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Reviews Comments: I dont know why people like it. Two Thousand One A Space Odyssey film/book review by Reg Shoe

OK. Flameproof pants on.

I don't like this movie. One bit. Well ok, I like it two bits. But here is my problem. This film is the genesis of the genre of films I hate the most, and the fact that it does so via being arty rather than explody is no defence. This is the dawn of the special effects drenched plot-less epic. A huge amount of this film is made up of protracted special effects scenes, 3 minutes watching that space ship, 4 minutes watching that other space ship, 2 minutes watching landscape images, a further minutes watching monkeys. The characters are as shallow as a pancake and the plot is as substantial as damp tissue paper. And people even use these facts as praise for the film. Nevertheless there are two things I love, and one of them could even be used to build a film.

The first was the use of the bone at the end of the prehistory chapter. It is a metaphor for human development that really works. In my opinion, because it is the only one where the intention is clear or even decipherable, it is the only metaphor that works in this film.

The second is Hal. I freaking love Hal. If first, he has a character. Every human in this film has at most a single note character. But Hal, Hal asks some really interesting questions about humanity. Hal, despite the fact that we all seem to remember him as just a monotone voice and infer from that an emotionless character, displays a range of emotions quite likely caused by him being too good a computer. If the film had been about the crew locked in with Hal as Hal's nascent personhood caused him to become scared, confused and angry, probably with the addition of other characters who would be able to examine Hal in more detail, this would be my kind of film. Tense and interesting while still allowing the exploration of a genuine theme, if this film is meant to lead up to the question "What is out place in the world?" why not ask it via the emergence of another sentient life by our hands? You could even compare their dilemma at Hals actions with God's/The Universe's at our if you wanted.

I did not enjoy this film save for one character and one piece of imagery, however I would advise people to watch it if they are interested. While I don't think it makes sense, indeed that was the part of the aim apparently, it is notable and plenty of people seem to enjoy it. If only I did


  • 16th Mar 11
"What is our place in the world" is a genuine theme now?
  • Frank75
  • 17th Mar 11
Read the book, or at least the article on The Other Wiki. That'll help to make sense of the movie. (Which I admit is difficult otherwise.)

Also, I heard that the movie is very funny if you watch it on fast forward.
  • ShadowDog
  • 26th Apr 11
I recommend you watch 2010. It's pretty much the inverse of 2001.
  • tublecane
  • 3rd May 11
"Read the book...That'll help to make sense of the movie. (Which I admit is difficult otherwise.)"

If you have to read a book to understand more than one or two aspects of a movie (in this case, the bone and the evil computer), I'm gonna go ahead and say that movie doesn't make much sense. I can't necessarily say it's bad, because a movie can be both incomprehensible and entertaining. In the case it wasn't entertaining either, but even if it was, it still couldn't be one of the greatest movies of all time, as it's taken to be. Great movies cannot be incomprehensible.
  • HandyHandel
  • 2nd Jul 11
I don't think it's incomprehensible at all. Of course, I've read the book. I feel the purpose of the *movie* is mostly to for one to interpret it in any way possible. Which is what makes it a great movie. The book differs in a couple ways and is much more concrete in its explanations.

You could say that the Big Lebowski is incomprehensible (it is if you don't pay attention + the trippy music number) but it is also considered to be a great film. So I wouldn't say making something "incomprehensible" automatically strips it of classic status. Of course, this is from someone who thinks Casablanca is overrated and despises American Beauty. To each his own.

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