- Format: NTSC
- Language: English, Russian
- Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
- Dubbed: French
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.20:1
- Number of discs: 2
- Classification: U
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (577 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B000UJ48SG
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 244,128 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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2001: A Space Odyssey [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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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
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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...
I'd give it three as an honest viewing experience at the time, but four out of amazement at it's vision and the technical and visual splendour on offer. I can't believe it was made in 1968, it must have been truly mind blowing at the time.
For those going in relatively cold, when playing the movie, you get an opening piece of music without any visual content for the first 2-3 minutes. This is kind of a good introduction to what's coming, and symptomatic of the issues I have with it, as the film is a kind of musical and visual suite with different acts, punctuated in the middle by scenes with dialogue that make the plot slightly more clear. The emphasis is very much on the artistic expression, and though the basic plot is clear and I had a sense of the effect of the alien monolyth, meaning is left to the interpretation of the viewer, especially in the final scenes.
Since watching the film, the effect of it lingered and I've read about some interpretations and found them really intriguing and this has enriched the experience. I'd recommend further reading on the film.
When the visuals kick in, and you hear the first notes of Strauss, it's hairs standing up on the back of the neck time! The music really does bring home the wonder of the shots of space and our planet for me. Being a Kubric film, these shots are all exquisitely realised and framed, rich in colour, and often a wonder to behold.
As the film progressed though, I couldn't help feeling like it really dragged in places. Perhaps it's because I'm used to watching more dialogue heavy films and I didn't have the patience or perception for this.
The acting is solid, though the astronauts are kind of cold and machine-like in their delivery.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very well made film for it's time and in Blu-ray it's fantastic!! nice quick delivery. thankyou GordonPublished 6 days ago by gordon
What I like about this film is that the pace isn't forced, as in so many others of today. You get the feeling of it unfolding in real time. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Sherlock
I'm not a verified purchaser of this particular film (I am of others) but must give my own review as it's coming up for its 50th. Anniversary! Read morePublished 6 days ago by Eric H.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Ive been putting off watching this for quite a while now, but after seeing this continually crop up on every 'best films to watch before you die'... Read more
Cannot watch this the whole way through. A client recommended it to me, but it's so dreadful, perhaps she was joking...Published 27 days ago by SeriouslyCrissy
Best home reproduction available of this35mm print.
The print may have been from a 35mm version though. Read more