2001: A Space Odyssey – 50th Anniversary Re-Release Movie Review

When 50 years goes by, and a movie released in 1968 is still shown in theaters, it must be a classic. That is the case for “2001: A Space Odyssey”, which is now a “2001: A Space Odyssey – 50th Anniversary Re-Release” version. The upgraded release is a throwback to the old days. Since this is an ‘unrestored’ 70mm print of the director’s groundbreaking science fiction epic.  A true photochemical film recreation, this print was struck from new printing elements made from the original camera negative. That means; to see it in theaters with the 70mm print brings out the same experience as people had 50 years ago.

In case you do not know the story… There is a ‘Dawn of Man’ section that shows a group of humanoid apes that are brought in contact with a large black monolith. What is it? They don’t know, but it spurs on a understanding of how to use tools. A large bone comes in handy for killing  animals for food, and other humanoid apes. But the bone quickly becomes…

A space transport shuttle going from Earth to an orbiting space station. A very slow and elegant process to land in the station is helped along by beautiful ‘The Blue Danube’ waltz music. Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) is an important guy on a secret mission. There has been a mysterious find on the moon in a crater. Buried deep is a large black monolith. What is it? They don’t know, but it sends a piercing radio transmission to Jupiter. Then before long…

About a year and a half later, a spaceship is headed to Jupiter, with a crew and supercomputer named HAL 9000 (voiced by Douglas Rain). The crew consists of Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Dr. Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood), plus three other members in hibernation. As they approach closer to Jupiter, the HAL 9000 begins to show some unusual strain. Bowman and Poole decide that the reliability for HAL is gone, and they will shut his systems down. But then HAL fights back. During a spacewalk, Poole is killed (as are the three other crew members). Bowman attempts to save him, and when he comes back to the ship – he gets the cold shoulder from HAL.

Bowman breaks into the ship and takes over the operations, but then he sees something. It is a large black monolith. What is it? He doesn’t know, but will investigate. The sequence turns into around 20 minutes of mind-bending visuals and an unusual set of events for Bowman. But in the end, there is a Star Child, who is in utero — staring at the Earth…

The End.

Sorry to ‘spoil’ anything from this movie, but you have had 50 YEARS to see it. So that’s on you! Stanley Kubrick decided to take a complex subject (meeting up with extraterrestrial life) and made the most interesting movie that could be made. In every manner, this movie is ground-breaking. From the visuals, to the production design, to the special effects – this is a movie that displays some gravitas on the big screen. Only the acting is a little stiff and wooden.

Also, when it viewed with a 70mm film created from the original movie negative, the visual are intense. You can even see a couple of places where there is a bad spot or two. But this adds to the authentic nature of how this was created. If there is any movie that benefits from a big screen and large frame format, it is “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

tmc contributor: JMcNaughton
I think movies need to be shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible! Going to a movie theater is a group experience, even if you go in there alone. When the lights go dark and movie begins, you can participate in a special kind of magic. You can be entertained, or enlightened. But you are never bored. Or at least, let's hope not. Try reading the reviews first.. maybe that will help!

What do you think?

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