Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Review

2001: A Space Odyssey. The best and most powerful science fiction story of all time. The best movie of all time and the foundation of so many movies to come. If you haven't seen it, WATCH IT. Like right now.

2001 speaks the tale of human evolution and it's connection with unknown alien life. It speaks of humanity's past, present and future and ties it all together in this epic.

The story begins in ancient times, when the ancestors of mankind(apes) find a black monolith of unknown origin that kickstarts the evolution of the brain. Thus, we cut to the 21st century, where humanity, now in its Golden Age, discovers another monolith(named TMA-1) on the moon. When TMA-1 comes into contact with the sun for the first time in millions of years, it sends a signal to Jupiter, thus necessitating a space mission for the USS Discovery to discover the purpose of the signal and where exactly it was sent.
During the mission however, the computer of the ship, HAL 9000, goes psychotic and begins killing the crewmembers. The last remaining astronaut, Dave Bowman, disconnects the computer and finishes the mission on his own. Arriving in the Jovian system, Bowman discovers yet another monolith, TMA-2 that sends him and his space pod on a trip through the universe, only to arrive in an alien-created hotel room where he is aged and converted into something that returns to observe Earth.

The movie does, admittedly have faults. First and utmost, the time. It takes so, so, so much time for it to set up to the real story, the "war" between HAL and the crew. Even I, a patient individual, usually skip the movie until it shows Discovery so I can get on with it. There are also a few other things(Earth isn't as developed in 2001 as Kubrick and Clarke believed it to be) but those can be forgiven.

Truthfully, the movie is almost, almost perfect. Yet we all know that perfection is unachievable. For a reason too.

Do I like this movie? Hell yeah I do, it's my favourite movie. People often say one must be awake and fully alert to understand it. I don't know why, because I can be tired as hell and still thoroughly enjoy it, it's like coffee really. The characters might be robotic(on purpose), but I still found myself connected to Bowman and HAL. It's possible I associated with Bowman because he was basically a blank page on which you can write anything so theoretically anyone could associate themselves with him. HAL made a very sympathetic villain(as opposed to the novel) and he was also appropriately creepy.

I recommend this film to absolutely EVERYONE. Everyone, people, watch this incredible epic.

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