2010 Appreciation-Where's the love for the 2001 follow-up?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Nelson Au, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    There is a thread in the software section asking whether there will be an new anamorphic reissue of 2010, aka: The Year We Make Contact, on DVD. The discussion veered toward some negativity towards the Roy Scheider film, so the moderator suggested a new thread here for those who are more favorably inclined to this film.

    Here's my stab at it. There is no denying that 2001: A Space Odyssey is a cinematic masterpiece and stands on it's own. Considered the greatest science fiction film, I would rather call it one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. It's story telling at it's purist form. A pure cinematic experience. A sequel was not necessary and I don't think there was anyplace for one to go. Anything done in the same visual and story telling style that Kubrick had done could have been a feat that resulted in a disaster. I think Peter Hyam's take, using a straight forward literal approach, adapting the Clarke novel more or less as written, was the way to go if they had to do it. It set's it apart from the Kubrick film.

    I really enjoyed that aspect of it. I know a lot were dissapointed that this film didn't take on the same style and mystery of the original, but as I said, there was no where to go. And this is Clarke's take, not Kubrick's take on what happens after Dave's transformation at the end of 2001. I like that it is from the point of view of Earth, what happened to the Discovery?

    As a straight foreward film, complete with action and adventure, and some good performances by the cast, it's a great popcorn film and I separate it from 2001. 2001 I watch only on occassion because I don't want to diminish the experience by over exposure and I can look for new insights at each new viewing. I've watched 2010 probably over 20 times because I don't expect more then a fun romp.

    The explaination of HAL's behavior in 2001 is a source of soreness I know for the 2001 fans. This is Clarke's explaination. I'll let others argue about it. I just accept it as part of this film's structure.

    The scene where Chandra explain's HAL's reasoning for killing the Discovery's crew was a fun scene for me. I enjoyed Scheider and Lithgow's reaction to Balaban as Chandra. "I didn't know!" All the character bits are fun, from the bit about the calculator to the discussion about hot dogs. Perhaps that's all trite to those that dislike this film, or see it as a slap in the face of Kubrick's film, but that's the fun of it. Of course this kind of dialogue banter does date the film as something of the contempory era of film making. 2001 does achieve timelessness, it's not as easily dated. 2010 shows too much of contemporary 1984, 2001 managed to avoid showing what Earth looked like in 1999 to 2001.

    The other reason's I like the film are the technical aspects, how they were able to recreate the sets of Discovery, though some shots show how poorly the sets are made, it's still a hoot to see. And one of my favorite designers, Syd Mead was responsible for all the design of the Russian ship and hardware. Finally, the whole idea of uniting the people of Earth as a final message, while a lot find it corny, is appealing.

    That's about it for now. What do you think?
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    An enjoyable sci-fi film long overdue a decent presentation on dvd. I've never understood some people's hatred of it, it's far better than recent 'space adventures' like Red Planet and Mission to Mars. Yes it's a sequel to one of cinema's milestone achievements and for some that seems to be reason enough to despise it. Written by the same author, Arthur C.Clarke, it's existence doesn't diminish Kubrick's masterpiece and both can be viewed on their own merits. [​IMG]
     
  3. CoreyII

    CoreyII Second Unit

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    Hey Nelson, I've never seen the sequel, but reading your article, I get the feeling that you are trying to apologize or even justify your admiration of this film to the members of the forum or at least to the die hard Kubrick fans.

    You have nothing to apologize about. If you like the film, you like film. Too many people on this forum place these directors (like Kubrick and Tarantino) on unneccesary pedastals.

    Anyway, just an obsevation, not meant to offend you or Steve Christou. Take care.
     
  4. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I love 2001.
    But I also really enjoy 2010.

    I don't find 2010 as strong as 2001, but it is one of the better sci-fi films in years. And compared to most of the total crap SciFi that is out there, the storyline is interesting and deep, and there are different ways to think about what the film means.

    I really enjoy 2010 every time because I think it does such a good job of what it does. Is it 2001? No. And I don't think you can re-do 2001. But it continues the story in a manner that is both logical and well played.
     
  5. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Corey-

    No offense taken, I didn't intend to apologize or justify why I like 2010. If it reads that way, it's a matter of my poor writing skills!

    Though I do acknowledge some of the short comings of 2010 and what the purists of 2001 disliked so much about 2010. That could be what you're reading. No film is perfect, and 2010 isn't perfect. As a piece of entertainment, it's as good as many well regarded science fiction films.
     
  6. CoreyII

    CoreyII Second Unit

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    Hey Nelson, I agree. Take care.
     
  7. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I'm actully one of those who don't like 2001, but always liked 2010. I haven't seen 2010 for years now, but I liked the story telling. I know that the mystery of 2001, along with the visuals are very appealing to many, but they were always lost on me. I watch 2001 every now and then, and it still hasn't grown on me at all, other than the David Vs. HAL sequence, which is pretty decent.

    2010 as I remember it, has a great story, and the Lithgow freak out tops all the HAL stuff. It also had a cool poster of that fetus baby thing floating in space (I have this from the VHS release, and plan on having it framed.)

    Not that I'm giving up on 2001, if it ever shows close by in a theater, I'm going to go check it out. Pretty much everyone calls it "mind blowing" in the theater, so that well be my final stab at liking it. It's wierd, cult/critic faves like 2001 I usually like.
     
  8. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I love 2010. I'm not crazy about the most blatant fan-service moments (having Bowman's various incarnations put on cameos, for example), but I think it's a great sci-fi film. I do dislike the fact that Kubrick's visionary designs weren't more carefully reprised (2001, made in the 60s, featured flat widescreen monitors, whereas 2010, made and taking place a decade later, featured standard CRT-type screens), but taken on its own terms, and not looking for a clone of the original, it's a fantastic experience. I'm really looking forward to it hitting HD-DVD... Someday :p
     
  9. Chris Atkins

    Chris Atkins Producer

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    Big fan of 2001 that also enjoys 2010 a lot. Actually, I saw 2010 in the theaters back in the 1980s BEFORE I saw 2001. So maybe that explains my love for both.
     
  10. Francois Caron

    Francois Caron Cinematographer

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    My only problem with 2001 is how one key sequence from the book was replaced with a totally different concept in the movie. (spoilerized for your protection)

    First, in the movie the Cold War still existed while in the book, the Cold War was over. The US and USSR were not necessarily "buddy-buddy", but they weren't out to destroy each other. And the combined crews became very good friends during the trip (this was partally maintained with Max's and Curnow's camaraderie).

    Second, the Leonov came very close to arriving second when was was originally believed to be a Chinese space station orbiting the Earth turned out to be a spaceship when it blasted out of orbit and was heading straight to Europa -- where it would accomplish a first by landing and refueling there.

    How did it all turn out? Read the book. However, a suitable replacement was presented in the movie so we didn't miss anything.

    Still, I would have preferred that the elements from the book remained in the movie. Even more so now that those elements have actually become reality to a certain extent, reinforcing Arthur Clarke's uncanny ability to predict upcoming scientific and political events in his stories.
     
  11. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    That was my biggest issue with 2010 as well, other than the fact technology seemed to backslide about 15 years since 2001.
     

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