By Jason Thibodeau, Software developer, science geek
I can understand someone not liking it. I think I like the movie mostly for sentimental reasons.
I've watched 2001 many times. It made me think. In fact, 2001 gives you quite a lot of space to think. There are parts that, if you are not thinking, but only watching, it can be extremely boring. Things floating, floating, ever so slowly through space. For a generation X'er, who grew up watching movies and television pre-MTV, I guess I can handle the slow pace.
Having but two channels to choose from for the late night movie helps train your mind to sit through just about anything. I have the experience of watching older films with my children.
Children can appreciate art, but to try to make them watch film as art is not easy to pull off. I may risk sounding like an old fart when I say that many of the people who are critics today, are actually children in my eyes.
Zero-G doesn't impress anyone today. We "know" how the physics of space work. We "know" (at least in some parts of the world) how humans evolved from hairier ancestors. We can get all that in a few seconds. 2001 takes quite a bit more than a few seconds to show us.
I like the film for what it is: Kubrick's impression of Clarke's ideas, an advance in cinematography for its time, and the wonderful ideas about AI gone wrong that have inspired me and kept me interested in that aspect of science.
If I had never seen it before, and I remove all sentimental attachment to it, I would critique it like this:
Jason Thibodeau's mock review of 2001: A Space Odyssey:
Very thought provoking, but slow! The opening sequence was like a reel of nature footage from our savage past: great, ominous soundtrack. Then, there is a bit of dull set up for a gripping reveal of an alien artifact. Moving finally along to the best part ... HAL was just incredible, a timeless, chilling character, I will never forget his voice ... The ending ... not sure, I think the obelisk was evolving human intelligence to the next level? If the idea was to convey that the next level of intelligence would be unintelligible to us, then it succeeded, because I doubt most viewers would get it. I had to think about it for hours, and I am still not certain I get it. The space footage was excellent (for its time), but it felt like an hour could have been edited out. 3 mysterious black obelisks out of 5.
More questions on Science Fiction:
- What is the most mind boggling example of time travel paradox?
- Why do movies set in the near future tend to make the tech too primitive or too advanced?
- What are the top 5 must-read science fiction books?