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I wondered that when the interior of the Leonov (CCCP ship) was so
dim. Or maybe the Ruskies were trying to save power by keeping all of the
lights off! That really piqued my curiosity...
On the whole, 2010 is an above average, yet not superior movie. If any
of AC Clarke's series have read the book "The Odyssey File", which
chronicles the making of 2010 (the book is composed of e-mail
between Clarke and director Peter Hyams. They were among the first users
e-mail technology - in 1984!) reveals the director's paranoia and even
humility as he hopes his film will even come close as a worthy successor
the peerless original. That peerless original, of course, is
2010 is dated, somewhat forgotten, and does fall short of the power of Kubrick's vision (how many times have you heard THAT before?). But Stan the Man is a hard act to follow. While 2001 is timeless, 2010 reveals its easily dated personality on a couple of occasions. The Cold War theme is the most obvious. The computers, monitors, and graphics used throughout are instantly identifiable, dressed-up Commodore 64-era tech hardware. Roy Scheider's character, Dr. Floyd, instructs his crew to "listen to your cassettes" to receive updates on their mission. Okay, so that line of dialogue wouldn't fly past 1992, when CDs were on the verge of killing the audio cassette star (*). But 2010 is not without merit. It follows its predecessor's footsteps to a faithful degree, filling in the aftermath of the Bowman-HAL fiasco, and the slew of interesting and dangerous ramifications it created.
Peter Hyams obviously set out to create a cerebral, based-in-reality production, unlike the other sci-fi movies of his day, which gave 2010 a distinct image. Return of the Jedi came out the year before, 1983, and the moviegoing public was probably still hot on heels of the Star Wars depiction of space movies, which I assume hurt the box-office chances of 2010.
It is a dated, yet hidden gem, crafted together with solid intentions and performances. The supporting cast of Helen Mirren, John Lithgow, and Bob Balaban play off each other very well and supply some thought-provoking and entertaining moments. The scenes with Bowman and Floyd are gripping, as is the later dialogue between Bowman and HAL. There are no explosions or corny "director tools" used, and the special effects (well, excluding the interior computer sets of the Leonov) were not revolutionary but get the job done.
2010 hasn't enjoyed the staying power of its contemporary brethren (Blade Runner, 1982; the Star Wars trilogy, 1977-1983; Alien/Aliens, 1979, 1986) and is a circle-square comparison to 2001. But it holds its own in many respects and is worth a few repeated viewings.
I looked this film up before renting it since I had never seen it. The comments I saw for a review saying it was boring as the original (first one) and ..."uninvolving"? This movie blew me away, I really thought it was great. This is NOT an action movie and for that matter neither was "2001". If you're looking for a fast paced and, well.. shallow movie this isn't that either. You thinkers, this movie is for you. The acting is wonderful and special effects are very convincing and not diverting. The story is very interesting although it certainly dates it more than special effects. I can probably name about 120 sci-fi movies that aren't as enjoyable to me as 2010 and most of those are still more than worth seeing. Not only worth seeing but for genre fans it is worth owning on DVD.
It's definitely a division maker, a film that splits it's viewers down the
middle. If you're a 2001 fan then you'll hate it - the sense of mystery
discovery is lost as events and motivations are layed-out and explained
every step of the way. If you didn't like 2001, wondering aloud what the
heck you just saw, I suggest you do see 2010 since you'll love the
directness of the workmanlike treatment.
It's not a a put-down - it's just that the styles are so completely different that you have to consider the messenger as much as the message. 2001 was visionary in nearly every sense the word has -- it threw out the concept of the narrative (visual or otherwise) in an attempt to make you reach your own, personal conclusion of what happened. Rebirth? Ascension? Some Nietche-ish evolution to a "superman"? You tell me -- 2001 expects quite a lot from the viewer that 2010 would much rather even mention.
By comparison, 2010 is very much an old-fashioned Hollywood movie. It explains *everything*, step by step, and includes a Roy Scheider voice-over to help thread the small gaps in time between scenes together. The voice over is often beyond silly - it's in the lyric of a series of emails from Heywood to his wife who, it should be noted, is fearful for her husband's safety. Any spouse sitting through a reading of the atmosphere braking technique will probably not sleep for weeks. Any husband who could write that deserves a slap for scaring the beegeezus out of her.
2010 is not a strong film - frankly, it's quite derivative. It's visual sensibilities leech directly into "Alien" while inside the spacecraft (from the control buttons and displays on the Russian craft, to the lighting of the of EVA room as Baskin and Lithgow take their walk to Discovery, to the smoky "atmosphere" in the interiors when discussing the "troubles" at home). Outside, Hyams tries and is successful in the sense of scope and grandeur of space, and out pitiful size in relation to the course of the Universe. While he apes Kubrick, probably to establish a sense of continuity between the two films, he is at his best in the action scenes as the Leanov (sp?) enters Jupiter space. Either way, you watch this movie and get the feeling you've seen it all before.
To be fair, Scheider is very good in his role of Heywood Floyd, that is if you dismiss the style of the previous occupant of that role, William Sylvester, as only a Kubrick mannequin. Again, the camps are divided -- I believe I understand the tact Kubrick chose to take, the sense of human alienation and evolutionary boredom, and while 2010 puts "real people" in space and makes the voyage to the stars more human, this wasn't the goal of Kubrick. Kubrick wanted to show man at a spiritual, cultural and evolutionary dead-end, and so human reactions (like 2001's Bowman going after HAL) only escape from people as their vestiges of civilization fail them. Different approaches, different movies. So why compare them? Well, life's just not fair, now is it?
If you really don't need to compare the two, you can enjoy 2010. It's not a bad film, it just doesn't give much credit to the intelligence of the audience. That may not be a bad thing, so long as it's entertaining (insert Jim Carrey/Adam Sandler joke here) and 2010 can be entertaining at times. So long as you dismiss 2001 as a separate work of art.
If you have the time and the patience, see 2001 twice, giving yourself a week or two to let it all set in, and then remember that not everything in the Universe has added value by being strictly described.
Actually, whenever I watch 2010, I often wonder if Bob Balaban, hanging in HAL's memory center, is really as nauseous as he appears. And to the people who believe Kubrick was egotistical for destroying his sets, he did so because of what happened after Spartacus: Once production has ceased and the company left Italy, nearly every gladiator film of the '60 were shot on his old sets, some even coming out before Spartacus did.
Stanley Kubrick and Steve Reeves? Now THAT'S the ultimate trip...
Of course it comes nowhere close to the brilliance of "2001: A Space
Odyssey", but I don't think that ever was the makers intension. I
believe that "2010" was made to tie up the loose ends and answer some
of the questions that "2001: A Space Odyssey" left.
While "2001: A Space Odyssey" was more a visual movie, "2010" actually has many dialog but that doesn't mean that the movie isn't visually spectacular. The sets look beautiful and the special effects also have improved a lot.
The story is easier to follow and therefor the movie is more better to watch for a wider range of people then "2001: A space Odyssey" was. And I even think that this movie is pleasant to watch even if you haven't seen "2001: A Space Odyssey". luckily HAL is still scary even though his role is smaller in this one. And the space walk is actually still one of my favorite moments in cinema history!
The performances by the actors are good, and the tension and relation between the Americans and Russians is done very well.
Although not as brilliant, easier to watch as "2001: A Space Odyssey"
I never knew a sequel was made of "2001: A space odyssey" until a few months
ago. When I finally had watched this film, I understood why. "2010" is
anything but a bad movie, but it doesn't offer the same remarkable
innovation its predecessor did.
Nevertheless, this film has some great special effects which are, just like
"2001", way ahead of its time. Watching this film, it's hard to believe
that it's already more than 15 years old! Because this film sets off
immediately where the previous one ended, you're involved the second you
start watching! As a result of this, "2010" sheds some serious light on
many unanswered questions of "2001: A space odyssey". This alone makes the
story of "2010" very appealing, because one wants to know the true meaning
behind the mysterious monolith.
The only let down of the film is that the characters are quite thin and the acting isn't always very convincing. Add to that one or two scenes that can be a bit monotonous and you know why I think "2010" is not as good as "2001".
Even so "2010" is worth-watching thanks to breathtaking special effects and a storyline that'll make the previous movie a little bit more understandable.
The reactions to this film sum up a problem of perception that many film
buffs seem to have. To such people, Kubrick was a genius. Kubrick made
2001 is a *Kubrick* story. Therefore 2010 is by definition a presumptuous
attempt to explain what Kubrick deliberately left unsaid. etc.
Sorry, 2001 is an *Arthur C Clarke* story. He wrote a sequel to his own story, called it "2010" and *he* explained what Kubrick left unsaid. I'd say he had a right. Then someone buys the film rights and produces a fine movie from it.
And it *is* a fine movie. Intelligence far in excess of the usual Hollywood SciFi garbage (Independence Day or Starship Troopers anyone?).
The scenes with Keir Dullea were far more chilling than anything in the original.
Arteur theory is still alive and well, I see.
This is an excellent SCIENCE-fiction film. It carries on the story
introduced in Kubrick's "2001", and ties up many loose ends and
clarifies what happened in the first film. The effects are excellent
even by today's standards, the acting is believable, the characters are
well-developed, its pacing is tight, and its plot is well-executed.
Finally, this is TRUE science-fiction, not space-opera, and I wish more
movies were like this. I hope someone worthy picks up the remaining 2
Clarke novels for the screen.
1. To everyone saying this is a weak film because it doesn't match the depth, mystery, and style of Kubrick's 2001: You guys need to open your minds a bit! It's ridiculously unfair to measure this sequel, or any film, against 2001. It is, frankly, impossible for ANYONE to produce a film that matches Kubrick's style unless that someone *IS* Kubrick himself! 2010 was not produced to COMPETE with 2001 at all, the director stated that he never would have produced this film without Kubrick's and Clarke's BLESSING. I'm sure the director deliberately avoided copying any of the style of 2001 at the risk of failing miserably and upsetting his own idol. Kubrick told the director to make this movie his own, thus the director did! If you go cynically comparing all sci-fi films to rare masterpieces you will only end up ruining your own chance of enjoying them for their own merits. It's like saying all music is of dubious value because it wasn't composed by Beethoven! You're only hurting and embarrassing yourself.
2. A number of reviewers felt that the monitors on the ships (actual CRTs built into the sets) look cheesy due to their pixellated graphics and curved faces. Well, you guys are assuming that Kubrick's film has flat panels because of some scientific rationale about the future. Did you think that maybe Kubrick didn't use CRTs on his sets was because they did not have color CRTs available in 1968 that were small or cheap enough to build into his sets? All his screens were flat because they used slide projectors to flash static images against the back of semi-transparent screens. Most images were hand drawn to resemble possible computer generated images. The original 2001 scene of the videophone was created by projecting a reel of film against the back of a screen. In 1984, the computer industry was just starting to explode, and color-CRT displays as small as 12" were readily available! When those set designers sat down to think about what the ship of the future would look like, they rationalized that they would be full of CRT displays in 2010, which was only 27 years in the ACTUAL future! How could they know we'd have low cost high resolution LCD flat-screens after only 17 years? You limit your enjoyment by over-intellectualizing everything with a cynical attitude. Of course the graphics were blocky! They were rendered by REAL computers, not hand drawn by artists. I'm sure in 1984 they felt that was a great idea and a nod towards future possibilities!
3. Many people criticize the heavy amount of dialog in 2010 contrasted to the lack of dialog in 2001. Again, we're falling back on the "not Kubrick" style issue. Regardless, you do realize that the BOOK for 2001 was FULL of dialog, right? You DID realize that 2001 is not JUST a film, it has a companion novel several hundred pages long? Since it's a story developed by TWO people, and not just Kubrick, perhaps the lack of dialog is only one director's idea at visualizing the novel and not integral to the STORY itself?
4. Some have heavily criticized the scientific components of 2010, stating that Kubrick had NASA consultants available when he made his film, and that 2010 is weak in this area... Well, I'm wondering why you assume that it wasn't the same case for 2010? Do you have some kind of special insider info about the making of 2010? Because, I believe that there are numerous production notes readily available clearly stating that the director of 2010 was careful in this regard and had many scientific consultants involved in the production of 2010. There is a whole book containing copies of emails between the director of 2010 and Clarke! I remember reading that even Carl Sagan had input into 2010! Oh yeah, lets not forget that Clarke makes a brief cameo in the film, and that both Clarke and Kubrick appear on a magazine cover in the film? If that's not an official endorsement of the film's authenticity and canon, then I am sorely mistaken.
I'm just getting tired of these seemingly angry, cynical, ego-maniacally tedious reviewers bashing the merits of decent films. These people often assume they're brilliant enough to understand what Kubrik (or any filmmaker) was thinking. Dude, you're not Kubrick, you're not a genius artist, you don't even make films! Cynical attitudes are self-destructive, intelligent people are by nature open-minded, and analyze things on their own merits and faults instead of holding everything against rare artistic standards from previous works. The merits or faults of any work are entirely subjective. Many people rate 2001 as one of the greatest movies ever only because all the smart-sounding people do. How many call 2001 a "masterpeice" because they truly, emotionally, and intellectually appreciate the work itself, or simply because it's Kubrick's? How many of you can even honestly answer that question without lying to yourselves?
For the rest of you... if you are open-minded, and consider 2010 for what it is: a DIFFERENT director's take on telling a story from a DIFFERENT book, produced in a DIFFERENT era, then you will enjoy this movie, appreciating that it stands on it's own as one of the top science-fiction films made. And I bet you really enjoy yourselves when you watch movies too, even if they have some flaws.
Good for you!
When I saw 2001, I thought how brilliant a piece of film it
out to be. Many people could not understand the meaning of
Monolith, but its meaning became clear in this sequal 2010.
The acting is first rate throughout, with superb casting
Roy Scheider in one of his best films since Jaws.
The atmosphere generated by both films (more so, this one) is down to the excellent writing behind them. Arthur C.Clarke had a vision of a future and although he admits being 100 years out (talking today) there will be a time when computers like the HAL 9000 and expeditions into space take place just like in the films.
I only hope that sometime in the future, the two novels 2060 and 3001 will make it from paper to film.
I recommend this film to anyone, it is enjoyable for all the family.
The first movie in the series, 2001, was a very artistic piece that had
moments of dialogue in its more than two hours of film. 2010 appears
apologetic in comparison, explicating somewhat excruciatingly every nuance
of the plot through the main character's supposed messages back to planet
earth. All of the blurry details of 2001 are made crystal clear in this
fashion. It is a very wordy movie.
Nevertheless, 2010 has images that can captivate audiences just as well as they did in 1984. Today's movie goers will notice slight glitches in the special effects as well as a couple of discontinuities. The movie also dates itself because the plot includes a lot of tension between the Americans and Russians.
Because 2001 was such a great movie, 2010 tends to pale in comparison. However, it is still a very good science fiction movie and it is worth viewing (but probably not buying).
2010 is not a bad movie. It really clears up points made in 2001 that no one would ever figure out without this film, like why Hal went mad. The cast is good, special effects look OK, however they seem a bit cheap compared to 2001. My biggest problem is everything in the movie is so direct, every little thing is explained to you. This is the complete opposite of 2001 where nothing is given. Hopefully is they make a 2061 or whatever the next book in the sequence was, a happy medium will be found between the two styles.
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