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A note to some of these reviewers: the 70mm presentation that played this summer was not a restoration at all, and is not representative of what will be on this new 4K Blu ray. The 70mm run was a "non-restoration", a new print from the negative with zero digital bells and whistles and cleaning. If you didn't like what you saw, it's not because of anything Christopher Nolan did, it's just that you watched a new print of a 50 year old negative of a film that you're accustomed to seeing with slight variations in color from other masters that have been struck over the years, whether on VHS, DVD, or even the Blu Ray from 2007. This new 4k Blu Ray WILL be what is shown on digital 4k IMAX screens around the country starting on August 24. It's a new digital remaster. If you were lucky enough to have seen a 70mm screening, you'll have seen that the negative has been VERY well cared for, and isn't in need of "restoration", only some cleanup and, well, remastering for 4k hdtv.
There are countless reviews of the film itself. These comments apply only to the newly released 4K version. For the record, I viewed it in Dolby Vision on an OLED TV, listening in DTS HDMA on an Atmos-optimized speaker system. The audio is as good as it could be, having been recorded with the technology that was available 50 years ago. The music is tremendously important to the movie, and they did their best with it. As I recall from seeing it in theaters in 1968, there was an attempt at surround sound, previously unheard of. The sound is almost as good as some modern films, but nothing like the really great ones that take full advantage of Atmos or DTS:X. From my recent experiences with 4K discs, I believe that Dolby Vision is much better than HDR, even though there is probably no technical reason for that. So far, every Dolby Vision movie I have seen has seemed very realistic, while HDR is often kind of "excessive" looking. Here, it appears that they tried their best to re-create the film experience, not enhance it. The light of outer space is naturally very harsh and contrastly. Interior scenes of space stations and ships are very bright and uniformly lighted as one would expect them to be. This was understood when shooting the film. The video faithfully re-creates it. Film artifacts appear from time to time, mostly as graininess in the bright scenes. This, to me, is better than trying to smooth it out, leading to an unnatural look. Fortunately there was no CGI back then. Models were constructed and sets built. These had to look good on film when projected on a huge screen. Therefore, they still look good today. Some movies with crude CGI made much more recently are already looking outdated in 4K. Of note is that on an OLED TV, the first three minutes are black, nothing to see at all. And outer space is truly black with very bright stars, just as it should be. This is vastly better than the VHS and DVD versions, even a lot better than HD Blu-ray. Well worth buying again, even if you already have it in HD.
Reviewed in the United States on December 26, 2018
1. I have seen this movie more times than any other film, ever. 2. There is a new 4K enhanced release that made first delivered into consumer hands at Christmas 2018 3. The almost 3000 reviews here are for previous versions 4. If it’s not in the box pictured that’s as thick as a book, it’s not the newly released version 5. If you like 2001 this print will leave you speechless 6. Having left me speechless, that’s all I’m going to say about it
Okay so the movie is great and deserves 5 stars. Why is this review 3 stars? Well, WB again completely messed up the digital copy. It’s not 4K. Redeemed via Movies Anywhere, and despite the site saying I’d redeemed a 4K version after I entered the code - it’s HD. Linked accounts in Vudu and iTunes also show HDX and HD respectively. It seems the only way to watch in 4K is with the disc. As for the 4K transfer - it’s excellent. They did a great job, especially with Dolby Vision. Just a shame they didn’t implement it onto the digital copy. WB are the new Paramount, Lionsgate, and Disney when it comes to digital/streaming.. Also, in true Amazon style - the description shows the 4K version has 3 discs. It’s actually 2. The 4K disc and the blu ray. My version shows blu ray as it seems the 4K is on pre-order, but I received it from Amazon today 10/28 which was nice of them. If me getting it before the release date is why the digital copy is HD, and it somehow becomes 4K on Tuesday, I’ll update my review. Edit 11/1: Response from Movies Anywhere “I can confirm to you that 2001: A Space Odyssey is in your account in 4K/UHD. Our service will store your movie in UHD, though at this time we only offer HD streaming/downloading resolutions. Movies will port over to your connected retailers in the same format (UHD) or next best, that the retailers offer. After taking a look, it does appear that the retailers are only offering the SD or HD versions at this time. If they upgrade in the future, your copies with them should reflect that.” So it’s 4K, but not at this time. Whatever than means. Also - I read reviews from folk who got 3 discs. As my photo shows - it’s only 2.
Zuerst einmal möchte ich den Leuten, die dem Film nur einen Stern gegeben haben sagen, dass ich deren Meinung nicht teile, aber es sehr gut verstehen kann. Diese Sorte Film ist so speziell, dass man es entweder mag oder gar nichts damit anfangen kann. Ich sage das komplett wertfrei und keinesfalls herablassend.
Ich kenne 2001 bereits von Kindes Beinen an und der Film rang mir aufgrund der gewaltigen Bildsprache immer Ehrfurcht ab, auch wenn er sich nicht 100%ig erschließt. Das tut er für keinen und auch heute noch raufen sich Cineasten aus aller Welt die Haare, was mich irgendwie beruhigt, denn sonst müsste ich den Fehler ja bei mir suchen. Arthur C. Clarke (Autor der Vorlage) sagte nicht umsonst sinngemäß: Wenn irgendjemand diesen Film verstanden hat, haben wir was falsch gemacht. Ich betrachte es immer so: Die Menschen haben schon immer in den Himmel geschaut und auch nicht wirklich verstanden, was um sie herum so alles passiert, aber dennoch Ehrfurcht vor den Gewalten der Natur gehabt. Auch heute leben ja viele in dem Bewusstsein, dass es größere Dinge um uns gibt, die wir vielleicht nie wirklich verstehen. Der Film bricht mit der Tradition der 50ger und 60ger B-Movie Science-Fiction (Alien-Monster vs. Menschheit) und beschäftigt sich mit epischen und elementaren Fragen, für die es wohl keine gemeingültige Antwort gibt, da dies jeder mit sich selbst ausmachen muss. Auf jeden Fall hat Kubrick hier in Hinsicht auf das Filmhandwerk Neuland geschaffen, ohne die das moderne Kino wohl anders aussehen würde. Das bestätigen ja auch Spielberg und Lucas in Interviews, die man ebenfalls als Pioniere des Kinos betrachten kann (ob man die mag oder nicht). Also Freunde, wer leichte Unterhaltung sucht mit viel Puff und Paff, schnellen Schnitten und CGI-Gewitter, sollte hiervon die Finger lassen. Dafür gibt's ausreichend Alternativen.
Noch ein Tip: Wer unbedingt das Thema abschließen und der Verwirrung Herr werden möchte, sollte sich noch 2010 (Das Jahr, indem wir Kontakt aufnehmen) anschauen, den ich persönlich als sehr solide empfinde und der den bitteren Nachgeschmack von 2001 zumindest etwas lindert.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2018
One of the classics of cinema - let alone science fiction - which looks breathtaking in 1080p. Both visuals and sound are fantastic and the film's attention to detail really shines. Not every part of it is aging well 50 years on, but it's incredible how current the Artificial Intelligence, commercial space travel and other aspects feel in the 21st century. It's long, moderately paced and sometimes obtuse, but that's part of what makes this film what it is. A true classic of design and film-making.
5.0 out of 5 starsClassic moviemaking, still not dated.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2011
2001: A Space Odyssey is perhaps Stanley Kubrick's signature movie, and Arthur C. Clarke's definitive novel. Conceived as a book and a film simultaneously, it charts the progress of mankind from cave-dwelling apes to space travel and beyond, each stage heralded by a mysterious alien artefact, the Black Monolith.
Almost half a century has past since it was made, and for a move that attempted to depict space travel BEFORE man had even set foot on the moon, it's astoundingly accurate and realistic. No wonder George Lucas used the effects team headed by Doug Trumbull and others, to work on Star Wars some years later.
Regarding the lack of dialogue in most of the film, Kubrick says:
"It's not a message I ever intended to convey in words. 2001 is a nonverbal experience; out of two hours and 19 minutes of film, there are only a little less than 40 minutes of dialogue. I tried to create a visual experience, one that bypasses verbalized pigeonholing and directly penetrates the subconscious with an emotional and philosophic content. I intended the film to be an intensely subjective experience that reaches the viewer at an inner level of consciousness, just as music does... You're free to speculate as you wish about the philosophical and allegorical meaning of the film and such speculation is one indication that it has succeeded in gripping the audience at a deep level but I don't want to spell out a verbal road map for 2001 that every viewer will feel obligated to pursue or else fear he's missed the point." (1970)
Make of it what you will, but relax and enjoy this perplexing visual feast for the eyes and mind.
Howard Tuttleman... email@example.com, Lover of the Arts, Teenage Genious, Master Critic
1.0 out of 5 starsWhat the Heck!?
Reviewed in Canada on July 31, 2005
Rented this one just to laugh at how moviemakers in the 50's and 60's thought the world was going to look in the year 2001. I figured we would see ridiculous flying cars, jet packs, meal in a pill, talking robots, etc. Then I figured I was gonna write a review here talking about how wrong they were (since the year 2001 has already happened and it was nothing like that)and reccomend it just for a laugh. Here's how it really went. I popped it in the player and to my surprise it just looked like a fake documentary about monkeys with a couple of guys in really fake looking monkey costumes. Kind of like Planet of the Apes. 5 minutes in: Still monkeys (no narraration or anything either). 10 minutes in I asked myself "How are they going to stretch this out for a whole stupid movie?!" I will never know. Because when a monkey threw a bone up in the air so high that it went into space and morphed into a rocket-ship I was done with this garbage. Who on earth would predict the year 2001 would be like that!? I returned it shortly after that and rented Mortal Kombat 2 which was way more realistic with better fighting. In conclusion, you would be much better off renting a documentary about apes, or even Gorillas in the mist, or maybe Planet of the Apes which this movie is trying to be. AVOID!! Later. howardtuttleman.com
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2017
the first in the classic epics is really well filmed. even after all these years the portrayal is quite fascinating with some really quite good ideas of space and space flight. It makes one feel sad that the reality of space flight has never quite been realised. The ending also leaves one wondering. First, what on earth is happening and was Kubrick on acid when he thought that up. Second, what does it all mean? are we alone in the universe or is someone else out there watching us?
4.0 out of 5 starsStill the one of the best Si-Fi movies ever made.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2020
This is still one of the best movies ever made. The only disappointing thing about this film is that it remains science fiction. I was born in the early 60's so the fact that we still haven't got a base on the moon in 2020 (???) is very annoying.
5.0 out of 5 starsMy Favourite Film of All-Time. No Competeition.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 6, 2014
The Late Great Stanley Kubrick made the Greatest Science Fiction Film - Ever. The only film that captures the intellectual complexities of the Science Fiction genre. No other film has come close. This is the Gold Standard that all other Sci-Fi films will correctly be judged, analyzed and dissected to the minute degree - very deservedly. Majestic. 'Nuff Said.
5.0 out of 5 starsWish someone would make more 'apeman origins' cinema.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2012
The fact there are 200 comments here for a 1968 film says something.
A work of brilliant genius that informs our lives in many ways, as well as great art, thanks Arthur Clarke as well as Kubrick and team.
In particular the opening apeman scenes remain the best attempt by man (in fiction, documentary, museum exhibit etc) at recreating apeman life - the fear, the tribal competition, and, underneath, the progress. I wish someone would make more of such cinema about our origins.