2001: A Space Odyssey ★★★★½


Probably my fourth complete viewing up to this point. Felt compelled this time around to upscale my 9-rating to a full 10, but that seemed a bit too overzealous, at least for now. The 4K restoration of Kubrick's cinematic marvel finally rolled into town, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give this space odyssey a go in a proper theater—a LieMAX (which, beggars can't be choosers); still a pretty spectacular experience. The theater, itself purporting accommodations of an apparent capacity of roughly 220(?) people, only held about a baker's dozen, all seated in the middle of their respective rows, surely in anticipation of center-aisle worthy extraterrestrial portals. No surprise here really; it's Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, perhaps the most infamously hated film among the common moviegoer (too boring!) (nothing happens!). But it was safe to say those among me in the theater were not of that demographic, though they did seem to feel more apt to allow more indiscriminate bathroom breaks. My own bladder played the douche tonight and saw fit to torment me—just had to make it the intermission! Pan across those moving lips faster, HAL! Anyway, digestive issues aside, this is still a near-perfect film. Not sure on what exactly keeps it from a higher score; perhaps some oblong culmination of some stretches of time that are probably stretched a tad too much, and Kubrick was never an actor's director, leaving his players to (I realize intentionally) take his point on being 'dead inside' a bit too far. Small fry though in comparison to the sheer formalist genius here. Remained eager the whole time for the stargate sequence, and never before have I fully realized that the bass absolutely loses its shit when the slit-scan bands of colors and the alien landscapes photographed with saturated, inverse hues appear in the so-called 'infinite'. Match cuts, chimpanzees in the arms of ape suit-wearing humans, spinning space stations, classical music, asshole artificial intelligence—sublime components to a tremendous picture.

"The spaceship was the sperm!" proclaimed a stiff-necked cinephile as he walked down the aisle trying to make sense of it. I mean, kinda, yeah.

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