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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.
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.
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).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"2010: The Year We Make Contact" is compared- unfairly and unnecessarily-
"2001: A Space Odyssey" in almost every review posted here. To make my
point, I will have to drag 2001 into this review as well. Let's look at
these two films alone and ignore the novels on which they were based for
(Taking a deep breath as I prepare to offend everyone). I see 2001 as a product of American drug culture in the late 60's. Whether Kubrick intended it as such I don't know, but it is in essence a BORING film. I have only come to that conclusion recently; in my teens I was enchanted with it as everyone else. But on repeated viewings it's clear me that nothing much is going on except psychadelic special effects. The characters are cardboard, non-existent. It contains stunning visuals, true, but these are overdone. Is it really necessary to spend 5 to 10 minutes watching the Discovery's pod leave the ship, orient itself, and begin to move? Of course not. 10 to 20 seconds is all that is needed. This is only one example; nearly every sequence in the film is agonizingly drawn out, until you find yourself screaming "CUT!" over and over again at the screen. (Why does Kubrick do this so often in his films?)
I would hazard a guess that the film is much more enjoyable when you're high as a kite (I don't know, I've never been high). 2001 also brings out all the pseudo-intellectuals that praise it for its' open-endedness, and the fact that "everything is not spelled out". Now none of these statements makes 2001 a bad film; it's only the fact that 2010 is not an exact replica that seems to make everyone dislike it.
(SPOILERS AHEAD). 2010 is an accessible film. What's wrong with that? Curiousity is human nature: we WANT to know why HAL malfunctioned. We WANT to know what the monolith is. 2010 delivers. I think the explanation offered of why HAL malfunctioned is brilliant. Wouldn't it be typical of the American government to instruct a computer to lie, given its long history of concealing things from its populace?
2010 presents the monolith as an agent of an alien intelligence who, after tinkering with the mind of early man (in 2001), seeks to cultivate life further on Jupiter's moon Europa by transforming Jupiter into a second sun. (This also happens in the book 2010, and since Arthur C. Clarke is not just an author but a brilliant scientist, I assume that this theory of transformation is based in scientific fact. By the way, Clarke invented the communications satellite).
The special effects in 2010 are brilliant (supervised by Richard Edlund, whose resume includes the original Star Wars trilogy- enough said). I love the scene in which Curnow (played by John Lithgow) and Max (Elya Baskin) transfer from the Leonov to the Discovery, with the sulfur covered, volcanic surface of Io beneath them.
The dialog is smart and witty, and the acting is solid if not brilliant. Another favorite scene is when Heywood Floyd (played by Roy Scheider) receives a message from Dave Bowman aboard the Discovery. (Look behind you...) Absolutely chilling. Bowman's make-up could have been a little bit better, but oh well.
END OF SPOILERS
A few quirks to look for: Clarke and Kubrick, depicted on the cover of Time magazine as the American president and Russian premier, respectively. A brief view of some scenes from 2001 (of spaceships and the big wheel shaped space station) that appear in a commercial when Dave Bowman's widow is watching TV. Candice Bergen's voice cameo as the SAL 9000 computer.
One last note about the cold war aspects of 2010: Some reviewers criticize this theme (in hindsight of course) as unnecessary and dated. I don't think it particularly adds anything to the film, but in its defense, the cold war had been going on for more than 30 years at the time of the release of 2010. The general feeling of paranoia in the mid-80s made it difficult to see an end to the cold war.
Finally, if you haven't seen 2010, watch it for its own sake, and forget about 2001. Everything you need to know about that film is summarized at the beginning. I liked it a lot better that way...
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