21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: 2001: A Space Odyssey  [DVD] (DVD)
If you're going to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey at home, start by obtaining the largest screen available. Connect to it the daddy of all home cinema sound systems and a first rate DVD player (all will be revealed below.) Find a comfortable chair at some distance from your mega screen, close the curtains and dowse the light. Sit, hit Play on the remote and prepre to be engaged and enraptured for 2 hours and more.
Regular review readers will know I'm a huge fan of Kubrick, but from his oeuvre this is arguably the masterpiece. Why? Well, to begin with, remember Kubrik made 2001 in 1968. In other words, his dazzling foray into space preceded Armstrong's first step on the moon. And the result has been the template for most space adventures made since. Even Alien makes nods to 2001. Only Tartakovsky's original Solaris (not the inferior Soderbergh remake) comes close in terms of the sheer grandeur, but that film was made in 1970 and is at least partially derivative.
Next, view the epic scale, grandeur and timelessness, a quality possessed by very few cinematic productions. Although you could hardly imagine anything more different to his works, I'm quite sure Cecil B DeMille would have been delighted by 2001. Consider too how Kubrick has adopted an unhurried pace, yet never the film never lags. For example, there are only two relatively brief recognisible conversations in the first 40 minutes of this film, yet so much more has been communicated to you in the meantime. Less truly is more, and you need a huge screen to appreciate how Kubrick's majestic spacescape. Visually, this is an awesome experience, but would never have achieved the same effect without the pioneering use of classical music, notably Strauss waltzes and, famously, Also Sprach Zarathustra, married to the elegaic pictures of space craft floating gracefully around the solar system.
Then, consider the plot, based on Arthur C Clarke's novel. It's remarkably simple, furnished with few characters and sparing dialogue by Kubrick and Clarke's screenplay, yet always intriguing and enigmatic. Somehow one needs no more, and the relative space (no pun intended) allows each character and their motivations to mature and reflect on the situation in which they find themselves. The anti-hero is of course HAL9000, the eerily voiced malfunctioning supercomputer, but ultimately it is Keir Dullea's Bowman who is reborn in a strange but comforting home environmet after enduring a hypnotic, if not hallucinogenic kaleidoscope of images on his journey to Jupiter.
Make no mistake, this is a film you could not forget in a hurry, and you'll need to watch several times to appreciate its art. Shame the DVD package doesn't include any documentaries about this historic achievement, but there are some around if you look - that's worth seeing in its own right.
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Initial post: 10 Jan 2009 13:49:39 GMT
Excellent, you actually mentioned something about the DVD, TV etc rather than a full blow by blow account of what the film holds in store like the majority of folk. So, is the HD-DVD print any good????
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