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Cine-Men: Cue also Sprach Zarathustra.

Ben Staub & Jessep Caravella, Staff Writers

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     2001: A Space Odyssey begins with nothing.  Literally nothing.  It’s after this 3 minutes of nothing the evolutionary process begins and the first part of the movie truly starts: The Dawn of Man. This section of the film focuses on a tribe of ape-men who encounter a towering black monolith. The tribe soon learns how to use tools and takes control of the water hole they were previously chased away from. The movie then cuts to millions of years in the future where space travel seems to be commonplace.

     The film then focuses on a group of scientists who discovered the same monolith buried on the moon. A frequency goes off from the monolith and resonates deep in space, prompting the next section of the movie: the trip to Jupiter. The next section focuses on two scientists Frank and Dave and their supercomputer, HAL 9000.

     2001 won the Academy Award for best visual effects after its release, and at the time it did deserve the award. Because of the obvious lack of CGI or any digital effects, practically everything was a practical effect. The living quarters of the Discovery was built around a Ferris wheel which turned with the actors to simulate weird gravity in space. The Star Gate scene was done through using the film’s negatives and colored chemicals and such in water.  

OUR TAKE

     Ben: Like I’ve mentioned before, I have a bad habit with not seeing certain groundbreaking movies and the like until they’re brought up in club.  2001, I think was pretty good, but I do think it has some flaws.  To begin, may just have to be Stanley Kubrick’s ambiguity.  There were plenty of moments throughout the movie I was lost and confused, while that may have just been on my part.

     My biggest complaint however may have to be with the Star Gate scene. It’s 5 minutes of shifting colors and painful music. It felt a bit excessive and could have been much shorter.
I do think everyone should watch this movie at least once, if nothing else than to see the effects and how they got around limitations back in the 60s.  As a movie, I didn’t hate but I didn’t love it.  I give it a 6/10.

     Jessep: My experience with this film was like that of being dragged to a mediocre orchestral performance by your parents so you can experience, “high culture.” A few descent and even good musical motifs here and there, but an overall snore fest. Which is a shame for me, cause I typically love Kubrick’s films. Overly complicated movies like some of his other works, “Full Metal Jacket” and “The Shining” for example, even overly complicated non-Kubrick films like “Primer” are usually my thing. This one I just could not get into however, because unlike the others listed it fails to be engaging.

     It has this obnoxious tendency to drag scenes on to mind numbing pace, especially with its montage scenes. I get they want to show off the impressive special effects, but I swear I could eat my way through wall faster than these scenes can just end. Heck, if I tried hard enough, I could probably experience the hyper-evolution this movie is themed off of in its entirety faster than this movie can just get on with its life.

     Another problem I have is how it wasn’t really that complex in my opinion. I’m sorry but when your character starts dying of hyper-aging, stares into an interdimensional monolith, and turns into a giant fetus god creating planets, there’s not that much to look into. Not much left to interpretation there. Don’t get me wrong, it has its good aspects. The special effects, its use of leitmotif, Hal, there’s some good stuff in here. It’s just unfortunate that it’s all squeezed in between a mess of boring, unnecessary filler like some kind of crappy anime.

     If you’re looking to be a snobby film elitist trying to bore all your friends to death with this art film before going on your blog to complain that all your peer group ever wants to do is “watch their Avengers” and “listen to their Gucci Gangs” I guess it serves as a good 6/10 to a descent 7/10, but not me. No way. To me, this is a 4/10 if I’ve ever seen one.

Ben and Jessep are staff writers for The Voice.

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Cine-Men: Cue also Sprach Zarathustra.