2001: A Space Odyssey

  • #1
    Ok, so can someone please tell me why this is considered ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME?

    I mean, the pacing is terrible. It isn't slow. It's glacial. Most of the scenes are very, very slow shots of outer space/monkeys with classical music. I love classical music, but come on, I'm watching a movie here not an opera. The film is 2h20 long, but I'm pretty sure you could tell the same story in ~1h30. I mean, seriously? A scene that consists of 3 minutes of a monolith orbiting Jupiter before something happens?

    Or for instance, the whole Hal getting insane, while well executed, had nothing to do with the main storyline of the monolith (by this I mean: you could remove Hal from the film and it doesn't change anything with respect to the monolith storyline). Basically they grafted two independent plots; one about human evolution and another about a computer that has a mental breakdown. Two cool stories individually that gain nothing by being glued together.

    Speaking of evolution, everything was very unclear about the monolith. I knew it jumpstarted human evolution because the film's 50 years old and by now that's common knowledge, but I'm unsure if I could have figure that old otherwise. And don't even get me started on the psychodelic ending! I have this little rule of thumb: if something is so cryptic to the point that it can mean anything, then it means nothing.

    So yeah, to sum up: the film has specific strong points, but is overall extremely overrated.
  • #2
    It's an "experience film". It's paced for you to lose yourself in the visuals and music. You pretty much are watching an opera. And if that's not your cup of tea, that's not your cup of tea. For my part, I hate the movie.

    Also, we as an entire generation have a raging case of ADD that Clarke and Kubrick could not have anticipated in 1968. (Well, Clarke probably predicted it somewhere.) Even movies that aren't mindless action-fests have sped up their pacing considerably over the last ten or twenty years.
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  • #3
    I wish I could finally watch it. Viewing it on a laptop with so many distractions just won't work... Had once found a cinema that was showing it for one day, but couldn't go.
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  • #4
    One of my least favorite Kubrick films. Boring.


    I loved Dr Strangelove. Clockwork Orange was Great but disturbing. The Shining was good... FMJ good.

    I think of him as a great director, but I think about it and realize I only truly loved Dr Strangelove.
    Last edited by dcartist: 5/9/2012 8:21:11 PM
  • #5
    Quote from toto4567

    I mean, the pacing is terrible. It isn't slow. It's glacial. Most of the scenes are very, very slow shots of outer space/monkeys with classical music. I love classical music, but come on, I'm watching a movie here not an opera. The film is 2h20 long, but I'm pretty sure you could tell the same story in ~1h30. I mean, seriously? A scene that consists of 3 minutes of a monolith orbiting Jupiter before something happens?


    All those outer space shots were triumphs in special effects technology for the time. People were too blown away by the effects to notice the pace.

    Me, when I first watched the movie I was 12. I fast forwarded the entire monkey bit, then gave up at the point where a guy was jogging.
    Last edited by mondu_the_fat: 5/9/2012 8:16:53 PM

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  • #6
    Yes, this is very much an experience movie. It also helps if you read the book.
    I love the film, it is quite iconic, so many awesome moments. Definatley ahead of it's time. Maybe it hasn't aged well, bu the same could be said for most sic-fi.
    That all being said, I didn't care for the ending as much, the monolith was kind of talking to Dave- I remember dialogue- but the movie was squiggly lines, Dave flipping out, then watching himself become old. In the book, he lands on a vast surface dotted with derelict alien spacecraft, is taken to a room, and given a choice.
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  • #7
    Quote from Blinking Spirit
    Also, we as an entire generation have a raging case of ADD that Clarke and Kubrick could not have anticipated in 1968. (Well, Clarke probably predicted it somewhere.) Even movies that aren't mindless action-fests have sped up their pacing considerably over the last ten or twenty years.


    Oh I've read about that. Basically, it's not our generation's fault, but the fact our time is worth more. A lot of people complain nowadays about not having enough time, even though advances in working conditions mean we work less than previous generations. We, however, earn more per hour; also, with faster transportation and efficient technology, we can achieve more per hour as well. So when we lose an entire hour in a queue or a slow film, we're losing more "potential things that could've been done" or more "potential earnings" than previous generations. Hence, our ADD.
  • #8
    I think our cinematic vocabulary is more advanced though as well. So that we take in more information more quickly and process it more quickly. As the passive participants that cinema naturally makes us, the act of languishing in a scene, waiting for the director to move the camera, where we've already absorbed all the information is frustrating and boring.

    We certainly read books very fast but nobody accuses us of ADD because of that. Heck the fast readers are praised or at least implicitly rewarded as "smart".
  • #9
    HALs death scene is one of the greatest scenes in cinema.

    Science Fiction is boring honestly, I like science fiction.

    http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-trek/star-trek-09/

    Plinkett sums it up pretty acurately.

    Look at Blade Runner.

    Blade Runner and Space Odyssey 2001 are both slowwwwwwww but I really like them, they give me time to really think about what Im seeing, interpret it, go make a sandwich, go pour some coffee, mull over it, and then we get to the next scene.
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  • #10
    I loved Blade Runner and all, but the reason I loved it was Roy Batty. Without his rage, charisma, menace, and yearning for life, this is mostly just a beautifully realized world with pretty uninteresting characters.

    Hauer's Batty is to Ford's Deckard, what Ledger's Joker is to Bale's Batman.

    Rutger Hauer and Heath Ledger MAKE those movies.

    -

    2001 seriously lacked a human dramatic element for me. HAL was actually the most interesting character in the whole movie, and he didn't get to shine until the late part of the movie. But I see his direct influence (and his cold, unintentional menace) in Ash in Ridley Scott's ALIEN.
  • #11
    i saw this movie in a theater which was epic, but it was quite some time ago, so ill try to remember what stood out.

    first off, kubrick is a genius. probably the best filmmaker to never get honored by the academy but he didn't really give a sh*t. some have mentioned other great kubrick films, my favorite would be barry lyndon. clockwork orange is masterful as well, and the script is completely symmetrical which is impressive.

    2001 is considered a classic because it never gets dated. think about it, all that footage u saw in space was done with models and a blue screen(not positive about the blue screen). they didn't have the editing or computer graphics that we do today. honestly, it's even done better than some of the films today, which is impressive to say the least.

    the score. excellent. like i said earlier, cinema music is a lost art. 2001 had an incredible score that really accented the space scenes. we hear the famous monolith song even today in pop culture.

    hal. one of the greatest computer villains of all time. he probably spawned every single other computer villain after him. the red visuals they played with hal as he was going insane were very compelling as well.
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  • #12
    Quote from 808billdo
    2001 is considered a classic because it never gets dated.

    This is ironic on so many levels.
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  • #13
    Quote from toto4567
    Ok, so can someone please tell me why this is considered ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME?

    I mean, the pacing is terrible. It isn't slow. It's glacial.
    For the exact reasons other people have better outlined in the thread, this is one of the main reasons why it is one of the best movie in all time. Other reason: In space, you cannot hear you scream. ++ there. Cue some nice Opera to emphasize the vastness and greatness of the universe, and you're set to go.

    The waltz sequence with the background docking of the spacecraft with the station is brilliant, specially if you have basic notions of orbital mechanics and motion in space. In short, spaceship is waltzing with the space station.

    I could go on and on, but yes, just like we are a ADD generation doesn't means the movie is bad. Same for Mallick's last movie.
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  • #14
    I fast forwarded through 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I couldn't get through more than a half hour of Blade Runner.

  • #15
    I'm all for slower movies if they are at least engaging. This movie was terrible at hooking tHe audience, instead we get a borefest of epic porportions. Don't get me wrong parts of the movie were amazingly well executed and deserve some praise, but 20 minutes of greatness is not worth the 2 hours of struggling to find a reason to keep watching the movie.

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  • #16
    I don't know how everyone considered it boring, it has some of the best cinematography and greatest shots of all time.

    Rob Ager's analysis is quite interesting too if you have the patience for it, probably not if you didn't for 2001 though

    It is not my favorite Kubrick though
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  • #17
    Quote from bighaben
    I'm all for slower movies if they are at least engaging. This movie was terrible at hooking tHe audience, instead we get a borefest of epic porportions. Don't get me wrong parts of the movie were amazingly well executed and deserve some praise, but 20 minutes of greatness is not worth the 2 hours of struggling to find a reason to keep watching the movie.


    well the movie received critical acclaim for its accuracy regarding physics and space, lol it's other movies that have clouded our perception of what space travel really is. u say the movie is boring, endless, doesn't hook? the same could probably be said about space. space isn't some glorious shoot-out like star wars perceives it to be. it's boring, black, lonely, and endless, something the film captures very well. no sound, as someone mentioned earlier, so kubrick decidedly limited the dialogue in the film, and instead let the score do the speaking.

    this movie is a natural beauty. as time goes on, more people begin to recognize its brilliance, b/c it is well made and doesn't play on corny animation or cgi. filmmakers appreciate the actual time and labor put into the production, which is ENORMOUS when u compare it to a film that moves quickly but is all CGI: lets say transformers, which will probably have no replay value 5 years from now.
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  • #18
    I liked the book (written and released I think simultaneously with the movie, right?), but the movie wasn't my cup of tea. The beginning wasn't very clear (though I knew what was supposd to be happening) and nothing else was either. And holy cow was it boring. You can tell me it's great and all, and I see people still praising it today, but I'm not sure I'll ever really appreciate it. It may have been good for its time, but if I can't stay awake during a movie it can't be one of the best of all time.
  • #19
    did u stay awake for citizen kane?

    lol anyway yes the book and screenplay were written simultaneously, and i do believe the film has garnished much more praise today than it had received when it first opened. but most of kubrick's films do tend to shine after the fact.
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  • #20
    Quote from Feathas
    I don't know how everyone considered it boring, it has some of the best cinematography and greatest shots of all time.

    Cinematography and pacing are two very different aspects of a film. It is possible for amazing cinematography to be badly mispaced and, thus, boring.
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  • #21
    Quote from 808billdo
    well the movie received critical acclaim for its accuracy regarding physics and space, lol it's other movies that have clouded our perception of what space travel really is. u say the movie is boring, endless, doesn't hook? the same could probably be said about space. space isn't some glorious shoot-out like star wars perceives it to be. it's boring, black, lonely, and endless, something the film captures very well. no sound, as someone mentioned earlier, so kubrick decidedly limited the dialogue in the film, and instead let the score do the speaking.

    this movie is a natural beauty. as time goes on, more people begin to recognize its brilliance, b/c it is well made and doesn't play on corny animation or cgi. filmmakers appreciate the actual time and labor put into the production, which is ENORMOUS when u compare it to a film that moves quickly but is all CGI: lets say transformers, which will probably have no replay value 5 years from now.


    Nothing you mention here means a damn thing when it comes to how watchable the movie is. Sure, it's art, and it's art I can appreciate but it's a boring movie with abhorant pacing. It's a form of entertainment first and foremost and the movie fails at being entertainment.

    Also don't think about bringing Star Wars into this, anyone with a brain can figure out the two movies are not comparable at all. I've seen many great movies that moved at glacial speeds and enjoyed them greatly. I've also enjoyed my fair share of Kubrick films.

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  • #22
    beauty is in the eye of the beholder is what we can learn from these (rather futile) discussions Shrugs
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  • #23
    Quote from bighaben
    Nothing you mention here means a damn thing when it comes to how watchable the movie is. Sure, it's art, and it's art I can appreciate but it's a boring movie with abhorant pacing. It's a form of entertainment first and foremost and the movie fails at being entertainment.

    Also don't think about bringing Star Wars into this, anyone with a brain can figure out the two movies are not comparable at all. I've seen many great movies that moved at glacial speeds and enjoyed them greatly. I've also enjoyed my fair share of Kubrick films.


    i don't really care how unwatchable u feel the movie is. about 5,000 film critics, who know much more about film than u or i ever will, will disagree with you on that one.

    also i wasn't trying to promote it's "watchability" to you at all. i was explaining the filmmaker's reasoning behind the pace and silence of the film. if you don't understand that, i don't know what to tell you.

    who was comparing this to star wars? i simply stated that movies like star wars have impacted/ fantasized are views of space/sci-fi while other movies, like 2001, give it a more realistic illustration.
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  • #24
    Quote from Blinking Spirit
    Cinematography and pacing are two very different aspects of a film. It is possible for amazing cinematography to be badly mispaced and, thus, boring.
    Man you took that a lot drier than I meant it. I'm aware that I care a lot, lot more about cinematography than most people. I guess I'm just surprised with how impatient people are given that I'm from allegedly the most impatient generation of recent time.

    The only time I got at all bored was ironically during the stargate scene; as others have mentioned I actually liked that it gave me a lot of time to think.
    "Virtue, Jacques, is an excellent thing. Both good people and wicked people speak highly of it..."
  • #25
    Quote from Blinking Spirit
    Quote from 808billdo »

    2001 is considered a classic because it never gets dated.

    This is ironic on so many levels.
    Tongue

    Thats hilarious. Yeah like 1984 never gets dated either.

    Quote from BigHaben »
    bighaben I'm all for slower movies if they are at least engaging. This movie was terrible at hooking tHe audience, instead we get a borefest of epic porportions. Don't get me wrong parts of the movie were amazingly well executed and deserve some praise, but 20 minutes of greatness is not worth the 2 hours of struggling to find a reason to keep watching the movie.
    I am with you. And for me particularly because the whole first contact thing itself is not much of a payoff at all.

    I think the irritating thing is that certain people try to argue that not liking the movie is some kind of negative reflection on you.

    They feel the movie is "objectively good", therefore your inability to enjoy the experience means you suck on some level (ADD, Transformers advocate, no taste in cinematography, whatever).

    A lot of people are bored as hell by the movie. Simple as that. It's a made up story about made up aliens, an implausible first contact scenario, with a lot of arbitrary imagery at the end signifying something that is supposed to be of deep significance... Using dated looking space ships in a timeframe that is incompatible with current events, that may have been cutting age at the time they were made, but that was 54 YEARS AGO!

    Movie was made in 1968!

    Today is 2012.

    2012 is to 1968, as 1968 is to WW-I. Not even WW-II, but World War ONE!

    Which makes it an impressive achievement for it's time, an admirable movie, and fascinating for film buffs. But that doesn't make it enjoyable for most people. The movie is not timeless at all. It has an expiration date printed right on the DVD!

    Human drama and interaction might be considered timeless. Visual razzle dazzle tends to not be.

    World War ONE... Yeah.
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