Catching Up: “2001: A Space Odyssey”

This Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film was released back in 1968. It was directed by Stanley Kubrick (“The Shining”, “A Clockwork Orange”, “Full Metal Jacket”), who is considered to be a great director. Kubrick wrote the screenplay with Arthur C. Clarke based in part on a short story by Clarke.

The film stars Keir Dullea (“Isn’t it Delicious”, “The Good Shepherd”, “Black Christmas”) and Gary Lockwood (“Murder, She Wrote”, “Simon & Simon”, “Barnaby Jones”).

Usually I’d go into explaining good and bad, but this film did nothing for me, except show why it deserved the Oscar for Best Effects, Special Visual Effects, at the time. So, instead, I’m going to fill this with the snappy things I jotted down on paper throughout this film. That should be a fine indicator of my thoughts on this film.

From beginning to end:

– Three minutes of a black screen with fantastic score, that set a certain level of fear, or something.
– The Epic main theme that signified the films true beginning. Incredible!
– Score: a sense of mystery and wonder, awe.
– That was weird. I suddenly felt like I was watching Animal Planet or National Geographic.
– So, he learned violence. Great. They all learned violence! Whack him a little bit more!!!
– About 20 minutes of a film that’s already over two hours, dedicated to nothing.
– Okay. Enough already. We get it. They’re in space. Give it a rest.
– Small, boring chit chat. More shots of space!
– I’m half expecting the tagline for the film “Alien” to come on across the screen. “In space no one can hear you scream”. But if I scream in my own house, will people hear?
– Here we are, about 45 minutes in, and I can’t identify what, if really anything, has happened.
– Look! More space things! Did we forget we were in space?
– Talking of some sort, but as I’m bored, I don’t pay attention. Thus, I have no clue what’s being said. I can only assume it furthers the plot, or is supposed to.
– Creepy music. Will there be a shocking discovery? No.
– Can these people take any longer when it comes to walking from point A to B?
– 18 Months Later… Oh, good God!
– More space. I’m beginning to regret my choice of film.
– I could fast forward through this and be done faster.
– So, the man knows how to jog. Who cares?
– An hour in and the first reference to HAL.
– See how they sleep.
– I’ve never seen people look so constantly bored.
– Intermission! What? With an hour left? Are you kidding me? On the plus side, there’s that same creepy music as heard in the beginning of the film.
Hmm… and yet, I”m not sad or shocked that he’s out there floating away to his death.
– The film now expects urgency, but does a terrible job of conveying it. More like performing chores. Just going from one to the next.
– Well, HAL is in charge. That’s the extent of my concern.
– And then there was one. One really is the loneliest number.
– Even the noises of alarms fails to get me excited or be frightened with anything. They’re just noises.
– And now HAL is a monotonous voice too. I care not for him anymore.
– Two hours in and we finally get to what’s really the point of the film. Glad I didn’t waste that time.
– Back to the boring space imagery.
– And we’ve reached the drug induced portion of the film.
– Even Terrence Malick in “The Tree of Life”, was more interesting with his prolonged abstract imagery.
– I wonder if I can do my dishes? Laundry? Or, sing a “Happy Working Song”? Maybe just the YouTube video.
– And the acid trip continues! Why?
– Creepy staring eye of a child? What?
– And that was it. What a waste of time.
– Even Steve McQueen with “12 Years a Slave” was better at lingering shots and panning over areas. They evoked something.

Yeah, this is one of those things that would definitely served a better purpose as a live tweet session. Some clever hashtag would no doubt be used. Maybe another time, but for another movie. “Cleopatra” is even longer and more dreadful to sit through!


2 thoughts on “Catching Up: “2001: A Space Odyssey”

  1. Pingback: On Second Thought: “2001: A Space Odyssey” | Past, Present, Future in TV and Film

  2. Pingback: 31 Days of Oscar: “Lolita (1962)” | Past, Present, Future in TV and Film

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