2001

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space odyssey

2001 (1968)

Some call it visionary; others call it maddeningly opaque – but Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey has earned its place in the popular consciousness, with special effects that were far ahead of their time in 1968, and an inspired narrative that boldly takes the viewer from the cradle of man to his transformative deathbed and rebirth. Now open the pod bay doors, HAL ...

The cast includes: Keir Dullea, William Sylvester, Gary Lockwood, and Daniel Richter.

#22 on the AFI Top 100. Four nominations; one win (Special Effects).

Director Stanley Kubrick's "2001" is an unforgettable, mystical, Sci-Fi epic. Kubrick received a nomination for best directing.

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The opening sequence of scenes introduces the power of an alien monolith, which appears to a group of ape-like men. When they touch it, they are given the knowledge to metamorphous into thinking beings who are now able to kill animals for meat, and develop weapons to defeat other ape tribes. With a clever transition, the audience is transported to the future, where a second strange alien monolith is found again, this time by astronauts on the moon.

When it emits a strange radio signal which is directed towards Jupiter, a space mission is launched toward Jupiter to check things out. On board, are Dave Bowman(Keir Dullea), and other astronauts, all under the guidance of a sophisticated computer, Hal 9000. As their space odyssey continues, Hal 9000 is suspected of malfunctioning when mishaps happen while they travel through space. Bowman must make some hard choices, which result in high adventure and new discoveries.

It is worth noting that the most memorable character in the film isn't human: the Hal 9000. Voiced by Douglas Rain, Hal's intimate, insinuating voice is disturbing because he sounds so human. Supposedly, Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke came up with HAL because these three letters are the ones that come before IBM. Pretty cool, eh?

The film's script generated several popular phrases, most particularly "Open the pod bay door, Hal." The ground breaking script was by Sci-Fi literary great, Arthur C. Clarke, and director Kubrick.

My favorite scene is the strange, eye-popping light show that the audience gets to see, when an astronaut enters a huge alien artifact orbiting Jupiter. Created by FX whiz, Douglas Trumbull, the sequence is wild, strange, and unforgettable. "2001" won an Oscar for its Special Effects.

A sequel, "2010," debuted in 1984. As far as sequels go, it was surprisingly good.

2001

If you enjoyed 2001, you may like 2010, STAR WARS,
PLANET OF THE APES, and THE LAST STARFIGHTER.