Jacob Martin (formally known as The Movie King)’s review published on Letterboxd:
PART OF TCM'S THE ESSENTIALS 2017
I have (and continue) to have a polarizing response to the acclaimed classic that is 2001: A Space Odyssey. This slow-burning epic has a lot going for it, an ambitious sci-fi flick tackling advanced themes including discovery, evolution, and the corruption of technology, and on a technical standpoint, it's one of cinema's most staggering. Every shot and frame the late Stanley Kubrick puts into this movie is highly impressive, as each frame could serve as its own postcard due to how meticulous they are. That trippy light show in the climax alone was so advanced that I swear is the closest I'll ever get to having an LSD experience.
The usage of classical music is legendary and iconic, though that one theme they use each time the monolith shows up feels more like a horror movie than the sense of awe and discovery that they were going for. Don't get me wrong, it's a phenomenal piece, but it creeps the crap out of me every single time.
Like the last time, I don't hail this film to be the greatest film of all-time or anything. I still have the same problems as before. The evolution segments are a little too pretentious for my liking (though the visuals and that jump cut are phenomenal nonetheless), none of the characters are particularly interesting (with the exception of HAL 9000 of course, who's by far the most interesting part of the whole movie), and the poster child of the movie at the very, very end is freaking horrifying to look at. I'm thinking that's probably symbolism for evolution, but I can't think of anyone that wants to turn into such a horrifying looking creature unless you actually had LSD in theaters back in 1968!!!!!
OK, maybe that was a little harsh, as science is one of the coolest, most fascinating subjects on the planet, and while I don't fully believe in the popular theories of evolution (mainly the connections between man and ape), its the exploration of space and the themes of progress and discovery that leaves me floored by this film in each viewing, even if the characters are underwhelming and it can be a little pretentious at times.
I personally favor some of Kubrick's other films (still prefer The Shining; that's his true masterwork in my book), but hey, at least it's nowhere as obnoxious as Lucy.
All in all, I consider 2001 an essential for the visuals alone, but it's not one of my favorite movies. But considering my first viewing of 2001 was three years ago and was initially despised mainly cause I had a bad day at work, that's saying something... a lot.
Also, I have to commend this film for inspiring Interstellar. That's my 2001...
NEXT UP... Bullitt