zarathustra' tune by Richard Strauss at maximum volume, the film opens with a 20-minute sequence showing the lives of a tribe of prehistoric man-apes. In typically Kubrickian fashion, the film calmly watches those animals, which are just about a few dozen thousand years away from becoming human, defending themselves from leopards, fighting another ape tribe for the waterhole, sleeping. Just when you think you're watching the wrong movie, something really unexpected and weird happens: the family that we've been watching finds a big black stone of some unknown material standing rooted in the ground. It is a thing of extraordinary geometrical precision, something totally out of place in this primitive world, suddenly appeared there with mysterious purposes. We see the apes slowly approaching the thing in fear and wonder; eventually they will find the courage to touch it. As all this happens we hear a menacing background music with ominous voices, a classic example of Kubrick paranoia music, which will be heard everytime mankind comes in contact with a monolith, as the black thing is called later in the film. After that the movie cuts to what seems to be the next day, and as we see one of the apes toying around with some bones on the ground, we hear Strauss' famous tune slowly coming up again: we know that something important is about to happen. The ape finds a way to use one of the bones as a weapon and starts thumping enthusiastically on the other bones, detroying them. The film assumes that we understand that this is because of the monolith: it is helping the evolution of the apes, pushing them to become more intelligent. This ape, who seems to be the leader of the tribe, then leads them to the waterhole to once again face the other, stronger tribe, this time with something they had never had before: weapons. The others come unarmed and their leader is killed by 'our' tribe's leader, who is armed.

After this comes one of the most famous shots in movie history: the ape who has just killed with the bone throws it in the air and after following it for a while, the camera abruptly cuts to about four million years into the future. It is the year 1999 after Christ and man, in Kubrick's vision in 1968, has by then conquered space (unfortunately we now know that he was too optimistic about progress in space travel). Finally you understand a bit of where the movie is going, and finally the 'Space' in the title makes sense. The movie doesn't tell us it's 1999, but we find out later. With more classical music Kubrick shows us his unique, stark, and meticulously realistic vision of space. The camera lingers over spaceships and a space station, where we meet the first human characters and we hear the first dialogue. The man we meet is one Heywood Floyd played by William Sylvester. Something typical of every Kubrick film is that every character remains distant, boring, and hard to connect with; here the character development is even less important than in any other film he has done. We never find out anything about him, although he does have an important scene where he talks to others about an epidemic on the Clavius moon base: the people he talks with are similarly vague characters, who serve only to advance the plot. This criticism of flat characterization actually isn't really a criticism: part of the film's point is that machines like HAL, who we will meet later, have more interesting personalities than humans. Humans are supposed to come off boring. Anyway, Floyd goes to a meeting where he finds out that the hubbub on Clavius is caused by a dug-up black monolith that has been buried there for, you guessed it, about four million years. Humans were attracted to it because it sent out powerful signals. The thing looks exactly like the one the apes found earlier in the film. In an hypnotic, enchanting sequence we watch Floyd and his team approaching the monolith with the same sense of wonder the apes felt. Once again we hear that haunting music with those scary voices singing in the background. Floyd and the others gather around the monolith to take a picture, but a few seconds later they are startled to hear a piercing shriek coming out of the monolith. We see those men writhing with pain in their ears, and it's almost unbearable for the audience too. After that we see a shot we have seen before: the sun rising up on top of the monolith. We saw it before, after the apes had found the monolith, but I haven't figured out the meaning of this shot yet. Perhaps a signal was sent out of the monolith on the moon because it saw the light of the sun for the first time, and wanted to let its creators know about it somehow.

After this sequence the film takes another leap forward in time, though not one quite as huge as the first one. The year is now 2001 and the title card says "Jupiter Mission: 18 months later". In another classic sequence, we hear beautiful classic music as the camera pans across the spaceship Discovery, and the film's central act begins. Everything that happened before is a setup for this part. First we see one of the astronauts running round in the circular control room of the ship to keep himself fit. Once again these people remain unknown and distant to us. They are Mission Commander David Bowman (Keir Dullea), who will play an important part in the story, and astronaut Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood). The film lacks any comedic punch in its dialogue, but that's just the point. In the Discovery ship we meet the most intriguing character in the film (and one of the most intriguing characters in any film), and he's a computer. It's the famous HAL 9000 computer which controls the functions of the entire ship, and he is given a chilling, appropriately soulless voice by actor Douglas Rain. In the first scenes on Discovery we find out that HAL is supposed to be a fool-proof computer, incapable of commiting error. Soon later while HAL is chatting with David Bowman about his doubts on the mission's purpose, he mentions a fault that he's picked up in the AE-35 antenna on the ship. Here's where the trouble in the film starts: it turns out that the antenna is perfectly fine. That HAL has committed a mistake is alarming to Bowman and Poole, because he could now make mistakes about anything in the mission. They close themselves off in private to discuss the situation. They ultimately decide to shut him off and continue the mission by themselves. Little do they know that HAL is reading their lips and so knows about their intentions anyway. So when Poole has to go outside the ship to check the antenna again, HAL becomes evil and doesn't let him in again. He floats off into space and dies. And in the most suspenseful and dramatic scene in the movie we see Bowman struggling to get back into the ship from the space pod he's in.

In case you don't know what happens next, let me tell you that the movie actually becomes moving and dramatic. All the following scenes have gone down in movie history, but the final 20 minutes, where the main character is taken on a dizzying 'journey beyond the infinite', definitely belong among the most confusing, strange, enigmatic, and ultimately astonishing endings ever shown. Kubrick has so much to tell the audience, so many messages in his big final revelation that many audience members will be lost on it. I was too, and after being dazzled by its complexity I did eventually 'get' it, or most of it anyway. This is a rare movie that has the courage to skewer with our perceptions about life and our place in the Universe. It's too soon to say for me, but I think it will change my way of looking at life. It is easy to see why it was initially rejected by critics and audiences and later gained a huge cult following, ran in theatres for many years, and was eventually considered universally as a classic. It's a film that you might have a hard time understanding the first time around, but later buries itself into your subconscious and doesn't leave you. It's definitely the closest-to-perfect film if there ever was one, and it might even change your mentality and perceptions as it did with me.


Buenos Aires, Argentina

Date: 31 October 2001
Summary: The most beautifully filmed movie ever

Excellent, beautiful, mysterious, magical, outstanding photography, great script. It is and will always be a most pleasant pleasure to watch this movie, the synthesis of an era. One of the last compromised, adult and overwhelming movies. God, I miss this kind of movie making.


Mesa, (in 2001-seriously)

Date: 29 October 2001
Summary: C-o-n-f-u-s-i-n-g--but really great

The filmmakers once said, "If you understand 2001 completely, we've failed." If me and my family are any indication, they've succeeded. It is confusing. There is no way that you can know much of what's going on! Yet, this film is great. At some points, I was half-amazed that it was made in the 60's because of the SFX-it looked like CG from films like "Tron!"

If only Hollywood made more fils like this. There once was a time when, rather than making films for money, they made films for art-not computer graphic art, but film art. Now they just make films that are CGI-fests with little (if any) challenge for your brain, and created solely for money. Yawn. Sure, some good films come out (Arlington Road, Finding Forrester) but they do poorly at the box-office. Films like this are hard to come by within 1990-the present, so go and watch this. Be confused. Avoid that new actioner that's come out, along with that horror film. Take some time to think the film over. Then watch it gain. And again. Teach executives a lesson.


Noel Bailey (

Date: 27 October 2001
Summary: The best movie ever made? What an understatement!

As several reviewers have correctly observed with regards to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, just so much has been written, debated, interpreted and allegorised over the decades, not too much remains in terms of a "new slant" on the issue of this 149 minute brain-blender. It can only be ascribed the title "Best film ever made," if one is to consider the other 50-60,000 films actual contenders, and with the possible exception of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, GOODBYE MR CHIPS (The original, obviously), THE INNOCENTS (1962), MIDNIGHT COWBOY, CASABLANCA, CITIZEN KANE, PATTON, THE SHOOTIST, HEAT, BEN HUR, THE GODFATHER and maybe half a dozen more which I will diplomatically avoid nominating...they aren't!

To call 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY a great film is to insult it. At the risk of incurring social isolation (and I can so live with that!)I doubt more than 5% of the world's population can even grasp at the staggering concepts up there on the screen. To plagiarize the words of Jesus himself, my inclination is to "forgive them, for they know not what they see!" I have read reviews and comments, that individuals have found the film a "boring" experience, I have news for wasn't made for you! Many years ago I had the privilege to be standing at the base of the Great Pyramid at Giza looking up at what is inarguably the greatest monumental artifact left to us on this planet. To my right, a group of English tourists strolled over. "Just a heap of rock and stone ain't it mate?" said one lowbrow to his cro-magnan associate. Angered to the point of being able to commit what I would have termed justifiable homicide, I stood there, tears of utter rage running down my cheeks. Now, having learned a degree of both acceptance and tolerance, I am better equipped to handle such affrontery. So it must be with this film! There is not one micro-second of this movie that is either boring or without constructive purpose IF you have the ability to receive the transmission! From the fidgeting and furtive glances of the ape family at night, to Poole's dissociated and emotionless reaction to his parents wishing him a happy birthday by video-link, all is as it should be. Ironic that the character seemingly the most imbued with humanity and interest in his environment is HAL himself (How many viewers have yet to establish even HAL's link with IBM?)

You will note that I have studiously avoided here re-hashing the storyline of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. If you do not yet know it, I rather doubt you would be reading this. It is, as some enlightened people have observed, anything BUT a space-tripping epic. It is about our origins, our purpose, our future.....why else do you suppose the craft was called "Discovery?"

Technologically the film is so unutterably brilliant it cannot be underestimated. There is not the slightest trace of matte-work or fudging of models here. No film before or since has come close to matching these Fx. Digitising is a total joke besides this. We share Heywood Floyd's weightlessness in the shuttle, marvel at the interiors of the space station (outstandingly scripted little sequence here) and listen to the sounds of silence as the moon bus speeds its way to Clavius and its covert destiny for mankind.

The Jupiter craft "Discovery" itself is without equal in visual history. Does anyone want to tell me that the viewer is NOT in space during this long sequence? Is there the slightest ripple of unreality as Dave exits the pod-bay doors? (So much greater an experience in the original 'Cinerama' format admittedly). Even Bowman's pursuit and retrieval of Poole's body is total realism, even down to the crumpling of his limbs as he is finally cradled within the pod's arms.

The conclusion of the film for some, is a devastating emotional wake-up call, something most will never again experience in their lifetime. It is a glimpse of the unglimpsable, a gentle assurance that its not all for nothing, that some indefinable force IS at work directing, nudging, watching!

If you all only KNEW what the Monolith really is?


FilmBuffFromNYC (

Date: 26 October 2001
Summary: Filmmakers of today take note: THIS is what a movie should be!

I've read a lot of comments about this film, and they usually are one of two types: 1. This movie was a great achievement in filmmaking, or 2. This movie was boring. I am happy to say that I fall into the first group of people, but sorry to say that I may be one of the last (in terms of age) who probably will. What follows is not so much a review of the film (there are already enough out there) but rather more of a minor rant....I apologize in advance.

My theory on this (bear with me) is something I call "The Nintendo Effect" Sometime in the mid 80s, the cursed game machine era began, and with it began the era of "quicker, faster, right now" and the 2-minute attention span. What does this have to do with 2001? Everything.

Yes, the spaceships move slowly. Yes, the movie goes for long stretches without dialogue. It's all part of the atmosphere that makes this film great. Some people claim that the movie is impossible to understand. Well, yes...heaven forbid you try to THINK during a movie.

With a few exceptions, movies today seem to be of the type where you check your brain at the door and lose 2 hours of your life while sitting down and watching the latest garbage to come out of Hollywood. People blame this on a lack of creativity in the movie making industry. While this may be part of it, I don't believe it is the main cause. Rather, Hollywood is as smart as ever. They know their target audiences, and they produce whatever will make the most money. How else can one explain the fact that movies like Zoolander and Corky Romano have pulled in about $40 million each, while a great film like Memento is really only getting it's deserved recognition through video? It is sad for me to say this, but I doubt 2001 would do very well if it were released today, rather than 1968.....

If you stuck with me through this, there will be a wine and cheese reception down the hall....*gets off the soap box*



Date: 25 October 2001
Summary: You have got to be kidding me

I am an artist, I have an open mind and I am creative. But you can't be serious when you consider this a good movie, let alone a work of art!!! I am also into sci fi, so I was very eager to rent this movie oneday and watch it, but it is so stupid and pointless it is mind-boggling that such a wonderful director could decieve so many people into thinking of this as...good! I am sorry if I am being stubborn, but I don't really enjoy watching a spaceship take 15 minutes to go from one side of the screen to another, and than watch someone jog around a loop for another 10 minutes, and than watch a big block of rock floating through space. It is so incredibly boring. Kinda like Matrix-style, except the whole movie is in bullet-time!! And this is supposed to influence me or something? The meaning of life?? HAL 9000 was pretty cool, and the beginning with the apes was fascinating, but the rest is pure, 100% distilled crap. Face it, if someone is looking for art they go to a museum. If they are looking for an entertaining movie, they go to the silver screen. 2001 is neither, and doesn't belong in either place.



Date: 21 October 2001
Summary: This film comes from the universe using Kubrick as it's middle man...pure magik on film

This film is completly unique, the only film I think comes close to it's spirit is 'demon seed'. I really believe that the universe itself is speaking to us in this movie, using Kubrick as it's vessel.If you play the track 'echoes' from pink floyds album meddle at the same time as the words 'jupiter beyond the infinate' appear you will witness a beautiful synchronicity. The movie really does start to look deep into you....the track is 23 minutes as is the final section of the marvelous 2001. try it and see.


Torsten Gunnehill (
Skane, Sweden

Date: 18 October 2001
Summary: comments on 2001

2001: A space odyssey is a very legendary movie. The most people like it, but I dont know how to say about it.

Sometimes I think its brilliant and sometimes scary, but sometimes I think its quite boring, and that its not happening anything in it.

But I have to say that Stanley Kubrick has succeeded in making a sci-fi movie. The design is much better done here than in the sequel "2010".


Pasadena CA

Date: 17 October 2001
Summary: Influential maximus

An upcoming life of spaceflight was effectively sealed by a group (not just Stanley's) effort of minds technical, imaginative, artistic, inventive and most of all: passionate. These traits combined in that super-rare manner (akin to what, to this single mind, the original Star Trek also did)- beautifully. And like all originals- 2001 stands untouched, unequaled, unique in showing what man can, can't, should, could and even would do in a future of truly moving "out there". 2001 probably became for me the final nail in the coffin of the fantasy world of religion/fablistic tripe and all the other rubbish/baggage mankind heaps upon youngsters like myself. Fortunately space, beautiful music (thanks Mom), a lust for true human emotional incursions into the universe as a whole had prepared me for the first major demonstration of what could be- 2001. Less science fiction than human spectrum illustrated this is the true poetry of man unleashed- beauty and conflict, astonishment and disgust intertwined in such a compelling manner than the mundane will have to discard it, minutia appreciators embrace and theologians scoff. I suppose the film taught me too to open my mind to potential, good or bad- and says not to explore the darkness with a screen but with a light. It shows, in summary form what lay ahead for science minds (which we ALL have, I believe) to unravel and embrace and even accept. In a world of the troubled (Viet Nam, beloved leaders being assassinated) and "miracles" (Humans into space, and to the ends, literally of the planet) the portrayed universe at home becomes low priority, humans mere players on someone else's stage. 2001 didn't become just the fodder for acid-taking youth but inspiration, of a type that isn't really make-believe. It shows the potential of the mind to soar, imagine, put mere people into a higher calling and realizing the ages-old desires of true human spirit.

If you've never seen this film, an entertainment and a damned good tale, see it uninterrupted, phones off the hook, kids alseep, dog outside. Journey with the brilliance of Arthur Clarke, Stanley Kubrick, Frederick Ordway and artisans a plenty to a past of hope and conflict, a present of discovery and potential and a future not perfect into your home that awaits you- the universe. After 15 viewings in Cinerama, so far television doesn't do it justice- but you can find a reward in viewing even in that format that let's you know- intelligence does find it's way to the screen- and into that most important universe of the mind.


sickcritik (

Date: 8 October 2001
Summary: unbelievably pretentious

I guess this one line summary says it all, of all the mediocre cinematic experience that I had, 2001 gets the lowest comments. Kubrick try so much to have the meaning of life in a near incomprehensible 2 hours and a half film with no meaning at all. Apes who discovers weapons to spaceship in the sky, a guy run for about 5 minutes for no reason at all, for 20 minutes, we see guys eating things, oh my god, this is truly awful! try to avoid! another kubrick mediocre film.

execrable * out ****


Madrid, Spain

Date: 7 October 2001
Summary: Critics fault

I did not like very much this movie when I saw it first time. It was too much studio work and cinematographer critics and writers exaggerate about the movie importance. Stanley Kubrick talent always has been unquestionable and everybody in the sixties was a fan of The Killing, Paths of Glory (banned for years in some countries), Spartacus, Lolita or Dr. Strangelove (later I knew KillerKiss). But it looks that 2001 was out of the blue and signify not a continuity at director work. People know actually Kubrick has got no continuity at all at his screen history because each movie was a new search. But excessive praise from critics often produced a effect in the opposite direction at spectator mind. Perhaps it happened with master Kubrick. Now I value more 2001 than first time I saw it. Critics fault.


lee hunt (
manchester , england

Date: 2 October 2001
Summary: 2001 the best film ever made

2001 a space odyssey is the best film ever made.there is no other film like it and i suspect their never will be.this is a directors film with director as the star.the visual flair of the film as still to be matched despite all the technological innovations that have been invented since its making in 1968.there is very little dialogue in the film,just enough to structure the story the rest is left to polemic direction and perfectly choreographed sound and visuals,the use of music plays a very important roll in this film,with composers as diverse as Gyorgy Ligeti,Aram Khatchaturian,Johann Strauss and Richard Strauss when Ligeti's Atmospheres begins playing as Dave Bowman enters the stargate sequence is one of cinemas enduring images,which once seen is never forgotten,the whole film from start to finish is an extravaganza that assaults the senses.i have heard many people comment on how boring this film is,but after all you need a little imagination to appreciate the finer things in life and this is certainly one of them.a true classic.this is the sci-fi film all others use as a a nutshell the BEST.


Matthew J. Davenport
Greenville, NC

Date: 2 October 2001
Summary: Second only to "Citizen Kane" possibly, and the best in the last 40 years---a cinemeatic masterpiece

If the demographics broke down by education, this movie is not liked by the ignorant with 10 second attention spans. This movie does not depend on useless dialogue, it spans milleniums, it makes us THINK and CONCENTRATE on the possibilities of man's genius, and the hazards involved therein. It humanizes a red light into the antagonist "bad guy" so much that we fear "him" (it---HAL 9000). Stanley Kubrick was born to make this movie, and if this was the only movie he ever made, he still would be the greatest of all time. Look closer, listen closer, watch closer, concentrate more...and you too will see.


Nashville, TN,US

Date: 1 October 2001
Summary: Very interesting, but...

Looked great, good ideas, great music, awesome cinematography. Was very surprised when I found out it was released prior to man landing on the moon. But afterwards, it made since. It shows what space would be like it all of it's slow and tedium and silence. Very cool

What I don't see the need for is sequences that basically stay the same forever. For instance, I'm glad I didn't see this in the theater for the first time, because without a fast-forward button during the going-through-the-wormhole scene, I definitely would have walked out of the movie. I mean there's art and there's realism, but then there's nonsense. Us seeing him going through every second of the wormhole was like filming every second of time from the monkey's to the space ship. Kubrick had the sense to skip over all that, why couldn't he find a way to show how long it was without actually showing it (like in Contact for example). I kept thinking, "Ok. Going through a wormhole is very weird. Let's move on." I felt the same with the intro screen, and intermission screen. The other "slow parts" I didn't mind. They seemed to have a purpose.

I also feel a little embarrassed for not understanding what happened at the end. I would either blame myself or the cinematography, I'm not sure. I thought Dave looked and saw another man in the room - an old man - and he watched him in bed, at the table, etc. Then there was this baby in a bubble that came from who knew where. Needless to say, once I figured out what was supposed to be happening there (not what it all meant, but just what was literally happening), it made a little more sense. Just a little.

And yes, I wouldn't recommend this to a kid. To a kid in 1968, the space stuff might be interesting, but not to an average kid in 2001.



Date: 30 September 2001
Summary: three thumbs up

One of the best movies ever. I believe that after watching this movie no-one can ever listen to Blue Donau as before. Making Sci-fi movies with techno music (except from bladerunner where the 80's techno thing fit perfectly well there, to be exact it is not techno but new wave as they call it) with one good guy and one bad guy trying to kill each other and similar things is so common nowadays. But Then I question myself, how can such a brilliant movie ever be made. Why don't they at least try to make such things nowadays.

One word for the people claiming that the movie is boring etc etc.. I am sure that someone who watched that movie is aware of the distinction between novels versus poems. What matters is how you feel at the end of the movie, what it changed in your life and so forth. A good movie should not be a 2 hour long stupid freak show, ref. double team, star wars episode 1 (the others exempt)...(although I enjoy to watch them, but again I believe that it is a sin to put such productions in the same category with 2001.)


Antoine Tremblay (

Date: 29 September 2001
Summary: Ode to 2001: The greatest movie ever made!

Does the world really need another dissertation on Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey? I mean, books have already been devoted to both this film and Kubrick's grandiose and impressive body of work. What could I possibly have to add to the pot? Probably not a whole lot-this film, like all of Kubrick's work, has been analyzed, dissected, pondered, and expounded upon at great length by minds far more perceptive and brilliant than mine. Yet, in a way, I feel almost compelled to offer my own two cents on the work of Stanley Kubrick-not because I think I have some blazing insight into this man's work, but because his work has had such a profound impact on my own life.

Were it not for Stanley Kubrick and Dario Argento, I probably wouldn't be the film fan that I am today. Both of these directors (and to be fair, several others as well) showed me that there was more to movies than just simple stories told for entertainment-they taught me that films could be about abstract concepts, that the medium could do more than simply entertainit could touch people, and that film could be artjust as philosophical as literature, just as beautiful as a painting. Because these filmmakers made me aware of this added dimension of the movie experience, I feel that I owe them something-and since I can't give Stanley Kubrick anything in return for the joy his work has brought me throughout my relatively short life, I choose to try and write about the brilliance that is so pervasive throughout his work. It's the only way I can say thanks to one of the men who helped shape me into the person I am today.

The film, which spawned the Arthur C. Clarke novel of the same name, is perhaps one of the most confounding movies ever made. To this day, thirty-plus years after its initial release, it still leaves many mainstream filmgoers scratching their head and wondering just what Kubrick was getting at. Sure, on the surface 2001 looks like little more than your standard science-fiction filmit's got all the prerequisites: space travel, astronauts, a futuristic setting, and a mission taking men to Jupiter to investigate what most assuredly is the sign of an alien intelligence. Yet, underneath that, lurking just beneath the surface, the film reveals that it's not really a science-fiction film at all. Instead, it's a philosophical meditation on man's place in the grand scheme of things and how small and inconsequential we really are in that plan. No one can tell you exactly what 2001 is about-and if anyone ever tells you they can, run in the other directionthey're not someone you want to talk to at length. But, that's part of the beauty of the film-viewing 2001 is an intensely personal experience. The film's ambiguity allows you to shape the events to fit your own personal philosophy-and that's perhaps Kubrick's greatest gift to us all.

2001 isn't a plot driven film. Yes, there is a story here, but it seems far less important than the ideas that Kubrick is presenting us with. The film opens with a title card telling us it's the dawn of man-a group of primitive apes frolic around a watering hole, leopards stalk their prey on the savannahs, everyone is essentially equal in the scheme of the universe. At the start of the next day, a strange black monolith stands next to the watering hole. The apes are frightened by it, but intrigued as well, and one eventually touches it. Soon after, the apes have learned that bones can be used as both tools and weapons-witnessed by the fact that they use bones to beat a rival clan of primates-and our evolution has begun.

After one of the more infamous jump cut transitions in film history (a whirling bone thrown into the air becomes a space station) we jump into the future. Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) travels to a US space station in order to look into a recent moon based excavation-it seems that a monolith has been unearthed on the surface of the moon and it's sending a signal back to Jupiter. Eighteen months later, the US has mounted a five-man expedition to investigate the situation on Jupiter. This team is led by Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Dr. Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) with the other astronauts in a state of hibernation. Running the ship is the HAL 9000 (voiced brilliantly by Douglas Rain)-a super advanced computer that's never made a mistake.

However, soon enough, HAL does make what appears to be a mistake (the film never really reveals if this is the case or not for sure)-which causes Dave and Frank to conclude that they should shut down the computer. But, in one of the film's most brilliant scenes, we see HAL spying on the conversation concerning his fate-his red, unblinking cyclopean eye reading the lips of the two astronauts as they chat candidly in an area they believe to be safe from the computer's ears. The film soon becomes a man versus machine battle as the astronauts try and take HAL offline-but even that isn't what the film is really about.

From there, Dave makes it to Jupiter, ducks into what appears to be a wormhole, and undergoes 20 minutes of acid flashback-style visions before finding himself in a room, where he ages, then dies, then is reborn as the star-child'-end of flick, beginning of major audience confusion.

Running nearly two hours and twenty-minutes, 2001 is a fairly long film (although, it's not really that long when you consider that Kubrick fits almost all of human history into the film's running time). What makes this even more apparent is that the film only features approximately forty-minutes of onscreen dialogue-and much of that banal chatter to break up the monotony as opposed to move along the plot. Of course, this doesn't actually hurt the film-but it does stand in very stark contrast to the films of today, movies made for an MTV generation with attention deficit disorder. I have no doubt that the vast majority of viewers under 25 would find this film unbearably boring-it requires something that the younger generation of film audiences doesn't possesspatience and the ability to look at what the filmmaker gives you and draw conclusions from it without having someone spoon-feed a meaning to you.

Kubrick films the movie in his usually majestic fashion, full of beautifully conceived pans, long takes of the shuttles docking, and loads of weird angles to highlight that the characters are in a zero gravity environment. Kubrick spent a great deal of time making sure that the film was scientifically accurate-meaning you won't see any zooming spaceships, laser battles, explosions, or anything else that is solely the domain of Hollywood space flicks. Instead, you'll see a vast and cold looking nothingness-dark and infinite--this is what space must really be like. Some critics through the years have accused Kubrick of making cold, clinical films-films detached from humanity. I've never really bought into that theory (although, looking at the majority of Kubrick's work it seems apparent that he's often more interested in abstract notions and philosophy than in people-which, I think, emphasizes that he's a humanist after , alljust one who's more interested in man's potential than where we are now), but if that were the case, this setting suits him.

It is interesting that of all the characters, the computerized HAL 9000 seems the most human. However, like almost all of Kubrick's films, 2001 isn't a character-driven piece anyway-a fact that his odd casting choices (none of the actors here were major stars) only helps highlight.

All that aside, the film's greatest strength is perhaps the seamless way that Kubrick melds visuals and music. Kubrick commissioned an original theatrical score for 2001, but, he scored the rough cut with classical pieces-most notably Johan Strauss' The Blue Danube and Richard Strauss' Thus Spoke Zarathustra (inspired by Fredrich Nietzche's book of the same title-the book where he introduced the concept of the Superman')-two compositions that worked so well that he ultimately decided to use them and not the original score. Now, when viewing this film, it's nearly impossible to imagine any other music so effectively conveying the mood of the apes' meeting with the monolith, or the docking sequence at the space station.

As I mentioned before, the film is open to many different interpretations-each generally as valid as any other. Kubrick himself once stated that he felt if a viewer felt he understood the film in its entirety, then he had failed as a filmmaker-a statement that only highlights how complex the film really is.

The Beyond Infinity' segment (where Dave endures his twenty-minute trip through the looking glass' so to speak) culminates with the character living the rest of his life alone, in a small room, before dying and being reborn as the star-child'. You can interpret this scenario in any number of ways, but these two have always worked for me. Since the monolith causes what appears to be an evolutionary leap for the apes in the film's opening, one could make the assumption that the star-child is the next evolutionary step for mankind-a rebirth, or even a sign that no matter how evolved we believe we are, we're still in the infancy stages of evolution. Another possible interpretation ties into Nietzsche's Superman theory itself-man is only capable of taking the next evolutionary step after he's been freed from the moral constraints implied by his fellow men. Here, in this strange void, Dave lives out his days alone, doing as he pleases, before being reborn as the star-child. Of course, interpretations are limitless-which is one of the reasons this film is such an enduring work.

Ultimately, I've just barely scratched the surface of what makes 2001 such a brilliant film. Kubrick brings his distinctive cinematic style and his flair for philosophical material to the table and creates a film that is often slow and ponderous, but never fails to engage its audience.I can't put to words how this movie changed my life and the way that I live today. It's hard to imagine that there's anyone left who hasn't seen this movie-but if you haven't, then you owe it to yourself to check it out-it's considered one of the greatest films of all time for a reasonit delivers in every area. This is by far, for me, the greatest movie of all-time. Enough said!

My Rating:10/10