This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Quinn Bailey’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
I have nothing to say on the subject of 2001 that hasn't been said by other critics (namely that it's brilliant and gorgeous and terrifying and kinda boring and the fact that it's kinda boring also helps make it great in a really weird and counterintuitive way). In lieu of a traditional review, then, please enjoy QUINN'S EXTREMELY LONG LIST OF QUESTIONS HE HAD DURING AND AFTER WATCHING 2001 ON THE BIG SCREEN FOR THE FIRST TIME. (Slight warning: this list goes somewhat off the rails in the last segment. You'll know it when you see it.)
1) So... what exactly was the Monolith's plan anyways? "Force humanity to evolve to the point where they can build spaceships, then lure a dude out to Jupiter where I can throw him through the Doctor Who intro, force him to watch himself age rapidly/also make him age rapidly too, then turn him into a creepy space baby puppet at the moment he dies" looks great on paper, sure, but there are a lot of clear logical leaps when you start putting it into action.
2) Speaking of the Monolith, what was up with the space Victorian aesthetic in the apartment it puts Dave in? If it's Dave projecting the contents of his mind, then why would he automatically latch onto "space Victorian" as his style of choice? If it's the Monolith giving the room a form Dave would be able to comprehend, then what kind of weird understanding of human culture does the Monolith have where it thinks "space Victorian" is a commonly accepted housing style? (Not that "space Victorian" shouldn't be a commonly accepted housing style, though - it totally should.)
3) How much does HAL really know about the Jupiter mission? We know he's been entrusted with the briefing info, but he doesn't seem to know about it, and he even voices suspicions about the mission to Dave. Were these suspicions made up as a test? Was HAL scared that Dave and Frank knew more than he did?
4) Of all the songs HAL could have been taught, why "Daisy Bell"? More importantly, who the fuck is still singing "Daisy Bell" in 1992, ESPECIALLY in a college town like Urbana, Illinois? Why wouldn't HAL have learned "Losing My Religion" or "Smells Like Teen Spirit" instead?
5) Could this entire film have been averted if Dave Bowman didn't half-ass his plot against HAL? If Dave had just rotated the pod before he consulted with Frank, brought his helmet in the pod with him, or just said "no" to HAL wanting to switch the modules again, the Discovery would have had four fewer dead crew members.
6) What did Dr. Floyd end up getting his daughter for his birthday? Did Dr. Floyd even get her ANYTHING for her birthday? On a scale from 1 to 10, how bad of a father is Dr. Floyd?
7) Why is every other country better at putting women into space than America? ...wait, never mind, rhetorical question.
8) Did Frank ever get the pay raise he was asking for?
9) How badly did the "epidemic" cover story fail if Dave and HAL know about the Monolith showing up on the moon?
10) Why is James Cameron calling the Avatar sequels The Avatar Sequels? You could have at least gone for The Avatar Saga - that requires at least as much creativity.
11) Why is Kate Winslet playing a character named Ronal in The Avatar Sequels? Is she playing a native character? Has Cameron even noticed any of the Death Note/Ghost in the Shell controversies yet?
12) Why is Stephen Lang the villain for The Avatar Sequels? Didn't he die? Is Cameron having that much trouble coming up with a new antagonist? (Please note that I have no complaints about Sigourney Weaver coming back from the dead for the reason of "Sigourney Weaver".)
13) Why is Cameron throwing in random human kids as characters? Didn't all the humans leave at the end of the first film? Is Cameron just going to do the "star-crossed lovers" story from the first film again but with kids?
14) Why am I thinking about The Avatar Sequels instead of 2001?
15) How does Keir Dullea manage to look handsome even in old age makeup?
Please submit your answers below. YOU WILL BE GRADED.