DIRECTOR: PETER HYAMS
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Peter Hyams
MUSIC: David Shire
CAST: Roy Scheider, John Lithgow, Helen Mirren, Bob Balaban, Keir Dullea, Douglas Rain
WRITTEN BY: Arthur C. Clarke
ONE WORD: Sure misses Stanley Kubrick.
Compared to the original there are some nice things in this film, but it is missing the pizzazz that the original did have, which this one does not.
The original, did not spend too much time telling us what the symbols meant, or making any judgments about the events in the film. By just being the unusual story it was, and making analogies that not everything in this universe will always be understood, it stood out as a film that was reminiscent of the earlier surrealistic movement. It showed everything it thought and it hoped for the best. The end result, were more questions that answers, but in the process it gave us a visual display that we had never encountered before.
2010, is not the visual display that the original was. It seems to have a chip on its shoulder, in that it has to say something, where the other film didn't have to. The difference might just be the director, one who enjoys shooting, and not make judgments, and the other who is merely an example of what most directors are nowadays, and should not be, if they are going to help the industry develop its art form. What this film is missing is Stanley Kubrick. It can never do any better than to make a political crap shoot with the crews and with the situation at hand. And end the film with a soft bit related to fear.
There are some nice bits in the story, and the best is the idea that there is some "spirit" form, or, something, which is relaying messages and is warning them that they need to leave. And the spirit form is connected to Dave Goldman, who originally shut down Hal 9000, and basically stopped the mission from completing. At least, we are given a few directions and understandings of what DID happen in the original film that had not been clear. The computer did not like the changes in the program, since it had been built to follow ONE specific line of thinking. Heck, we humans are the same.
But this time, the crews of the spaceship, do agree that there is some danger and that they need to leave, and one technician does manage to discuss with Hall 9000 what is needed. The computer thanks him for the honesty, which before didn't exist. In other words, we created a monster, but we didn't treat him with the respect that we should have. Mary Shelley is alive and well in space.
Aside from the attempt to force a friendship during the days of the cold war, the film is not bad. At the time, these situations were rather pathetic. And the event that forces a peace in the earth, are not the people themselves, but a stellar event, which scares more humans into submission and perhaps to forget their difference.
Roy Scheider is nice, as is Helen Mirren as the Russian commander of the expedition. In a smaller role, not so well defined, but could have been better used, is Bob Baladan as the scientist that is programming Hal and its successors. He is in a role that doesn't allow him a chance to look bigger and better, and he does feel better than the others. Perhaps it is because his role IS defined, and the others are not.
2010 is not a bad film. It just lacks the punch that the other one did have. 2001, the original, did not elaborate in the political and philosophical opinions. This film does not know how to do anything except explore those bits, and eventually demean the nice ideals that one film had created, but which could not be sustained. Or maybe the writer just didn't want to repeat himself. Either way, this film is not as good as the first. It could even do better than use the same music.
Nice film, but a bit behind the times, by the time it came out. The original, was just that... an original. This did not make it that close ... and it was missing the most important part of it all ... the design of the film did not know how to use the music ... it's just another conventional film. I've always had this idea that Stanley Kubrick's original was more of a dream than it was anything else ... and we can always get rid of all the meanings and whatnots that many people like to associate with it. In the end, in the history of time, they are all meaningless anyway ... but the second that you hear the music pound you into remembering it ... is worth a lot more.
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