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Why is 2001: A Space Odyssey such a highly regarded movie?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Dida, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. alva848

    alva848 nothing on my mind!!!

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  2. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    Sure the pacing was odd, and much of the movie made no sense, but the shots to me were so powerful that I generally didn't notice. That may just be because cinematography is the thing I usually get really invested in in a movie. Minus the twenty minutes of flying colors, the ending of 2001 to me was just spectacular. I really like the confusion and bizarreness of the scene and the sound coupled made it borderline scary. You simply don't know what he's getting into. It's a metaphor for space.
     
  3. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    Oh, I completely agree... despite failing to see why HAL turns into a killing machine (I understood when I saw 2010, IMO of quite an inferior quality). I could follow it quite well, until the psychedelic phase, but then its bizarreness has something... I already said mystical, but that's what it is. It's just it. You can call it crap or art, it's just something. (I personally think it's art ;))
     
  4. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    Haven't completely read this thread yet. But after about 50 posts it's possibly the most dissapointing thread I've ever read in OT.

    Firstly, my opinions on 2001. I watched it twice (or three times) in the space of a year about 10 years ago. I've no plans to watch it again. Splitting this film into 4 acts - apes, moon base, Jupiter orbit, WTF.
    Act 3 is superb, but is so disconnected from the rest of the film that I would happily encourage people to just watch this section.
    Act 1 takes an interesting idea and spreads it extremely thinly over an absurd length. By contrast I would encourage people to watch the opening act of There Will Be Blood (a film which very deliberately apes (!) 2001). It is also extremely slow paced but I found it's near voiceless, desert based, opening sequence utterly fascinating. I get 2001's first act - it's not especially abstract. I don't think that it justifies its length.
    Act 2. I've yet to hear a convincing argument that Act 2 makes 2001 a better film. It could be completely removed or reduced to no more than 5 minutes (purely for the sake of keeping some of the special effects) and the film would be just as good (and probably better).
    Act 4. I'll assume we can all agree that this would generate extreme differences of opinion.

    Music in a film is very important for me. How highly I rate a film is related to the quality of the soundtrack used and how appropriate I find the music to be for the scene its used in. This does not mean that a movie can be filled to the brim with my favourite songs and I will like it. At the moment I have the soundtrack to Moon, The Truman Show, and How to Train Your Dragon on my ipod. All 3 have soundtracks that work brilliantly with the film, though only Moon's works equally brilliantly without the film. How to Train Your Dragon's is merely very good, and The Truman Show's is just ok. While it's main theme may be considered iconic, 2001 failed in the soundtrack department as fas as I'm concerned. The Blue Danube is the only piece that works really well in the film. In an episode of Fraser, Kelsey Grammar decribed the main theme of 2001 as "overused". He could have added "before the film ended" and been equally accurate.

    2001 is an extremely important in the history of movies. Any list of the most important, influential movies ever made should include this (and it should probably make the top 10 of such a list). But so should The Jazz Singer and the number of people calling that a great movie is quite small. 2001 expanded greatly the notion of what stories a movie could try to tell. No 2001 equals no Star Wars and all of the films that it influenced (not a Star Wars fan but it shows how important 2001 is to the history of movies). 2001 broke outside the box of conventional film making up to that point. Many films have gone outside that box since then and done it significantly better.

    2001 has amazing special effects that still hold up to this day. I can only dream that one day someone will force Michael Bay to watch the visuals in this film and repeatedly scream in his ear "this is how you use special effects". Having access to all of the world's computing power isn't going to make your movie one bit better if your director doesn't know how to effectively make use of these effects so that the movie watcher can appreciate them.

    Liking 2001 is not a prerequisite for liking Sci Fi. Extremely narrow definition: the examination of how technology, its applications, and continued human evolution impact human nature. With this narrow definition I can still say that I include amongst my all time favourite films such Sci-Fi as The Truman Show and Moon.

    Incidentally, I'm surprised that Moon was described as being similar to 2001. Yes, it heavily references 2001 but the topics examined are very different. And yes, the central performance is astonishing.

    Disliking 2001 does not mean that someone dislikes slow paced films. Again I'll refer to There Will be Blood. Also Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (few films have deserved a sequel as much as this one). To borrow a thread title from a movie forum I visit, "it's not boring, it's burning". 2001 is merely boring. I would define the appropriate length for a film as the longest it can be before it feels too long. By this standard I will happily watch a 150+ minute film if the director has paced the story well over the film's length, but be thinking of walking out of a poorly made 75 minute long film. 2001 does not justify it's length.

    The notion that 2001 is a creature from the 60's and may not be as easy to enjoy to those who grew up with the cinema of the 80's or later is a valid point but it does not make such people wrong for disliking it.

    Some people in this thread are defining "entertaining" too narrowly. I did not take any positive emotions or feelings from any part of Synecdoche, New York. But this brutal, nightmarish depiction of growing old kept my brain engaged. Therefore it was entertaining.
     
  5. Dida

    Dida YHWH

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    I just thought people in monkey suits messing around to be pretty funny, although this comical effect probably unintended. The part where the monkeys all bundled up around the huge monolith was super, super funny. :lol: Then one monkey reaches out and touches it. He suddenly realizes, "O hey toolz lolz". :lol::lol::lol: The monolith was supposed to help them evolve, but this is not explained in anyway in the film, I think some people will be annoyed at this point, I wasn't annoyed, I just thought it funny and stupid.
     
  6. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    Well, I think we all should assume that we have very different opinions and tastes, but hell, I was amused, fascinated, entertained and drained by this movie. It's slow? Yes it is. And? I loved it. Every single piece of it. In my opinion, the first part is genius-like, as well as the 3rd. The 2nd... well, it's good, but it looked completely irrelevant to me except for the fact that there's the monolith. The 4th is as I stated, just weirdness. The 4th part IS a surrealist painting to me, but I still liked it a lot, it was one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen.

    EDIT: Dida, it's in that sequence when you see, when it's explained, that the monolith makes them evolve.
     
  7. Murky

    Murky Deity

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    I disagree on both points. A car's purpose is to safely transport the occupants from one place to another more efficiently than other means of getting there. Your legs can get you from point A to point B and so can horse or bike or whatever. The fact that car does it much faster and usually in more comfort is why people spend thousands per year on their cars and trucks. There are multiple purposes of film; to translate a script into live action, to transport the viewer into an alternate reality, to record an event or series of events, etc.
     
  8. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Hmm maybe you are not quite ready for a scene like that? Give it some time and revisit the movie in 10-20 years.
     
  9. Dida

    Dida YHWH

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    A car's purpose is simply to get from point A to B, whether it's faster than other means is totally besides the point. The fact that you can also get from A to B by other means is also totally besides the point.

    A film as a medium can do all of the things you mentioned, 2001 is not just a video recording of some sort, it's a commercial film produced to entertain and make money. Now you may shot a film of nothing by flying plastic bag, that's your choice, but a commercial film produced by major studio is expected to have a different purpose than that.
     
  10. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    But why?
     
  11. Dida

    Dida YHWH

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    Maybe it is you that are not ready to see the scene for what it is. This scene is just dumb. It is nothing but a poorly done, so bad that it borders comedy shaggy God story kind of thing. There is nothing profound. The only part I enjoyed was where the scene cuts from the bone to the space shuttle. The rest was excruciatingly boring and should be been cut down to 1/10 of its length.
     
  12. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Movies can be made for a multitude of reasons. Sure, hollywood pumps out cash-making cows all the time, cause they have to make their investors happy, but that doesn't mean that a movie's sole purpose is to bring in cash. The purpose is whatever the directors and producers want it to be, they're the ones in charge.

    It really sounds like you're complaining that Michael Bay didn't direct this movie and that it doesn't conform to 21st century Hollywood "an explosion and boob shot every 10 minutes" standards.

    Not everyone has to like 2001, but at least present some valid criticisms.

    But is it bad in terms of the costumes they used and the execution? Or the general meaning and context wrt the rest of the story?

    From the way you've been describing it it sounds like you weren't happy with the execution but you also ignored the deeper meaning and context.
     
  13. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    I think 2001 argument is simple and crystal clear: That human beings existence and/or superior intelligence is product of extraterrestrial intervention. The novel leaves it more clear but the movie is very clear too, only that it explains it without words, only images. And i think that it works better than the original novel. To fit HAL 9000 into the main plot we can see it as some sort of reflection: humans are trying to do the same with computers as super ETs did with us, only that things didnt go too well with HAL (not that we human are a great thing either though). About the last part it is like it should be: we can see Bowman evolving beyond our current human stage, so whatever we can see is neccesarily mostly incomprehensible for us since we are still in the previous more primitive level.
     
  14. Thedrin

    Thedrin Deity

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    Dida, are you saying that you didn't like the premise of 2001 (monolith causes evolution) or the "story" that was built on top of the premise? I don't like 2001, but if you're saying you don't like the premise then this is an argument you should walk away from. If you can't accept a film's premise you'll never like it or be convinced otherwise.
     
  15. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    I hate repeating myself, but again, this is like modern art. Some people say "This is just 200 cans of Campbell's soup piled up" And turn away, and someone else might say "Wow, this is (I don't know, I'm the first opinion)" and pay millions for it.

    Here Dida is saying "This is just 200 cans", but some of us see something else, and he keeps on saying "Don't you see it? It's just a pile of cans!"
     
  16. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    This is what I was going to say. It sounds oddly moralising to say that directors must make commercial films for the purpose of entertaining audiences and making money. Surely such an imperative is contingent on the nature of the production process and not one that can be asserted categorically. If a director can get away with not doing that despite the nature of the production process, there really isn't a good reason to say that he's wrong.
     
  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    It's more like he's saying: "I didn't find the movie entertaining, meaning that it isn't good"
     
  18. JohannaK

    JohannaK Careless Whisperer

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    Well, an analogy hurts nobody, does it? He just doesn't see a sense to it, so he keeps on repeating it.
     
  19. Thorgalaeg

    Thorgalaeg Deity

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    And here we are, +40 years later discussing the movie in a multi-page thread at an iternet forum. I would say it must have some interest after all.
     
  20. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Fixed, for pedantry's sake. ;)
     

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