Other Sellers on Amazon
+ £1.26 delivery
2001: A Space Odyssey [HD DVD]  [US Import]
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
A daring experiment in unconventional narrative inspired by Arthur C Clarke's short story "The Sentinel", 2001: A Space Odyssey is a visual tone poem (barely 40 minutes of dialogue in a 139-minute film) that charts a phenomenal history of human evolution. When Stanley Kubrick recruited Clarke to collaborate on "the proverbial intelligent science fiction film", it's a safe bet neither the maverick auteur nor the great science fiction writer knew they would virtually redefine the parameters of the cinema experience with the result. From the dawn-of-man discovery of crude but deadly tools in the film's opening sequence to the journey of the spaceship Discovery and metaphysical birth of the "star child" at film's end, Kubrick's vision is meticulous and precise. In keeping with the director's underlying theme of dehumanisation by technology, the notorious, seemingly omniscient, computer HAL 9000 has more warmth and personality than the human astronauts it is supposedly serving. (The director also leaves the meaning of the black, rectangular alien monoliths open for discussion.) This theme, in part, is what makes 2001 a film like no other, though dated now that its post-millennial space exploration has proven optimistic compared to reality. Still, the film is timelessly provocative in its pioneering exploration of inner and outer-space consciousness. With spectacular, painstakingly authentic special effects that have stood the test of time, Kubrick's film is nothing less than a cinematic milestone--puzzling, provocative and perfect. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com --This text refers to the DVD edition.
A Space Odyssey has been skillfully remastered in time for its 40th Anniversary year. This Special Edition has as host of extras including the Channel 4 documentary: 2001: The Making of a Myth, featurettes, commentaries and the theatrical trailer. --This text refers to the DVD edition.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Some of the detail has undoubtedly dated; a 60s view of the future. The minimal dialogue is occasionally stilted with little or none of the exposition that would be in evidence in a modern sci-fi movie. But and it is a big but, the visuals, particularly of spaceflight, are stunning. They, combined with choice of accompanying music, easily qualify this version for 5 stars.
I can't comment on the extras - I have to admit that I very rarely watch them....
*****Warning: Spoilers ahead*****
Synopsis from Wikipedia:
“In an African desert millions of years ago, a tribe of ape-men face competition for a water hole from a rival tribe. They awaken to find a featureless black monolith has appeared before them. Guided in some fashion by the monolith, one ape-man realizes how to use a bone as a tool and weapon; the tribe learns to hunt for food, and kills one of their rivals, reclaiming the water hole.
Millions of years later, a Pan Am space plane carries Dr. Heywood Floyd to a space station orbiting Earth for a layover on his trip to Clavius Base, a United States outpost on the moon. After a videophone call with his daughter, Floyd's Soviet scientist friend and her colleague ask about rumors of a mysterious epidemic at Clavius. Floyd declines to answer. At Clavius, Floyd heads a meeting of base personnel, apologizing for the epidemic cover story but stressing secrecy. His mission is to investigate a recently found artifact buried four million years ago. Floyd and others ride in a Moonbus to the artifact, a monolith identical to the one encountered by the ape-men. Sunlight strikes the monolith and a loud high-pitched radio signal is heard.
Eighteen months later, the United States spacecraft Discovery One is bound for Jupiter. On board are mission pilots and scientists Dr. David Bowman and Dr. Frank Poole along with three other scientists in cryogenic hibernation. Most of Discovery's operations are controlled by the ship's computer, HAL 9000, referred to by the crew as "Hal". Hal states that he is "foolproof and incapable of error". When Bowman questions Hal on the purpose of the mission, Hal responds by reporting the imminent failure of an antenna control device. The astronauts retrieve it in an EVA pod but find nothing wrong. Hal suggests reinstalling the device and letting it fail so the problem can be found. Mission Control advises the astronauts that results from their twin HAL 9000 indicate that Hal is in error. Hal insists that the problem, like previous issues ascribed to HAL series units, is due to human error. Concerned about Hal's behavior, Bowman and Poole enter an EVA pod to talk without Hal overhearing, and agree to disconnect Hal if he is proven wrong. Hal secretly follows their conversation by lip reading.
While Poole is on a space walk outside his EVA pod attempting to replace the unit, Hal takes control of the pod, severs his oxygen hose and sets him adrift. Bowman takes another pod to attempt rescue. Meanwhile, Hal turns off the life support functions of the crewmen in suspended animation. When Bowman returns to the ship with Poole's body, Hal refuses to let him in, stating that the astronauts' plan to deactivate him jeopardizes the mission. Bowman opens the ship's emergency airlock manually, enters the ship, and proceeds to Hal's processor core. Hal tries to reassure Bowman, then pleads with him to stop, and finally expresses fear. As Bowman gradually deactivates the circuits controlling HAL's higher intellectual functions, HAL regresses to his earliest programmed memory, the song "Daisy Bell", which he sings for Bowman.
When Bowman finally disconnects Hal, a prerecorded video message from Floyd reveals the existence of the monolith on the moon, its purpose and origin unknown. With the exception of one short but extremely powerful radio emission aimed at Jupiter, the object has been inert. At Jupiter, Bowman leaves Discovery One in an EVA pod to investigate another monolith discovered in orbit around the planet. The pod is pulled into a vortex of colored light, and Bowman races across vast distances of space, viewing bizarre cosmological phenomena and strange landscapes of unusual colors.
Bowman finds himself in a bedroom appointed in the neoclassical style. He sees, and then becomes, older versions of himself, first standing in the bedroom, middle-aged and still in his spacesuit, then dressed in leisure attire and eating dinner, and finally as an old man lying in the bed. A monolith appears at the foot of the bed, and as Bowman reaches for it, he is transformed into a fetus enclosed in a transparent orb of light. The new being floats in space beside the Earth, gazing at it.”
The film's slow pace is partly explained through it's realistic portrayal of technology and space travel. The special effects and use of colour look great when seen on the big scream and the use of classical music gives it a majestic space opera feel. Dialogue is less important than the visual information conveyed, the film makers also deliberately decided to leave much of the film open to interpretation, so I'd beware of those reviews which claim they have "explained" this film. The slow pace allows for the audience to enjoy the sheer beauty of the visuals and music, an almost impossible approach to making a big film in modern cinema today (I'm thinking of you Phantom Meance). The use of silence during the third story is not only realistic but hints at the isolation our human crew find themselves in, it is clear that there will be nobody hurrying to the rescue.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews