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129 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I must say, you guys have certainly come up with something..."
It was with a certain trepidation that I put this, my first blu-ray disk, into my new Panasonic blu-ray player. "2001: a space odyssey" has been my favourite film for as long as I can remember, and I've owned copies on a variety of VHS tapes and DVDs.

The theme is just about as epic as it's possible to imagine: the evolution of man from ape through human to a...
Published on 15 Aug 2008 by Kenneth F. Mcara

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I love 2001 A Space Odyssey. It's a lifetime faveourite. However as a Blue Ray film, the quality is scandalously bad. Note: this isn't a reflection on the seller in any way who plainly isn't responsible for what the studio released here! This is a criticism of the Blue Ray release. There is dirt and dust and scratches in evidence everywhere. This must have been mastered...
Published on 26 Sep 2012 by Rocket Man


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129 of 137 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I must say, you guys have certainly come up with something...", 15 Aug 2008
By 
Kenneth F. Mcara "Kenneth F. McAra" (Dundee, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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It was with a certain trepidation that I put this, my first blu-ray disk, into my new Panasonic blu-ray player. "2001: a space odyssey" has been my favourite film for as long as I can remember, and I've owned copies on a variety of VHS tapes and DVDs.

The theme is just about as epic as it's possible to imagine: the evolution of man from ape through human to a completely new life form. It's a film which has sharply polarised views, with some people completely mystified or even bored by the presentation, whilst others are spellbound and deeply moved. Unsurprisingly, I am in the second category, and still find myself surprised that Kubrick managed to get a major motion picture company to finance such a bold and imaginative film.

The presentation on blu-ray is beyond my wildest dreams. I take the point of a previous viewer about the visible joins in the front-projection screens, which could no doubt have been digitally removed, but other than that the film is in appropriately pristine condition. I sat down to watch for a few minutes - just to check that the new blu-ray player was working - and found myself watching the whole way through to the end.

The special effects were always a highlight of the film, and they do not disappoint in this new transfer. My particular favourite comes at the end of the first section of The Blue Danube where the camera appears to sail straight through between the 'wheels' of the space station - absolutely marvellous!

This film easily holds its place amongst other great cinema masterworks; watch this blu-ray version and find out exactly why.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An audacious masterpiece - and damn these critics...!, 11 July 2011
By 
P. A. Clarke (Oundle, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
God, how this film's detractors depress me!

All this talk of boredom - and criticism of its special effects. My God, my God, my God............. How depressing that people can't cope with a slower pace, an unfolding story that you need to absorb visually (this is CINEMA), not just be spoonfed with an explicit, this-is-what's-happening-so-this-is-what-we-gotta-do... script, fast-cut visuals, and bloody CGI....

To throw age at this film as a reason for finding it wanting is dismally stupid. Countless "older" films ('68 isn't that old, actually), are brilliant - and influenced what came after - including all those films that some of these detractors probably think are better. And this is undoubtedly a brilliant film. 2001 is a CINEMATIC experience (like Lawrence of Arabia, and many others). Seeing them at home on a domestic screen can never be the same as that shared monster screen, wraparound sound, cinema experience, with it unfolding before you, and no-one to shatter the spell, with requests to walk the dog, or make a cup of tea....

The pace is slow, but inexorable: Hal's messages of antenna malfunctions, the space-walks, the realisation (by us - not the astronauts), that Hal is lip-reading their discussion of his failings, then the scenes when Hal prevents re-entry ("Open the pod doors, Hal!") are absolutely brilliant. And the later "star-gate" and the aging/dying/rebirth conclusion is a mind-blower.

A work of audacious genius. Those who don't get it are (in my unapologetic view) the lesser for it - but I acknowledge that their experience is not helped seeing this epic reduced to a small disc slipped casually into a small player (or even, God forbid, a 17" laptop). 2001 is cinema at its grandest. A DVD really isn't...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the next stage of human consciousness, 31 Jan 2008
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Kubrick's seminal masterpiece is a true work of art - the cinematic equivilent to Beethoven's 5th symphony or Picasso's Guernica. What Kubrick managed to convey so exquisitely is man's seemingly eternal quest for truth crystalized through the development of human consiousness and evolution - from the dawn of humanity in pre-history through to space exploration, culminating in humanities apparent conquering of technology and, by extension, mortality itself.

Having been removed of his technological armoury by HAL in the final act, man races towards infinity to face his ultimate challenge - death. For what is man without technology?

Finally, man confronts himself on the stage between mortality and beyond. This stage is represented as a white room. Man knocks to the floor a glass of red wine represented as the spirit of man. The wine remains in the glass, therefore the spirit of man continues. The light does not die and man is ready for the next stage of his evolutionary leap. The star child is born.

Kubrick's meditation on the quest for the meaning of existence simply has to be seen.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute work of art- 2001 works on any level you want it to, 7 Nov 2006
This review is from: 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
Has there ever been a film that has divided people so much as 2001? Some believe it to be the most important artistic achievement in history, and see it as an essential study of evolution, man's complex relationship with technology, and what the future holds for us. Some like it just for its stunning visuals and mind-bending ending. Others see it as a just a complete bore, and an excersise in pretension.

Truth is, 2001 is justifiably all of the above, and different people take away different things from a viewing of Kubrick's masterpiece. Firstly, there are the things we can't debate. On DVD, this film looks, and sounds INCREDIBLE. If you only have it on VHS, I must insist that you upgrade. Even in today's world of CGI, visually, 2001 has never been surpassed.

The film itself (adapted from Arthur. C. Clarke's novel) concerns a series of mysterious artefacts stumbled upon by mankind through the ages. It opens with man's prehistoric beginnings,and then skips forward to expeditions in space. There, men on a mission to Jupiter fight for their lives against rogue control computer H.A.L.

BUT, the plot of this film is not key to its magic. 2001's genius is its asking questions of its audience. It looks at evolution (Why do we evolve?) It looks at technology and creation; at which point does it become more (is H.A.L just a machine?). But most importantly it hints at the question of what the future holds for mankind.

If you've never seen this film before, that must all seem really heavy. But the beauty of 2001 is that it is all put together with a cinematic magic (of which only Stanley Kubrick was capable) that anyone will love. Seriously, even those who don't understand what's going on will be hyptnotised by the Haunting introduction (completley black), the Blue Danube Waltz section (an original score was rejected), or THAT ending.

To sum up, whether you are a 6-year old kid (you'll love the spaceships), a clueless film virgin, or a member of mensa, sit back, and take in as much or as little as you like.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must Be Watched in the Right Mood, 20 Dec 2002
By 
Mr. A. E. Hall "brother_of_sadako" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
This is the second time I have reviewed this film for Amazon. The first I have deleted as it does not even come close to what I feel about this film. When I first saw it, I sat down and watched it like any other film, not paying close enough attention to what was going on. The result was that I was so turned off that I wrote a review entitled: 'Shockingly Dated Bore'. I have been wanting to change that review for years and have only now got around to it.

After hearing so many good things about the film I decided to watch it again. Only this time I made sure I was alone and in a relaxed mood, ready to watch the film properly. This time I was enthralled. The film gripped me and left me star struck.

What the film means has been debated for the best part of forty years and will probably be debated for much longer. I do not care to go into that as that is more philosophy than film review. The film is powerful and influential, but also, despite an apparent lack of action, enthralling.

If you do not like this film, then I urge you to give it another chance, but be warned, if you treat it as any other film you will not like it. It should be enjoyed in as close to a cinema-setting as is humanly possible on a small screen (anyone chewing popcorn and asking what on Earth is going on should be immediately thrown out of the room). If you watch it like that, you might just see a great film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film,but an acquired taste, 31 Dec 2008
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This review is from: 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
Before anything else, remember that Kubrick made this before the Apollo moon landings,and before the Voyager flybys of Jupiter and Saturn-in other words,a world that people of my age(45) and younger find it hard to imagine;when the moon landings were in the future,not the past.
Kubrick and Arthur C.Clarke based "2001" on a short story of Clarke's called "The Sentinel",wherein an alien device is found on the moon,and so we realise we aren't alone in the world.In "2001",the story is fast rewound 3 million years,so the monolith appears to our ape ancestors,and starts them on the voyage to intelligence.
Fast forward 3 million years and you have spacecraft manouevreing to the strains of "The Blue Danube",and a delegation to the moon to report on the dicovery of a monolith.
Then it's "Discovery" and it's trip to Jupiter.A computer called HAL goes psychotic and tries to kill the human crew-one survives.He goes on to "The Ultimate Trip" and changes dramatically as the end looms-no more,I'll spoil the ending.
This film figures in many "Best 10 " or "Best 25" films,and it has spawned a sub-industry of analysis and search for meaning.In my opinion,it's best judged as a historical artefact-how people in the 1960s tried to judge an unimaginable future.After all,people in 1968 were prepared to contemplate manned missions to Jupiter,but how many would have imagined the fall of the Berlin Wall or the collapse of the USSR?
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85 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film, good transfer, poor extras ..., 20 Mar 2008
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P. White (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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As has been reported this disc does have an FBI warning at the beginning but is otherwise a UK release. The packaging is for the UK. I love this film, have done for 35 years so I won't comment on the movie itself except to say that 95% of the visuals could have been made yesterday and that the story is fiercely intelligent. And so to the Blu-Ray disc:
The transfer is good. There are very few anomalies (and I don't mean Tycho Magnetic Anomalies), most of the anomalies that are present were built in, eg dirt on the rear projection screen in the Dawn of Man sequence. That brings me to my only real irritation with the film. If Stanley Kubrick was such a perfectionist (and he was) then why oh why did he allow the set designers to use a godawful backcloth screen to simulate the African terrain and sky? It's SO blaringly obvious that it's artificial because the viewer can see creases and imperfection in the fabric. It ruins the whole sequence. It was bad enough on DVD but with the extra resolution of Blu-ray it's just annoying. It's the one things that I wish someone would digitally correct.
After that all is well. Yes they got the Earth from space wrong (too washed out) but the SFX are stunningly good and look marvellous in HD. It amused me to read IBM-Tele-Pad on the Discovery crew's flat screen TV pads (whilst they're eating). There's a multitude of fine detail revealed: the ancillary rooms inside the lunar shuttle docking area reveal figures and screens that I'd not noticed before. The Star-Gate sequence looks a LOT better now. The finer detail and improved colour range of HD really adds some wow factor to it. I'm still not convinced by the colour filtered landscapes though: they could have tried harder there.
The audio is good. The soundtrack is good as it can be for a 40 year old film and despite being a little 'thin' is well within modern standards.
Frame judder is a slight problem as reported by another reviewer but I'm wondering whether that was a limitation of the original effects rather than the transfer to Blu-Ray because the same scenes in SD in the extras reveal the same judder.
The extras are many but none good. There's a very iffy Channel-4 documentary with some annoying talking heads discussing the film and various other small documentaries. None make the heart race. The best is a promotional film made for 'Look' Magazine in 1966 that was designed to interest potential advertisers in buying into a 'special' Space related supplement due to be published first quarter 68 on the back of the 2001 release. It shows some really interesting scenes of production, Kubrick on set etc and Clarke in the Grumman factory inspecting Lunar Modules.
There's something weird about this release. Amazon had a release date that has been a gone with no stock. The other Kubrick related releases appeared on time but not this one leading me to think there's been a production problem. It is possible to obtain a copy elsewhere and if you like 2001 it's worth doing so.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 Years On, Still Remarkably Original, 19 Dec 2013
By 
Keith M - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
On re-watching Stanley Kubrick's 1968 (pre-Apollo moon landing) futuristic masterpiece, one of the first questions it raised in my mind was what the current crop of (post-Star Wars) science-fiction film fans would make of it. I mean, what the hell is going on? A blank screen with classical music, a load of apes messing about and virtually no dialogue for 30 minutes! Of course, it is the film's very unconventionality (even by today's standards) and, (if you like) deeper spiritual significance, that sets it apart from subsequent 'run-of-the-mill' science-fiction adventure yarns. Even its (obviously) dated space-station sets ('futuristic' chairs, white walls, zero-gravity environment), for me at least, have a fond, nostalgic appeal to them - rather like that of the original Star Trek (which hit our small screens - remarkably - two years before Kubrick's film had people queuing round the block).

OK, on a simplistic level, at the centre of Kubrick's film (which was co-written with Arthur C Clarke and based on the latter's short story, The Sentinel) is (perhaps) the well-worn premise of aliens influencing the pattern of events in our solar system (earth, the moon , Jupiter) - via the communication device(?) of a black rectangular 4 million year old 'monolith'. But then again, the film can also be read as something much more philosophical, tracing the history and potential destiny of humanity itself, as well as touching on themes of technology and artificial intelligence (Kubrick was always notably reticent in helping to resolve any of the film's ambiguities).

For me, the effect of 2001 comes as close to 'mind-blowing' as anything in cinema (largely as a result of Geoffrey Unsworth's cinematography and Kubrick's special effects design). And, OK, it's not exactly narrative dynamite throughout (part 2 notably drags slightly), but it still retains a great deal of innovation (both visually and conceptually), particularly in respect of part 1 (the apes) and part 4 (the 'cosmic regression' - whose high velocity sequence always reminds me of Dr Strangelove's B-52 traversing the polar ice, though apparently was shot in a combination of Scotland and Monument Valley). Then 'Dave' Bowman's (Keir Dullea, in probably the only notable - and it is brilliant - acting turn in the film) confrontation with the HAL 9000 computer (and the wonderful, dulcet tones of Douglas Rain) during part 3 provides the dramatic heart of Kubrick's film - for me, one of the great passages in cinema.

The other thing re-watching the film prompted for me, was a 'spot reassessment' of Kubrick as a film-maker. The man was, of course, one of the true geniuses of modern cinema - charting his way through the whole gamut of genres (not to mention controversies) - heist, sexual awakening, 'war crimes', nuclear holocaust, historical epic, dystopian treatise, costume drama, psychological horror, Vietnam - and hardly ever putting a foot wrong (well, OK there was Eyes Wide Shut, I guess). Not only that, but the man (in the main) eschewed Hollywood, and rarely cast megastars in his films. 2001 remains a great testament to the man's creative powers.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master Piece. Period., 7 April 2008
By 
Kevin Long "kevin_cambs_uk" (England) - See all my reviews
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What can I say, the picture on this Blu Ray of Kubricks master piece is simply stunning. Having watched this film, more times than I can remember, from the old Phillips Video 2000 system in black and white, to video, to DVD to upscaled DVD, and now finally on Blu Ray, I can honestly say that the presentation is simply stunning.

I am watching on a Sony Bravia 46inch X range TV, and playing via my PS3. Watching the film again, shows all the intricate detail of the ships in the film, the opening pan of Discovery on the Jupiter Mission is awesome, the level of detail on the ship is brilliant, but inside the ship, you see things you never witnessed before.

You can read the badges on the suits, the instrumentaion panels. There are also loads of extras on the disc which I have yet to get too.

Sound wise again, this does not let the presentation down.

Overall I am pleased with the film, its a pleasure to watch it again, but to actually 'see' more of it is a real treat, I think even Kubrick would have been impressed !

Enjoy !
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pinnicle Of Evolution, 27 Sep 2006
By 
Vica (Cheltenham) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD] (DVD)
Masterful, exquisite, breath-taking, captivating, provoking. For as Kubrick proves words are not integral to a film, so these words I use cannot do this film justice, nor can they adequately encapsulate the vast landscape which the director has painted.

Undoubtedly the greatest science fiction film to have ever graced cinematic screens, "2001" dwarfs anything I have ever viewed in terms of grandiose imagery to deep philosophical notions. What is next? Who are we? Why are we here? The film touches all concepts. It is intrinsically scientific yet carries the connotations or religion. The evolutionary cycle of mankind from manape through to "star-child", this film tackles such a notion in such a simple, yet effective manner, it is difficult for many to comprehend or enjoy.

Those with limited attention spans will surely switch this film off come the early "docking" sequence, and the fact that words are not spoken til twenty-five minutes into the film, will stun many. This film has no blazing space battles, nor does it contain complicated dialogue involving hyperdrives and mangling with quantum mechanics. Kubrick stays true to reality. This film is certainly not for those under the age of 18, not due to violence or graphic content, but because young minds are not prepared for such a film as this.

Many complain (as fore-mentioned) about the docking sequence, being "sooo" long, this is done purposefully not to test ones patience, nor has it even been done for the aesthetic value, it is done to highlight the expanse that is space. The never ending vastness. The film is not about how fast we can go, but how much we can learn.

The presence of the domineering black monolith, here signifies moments of mans evolution. The touching, and exposure to sunlight, of the monolith triggers sparks of progression, the apes realisation of a tool/weapon, the revelation of the monoliths connection to Jupiter, the wonderfully hypnotic "beyond the infinite", it becomes the guideline, the pacemaker, the parent that holds a child's hand as they cross the road, so that they may continue their journey.

This film brings forth the notion of humanity in its purest form. The Monolith provides the manapes with the knowledge of "craftsmanship" yet shows technology to be our greatest asset and our greatest weakness. We place our humanity into a non-entities, metallic bolts, and leave none for ourselves. The reliance on technology is our downfall, yet we cannot progress without it. Kubrick has created a film mirroring the life cycle using creative, deep symbolism, while the dialogue fills our heads with wonder, feeding our instinctive, inquisitive nature, that makes us, as a race, what we are.
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2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD]
2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD] by Keir Dullea (DVD - 2006)
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