2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?

— HAL 9000

Starting off this classic movie viewing month with a bang, I wanted to visit one of Stanley Kubrick’s greatest films, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ranked #89 of the Top 250 of all time on IMDB. It was nominated for four Oscars, winning one for Visual Effects.

I am a huge fan of Kubrick’s flicks. This movie is considered his masterpiece. It is visually beautiful, but I have more questions about the ending that I will bring up in the spoiler section.

When the movie starts, it is a black screen with the famous score that Kubrick pulled together after he decided not to use the score of Alex North. I thought that the disk was broken or something. I deduced that it was overture. I let that slide.

The first segment is “The Dawn of Man” sequence with our ancestors foraging on the land. I was scratching my head. ‘Why is this in here?’ Then, a tall black monolith shows up. The apes are intrigued by the sight. When they touch it, they become savages.

Fade out into the second segment dealing with a scientist, Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Slyvester) taking a trip to a lunar space station to investigate strange occurrence there. Floyd and his team of other astronauts investigate another monolith that is buried in a crater on the moon. When they gets close of the monolith, it emits this ear screeching sound.

Eighteen months later, there is an expedition to reach Jupiter when the crew tries to figure out the origins of the monolith. Most of the crew of Discovery One are in hibernation except for two, Drs. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood). All of the basic functions of the ship is controlled by an advanced super computer called HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain).

As everyone knows, HAL thinks that Dave and Frank wants to disconnect him, because of a possible error he did with a satellite on top of the ship. I was expecting this whole movie to be the third part of the film. I was surprised.

I don’t think that HAL was evil. He is a computer. He could make a mistake.

Most of this movie was a silent movie, interrupted by dialogue. I found that fascinating. Great visual effects. I’m glad it was the Oscar for that. It still holds up over forty years later.

Judgment: An acid trip of a movie, but a very fun ride.

Rating: ****1/2

SPOILER SECTION

When I finished the movie, I was confused. I was thinking, “What the fuck?” I tried to wrap my head around the movie.

The action was supposed to take place in 2001, but it looks very sixties. It’s not like “Star Trek” future, which is a shame. I could let that slide, since nobody would know what the future would look.

I thought that the three segments had to deal with the monolith controlling the behavior of living things like the early Neanderthals, human beings and maybe computers.

That wouldn’t make sense with making HAL turn on the humans. I learned that HAL has to tell everything to the humans but the “real” reason for their mission. Okay.

What the fuck is with the ending? After HAL kills everyone on board, except for Dave, they have the stand off. I have a problem with HAL controlling the first space pod that kills Frank, then when Dave goes out to recover Frank floating out there, HAL doesn’t do anything to Dave. Why? Is it because if Dave dies then HAL is useless?

Back on track, when Dave learns about the emission from Jupiter from the video message, he ventures out and sees the third monolith. There is a weird acid trip then he is in a room. Every new shot of Dave, he gets older and older until he on his deathbed looking at the monolith. He reaches out to it and he becomes a baby is the womb.

Am I missing something? Is it about the ‘circle of life’? What?

Somebody please help me out here.

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on June 1, 2009, in 1968, Academy Award Winner, Classic Movies, Drama, Mystery, Running Feature, Sci Fi, Thriller, Top 250 of All Time in IMDB, Top 250 of All Time on IMDB and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m with you when I read your analysis. This movie is completely disconnected. Maybe Kubrick was trying to say something about human nature. If he was, it is lost on me. I feel like he doesn’t give you enough information to grasp at any thing. You are just left feeling dumbfounded. I don’t know if I’ll ever get an answer for this movie.

  2. i think he was tripping balls and peaked when directing the end of the movie or something. what the fuck is right.

  3. what… the… fuck he was just missing the crazy fucking brits running bout and raping while jamming to beethoven.

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