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May 28, 2018

2001: Space Odyssey (1968) --- "Embark On A Mysterious And Awe-Inspiring Exploration From The 60's"

Plot Summary
An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship's computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behavior, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine that results in a mind-bending trek through space and time. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
    I watched this film for the first time a few days ago and this is what I was left with. Writing an objective review about 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is as difficult as understanding and contemplating the film’s story; it’s almost impossible. Whether you love it or hate it, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is one of the most iconic science fiction films of all time. It’s thought-provoking, insightful, and frustrating. The most endearing quality of the film is that it dares to ask deep questions about life: Who are we? What’s out there? Where did they come from? And what do they want? Nonetheless, those who love the film understand why people don’t and vice-versa.

   2001 is also an enigma. Only a film from the 60’s about the center of the universe could provide this rare sense of awe. The film opens with a thirty-minute sequence that contains no dialogue or narration and tells the evolution of mankind, the discovery of tools, and the start of war. The rest of the film follows the same footprint. Many scenes that are not silent have an overplay of famous classical music that almost describes what’s happening. Like when an astronaut goes to fix a ship with The Blue Danube Waltz playing in the background. Because there is a major lack of sound, the film forces the audiences to think. Think about mankind’s technological progress, the possibility of interstellar travel, worm-holes, space colonization, and the growing trend of artificial intelligence. It is an accurate depiction of our ever growing future on space-travel. Because space travel was relatively new during the 60’s and 70’s, earlier audiences found many of the film’s concepts to be unknown and almost inconceivable. The film is slow but it does work for this film and allows for a deeper understanding of the film.
   Unfortunately, while this is one of the greatest achievements in sci-fi film history, 2001: A Space Odyssey is not for everyone. The storyline is not easily understandable. Director Stanley Kubrick (The Shining) wanted an audience that thinks, contemplates on what they’ve seen, and comes to his or her own interpretation. In addition, there were times when the slow pace made the film feel tedious, especially when there are moments without dialogue or sound, and much of the film we are spent waiting for things to happen. This does not always bode well for most audiences, especially with fast action-packed superhero film out today. I enjoy a good thought-provoking film and I can see why this is an iconic sci-fi film but I can’t say that this was my favorite nor will I probably watch it again.
   On another note, the technical level of this film is not only amazing for its time but it is also ahead of its time. Kubrick gave us stunning special effects that show that he had the film’s future in mind. He wanted to make sure that like Star Wars 4-6, audiences would be taken to a future that could possibly become a reality one day. The cinematography by Geoffrey Unsworth (Cabaret) is beautifully colorful. It goes from the tranquil view of Space and spaceships to the psychedelic colors at the end. It is an ageless sci-fi film with beautiful visuals and cutting-edge special effects.
   The characters were great, especially the voice of the computer HAL 9000 (Douglas Rain - 2010) who provides the most dialogue. Although he’s a computer, HAL proves to be more human than the two astronauts And since this is a film about evolution, the development of HAL’s character as well as the discovery of his true intentions is interesting to watch.

   Overall, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) is an iconic sci-fi film that was loved and hated when it was first released and that discussion remains true today. The visuals are beautiful and the special effects are cutting-edge for its time, making the film timeless and iconic. Whether or not you love this film, you won’t be able to stop talking about it. Personally, this was not my favorite but I can still see why it is such a great film and I highly recommend it to any sci-fi fans as a must-see film.

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Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  4.1 of 5 star
Worth Buying:  4.1 of 5 stars

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Movies Similar 
After Earth (2013)
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Interstellar (2014)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
Journey to the Mysterious Island (2012)
John Carter (2012)
Land of the Lost (2009)
Lost in Space (1998)
Mission to Mars (2000)
Oblivion (2013)
Serenity (2005)
Spaceballs (1987)
Stargate (1994)
Starship Troopers (1997)
Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation (2004)
Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (2008) 
Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012)
Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars (2017)
Star Trek films
Star Wars films

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