Wednesday, 5 April 2017

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - Film Review

Review:

Honestly... what the fuck? Full disclosure, the first time I watched this with my friend a year ago and we gave up half way through, we watched the second half in fast forward with the soundtrack playing on one of our phones. I was hoping this watch on my own would make me do a completely 180 on my opinion of 2001. It didn't, and to be honest, I probably liked it less.

I'll briefly talk about the good. There truly is some beautiful visuals and music here with some groundbreaking visual effects. I can't fault any of the production. The 'Star Gaze' scene is something of demented beauty that I hope to revisit one day under the influence of acid. It has a wonderful attention to detail and there's so much to explore in every frame, but under the surface of this film, there is just nothing there.

Everything else though... is bullshit. I could not tell you what I was fucking seeing with my eyes for the life of me. Nothing made sense. The first 3 minutes of the film is a black screen. A fucking black screen. This was long at 150 minutes, this was just taking the piss, I knew I was in for trouble at this point. Then we get monkeys for about 15+ minutes, then we get to the core of the "story" space.

I get there's a way to do visual storytelling, it worked for me in Under the Skin and Only God Forgives, here it just left me confused, annoyed and bored. At least in those films the outline of the story was clear to me, it was just more deeper stuff that was lost on me.

It's such a shame too, I adore Stanley Kubrick, and I love most of his films, A Clockwork Orange is one of my favorites of all time. I just don't know what the fuck to make of this. It's just such a frustrating and self-indulgent experience clearly made to fuck with the audiences head. It would have been a bit easier to stomach with a shorter run time, but at 2 and a half hours, it just feels like a overlong anal assault from Kubrick and he doesn't even buy you dinner first, then to top it off, he finishes on your face without asking permission.

2001: A Space Odyssey might be classic for some, but for me it was a boring, frustrating 
experience that just made me wish I never even bothered to try and love it.

2/10

2001: A Space Odyssey is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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