“2001: A Space Odyssey” Visually Gratifying and Stunningly Beautiful


Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Thriller and Adaptation
Running Time:
2 hrs. 40 min.
Release Date:
January 1, 1968
MPAA Rating:
MGM Distribution Company, Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

JJ Rating: A

It’s a movie about human beginnings and humans in space with a mean self-righteous computer that believes in perfection created by imperfect hands. 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Let me state that I had to continuously remind myself that this movie came out in 1968. And every time that I did remind myself of that I was re-astounded at what my eyes were beholding. Excluding the beginning with the over vocal apes of wrath I was visually stimulated beyond for I’ve never witnessed a movie that was so extensive like this one on visuals. The camera angles and the cinematography were just breathtaking at times. I can’t imagine how visually stunning a movie by Stanley Kubick would be now with all this technology he could use. I think the actors in this movie should have felt blessed to be on such exuberant sets.

I know I’m late on the travesty notion of what I’m about to state, but how does Oliver! beat 2001: A Space Odyssey in Art Direction-Set Decoration? Do those that voted NOT have eyes? It was also nominated for best Story/Screenplay and did not win. That’s understandable and I don’t get the whole need to nominate it for that. Maybe it should have been nominated for Cinematography, which it wasn’t.

The choice in music was as close to perfect as one can get in choosing music for a film. The orchestrated masterpieces were like puzzle pieces that just fit the movie in ways I’ve never really even heard music fit a movie before. With the space sequences everything seemed to be moving like they were part of a ballerina moment; graceful movements to the effortless sound of an orchestra performing notes that were written hundreds of years ago.

The actors were like show models standing next to cars. They are noticed but their job is to only enhance the thing they are showing and force focus on details moviegoers shouldn’t miss. The set and the music were more of a focal point than normally allowed by other movies. It was a different take on how to present a film and it was done so well that one would forget the possibility that the film only has two pages of scripted word. (Just a very off the wall guess in a facetious manner of the actual length.)

The entire movie was just about the evolution of man and the monolith (the big black slab) appears when an evolutionary change is to be bestowed. It’s a long movie that is visually oriented more so than vocally. Even though there was supposed to be some sort of narration apparently they decided to leave it up to strict viewer interpretation. So if that is something that gets your britches into a bout of excitement then this movie is for you. If you’ve never seen it before and you’ve always wanted to because people are all OMG it’s the best thing ever, uh think about it first. This movie clocks in about 2 ½ hours.

The first couple of scenes will make you go HUH because it’s all about the monkeys, baby. Really it’s not that difficult to figure out the meaning behind using them, but my problem is the amount of time spent explaining such a simple concept that isn’t complex. Also it takes 30 minutes for the first line to come out. I sort of complained about There Will Be Blood doing that. But that movie did it not greatly and this movie did it astoundingly, as in I did not miss the need for lines.

I am thinking on if I’d ever really sit through the entire film again and I thought at first that I wouldn’t want to. But as I sit here typing this it’s playing again and I’ve already endured the monkey/ape moments and did not fast forward or change to normal boring TV at this hour. So I guess I would see it again. It’s odd that it’s so relaxing to view. HAL isn’t at all nice in this movie (the very self assured and self-righteous computer) but even his voice (Douglas Rain) is relaxing no matter how mean his actions might be. I could picture myself buying it and having it play while I’m cleaning house or something.

2001: A Space Odyssey is a thinking movie and it will elicit more queries of what the hell is going on than answer anything as to what is actually happening. It’s either a good thing so that you can debate it with your buddies or a bad thing because you’re one of those people that need straight answer from viewing than becoming more baffled.

I gave it an A which is shocking because I don’t normally like movies like this, but it was worthy because of how it was filmed and the look combined with the music is unmatched even today. 2001: A Space Odyssey could be compared to a hot person. You stare at them and you’re like, “You’re hot” and while you stare they are talking and you are listening to them, even though you are entranced by their unmatched beauty at that moment. Well that’s what this movie is like. It’s eye-candy hot and therefore easy to become engrossed. 2001: A Space Odyssey is visually gratifying, stunningly beautiful and I hope to have a dream as unusually extraordinary as this film. Oh what a dream that would be.

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